South African Isango Ensemble Headed to Shakespeare Theatre Company this Fall

South African Isango Ensemble Headed to Shakespeare Theatre Company this Fall

The Shakespeare Theatre Company brings two productions by the Isango Ensemble to Washington, D.C., as part of STC's 2014-2015 Presentation Series. The Isango Ensemble's unique performances reset Western theatre classics within a South African township, utilizing music, dance and elements of South African heritage. The Ensemble will perform an adaption of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute- Impempe Yomlingo and Shakespeare's epic love poem Venus and Adonis in repertory at the Lansburgh Theatre September 12-21, 2014. Tickets for non-subscribers will be available starting August 1, when individual tickets for the 2014-2015 STC Season go on sale.

"Isango's repertory takes two pieces from the Western canon and frames them in a very particular time and place-modern South Africa," says STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn. "We are inspired by the ingenuity with which they make classic work relevant to their audiences, and are honored to bring them to the Lansburgh stage."

The Isango Ensemble was developed by Director Mark Dornford-May and Music Director Paulien Malefane in Cape Town in 2000, and draws its performers from the townships surrounding the city. Their productions speak to a broad and open-minded multicultural audience and have played to sold-out theatres around the world.

The Magic Flute - Impempe Yomlingo reinterprets the story in contemporary South Africa, performing the play's score on marimbas, drums and South African percussion. This Olivier Award-winner for Best Musical Revival has thrilled audiences in London, Dublin, Tokyo and Singapore, and received the Globes de Cristal for Best Opera Production following a sold-out season at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare's epic poem of love and seduction, is reborn with this adaption that takes the heart of the original work and reimagines it with carnival-like theatricality, music and dance, in English and three African languages.

The two productions will play in repertory for 10 days only, September 12 through September 21, at the Lansburgh Theatre, 450 Seventh Street NW. On Saturday, September 20, patrons will have the opportunity to see both productions, with Venus and Adonis at 2 p.m. and The Magic Flute at 8 p.m.

Beginning on Friday, August 1, single tickets to the full 2014-2015 Season will go on sale. The season includes: As You Like It, directed by acclaimed British director Michael Attenborough making his American directing debut; The Tempest, brought to life by Ethan McSweeny (2012's A Midsummer Night's Dream); David Ives' translation and adaptation of Alexis Piron's The Metromaniacs, directed by Michael Kahn; David Greig's powerful and timely Dunsinane, from the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company; the classically inspired musical Man of La Mancha, directed by STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul (2013's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum); and director Dominique Serrand's impassioned revival of Tartuffe,starring Steven Epp.

Please note: due to the short engagement, single tickets are extremely limited to Dunsinane, and expected to sell out. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged.

Subscriptions and single tickets are available online at, or by calling the Box Office at 202.547.1122.

Related Articles

Washington, DC THEATER Stories | Shows  Like BWW DC  Follow BWW DC

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...