Zounds! The players for Shakespeare in Love have been dancing and brawling and laughing and loving on their way to the stage. Take a look at what’s going on in the rehearsal hall for this stage adaptation of the award-winning film. See Shakespeare in Love at the Cornish Playhouse May 2-June 3, 2018.
You may be familiar with the film, but there was a lot going on in Elizabethan England that plays a part in the story of Shakespeare in Love. Learn about the actual individuals and history behind this fictional romance.
What’s in a Name (Part 1)The character of Viola De Lesseps takes her name from Shakespeare’s great cross-dressing heroine Viola from Twelfth Night. Both characters disguise themselves as men in order to pursue their goals.
What’s in a Name (Part 2)When Viola De Lesseps disguises herself as a man, she assumes the name of Thomas Kent. The character of Kent, in King Lear, has to disguise himself as a commoner in order to secretly serve the king.
Well, if it weren’t for the plague…In early 1590s, outbreaks of the plague caused theatres to get shut down. Tightly packed spaces were a danger to public health. It’s the reason why actors like Ned Alleyn and his company were out performing in the provinces and why Henslowe has to cast tradesmen for Will’s play.
Speaking of TradesmenCan you think of another play within a play that has common folk like tailors and tinkers and bellows menders and weavers performing? A Midsummer Night’s Dream, perhaps?
Why Plays Were a Hot CommodityAs soon as theatre companies settled into a playhouse instead of touring, the demand for plays rose exponentially. To maintain an audience week in and week out required variety. Records from the time showed that plays were rarely performed twice in one week, and at one time there were 23 plays being performed in repertory.
Group ThinkThe pressure for new plays put a huge demand on playwrights. So much so that playwrights would have several in development at the same time. They’d write in alone or collaborate with other playwrights to churn out the work. As many five authors might work on one script.
And You Wonder How They Remembered All Those LinesElizabethan acting troupes had a heavy work load. During a 31 month period the Admiral’s men performed 63 different plays in 568 performances. 44 of them were new plays! They put up a new play about once every three weeks.
Ah, Youth!Young John Webster in Shakespeare in Love grows up to be the author of two very bloody and violent melodramas: The White Devil and The Duchess of Malfi.
A Man of MysteryA revered playwright known for penning Doctor Faustus and Tamburlaine the Great, there’s much speculation about the life of Christopher “Kit” Marlowe. Some say he was a secret agent for Queen Elizabeth I. He was accused of being a heretic for pointing out inconsistencies in the bible. Stabbed at age 29, even his death is shrouded in mystery…could it be because of his shady past?
A Star is BornConsidered the first great actor of English theatre, Richard Burbage founded the first theatre and was a member of Shakespeare’s company. Of the approximately twenty leading roles available in plays produced during his career, Burbage performed thirteen of them.
Seattle Shakespeare Company closes its 2017-2018 season with Shakespeare in Love, the delightful new stage adaptation of Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard’s Academy Award-winning film. This warm and witty romantic comedy will be helmed by Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Artistic Director George Mount. Originally produced by Disney Theatrical Productions and Sonia Friedman Productions and adapted for the stage by Lee Hall with music by Paddy Cuneen, Shakespeare in Love previews May 2 and 3, opens May 4 and runs through June 3 at the Cornish Playhouse at the Seattle Center. Shakespeare in Love. Set design for the production is by Craig Wollam, costume design by Doris Black, lighting design by Roberta Russell, and sound design by Robertson Witmer. Shakespeare in Love is part of Seattle Celebrates Shakespeare, a city-wide festival that honors the work of one of the world’s most renowned playwrights. Tickets to Shakespeare in Love are available now through the Seattle Shakespeare Company Box Office at 206-733-8222 as well as online.
Seattle Shakespeare Company announces the cast and creative team for Shakespeare in Love, the final production in the company’s 2017-2018 season. The stage adaptation of Shakespeare in Love is based on the Academy Award-winner for Best Picture with screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard. Shakespeare in Love are Matt Gilworth (Wabash/Frees), Arlando Smith (Robin/Lady Capulet/boatman), Dylan Zucati (Sam/Lady in Waiting), Julian Mudge-Burns (John Webster), Brandon Felker (Ralph/Lady in Waiting), Tom Dang(Peter), Pete Hinds-Fickes (Spot), Heather Cook (ensemble), Glen Peak (ensemble), Zachary Taxdahl (ensemble). The creative team includes Craig Wollam (scenic design), Doris Black (costume design), Roberta Russell (lighting design), Robertson Witmer (sound design), Robin Macartney (Props Designer), Andrew Murray (Choreographer), and Peter Dylan O’Connor (Fight Choreography). Shakespeare in Love runs May 2-June 3 at the Cornish Playhouse.
