A new adaptation of an old story and a successful adaptation of an even older story will join two Shakespeare plays (one of which is produced quite rarely) in Folger Theatre’s 2016-2017 Season, the company has announced.
The Folger season will begin with Kate Hamill’s new adaptation of Jane Austen’s first novel, Sense and Sensibility, in which a passionate woman, buoyed by the example of her sister, learns the benefit of self-interest. Eric Tucker, who was the Wall Street Journal’s “Director of the Year” in 2014, will helm this production, which will run from September 13 to October 30 of this year.
For the holiday season, Folger will revive Mary Hall Surface’s adaptation of the Second Shepherd’s Play, an astonishing piece of theatre legerdemain even more amazing for being six hundred years old. Rather than describing all the wonderful features of this story, I’ll just link you back to the utterly charming and moving 2007 production I saw at Folger. Folger Consort will once again provide the musical backdrop; Surface will direct. From November 27 to December 18, 2016.
Folger will kick of the new year with a production of As You Like It, in association with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. You know the one: departing home; wrestling; escape to Arden; Rosalind’s name hanging on the trees; girl disguised as boy; the Seven Ages of Man. Gaye Taylor Upchurch directs this play, which runs from January 24 to March 5, 2017.
To close the season, Folger will present the rarely-produced Shakespeare tragedy, Timon of Athens. Timon is the story of an exceptionally generous man who finds that his generosity is not contagious when he suffers financial reversals. Many scholars believe that Shakespeare collaborated with Thomas Middleton on this work, but it is still considered part of the canon. You won’t need to be a completionist to enjoy this, though; Robert Richmond (Othello, Henry V) will direct and Ian Merrill Peakes (Macbeth, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead) will play the title role.
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