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Shakespeare Theatre Company Announces 2021/22 Season Featuring ONCE UPON A ONE MORE TIME & More

The 2021/22 Season officially opens at Sidney Harman Hall in late November with the Broadway-bound musical ONCE UPON A ONE MORE TIME.

Shakespeare Theatre Company Announces 2021/22 Season Featuring ONCE UPON A ONE MORE TIME & More

Shakespeare Theatre Company's Artistic Director Simon Godwin announced the Company's 2021/22 Season in a virtual townhall meeting for season subscribers, donors, Board members, and STC staff.

The Tony Award-winning theatre will resume live performances in September with a season that will showcase "vivacious stories, audaciously shared" explains Godwin. "We've titled our coming season 'Play On!,' after the famous opening phrase in Twelfth Night," continues Godwin. "After such a long pause, we are ecstatic to safely welcome audiences back into our theatres for live performances. Play On! captures this playfulness and this urgency for theatre, for community, for being together again."

"There has been so much encouraging news and we have been planning for so long to safely and effectively reopen to full capacity this autumn," shares Executive Director Chris Jennings. "We are so grateful for the generous donors, supporters, and patrons, as well as our incredible staff, who kept the Theatre going during this difficult year."

The 2021/22 Season officially opens at Sidney Harman Hall in late November with the Broadway-bound musical ONCE UPON A ONE MORE TIME. Directed and choreographed by internationally acclaimed Drama Desk-nominated artists Keone and Mari MADRID (Beyond Babel, BTS, Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself"), Once Upon a One More Time features an original story written by Jon Hartmere (bare, The Upside) and the music of Grammy Award winner Britney Spears. Creative Consultation for the production is by five-time Tony Award nominee David Leveaux (Nine; Romeo & Juliet on Broadway; NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar). The show's previously announced debut in Chicago was canceled when theater industry operations were suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Casting for the newly scheduled premiere will be announced in the coming months.

"In my first season at STC, I made a promise to offer shows for all-ages for the holidays, and Once Upon a One More Time is a jubilant, funny, and rousing update on classic fairy tales that will delight all audiences," shares Godwin. "Britney Spears is an American pop icon, and the team of this musical has worked with her to craft a story that captures her joie de vivre and her indominable spirit. We are beyond thrilled to have our first Broadway-bound production, and for it to be this inspiring, empowering musical."

"I'm so excited to have a musical with my songs - especially one that takes place in such a magical world filled with characters that I grew up on, who I love and adore," said Spears in a previous statement. "This is a dream come true for me!" STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul (Camelot) will direct Thornton Wilder's OUR TOWN with a cast that celebrates the artistic talent of the D.C. area. An American classic set in the fictional town of Grover's Corners, the play has continued to captivate audiences with its minimalistic set, metatheatrical commentary, and its probing questions about love, life, death, and belonging.

"Shakespeare remains our lodestar," Godwin says, "and we are excited to produce three Shakespeare-centric titles that we previously announced." A co-production with Theatre for a New Audience in New York City, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE will feature the STC debut of John Douglas Thompson (Mare of Easttown, Satchmo at the Waldorf) as Shylock. Shakespeare's problem play will be directed by TFANA's Resident Director Arin Arbus.

Thompson and Arbus are both TFANA resident artists. After the international acclaim for his filmed-for-television production of Romeo & Juliet starring Jessie Buckley and Josh O'Connor for National Theatre of London, Godwin plans to direct MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING set in a contemporary cable TV newsroom.

"Beatrice and Benedick will bicker in front of the camera while behind the scenes they fall in love," he explains.

The season will conclude with RED VELVET, written by Lolita Chakrabarti and directed by Jade King Carroll about the great Shakespearean actor Ira Aldridge. During his lifetime, the American-born Black actor played many of Shakespeare's most notable roles across Europe, and this thrilling play centers his debut as Othello on London's greatest stage.

STC is also offering two special pre-season limited engagement productions outside of the subscription season. James Baldwin's masterpiece THE AMEN CORNER will return to STC for a two-week-run. Directed by STC Associate Director Whitney White, the play was a critical and commercial success, but its original run was curtailed in March 2020 by the pandemic.

Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck; Nomadland) will play the titular Holocaust witness, activist, and Georgetown professor in REMEMBER THIS: THE LESSON OF JAN KARSKI, written by DEREK GOLDMAN and Clark Young, and directed by Goldman.

Some previously announced shows remain in development for future seasons, including Whitney White's production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, which will be a part of the 2022/23 Season. All dates, titles, and artists are subject to change. Full 5-show subscriptions as well as 3- and 4-show subscriptions are on sale now at ShakespeareTheatre.org; STC Subscribers have first access to the pre-season limited engagement performances. Tickets for the pre-season shows The Amen Corner and Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski go on sale July 19.

Single tickets for all shows will be available for purchase later this year. Advance access to single tickets will be made available to STC Subscribers and Members. Shakespeare Theatre Company's 2021/2022 Season Sponsors are Michael R. Klein and Joan Fabry and the Harman Family Foundation.

