Shakespeare Preview: What to See in 2016

SHappy New Year and welcome back Shakespeare lovers! 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death (April 23, 1564 – April 23, 1616) and that means it’s another big year ahead honoring one of the greatest writers of all time. Here’s a look at what’s coming so get out your calendars and make note.

Antaeus Theatre Company starts the year with its popular ClassicsFest reading series featuring four plays in January and February. Among them are Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning absurdist play, initiated by Bo Foxworth and Adrian LaTourelle, directed by John Henry Davis (Jan. 17 & 18), and Shakespeare’s classic The Winter’s Tale, initiated and directed by Elizabeth Swain (Jan. 31 & Feb. 1). These member-driven developmental readings are often the first step in the company’s progression to a fully-staged production and are a great way to become immersed in the plays. www.antaeus.org

For Valentine’s Day, A Noise Within will present Romeo & Juliet directed by Dámaso Rodríguez. Rodriguez is currently artistic director at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland but is well-known in LA. from his time spent as associate artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse and co-artistic director of Furious Theatre Company. In his streamlined interpretation of the story, he says, “the design and concept will evoke a street performance in an economically and socially repressed, centuries-old city.” It will remain focused on the play’s primary relationships and feature a diverse cast, original music by Martin Carrillo, and minimal props and costumes. A pre-show discussion will take place Feb. 17 prior to the performance at 6pm. Post-show conversations with the cast will follow the 8pm performances on March 18, April 8 & 29, and May 8 (2pm). www.anoisewithin.org

The Ensemble Shakespeare Theater has been developing an original work based on the fascinating character of Queen Margaret who appears in Henry VI Parts 1-3 and Richard III. Shakespeare’s Rose Queen is told from Margaret’s point of view and runs Feb. 20 – March 3 at Lineage Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. Starring Megan Rippey as Margaret, Rose Queen’s gritty story will feature battles choreographed as movement pieces by Lineage Dance Company’s artistic director, Hilary Thomas, and other new elements of storytelling in an intimate theater setting. The cast also includes Brian White as Suffolk/Edward, Natalie Fryman as Eleanor/Richard III, Jay Blair as Henry VI, Sonny Calvano as Warwick, and other to be announced. Shakespeare’s Rose Queen follows previous original works by the company – Shakespeare’s Lovers and its international hit, Shakespeare’s Villains. www.californiashakespeare.org

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Review: Henry IV, Part One by the Rogues of Antaeus

Henry IV Part1 - Antaeus

Gregory Itzin and Ramón de Ocampo. Photo by Karianne Flaathen

A striking image hovers above the action in Henry IV, Part One at The Antaeus Company. It is a partial rendering of the planets orbiting the sun, which serves as an ever-present reminder that this is the journey of a king-in-the-making. As Prince Hal, also known as Harry, slowly transitions from party boy to royal warrior, its glow becomes more and more noticeable until it finally overtakes the stage. It is simple, but incredibly effective, and shows how powerful the relationship between designers’ work – in this case François-Pierre Couture (scenic) and Michael Gend (lighting) – and the play itself can be. Visuals like these reap great rewards in an intimate theater.

Henry IV, Part One is the second in a series of four works that are among Shakespeare’s History plays (Richard II, Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V). Collectively, they follow the line of succession from the deposition of Richard II and King Henry’s ascent to the throne, through the rise to power of Henry’s son, Prince Harry, who will become Henry V.  More

Antaeus Opens 2015 Season with HENRY IV, PART I

Henry IV AntaeusAntaeus will open its 2015 season with a fully partner-cast production of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I, March 6 – May 3, with two opening nights set for March 12 & March 13 (one with each cast). Part comedy, part tragedy, part growing-up tale of youthful rebellion, Henry IV, Part I remains one of Shakespeare’s most exciting histories. From drunken revelry to the bloody battlefield, Antaeus’ lean and muscular version, streamlined for a cast of 12 directed by Michael Murray, dives deep into the heart of the timeless question, “What does it mean to become a man?”

“This is the great epic poem of England,” says Murray, who has previously directed numerous ClassicsFest readings for Antaeus. “It includes the entire spectrum of British society, from the highest to the lowest levels. But what particularly interests me are the personal relationships — the human stories that are at the forefront when you work directly from the text, rather than from popular notions about the play that have developed over the centuries.”  More

Dogs and Cats Steal Shakespeare Roles…Actors Furious!

From the creative folks at The Antaeus Company.
Now that’s a way to ask for donations.

The Antaeus Company’s 2015 Season to Open with Henry IV Part I

AntaeusThe Antaeus Company has announced three productions for 2015 beginning with Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I. Directed by Michael Murray, Henry IV, Part I will run March 12 – May 3, with previews beginning March 5. Shakespeare’s growing-up tale of a young man caught between the joys of hanging around London pubs with the drunken and immoral Falstaff, and taking his rightful place beside his father as a prince fighting to maintain the crown amidst civil war, is part comedy and part tragedy. From drunken revelry to the bloody battlefield, this engaging tale of fathers and sons remains one of Shakespeare’s most exciting histories.

