Folger Theatre will be out-of-house for the 2020-21 season while the venerable Folger Shakespeare Library undergoes renovation. To get its audiences ready for the pleasures yet to be, the company will spend the season at two facilities which have themselves been recently renovated and at the National Building Museum, which is installing Shakespeare’s Playhouse for the event.
The Building Museum with serve as Folger’s first venue, for the Bard’s classic Midsummer Night’s Dream in which Puck, using Magic Dust (TM) makes people who hate each other fall in love, and makes the fairy queen fall in love with a man who has the head of a donkey. Veteran Folger Director Robert Richmond will direct this comedy as well as the installation of Shakespeare’s Playhouse, which is being done in partnership with the Building Museum and the University of South Carolina. The play performs from July 7 to August 30, 2020, at 401 F. Street NW.
Then Folger hies itself to Bethesda, where it will present The Tempest at the newly-renovated Round House Theatre. This play, about a magician who reconciles with those who did him ill, will be co-directed by an actual magician — Teller, the silent half of Penn and Teller. Teller will be collaborating with Aaron Posner, with whom he also successfully collaborated in a 2008 Folger production of Macbeth. Pilobolus will choreograph this production, which will also feature the music of Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. From November 4 to December 20 of this year at 4545 East-West Highway; Round House will co-produce.
The Folger season concludes at Theater J where Folger in association with Theater J will be producing Nathan the Wise. We are in Jerusalem, during the Third Crusade, when the merchant Nathan comes back from a long journey to learn that his house caught on fire, and a Christian knight saved his daughter’s life. The knight, in turn, had been saved from certain death by the Sultan, who saw in the knight a resemblance to his own beloved, dead brother. As the three characters come to know each other, the discussion turns to which religion is the true one. The answer, when it comes, is a surprise. Theater J Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr will direct this Gotthold Ephraim Lessing play, which Michael Bloom adapted. From February 17 to March 14, 2021, at 1529 16th Street NW.