Delaware Shakespeare’s two full productions in 2020 are united by water, by storms, by shipwrecks, and also by music, by magic, by love, by family members forgiven and restored.
The 18th annual Summer Festival will be The Tempest. Producing Artistic Director David Stradley will direct the production, his first Summer Festival show since 2016’s The Comedy of Errors.
“It is my personal favorite Shakespeare play,” says Stradley, “and I can’t wait to explore it with a terrific team of Del Shakes artists.”
Set on a magical island that is “full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not,” The Tempest will be set in the round – going back to the configuration that audiences loved for The Taming of the Shrew and Henry V. Prospero, the banished ruler of Milan, has lived in exile for fifteen years with daughter Miranda, mastering spells. When Prospero conjures a storm to bring those who betrayed him to his island, Prospero has to decide between forgiveness and revenge.
Many of Prospero’s spells are cast using music and song. If there is a Shakespeare play that has more music in it than the The Tempest, it is Twelfth Night. The romantic comedy will be the centerpiece of the fifth annual fall Community Tour, bringing Shakespeare to the full spectrum of humanity by traveling to nontraditional locations such as prisons, community centers, and transitional living facilities. This production marks an exciting development. For the first time in its history, Delaware Shakespeare has commissioned two amazing artists to write a BRAND NEW MUSICAL ADAPTATION OF TWELFTH NIGHT. That’s right, Del Shakes is doing a new musical!
Liz Filios, who played Jaques and Portia for Del Shakes in the 2017 and 2018 tours of As You Like It and The Merchant of Venice, and Broadway performer Robi Hager will be the creatives behind this musical. Their adaptation will, in part, explore the parallels between Viola, washed ashore on a strange land after a shipwreck and having to hide her identity to advance, and the Latina immigrant experience.
“Our Community Tour audience always react very positively to the live music in the productions,” says Stradley. “I’m excited to offer up even more beautiful harmony in this new musical. In addition, the tour is all about increasing access to Shakespeare. Spanish is the first language for some of our tour audiences and this adaptation will feature some dialogue in their native tongue, opening up the play for further enjoyment.”
Watch the website for more announcements of 2020 programming, including:
- Shakespeare & St. Valentine (which this year will include a stop in Lewes)
- the location of our annual Shakespeare Day
- Shakespeare, Poe & Fiends
- and the return of our popular fundraiser, Delaware in Love