2015 went so well that, for the first time since our founding in 2010, Bad Quarto Productions can plan years into the future instead of from one project to the next, and we are happy to announce what I hope will be our first ever regular season of plays for 2016. We’re pleased to offer a season of plays that speaks to the core of our mission….
Hamlet (The First Quarto)
March 26 - April 10 -- “To be, or not to be, Ay there's the point,”
It’s possible that no play stands for Shakespeare as well as Hamlet, but before Hamlet was HAMLET, it was printed in 1603 as “THE Tragicall Historie of HAMLET Prince of Denmarke By William Shake-speare,” with performances advertised in London, Oxford, Cambridge, and elsewhere. But this version of the play differs considerably from the later ones printed in quarto form in 1604, and in the Folio in 1623, and offers us a glimpse into the Hamlet that debuted sometime in the last days of the 16th century or the first days of the 17th. We’re excited to bring to life the earliest stage version of one of the greatest dramatic works ever written.
What, Lamb! What, Ladybird!
by Charlene V. Smith
Summer -- “What light through yonder window breaks?”
If Hamlet is Shakespeare’s greatest tragic hero, it’s easy to make the case that Juliet is his greatest tragic heroine. In this unique examination of four centuries of performance and scholarship, actress and Artistic Director of the Washington DC based Brave Spirits Theatre Charlene V. Smith explores our conflicting relationship with a character who is at once an impulsive girl and a courageous woman creating her own future. Smith explores whether we should consider Juliet a warning or a role model.
The Life and Death of Jack Straw
Fall -- “When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then the gentleman?”
King Richard II had one of the most tumultuous reigns of any king in English history, but before he was deposed by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke in events Shakespeare dramatized in Richard II, he was very nearly killed in progressive peasant rebellion. Written during a period of famine and economic depression, The Life and Death of Jack Straw explores, in 1593, the dangerous allure of ill-conceived communist revolution (centuries before the term was used), and the equally disastrous results of leaders ignoring the needs of their people. In our own era of political polarization, it’s a remarkably centrist view from the early 1590s.
We’ll be able to lock in our dates for What, Lamb! What, Ladybird! and The Life and Death of Jack Straw as we get a little bit further along in the process of casting and hiring directors for those plays. I am excited to be returning to the director’s chair myself for Hamlet. Along the way, we hope to host a number of workshops and other special events, so stay tuned for those.
I also want to take a moment to invite you to join us on Facebook (@BadQuartoProductions), Twitter (@BadQuartoPlays), and Instagram (@BadQuartoProductions). You may have noticed that our web domain, www.BadQuarto.org, currently points to our Facebook, but that is another thing we’re looking to change for our 2016 season.
We hope to see you at our shows this season, and hope you’ll stay in touch. And we wish you all a new year filled with joy and prosperity.