With Shakespeare and Company’s Winter Studio Festival of Plays drawing to a belated conclusion, because of a fierce winter storm, and the press announcement of the 2019 season coming up, it seems a particularly opportune time to publish the Podcast of my interview with Artistic Director Allyn Burrows about the highly successful 2018 season.
With a severely pared-down, but fascinating Macbeth (only one guest at the banquet!) and a witty, engaging plein air As You Like It, and the ambitious selection of modern plays continuing the precedent of Allyn Burrows’ first season, it proved an exciting summer.
I missed Carey Crim’s Morning After Grace, but not any of the four superb productions that followed it. Ryan Winkles and Jonathan Epstein under Nicole Ricciardi’s direction made our hair stand on end in their toxic struggle in Strindberg’s Creditors in the version by the Scottish playwright, David Greig. Tina Packer brilliantly directed Malcolm Ingram and Tamara Hickey in Simon Stephens’ Heisenberg. Terrence McNally’s honest, moving account of the AIDS epidemic and its effects on the relationships of survivors and parents, Mothers and Sons received a nigh-perfect presentation under the direction of James Warwick, with unforgettable performances by Bill Mootos, David Gow, and Annette Miller. Taylor Mac’s Hir provided a bracing after-season, another, brutally honest treatment of gender and destructive family relationships. In this, Alice Reagan directed a virtuosic cast: Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Adam Huff, John Hadden, and Jack Doyle in a play that required split-second comic timing.
In addition to his thoughts on these productions, Mr. Burrows shares some of his wisdom about directing, acting and actors, and, of course, Shakespeare. Theater-makers as well as audiences will find his thoughts profound and enlightening.