SHOW DESCRIPTIONS

Regular Season

ONCE UPON A ONE MORE TIME Inspired by the Music Performed and Recorded by Britney Spears Written by Jon Hartmere Directed and Choreographed by Keone and Mari Madrid Sidney Harman Hall | NOV 30, 2021a??a??-a??JAN 2, 2022.

In this highly anticipated world premiere of the Broadway-bound musical, beloved classic fairytale princesses gather for their fortnightly book club, longing for a new story. When a rogue fairy godmother drops The Feminine Mystique into their corseted laps, it spurs a royal revelation: there is more to life than bird-made dresses and true love's kiss! Powered by the chart-topping anthems of the Princess of Pop herself, Britney Spears - including "Oops!... I Did It Again," "Lucky," "Stronger," and "Toxic" - Once Upon a One More Time sends audiences on a heartwarming and uproarious musical adventure about smashing the glass slipper and reclaiming your own happily ever after. Lead sponsorship support for Once Upon a One More Time is generously provided by Michael R. Paese, Esq.


OUR TOWN By Thornton Wilder Directed by Alan Paul Sidney Harman Hall | FEB 17a??a??-a??MAR 20, 2022 Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town continues to leave audiences awestruck with wonder and a shared sense of our humanity. Guided by an amiable stage manager, the theatre becomes turn-of-the-century Grover's Corners, where the occurrences of everyday life reveal universal truths about community and love, life and death. "A hauntingly beautiful play" (The New York Times), Our Town is both deeply allegorical and endlessly captivating. Directed by STC's Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul (Camelot), Our Town will celebrate the artists who call the DMV-area home. Our Town is generously sponsored by John and Meg Hauge.


THE MERCHANT OF VENICE By William Shakespeare A Co-Production with Theatre for a New Audience Directed by Arin Arbus Michael R. Klein Theatre at the Lansburgh | MAR 22a??a??-a??APR 17, 2022 Shakespeare's remarkable exploration of justice returns to the nation's capital, stoking the debate on what is right, what is fair, and what is lawful-and who gets to decide. Tony Award nominee John Douglas Thompson will grace the stage as Shakespeare's most enigmatic antihero, Shylock. Directed by Obie Award winner Arin Arbus, Shakespeare's provocative problem play compels us to examine our own prejudices and the true nature of mercy.


MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING By William Shakespeare Directed by Simon Godwin Sidney Harman Hall | APR 21a??-a??MAY 22, 2022 The course of true love never did run smooth, especially when the ON AIR sign is lit. Shakespeare's cherished romantic comedy lands in a cable newsroom, where sparring co-anchors Benedick and Beatrice trade barbs behind the news desk. Helmed by Artistic Director Simon Godwin (PBS' Romeo & Juliet), "one of the most insightful and sensitive directors of Shakespeare today" (WhatsonStage), Much Ado About Nothing is the perfect blend of sparkling screwball comedy and romance.


RED VELVET By Lolita Chakrabarti Directed by Jade King Carroll Michael R. Klein Theatre at the Lansburgh | JUN 16a??a??-a??JUL 27, 2022 London's Theatre Royal, 1833. Theatre history is made when Ira Aldridge becomes the first Black actor to take the stage as Shakespeare's Othello. As a bill promoting the abolition of slavery sends shockwaves through Parliament, how will London react to Aldridge's groundbreaking performance? Director Jade King Carroll makes her STC debut with Lolita Chakrabarti's "gripping, intelligent, and passionate" (The Financial Times) Red Velvet, celebrating a pioneering actor who triumphed in his art despite a tempest of social injustice.


Pre-Season Limited Engagements

THE AMEN CORNER By James Baldwin Directed by Whitney White Sidney Harman Hall | SEP 14a??a??-a??26, 2021 "Brilliantly directed by Whitney White" (Brightest Young Things), James Baldwin's The Amen Corner returns to Sidney Harman Hall to complete its original run. In a 1950s storefront church in Harlem, Pastor Margaret rails at her congregation and her teenaged son for their vices. Surrounded by "a choir of powerhouse singers" (The Washington Post) belting songs of redemption, Margaret must face the music herself when memories of her own troubled past return. See why The Amen Corner was praised as one of the best productions in 2020 by The Washington Post in this limited, two-week engagement.


REMEMBER THIS: THE LESSON OF JAN KARSKI By Clark Young and Derek Goldman Directed by Derek Goldman Starring David Strathairn Michael R. Klein Theatre at the Lansburgh | OCT 6a??a??-a??17, 2021 In a tour-de-force solo performance, Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck; Nomadland) portrays World War II hero and Holocaust witness Jan Karski, a messenger of truth who risked his life to carry his harrowing report from war-torn Poland to the Oval Office only to be disbelieved. Standing tall in the halls of power, Strathairn captures the remarkable life of the self-described "insignificant, little man" whose forgotten story of moral courage can still shake the conscience of the world. This production was originally created by The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University

Learn more at https://www.shakespearetheatre.org/events/2021-22-season/.


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