Folger Theatre’s Metamorphoses Is a Wild and Wacky Trip

Folger Theatre’s Metamorphoses Is a Wild and Wacky Trip 

Folger Shakespeare Theatre
Jordan Wright
May 16, 2024
Special to The Zebra

The Water Nymph (Miss Kitty) introduces us to the mythical tales of Ovid (Photo/Brittany Diliberto)

Playwright Mary Zimmerman is a national treasure. With two productions currently running in DC theaters and last year’s Helen Hayes Award-winning production of The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, her reputation in our area is firmly cemented. I’ll see anything with her name on it. You should too.

In Metamorphoses Zimmerman uses stories from David Slavitt’s translation of the Latin poet Ovid’s masterpiece written in 8 A.D. to form the foundation of this dramedy that puts these ancient myths in modern context describing the history of the world in a hilariously topsy-turvy vision of the classic.

Hunger (Yesenia Islesias, left) breathes spirit into Erysichthon (Gerrad Alex Taylor) (Photo/Brittany Diliberto)

Most of the vignettes here are the familiar cautionary tales of greed, lust, incest…oh let’s just proffer the seven deadly sins and call it a day. Under Director Psalmayene 24’s singularly creative interpretation we find an all-Black ensemble playing multiple parts in a flurry of costume changes to express the multiple roles each actor portrays within the individual vignettes.

Psalmayene has conjured up one of the most explosive openings seen on DC stages. It is so stunning that the audience goes utterly silent. Led by the Water Nymph (Miss Kitty) the entourage parades through the center aisle, tribal dancing, whirling, summoning the Gods with African music as they arrive onstage. There they undergo an a sort of transmogrification – as captured slaves undergoing the Middle Passage from their ancestral lands. Tossed by a tempest at sea, their journey reflects the pain and degradation of a slave market. From that dramatic unveiling, our storytellers find themselves in dire circumstances humorously expressed through costume, character and morphing appearance. Because the actors play multiple parts, I found it tricky to puzzle out who played which character. That’s a testimonial to the extraordinary costume design by Mika Eubanks, who has created here some of the most beautiful, zany, over-the-top and imaginative costumes I’ve seen all year.

Cast sings “King Fisher” song in Folger Theatre’s staging of Metamorphoses. Pictured top: DeJeanette Horne and Billie Krishawn; bottom, left to right: Manu Kumasi, Kalen Robinson, and Yesenia Iglesias. (Photo/Brittany Diliberto)

Imagine the goddess, Iris, sporting a pink Afro with a frilly rainbow-hued and ruffled tutu – another character super fly in full-on glittering gold and white and the morphing of Alcyone (Renee Elizabeth Wilson) who with her beloved husband take the form of birds, reflecting the well-known phrase ‘halcyon days”.

There’s a lot to be said for brevity when it comes to complex themes of love and loss and in these stories, the objective is clear. In each piece we meet the hapless cast of characters and learn of the hot mess they’ve gotten themselves into challenged and complicated by the muse or god positioned on high – in this case upon the balcony. The frailties and passions of mere mortals are highlighted, while the gods, busy spewing their edicts and curses, become fodder for ridicule with the moral of the story revealed after each vision quest.

Narcissus (Gerrad Alex Taylor) accepts a flower from the Water Nymph (Miss Kitty) (Photo/Brittany Diliberto)

The choice of Midas (brilliantly played by Jon Hudson Odom) as the opening myth, is a good one, since we all know the tale of the greedy king who wished everything he touched turned to gold unfortunately that included most his beloved daughter (Kalen Robinson). Clad in a green velvet jacket and crown, Midas rues the day he threw over his daughter for the golden touch and goes on a mission to undo the terrible curse. Odom, totally tricked out, returns as Orpheus busting Motown moves to James Brown’s “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine)” and Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”. And, boom! We are laughing our tailfeathers off.

Metamorphoses shows that it is possible to speak of enigmatic things when they are creatively and hilariously interpreted and passionately performed by an ensemble of such high calibre.

Lighting Designer William K. D’Eugenio and Scenic Designer Lawrence E. Moten III have crucial tasks since there are no set changes and no curtains to draw. Along with Sound Designer and Composer Nick Tha 1DA Hernandez, ambiance is key to support the stories. And because the wigs and hair designs are so over the top, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to Designer Rueben D. Echoles.

Highly recommended!

