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Shakespeare in Washington: January-June 2007

Explore Shakespeare

TO BE OR NOT TO BE may be the world's most famous question—but for six months, THE ONLY PLACE TO BE IS D.C. for this spectacular celebration of William Shakespeare's influence on great culture and entertainment.

For more than 400 years, Shakespeare's plays and poetry have resonated in the world's consciousness. His works have persisted through centuries of theatrical interpretations. They've inspired classic ballets, operas, and symphonic suites and been transformed through the lens of modern themes and settings. From film and Broadway musicals to fashion and the visual arts, his imprint can be found everywhere.

Now, Washington will revel in the genius of Shakespeare through more than 100 magnificent presentations by more than 60 arts organizations. So whether you know all the sonnets by heart or are discovering his work for the very first time, Shakespeare in Washington will bring you closer than ever to the man they call "The Bard."

This celebration was conceived by Michael M. Kaiser, President of the Kennedy Center, and is curated by Michael Kahn, Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company.
 
Participating Organizations

Alexandria Symphony Orchestra
American Ballet Theatre
American Film Institute
American Shakespeare Center
BSO at Strathmore
The Bead Museum
Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, Israel
Capitol Hill Arts League
Cathedral Choral Society
The Catholic University of America
The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
The Classical Theatre of Harlem
Corcoran College of Art
Expressions Dance Company
Firebelly Productions
Folger Consort
Folger Shakespeare Library & Theater
4D Art
The George Washington University
The Jewish Historical Society
Keegan Theatre
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Kirov Ballet
Kirov Opera and Orchestra
Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth
Library of Congress
Liz Lerman Dance Exchange
MetroStage
)musica(aperta
The Nash Ensemble of London
The National Archives
National Building Museum
National Gallery of Art
National Museum of Women in the Arts

National Symphony Orchestra

New York City Ballet
Olney Theatre Center for the Arts
Perseverance Theatre
The Phillips Collection
Pick Up Performance Co(s)
Rorschach Theatre
Royal Shakespeare Company
The Shakespeare Guild
Shakespeare Theatre Company
Signature Theatre
Smithsonians American Art Museum
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian
Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery
The Studio Theatre
The Suzanne Farrell Ballet
Synetic Theater
Taffety Punk Theatre Company
Theater J
Tiny Ninja Theater
21st Century Consort
University of Evansville
University of Maryland
Vocal Arts Society
Voce Chamber Singers
VSA Arts
The Washington Ballet
Washington Concert Opera
Washington National Opera
Washington Performing Arts Society
The Washington Savoyards
Washington Shakespeare Company
Weber State University
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company


Highlights


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The Kennedy Center presents some of the world's greatest ballet, opera, and theater companies, as well as special Shakespeare-inspired events, programs, and workshops.

Shakespeare in Washington at the Kennedy Center has been generously underwritten by The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and Alice and David Rubenstein.

For information about non-Kennedy Center events visit the official website shakespeareinwashington.org.

  • OFFICIAL OPENING NIGHT
    Twelfth Night on Twelfth Night
    January 6, 2007, Kennedy Center Concert Hall
    Tickets: Free, no tickets required
    To launch Shakespeare in Washington, Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Michael Kahn directs a staged reading in the Concert Hall of Twelfth Night on the holiday's traditional date of observance, January 6. Shakespeare's celebrated comedy involves cross-dressing women, mistaken twins, and zany love sonnets. Co-presented by the Kennedy Center and Shakespeare Theatre Company as part of the Millennium Stage series.
    The Millennium Stage is brought to you by Target and Fannie Mae Foundation.

  • American Ballet Theatre - Othello
    January 10–14, 2007, Opera House
    Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director
    American Ballet Theatre performs Lar Lubovitch's vibrant interpretation of Shakespeare's classic tale of passion and jealousy, ambition and betrayal that the company premiered in 1997. A compelling synthesis of classical and modern movement, Lubovitch's original choreography is complemented by a powerful score by Academy Award®–winning composer Elliot Goldenthal (Frida), heightening the emotional volatility of the central characters as the ballet's tragedy unfolds. The New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff declares it "a whirlpool of passionate choreography…a visual impact rarely seen in ballet. Anyone interested in superb dancing should see this Othello."
    The Kennedy Center Ballet Season is sponsored by Altria Group, Inc.
    American Ballet Theatre at the Kennedy Center is supported through the generosity of The Lee and Juliet Folger Fund.


  • Kirov Ballet - Romeo and Juliet
    January 16–21, 2007, Opera House
    Valery Gergiev, General and Artistic Director
    Makhar Vaziev, Director of the Ballet Company
    Kirov Ballet performs its landmark production created for the company in 1940 by Leonid Lavrovsky to Sergei Prokofiev's monumental score. This full-length version of Shakespeare's classic tragedy of star-crossed lovers is packed with ensemble numbers and spectacle, framing performances that are "passionate, subtle, and beautifully danced" (The Sunday Times, London). With drama, romance, and excitement, Romeo and Juliet glitters with bravura dancing by the Kirov's internationally acclaimed company. The Orange County Register raves the Kirov production is one "to die for, [with] dancing that approaches the bombastic, with its broad pantomime and bench-press lifts."
    The Kennedy Center Ballet Season is sponsored by Altria Group, Inc.
    The Kirov Ballet’s engagement is presented with the generous support of the HRH Foundation.
    Additional support is provided by Classic Hospitality and Millennium Group.
    International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.


