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Shakespeare Fest Looks at Battle of the Sexes

April 28, 2008 12:15 PM
New Wave staff newwave@tulane.edu

For its 15th season of professional theater, the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane presents a colorful trio of comedies that explore the battle of the sexes.

Taming of the Shrew

Director Ron Gural sets the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane's production of Taming of the Shrew in the New Orleans Italian-American community of the 1950s. (Photo by Brad Robbert)

The summer season begins with The Taming of the Shrew (May 29–June 14). Set to the music of Louis Prima, Shrew is a celebration of life, love and all things Italian-American in 1950s New Orleans.

Following a record-setting preview in January, the comedy returns, featuring Lorenzo Gonzalez and Rebecca Frank reprising their roles as Petrucchio and Kate. After two nights of previews, the show officially opens on May 31 with a post-show gala celebration.

Next the festival stages As You Like It (June 26–July 12), in which Rosalind must become a man to make a man of Orlando.

Director Sean Patterson's reimagining of Shakespeare's popular comedy takes place in a 1930s urban park filled with romance. It features the talents of local favorites Trina Beck, James Bartelle and Lara Grice. The opening night performance on June 28 includes a post-show reception with the cast.

The Shakespeare Festival's high school training program, All Things Shakespeare!, presents Twelfth Night (July 23–July 26). A rollicking comedy with a shipwreck, lost loves and gender confusion, Twelfth Night presents a world where everyone desires the person who doesn't desire them.

This year, the Shakespeare Festival continues its crowd-pleasing Lagniappe stage presentations with two new offerings. Mad Wenches and Wondrous Forward Women (June 4–July 16), a series of new plays by female playwrights that explore the world of Shakespeare and the age of Elizabeth I, will be presented as readings.

What, Has This Thing Appeared Again Tonight? (July 25–Aug. 2) is a play conceived, written and directed by the festival's associate artistic director, Jim Fitzmorris. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the NOLA Project Theatre Company, in a joint production with the Shakespeare Festival, returns to New Orleans in search of artistic inspiration born of disaster to answer the question, will they discover who, or what, “The Thing” is before it's too late?

Mainstage productions are held in Tulane University's Lupin Theatre; Lagniappe stage productions are held in Tulane's McWilliams Hall Lab Theatre.

The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane's 15th season is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, Entergy Louisiana, Lupin Foundation, Darwin and Mary Jane Fenner Foundation, Cahn Family Foundation, Arts Council of New Orleans, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation and Whitney Bank.

For more information or to make reservations, contact the Shakespeare Festival box office at 504-865-5105, extension 2.