The cast of Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses (Photo/Brittany Diliberto)

With Edwin Brown as Third Man: Phaeton and others; Dejeanette Horne as First Man: Zeus and others; Renea S. Brown as Third Woman: Myrrha and others; Yesenia Iglesias as First Woman: Aphrodite and others; Billie Krishawn as Second Woman: Eurydice and others; Manu Kumasi as Fourth Man: Vertumnus and others; Gerrad Alex Taylor as Fifth Man: Bacchus and others.

Artistic Director, Karen Ann Daniels; Choreographer, Tony Thomas; Original Composer, Willy Schwarz; Sound Designer, Nick Tha 1DA Henrnandez; Props Designer Deb Thomas; Dramaturg, Faedra Chatard Carpenter PhD.

Through June 16th at the Folger Theatre, Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC – For tickets and information visit or call the box office at 202 544-7007. 

Folger Shakespeare Theatre Returns with a Delightfully Raucous The Winter’s Tale

Folger Shakespeare Theatre Returns with a Delightfully Raucous The Winter’s Tale

The Winter’s Tale
Folger Shakespeare Theatre
at The Folger Shakespeare Library
Jordan Wright
November 15, 2023
Special to The Zebra

It’s birthday party time! The cast of Folger Theatre’s The Winter’s Tale in a celebratory mood. (Photo/Brittany Diliberto)

After a three-year wait, Folger at last revealed its redesigned entrance and reception space to theatregoers. Don’t worry. The theatre looks the same with its beautiful walnut coffered walls and upper seating gallery. Modernizing the Folger Library is still ongoing and is on target to be completed next year.

It’s Karen Ann Daniels’s first season as Artistic Director and if this is any mark of her guidance, we are in for a treat. The Winter’s Tale is a dramedy from Shakespeare’s First Folio of 1623. Considered both a romance and a comedy, it is so much more, especially in the capable hands of Director Tamilla Woodard, who breathes new life into both its dramatic and its comedic side.

Perdita (Kayleandra White) and Florizel (Jonathan Del Palmer) share a quiet, intimate moment (Photo/Brittany Diliberto)

The play opens with a fancy birthday party for Leontes eight-year-old son before morphing into an edge-of-your-seat crime drama. Who did what? What are their intentions? Who’s innocent? Who’s to blame? Who’s going to die? Who’s lying? Who will stand by King Leontes (Hadi Tabbal) even when he’s obviously gone bonkers accusing Queen Hermione (Antoinette Crowe-Legacy) of being impregnated by his best pal, Polixenes (Drew Kopas)? Insert huge eyeroll here. It seems the king has cuckolding on the brain. It turns out, the men go along with him. And although they try mightily to dissuade him from murdering his wife, along with his beloved young son, Mamillius (the adorable and talented Clarence Payne), and the yet unborn babe, their lives are also in danger. The women believe Queen Hermione’s innocence and fight mightily and eloquently for her honor. Paulina (Kate Eastwood Norris), her ally, refers to the king’s delirium as “his tyrannous passion”. And that’s putting it mildly. She gives him holy hell on a plate.

Leontes’ cupbearer, Antigonus (Stephen Patrick Martin), agrees to murder the baby, but his heart aches and instead he leaves her in the forest during a hurricane. When the Shepherd (also Martin who now looks like Big Hoss from the TV show, Bonanza) finds her and takes her in, he names her Perdita (Kayleandra White). Did Shakespeare know it translates to little lost girl in Italian? After she has grown to be a beautiful young woman, Polixenes’ son, Forizell (Jonathan Del Palmer) falls head over heels for the abandoned princess.

The roguish peddler Autolycus (Reza Salazar) sings a happy tune (Photo/Brittany Diliberto)

For the entirety of Act I we are on tenterhooks – gripped by the murderous plot and riveted by the suspense. By the time intermission comes, we don’t want to leave our seats after Leontes has ordered the deaths of his wife, his son and the unborn child.

Act II is a 180. When Time announces that 16 years have passed, the plot switches to raucous comedy, in the goofiest, zaniest, laugh-your- buns-off way. Watch for cowboys and cowgirls doing the Electric Slide at a sheep shearing hoedown; the Shepherd’s no-nothing, goofball son, Camillo (Cody Nickell), and the whole lot of them now speaking with a Southern twang; and a wacky, bicycle-riding, gypsy pickpocket, Autolycus (Reza Salazar) who fires up the audience with a call-and-response “Heigh-ho!” By now, we are on the floor writhing in hysterics. The audience needed stitches after all the shenanigans.

