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Austin Shakespeare in a jazz club: All that and more will happen next season

Michael Barnes
Austin Shakespeare's "Othello" from a previous season. [Contributed]

Austin Shakespeare began with free Shakespeare in the park, not unlike the early outdoor efforts of New York’s now-mammoth Public Theater (the book to read is “Free for All: Joe Papp, The Public and Greatest Theater Story Ever Told” by Kenneth Turan and Joseph Papp). Historically, our local outfit has expanded from one to five offerings per season, of late under the artistic direction of Ann Ciccolella. The troupe keeps its audience on its toes by colonizing four separate venues, one outdoors, two indoors and one mixed. Shakespeare and Ibsen make up the main menu, but staging the gossamer “A Little Night Music” as a series of songs in a jazz club might be the best idea for that Sondheim musical in a long time.

Oct. 13: “Songs from a Little Night Music.” Stephen Sondheim’s charmer of a musical sung at Parker Jazz Club.

Nov. 22-Dec. 8: “As You Like It.” One of Shakespeare’s most endearing comedies is given a musical twist and is staged at the Rollins Studio Theatre.

Feb. 10-March 2, 2020: “Hedda Gabler.” Ibsen’s drama about a trapped woman finds its way to the Rollins Studio Theatre.

April 30-May 24, 2020: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Shakespeare’s dreamy play in the dreamy setting of Zilker Hillside Theater.

June 19-28, 2020: “Two Gentlemen of Verona.” The group’s Young Shakespeare program takes on a comedy with a youthful heart at the Elizabethan Curtain Theatre.


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Austin Shakespeare 2019-2020 Season

When: Oct. 13, 2019-June 28, 2020

Where: Various locations