And here's season news from Fort Worth's Stolen Shakespeare Guild, which has two major changes. First, the group is moving from the calendar-year season it has done since they were founded in 2004, and to a fall-to-summer season. (This means that the final show of the previously announced 2012 season becomes the first show in the 2012-'13 season.) Next, the group has a new artistic associate: Nathan Autrey, who was one of the original founders of the now-defunct Broken Gears Project Theatre, and has directed for Stolen Shakes before.
The group stays true to its mission of Shakespeare, plus mixing it up with other classics and a musical. This year, besides Shakes, they stick with the 20th century.
The season kicks off with a Shakespeare festival that includes A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Birth of Merlin, "From the Shakespeare Apocrypha" by William Rowley and William Shakespeare (although it's largely thought that Shakespeare was not one of the co-authors). Then, in 2013, we get The Winter's Tale, William Inge's Picnic and the musical Guys and Dolls. With Picnic, Stolen Shakes beings a five-year exploration of Pulitzer Prize-winning plays. (They just ended a three-year Jane Austen cycle.)
All shows happen in the Sanders Theatre at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.
Here's the breakdown:
Stolen Shakespeare Fall Festival, "Merriment and Magic"
Oct. 26-Nov. 11, 2012
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare and directed by Jason and Lauren Morgan
The Birth Of Merlin "From the Shakespeare Apocrypha" by William Rowley and William Shakespeare; and directed by Nathan Autrey
When two pairs of star-crossed lovers, a troop of inept amateur actors, a feuding pair of supernatural sprites and a love potion gone awry all come together in a magical moonlit forest, the result is an unequaled mixture of entertainment and enchantment in a Midsummer Night's Dream. Also, from the Shakespeare Apocrypha comes The Birth Of Merlin in which the Wizard Merlin must battle his father the Devil and help King Uther win the love of a beautiful Saxon princess while protecting England from the Saxon hoards which are determined to invade and destroy the realm.
The Winter's Tale
Feb. 15-March 3, 2013
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Jason and Lauren Morgan
"There is a disease that can twist men's hearts and make them mad, and the name of that disease is jealousy." So begins one of William Shakespeare's last plays—a fascinating and unique combination of intensity and whimsy. When King Leontes unfairly accuses his wife of infidelity, he sets off a terrible chain of events. But this is not one of Shakespeare's tragedies. It's a romance, and one with a healthy dose of fancy and surprise. A story of redemption and the strength of friendship and true love, The Winter's Tale is perhaps Shakespeare's most endearing story.
April 19-May 5
by William Inge
Directed by Bill Sizemore
The Stolen Shakespeare Guild is proud to announce this new series and will be presenting one play a year over the next five years that has won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Our first pick is the winner for 1953, William Inge's Picnic.
It's balmy Labor Day in the American Heartland, and a group of women are preparing for a picnic...but they'll have to lay a lot on the line before they can lay out the checkered cloths. When a handsome young drifter named Hal arrives, his combination of uncouth manners and titillating charm sends the women reeling, especially the beautiful Madge. When Hal is forced out of town, Madge must decide whether their fleeting encounter is worth changing the course of her life. Sensual, passionate, and delightfully funny, Picnic is a timeless American classic about the line between restraint and desire.
Guys and Dolls
July 26-August 11
Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Based on The Idyll of Sarah Brown and characters by Damon Runyon
Directed by Nathan Autrey
Guys and Dolls is a sure bet that soars with the spirit of Broadway! Set in vivid, mid-20th century New York City and buoyed by a Frank Loesser score that is among the most immortal works in theater history, this American classic has been called "the perfect musical comedy." Featuring an eclectic ensemble of high-rolling gambler "guys," well-meaning missionary "dolls" and brassy voiced showgirls, Guys and Dolls is a toe-tappingly fun and romantic fable about gambling men and the strong-willed women who love them. Featuring songs: "Luck Be a Lady," "A Bushel and a Peck," "I've Never Been in Love Before," "If I Were a Bell," "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat "and many more.
For more info on the season and subscriptions, visit www.stolenshakespeareguild.org.