  • Kirov Opera and Orchestra - Falstaff
    Valery Gergiev, Artistic Director and Conductor
    January 31–February 3, 2007, Opera House
    Kirov Opera presents a vibrant production of Verdi's comic opera, based on one of Shakespeare's most famous characters. Verdi's final opera brings to life Shakespeare's incorrigible rogue from The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV. Falstaff attempts to woo a band of wealthy married women, but the wives get hilarious revenge. The St. Petersburg Times calls it "engaging, a lively, visual spectacular." Sung in Italian with English supertitles.
    Kirov Opera is presented with the generous support of the HRH Foundation.
    The Kirov Opera’s engagement is presented with the generous support of the HRH Foundation.
    Additional support is provided by Classic Hospitality and Millennium Group.
    International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.


  • National Symphony Orchestra
    Leonard Slatkin, Music Director
    February 8-10, March 4, April 5-7, & April 19-21, 2007, Concert Hall

    General Dynamics is the proud sponsor of the National Symphony Orchestra Classical Season.
    The Green Series: Symphonic Treasures is sponsored by Siemens.
    Washington Gas is the proud sponsor of the NSO Family Season. The NSO Family Concerts are supported through a generous grant from the Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation.

  • "Shakespeare and All That Jazz" - Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth
    February 18, 2007, Concert Hall
    Hailed as "The Queen of Jazz", Dame Cleo Laine is one of the most celebrated singers of our time. Together with her husband and musical director Sir John Dankworth, she has had a successful career, resulting in her being the only singer ever to receive Grammy Award® nominations in the Female Jazz, Popular, and Classical categories. In 1964, her album Shakespeare and All That Jazz won a coveted 5-star award in Down Beat Magazine, and began her long association with the work of the great British poet-playwright. In this special concert, she and her husband perform works from this acclaimed album, plus a number of other Shakespeare-inspired works commissioned by the Kennedy Center.
    Kennedy Center Jazz is sponsored by Cadillac.


  • New York City Ballet - A Midsummer Night's Dream
    February 28–March 4, 2007, Opera House
    New York City Ballet dances George Balanchine's glorious masterpiece, with a score by Felix Mendelssohn performed by the New York City Ballet Orchestra. Debuted by the company in 1962, the ballet is based on William Shakespeare's comedy about the romantic misadventures of mortal lovers and the King and Queen of the Fairies. The choreography is infused with the transforming power of love and the production sparkles with the bewitching magic of the forest. The New York Times says, "If the first act is a theatrical tour de force, the second is a glittering wedding celebration, in which classical ballet takes center stage."
    The Kennedy Center Ballet Season is sponsored by Altria Group, Inc.


  • The Shakespeare Project

    • Weber State University: Macbeth
      March 14 & 15, 2007
      Kennedy Center Family Theater
      Tickets: Free, no tickets required

    • University of Evansville: The Comedy of Errors
      April 14 & 15, 2007
      Kennedy Center Family Theater
      Under the direction of John David Lutz, Director of Theater and Professor of Acting and Directing at Evansville.
      Tickets: Free, no tickets required
      An initiative of the Center's Education Department, The Shakespeare Project utilizes three established Kennedy Center Education programs—Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), Millennium Stage, and ArtsEdge—to bring new productions of classic Shakespeare works to the stage and the web. Under the artistic direction of the Education Department's Gregg Henry, the program commissions colleges and universities to produce condensed versions of Shakespeare's plays to be performed for the stage with the goal of eventually capturing the Bard's complete canon. The productions will be filmed by ArtsEdge for archival purposes; these broadcasts may be used by schools as teaching tools in the classroom.
      The Millennium Stage is brought to you by Target and Fannie Mae Foundation.


  • The Supreme Court Hears the Trial of Hamlet
    March 15, 2007, Kennedy Center Terrace Theater
    The Shakespeare Theatre Company and the Kennedy Center co-present an evening with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy as he presides over the trial of Hamlet in an audience-participatory performance exploring the litigious life and actions of Hamlet that is hosted by Michael Kahn, Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

  • The Nash Ensemble of London
    March 20, 2007, Terrace Theater
    The ensemble performs a Bard-inspired world-premiere commission composed for the group by David Matthews featuring opera star Susan Bickley, hailed as a performer "with astonishing beauty and power" by The Guardian (London). Also on the program is Stravinsky's harmonic Three Songs from William Shakespeare.
    The Fortas Chamber Music Concerts are supported by generous contributors to the Abe Fortas Memorial Fund for Chamber Music and by a major gift to the fund from the late Carolyn E. Agger, widow of Abe Fortas.

