The Bard in Boston

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Celebrate his life, work, and legacy throughout Boston this fall and into 2017 with theatre, film, music, and exhibitions. From scholars to clowns, lovers to villains, there is something for everyone.

Hamlet: Actors’ Shakespeare Project at the Church of the Covenant, Boston
Now – November 6 | BosTix Deal Available
Perhaps one of Shakespeare’s most well-known works, Hamlet is about a fiercely intelligent young man who must come to terms with familial betrayal, questioning love and conscience, and dealing with one’s ghosts. Literal and figurative.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead: Boston University College of Fine Arts
October 20 – 26 | Free
Based on Hamlet, Tom Stoppard’s wildly inventive, absurdist, tragi-comic Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead focuses on two minor characters in Shakespeare’s masterpiece. Full of nuanced language, this plays follows the musings and misadventures of these two childhood friends of the Prince of Denmark.

Shakespeare’s World, Charting a course through the settings of Shakespeare’s works: Boston Public Library
Now – February 2017 | Free
William Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, and histories take place in a number of fascinating and often picturesque locations throughout Europe, Asia and Africa, in eras from classical times to the Renaissance.  In this exhibition of forty maps, images and three-dimensional objects, visitors will visit these locales by seeing items from Shakespeare’s lifetime, learning about the world in the time of Shakespeare, and understanding the symbolic role that geography held to the dramas.

Almeida Theatre Live on Screen, Richard III: ArtsEmerson
Now – October  15 | BosTix Deal Available
Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold (King Charles III, The Merchant of Venice, Medea) brings Shakespeare’s most notorious villain to the Almeida Theatre with a cast that includes Ralph Fiennes as Richard and Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Margaret.

Shakespeare Unauthorized, Experience the original works of “The Bard”: Boston Public Library
Now – March 2017 | Free
This major gallery exhibition will include extraordinarily rare first and early editions of familiar and beloved plays like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice, as well as all four Shakespearean folios, most notably the BPL’s own copy of the world-famous First Folio. Through the pages of these precious books, visitors can experience Shakespeare in his original language and spelling, just as he would have been read by book lovers and theater-goers hundreds of years ago.

Choral Music Celebrating Shakespeare: Musica Sacra at First Church in Cambridge, Congregational
October 22 | BosTix Deal Available
Hear works from Ralph Vaughan Williams, Frank Martin, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, and Matthew Harris – who, like so many composers throughout time and around the world, have responded to The Bard’s deep appreciation of their medium with their own settings of his texts. Hear songs of Shakespeare’s clowns and sprites, his tragic maidens, his sweet and bitter fools, set to music of infinite variety!

Romeo and Juliet: Boston University College of Fine Arts and New Repertory Theatre
October 23 | BosTix Deal Available
Shakespeare’s classic tale of star-crossed lovers will be performed by the Classic Repertory Company, New Repertory Theatre’s flagship educational outreach program, in collaboration with Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre.. CRC tours professional productions of classic and modern works of relevant literature to schools, colleges, and community centers throughout New England.

As You Like It: Walnut Hill School for the Arts
November 10 – 13
As You Like It is a pastoral comedy that follows Rosalind, one of Shakespeare’s most inspiring heroines, as she flees her uncle’s court, accompanied by her cousin and a jester. Rosalind is able to find safety, and, eventually, love, in an unlikely place: the Forest of Arden. A favorite among audiences, this oft-adapted play features wit, romance, disguise, and the famous “All the world’s a stage” speech.

National Theatre Live presents Hamlet: ArtsEmerson
November 18 – 20 | BosTix Deal Available
Can’t make it to the National Theatre in London to see Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock, The Imitation Game, Frankenstein at the National Theatre) take on the title role in Shakespeare’s great tragedy? Neither can we. Fortunately, National Theatre Live will broadcast this eagerly awaited production live to cinemas!

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