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Seattle Shakespeare to Welcome Back Audiences With DRUM AND COLOURS

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Hamlet begins previews on Feb. 15 and opens on Feb. 18. As You Like It begins previews on Feb. 23 and opens on Feb. 25.

Seattle Shakespeare to Welcome Back Audiences With DRUM AND COLOURS

After two long years since audiences stepped into the Center Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare is welcoming them back with rotating repertory showpiece. Shakespeare: Drum and Colours is a pairing of Hamlet and As You Like It that features an all-POC company performing both shows. Lamar Legend will direct As You Like It and Juan A Mas will direct Hamlet. Legend did the adaptations for both productions. Hamlet begins previews on Feb. 15 and opens on Feb. 18. As You Like It begins previews on Feb. 23 and opens on Feb. 25. The shows will alternate performances through Mar. 13 at the Center Theatre at Seattle Center.


"Returning to live performances with Drum and Colours is a big, bold statement about value of telling the great stories from our past in ways that are urgent and necessary for the present," said Artistic Director George Mount. "Shakespeare's enduring legacy has been because for centuries new voices, new storytellers take up the narrative and revive his works again and again for new audiences. Starting our return to indoor performances with these two monumental plays as told through the unique vision of these artists is everything Seattle Shakespeare Company strives to be."

Shakespeare: Drum and Colors centers around a theatre troupe featuring artists of color, as they perform two Shakespeare plays: Hamlet and As You Like It. The setting for the play is the late 1930 and early 1940s when the US government's Work Progress Administration (WPA) program established the Federal Theatre Project. As part of the New Deal economic recovery program, Negro units, also called The Negro Theatre Project (NTP), were set up in 23 cities throughout the United States (including Seattle). While only in existence for four years, the project provided much-needed employment and apprenticeships to hundreds of black actors, directors, theatre technicians, and playwrights. Hamlet will be set during depths of the Great Depression with troupe of down-on-their-luck actors struggling to stay afloat. As the country's hardships begin to turnaround, As You Like It will reflect the changed circumstances for the acting troupe as a brighter day begins to emerge for all.

Adaptor and As You Like It director Lamar Legend remarked, "With this concept also ensconced in the second World War, there are staggering parallels found in our 21st century environment: The shanty towns mirroring the sprawling homeless encampments as a result of pandemic-related displacement; the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes; the call for government relief; and the desire for human closeness, connection, and the communion found in live performances. Our troupe will wade through these dark tunnels, invite us to cling to each other, and wend their way to vistas of light, joy, and serenity."

Designs for both plays in Shakespeare: Drum and Colours will be created by the same team. Set design is by Parmida Ziaei, costume design by Janelle Kimbrough, lighting design by Fernando Rock, sound design by Stephon Dorsey, prop design by Aviona Rodriguez Brown, fight choreography by Stacey Bush, and intimacy choreography by Francesca Betancourt.

Tickets to Shakespeare: Drum and Colours are available now through the Seattle Shakespeare Company Box Office at 206-733-8222 as well as online at www.seattleshakespeare.org.


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