  • 4D Art - The Tempest/La Tempête
    March 22–24, 2007, Eisenhower Theater
    The union of the virtual and the real is pure magic in this high-tech production by Montreal's 4D Art. Variety calls it "a magical, mystical, and eye-popping production. Swirling, mesmerizing energy... the future of live theater." Using virtual technology to cast spells, conjure visions, and wax poetic, this Tempest appeals not only to the senses but also to the mind as virtual characters interact and perform with live actors. Quebec multimedia artists Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon with co-director Denise Guilbault use all their expertise to put into effect what Shakespeare dreamed about some 400 years ago. Shakespeare's powerful words are matched with an equally powerful storm—brought to life through spectacular multimedia effects—in this beautiful and spellbinding production. In French with English surtitles.
    Theater at the Kennedy Center is presented with the generous support of Stephen and Christine Schwarzman.
    The Tempest/La Tempête is presented with the generous support of the HRH Foundation.
    This tour of 4D Art is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program.
    International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.


  • Royal Shakespeare Company - Coriolanus
    April 14–May 6, 2007, Eisenhower Theater
    Featuring William Houston and Janet Suzman
    Directed by RSC Chief Associate Director Gregory Doran
    The legendary Royal Shakespeare Company performs a new production of one of the Bard's most epic and riveting dramas. Both a political and personal tragedy, it is the tale of a brilliant general whose prideful isolation becomes his downfall. Exiled from Rome for his unpopular views, Coriolanus plots to unleash a bloody crusade of vengeance. Only his family can convince him to abandon the assault, but an eleventh-hour crisis of conscience comes a little too late. RSC favorite William Houston portrays the title role, while Janet Suzman—an Academy Award® nominee for the film Nicholas and Alexandra—is Coriolanus's rigid mother Volumnia, one of Shakespeare's strongest female characters. Don't miss this fascinating exploration of the nature of power as told by one of the world's greatest theater companies.
    Theater at the Kennedy Center is presented with the generous support of Stephen and Christine Schwarzman.
    Coriolanus is presented with the generous support of the HRH Foundation.
    International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.


  • Kennedy Center Jazz: Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra - Such Sweet Thunder
    May 20, 2007, Concert Hall
    The National Museum of American History is the home of Duke Ellington's vast archives and the nation's jazz band, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO). Presented by the Kennedy Center, the SJMO will perform an inter-disciplinary production of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's Shakespeare-inspired compositions interspersed with soliloquies, scenes, and speeches from the Bard's various works.
    Kennedy Center Jazz is sponsored by Cadillac.

  • The Suzanne Farrell Ballet - Romeo and Juliet
    June 6–10, 2007, Opera House
    Suzanne Farrell, Artistic Director
    As the Kennedy Center's own ballet company, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet is claiming a place among the nation's finest ensembles and preserving classic works of the 20th century. The San Francisco Chronicle declares that Farrell "seems to be reinventing the art of ballet itself." The company will dance two mixed repertory programs, including the scène d'amour from Maurice Béjart's 1966 version of Romeo and Juliet—which speaks to the themes rather than the narrative of the story—set to music from French composer Hector Berlioz's dramatic symphony.
    The Kennedy Center Ballet Season is sponsored by Altria Group, Inc.
    Major support for The Suzanne Farrell Ballet is provided by The Shen Family Foundation.


  • Tiny Ninja Theater - Hamlet and Shakespeare's Sonnets
    June 11–14, 2007 - Millennium Stage
    Tickets: Free, no tickets required
    Audiences will experience Shakespeare's text in a different way with this New York City–based company that uses tiny plastic ninjas (found in vending machines) and other "assorted dime-store figures" to embody the characters in classical theater. The director remains in the background and only comes to the foreground as a character within the play. First appearing as part of the New York International Fringe Festival in 2000, Tiny Ninja Theater is the brainchild of puppeteer Dov Weinstein. In Hamlet, Ninja takes the title role for the first time in Shakespeare's great tragedy, which sees new and innovative stage effects for the inch-high cast, and television screens enabling a greater insight into the action. In Sonnets, Ninja brings to life several of the Bard's best-loved sonnets.
    The Millennium Stage is brought to you by Target and Fannie Mae Foundation.

  • Explore the Arts ™
    Explore the Arts ™, the Kennedy Center's continuing education program, will present several programs:

    • The Bard (March 26), a series about Shakespeare's life, writings, and influences covering plays from All's Well That Ends Well to Titus Andronicus;

    • How to Be a Shakespearean Actor (March 17), a fun and interactive workshop where participants will use improvisational techniques, games, and scene work to learn about classical voice, movement, and speech;

    • What to Listen for in Music (January 8, 22, 29, & February 5), a series that explores some of musical history's greatest influences, including Shakespeare;

    • Open Rehearsal of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet (June 6).

  • VSA arts presents
    Liz Lerman Dance Exchange
    The Farthest Earth from Thee: A Suite of Sonnets
    June 2 & 3, 2007, Greenberg Theatre, 4200 Wisconsin Ave., NW, (202) 885-2587
    Commissioned by VSA arts, the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange performs an original work inspired by Shakespeare's sonnets. The production features company and guest dancers with and without disabilities. Shakespeare revealed intense, intimate, and moving relationships through his sonnets. This collection of contemporary dances transforms his words into explosive movement and vibrant video images.
    An affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Programs and artists subject to change.