ATC Announces 2018 Season Of The Shakespeare Underground

ATC Announces 2018 Season Of The Shakespeare UndergroundActors' Theatre of Columbus is proud to announce The Shakespeare Underground presented by PNC Arts Alive, a series of staged readings and performances celebrating the dynamic power of classic theater. Artistic Director Philip J. Hickman has selected twelve plays for monthly staged readings and crafted four site-specific events designed to delight diverse audiences.

"The mission of The Shakespeare Underground is to explore how classic plays are relevant to new audiences," Hickman said. "We want performances that are exciting and fresh, and that means unusual plays in unusual places."

In addition to the monthly staged readings at TatoHeads Public House, four special events are scheduled at other locations throughout the year. These include a full production of a Shakespearean play (from casting to final performance) that takes place in just 24 hours. Another is an evening of swordplay presented as a fight club. Details will be announced as the events approach.

"The Shakespeare Underground is full of exciting plays with big ideas, plays that got people in trouble," Hickman said, adding that the season includes comedies written by pirates, subversive melodramas, and radical science fiction.

The 2018 season kicks off on January 15 with Ubu Roi - Alfred Jarry's 1896 satirical farce originally performed as a puppet show that pilloried contemporary politics, literature, and stage convention. Nominally about a selfish, cowardly, gluttonous, vulgar, hot-tempered dotard compelled to violently overtake Poland by his ambitious wife, the play's free-form nature guarantees a zany evening. Additional highlights of the season include R.U.R. by Karel Çapek, Machinal by Sophie Treadwell, Jehanne d'Arc by Mercedes De Acosta, and Mystery-Bouffe by Vladimir Mayakovsky.

"This is an exciting project for Actors' Theatre. We get to work with so many talented actors and directors, and we have the flexibility to take shows into new and unexpected places," Hickman concludes, "Some of these plays are suppressed history. We're excited to set them free. Keep an eye out; The Shakespeare Underground will surprise you."

Admission for The Shakespeare Underground is $15 in advance, or "Pay What You Will" at the door. Complimentary reserved seating is available for ATC members (members must RSVP for reserved seating).

The Shakespeare Underground 2018 season is presented by PNC Arts Alive. Support for Actors' Theatre is made possible by the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the Ohio Arts Council, The Columbus Foundation, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, the German Village Society, and WCBE 90.5 FM.

Actors' Theatre of Columbus (ATC) celebrates the possibilities of classic theater and literature, leading our diverse community in artistic excellence, education, and vision. Founded in 1982, Actors' Theatre is a nonprofit performing arts theater troupe presenting plays by William Shakespeare and other time-honored authors with relevance to a contemporary audience. Actors' Theatre performs outdoors from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend at Schiller Park in German Village. Actors' Theatre has a broad influence in the artistic community of the city, as well as educational outreach in schools and summer acting camps in Schiller Park. The Globe School, ATC's education wing, hosts classes for kids, teens, and adults, as well as professional internships for young theater professionals. For more information, visit

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