Folger Shakespeare Theatre’s 2014-2015 will focus on the political and the historical, the company announced yesterday, including a production of Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart which will feature two of the area’s best actors, Kate Eastwood Norris and Holly Twyford, as rival queens.
Before all that, though, Folger will be the east coast stop for a two year, around the world tour of Hamlet, from London’s Shakespeare’s Globe, which will produce two of the most important plays from the canon. On July 25 and 26, 2014, Globe will present three performances of its stripped-down (8-actor) Hamlet – a production that the New York Times said “prizes efficiency, clarity, accessibility, and above all, energy.”
On September 5, Shakespeare’s Globe will begin its 18-production run of King Lear, featuring Joseph Marcel, a well-regarded television and stage actor (seen here in 2007 in Folger’s As You Like It). The production will run until September 21.
Folger’s own production season begins on October 28 with the Bard’s Julius Caesar, directed by Robert Richmond. Julius Caesar is a complex, blood-soaked meditation on honor, ambition, freedom and the caprice of the popular will. Richmond directed Folger’s acclaimed Richard III this season, and, in past years, Twelfth Night, Henry V, Othello and Henry VIII. Julius Caesar will run until December 7.
Folger kicks off the new year with Mary Stuart, Schiller’s historical drama about Queen Elizabeth I’s decision to execute her cousin, Mary Stuart (who was the mother of Elizabeth’s successor, James I). The Richard Clifford-directed production of Peter Oswald’s adaptation features Twyford as Elizabeth and Norris as Mary, and includes Cody Nickell and Nancy Robinette. Mary Stuart will run from January 27 to March 8, 2015.
Finally, bookending the Folger season will be Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a story of chance, free will, identity and human dignity which retells Hamlet from the point of view of two minor characters. Aaron Posner, fresh off his Helen Hayes award for his own play, Stupid Fucking Bird (which was also a finalist for the national Steinberg/ATCA new play award), will direct; Ian Merrill Peakes will appear as the Player King. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern will run from May 12 to June 21, 2015.
The upcoming 2014/2015 season is unfolding now.
See the productions already announced.