Man and Superman, Coriolanus, Winter's Tale, Government Inspector on DC Shakespeare Theatre's Plate

By Kenneth Jones
01 Feb 2012

Artistic director Michael Kahn announced plays by Shakespeare, Gogol, Shaw and Schiller for the 2012-13 season at The Shakespare Theatre Company in Washington, DC.



The new season features the return of repertory productions as part of the new Clarice Smith Repertory Series; the Hero/Traitor Repertory will be composed of Shakespeare's Coriolanus and Friedrich Schiller's Wallenstein, adapted by Robert Pinsky who served as poet laureate to the Library of Congress. Also included in the lineup are Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream; one of Shakespeare's late romances, The Winter's Tale; George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman; and Nikolai Gogol's comedy The Government Inspector, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher.

STC's annual summer Free For All production, a remounting of All's Well That Ends Well, originally directed by Michael Kahn in 2010, will also be presented.

The Robert H. Smith Family Foundation is sponsoring the newly established Clarice Smith Repertory Series, featuring plays in repertory each season for the next three years. In the series' first presentation, Shakespeare's Coriolanus will play in repertory with Schiller's Wallenstein, both "featuring themes of war, leadership, responsibility and loss."

Here's STC's 2012-13 season at a glance:

Free for All:
William Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well
Original direction by Michael Kahn
Directed by Jenny Lord
Aug. 23-Sept. 9
Sidney Harman Hall

"Helena, the daughter of a doctor, cures the ailing King of France, who promises her the husband of her choice. But the King doesn't know that non-committal Count Bertram is the object of her affection. Confronted with the word of a King, Bertram attempts to escape through harsh words, disdainful actions and a romance with another woman. With resourceful deception and ample persistence, our heroine Helena overcomes one obstacle after another in this romantic season opener."

Nikolai Gogol's
The Government Inspector
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher
Directed by Michael Kahn
Sept. 13-Oct. 28
Lansburgh Theatre

"In Gogol's witty and hilarious satire of provincial Russian bureaucracy, Khlestakov, a civil servant who is running out of money, travels from Saint Petersburg to a small town where his imagination runs rampant. When bumbling town officials mistake him for an incognito inspector investigating them for corruption, a comedy of errors begins and chaos ensues. The Government Inspector portrays self deception, mockery and pandemonium in this ironic comedy."

William Shakespeare's
A Midsummer Night's Dream Directed by Ethan McSweeny
Nov. 15-Dec. 30
Sidney Harman Hall

"Mismatched lovers Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius and Helena flee to the forest outside Athens, but they run into a supernatural squabble that will alter their destinies forever. Will mischievous Puck create harmony or cacophony within the forest? Will Bottom and his Mechanicals put on a successful show for the Duke? Love, magic and wonder fill the air as dreams blend with reality in this must-see Shakespeare classic."

George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman
Directed by Aaron Posner
Jan. 24-March 10, 2013
Lansburgh Theatre

"STC welcomes to its stage for the first time the philosophical comedy [that] explores the question of whether or not man can live without the love of a woman. Once John Tanner, a wealthy intellectual who values his freedom, finds out that Ann Whitefield is seeking him as a husband, he attempts to escape but is overcome by his attraction towards her…[in] this ambitious comedy of big ideas and witty emotions."

The Hero/Traitor Repertory: The Clarice Smith Repertory Series
William Shakespeare's
Coriolanus
Directed by David Muse
March 28-June 2, 2013
Sidney Harman Hall

"A mighty hero, Caius Martius, earns the new name of 'Coriolanus' for his triumphs. However, his inflexible self-belief and contempt for popular rule cause him to be condemned as a traitor and sent into exile. Desiring revenge against the Romans who banished him, he befriends his blood enemy, Aufidius, to launch an assault on his beloved city. Rome, in its terror, pleads with Coriolanus to end his crusade for vengeance. Directed by David Muse, former STC associate artistic director, Coriolanus blurs the lines between hero and traitor in this politically driven tragedy."

Friedrich Schiller's
Wallenstein
Translated and freely adapted by Robert Pinsky
Directed by Michael Kahn
March 29-May 31, 2013
Sidney Harman Hall

"STC is proud to announce a newly commissioned adaptation and translation of Friedrich Schiller's Wallenstein by former poet laureate Robert Pinsky. Wallenstein, one of Germany's greatest dramatic works, follows the famous general Albrecht von Wallenstein at the height of his influence and power during the Thirty Years' War. Leading Europe's most powerful army, Wallenstein is caught between his ambition and the Emperor's growing distrust. He must decide either to stay loyal to his king and lose his power or to betray his country for greater gain. STC artistic director Michael Kahn directs his second Schiller play, following the success of Don Carlos. Wallenstein was commissioned through the support of The Beech Street Foundation."

William Shakespeare's
The Winter's Tale
Directed by Rebecca Bayla Taichman
Co-produced with McCarter Theatre Center
May 9-June 23, 2013
Lansburgh Theatre

"A celebration in the art of storytelling, STC presents The Winter's Tale, one of Shakespeare's late romances. Traveling through time, visiting the austere court at Sicilia and the bright sea shore of Bohemia, two generations transcend torment and obsession. The Winter's Tale is a compassionate and dazzling saga that tells the tale of King Leontes, who is overcome with jealousy when he believes his pregnant wife Hermione and his good friend King Polixenes are lovers. STC revisits this classic piece with imagination and wit."

For more information, visit ShakespeareTheatre.org.