2013 SEASON ANNOUNCED
Plays for the 28th Season of the Festival have been chosen, and they are as follows:
The Winter’s Tale by Shakespeare. The Festival produced The Winter’s Tale only once before, as part of the 2000 season. Eve Adamson directed it, and after the season closed, the Festival was invited to take the production to Dallas as part of the outdoor Dallas Shakespeare Festival for one week in August.
The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s more “mature” plays, meaning that he wrote it late in his career, and it defies easy categorization, being neither a traditional comedy nor a true tragedy. Perhaps it is most accurately labeled a “romance,” or, as some have said, a “morality” play. Like so many of Shakespeare’s later plays, The Winter’s Tale deals with redemption and being given a second chance. And like The Tempest, it employs magical or miraculous elements in its plot, which begins with broken friendships and jealous lovers, winds its way through lighthearted comic romance, and ends with a miracle. The Winter’s Tale is a fairy tale for adults, a memorable and moving story about the evil of jealousy and the powerful forces of faith and forgiveness, told by a master storyteller.
The second Shakespearean play in the season is The Comedy of Errors, which, as its title indicates, is a madcap romp fraught with mistaken identities and misconstrued intentions. It is one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays (in sharp contrast with The Winter’s Tale) and his first comedy. TSF has produced it twice before – first in 1991, directed by Dr. James Martin, Theatre Instructor at Kilgore College in the early 1960′s and designer of the Van Cliburn Theatre, who was invited back to direct for the Festival on the 25th anniversary of the Fine Arts Building. The second production of Comedy was in 2003, directed by Stephen Terrell – the production most remembered because of its unique costumes and headpieces, all made to suggest images from comic books.
Always an audience favorite, The Comedy of Errors is Shakespeare’s adaptation of an old Roman play that is the archetype of situational farce. Two identical brothers (both names Antipholus) that were separated at birth happen to be in the same town at the same time about twenty years later. They also happen to employ as their servants anothers set of indentical twins (both named Dromio) who haven’t seen each other for decades. What else needs to be said? A few words come to mind: “mayhem,” “confusion,” “anarchy,” and “hilarity!”
The non-Shakespearean, non-musical play for this summer is a bit different than those TSF has produced in the past. It is not a “classic” play such as those by Moliere or a universally recognized literary masterpiece such as The Importance of Being Earnest or The School for Scandal or Arms and the Man. It is, in fact, a twentieth-century American comedy called The Foreigner, written by Larry Shue in 1983.
The Foreigner has an ingenious plot: An incredibly shy Englishman arrives at a fishing lodge in rural Georgia, and because of a misunderstanding, the locals assume that he cannot speak or understand English because he is “a foreigner.” Consequently, the quirky characters speak openly in his presence about their personal, private affairs, their deepest secrets, and most sinister plans as “the foreigner” maintains his mute presence and becomes involved in a plan to sort out their tangled lives. The result is a story that is hilarious and heartwarming and full of comic surprises, a play with an explosive climax that will have you laughing all the way home.
The musical this summer is Camelot by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. It is the classic, beloved Broadway musical about King Arthur and his noble, idealistic attempt to establish international peace and order through the Knights of the Round Table. It is also, of course, the touching story of his wife Guinevere and the handsome French knight Lancelot with whom she falls in love. Most people “of a certain age” will recognize such beautiful songs as “If Ever I Would Leave You” or the title song “Camelot” and immediately be reminded of the blockbuster stage version starring Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, and Robert Goulet.
The Festival produced Camelot once before, in 1995, when Michael C. Hall (star of both Six Feet Under and Deter on television) played Lancelot for us, and since it has been almost twenty years, Raymond thought it was time to try it again. Abe Reybold, who directed and choreographed Blood Brothers for us last year and Arnold Sherman, our Music Director, are eager to take on the challenges the production presents, and hope that you are just as eager to see the magical miracles they and the cast will create on the TSF stage this summer.
The children’s show has not yet been selected, but the choices have been narrowed down to three. Two of them are original scripts by TSF associate Jason Richards and TSF alumnus Ed Swidey (Cyrano de Bergerac, 2005): the third is the children’s version of Androcles and the Lion which we have produced before. The Festival hopes that the young audiences will enjoy whichever script is selected as much as they loved Jason Richard’s Quest for the Lost Chalice last year.
People often ask Raymond Caldwell, TSF Founder and Artistic Director, if he selects the plays in order to establish some “theme” for the season. Raymond states, ”I do not, but often something like a theme seems to appear after the fact, and clever, insightful patrons will indentify that motif and ask me if it was intentional.” Expecting that to occur again this year, he has began searching for some similarity in all five shows that he could claim as a theme he intended to communicate. Raymond offers to two possible (though unintended) “themes” for those who would like one: (1) We reveal our true character by how we treat strangers in our midst; or (2) Sometimes it takes an outside influence to help us set our lives aright.