June is upon us and so is a new editor! As Lori mentioned, I am Mel and I will be taking over one week per month to keep you all updated with the latest Shakespeare performance news. I am posting from Staunton, Virginia, home of the American Shakespeare Center and the Blackfriars Playhouse. For my first post, I thought I would share a bit of what some of my favorite smaller Shakespeare companies are up to! I’ve also included some new companies, and since the weather has been so nice I’ve included quite a few outdoor venues—who doesn’t love a picnic with their Shakespeare?
Opening June 6th and 7th, for one weekend only, Endstation Theatre Company will be performing Two Gentlemen of Veron—excuse me, Two Gentlemen of Virginia at Thomas Jefferson’s “summer home,” Poplar Forest. If you cannot make opening weekend, performances will be held throughout the rest of the summer on the grounds of Sweetbriar College also in Virginia. This adaptation set on the grounds of Jefferson’s private retreat (see what they did there) has a young Jefferson and James Madison as the titular characters. Having seen their Taming of the Shrew last summer, I highly recommend this company.
New this year is the Richmond Shakespeare Festival which opens their inaugural season of Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet on June 6th with performances running through June 15th. The festival held in Richmond, Indiana, will also have food vendors, buskers, and artists.
The American Shakespeare Center is opening their summer season at the Blackfriars Playhouse the week of June 17th with two powerhouse shows: Macbeth and Cyrano de Bergerac. While I am arguable biased towards the ASC’s work, some exciting things are happening with both shows that put them in the not to be missed category. Additionally, this week is the last chance to catch the spring shows, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, and Henry IV Part I before the season closes.
Rubber City Shakespeare, a new company in Akron, Ohio opens their summer season later in June with Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing. A young company, but they are working tirelessly to bring Shakespeare to the Akron area.
Philadelphia’s Shakespeare in Clark Park is putting together an army! This production won’t open until July, but put them on your calendar now. They are putting together a 100 person army for their production of Henry VI Part I. Their productions, held outdoors in University City section of West Philadelphia, have always proved fun and energetic, not to mention you can bring a picnic.
Brave Spirits Theatre based in DC is holding auditions the week of June 13th for the anonymous play Arden of Faversham, an early modern play based on true events. A cheating wife, an inconvenient husband, and two very inept hit men make this a gem of a play (even if Shakespeare didn’t write it, although there are rumors he might have had a hand in it…).
That’s all I have, I hope you enjoyed my first post. Be sure to follow the Shakespeare Standard on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Google +. Let us know if you are planning on seeing any of these performances. We would love to hear from you. Also, please consider making a donation to The Shakespeare Standard because without you guys we would not be able to do what we do to bring you all these awesome articles!