Stacy Keach Will Star as Falstaff at DC Shakespeare Theatre; 2013-14 Plays and Directors Announced

By Kenneth Jones
February 6, 2013

Shakespeare Theatre Company, the Tony Award-honored Washington, DC, theatre, will stage plays by Noël Coward, William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde in its 2013-14 season, artistic director Michael Kahn announced on Feb. 6. Stacy Keach will play avuncular Falstaff in a repertory staging of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2.



Also planned are Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, Wilde's comedy of manner The Importance of Being Earnest (directed by Keith Baxter) and Coward's comedy of contentious coupling Private Lives (directed by Maria Aitken).

A sixth production will be determined in the near future to complete the subscription series. STC's annual Free For All production, a remounting of Much Ado About Nothing, originally directed by Ethan McSweeny.

Here's STC's coming season at a glance:

Free for All
William Shakespeare's
 Much Ado About Nothing
Directed by Jenny Lord,
originally directed by Ethan McSweeny
Aug. 20-Sept. 1, 2013

Sidney Harman Hall

"Everyone can see that Beatrice and Benedick are meant for each other except Beatrice and Benedick. Hero and Claudio, themselves newly betrothed, conspire to trick them into announcing their feelings for each other. Meanwhile, a bitter and troublesome Don John schemes to destroy Claudio and Hero's engagement by besmirching Hero's honor." The revival is "set in vibrant Cuba."

William Shakespeare's
 Measure for Measure
Directed by Jonathan Munby
Sept. 12-Oct. 27
Lansburgh Theatre

"Duke Vincentio, pretending to take leave, appoints Angelo his deputy and orders him to cleanse the city of vice. When Isabella, a woman about to dedicate her life to God, asks a favor of Angelo, a series of events unfold leading to a shocking ultimatum that reverberates throughout Vienna. Shakespeare's dark comedy of complex and controversial ideas is a compelling exploration of ethics, morality and the corrupting nature of power."

Oscar Wilde's
The Importance of Being Earnest
Directed by Keith Baxter
Nov. 21-Dec. 29
Sidney Harman Hall

"Oscar Wilde's most perfect of plays, The Importance of Being Earnest, a comedy about class, courtship and connection, premieres at STC this holiday season at Sidney Harman Hall. Full of epigrammatic wit and surprising plot twists, Wilde's sharp and satirical concoction tells the tale of Jack and Algernon, who indulge themselves in their favorite pastime, 'Bunburying,' to avoid their burdensome social obligations. Earnest is a trivial farce for serious people."

William Shakespeare's
 Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2
Directed by Michael Kahn and Alan Paul
March 25-June 8, 2014
Sidney Harman Hall
"Two of Shakespeare's most popular works, Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 contain some of the playwright's most enduring and endearing characters. Henry IV is a coming-of-age story of a young prince burdened with the duty of accepting his father's legacy, and the responsibility necessary to unite a fracturing kingdom. Stacy Keach (King Lear, Macbeth) plays Shakespeare's beloved character, Falstaff, in this epic masterpiece told in two parts and staged in revolving repertory."

Noël Coward's
 Private Lives
Directed by Maria Aitken
May 29-July 13, 2014
Lansburgh Theatre

"Noël Coward's fast-talking, manners-breaking comedy, Private Lives, makes its STC debut to finish a stellar season. Divorced from each other, Amanda and Elyot are each on honeymoons with new spouses and soon discover that they're booked into the same hotel. As everyone tries to maintain a veneer of etiquette and respectability, old feelings make things complicated. Maria Aitken directs this witty and irreverent play about the people we cannot live with or without."

For more information, visit shakespearetheatre.org.