She ran the embattled National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC, and in June 2003 Jane Alexander will return to the capital to experience a new kind of anguish: playing a mother who is ruined by sins and secrets in Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts at The Shakespeare Theatre. Artistic director Michael Kahn announced the upcoming season, which includes the East Coast premiere of a new Lanford Wilson adaptation of Ghosts, directed by Alexander's husband, Edwin Sherin.
In Ghosts, June 3-July 27, 2003, Alexander will make her Shakespeare Theatre debut as widow Helen Alving, a woman obsessed with keeping up appearances. She sends her young son to live abroad, enduring years of reprimand for her arms-length rearing of the boy. When her beloved Oswald returns, indeed his father's son, Helen is again forced to confront the legacy of out-dated ideas she has spent her life protecting.
The 2002-2003 season also includes the DC premiere of Ben Jonson's The Silent Woman, a wicked farce, Jan. 21 March 9, 2003, directed by Kahn. The season opens with Shakespeare's "adult fairy tale," The Winter's Tale, Aug. 27-Oct. 20, with Philip Goodwin as Leontes. Also on tap are Much Ado About Nothing, Nov. 5-Jan. 5, 2003, directed by Mark Lamos; and Richard III, March 25-May 18, 2003, directed by Gale Edwards and starring Wallace Acton as the evil monarch.
Subscriptions for The Shakespeare Theatre's 2002-2003 season are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.shakespearetheatre.org or by calling (202) 547 1122.
— By Kenneth Jones