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What we think about when we think about Sweet Tea Shakespeare shows

People often ask us how and why we pick the shows we do at Sweet Tea Shakespeare. As we look ahead to our most ambitious schedule yet, we wanted to share with you some answers to these questions.

Sweet Tea Shakespeare is, first and foremost, a Shakespeare theatre company. This means Shakespeare’s work is at the center of our performances. On the surface, this means we have done and will do quite a number of Shakespeare plays. If you’ve paid attention to our first few productions, however, you’ll know we’ve eagerly and joyfully presented Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and Anton Chekov’s The Seagull. This is because we believe that to be a Shakespeare theatre company, we need to share and celebrate Shakespeare’s own obsession with words. So we’ll occasionally depart, as Shakespeare’s own company did, to revel in the rich wordscapes of plays that are not by the Bard himself. Over time, this will play out in commitments to more Wilde and Chekov, but also to Jonson, Marlowe, Beaumont and Fletcher, Massinger, Racine, Moliere, Strindberg, Ibsen, Behn, and others.

We also believe that to be doing theatre in the way Shakespeare did theatre, we need to be concerned, as his company was, with developing new works for the stage. Early modern playing companies thrived on new works performed alongside known favorites and we will, too.

We also believe that Shakespeare and the other early modern play-makers were masters at developing plays based around the materials they had on hand and the conventions that dominated the stage at the time. One of these conventions involved using only male actors. Women didn’t appear on stage. Men comprised the leadership positions in the playing companies of the time. Women wrote very few plays during the period. The result is that a lot of Shakespeare and other early modern plays have very few roles for women and, even when there are some great ones, they’re often voiced with a male perspective (sometimes very kind, sometimes not kind at all). Jump forward to the 21st century. We think Shakespeare, if alive today, would embrace women as collaborators, actors, and fellow writers without a second thought.

And so, we look forward to our next several shows with all this in mind. A heart for Shakespeare, a commitment to great language, an entrepreneurial investment in new work, and a love for all kinds of voices. Take a look at what we have planned in our main STS season and in our new Honey series, an initiative for women artists and voices.

Julius Caesar | September 23 at 9:30am, Seabrook Auditorium | September 24-28 at 7pm nightly, 1897 Poe House

Antigone | Honey Series | November 5-9 at 7pm nightly, Capitol Encore Academy

The Winter’s Tale | January 9-11, 16-18, 23-25 at 7pm nightly, Capitol Encore Academy

Sweet Words: New Work | Honey Series | February 11-15 at 7pm nightly, Capitol Encore Academy

Bottom’s Dream | A new, experiential, promenade production based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream | March 27-29, 1897 Poe House

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekov | June 11-14 and 18-21 at 7pm nightly, 1897 Poe House

The Tempest | July 16-19 and 23-26 at 7pm nightly, 1897 Poe House

Sense and Sensibility | A new adaptation | Fall 2015

 

 

Sweet Tea Shakespeare Announces Summer 2014 Season

Sweet Tea Shakespeare will present its 2014 Summer Season at the 1897 Poe House on the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex Grounds in Fayetteville.The season features two comedies: Love’s Labour’s Lost runs June 18-22 at 7pm nightly. The Taming of the Shrew runsJuly 16-20 at 7pm nightly.

Love’s Labour’s Lost follows four buffoonish men as they pledge to live a life free of women and dedicated to chastity and academic study — until four beautiful women, including the Princess of France, arrive on the scene. Each of the men secretly tries to woo one of the women without being caught by his fellows. Uproariously funny and tenderly poignant, Love’s Labour’s Lost is a great night under the stars.

The Taming of the Shrew follows Bianca, who wants to marry the love of her life, but her father has one rule: Bianca’s older sister, Katharina (“Kate”), must be married first. The problem? Kate will have nothing of it. Enter Petrucchio, a would-be suitor for Kate, who employs some unconventional methods of “taming” Kate and who ends up being tamed himself in the process

Performances will take place outdoors. Audiences should bring their own seating and bug spray.Picnic style food and drink, including free sweet tea, will be served. Pets and outside food are not allowed.

Each performance is preceded by half an hour of live music and preshow entertainment with plenty of opportunity for fellowship and fun.

Tickets: $12 general admission; $10 senior citizens/military; $7.50 Students; $5 Children 6-12 yrs.; Free under 5 yrs.; $5 FSU students. Purchase tickets on-line: sweetteashakespeare.com. Location: 1897 Poe House at 206 Bradford Avenue in Fayetteville.

Visit www.sweetteashakespeare.com<http://www.sweetteashakespeare.com/> for more information. Call (910) 672-1724 for tickets.

The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex is part of the Division of State History Museums, Office of Archives and History, within the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The Complex consists of a regional history museum showcasing the history of southeastern North Carolina; the 1897 Poe House, a late-Victorian house museum; and historic Arsenal Park, the remains of an ordnance factory that served both the Federal and Confederate governments.Sweet Tea Shakespeare, a project of Fayetteville State University, seeks to celebrate the wonder of Shakespeare and other classic plays in beautiful environments with family-style flare by providing simple, elemental, magical theatre experiences with a nod to the diversity and heritage of southeast North Carolina.