This is a terrific cast of notable locals and Broadway veterans. Standouts are the absurdly hilarious Nickell – a super scene stealer; the marvelous charisma of the statuesque Crowe-Legacy; the undeniable acting chops of Tabbal; and our beloved local actor Norris, who pulls out all the stops to portray both fierceness and humanity.

The humor and switcheroo unpredictability of this play is the very thing that makes it so indelible. In the immortal words of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, “Go with the flow.” All the better to enjoy yourself!

Music and dance at the sheep-shearing festival in Bohemia (center pictured l to r: Sabrina Lynne Sawyer, Reza Salazar, Kate Eastwood Norris; Kayleandra White, far right) (Photo/Brittany Diliberto)

Children Richard Bradford and Clarence Payne share the role of Mamillius and Time, and Shepherd’s Son is played by Nicholas GerwitzSabrina Lynne Sawyer is in the ensemble.

Set Design by Raul Abrego, Jr.; Costume Design by Sarah Cubbage; Lighting Design by Max Doolittle; Sound Design and Original Music by Matthew M. Nielson; Choreography by Joya Powell.

Highly recommended. A treat for the soul and the funny bone!

Through December 17th at Folger Shakespeare Theatre, 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003. For tickets and information visit or call the box office at 202 544-4600. 

The Merry Wives of Windsor ~ Folger Shakespeare Theatre

Jordan Wright
January 23, 2020 

For his staging of The Merry Wives of Windsor, Director Aaron Posner adapts this delectable comedy about sexual jealousy to the 20th C… specifically the burgeoning hippie styles and Mod culture of 1972.  It’s the perfect imaginary moment.  The Women’s Liberation movement was in full swing and the times they were a’changin’.  How prophetic Shakespeare was as we look back to the future to find Falstaff, still the swaggering, conniving rogue, now clad in fringe jacket and tie-dyed, “Make Love Not War” t-shirt with his inept band of cohorts togged in bell bottoms and leisure suits.  Get the picture?

Falstaff (Brian Mani) uses his brazen skills of seduction on a surprised Mrs. Ford (Ami Brabson). – Photos by Cameron Whitman Photography

Falstaff’s targets are Mistress Ford and Mistress Page who are quickly on to the antics of this corpulent seducer and set a course to entrap him in his thieving schemes, much to the initial confusion of their husbands.  “Wives may be merry, and yet honest too,” says Mistress Page with a wink and a nod.  The parallel plot to marry off the sweet Anne Page to a serious of unsuitable suitors – Dr. Caius and the curiously impotent Abraham Slender – adds to the overall pandemonium.  Because both sides can play at this game, amirite?

Fenton (Dante Robert Rossi) consoles his true love, Anne Page (Linda Bard) – Cameron Whitman Photography

Notable cast members include Brain Mani as the devilish Falstaff; Eric Hissom exquisitely channeling John Cleese as the hapless, exploited husband; Kate Eastwood Norris adopting a Coen Brothers Mid-Western accent as the pill-popping Mistress Quickly; and Cody Nickell, as the French-accented, macho man, Dr. Caius, whose slimy ways will keep you in stitches with each and every line.

Mine Host (Louis E. Davis, left) cozies up to Dr. Caius (Cody Nickell). – Cameron Whitman Photography

Tony Cisek’s set of Mondrian-inspired color blocks paired with Devon Painter’s wild and crazy costumes and Dramaturg Michele Osherow’s smattering of hipster phraseology, keeps us firmly fixed in the free-wheeling era, all the while adhering to the original tale of wives in cahoots to humiliate the dishonorably lecherous, hilariously dissolute, conniver.  Backgrounded by Matthew Nielson’s scene-transitioning groovy soundtrack, to keep us in the mood.

Slender (Brian Reisman, left) and Justice Shallow (Tommy A. Gomez) try to understand Windsor’s local glergyman, the Welsh-accented Sir John Hughes (Todd Scofield). – Cameron Whitman Photography

Highly recommended.  A marvelous cast who bring the characters to life with sharp-as-a-needle comic acuity.

