The Comedy of Errors – William Shakespeare
An Inspector Calls – J.B. Priestley
The Panties, The Partner and The Profit: Scenes from
the Heroic Life of the Middle Class – David Ives
Richard III – William Shakespeare
Vanity Fair – Kate Hamill
The Oresteia – Ellen McLaughlin
Washington, D.C. February 14, 2018— Michael Kahn today announces Shakespeare Theatre Company’s 2018-2019 Season. With two world premieres from celebrated playwrights, a multiple Tony Award-winning presentation, a dynamic adaptation of a classic novel, two Shakespeare plays and a group of acclaimed directors and artists, it is an ambitious grand finale for STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn, who will retire from the company at the end of the Season.
“It has been quite a journey since I took over as Artistic Director in 1986. I wanted this season to be a celebration of the past 32 years and I dedicate it to everyone who has been instrumental in the theatre’s development,” said Kahn. “I look forward to welcoming both familiar and new faces as we work together to continue STC’s commitment to create, preserve and promote classical theatre.”
The season will kick off this summer with the annual Free For All – STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul’s Romeo & Juliet (2015) Shakespeare’s tale of a world about to combust, saturated with passionate love and powerful hate.
The official season opens with Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. Directed by Alan Paul (Kiss Me, Kate), the Bard’s madcap world will be brought to life in all its antic, anarchic glory. Audiences will delight in the confusion over two sets of twins with the same name in a place where everyone is pretty sure that everyone else is completely insane.
After captivating audiences for over 25 years, the National Theatre’s award-winning production of J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls will arrive at STC in the fall. The winner of 19 major accolades, including multiple Tony, Olivier and Drama Desk Awards, Stephen Daldry’s (The Crown, Billy Elliot) production is considered to be the most lauded and legendary production of the modern British stage. Audiences will be transported to the eerie home of the Birlings, a well-heeled British family. As they enjoy a festive evening the celebrations are suddenly punctured by a mysterious visitor: a grim inspector investigating the death of a young woman. As questions multiply and guilt mounts, the Birlings’ entanglement in the affair shatters the foundations of their comfortable lives. Existing simultaneously in 1912, post-war society and modern day, Daldry’s spectacular production is both a plea for a more just society and a warning of what’s to come if we fail to attain it.
Following the success of The Liar, The Metromaniacs, The Heir Apparent and last season’s The School for Lies, David Ives will reunite once more with Michael Kahn to stage another magical “translaptation” (part translation, part adaptation) world premiere. His play The Panties, The Partner, and The Profit: Scenes from the Heroic Life of the Middle Class found its inspiration in works by the 20th-century German satirist Carl Sternheim chronicling the rise of the Mask family from bare subsistence to vast riches.
“It’s a great honor to be invited back to STC to collaborate with Michael on his final season. Michael and I have such fun collaborating, and he has a natural instinct on how to bring my words to life on stage,” says David Ives. “I look forward to working with him on this piece, which takes three full-length plays and condenses them into a single evening, moving early 20th-century German family life into America today with what I hope is comparable comic and satiric effect. Carl Sternheim was shouting from his era right into our collective ear.”
The Panties, The Partner and the Profit: Scenes from the Heroic Middle Class is sponsored by the Robert and Arlene Kogod Family Foundation and commissioned through a grant from the Beech Street Foundation
Following the success of last season’s King Charles III, David Muse returns to STC to direct Shakespeare’s Richard III. What does it look like when a man with no scruples stops at nothing to gain power? If you’re unsure, Richard of Gloucester will gladly demonstrate. What he lacks in looks he makes up for in bottomless ambition, ruthless cunning and rapacious zeal: the crown, at all costs. As he climbs ever higher, Richard bends the world to his will until even his mother can’t bear to own him. Shakespeare’s mesmerizing chronicle of the megalomaniac’s rampage to the throne—one of his greatest variations on history—remains an irresistible study of villainy.
Last seen in D.C. in 2016 with her adaptation of Sense and Sensibility at the Folger Theatre, The Wall Street Journal’s Playwright of the Year (2017) Kate Hamill will make her debut at STC with her adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s classic novel Vanity Fair. Directed by Jessica Stone, this vibrant and colorful tale about society’s foibles is a bright dance hall pageant poking fun at all our pretenses. As the wily Becky Sharp and her gentle friend Amelia scale social ladders and hurdle the whims of fate, only one question matters: how do you get what you want in life?
“Vanity Fair is a story about hypocrisy – about the lies we tell to ourselves and to others, and about the many winding paths we take to get what we want” said Kate Hamill. “I’m so honored to have Vanity Fair included in Michael Kahn’s final season. This is one of the few stage adaptations that’s ever been done of Vanity Fair because it’s an epic novel, and it really requires a theatre that’s ready to take on a big bold story with sweeping themes. I know Shakespeare Theatre Company is that theatre, and I’m so proud to have Vanity Fair there”
Closing the season is the world premiere of The Oresteia. Directed by Michael Kahn and commissioned by STC, acclaimed playwright Ellen McLaughlin’s new version of Aeschylus’ masterpiece takes the audience through ten years of war, grief and rage. As Queen Clytemnestra lies in wait for her husband Agamemnon’s return she is determined to avenge one child, only to doom the others. The sole surviving trilogy in Greek tragedy, The Oresteia chronicles a deluge of violence that can only be stopped when society peers into its own soul and sees the depths of its complicity. Her play weaves together the works of Aeschylus with stunning poetry and emotional heft. An epic interpretation of this pillar of western culture, The Oresteia makes a fitting end to Michael Kahn’s tenure as Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company.
