Fort Worth — The 2016 season for Fort Worth's Trinity Shakespeare Festival at Texas Christian University will have an interesting pairing of the two plays with a season in the title: A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Winter's Tale, two plays that fall under the comedy category (Winter is really a late romance), and both of which involve fantastical elements (Midsummer more than Winter). That's interesting because Trinity Shakes' two-play seasons have typically been one comedy and one tragedy (well, except for 2014 and 2012; see list below).
At least through 2016—which is the 400th anniversary of Willy Shakes' death in 1616—Trinity Shakes will have done 16 of the Bard's plays without repeating any of them. Remember when it was commonly thought that only a dozen of his plays were producable, from a box office standpoint?
Midsummer will be directed by Stephen Brown-Fried, who makes a return to TSF after a two-year absence (from 2010 to 2014 he directed Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice and Julius Caesar). Winter's Tale will be directed by TSF Artistic Director T.J. Walsh, who has directed one play in each season. (Related: Check out our review of the recent screening of The Winter's Tale from the Kenneth Branagh Theatre, starring Judi Dench).
It's amazing that TSF has managed to go this far without having done Midsummer, arguably the Bard's most popular work. The group can clearly go into a ninth year without repeating works, considering there are still a few that are not all that uncommon: notably Othello and Richard III, but also Anthony and Cleopatra, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Cymbeline or Pericles. Perhaps TSF will do something completely unexpected, such as Timon of Athens or Measure for Measure.
Below is the list of shows in Trinity Shakespeare's eight seasons. Above is TSF's video announcement of the 2016 season, which includes images from every production through 2015. And set to Uptown Funk to boot.
- 2016: A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Winter's Tale
- 2015: Love's Labour's Lost, King Lear
- 2014: The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors
- 2013: The Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar
- 2012: The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Merchant of Venice
- 2011: As You Like It, Macbeth
- 2010: Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing
- 2009: Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet
Which plays could come in 2017 and beyond?