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Tickets for Shakespeare & Company 35th Season Go on Sale

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Tickets for Shakespeare & Company's 35th Season go on sale today. The 2012-2013 season is set to include an appearance by Olympia Dukakis in an all-female version of 'The Tempest.' "From the perspective of someone who witnessed first hand the beginnings of our Company," says Artistic Director Tony Simotes. "It is astonishing to look back at what we've achieved. I am proud to say that we are at the forefront of actor training and education programs in terms of objective and scope. It is a tremendous privilege to be Shakespeare & Company's Artistic Director during this exciting time, and I feel that we've compiled a riveting and daring list of productions this season that not only reflect the best of what Shakespeare & Company has to offer, but will take us to the next level.

"To have Olympia Dukakis on hand for our 35th is personally thrilling, and I know that sentiment will be shared by our patrons. Beyond her obvious talent, Olympia is a fearless artist that brings so much to a production. Her magnetism heightens our work as directors and actors; her influence in the rehearsal room makes every actor's work richer and deeper. She has an unmatched ability to turn 16th Century verse on its head and makes its relevance vividly apparent. I can't wait to see what happens we begin rehearsals for The Tempest. It's assured to be an exciting ride."

In addition to the titles below, the 35th anniversary season will feature a weekly play-reading series and special Anniversary Lecture Series, featuring Shakespeare & Company founders and special guests. 

Founders' Theatre
The Tempest
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Artistic Director Tony Simotes
Featuring: Olympia Dukakis as Prospero, Apollo Dukakis as Gonzalo. Others TBA.
End of June through Mid-July.

"Now my charms are all o'erthrown, And what strength I have's mine own" –Epilogue

Shakespeare & Company is thrilled to bring The Tempest back to the Mainstage with a fresh, funny, cutting-edge and very bawdy production set in circa 1940. Artistic Director Tony Simotes and Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis team up to re-envision one of Shakespeare's most coveted romances. Dukakis plays Prospero, a Duke that is less interested in ruling than he is with practicing magic. After being exiled from his kingdom by his brother, Prospero and his baby daughter Miranda are cast on the shores of a desert island. There, Prospero harnesses his magical prowess, creating Caliban and Ariel, a half human creature and a spirit. Twelve years later, Prospero contrives the shipwreck that will quickly change the fate of him and his daughter. The Tempest is Shakespeare's penultimate statement on the illusion of justice.

King Lear
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Rebeccca Holderness
Featuring: Dennis Krausnick as King Lear, Kevin G. Coleman as the Fool, Apollo Dukakis as Gloucester, others TBA.
Mid-June through Mid-August.

"Nothing will come of nothing: speak again." – King Lear I.i

For the first time in almost ten years, S&Co. will be bringing King Lear to the Mainstage, this time with Director of Training and Founding Member Dennis Krausnick as the misguided monarch. Holderness sets Lear in Russia, 1906 on the verge of the revolution where ancient monarchy, in fact the last monarchy, was about to crumble. Lear tells the story of a king who foolishly attempts to divide his land between his daughters based on how eloquently (in actuality, disingenuously) they express their love for him. When his youngest and most beloved daughter refuses to partake in the charade, she is disinherited. The play unfolds as Lear regresses into sickness and strife over his mistake, ultimately severing the unity he intended to uphold. To this day, King Lear remains one of the most profound tales of regret and the indelible connection of family in the English language

Endurance
By Split Knuckle Theatre
Adapted and created by: Jason Bohon, Andrew Grusetskie, Michael Toomey, and Greg Webster, with writer Nick Ryan
Featuring: Jason Bohon, Andrew Grusetskie, Michael F. Toomey, and Greg Webster.
End of June through Mid-July.

Trapped in Antarctica with no hope of rescue, the great British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton kept 27 men alive for two years in the most inhospitable climate on earth. Ninety-five years later, in the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression, Hartford insurance man Walter Spivey, played by Company fight choreographer, master clown teacher and over all funny man Michael Toomey, struggling to justify his recent promotion and save his employees' jobs, relives Shackleton's story. Can one of the greatest leaders in human history inspire him to conquer the corporate world? Endurance was huge hit at the Company's Studio Festival of Plays last summer and it continues to perform around the country and Europe.

Dibbledance
Director/Choreographer Susan Dibble
Featuring: Susan Dibble and over a dozen S&Co. artists and special guests.
Two weekends in early July.

Shakespeare & Company is elated to welcome back Founding Member Susan Dibble for her signature theatrical dance event Dibbledance for two special performances on the Founders' Theatre stage in July. Dibble who has choreographed countless productions and special events over the past 3 decades will be joined onstage by several long time dancers with her company and a handful of S&Co. artists for this unique celebration of movement and theatricality.