Intertwining themes of money, power, and love weave through the plays of our upcoming season recently announced by Artistic Director George Mount. Plans for the 2017-2018 season include Julius Caesar, The Government Inspector, Timon of Athens, The Merchant of Venice, and Shakespeare in Love. “It’s about a continuum of human experience,” said Mount. “Being informed about where we’ve been before to see how we got to now.” The previously announced selections for the free Wooden O summer 2017 park shows include Much Ado About Nothing and Pericles. In the spring of 2018 Seattle Shakespeare Company will tour Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet to schools and venues across the state. “These are essential classic stories for the times we are now living through,” said Artistic Director George Mount. “I believe that Shakespeare is contemporary theatre, and should be engaging with the people that are seeing it right now, otherwise, it’s just a museum piece. These plays matter now. They mattered then, and they will continue to matter.” The indoor season launches with Julius Caesar, Shakespeare’s gripping political thriller about the intoxicating effects of power. “I’m very interested in revisiting an idea that I first explored with a Wooden O Julius Caesar,” said Mount. “When some of the things we’re seeing in our culture feel like they are more about regression than progress, this will be a production where time moves backwards during the course of the play.” Mount will direct Julius Caesar at the Cornish Playhouse, September 13-October 1, 2017. “My relationship to Allison Narver goes back to the days when she was one of the driving forces behind Annex Theatre,” said Mount. “Seeing all of her great work in town, as well as a brilliant staging of the Marx Brother’s Animal Crackers at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, I knew she was the perfect fit for this Russian farce. I can’t wait.” Narver makes her Seattle Shakespeare Company directing debut with Nikolai Gogol’s comedy The Government Inspector. The hilarious tale of bureaucracy and buffoonery in a small Russian village will perform at the Center Theatre, October 24-November 19, 2017. Right after the New Year, the company will present Timon of Athens, Shakespeare’s rarely-staged tragedy of a generous man undone by false friendships. John Kazanjian will also make his company debut, directing the production which runs at the Center Theatre, January 9-February 4, 2018. “John’s been doing some fantastic work on small, chamber versions of Shakespeare’s plays with Hamlet and The Tempest at New City Theater,” said Mount. “The guy is a treasure trove of creativity with an inventive and smart, East-Coast-meets-West-Coast kind of approach to theatre. It’s going to be fantastic.” “Desdemona’s Measure for Measure for us in 2015 was a nuanced, gorgeous piece of storytelling of a very difficult play,” said Mount. “And she’s now exploding all over the national scene. I’m thrilled to have her come back and tackle yet another really difficult play that deals with very touchy, sensitive subject matter through the Shakespeare lens. I couldn’t be more excited.” Chiang will direct The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare’s vibrant interconnected tales of friendship, love, family, and the price of doing business, which will be performed at the Center Theatre, March 20-April 15, 2018. Shakespeare in Love is a stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning film about young Will Shakespeare and the woman who inspired him. “It’s just so bubbly and fun,” said Mount who will direct Shakespeare in Love at the Cornish Playhouse, May 2-June 3, 2018. “This is a really entertaining love story and a great examination of what it means to be a theatre artist. It shows just how hard it is when you’re trying to make a dream a reality and the difficulties of aspiring to success in any endeavor. I’m really looking forward directing this play and jumping into that delightful world with some of our city’s great artists.” The largest audiences for Seattle Shakespeare Company are the more than 16,000 students who get to experience one of the company’s touring productions. Seattle Shakespeare Company’s touring program crisscrosses the state with two 90-minute, small-cast shows that bring Shakespeare to communities that don’t often see professional productions. During the spring of 2018 Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet directed by Erin Murray will tour to schools and venues from Pullman to Wenatchee to Port Angeles. Free Shakespeare in the park is now a summer tradition for much of the region. Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Wooden O productions of Much Ado About Nothing and Pericles will perform in parks throughout the region from July 6 through August 6, 2016. The full schedule of dates and venues is available on the company’s website. Season ticket packages will go on sale April 1 and range from $100 to $210 for all five indoor productions. Season ticket packages can be purchased by calling the ticket office at (206) 733-8222 or online. Single tickets will go on sale in July 2017 and range from $28-$55 per ticket.