The Royal Shakespeare Company will begin a five year exclusive American residency program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, in April 2003.
The acclaimed theatrical company announced the unique collaboration March 4.
Production plans are still to be finalized for the 2003 residency, according to a statement, but plans over five years call for new productions of Shakespeare's King Lear, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth.
"I am delighted the RSC has joined forces with the Kennedy Center in this new partnership," RSC artistic director Adrian Noble said in a statement. "I hope that over the next five years the relationship will provide a platform to present some of the best of British classical theatre in the heart of the U.S. capital. Shakespeare has a powerful and enduring appeal throughout the world. By presenting its work in the U.S., and all over the world, the RSC helps to maintain Shakespeare’s place as the one truly international dramatist."
The RSC has been performing regularly at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts since 1973, when the Company performed Peter Brook’s acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Subsequent Shakespeare productions have included Richard II (1974), A Winter’s Tale (1994), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1996), Hamlet, Henry VIII and Cymbeline (all 1998). The relationship with the Kennedy Center is part of the RSC's wider development of international partnerships. The RSC's five-year partnering with the University of Michigan and the University Musical Society, which launched in 2001, provides one model for a more active university presence in the U.S.
The new RSC partnership with the Kennedy Center has been arranged through support from the Prince of Wales Foundation.
— By Kenneth Jones