“I grew up in DC and have known and admired Michael since the beginning of my career, so working at STC has been a joy for me” said Ellen McCoughlin “The theater is filled with smart, passionate people who have given their lives to this medium. The plays that make up the Oresteia trilogy are some the oldest we have, arguably the foundation of western culture; they are wonderful and mighty challenges to take on. I couldn’t be in better company on this journey.”
The Oresteia is made possible by a generous grant from The Roy Cockrum Foundation.
To find out about special offers and group bookings or to become a season subscriber please call the box office on 202.547.1122 or visit www.shakespearetheatre.org
Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Michael Kahn has directed a wide variety of Shakespearean and classical works for STC, including this season’s opening production of Harold Pinter’s The Lover and The Collection. His other productions include The School for Lies, The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound, The Metromaniacs, a repertory of Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2, Wallenstein, The Government Inspector, Strange Interlude, The Heir Apparent, Old Times, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Liar, Richard II, The Alchemist, Design for Living, The Way of the World, and many more. Having brought international works like Headlong’s 1984, The National Theatre of Scotland’s Dunsinane and The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart and Théâtre de l’Atelier’s Les Liaisons Dangereuse to the theatre, Kahn continues to demonstrate the versatility and relevance of STC’s theatre programming with this season’s productions. In 1991, he created the Free For All, which brings an STC production to audiences completely free of charge every year. In addition to leading STC, he is also the founder of the Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University and the former Richard Rodgers Director of the Drama Division at Juilliard. Since the 1960s, Kahn’s work has been seen by audiences across the country and the world: in New York City, both on Broadway and Off-Broadway, as well as at both the American Shakespeare Theatre and the McCarter Theatre where he served as Artistic Director concurrently. In 2003, STC performed his production of The Oedipus Plays at the Athens Festival in Greece, where it received standing ovations and critical acclaim. In the summer of 2006, the Company took Kahn’s production of Love’s Labor’s Lost to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Complete Works Festival” in Stratford-upon-Avon. Kahn was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2013 and has been recognized as an Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)
Stephen started his career at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre and directed extensively in Britain’s regional theatres. In London, he was Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre where he headed the £26million redevelopment. He has also directed at the National Theatre, the Public Theater in New York and transferred many productions both to Broadway and the West End including his 1992 production of An Inspector Calls. His production of Billy Elliot – the Musical recently completed its first major tour of UK and Ireland as well as a hugely successful and highly acclaimed multi-award winning 11-year run in London’s West End. The production has also played on Broadway, in Holland, Japan, Seoul, Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto and across the US. In 2009, Billy Elliot – the Musical won ten Tony awards including Best Musical, more than any other British show in Broadway history. Stephen recently directed productions of The Audience and Skylight; both were highly acclaimed and went on to win major theatre awards, completing sell-out runs in London and on Broadway. In 2017 Stephen directed The Jungle at the Young Vic, London. An intimate, immersive theatrical experience about the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe, The Jungle enjoyed rave reviews and packed houses during its run.
His first four films Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close together received 19 Academy Award® nominations and two wins. His most recent film, Trash, set in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro was nominated for Best Film Not in the English Language at the 2015 BAFTAs.
Stephen has previously directed for BBC Radio and Television and is currently Director and Executive Producer on the Netflix series The Crown written by Peter Morgan, the second season of which was released in December 2017. He is Director of the Pier 55 Performance Park in New York and was Creative Executive Producer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Kate Hamill is an actor / playwright, specializing in female-centered, feminist adaptations of the classics. Playwright of the Year, 2017 – Wall Street Journal. Her plays include Sense and Sensibility (in which she originated the role of Marianne) – Winner, Off-Broadway Alliance Award; Nominee, Drama League Award (Best Revival); 265+ performances off-Broadway. Other plays include Vanity Fair (in which she originated the role of Becky Sharp; Nominee, Off-Broadway Alliance Award), Pride and Prejudice (in which she originated the role of Lizzy Bennet; WSJ Critic’s Pick, Best Theater of 2017 – Huffington Post) In the Mines (Sundance Lab semi-finalist), Em (Red Bull New Play finalist), Little Fellow (O’Neill semi-finalist). Additional acting credits include: The Seagull (Bedlam; “best classical productions of 2014“ – WSJ) Cyrano (Amphibian Stage), Dreams of A West Texas Marsupial Girl (PearlDamour), Three Mutants (PearlDAmour) Upstairs (New School), Separation Rapid (Chenango River Theatre), Walk Two Moons (Theatreworks), Good Person of Szechwan; The Nameday Party (Columbia Stages), and numerous independent films. Her plays have been produced off-Broadway with Primary Stages, Bedlam, and with the Pearl Theatre Company; at A.R.T., the Guthrie Theatre, Seattle Rep, PlayMaker’s Rep, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Folger Theatre (8 Helen Hayes Award nominations; Winner, best production – S&S) & others. Current productions running at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Arvada Center, & more. She is currently working on new adaptations of Mansfield Park, Little Women, and The Odyssey, as well as several new original plays – including Love Poem, In the Mines, and Prostitute Play. She was one of 2016’s top 20 most-produced playwrights; Sense and Sensibility was one of the top 10 most-produced plays. http://www.kate-hamill.com
David Ives was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play for Venus In Fur, which has been produced all over the country and the world, and was turned into a film by Roman Polanski. He is also well known for his evenings of one-act comedies All In The Timing and Time Flies. Other plays include The Liar (adapted from Corneille); The School For Lies (adapted from Molière); The Metromaniacs (adapted from Alexis Piron); The Heir Apparent (adapted from Regnard); New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza; Is He Dead? (adapted from Mark Twain); Ancient History, and Polish Joke. A Chicago native, he lives in New York City.