“Opening the new season in March, Henry IV, Part I sets up a coming of age theme that is pervasive in all three plays,” suggest Antaeus co-artistic directors Bill Brochtrup, Rob Nagle and John Sloan. “As Antaeus itself continues to grow and change, these questions resonate with us, and we think they will resonate with our audience, too.”  More

Monologues, Scene Work, and Devising The Tempest at Antaeus

Hear ye, hear ye. Tis the time of year to focus on your training and in Southern California you’ll find plenty of opportunities to brush up your Shakespeare. I’ll be highlighting some of the programs available in a series of upcoming articles so you don’t miss out.

Armin Shimerman2First up is a look at what’s being offered by The Antaeus Company, located in North Hollywood. Two 7-week class sections start the year right by helping actors explore structure, rhetorical devices, verse, rhythm and sound in Shakespeare’s text. The first, moderated by Armin Shimerman (pictured left), focuses on monologues, and the second, moderated by Elizabeth Swain, moves into scene work. Students will learn how to extract information on character and action from the text, always within the context of Elizabethan culture, beliefs and rhetoric. The goal is to give the actor a way of approaching any new piece of text as a preparation for the real business of acting Shakespeare. More

Double Casting Announced for Antaeus Company’s Macbeth

Bo Foxworth and Rob Nagle will share the title role in Antaeus Theatre Company’s double-cast production of Macbeth, directed by Jessica Kubzansky, with Tessa Auberjonois and Ann Noble partnering as Lady M. Preview performances begin July 5th and opening nights are July 12 & 13. The run continues through August 26. Talk-backs will follow the performance every Thursday night beginning July 19.

“I’ve always wanted to direct Macbeth in an intimate space,” says Kubzansky, a self-professed ‘Shakespeare addict.’ More

The Antaeus Company Gets Ready for Macbeth

Previews begin July 5 for The Antaeus Company’s production of Macbeth, directed by Jessica Kubzansky. The disturbing tragedy is a compelling psychological and political thriller that follows Macbeth’s transformation from battlefield hero to bloody tyrant, revealing the human soul’s darkest depths.

The cast will include Brian Abraham, Tessa Auberjonois, Christian Barillas, Fran Bennett, Sam Breen, Jane Carr, Paul Culos, Ramon De Ocampo, Joe Delafield, Daniel Dorr, Bo Foxworth, Kimiko Gelman, Steve Hofvendahl, Joe Holt, Jeff Thomas Gardner, Alex Knox, Susan Boyd Joyce, Dylan La Rocque, Jack Lancaster, Ian Littleworth, Aaron Lyons, Saundra McClain, Rob Nagle, Ann Noble, Lorna Raver, Eric Ritter, Ned Schmidtke, Jesse Sharp, Armin Shimerman, John Sloan, Joanna Strapp, James Sutorius, Elizabeth Swain, Kitty Swink, Jason Thomas, Brian Tichnell, Rebekah Tripp, Peter Van Norden, Todd Waring.

Talk Back Thursdays will also be part of the run this year. Following Thursday night performances, members of the cast will meet with the audience to discuss the play and answer questions. Macbeth runs July 5 – August 26, with opening performances on July 12 and 13. Click here for tickets and more information.

Antaeus Announces 2012 Season

North Hollywood’s Antaeus Company has announced its 2012 season, which will include Shakespeare’s Scottish play next summer. The three-play series is The Seagull (March 1 – April 15), Macbeth (July 12 – Aug. 26), and You Can’t Take It With You (Oct. 11 – Nov. 25). This is the first season under the leadership of newly appointed interim artistic directors Tony Amendola, Rob Nagle and John Sloan, who will continue the company’s focus on great ensemble pieces. www.antaeus.org.

Antaeus Online Auction begins September 19

The Antaeus Company is having its first-ever Online Auction and here’s a sneak peek at a few of the items they’ll have up for bidding beginning September 19.

  • A Classics Symposium in Your Home with an Antaeus Company expert on Shakespeare, Chekhov, Commedia Dell’Arte…etc.
  • Lunch or Dinner with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actors Armin Shimerman, Kitty Swink, and special guest Michael Dorn
  • Curated visit to Shareen Vintage Clothing with champagne and desserts!
  • Cooking Lesson for two with “Top Chef” Fan Favorite Fabio Viviani.
    Personal instruction from the Executive Chef of Firenze Osteria 

The Antaeus Online Auction runs September 19 – October 7. Here’s the link to bookmark:  www.biddingforgood.com/antaeus.

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