2018-2019 Season, Austin Shakespeare
Austin Shakespeare will kick off its 35th season with a costumed staged reading of Shakespeare’s legendary romance Antony and Cleopatra running Sept. 29 – 30 on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. at Austin Ventures Studio Theater at Ballet Austin. The professional company’s first full production will be Tennessee Williams’ steamy masterpiece, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which will play Nov. 16 - Dec. 3 in the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, where Austin Shakespeare is a resident company. Next up, Austin Shakespeare will delight audiences with renowned British playwright, Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink in the Rollins Feb. 15 - March 3, 2019. Then, Austin Shakespeare will bring Shakespeare’s sensuous language to life with free Shakespeare in the park with the dark romance The Merchant of Venice, May 8 - 26, 2019, at Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theatre.
- The passion of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra will be brought to life by celebrated actress, Franchelle Dorn (Medea) and Robert Ramirez, head of the University of Texas’s acting program, in a battle of wits and undeniable magnetism.
- Tennessee Williams’ favorite story of an ex-football player now alcoholic, who struggles with his strong-willed wife and father, features Gwendolyn Kelso, who awakened audiences with her Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Ev Lunning as “Big Daddy”.
- Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink is a beautiful story of a rebellious poet who has her portrait painted by a mysterious artist while traveling in India. This unusual play will feature Austin favorite, Babs George (Merry Wives of Windsor). “From the 1930s to the 1980s, the play interweaves stories of art and desire, just as our audiences enjoyed so much in the company’s past productions of Stoppard’s Arcadia and The Invention of Love,” said Austin Shakespeare Artistic Director Ann Ciccolella.
- Beginning with an Italian carnivale in Zilker Park, The Merchant of Venice is a controversial darkly romantic story of the wealthy Portia who, disguised as a man, confronts Shylock, the capitalist moneylender, to save the love of her life. From revenge to redemption, this unusual story ends in the promise of hope.
- Young Shakespeare’s Macbeth, produced with a cast of teen actors who portray everything from witches to heroes, will be directed by Ann Ciccolella and Nancy Eyermann, and runs June 13 - 23, 2019, Thursdays – Sundays at 8 p.m., at Richard Garriott de Cayeux’s replica of the Elizabethan Curtain Theatre. This will mark the 11th year of the intensive six-week program, which competitively auditions Austin-area teenagers for a professionally directed and designed Shakespeare production.
ABOUT AUSTIN SHAKESPEARE: Founded in 1984 and the only professional classical theater company in Central Texas, Austin Shakespeare presents theater of the highest quality with an emphasis on the plays of William Shakespeare, staging performances that are fresh, bold, imaginative, thought-provoking and eminently accessible -- connecting the truths of the past with the challenges and possibilities of today. In the fall and spring, Austin Shakespeare also produces plays by Shaw, Schiller, and Stoppard at The Long Center for the Performing Arts Rollins Studio Theatre. Austin Shakespeare’s ongoing “Shakespeare Aloud” reading group and “Artist’s Way” sessions invite new participants weekly and the company’s education program 20/20 sends professional actors into the schools to encourage love of language. In 2018, Austin Shakespeare was honored with a grant from the prestigious Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program.