This summer's offerings from Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival will include Romeo & Juliet; Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play; and Where We Belong, in addition to two workshops and A Midsummer Night's Dream as part of its educational programming.
Gaye Taylor Upchurch will direct Romeo & Juliet with Kurt Rhoads and Nance Williamson starring in the title roles of the tragic star-crossed lovers, newly reimagined with age-blind casting. The Shakespeare classic will play In repertory with Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, written by Anne Washburn and featuring music by Michael Friedman, with direction by HVSF Artistic Director Davis McCallum. Originally commissioned and produced by theatre company The Civilians, the dark comedy is set in the future as civilization rebuilds itself and today's pop culture reemerges as mythology.
Rounding out the main productions is Where We Belong by Madeline Sayet under the direction of Mei Ann Teo. Where We Belong will be produced with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in association with Folger Shakespeare Library. The autobiographical solo show follows Sayet's journey as she addresses cultural legacies from growing up Mohegan in Connecticut to graduate study of Shakespeare in England.
Alongside these works, HVSF will present two workshops from its Tent Pole Commissions, including Untitled Agatha Project by Heidi Ambruster and directed by Ryan Quinn which takes inspiration from Agatha Christie and adapts the classic murder- mystery whodunit for the stage. It will also present Memnon by Will Power, directed by Carl Cofield,
Lastly, the theatre company will produce a video version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare's comedy about mischievous fairies and mismatched lovers, directed by Matthew Saldivar, for middle and high schools to be made available beginning in April. They will also host the special event Highland Lights: A Reawakened Landscape led by Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles from Processional Arts Workshop. Attendees will gather for a procession of community-built illuminated lanterns as a collective inauguration of ecological restoration.
The season will take place under the current open-air tent on the grounds of HVSF's new and permanent home in Garrison, NY as plans for a permanent venue are underway.
For more information, visit HVShakespeare.org.