Familiar hands to be at the tiller : Kahn, Muse, Posner, McSweeney, Lord and Taichman
A brand new adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s Wallenstein by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, done in repertory with a production of Coriolanus directed by Studio Theatre Artistic Director David Muse, highlights the 2012-2013 theater lineup which the Shakespeare Theatre announced yesterday.
The season will feature six shows led by directors who are well familiar to Washington audiences. The company’s Artistic Director, Michael Kahn, will direct Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector, in which a civil servant wanders into a town run by a corrupt mayor and finds himself mistaken for an Inspector sent by the Tsar, to his considerable advantage. The production, which uses Jeffrey Hatcher’s 2008 adaptation, runs from September 13 to October 28, 2012.
Kahn will also be directing the company’s production of Wallenstein, which, along with Coriolanus, will run March 28 and June 2, 2013. Schiller’s Wallenstein is a trio of plays theatricalizing the life of Albrecht von Wallenstein, who led an abortive rebellion against Emperor Ferdinand II during the thirty years’ war. Pinksy will “freely adapt” the work, the company says.
Wallenstein will run in rep with the Muse-directed Coriolanus, the story of a fierce Roman General whose attempt to obtain political office ended up so badly that he defected to the other side. The Royal Shakespeare Theatre performed this seldom-done late-Shakespeare drama a few years ago at the Kennedy Center, to generally good reviews.
Midsummer Night’s Dream, which Ethan McSweeney will direct, will be the company’s holiday show, running between November 15 and December 30, 2012. The popular Shakespearean comedy, in which the mischievous sprite Puck blows dust on people and makes them love each other, may be an ideal conclusion to the political season.
Aaron Posner makes his Shakespeare Theatre debut in a production of Shaw’s Man and Superman, which will run from January 24 to March 10, 2013. This is a sort of mix-and-match play, which can be treated as a light comedy of manners (whose theme is that marriage is always a woman’s project) or as a profound meditation on social and economic issues, depending on what parts of the play are included in the production. The third of the four acts is frequently produced separately as Don Juan in Hell. No word yet about what Posner will do with this production.
STC will conclude its season with Rebecca Bayla Taichman directing The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s story of a King who arrests his wife in a fit of irrational, jealous rage and spends the rest of his life regretting it. The Winter’s Tale will be co-produced with the McCarter Theatre Center and run between May 9 and June 23, 2013.
Finally, this year’s free-for-all will be a reprise of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, the story of a determined woman’s efforts to marry a boorish man who doesn’t want her. The production will be available to all at no cost between August 23 and September, 2012. Jenny Lord directs from Kahn’s original 2010 direction.
Subscriptions to the 2012-2013 season are available now. Single tickets go on sale at a later date.