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Kimberleigh Aarn and Lisa Wolpe in 'Hamlet' at the Odyssey Theatre in 2013. (Photo by Enci Box)

New Orleans Shakespeare Festival’s 2016 Season Celebrates the Bard

The Crescent City will unite for a city-wide celebration of Shakespeare.

NEW ORLEANS: New Orleans Shakespeare Festival has announced its 2016 season, featuring productions by and about Shakespeare, along with public events to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death.

“In 2016, New Orleans will present one of the most unique celebrations of Shakespeare’s life in the world,” said artistic director Martin Sachs in a statement.

To begin the festivities, Lisa Wolpe will perform her one-woman show Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender (May 20–22), a cross-gender exploration that illustrates the relevance of Shakespeare’s work today.

Next will be Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona (June 18–July 2), a comedy about bandits, broken hearts, and cross-dressing. Jessica Podewell will direct.

Following will be Tony Kushner’s adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s The Illusion (July 23–Aug. 6), about a desperate man who comes upon a sorcerer’s cave while searching for his estranged son. Chaney Tullos will direct.

Also part of the season will be two one-night-only events from the NOLA Project called “By Any Scenes Necessary.” The company will perform Macbeth (June 21) and Hamlet (July 27) without a script.

A special exhibition, “First Folio! The Book That Gave us Shakespeare” (May 9–31), from the Folger Shakespeare Library, will display the first collection of Shakespeare’s plays at Tulane University.

New Orleans Shakespeare Festival, at Tulane University, was founded in 1993 to produce classical theatre with a primary focus on the works of Shakespeare.

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