The Court Theatre's 2001-02 season—which will feature new looks Shakespeare's Hamlet and Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady, as well as, in collaboration with "Broadway in Chicago," a two-week run of Michael Frayn's Copenhagen — will begin on Sept. 6 with Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart.
JoAnne Akalaitis directs this new production of Schiller's classic depiction of the power struggle between the political and calculating Queen Elizabeth I, and her imprisoned rival for the throne, the sensual Mary Queen of Scots. The translation is by Robert David MacDonald. Akalaitis' The Iphigenia Cycle, a combining of two Euripides plays, was presented at the Court in 1997 and later traveled to Off-Broadway.
Copenhagen will follow in early 2002. Frayn's play about a pivotal and morally murky meeting between two physicists in 1941 Denmark won the 2000 Tony Award for best play. Michael Blakemore won another Tony for his staging of the drama and will repeat his work here. The Court press office notes that the theatre "is in residence at the University of Chicago, where the Manhattan Project achieved the first self-sustaining, controlled, nuclear chain reaction."
The run of the play, from Feb. 5 to Feb. 17, will be at Chicago's Shubert Theatre and is considerably shorter than the average stay of a Court Theatre show. Court spokesman Jay Kelly said that there would be no problem accommodating all Court subscribers.
Chicago, which was recently visited by Peter Brook's production of Hamlet, will see another version of the tragedy at the Court in February 2002, when Charles Newell directs Guy Adkins in the title part. Concluding the season will be My Fair Lady, the ever-popular musical adaptation of Shaw's Pygmalion, directed by Gary Griffin. Kate Fry will be Eliza Dolittle. A fifth play has yet to be announced.
The 2001-02 schedule runs as follows:
• Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller, Sept. 6-Oct.-14
• The Chairs by Ionesco, Nov. 8-Dec. 9
• <Copenhagen by Michael Frayn, Feb. 5-17
• <Hamlet by Shakespeare, Feb. 14-March 24
• <My Fair Lady by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, April 18 May 26
The Court is located at 5535 S. Ellis Avenue. For more information, call (773) 753-4472.
—By Robert Simonson