Avery Brooks will be Oedipus, Elizabeth Ashley is Lillian Hellman's frustrated Regina and Kelly McGillis is The Duchess of Malfi in the 2001-2002 season at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC.
Michael Kahn, artistic director of the resident professional company, announced the upcoming season — punctuated by the idea of vengeance — Jan. 29.
The season opens Aug. 28-Oct. 21 with Brooks as the tragically misguided King Oedipus in a single-evening adaptation of the Greek Sophocles tale, under the title, Oedipus. Kahn directs the melding of Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone. Brooks was last seen with the DC troupe in 1991's Othello.
Australian opera and theatre director Gale Edwards (The White Devil) will helm Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Nov. 6-Jan. 6, 2002, with Helen Hayes Award winner Wallace Acton as the title melancholy dane.
Kahn will direct McGillis in the title role of John Webster's Jacobean revenge tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi, Jan. 22-March 10, 2002. McGillis returns to The Shakespeare Theatre for the first time since 1997's Mourning Becomes Electra, as the noblewoman who marries for love, denying her brothers control over her and her wealth. Rachel Kavanaugh directs Romeo and Juliet in the fourth slot of the season (March 26-May 19, 2002), followed by Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, June 4-July 28, 2002, with Ashley as greedy, ambitious Regina Giddens. Ashley appeared as Princess Kosmonopolis in Kahn's Sweet Bird of Youth in 1997.
Friedrich Schiller's Don Carlos is currently playing through March 11 at the nonprofit theatre. Visit the website at www.shakespearedc.org.
— By Kenneth Jones