The Crossroads of Love, Power, War, and Forgiveness
Characters at the crossroads of love, power, war, or forgiveness populate Seattle Shakespeare Company’s upcoming season just announced by Artistic Director George Mount. Plans for the company’s 2019-2020 season include The Tempest, The Rivals, Troilus and Cressida, and Macbeth. “Each of these plays in their own way has a moment when it comes down to a singular choice,” said Mount. “The course of the action is set by that defining decision out of which things will never be the same.”
In the spring of 2019 Seattle Shakespeare Company will tour 90-minute, small cast productions of Hamlet (a bilingual English/Spanish adaptation) and Romeo and Juliet to schools and venues across Washington State.
Seattle Shakespeare Company’s indoor season has been shortened from five to four mainstage productions for the 2019-2020 season. “As a theatre company without a permanent home, we have to rely on and negotiate with organizations that have stages. While we made every effort to try to secure a fifth venue for this season, we just were not able to make it happen,” said Managing Director John Bradshaw. “Either space wasn’t available at the times that we needed to produce, wasn’t suitable to our needs, or venues weren’t able to commit.” Seattle Shakespeare Company has produced a 5-play indoor season since 2014. All plays in the 2019-2020 indoor season will perform at the Center Theatre at Seattle Center.
“To accompany the four play mainstage season, I’m working on lining up three one-person shows from national/internationally renowned Shakespeare performers who will give their unique and personal perspectives on performing and living with Shakespeare,” said Mount. Artists, dates, and venues for the series will be announced at a later date.
Seattle Shakespeare Company will launch their new season with The Tempest directed by Annie Lareau, co-artistic director at Seattle Public Theater. “Personally, The Tempest is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays,” said Mount. “Every time I see it, or work on it, or read it, I get hopeful about people and our power to change and let go of what may be holding us back.” The Tempest will perform October 15 – November 10, 2019.
Mount will direct the 18th century comedy The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan January 7- February 2, 2020. “The Rivals is a celebration of wit and language,” said Mount. “Goofy characters skewer romantic expectations in an utterly charming way. Audiences will see shades of As You Like It and The Merry Wives of Windsor in the play, as well as see the roots of Oscar Wilde and Shaw. I’m really looking forward to getting silly with Sheridan’s broad characters and circumstances.”
John Langs, artistic director at ACT Theatre, returns to Seattle Shakespeare Company to stage Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida. “This is going to be a play that most people aren’t familiar with or haven’t seen, but it’s one that Langs has wanted to do for some time,” said Mount. “This is an anti-war war play, and an unromantic romance wrapped up in a chunk of time out of Homer’s The Illiad. The thorniness of this play is so intriguing, and, in the hands of John Langs, I know it will be an event worth seeing.” Troilus and Cressida will perform March 17-April 12, 2020.
“2020 is going to be a very fraught, political year,” said Mount. “Misplaced ambition and the price of power exact a heavy toll in this play. Desdemona Chiang has knocked it out of the park for us with her stagings of Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice. While I don’t think her view of Macbeth will be overtly political, it will be a timely and worthy look at the consequences of abusing power for personal gain. And hopefully scary.” Macbeth will play April 21-May 17, 2020.
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, 6-actor shows that bring Shakespeare to communities that don’t often see professional productions. During the spring of 2020 Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet will tour to schools and venues from Pullman to Wenatchee to Port Angeles.
Season ticket packages will go on sale April 23 and range from $88 to $176 for all four indoor productions.