Shakespeare Theatre Company reveals sixth show of the 2023/24 season

Mary Zimmerman's 'The Matchbox Magic Flute' completes STC's much-anticipated audacious lineup.

Shakespeare Theatre Company and Artistic Director Simon Godwin are thrilled to announce the final show of the 23/24 Season: Mary Zimmerman’s The Matchbox Magic Flute.

“It’s such a joy to have Mary return to STC fresh on the heels of her brilliant production of The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci last season,” said Godwin. “Her newest adaptation tackles the famous opera with creative vim and vigor and I am thrilled that we get to bring this mini, magical piece to the Klein Theatre in the spring.”

“I’m so very happy to return to STC. I feel a great affinity for this theatre and for the city as well,” noted Zimmerman. “I’m especially appreciative that Simon is willing to mount this in the intimate space of the Klein. That was always part of the conception: to compress the richness, detail, and complexity of Mozart’s most playful opera into a small, intimate space—a theatrical space.”

The Matchbox Magic Flute rounds out the 23/24 season which includes the following previously announced productions: Evita, Macbeth In Stride, As You Like It, The Lehman Trilogy, and Macbeth.

The 23/24 Season opens with the long-awaited production of Evita. Directed by Sammi Cannold, the production has already received rave reviews at Boston’s American Repertory Theater. Evita is scheduled to run from September 5 through October 8 at STC’s Harman Hall.

From October 10 through October 28, Macbeth In Stride will rock the Klein Theatre. This powerhouse production, written by and featuring STC Associate Director and Obie Award-winner Whitney White (The Amen Corner) is an exhilarating musical examination of Lady Macbeth’s story and an exploration of just what it means to be an ambitious Black woman.

Winter will bring audiences back to Harman Hall with a rollicking interpretation of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, featuring the beloved songs of The Beatles. Join STC from December 2 through December 31 and experience a bit of joy in the aisles, just in time for the holiday season.

The new year will kick off with the return of acclaimed director Arin Arbus, whose recent production of The Merchant of Venice featuring John Douglas Thompson was a huge hit with STC audiences. Arbus will bring her epic sensibilities to the DC premiere of Tony Award-winning The Lehman Trilogy, running February 22 through March 24 at Harman Hall.

The penultimate production of the 23/24 Season will be Godwin’s own Macbeth, starring Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient) and Indira Varma (Game of Thrones) as the Lord and Lady Macbeth. The location for this immersive production will be announced later this season.

“To close this already full season with Mary Zimmerman’s matchbox opera is an exciting and natural fit. Mary’s Candide was STC’s first musical production and it seems only fitting that our first foray into opera would be guided by her hands,” says Godwin. “STC is truly becoming a place to push the boundaries of the classics in audacious ways.”

STC 2023/24 season show art (top row:) ‘Evita,’ ‘Macbeth In Stride.’’ As You Like It’; (bottom row:) ‘The Lehman Trilogy,’ ‘Macbeth,’ ‘The Matchbox Magic Flute.’

2023/24 Show Descriptions

Book & Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Directed by Sammi Cannold
SEP 5–OCT 8 | Harman Hall

Sammi Cannold (Forbes‘ 30 Under 30 Hollywood & Entertainment) helms this groundbreaking revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Tony Award-winning rock opera. In a production The Boston Globe hails as “EXCEPTIONAL…A new generation’s take on Evita,” the story of Eva Perón’s meteoric rise to First Lady of Argentina is brought to life with breathtaking heart and spectacle.

By Whitney White
Directed by Tyler Dobrowsky & Taibi Magar
OCT 10–OCT 28 | Klein Theatre

Something wicked this way comes… Created by Obie Award-winning artist Whitney White, Macbeth In Stride uses one of the Bard’s most iconic characters to examine just what it means to be an ambitious Black woman. Swathed in a mesmerizing tapestry of pop, rock, gospel, and R&B, the fatalistic arc of Lady Macbeth uplifts contemporary thoughts on Black female power, femininity, rage, and desire. This “spellbinding and strikingly original” (Edge Boston) production bubbles with energy, humor, and swagger, bringing Lady M’s herstory into the 21st century.

