DREWMATURGY: Drew Writes the Season Intro

The Classical Paradox By Drew Lichtenberg, Literary Manager Every classical theatre company operates on what we can call the classical paradox. This paradox rests on two principles: (1) that our classical heritage must be preserved lest it be forgotten, and (2) that this heritage cannot be preserved unless it is continuously expanded, rediscovered and redefined. These two imperatives—seemingly opposed—instead mutually reinforce each other. You cannot have one without the other. Look at our 2016–2017 Season. Half the titles are familiar: …

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Prosecast: Romeo & Juliet


Subscribe to the Prosecast on iTunes Subscribe to the Prosecast on SoundCloud The latest Prosecast takes you inside the Shakespeare Theatre production of Romeo & Juliet.  Hear about teenage antics, the power of love and Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy. Recorded at the Shakespeare Theatre Company by: Drew Lichtenberg, Literary Manager Teddy Roger, Associate Director of Audience Development and Promotions Amy Huges, Publicist Andrew Veenstra, Romeo Sound engineer and editor: Ryan Gravett

A letter from Michael Kahn about ROMEO & JULIET

Dear Friend, In my opinion, Romeo & Juliet is an ideal Shakespeare play for a young director to work on, for new audiences to discover and for familiar ones to reconsider. There is always more to discover in this play—scenes that have been forgotten, lines that have been cut—beyond the famous phrases. The play seems so familiar to us as high school homework that it can be surprising to see it onstage, the way it was meant to be experienced. …

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Killing Joys: Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet


By Courtney Lehmann  “See what a scourge is laid upon your hate, That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.” act 5, scene 3 In his eulogy for Shakespeare, Ben Johnson made the prescient observation that Shakespeare was “not for an age, but for all time.” The same could be said of Romeo & Juliet. In fact, long before Romeo & Juliet was a play by Shakespeare, it was a legend that hearkened back to the sixth canto …

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UP NEXT: THE SECRET GARDEN An interview with David Armstrong, Director of The Secret Garden


What brought you to this particular show? There are very few plays or musicals that I have directed more than once over the course of my career, but this will be the fourth time that I will stage The Secret Garden. It is almost 20 years since the last time, and I am thrilled to be revisiting this rich and compelling material. Of course, the musical is based on the beloved novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett—an amazingly modern woman who was …

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MAPPING THE PLAY. Juliet: Immortal Lover, Excellent Pen-Pal


By Anna Alison Brenner, Artistic Fellow         For over 70 years, people have sent letters to Verona, Italy asking for the guidance of one of the most well-known lovers in popular culture: Shakespeare’s Juliet. Volunteers have responded to the letters over the years, but by 1972 the volume of mail sent to Verona had become overwhelming, necessitating a more formalized collective of letter-answerers. That’s when, according to Giovanna Tamassia, her father created the Club di Giulietta, a group of 20 Verona …

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FACES AND VOICES: Their First Time: The cast of Romeo & Juliet reflect on their introduction to Shakespeare


By Hannah Hessel Ratner, Audience Enrichment Manager First times can be magical. This fall, nearly 5,000 students will see Romeo & Juliet—for many, it will be their first Shakespeare play. Not so long ago, the cast of Romeo & Juliet experienced the same thing. From classrooms to bedroom bookshelves, sitting in the audience to taking the stage, their experiences reflect something vital. After over 400 years, the work of Shakespeare  is still sparking hope and excitement in young minds. As …

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ABOUT THE PLAY: The Birth of Modern Tragedy


By Drew Lichtenberg, Production Dramaturg For anyone who knows their Greek tragedy, the six o’clock news is a monstrosity. Invariably, the news anchors will list a series of unfortunate or merely accidental events, cocking a raised eyebrow and uttering, in blithe indifference to Aristotle, “tragic developments today …” Most often, there is no “fatal flaw” (or hamartia), no king or Roman hero brought low by fate and the gods. Somewhere in the history of mankind, “tragedy” went from a specific …

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ABOUT THE ARTIST: Triple-Threat Shakespeare: Alan Paul on Directing Shakespeare, Musicals and Romeo & Juliet

Paul Alan

By Laura Henry Buda, Associate Director of Communications When Alan Paul was about to graduate from Northwestern’s undergraduate acting program, he had an inconvenient realization: he wanted to be a director. So what was his first foray into the world of professional directing? Based on the wildly successful musicals he has mounted at the Shakespeare Theatre Company over the last few seasons, you might guess a title like West Side Story—and you’d be wrong. In fact, at 21, Paul and …

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Anno Drewmaturgy

Hello all. According to my records, I haven’t written to you in a while—since May 12, to be exact. So what have I been up to? (Warning: links ahoy in the coming paragraphs.) Well, for one thing, I got married in early June (which you can read about here and here). Having just celebrated my two month anniversary, I can report that being married is wonderful, provided you have chosen the right person. And I have. One of the quirks of …

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