Friday, September 29, 2017

Profound Characters from All Eras at Shakespeare Theatre Co.

Written by  Frankie Kujawa
Patrick Ball and Jack Koenig in The Collection Patrick Ball and Jack Koenig in The Collection credit: Tony Powell

The Shakespeare Theatre Company at the Harman Center for the Arts recently unveiled its tantalizing 2017-2018 season. The company is renowned for producing the highest-quality classic theatre productions. With Shakespeare at its core, the theatre explores plays of national and international relevance, exploring plays with profound themes and complex characters through a contemporary 21st century lens.

The Lover and The Collection by Harold Pinter runs from September 26th to October 29th. The Collection follows a jealous husband who confronts a rival whom his wife may or may not have met. In The Lover, a couple calmly plans for their scheduled infidelity. Pinter’s darkly comic world of revealing silences and pregnant pauses leaves the characters – and audiences for that matter – not knowing quite where they stand.

Running from November 16th to December 20th is Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria, the quick-witted Viola assumes the disguise of a page boy for Duke Orsino and finds herself at the center of an explosive love triangle in which identify, passion, and gender all threaten to come undone.

Following up Twelfth Night is Shakespeare’s classic Hamlet, directed by Michael Kahn and starring Ugly Betty / Buyer & Cellar actor Michael Urie. Running from January 16th to February 25th 2018, Hamlet returns home from university to find his personal and political world changed as he never imagined it could. In Hamlet, the greatest character of Western literature confronts the meaning of life, the bonds and limits of flesh and blood, and the thin line between madness and inspiration.

Noura, running from February 6th to March 11th askes the question “What does home mean and what will we do to protect it?” Noura challenges audience notions of belonging, shame, and sacrifice through a portrait of Iraqi immigrants in New York. As Noura and her husband Tariq prepare to celebrate a traditional Christmas, a young Iraqi refugee arrives opening wounds the family has tried to leave behind, forcing them to confront where they are, who they’ve been and who they have become.

Running from April 18th to May 20th, Waiting for Godot showcases Samuel Beckett’s absurd, archaic exploration of time. In this performance, life is vaudeville and tragedy, philosophy and confusion, teetering on the edge of despair but tuned with Beckett’s unique blend of poetry and humor.

Ending the season, Camelot will run from May 22nd to July 1st. Amid the mystical forests and grand castles, Camelot tells a strikingly familiar tale of a leader’s integrity, courage and empathy.

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