Dixie Carter plays the lead in Oscar Wilde's A Woman of No Importance opening the season at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. The comedy, which began previews Sept. 1, opens Sept. 8 and runs through Oct. 18, takes place at an English country house, where Mrs. Arbuthnot tries to protect her illegitimate son from being corrupted by his friends.
Also appearing in the comedy are Tari Signor (Mr. Peters' Connections), Ted van Griethuysen, Emery Battis, David Sabin, Matthew Greer, Jennifer Mendenhall, and Catherine Flye. James Kronzer (Shakespeare Theatre's Merry Wives of Windsor) will design the set.
The production was an emergency substitute for the previously announced Edward II, starring Jay Goede in the title role. The Marlowe play was canceled when Garland Wright, the production's director and adapter, bowed out for health reasons. Wright died of cancer on July 22. He was 52.
The rest of the company's 1998-99 season is as follows:
Following Wilde's No Importance will be Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night (Nov. 3-Jan. 2, 1999), directed by Daniel Fish. Then it's the less known King John (Jan. 19-Mar. 6, 1999), staged by artistic director Michael Kahn. Director JoAnne Akalaitis arrives, Mar. 23-May 8, 1999, to stage Euripides' Trojan Women. It's a look at war's effect on women on the losing side. Surprisingly, this is the first time a Greek play has been staged at the Shakespeare.
Then Hal Holbrook (Dixie Carter's husband) appears as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Artistic director Michael Kahn will stage Shakespeare's controversial comedy (which is generally played as drama because of its arguably anti Semitic content). Holbrook has already played the vengeful Jewish merchant, Shylock, at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. Last on Broadway in An American Daughter, Holbrook is best known for his solo, Mark Twain Tonight!, for which he won a Tony. He's played King Lear at Off Broadway's Roundabout Theatre and on Broadway in The Glass Menagerie, Man of La Mancha and I Never Sang For My Father.
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