This year marks the 400th anniversary of WilliamShakespeare’s death, but a man whose works endure for so long is never really gone. The season of the Bard is well underway — here’s where to see his works, presented both traditionally and with a few twists, around the city.
An epic journey, a miracle or two and an original score performed by storyteller-musicians PigPen Theatre Co., all directed by Royal Shakespeare Company veteran Trevor Nunn — “Pericles” has never been better, and it’s just been extended through April 10 at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center.
Whether Shakespeare actually wrote this play has been in dispute for 300 years, buta language analysisdone last year says it’s the genuine article. But women dressed as men, a duke presuming any girl would be lucky to have him and miscommunication? Sounds like Shakespeare to us. Find out for yourself, and for free at that — just RSVP through theIrondale Theater’s website. Otherwise, tickets at the door are $20 for seats, $10 for standing room, all subject to availability. Through April 9, Tuesday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
The mission of theNew York Shakespeare Exchangeis to bring the Bard’s words to life for new audiences with creative productions and new venues. For his adaptation of a play most people can recite at least half by heart, director Ross Williams made it new again by distributing the title role among 10 actors of various ages, ethnicities and sexual orientations, to reflect that all of us can relate to the Danish prince’s struggle with his own mortality.Read our interviewwith Williams, then check outHamlet10in previews now and opening March 28 at the Flamboyan Theater.
This year is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and BAM Cinemateque is hosting the OGs of the Royal Shakespeare Company for a six-week residency starting March 24 with stagings of “Richard II” starring David Tennant, “Henry IV Parts I & II” and “Henry V” that combine to tell the story of three generations of royal family drama, accompanied by talks with the directors and stage managers who crafted these acclaimed productions, acting workshops, an exhibition of rare artifacts and more. Though tickets for “Richard II” are sold out, you can try for day-of tickets at the box office or enter the lottery for $30 day-of seats throughTodayTix.
The sixth annual Sonnet Slam returns on April 22 to Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell, where all 154 of the Bard’s sonnets will be performed by players of all ages ranging from amateurs to professionals — you may catch Broadway and film stars popping by for a fun afternoon.
For a second year, the Stratford Festival is broadcasting Shakespeare’s works as performed at the prestigious annual Canadian summer session. The recordings were made using 10 cameras and full surround-sound technology, and will be screened atSymphony Space on the Upper West Side. If you enjoy comparing productions, the Ontario-based creative team chose many of the same plays as the troupes here in NYC — the series begins April 24 with “Hamlet,” then “The Adventures of Pericles” on May 8, and concludes with “The Taming of the Shrew” on May 29.
“The Taming of the Shrew” gets its own twist this summer, with an all-female cast tackling the comedy about the outrageous things men will do for love, and the desperation of women to break free of their societal obligations as the first production of the Public Theater’s annual Free Shakespeare in the Park, beginning May 24. Then on July 19, “Trolius and Cressida” takes on fighting and loving in the time of the Trojan War.