As we have gotten into the swing of the New Year, our resolutions may have already started to take a backseat to the stressors of every-day life. One resolution we can all stick to, though, is seeing more live theater. Fortunately for all of us, there are three theaters here in the United States that will get our bard-butts to the proverbial gym. Read on, get excited, and get your tickets!
The Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas, is first on my list. With director Gregory Boyd at the helm and a stellar cast from top-to-bottom (Elizabeth Bunch, Todd Waite and Chris Hutchinson leading the company), As You Like It is sure to start any theater-goers’ year off right. Heading off to the woods to escape death and darkness, Rosalind and Orlando (along with their trusty friends and sidekicks) each go on journeys that lead them to find the true meaning of identity, love in many its forms, with plenty of heartbreak, elation and adventure along the way. Previews begin January 30 and the production runs through February 22 at the University of Houston. Visit www.alleytheatre.org/Alley/As_You_Like_It.asp for all the information you need!
Next, for a relevant twist, those of us in the Golden State can check out Alison Carey’s California: The Tempest, from Los Angeles’ Cornerstone Theater Company. Cornerstone’s mission is indeed unique and offers an ever-evolving body of work, and in 2004 they began work on this adaptation. Uniting Shakespeare’s The Tempest with stories and contributions from communities in ten different California cities, Michael John Garces brings to life a decade’s worth of collaboration—which can be seen in the very cities which contributed to the project. This production started performing in 2014…has anyone seen it yet? I’d love hear what peoples’ experiences have been. For those of us who have yet to see it, we have until June this year!
And finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t send a little love to my hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota: Previews for A Midsummer Night’s Dream begin Feburary 7th at The Guthrie Theater. Coming to the end of his 20 year tenure as Artistic Director, Joe Dowling directs (in conjunction with David Bolger) this immersive new take on one of the Bard’s most beloved plays. With an Artistic Staff to swoon for, Dowling has assembled a dynamic cast featuring Guthrie favorites Kris L. Nelson, Angela Timberman, and Peter Thomson as some of the Mechanicals; as well as a number of young actors who will take the national theater scene by storm— Eleonore Dendy, Casey Hoekstra, Níke Cadre, Tyler Michaels to name a few! This imaginative production is sure to thaw the frozen hearts of seen-it-before cynics, and ignite a love of classical theater for the next generation. Visit www.guthrietheater.org to get your tickets, and be sure to give feedback when you see it!
2015 is sure to bring a plethora of great productions around the United States. I’m looking forward to seeing as much as possible and getting to know smaller theater companies that are doing innovative work. Which theaters are producing your favorite Shakespeare works this season? What are you most excited to see? Where will you be getting your Bard fix?