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.”
“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 JuliusCaesar 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.