Shakespeare Festival 2014

It’s off and running! Below is a rundown of the plays. For more info and tickets, visit

The Tempest
• February 14 – November 2, 2014
• Angus Bowmer Theatre
• By William Shakespeare | Directed by Tony Taccone
For 12 years, the exiled Duke Prospero has waited for this moment: Old enemies have sailed too close to his enchanted island, and a mighty storm has forced them ashore. Now it’s time to settle old scores and reclaim his former dukedom for his daughter, Miranda. Aided by supernatural powers, Prospero dispenses justice while overseeing the growing attraction between Miranda and the princely son of one of his foes. In Shakespeare’s romance, sorcery and love transmute vengeance into humility and humanity, making it possible for all to return to a world made new by the power of forgiveness.

The Cocoanuts
• February 16 – November 2, 2014
• Angus Bowmer Theatre
• Music & lyrics by Irving Berlin | Book by George S. Kaufman
• Adapted by Mark Bedard | Directed by David Iver
The service stinks but the gags are four-star in this Marx Brothers romp. Groucho owns a bum hotel in Florida and peddles dubious real estate to gullible Northerners seeking a place in the sun. He’s after a rich society dame, who’s after an eligible match for her daughter, who’s in love with the hotel’s head clerk. Trouble rolls in with the tide when the other Marxes arrive and mama’s eligible match turns out to be anything but. Mark Bedard (Groucho in 2012’s Animal Crackers) will adapt this jazz-age gem with songs by Irving Berlin.

The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window
• February 15 – July 3, 2014
• Angus Bowmer Theatre
• By Lorraine Hansberry | Directed by Juliette Carrillo
It’s 1964, and Sidney Brustein is in his element: a Jewish intellectual in the heart of Greenwich Village, a hotbed of artists, activists and social upheaval. But nothing has brought him happiness—not his bohemian friends, his wife Iris, his failed folkie nightclub, or even his own lofty ideals. Then, when a turbulent political campaign sparks him into action and Iris begins yearning for a different life, he’s forced to decide what’s really worth fighting for. This 50th-anniversary production of a neglected classic by Lorraine Hansberry (“A Raisin in the Sun”) explores the rocky landscape of love, choices and consequences with poignancy and biting humor.

The Comedy of Errors
• February 20 – November 2, 2014
• Thomas Theatre
• By William Shakespeare | Directed by Kent Gash
Antipholus and his servant, Dromio, go looking for family they lost years ago. Traveling from the rural South, they journey to the big city and find themselves in the heart of the Harlem Renaissance. And surprise! Suddenly there are two identical Antipholi and two identical Dromios, which has everybody in town (including significant others) seeing double. To make matters worse, another family member is about to be executed for breaking local law. Laughs fly as the clock ticks in Shakespeare’s farce about the craziest family reunion ever.

Water by the Spoonful
• March 26 – November 2, 2014
• Thomas Theatre
• March 26 – June 20 and September 3 – November 2, 2014
• By Quiara Alegría Hudes | Directed by Shishir Kurup
A janitor. A software mogul. A college grad. An IRS paper-pusher. Although they live thousands of miles apart, these four people share a secret: They’re recovering addicts who’ve found a safe haven in an online chat room. There, with liberal doses of jokes and bullying, they help each other navigate the broken terrain of their lives. But when an Iraq War vet’s tragedy spills over into their cyberhome, everything changes. In this fearless, groundbreaking Pulitzer Prize–winner, worlds virtual and real unfold onstage, challenging our notions of family, forgiveness, community and courage.

A Wrinkle in Time
• April 16 – November 1, 2014
• Angus Bowmer Theatre
• Adapted by Tracy Young | From the book by Madeleine L’Engle
• World Premiere
Meg Murry is the quintessential square peg: a middle-school math whiz with glasses and a short temper. But when she and her strangely gifted little brother set off to find their missing father, they’re catapulted across time and space to a world where being different isn’t just an annoyance—it can cost you your life. Even with the help of curious otherworldly beings, Meg will have to conjure every power she can find, and then some, to put her family back together. OSF presents a new adaptation of this mind-expanding science fiction story that’s still a favorite with the young and young at heart.

Richard III
• June 3 – October 10, 2014
• Allen Elizabethan Theatre
• By William Shakespeare | Directed by James Bundy
The king you love to hate returns. Richard III is the cunning royal reprobate so deformed in body and spirit that even his mother rues the day he was born. His path to England’s throne is murderous. He rules with a tyrant’s fist. He’s backstabbing and bloody. Yet he is so mesmerizing that we dare you to look away. Historically, Richard III may not have been such a villain, but where’s the fun in that? Shakespeare’s reworking of history is tragedy at its best—deep, rich and unapologetic.

Into the Woods
• June 4 – October 11, 2014
• Allen Elizabethan TheatreMusic & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim | Book by James Lapine | Originally directed on Broadway by James Lapine
• Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick | Directed by Amanda Dehnert
How far would you go to make your wish come true? Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (of beanstalk fame), and a baker and his wife find out when they take a journey into the woods. It’s a magical, bewildering place full of witches, wolves, giants and mysterious strangers, where familiar fairy tales get tangled up together. Wishes come true here, but at a price. Even storybook characters must face the music—of which there is plenty—in Sondheim and Lapine’s irreverent Tony Award–winner.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
• June 5 – October 12, 2014
• Allen Elizabethan Theatre
• By William Shakespeare | Directed by Sarah Rasmussen
Young Proteus only has eyes for his hometown sweetheart, Julia. But on a trip to Milan, he gets one look at the lovely Silvia . . . and dumps Julia in a heartbeat. Two problems: Silvia is his best friend’s girl, and Julia won’t be dumped that easily. Stir in some bandits, an outraged father and a bad-mannered dog, and it’s friend versus friend in a wild tale of romantic rivals. This sumptuous production of Shakespeare’s early comedy—with twists that echo in his later plays—honors and mirrors Elizabethan tradition with an all-female cast.

Family Album
• July 1 – August 31, 2014
• Thomas Theatre
• Book & lyrics by Stew | Music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald | Directed by Joanna Settle
• World Premiere
Singer/songwriter Heimvey and his band have been on the road for years, living their middle-aged version of the rock ‘n’ roll dream. But when they stop to visit old friends — a former bandmate, along with an ex-girlfriend who has created a new kind of life that blends art and family — they all begin to question the choices they made. This rollicking, irreverent musical by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, the team behind the Tony Award–winning hit “Passing Strange,” takes wicked aim at the tradeoffs and dilemmas facing anyone trying reconcile the dreams of youth with the practical realities of grown-up life.

The Great Society
• July 23 – November 1, 2014
• Angus Bowmer Theatre
• By Robert Schenkkan | Directed by Bill Rauch
• World Premiere
The tumultuous beginning of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency that Robert Schenkkan presented in “All the Way” (2012) continues in part two, “The Great Society.” In the years from 1965 to 1968, LBJ struggles to fight a “war on poverty” even as his war in Vietnam spins out of control. Besieged by political opponents, Johnson marshals all his political wiles to try to pass some of the most important social programs in U.S. history, while the country descends into chaos over the war and backlash against civil rights. This American Revolutions–developed world premiere is an unflinching examination of the morality of power.