A 1970s Take on THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR is Coming to Folger Theatre
When the mischievous Falstaff overestimates his own scheming prowess and underestimates the savvy wives in the town of Windsor, hilarity is ahead. Folger Theatre concludes its successful 2019/20 season with The Merry Wives of Windsor. Aaron Posner (King John, The Winter's Tale, Twelfth Night at Folger Theatre) returns to the Folger to direct Shakespeare's delightful comedy on love, money, deception, and the power of women, set here in the early 1970s.
The Merry Wives of Windsor is on stage from January 14 through March 1, 2020. Tickets are available online at www.folger.edu/theatre or by calling the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077.
The boisterous Falstaff hatches a dubious plan to woo the wealthy wives of Windsor, pilfer their fortunes, and make their husbands green with jealousy. The scheming plot is met with fun-filled retaliation when the ladies devise a plot to teach Falstaff a lesson he won't soon forget.
"For a story about smart women taking matters into their own hands, setting the play in a mythologized version of the early 1970s, a time when women's lib was finding its footing, seemed like a really fun idea," says Aaron Posner. "Women were trying on a new power, a new freedom, and the world (along with their husbands) were figuring out a new paradigm. Though the play deals with real things such as love, lust, marriage, ego, and jealousy," Posner continues, "the characters are larger than life and the situations verge on the farcical, making for a rollicking good ride. Think of Fawlty Towers, Soap, All in the Family."
The Merry Wives of Windsor features an extraordinary ensemble, including Regina Aquino (Folger Theatre's Nell Gwynn) as Mrs. Page and Ami Brabson as Mrs. Ford. Eric Hissom is the wealthy and jealous husband, Ford; Cody Nickell is the ill-tempered Dr. Caius, who is in love with Anne Page; Kate Eastwood Norris is Mistress Quickly, the proprietor of the seedy Boar's Head Tavern (a role Ms. Norris played in 1 Henry IV earlier this season at Folger Theatre), and Todd Scofield as Sir Hugh Evans, Windsor's meddling schoolmaster and clergyman. Brian Mani, a veteran classical actor and core member of the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, WI, makes his Folger debut as the irrepressible Falstaff.
The production also features Linda Bard (Anne Page/Pistol), Louis E. Davis (Mine Host),
Four-time Helen Hayes Award-winner Tony Cisek (Folger Theatre's Amadeus and Nell Gwynn) is the scenic designer. Costume Design is by Devon Painter, who has worked alongside Posner on a number of Folger productions, including the Teller/Posner Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Max Doolittle (Folger Theatre's King John and Amadeus) is the lighting designer, and Matthew Nielsen (Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing at Folger Theatre) designs the sound and composes original music for this production.
Janet Alexander Griffin, Folger Theatre's Artistic Producer, says. "We are pleased to bring the brilliant wit of the larger-than-life Falstaff back to the Folger stage, having launched our "Indulge Out Loud" season with 1 Henry IV. With some fabulous Folger favorites on stage, along with stellar actors making their Folger debuts, Aaron Posner directs his 21st production for Folger. The Merry Wives of Windsor promises to ring in the new year with great fun. And indeed a most merry story to bring to DC audiences as our last at-home production before Folger renovations begin. We are excited to announce our next season very soon-and where you will find Folger Theatre around town."
The Merry Wives of Windsor marks the final production to be staged in the historic and intimate setting of the Folger Theatre before the Folger Shakespeare Library's multi-year renovation project begins in March 2020. The $69 million project, supported by The Wonder of Will: The Campaign for the Folger Shakespeare Library, is designed to expand public space, improve accessibility, and enhance the overall experience of visiting the Folger. The Folger Shakespeare Library is scheduled to reopen in 2022. Without interruption, Folger Theatre brings its unique flavor on the road, producing offsite and collaborating with other major Washington theaters. Watch for announcements in January 2020. For information on the Folger's Building Renovation Project, visit www.folger.edu/about/building-renovation-project.
Ticketing Information & Performance Dates:
The Merry Wives of Windsor is on stage at Folger Theatre from January 14 through March 1, 2020. Tickets are $42-$85. Discounted preview performances (starting at $27) and special rates for patrons under 30, students, seniors, members and family of the military, educators, and groups may be purchased through the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077 or online at www.folger.edu/theatre.