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Shakespeare Theatre Company Announces Revised 2020/21 Season


The first show of the season is All the Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented the Villain.

Shakespeare Theatre Company Announces Revised 2020/21 Season

Yesterday, in a virtual townhall meeting for staff, season subscribers, and donors, Artistic Director Simon Godwin and Executive Director Chris Jennings shared the lineup for Shakespeare Theatre Company's revised 2020/21 season.

"We are so excited to announce that we are moving ahead with our revised season, and we are working to responsibly invite audiences, actors, and staff back into our theatres," Jennings states. "We have a dedicated Safety Committee who has been working for months on every detail to conform to regional and national guidelines. We are planning for online and immersive productions for Phase 2 of ReOpen DC in accordance with the Mayor's office, and returning to live theatre events when we reach Phase 3."

"Since April, we have been connecting in meaningful ways with our patrons through different streaming content and channels, such as our weekly Shakespeare Hour LIVE! discussions with internationally acclaimed actors, directors, and scholars, our virtual Camp Shakespeare for student thespians, and recent benefit events such as Will on the Hill and our annual Gala, which brought in international audiences," explains Godwin. "What we have been learning is that theatre is here-in Harman Hall, but it is also here-at your home, and here-on your laptop. STC is Here. Anyplace where you can connect with your favorite artists, with significant plays, that is theatre. That is where STC will be."

The first show of the season All the Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented the Villain is a study in Shakespearean villainy, written by and starring STC Affiliated Artist Patrick Page who has played many of theatre's most reviled bad guys. "We are very lucky to have Patrick share his one-man play with us in a format that can be viewed online. All the Devils Are Here will launch STC Digital, our new online platform that we will use throughout the season to reach a wider audience," Jennings states. "After the cinematic caliber of our annual gala, we are looking forward to making our online productions as beautiful and as fully realized as possible."

After a sold-out run this summer at The Donmar Warehouse in London, the immersive sound installation Blindness invites audiences back into Sidney Harman Hall for an engrossing and thrilling story of a pandemic that causes blindness. Hailed as a "triumph" by The New York Times, this remarkable piece of art for our times adapted by Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and directed by Walter Meierjohann (former Artistic Director of HOME in Manchester, England), features a haunting recorded performance by Juliet Stevenson (Truly, Madly, Deeply) that patrons experience through headphones. Touring also to the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto and the off-Broadway Daryl Roth Theatre in New York City, Blindness is limited to 40 guests per showing, and is offered as a special add-on event.

"We want you to come back to Sidney Harman Hall and just focus on the performance, to enjoy your night out at the theatre again," Godwin states. "And, we also realize that some of even our most dedicated patrons may not be ready to return to the theatre this season, so we are offering the rest of the season's shows-The Crucible, The Chairs, Red Velvet, and As You Like It-as both online or in socially-distanced theatrical options when we reach Phase 3."

STC's new Associate Director Whitney White (The Amen Corner, Our Dear Dead Drug Lord) returns to direct Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Godwin says, "She has an ambitious plan for this production. Whitney is going to revitalize Miller's political drama for our times."

STC's Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul (Camelot, Peter Pan and Wendy) will direct Eugène Ionesco's classic of absurdist theatre The Chairs. "This play is about isolation, loneliness, the end of life--and yet it's very funny," Godwin offers. "It's sweet and sardonic, exactly what we need right now."

"We are excited to present Lolita Chakrabarti's Red Velvet, the history of the great Black American actor Ira Aldridge who famously played Shakespearean heroes across Europe when slavery was still legal in the United States. Jade King Carroll, a director I really admire and have wanted to work with, will direct," Godwin states. "This is a season of works that confront our moment, our anxieties, our hopes."

"Finally, I am excited to direct As You Like It, one of my favorite Shakespearean comedies, an escape from the politics of the court into a green world of wonder, love, and family reunions. This is a play we had planned for the original 2020/21 season, and I'm pleased we will be able to retain the production for this season."

Subscriptions are on sale now. Single tickets for All the Devils Are Here and Blindness will be available for purchase November 16th.

Performance dates for the season will be released later. All artists and titles are subject to change.

All the Devils are Here is sponsored by KPMG. As You like It is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

CoStar Group is the streaming sponsor of the 2020/21 season.

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