Shakespeare Plays Produced at SCR


by 
Beth Fhaner
 | Mar 26, 2018
Shrew!

Susannah Rogers (Kate) and Elijah Alexander (Petruchio) in rehearsal for the world premiere of SHREW! by Amy Freed.

Other Shakespeare Productions Staged at SCR:

  • Twelfth Night (1992)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1990)
  • Romeo & Juliet (1987)
  • As You Like It (1986)
  • Henry IV, Part 1 (1982)
  • The Merchant of Venice (1981)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (1980)
  • Two Gentlemen of Verona (1977)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1976)
  • The Taming of the Shrew (1974)
  • The Tempest (1973)
  • Macbeth (1968)
  • Othello (1965)

Throughout its 54-year history, SCR has produced several acclaimed productions based on the Bard’s canon. From the 1965 production of Othello to our upcoming world premiere of SHREW!, Amy Freed’s ​reboot of The Taming of the Shrew, which runs March 24-April 21 on the Segerstrom Stage, SCR has sought to bring the stories of the world’s greatest playwright to life onstage.

“The first play ever produced by SCR was Moliere’s Tartuffe, in 1964, so the classics, especially Shakespeare, have always been a part of the company’s repertoire, even though we’re better known as a home for new plays and playwrights,” says Associate Artistic Director John Glore. “The reason is pretty simple: those plays are really good. That’s why they’ve stood the test of time. And because they are exemplary works of dramatic art, they serve as touchstones for us, for our writers, our artists and our audiences, to remind us all of what theatre can do when a brilliant writer tells an important, compelling story,” adds Glore.

Here is a look at the most recent history of Shakespeare’s work produced at SCR.

The Tempest

​Edmund Lewis, Tom Nelis, Charlotte Graham, Joby Earle and Mike McShane in SCR's 2014 production of ​The Tempest.

The Tempest (2014)

Shakespeare’s tale of shipwrecks, sorcery and young love, adapted and directed by Aaron Posner and Teller, with a talented cast of 17 actors, opened the 2014-15 season on the Segerstrom Stage. Transformed onstage into a travelling tent show, this was The Tempest unlike anything the Bard had ever envisioned. As the wizard Prospero plotted revenge on the enemies who banished him, this exuberant tale took on a new life—thanks to the haunting ballads by the inimitable Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, the magic by Teller and the movement by Matt Kent of the dance troupe Pilobolus. 

A Midsummer Night's Dream

​​Elijah Alexander and Susannah Schulman in SCR's 2011 production of ​A Midsummer Night's Dream.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2011)

Led by the wildly inventive, late director Mark Rucker (who directed a total of 21 productions at SCR), four young lovers go off into The Woods on a midsummer evening—when strange and wonderful things happen. This colorful, eye-popping, Shakespearean fantasy featured the antics of supernatural creatures—the fairies led by Oberon (Elijah Alexander) and Titania (Susannah Schulman) and, of course, the impish Puck (Rob Campbell), who created chaos in the night. But what fun it was for audiences to join in the dream, knowing that by daylight all would be well in this mystical, moon-drenched masterpiece.

Hamlet

​Hamish Linklater in SCR's 2007 production of ​Hamlet.

Hamlet (2007)

In the final production of the 2006-07 season, Tony Award-winning director Daniel Sullivan staged Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy. The impressive production featured several veteran actors in the cast, including Hamish Linklater (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”) as the tormented prince of Denmark, Robert Foxworth as Claudius, Dakin Matthews as Polonius and Michael Urie (“Ugly Betty”) as Horatio, in addition to SCR regulars Richard Doyle, Hal Landon Jr. and Linda Gehringer.

Two Gentlemen of Verona

Jennifer Elise Cox and Scott Soren in SCR's 2003 production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona (2003)

In 2003, director Mark Rucker presented a revisionist update of this Shakespeare comedy, with late 16th-century Italy becoming the romanticized small-town America of the 1950s. Rucker’s fast-paced version featured modern touches such as contemporary music performed by a trio of troubadours and leather-clad biker gang costumes that appeared to be straight out of the classic film, The Wild One. A highly entertaining production, the two best friends in “Verona” were played by Scott Soren as Proteus and Gregory Crane as Valentine, with Jennifer Elise Cox playing Julia, the object of their affections.

Much Ado About Nothing

​Douglas Sills and Nike Doukas in SCR's 2001 production of ​Much Ado About Nothing.

Much Ado About Nothing (2001)

Director Mark Rucker set this Shakespearean comedy in the Golden Age of Hollywood, complete with a big tap-dance number that served as a jubilant curtain call. With the style and sensibility of the 1930s, Rucker’s screwball approach—fast-paced and Capra-esque—worked well for the Bard’s story, especially with spirited performances by the leads, Tony-nominated Douglass Sills (The Scarlet Pimpernel) as Benedick and Nike Doukas as Beatrice.


Taming of the Shrew

Cindy Katz and Marco Barricelli in SCR's 1996 production of ​The Taming of the Shrew.

The Taming of the Shrew (1996)

Considered one of the high points of the 1995-96 ​season, Mark Rucker’s lively production of The Taming of the Shrew had a stylish 1950s Italian-American setting, complete with Italian names and the occasional Italian exclamation. With a production design reminiscent of pop art of the Rat Pack era—large squares and other shapes lit with fluorescent color for the backdrop and floor—along with a jazzy musical score, this uproarious version of Shakespeare’s comedic battle of the sexes was a big hit with theatre-goers. In the lead roles, Marco Barricelli starred as Petruchio and Cindy Katz starred as Kate.

Learn more about SHREW! and buy tickets.