By William Shakespeare
Adapted & Directed by Daryl Cloran
Conceived by Daryl Cloran & Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
DEC 2–DEC 31 | Harman Hall

It’s the 1960s and flower power, peace, and love are in the air. The free-spirited Rosalind is exiled from court and escapes to an alternative community, where everything is possible. Mistaken identities and mixed signals come together, melding the Bard’s verse with the beloved music of The Beatles in what Vancouver Presents calls “one of the clearest renderings of As You Like It that you will ever see.” This tuneful take on Shakespeare’s romantic classic will be “a total blast” (Chicago Tribune) for the holiday season, reminding us that in times of trouble, all you need is love.

By Stefano Massini
Adapted by Ben Power
Directed by Arin Arbus
FEB 22–MAR 24 | Harman Hall

Meet the Lehman brothers—immigrants building an American dream that crumbles into a chaotic nightmare for future generations. Utilizing three actors and covering 160 years of family struggles, achievements, and missteps, this winner of the 2022 Tony Award for Best Play is a powerhouse cautionary narrative for our times. The New York Times heralded the original production as a “captivating… feat of storytelling,” examining the double-edged sword of capitalism and personal choices that created the largest financial crisis in U.S. history.

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Simon Godwin
Starring Ralph Fiennes & Indira Varma
APR 2–APR 28 | Off-Site Location TBA

Blood will have blood. Unbridled ambition, supernatural forces, and murderous desires reign supreme in Shakespeare’s most poetic examination of evil. When three witches tell Macbeth that he will become King of Scotland, he plots with his wife to attain the title through an assassination; a bloody act that gives him his crown and sends him careening down the path of his own undoing. Artistic Director Simon Godwin directs Tony and BAFTA Award-winner Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient) and Olivier Award-winner Indira Varma (Game of Thrones) in this thrilling account of how our minds deceive us and how a guilty conscience can undo us all.

Adapted & Directed by Mary Zimmerman
Based on the Opera by Mozart
MAY 21–JUN 16 | Klein Theatre

In her acclaimed signature style, Mary Zimmerman conceives a brand new theatrical adaptation of Mozart’s beloved opera. Playful and imaginative, it’s big music in a small space. This “matchbox” presentation of The Magic Flute features a cast of 10 and an orchestra of five—following the fantastic adventures of Prince Tamino and Princess Pamina. With dragons, a man who is a bird, trials by fire and water, and underground corridors, Day and Night do battle.

Single tickets for Evita are available now for current STC Subscribers and Donors with advance access. Tickets for Evita will be available to the general public on Monday, July 24. Single tickets for the remaining shows of the 23/24 Season will be made available later in the season. 6-play full-season subscriptions are available now by calling the STC Box Office at 202.547.1122.

About the Artists

Adapter & Director, The Matchbox Magic Flute
Mary Zimmerman is an Artistic Associate of Goodman Theatre, where over the past 25 years she has directed 17 productions including her own adaptations of Candide, The Jungle Book, The White Snake, Mirror of the Invisible World, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Journey to the West, and The Odyssey as well as directed The Music Man, Wonderful Town, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Trojan Women, Pericles, and Silk. Many of these productions, as well as her Arabian Nights, Argonautika, The Secret of the Wings, Treasure Island, and Eleven Rooms of Proust, have played across the country and internationally. Her adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which originated at Northwestern University and Lookingglass Theatre Company, ran on Broadway for a year, and she received the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play. Opera directing credits include Galileo Galilei at Goodman Theatre (with Philip Glass), Lucia di Lammermoor (Metropolitan Opera, La Scala), and Armida, la Sonnambula, Rusalka (Metropolitan Opera). Zimmerman is a Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University and an Ensemble Member at Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 1998 MacArthur Fellowship, and recipient of numerous Jeff Awards.

Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre (Artistic Director Susan V. Booth and Executive Director/CEO Roche Schulfer) is a not-for-profit arts and community organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement. The theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works, and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Its longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fifth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop theaters.

For more than 35 years, the Tony Award-winning Shakespeare Theatre Company has dedicated itself to being the nation’s premier classical theater. Classical plays are realized best not by originalism but by walking the path Shakespeare himself followed, creating works that spoke to his own contemporary audience. STC tells vital stories in audacious forms, and tells stories that are Shakespearean in the deepest sense, even if (and especially when) they are not written by Shakespeare. By focusing on works with profound themes and complex characters, STC’s artistic mission is unique among regional theaters: to bring to vibrant life groundbreaking, thought-provoking, and eminently accessible theater.

SEE ALSO: Ralph Fiennes and Indira Varma to lead cast of Simon Godwin’s ‘Macbeth’ for STC (news story, April 27, 2023)


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