Thought by many to be Shakespeare’s best and deepest comedy, Twelfth Night is certainly one of his most popular. Considered by some to be a chamber piece that meditates on love, death, and the passage of time; others think of it as a rollicking comedy. The truth lies somewhere in between. Farcical elements combine with more serious matters of the heart when Viola, a young woman shipwrecked in Illyria and separated from her twin brother whom she presumes dead, disguises herself as a page named Cesario.
Viola promptly falls in love with her master, Orsino, who is in love with the noblewoman Olivia (also mourning a dead brother), who falls in love with the supposed boy, "Cesario." Meanwhile, members of Olivia’s household exact revenge on one of Shakespeare’s great comic characters, the puritanical steward, Malvolio. Artistic Director Paul Barnes will direct the production and team up once again with Jack Forbes Wilson, musical director/adaptor for GRSF’s recent productions of The Comedy of Errors and The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
That simple statement, spoken by The Chorus in Shakespeare’s brilliant King Henry V captures the essence of making plays as well as the aesthetic philosophy of the Great River Shakespeare Festival. King Henry V continues the story of young Prince Hal from King Henry IV. Now grown up and coming into his own as England’s great and beloved king, Hal has freed himself from the wastrel ways and tavern temptations that shaped his youth, tarnished his reputation, and disaffected him from his father and his countrymen – but which also gave him a clear eye and the common touch.
Interpreted as often as a pro-war play as it is an anti-war play, Shakespeare puts the cost of war in full view and, as with all of his plays, let’s us make up our own minds. Filled with action and, as with King Henry IV, a surprising amount of humor, King Henry V will mark GRSF’s third excursion into Shakespeare’s history plays. James Edmondson (King Lear, 2012) will direct.
Shakespeare’s great tale about ambition, power, murder, and the supernatural.
When the aging King Duncan names his eldest son, Malcolm, Prince of Cumberland, bypassing Macbeth, the accomplished Scottish warlord, as possible successor to the throne, Macbeth and his ambitious wife take matters into their own hands. The Macbeths’ quest for power leads Scotland to the brink in this epic tale of bloodshed and the supernatural.
Macbeth has a limited run. Tickets are general admission, $15. Rick Barbour will direct 2013’s Intern/Apprentice Company project.