Our 2019 season will feature new productions of two contrasting comedies: Shakespeare’s most magical and dreamy romantic comedy; and a gritty, urban play that is very much of our time.
Ten years after Bard in the Barracks first staged a show at Odell Park, we’ll return to the play we performed that year, the perennially popular A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in a promenade-style production directed by Len Falkenstein. As four young Athenians take to the woods with romantic designs on (or against) each other, the resident fairies start to mess with their desires and spark a deliriously spirited comedy of confused passions and shifting allegiances. When a group of “rude mechanicals” decides to rehearse a play in the same forest, the opportunities for transformation – and just plain embarrassment – proliferate. There is no play more suited to a night in the woods than this hilarious romp that’s about, well, a night in the woods!
This summer’s second play will be Measure for Measure, one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays,” to be performed in Barracks Square and directed by John Ball. Set in a Vienna whose absentee Duke has been lax at enforcing the laws regulating sex, this tragicomedy puts a strict deputy on a collision course with his own desires when a young nun pleads with him for her brother’s life. As he unexpectedly falls for her and makes a scandalous proposition, she calls him out and precipitates a crisis that the Duke in disguise sets out to resolve. If Shakespeare has a #MeToo play, this is it: sexual coercion, abuse of power, and the limits of justice and mercy are just some of the 21st-century themes explored by this 415-year-old play.
Together, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Measure for Measure will run from June 21-July 7. Full details regarding performances and tickets will be announced in May, and news about auditions will be coming very soon, right here!