WASHINGTON, D.C.: Folger Theatre has announced its 2017-18 season, featuring four shows.
The slate “brings sweeping stories to our intimate Folger stage,” said Folger artistic producer Janet Alexander Griffin in a statement. “Between our iconic columns, worlds from far away are conjured and tales are spun. We inhabit others’ lives and experience the downfall of fortune, the tyranny of jealousy, and the joy of redemption.”
First up is Antony and Cleopatra (Oct. 10-Nov. 19), Shakespeare’s war-torn tragedy about Mark Antony’s relationship with the eponymous Egyptian queen. Director Robert Richmond, who helmed the company’s 2017 Timon of Athens and 2014 Richard III, will convert the Folger’s Elizabethan-style theatre into an arena space for the production.
Next will be The Way of the World (Jan. 9-Feb. 11, 2018), written and directed by Theresa Rebeck, part of the second Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Freely adapted from the William Congreve play of the same name, the contemporary comedy of manners follows a woman with an enormous inheritance whose boyfriend cheats on her with her aunt and then plots to win her back.
Following will be The Winter’s Tale (March 13-April 22, 2018), the Bard’s late romance about a king whose life takes a dark turn when he accuses his wife of infidelity. The play features drama, comedy, music, twists, and the playwright’s most famous stage direction: “Exit, pursued by a bear.”
Closing out the season will be Bedlam of New York City’s version of Shaw’s Saint Joan (May 12-June 3, 2018), which depicts Joan of Arc as an illiterate farm girl who goes on to shake up the church and state. Bedlam artistic director Eric Tucker’s bare-bones staging, with four actors playing 25 roles, has appeared at theatres across the country since 2012, including a run this past season at Princeton, N.J.’s McCarter Theatre Center.
Folger Theatre, established in 1991, is considered the centerpiece of Folger Shakespeare Library’s programs for the public. The company presents Shakespeare, other classical works, and new plays inspired by these traditions in its 250-seat Elizabethan-style theatre.