The Phoenix Theatre is going all out for a virtual second season. The company’s new season will take place entirely online and will include a full line-up of bold classic plays, a fun tribute to William Shakespeare, and a holiday concert. The season starts in October with a virtual production of William Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part III, October 9-11. The company has also announced playwright, actress, and director Katrina Hall as the company’s Virtual Artist in Residence. She will be adapting and directing Shakepeare’s The Winter’s Tale. More information about the performances and The Phoenix Theatre is on the company’s website at www.thephoenixtheatrepa.com.
“We did virtual productions in April and July as tests to see how it could work. I didn’t want to stream anything prerecorded. I wanted performances to be live. One of my influences in the theatre Peter Brook said, “a stage space has two rules: anything can happen and something must happen.” We wanted to try our best to capture the essence of theatre through a virtual screen. Everything we do is live,” said Phoenix Theatre Artistic Director Seth Reich. “ In order to capture creativity through the screen, we had designers working on artful backdrops, smooth transitions and good lighting. We’ve been trying to do things in Zoom that it really wasn’t meant to do. Everyone has different cameras, sound, and of course their wifi connection, which can actually create for some fun moments. When things go wrong or something unexpected happens and an audience catches it, that’s theatre.”
He adds, “You can’t go back and see one of our performances. We don’t keep it up online. If you miss it, you missed it. And that’s theatre. A tiny moment that we all share together at the same time in the same space. These shows are shows that honestly, we couldn’t really afford at this time in our young history if we were doing them in person. Huge casts, massive technical needs, hours and hours of work. In this setting we can get creative because the scope is smaller. We have to fill a screen, not the entire building. And these plays are so incredibly relevant to what’s happening today. They’re perfect for right now.”
2020-2021 Virtual Season
Henry VI, Part III
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Michael Hajek
October 9th-11th, 2020
An original Game of Thrones adventure! Set at the end of the War of the Roses between the families of York and Lancaster. Henry gives up his crown, gives up his crown, takes it back, gives it up, and has it taken away in the midst of family fighting, curses, betrayals, revenge, escape, mortal foes, forgiveness, and death.
Fire and Light: A Phoenix Holiday
Directed by Brigitte Rottman
December 10th, 2020
A festive evening of light and song in the darkness of winter to spread warmth & good cheer directed by Brigitte Rottman.
A Winter’s Tale
by William Shakespeare
Retold, Adapted, and Directed by Katrina Hall, Virtual Artist-In-Residence
February 19-21, 2021
In Katrina Hall’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, abandonment, betrayal, power, abuse, and new beginnings are viewed through the kaleidoscopic lens of time, and how it heals in ways both expected and unexpected.
“Even though we cast Katrina in our first production of The Tempest as an actor, when I first met her it was as a playwright. She has such a powerful voice, I was blown away by her words, her epic use of story and poetry in her dialogue,” said Development Director Jessica Myhr Reich. “We are thrilled to have her this season as our first artist-in-residence, celebrating her talents as a performer, playwright and director working with us all year and bringing her unique voice to The Phoenix Theatre. We cannot wait to see what she creates with A Winter’s Tale.”
The Trojan Women
Directed by Jessica Myhr Reich
March 25th, 2020
A one night fundraiser directed by Jessica Myhr Reich celebrating women’s history month. It follows the fates of Hecuba, Andromache, Cassandra and the other women of Troy after their city has been sacked, their husbands killed, and their remaining families about to be taken away as slaves. It is often considered one of Euripides‘ greatest works, and among the best anti-war plays ever written.
The 2nd Annual Surprise Birthday Party for William Shakespeare
April 23rd, 2021
Directed by Marcus Barainyak
A second annual evening celebrating the works and words of William Shakespeare. Happy Birthday to the Bard!
Origins Theatre Festival
featuring Blood Wedding
by Federico García Lora
Directed by Andrés Gallardo Bustillo
May 3-6, 2021
A bilingual multicultural celebration of diversity featuring Lorca’s Blood Wedding directed by Andrés Gallardo Bustillo. This weekend of events will be filled with panelists from around the world and diversity inspired workshops.
“Origins is a weekend festival celebrating different cultures and diversity. We want to celebrate the human race by recognizing and honoring where we came from; the indigenous theatre, the classics, the Greeks. There is so much happening in the theatre scene around the world that we barely know about” said Associate Artistic Director Andrés Gallardo Bustillo. “These unprecedented times are giving us an opportunity to gather from any place in the world through our computers, so let’s use it to work, learn, change, create and grow as one.”
About The Phoenix Theatre
The Phoenix Theatre is a professional, 501c3 non-profit theatre company dedicated to building and inspiring community. We strive to tell stories that encourage our audiences to see the world in a new light and rise to action. We are committed to making people laugh, cry, and cheer by re-envisioning and reinvigorating the classics that have shaped the theatrical world as we know it.