Next summer, June 7-Aug. 11, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival (CSF) will present a season of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, featuring beloved romances, iconic heroines and an award-winning new play with a Shakespearean twist.
The summer season begins with “Twelfth Night,” the comedy about thorny love triangles, mistaken identities and a pair of twins lost at sea. Opening outdoors in the Mary Rippon Theatreon June 8, the show centers around how love is blind, said CSF Producing Artistic Director Timothy Orr, who is also set to direct.
“I love this play; it’s my favorite in the canon because of the music, the games and the comedy but also the gentle discussions about love,” said Orr. “And under the stars, it’s just magical.”
The season opener will also feature original live music from Rinde Eckert.
On July 7, “Romeo and Juliet”—Shakespeare’s notorious tragedy about falling in love against all odds—will be added to the outdoor lineup. Directed by Christopher DuVal, it’s a more complicated look at romance than “Twelfth Night.”
“It’s a play about falling in love with someone who your tribe tells you is the wrong person. And you don’t get a choice or a say in that conversation,” said Orr.
“People change and are cured through loving and being loved,” said Howarth. “Even if they do not end up with a romantic partner, they put themselves on a quest for a better life through being shown mercy and love.”
Rounding out the main plays of the season is a Bard-inspired work that will be new to Colorado audiences. “King Charles III: A Future History Play” by playwright Mike Bartlett uses Shakespearean-styled verse to envision a near future where personal privacy, public betrayals and a threat to free press collide in the days following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Even though “King Charles III” isn’t written by Shakespeare, the play is right in line with the festival’s vision.
“Part of our mission is to expand the repertoire and explore new works,” said Orr. “It takes place in the future, and yet it’s written in verse—and very good verse as well. We just loved it. It’s such an exciting story!”
Kevin Rich is set to direct CSF’s production, which will be the regional premiere of the Tony-nominated Critics’ Circle Award-winner and Olivier Award-winner for Best New Play.
Finally, on Aug. 4, Rich will direct the performance of CSF’s Original Practices (OP) production—a one-night-only event where a Shakespeare play is performed as it would have been in his heyday. Next summer’s OP is “King John,” a story that predates the history cycle the festival completed in Summer 2018 with “Richard III.”
The 2019 season begins Friday, June 7, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 11.
Season tickets are available now. Purchase online, by phone at 303-492-8008 and or in-person weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the CU Presents Box Office. Single tickets will be available beginning Monday, Nov. 26, 2018 at 10 a.m.
Colorado Shakespeare Festival 2019 season
Directed by Timothy Orr
“Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun. It shines everywhere.”
When Viola finds herself shipwrecked and her brother drowned (or so she thinks!), she begins to dress as a man named Cesario. Meanwhile, her twin Sebastian, very much alive and a near spitting image of Viola/Cesario, also makes his way into town with the help of a friendly outlaw. A night of laugh-out-loud revelry, unexpected romance and original live music from Rinde Eckert follows in this play led by one of the Bard’s most iconic heroines.
Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre | June 8-Aug. 11 (June 7 Preview)
Directed by Carolyn Howarth
“We that are true lovers run into strange capers.”
After fleeing home to escape political persecution, Rosalind finds herself hiding in the countryside among a boisterous cast of characters, making unexpected acquaintances and experiencing the restorative power of love along the way. CSF’s intimate, theatrical production will feature a cast of eight portraying every role in the play.
University Theatre (indoors) | June 22-Aug. 10 (June 21 Preview)
Directed by Christopher DuVal
“My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep.”
From the moment Romeo and Juliet first meet, they fall passionately in love despite their families’ historic feud. The lovers’ oaths are soon tested by forces beyond their control, and bitter division threatens to eclipse young love. Revisit one of the most breathtaking romances ever written, brought to life on stage with gorgeous poetry and explosive swordplay.
Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre | July 7-Aug. 10
A Future History Play
by Mike Bartlett
Directed by Kevin Rich
“Without my voice, and spirit, I am dust, This is not what I want, but what I must.”
In “King Charles III,” playwright Mike Bartlett uses Shakespearean verse to envision a near future where personal privacy, public betrayals and a threat to free press collide in the days following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see the royal family reimagined in the regional premiere of the Critics’ Circle Award-winner and Olivier Award-winner for Best New Play, as well as Tony nominee for Best New Play.
University Theatre (indoors) | July 20-Aug. 10 (July 19 Preview)
Directed by Kevin Rich
“Mad world! Mad kings! Mad composition!”
For one night only, see one of Shakespeare’s rarest history plays just as his own audiences did as part of CSF’s revered Original Practices event. In “King John,” England and France battle for the throne following the death of King Richard the Lionheart.
Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre | Sunday, Aug. 4, 6:30 p.m.