The Illinois Shakespeare Festival has announced plans for its 40th anniversary season, taking place next summer at Ewing Cultural Center in Bloomington. The 2017 summer season will include one bona fide Shakespeare play and two adaptations.
The real-live Shakespeare play will be A Midsummer Night's Dream, always a popular choice. This magical comedy, full of fairies, foolish mortals in love and an amateur acting troupe trying to put on a terrible play, will open the season on June 30, playing till August 11.
|An image from the 2009 Midsummer directed by Deb Alley. Photo by Pete Guither.|
The Illinois Shakespeare Festival has a tendency to offer one comedy, one drama and one "other." This time, there are two contenders for that "other" spot, with Chris Coleman's Shakespeare's Amazing Cymbeline the first. Coleman is the artistic director at Portland Center Stage in Oregon, and his six-actor adaptation of Cymbeline, produced at PCS in 2012, represented the first time Shakespeare was performed by that theater. The image below is from that production.
By my count, Cymbeline has only been done twice by the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, making it a rare choice. If you need to check Cymbeline off your bucket Shakespeare list, this is the time, even in its reduced, six-person state. It will be performed between July 1 and August 12, 2017 in the outdoor theater at Ewing.
Tickets to all three of these Illinois Shakespeare Festival offerings will go on sale later in 2016. Keep an eye on the Illinois Shakes website and Facebook page for details.