Satchmo at the Waldorf
By Terry Teachout
Director TBA
Featuring: John Douglas Thompson
August 22–September 2

This is the New England premiere of critically-acclaimed writer and drama critic of the Wall Street Journal, Terry Teachout's new play. The time is May of 1971. Louis Armstrong is backstage at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel's Empire Room, preparing himself for what will be his last performance. As we sit with him, we learn about his impoverished upbringing, his life on the road, his professional and personal relationships-the details that make Louis Armstrong a legend that has transcended every era that followed him. S&Co. is pleased to stage the Northeast Premiere of Terry Teachout's thrilling one man play, with OBIE-winning actor John Douglas Thompson as the legendary jazz musician.

Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre
Red
By John Logan
Director: Kevin G. Coleman
Featuring: Jonathan Epstein, others TBA.

Memorial Day through Labor Day.

"There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend… One day the black will swallow the red." Mark Rothko

Set in New York city in the late 1950's, this exciting and intense award winning 2 person plays follows Russian born abstract painter Mark Rothko, played by long time and award winning Company actor Jonathan Epstein, as he directs and works with his new young assistant, Ken. As Mark mixes the paints and creates his art he teaches Ken about the relationship between an artist and his work. Ken is a quick study and unabashedly begins to question Rothko's ethics and theories along with his decision to take his current commercial project – to paint a set of murals for very posh and newly built Four Seasons restaurant. This moving, enthralling and at times very funny new play about what it means to be an artist and the act of creating art won the 2010 Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Play and Alfred Molina, who played the role of Rothko in the recent Broadway production. It premiered in London in 2009 and won the Distinguished Performance Award. The play was nominated for a total of seven Tony Awards, and won six.

Cassandra Speaks
By Norman Plotkin
Director: TBA
Featuring: Tod Randolph
June through August.

For three decades, amid the sweeping events of the first half of the twentieth century, no journalist was more controversial, more opinionated, more irreverent, or more quoted than Dorothy Thompson. At the pinnacle of her career, Thompson's thrice-weekly news column, "On the Record" – one of the longest running columns ever – reached millions of people around the globe. She was heard by millions more in her regular radio broadcasts. She was satirized by Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in Woman of the Year, and in 1939, in a Time magazine cover story, was called the most influential woman in America next to Eleanor Roosevelt… Thompson… became the first American woman to head a foreign news bureau; the first correspondent to be expelled from Nazi Germany on the personal order of Adolf Hitler; a powerful force in the antifascist movement; and the trusted advisor of presidents and prime ministers

Parasite Drag
By Mark Roberts
Director Steve Rothman
June through August.

Parasite Drag is a hard hitting tragic-comedy that looks at family in both surprising and funny ways allowing audience members to relate to their own life experiences as they view the play's journey. Deeply estranged brothers Gene and Ronnie are forced together to make arrangements for their sister, a homeless drug addict dying of AIDS. At first glance the two men appear to be polar opposites. But as their sister's tragedy forces open old wounds, we see that they are very much alike, united forever by a dark, tragic past.

The Tale of the Allergist's Wife
By Charles Busch
Directed by Jonathan Croy
Featuring: Annette Miller, others TBA.
July and August

Elliot Norton award winner Annette Miller plays the irrepressible Marjorie Taub who's on a mission to expand her mind. As a resident of the Upper West Side, she's surrounded by some of the greatest cultural offerings the world has to offer, but despite her constant search for knowledge she still feels inadequate. It doesn't help that her mother is constantly berating her efforts, or that her husband is a seemingly picturesque citizen; professionally successful and philanthropic in his spare time. It isn't until her flamboyant childhood friend Lee comes to visit that Marjorie begins to question the validity of her depression… and just about everything else in her life. This hilarious tale helmed by funny man Jonathan Croy (The Ladies Man, Hound of the Baskervilles and director of The Real Inspector Hound) will also feature several other audience favorites who will support Miller on-stage.

The Rose Footprint Theatre
Tartuffe the Imposter
By Molière
Directed by Gina Kaufmann
Late June through August

Renowned for his razor sharp wit and outrageous comedies, French playwright Molière joins the Company roster once again with his hilarious farce Tartuffe. Director Gina Kaufman's playful take on Molière's classic comedy sharply satirizes blind hypocrisy, religious piety, and deceit in irreverent rhymed verse. With a cast of Shakespeare & Company artists and interns Kaufman uncovers the plots and machinations of the deceitful Tartuffe who hypocritically claims to be a very pious and religious man, but who really is out for himself. Tartuffe ingratiates himself with Orgon and his mother, and is taken into their home with the promise of Orgon's daughter's hand in marriage - at the same time he secretly attempts to seduce Orgon's wife, Elmire). Everyone else in the family sees through Tartuffe's disguise, and his machinations and hypocrisies are eventually exposed, but is it too late to save the family from eviction and to keep Orgon from being thrown in prison?

Photo Credit: Monica Simoes


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