David Muse was STC Associate Artistic Director from 2005–2010 and is now an Affiliated Artist. At STC, Muse has directed King Charles III, Coriolanus, Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew (Free For All), Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, On the Eve of Friday Morning, and Pericles (Free For All). He was also the Assistant Director on 5 STC productions, a master acting class instructor, and the director of numerous readings, galas, and special events. Muse has been Artistic Director of The Studio Theatre since 2010, where he has directed 19 productions, including The Father, Tribes, The Habit of Art, Frozen, Blackbird, and Cock. Other credits include: Arena Stage: Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune; Theatre Alliance: The Bluest Eye; New York Summer Play Festival: Patrick Page’s Swansong. He has taught acting and directing at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting, Georgetown University, and Yale University. Muse has developed new plays at numerous theatres including New Dramatists, New York Theatre Workshop, Arena Stage, Geva Theatre, Kennedy Center, and Ford’s Theatre. He is an eight-time Helen Hayes Award nominee for outstanding direction and the recipient of a D.C. Mayor’s Arts Award. He received a BA from Yale University and an MFA from Yale Drama.
STC Associate Artistic Director
STC: Romeo and Juliet; Kiss Me, Kate; Man of La Mancha (Helen Hayes nominee, Best Director); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Helen Hayes Award, Best Director); The Boys from Syracuse; The Winter’s Tale (Free For All); Twelfth Night (Free For All); As You Like It (Associate Director); Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 (Associate Director); numerous galas, readings, and special events; Assistant Director: 13 shows. THEATRE DIRECTING: Arena Stage: The Pajama Game; Signature Theatre: I Am My Own Wife; Studio Theatre 2ndStage: Silence! The Musical (Helen Hayes nominee, Best Director), The Rocky Horror Show; MetroStage: Fully Committed; University of Maryland: The Matchmaker; Apex Theatre Company: Richard II. OPERA DIRECTING: Palm Beach Opera: The Pirates of Penzance (with Stephanie Blythe); Portland Opera: Man of La Mancha; Washington National Opera: Penny (premiere); numerous works for Urban Arias, The In Series, Strathmore Concert Hall, and the National Symphony Orchestra. Finalist for the 2013 European Opera Directing Prize (Vienna, Austria). Upcoming: 5th Avenue Theatre: Kiss Me, Kate; STC: Camelot. WEB: AlanPaulDirector.com.
Jessica Stone worked as an actress on and Off Broadway and in television and film for the last 30 years. Her Broadway credits include Anything Goes, Butley, The Odd Couple, The Smell of the Kill, Design for Living, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Grease. Her Off Broadway credits include Crimes of the Heart, Krisit, The Country Club, June Moon, Tenderloin, and Babes in Arms. She has performed in regional theatres across the country including Huntington Theatre Company, Mark Taper Forum, Geva Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, and 10 seasons at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Ms. Stone’s television credits include series-regular and guest-starring roles on CBS, NBC, ABC, and Hulu. Her film credits include work with Ang Lee, M. Night Shyamalan, and Kevin Bacon, among others. Concurrently, she was an assistant/associate director on and Off Broadway to Nicholas Martin, Joe Mantello, David Warren, and Christopher Ashley. Ms. Stone’s directing career began in earnest with her all-male 2010 production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for Williamstown Theatre Festival. Her directing credits now include Theresa Rebeck’s Bad Dates (Huntington Theatre Company), Ken Ludwig’s Robin Hood! (The Old Globe), David Lindsay Abaire’s Ripcord (Huntington Theater Company), Bad Jews (George Street Playhouse), Arms and the Man and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (The Old Globe, Huntington Theatre Company), Charlotte’s Web (Theatreworks USA), Kaufman and Larder’s June Moon and Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Ayckbourne’s Absurd Person Singular and A Funny Thing… (Two River Theater Company), and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Bucks County Playhouse) Ms. Stone’s upcoming productions include Dancing at Lughnasa for Two River Theater Company and Barefoot in the Park for The Old Globe. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.