6 great plays, new faces, and returning favorites!
We’re so excited to have the following plays and directors for our next season: the FIRST Tuesday of each month!
Thanks to our Readings Coordinator Kevin Manley for reviewing all the submissions and plays, and for selecting our season! Some of these plays we’ve not done in QUITE some time (if ever!), and we’re excited to dive into these works with all of you!
January and February: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, led by Juliana Van Riper
TL;DR (may contain spoilers): Valentine and Proteus are best friends, except Proteus is disloyal to his girlfriend in pursuit of Valentine’s fiance. There’s a dog. Everyone gets married in the end, though.
Two best friends, Proteus and Valentine, travel to Milan where they both fall in love with Silvia. Silvia loves Valentine, but Proteus pursues her despite the fact he has a girlfriend at home. After an apology, Proteus and Valentine reconcile, Proteus loves his girlfriend again, and both couples marry.
Juliana Van Riper has been acting for over 25 years. Her Shakespeare experience includes productions at the Coronado Playhouse directed by the late Keith Anderson. She has played Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Jessica in The Merchant of Venice. She started getting involved with Shakespeare in high school and her first director was Patrick McBride, playing Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has been teaching theatre and music the last decade and a half and have directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream twice.
March and April: Measure for Measure, led by Heather LaForge
TL;DR (may contain spoilers): Angelo rules as a religious tyrant, tries to manipulate a nun to sleep with him, is foiled, and ultimately punished.
The Duke leaves Angelo in charge of Vienna, where he quickly condemns Claudio to death for immoral behaviour. Angelo offers to pardon Claudio if his sister, Isabella, sleeps with him. Isabella agrees but has Angelo’s fiance switch places with her. The Duke returns to spare Claudio, punish Angelo, and propose to Isabella.
Heather LaForge is the Artistic Director for Groundworks Theatre Arts here in San Diego. In 2008, she received her Ph.D. in Theatre from UC San Diego, where she taught theatre history, theory, performance, film, and writing courses and won an Excellence in Teaching Award for her outstanding work. Additionally, she has published in the theatre field and has presented at conferences both in the US and Ireland. Heather has worked with multiple theatre organizations throughout her career as a National Director, Director, Dramaturg, Education Director, Teacher, and more. Her directing experience includes The Laramie Project, Matilda, Tuck Everlasting, All My Sons, Freedom of the City, The Addams Family, A Piece of My Heart and many more. She also works in the Education Department for Broadway Licensing, writing curriculum and educational materials for licensed musicals and plays.
May and June: All’s Well That Ends Well, led by Lalitte Stolper
TL;DR: Helen saves the King’s life, he gives her his son to marry, who runs away from her, and she tricks him into impregnating her. Everything ends happily.
Helen heals the King of France, and the King grants her permission to marry Bertram, the man she loves. Bertram rejects her and leaves a list of tasks that she must do to have him acknowledge their marriage. She follows him to Italy, completes all the tasks, and Bertram accepts her as his wife.
Lalitte Stolper has a degree in English Literature from Oxford University, and studied Shakespeare and Renaissance drama as part of that degree. As a student, she played Olivia in Twelfth Night and Calpurnia in Julius Caesar. She worked in theatre for two years as a director, including a shortened version of Measure for Measure in a pub in Fulham, London.
July and August: Henry IV Part 2, led by Kim Keeline
TL;DR: (may contain spoilers): King Henry IV fights off a growing rebellion while his son drinks and robs people; his son redeems himself. King Henry IV is dying; Falstaff is … Falstaff-ing; Prince John is unethical; and Hal becomes King.
King Henry IV suffers from illness, so his youngest son Prince John fights the rebels, while Prince Hal prepares to be king. Meanwhile, Hal’s friend Falstaff causes trouble, recruits, and speaks ill of Hal. Henry dies, and Hal becomes King Henry V. He banishes Falstaff from court, ready to wage war on France.
Kim Keeline is a writer and teacher who fell in love with Shakespeare when she was 12 and her parents took her to a production of Twelfth Night at the Old Globe. She eventually earned her Ph.D. in English Literature, specializing in Shakespeare and his time period. She gives lectures on the history and literature she loves through various groups and otherwise keeps busy. See more about her at kimkeeline.com
September and October: Macbeth, led by Tom Haine
TL;DR (may contain spoilers): Macbeth hears that he is going to be king; he and Lady Macbeth kill people so he can become king; both of them die.
Three witches tell the Scottish general Macbeth that he will be King of Scotland. Encouraged by his wife, Macbeth kills the king, becomes the new king, and kills more people out of paranoia. Civil war erupts to overthrow Macbeth, resulting in more death.
Tom Haine has extensive directing credits which include Tartuffe, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth, Hedda Gabler, You Can’t Take It With You, Bury the Dead, Rumors, Dearly Departed, Nunsense and Julius Caesar. He has received formal training in directing from the Berkeley Rep and from Cambridge University in the UK. He has also trained with the Old Globe’s Jonathan McMurtry, Dakin Matthews, and Brendon Fox and with the San Diego Rep’s Todd Salovey and Sam Woodhouse. He is a graduate of the British American Drama Academy Mid-Summer Oxford Program (BADA) in 2010 and practices immigration and criminal law.
November and December: Henry VIII, led by Charlie Riendeau
TL;DR (may contain spoilers): Cardinal Wolsey is shifty; Henry divorces Katherine and marries Anne; Queen Elizabeth is the most extraordinary being ever to be born, praise her.
King Henry VIII listens to Cardinal Wolsey too much and gives him power, which the Cardinal uses to convict a duke of treason. Henry meets Anne Boleyn, divorces his wife Katharine, and marries Anne. Anne gives birth to Princess Elizabeth who the Archbishop prophesies will become great.
Charlie Riendeau has participated in three Old Globe Shakespeare Festivals, several years of their winter seasons, and the first two Old Globe Educational Tours. He has acted in over 100 full productions, directed 25, and has participated in numerous readings for various theaters around the county. He has performed in London and New York and holds a degree in Theatre from SDSU.
We will continue to meet virtually on the first Tuesday of the month via Zoom, as long as it is recommended/required to do so.
Hilarious TL;DR [“too long, didn’t read”] notes and summaries from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
Photo Credits (Open Readings): All’s Well: Bard on the Beach; Henry VIII: Royal Shakespeare Company; Henry IV Part 2: Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Macbeth: Classical Theatre of Harlem; Measure for Measure: Fiasco Theatre; Two Gentlemen of Verona: Hofstra University