Folger Theatre will feature four of the Bard of Avon’s finest plays in its 2013-2014 season, the company announced today.
Leading things off will be one of the great Shakespearean tragedies of all time, Romeo and Juliet, which playwright-director Aaron Posner will helm. Romeo and Juliet, for the eight people who don’t know, is the story of forbidden love between the scions of two great and warring families.
Michael Goldsmith, late of Clybourne Park in London’s West end and an occasional actor in the Dr. Who series, will play Romeo and Folger veteran Erin Weaver will play Juliet. Coming off his triumphant appearance in Round House’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Eric Hissom will play Friar Laurence. Weaver and Hissom won outstanding supporting actress and outstanding supporting actor awards, respectively, for their work in Folger’s Arcadia (Aaron Posner directing) in 2010.
Romeo and Juliet will run from October 15 to December 1, 2013.
Folger moves from tragedy to history – or to tragical history – on January 28 of 2014 with Richard III, the story of the last Plantagenet King of England and (according to Shakespeare) an exquisite double-dealer. Veteran Folger director Robert Richmond (Henry V, Henry VIII) will helm this production, which will be the first area production of Richard III since the real Richard’s bones were discovered underneath a parking lot in Leicester.
Will it be weird for director Richmond to have his Richard snarl (as Shakespeare wrote) “I think there be six Richmonds in the field; five have I slain to-day instead of him”? You’ll have to go to find out. The play runs until March 9.
Two plays by New York’s Fiasco Theater will complete the Folger season. Two Gentlemen of Verona, generally thought to be the Bard’s first play, will run from April 17 to May 25 of next year. Two Gentlemen is, let’s face it, the story of one gentleman and one pretty slimy creep, who abandons his own beloved to make an unwelcome pass at his friend’s beloved. Great language, great action and a great celebration of the foolishness of youth.
For an unspecified but apparently extremely limited amount of time, Fiasco will also present its own unique version of Cymbeline at Folger, beginning on May 28, 2014. Cymbeline is an immensely complicated, densely plotted story of a forbidden love affair, stolen princes, false accusations and an extremely inappropriate relationship egged on by royalty. Fiasco will perform the whole thing with just six actors, and plenty of music. New York Magazine named Fiasco’s Cymbeline one of the City’s ten top productions of 2011.
Tickets, and more information, are available here.