Shakespeare. For real.
Artistic Director Tom Delise and Resident Company Member Chris Cotterman discuss the 2019 season.
Our 2019 season offers the full breadth of the early-modern-theater experience, starting with the BSF premiere of one of Shakespeare’s late-period masterpieces (Cymbeline), continuing with two of his most beloved works (Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet), and followed by his hilarious send-off to one of his finest creations: the ultimate rapscallion, Falstaff (The Merry Wives of Windsor); we close our season with an absurd, bawdy, meta-theatrical triumph by Francis Beaumont (The Knight of the Burning Pestle).
February 15-March 10
Set in ancient Britain, Cymbeline is among Shakespeare’s final triumphs. Masterfully blending comedy, tragedy, romance, and adventure—and featuring one of the early modern stage’s greatest female leads—Cymbeline (like its contemporary The Winter’s Tale) considers the implications of jealousy run wild, and the healing powers of pardon and forgiveness.
April 12-May 5
Considered by many to be the greatest play ever written, Hamlet is everything Shakespeare wrote distilled to a single play. Funny, thrilling, and heartbreaking, Hamlet is a tour de force. It has represented many things to many people, and stands as shorthand for “Theatre.” Strip away the pretense, though, and what’s left is still a masterpiece. We present it in original pronunciation, as audiences first heard it.
ROMEO AND JULIET
June 28-July 21
Perhaps William Shakespeare’s best-known play, Romeo and Juliet is THE classic of youth on the cusp of adulthood, and star-crossed love torn apart by passion and vengeance. Like life, it’s a play that’s half comedy and half tragedy; Romeo and Juliet will make you laugh out loud before it breaks your heart.
THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR
July 26-August 18
The story goes that Queen Elizabeth I was so enamored with the character of Falstaff that she demanded to see a play about sweet Jack in love. Shakespeare delivered as only he could, with one of his most free-wheeling and manic comedies. Rolling into Windsor flat broke, Falstaff decides he’ll woo two wealthy women—instead, he becomes the butt of every joke they can imagine.
THE KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLE by Francis Beaumont
We’re delighted to close our season with the Baltimore premiere of Beaumont’s under-performed gem. A sendup of courtly romance, The Knight of the Burning Pestle is the reason we stage Shakespeare’s contemporaries: Bill never wrote anything this bawdy or satirical.
A normal play about a London grocer is interrupted by the audience and rewritten on the fly to become an increasingly absurd chivalric epic that leaves no target un-pricked.