- The Washington Times - Monday, February 27, 2006

A new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” and an 18th-century English comedy adapted by Thornton Wilder and Washington’s own Ken Ludwig are the first two productions scheduled for Shakespeare Theatre Company’s 2006-2007 season, announced yesterday by Michael Kahn, the company’s artistic director.

Three plays by the Bard — two of them under Mr. Kahn’s direction — are also scheduled as part of a previously announced six-month citywide festival, called “Shakespeare in Washington,” debuting in January. Mr. Kahn will be curator of that event, which was conceived by Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser to involve some 40 area cultural institutions in a celebration of the playwright’s influence and his works’ relevance to modern times.

“Enemy,” adapted by University of Chicago professor Nicholas Rudall and directed by Norway’s Kjetil Bang-Hansen, will be staged Aug. 29 through Oct. 22 and will commemorate the centennial of Ibsen’s death (1828-1906).

It will be followed by “The Beaux’ Stratagem” (Nov. 1 through Dec. 31), another production directed by Mr. Kahn.

“Stratagem,” the seldom-seen 1707 comedy by George Farquhar, was considered a very popular play in its time. It was given new life in a version left unfinished by Mr. Wilder and completed by Mr. Ludwig at the suggestion of Mr. Wilder’s nephew, Tappan Wilder of Chevy Chase.

Also scheduled for the new season: “Richard III,” one of Shakespeare’s best-known tragedies, starring past Helen Hayes Award winner Geraint Wyn Davies, will run Jan. 16 through March 18. “Titus Andronicus” — a so-called revenge tragedy never performed by the company — will be staged April 3 through May 20. It will be directed by Australia’s Gale Edwards, whose previous directing credits here include both “Richard III” and “Hamlet.”

The season concludes with actor Jeffrey Carlson in “Hamlet” (June 5 through July 29), described by Mr. Kahn as “a play about a very young man discovering everything for the first time.”

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