All performances are Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30pm
The Merry Wives of Windsor
June 22 – July 16, 2017 Directed by Eileen Dugan
The play takes place in the town of Windsor, and revolves primarily around the character of Falstaff, the fat, conniving former knight who was a central character in the Henry plays. Down on his luck, he makes a plan to seduce two local wives, Mistresses Ford and Page, to feed both his carnal and financial appetites. When the ladies discover they have both received identical letters of seduction, they set about to punish and humiliate the scoundrel.
Master Ford, jealous by nature, suspects his wife may actually be having an affair, and tries to thwart it, repeatedly, to his eventual embarrassment.
Along with this central plot, young Anne Page is pursued by three suitors – Slender (a local lawyer, Shallow’s nephew), the French Doctor Caius, and the young and handsome Fenton. Anne’s parents each have a favorite and work to arrange her marriage, while Anne has ideas of her own.
The rivalry for Anne also causes what might be a bloody duel, but the combatants are tricked into waiting to fight at two different locations, and a peace is brokered by the Host of the Garter Tavern.
The culmination takes place at a clearing in the forest, where Falstaff is lured to what he thinks is a rendezvous with both his intended lovers, and the village all take part in his shaming and redemption.
(The opening scene is one where old grievances are aired – it can be a little confusing.) Shallow is ready to take Falstaff to court for all kinds of mischief – breaking and entering, poaching deer, and the like. He is also angry that some of Falstaff’s cohorts have robbed his nephew, after getting him drunk. At Master Page’s house, Falstaff confronts Shallow, and his men intimidate Slender into giving up any prosecution. Also, Parson Hugh introduces the idea of Slender marrying Anne Page, and tries to get Slender to agree to it.)
Photo Credit: Christopher Scinta (Pictured are Diane DiBernardo as Mistress Ford, Pamela Rose Mangus as Falstaff and Josie DiVincenzo as Mistress Page)
July 27 – August 20, 2017 Directed by Saul Elkin
The play dramatizes the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. The play was written during the reign of King James I, who was a patron of Shakespeare’s company (as Queen Elizabeth I was during her reign). It should be noted that King James was Scottish, had written a book called “Demonology,” and was a firm believer in ghosts and witchcraft. Whatever Shakespeare’s beliefs may have been, the play clearly reflects his relationship with his King.
A trio of witches give Macbeth a prophecy that he will one day become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne. Consumed by guilt and paranoia, he is forced to commit more and more murders, including the wife and children of his friend Macduff. In the end, Macbeth is faced with a civil war led by Duncan’s son Malcolm, who has enlisted the English army, and Macduff, who seeks revenge for the murders of his family.
Photo Credit: Christopher Scinta (Pictured are Lisa Vitrano as Lady Macbeth and Matt Witten as Macbeth)