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BWW's Shakespeare Round Up 2013

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Shakespeare's popularity shows no signs of flagging, even though his 450th birthday is approaching in 2014. For fans of the Bard, here is a look at productions currently playing across the nation, as well as a sneak peek at upcoming shows.

The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego presents its summer festival of plays performed in repertory at the outdoor Lowell Davis Festival Theatre in Balboa Park. Perennial favorite A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is directed by Olivier-nominee Ian Talbot, who makes his directorial debut at The Old Globe. THE MERCHANT OF VENICE and Tom Stoppard's Hamlet-inspired comedy, ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD are both directed by award-winning director Adrian Noble, former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. The summer festival runs through September 29.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2013 season continues with a range of classic and contemporary works, including a quartet of Shakespearean plays. Alongside the masterful tragedy KING LEAR and comedic favorites A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, the line-up includes the more obscure offering CYMBELINE. Bill Rauch directs the romance.

Tony-Award winner Mark Rylance will star in two all-male Shakespearean productions opening on Broadway this fall. Rylance, former Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe in London, will portray the title role in RICHARD III, as well as taking on the part of Olivia in TWELFTH NIGHT. Tim Carroll directs.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company continues its annual Free For All Shakespeare performances. This summer, the company revives MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, which originally ran during the 2011-12 season. The action is set in 1930s Cuba and runs August 20-September 1 at Sidney Herman Hall in Washington, D.C.

The Public Theatre's production of LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST: A NEW MUSICAL, directed by Alex Timbers, begins previews on July 23. The free show runs through August 18 and features Colin Donnell as Berowne, Tony-award nominee Daniel Breaker as the King of Navarre, Maria Thayer as Rosaline, and Audrey Lynn Weston as Katherine. SNL's Rachel Dratch plays the pedantic schoolmaster Holofernes. The musical adaptation will feature a score by Michael Friedman and a book by Tony-nominee Alex Timbers.

Shakespeare Dallas presents its 42nd annual Shakespeare in the Park through July 20 at Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (director Sara Romersberger) alternates with the seldom-produced PERICLES (directed by Artistic Director Raphael Parry).

The Michigan Shakespeare Festival, now in its 19th season, presents TWELFTH NIGHT. Previews begin July 18. Directed by Janice L. Blixt, Artistic Director of the festival, the comedy features original music by Kate Hopwood. The Festival's second offering is the lesser-known history play, KING JOHN. The shows perform at the Baughman Theatre inside the Potter Center at Jackson College.

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Debra Charlton Debra Charlton is the author of Holistic Shakespeare: An Experiential Learning Approach (Intellect Books 2012). Her reviews and articles on Shakespeare training and performance have appeared in numerous publications. Most recently, her chapter on Sarah Bernhardt was published in Women in the Arts in the Belle Epoque (MacFarland 2012).

Debra Charlton received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin with a specialization in Shakespearean theatre.  She joined the faculty of Texas State University in 1999 where she served as Director of Graduate Studies in Theatre until 2013. At Texas State, she established and supervised the production dramaturgy program at Texas State, and founded a summer Shakespeare intensive in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.

Dr. Charlton began her career as a professional actor at Houston’s Alley Theatre.  She has since directed many productions, including King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Blood Wedding, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Winter’s Tale.   She has also worked as a production dramaturg on many plays, including Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night, Oklahoma!, A Little Night Music, Arcadia, The Art of Dining, and The Learned Ladies.