I have written on this blog about the ten places I’ve seen live Shakespeare performances over the years. But that doesn’t mean I’m satisfied. Oh, no. There are still a number of places I hope to see Shakespeare’s plays performed. Eight of them top my list.
1. The new home of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
The Otto M. Budig Theater at Twelfth and Elm Streets in Cincinnati is currently under construction. The CSC will begin performing there during the summer of 2017, and the 2017-2018 season will be the first season in the new theater.
2. Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia
The Blackfriars Playhouse (of the American Shakespeare Center) in Staunton, Virginia, hosts performances year-round. This 300-seat recreation of Shakespeare’s own indoor theatre in London and the performers and performances offered there make me drool with anticipation.
3. The Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario
I have long wanted to experience the annual Shakespeare festival in Ontario, which runs from April to October. The 2017 season will include performances of Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and Timon of Athens, as well as Tartuffe, Guys and Dolls, H.M.S. Pinafore, and eight other plays.
4. The Royal Shakespeare Theaters in Stratford-Upon-Avon
The venerable Royal Shakespeare Company performs in three Stratford-upon-Avon venues: the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Swan Theatre (both of which share a building on Waterside, above), and the aptly-named The Other Place. I want to go now. Can I go now? Can I?
5. Shakespeare in Central Park
The free performances of Shakespeare at the Delacorte Theater in New York’s Central Park are some of the finest in the world. Tickets are distributed on the day of the performance and are much in demand.
6. The Globe Theater in London
Of course I want to see Shakespeare performed in the Globe Theater in London. It is the Holy Grail, the Mount Everest, the center of the Shakespearean universe, the crème de la crème. Pick whatever clichéd metaphor you like. It is Shakespeare’s “wooden O,” a recreation (just a few hundred yards from its original site) of the theater where many of the Bard’s greatest plays were first performed. My first (and so far only) visit to England was while construction on the Globe was being completed. Dangit. But I will return. As God is my witness, I will return.
7. The Minack Theater, Cornwall
The Minack is an outdoor theatre perched on the cliffs high above the Atlantic ocean at Cornwall in England. They put on a diverse program (or “programme,” if you’re a Brit) of drama, musicals, and opera every summer, but since it was built in the 1930s by Rowena Cade specifically to host Shakespeare’s The Tempest, that is the play I would most love to see there.
8. The Estates Theater, Prague
I would love to see The Winter’s Tale at the historic Estates Theater in Prague, Czech Republic. They do some bi-lingual productions there, and since parts of The Winter’s Tale are set in Bohemia, it would be fun to see that play performed there by the Prague Shakespeare Company.
That’s not an exhaustive list, of course–just a start. What about you? Any Shakespeare venues on your “wish list?”