Keith Baxter, Avery Brooks, Patrick Page, Gale Edwards, Mary Zimmermann and Rene Auberjonois are among artists engaged for the watershed season that will see the fall 2007 opening of the troupe's new home, the Harman Center for the Arts.
Located in downtown Washington, DC, the Harman Center will consist of two theatres: the Company's current 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre (located at 450 7th St. NW) and the new 775-seat Sidney Harman Hall (located at 610 F St. NW), scheduled to open Oct. 1, 2007.
With two theatres, the Shakespeare Theatre Company, run by artistic director Michael Kahn, will also present two repertory series (a Christopher Marlowe repertory of Edward II and Tamburlaine, and a Shakespeare Roman repertory consisting of Antony and Cleopatra and Julius Caesar) and introduce new family and lunch-time programming. A new $10 ticket program will help build younger audiences, and education and outreach efforts will be expanded, according to the March 5 season announcement.
With the fresh repertory schedule, "a tourist could see all eight plays of the Shakespeare Theatre Company season in just three weekends over the course of a year," according to the company.
The Harman Center will also meet "a longstanding need for affordable, midsized performance venues in the District of Columbia." The two theatres will feature performances by outstanding local performing arts groups, "creating connections among art forms and artists." Shakespeare Theatre Company's 2007-08 season will include:
The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, directed by Rebecca Bayla Taichman, Sept. 25-Nov. 25, Lansburgh Theatre. "Shakespeare gives us the improbable courtship of the fiery-tongued Katherine by the arrogant Petruchio. But unlike Shakespeare's other romantic comedies, the play does not stop with the wedding. Shakespeare considers the institution of marriage, the rifts between men and women, and the rough journey toward love." Christopher Marlowe Repertory: Tamburlaine and Edward II
Major Barbara by George Bernard Shaw, directed by Ethan McSweeny, Feb. 19-March 23, 2008, Sidney Harman Hall. "Full of Shaw's signature shrewd, urbane wit, Major Barbara depicts timeless tensions between wealth and charity, government and religion, business and family. At the center of the play is the rebellious but naively idealistic Barbara Undershaft. A major with the Salvation Army, Barbara finds the foundation of her beliefs rocked when the charity accepts a donation from her long-estranged father, a millionaire arms dealer." Roman Repertory: Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra
The Imaginary Invalid by Molière, directed by Keith Baxter and starring Rene Auberjonois, June 10-Aug. 3, 2008, Lansburgh Theatre. "Written and first performed while Molière was dying, The Imaginary Invalid targets the medical quacks of 17th-century France. The eccentric and wealthy hypochondriac Argan decides to marry his strong-willed daughter Angélique off to a doctor so that he'll always have a physician around. But Angélique loves another man, and her attempts to persuade her father to let her marry him lead to outrageous tricks and disguises." For more information, visit ShakespeareTheatre.org.