With Regina Aquino as Mrs. Page; Linda Bard as Anne Page/Pistol; Ami Brabson as Mrs. Ford; Louis E. Davis as Mine Host; Danielle Gallo as Bardolph/J. Rugby/John; Tommy A. Gomez as Justice Shallow; Brian Reisman as Abraham Slender; Dante Robert Rossi as Nym/Fenton; Todd Scofield as Sir Hugh Evens; Tyee Tilghman as Page; and Derrick Truby as Simple/Robert.

The cast of Folger Theatre’s The Merry Wives of Windsor! – Cameron Whitman Photography

Through March 1st at the Folger Theatre at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003.   For tickets and information call 202.544.7077 or visit

Amadeus ~ Folger Theatre

Jordan Wright
November 13, 2019 

The Viennese court awaits to hear what the Emperor thinks of Mozart’s latest opera ~ Photography by C. Stanley Photography

Tony Cisek’s brilliant set design featuring the golden curvature of a stringed instrument’s f-hole with its strings running the height of the stage.  Festooned with crystal chandeliers, it serves as a dramatic frame for the pious Antonio Salieri’s opening lines, “Music is God’s Art.”  We sense we are within this giant instrument itself, bearing witness to the music world’s greatest scandal.  Set in Vienna during the Age of Enlightenment, the play focuses on the fierce rivalry between the tormented court composer Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the child prodigy.  Now confined to a wheelchair and clinging to life, Salieri confesses to murdering his colleague and rival, the eccentric musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.   But did he, as he claims he did, poison him?  Or did he drive Mozart into the depths of madness through the deprivation and degradation he foisted upon him?

Composer Salieri (Ian Merrill Peakes) plays a welcoming march for Mozart (Samuel Adams, center) upon his arrival at the Viennese court (Deidra LaWan Starnes, left, James Joseph O’Neil, and John Taylor Phillips, right) ~ Photography by C. Stanley Photography

When they first meet, Salieri and the upstart Mozart trade barbs.  The young composer attempts to curry the emperor’s favor while the older Salieri, wildly jealous of Mozart’s extraordinary talents, seeks to undermine him.  Though court composer to three Viennese emperors, Salieri’s talent was marginal compared to Mozart’s.  To keep Mozart at bay he saw to it he and his adoring wife were both financially and emotionally poverty-stricken.

Eventually his jealousy of Mozart’s talents destroys him and, along with that his belief God was the ruler of his fate.  In his soliloquies to God – some prideful, others with fist raised toward the heavens – he provides us with some of the most powerful moments of play.

The eccentric musical genius Mozart (Samuel Adams) shows off his opera for the Viennese court ~ Photography by C. Stanley Photography

Writer Sir Peter Shaffer (Equus, Lettuce and Lovage, The Royal Hunt of the Sun) imagines this modern ‘revenge comedy’ as a dramatic interpretation of the relationship between the two composers adding two venticelli, gossipmongers who tell everyone exactly what they want to hear, an assortment of colorful, back-stabbing court figures, a sexy soprano who curries favor with Mozart, and Mozart’s devoted child bride, Constanze, played pitch perfect by Lilli Hokama.

Sections of several of Mozart’s finest compositions, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and his Requiem in D Minor, are woven into the plot and serve as a heavenly musical backdrop.

Mozart (Samuel Adams) lovingly teases his fiancé Constanze (Lilli Hokama) ~ Photography by C. Stanley Photography

Exquisitely directed by Richard Clifford with sumptuous 18th century costumes by Mariah Anzaldo Hale, the play is filled with passion, revenge, and malevolent conspiracy, with a hefty dose of slapstick and lust.  The performances alone will take your breath away.  Ian Merrill Peakes as Salieri gives one of the finest performances I’ve ever seen on any American stage and Samuel Adams as Mozart proves to be a dazzlingly equal counterbalance.

Powerful, witty and unforgettable.  Five stars!!!  Don’t miss it!

Additional performers: Justin Adams as Baron van Swieten; Amanda Bailey as Venticello; Louis Butelli as Venticello; Junior Gomez as Salieri’s Valet; James Joseph O’Neil as Count Orsini-Rosenberg; Yvonne Paretzky as Teresa Salieri; John Taylor Phillips as Emperor Joseph II; Ned Read as Kapellmeister Bonno; Deidra LaWan Starnes as Madame von Strack; and Kathryn Zoerb as Katherina Cavalieri.

With Lighting Design by Max Doolittle and Sound Design by Sharath Patel.

Through December 22nd at the Folger Theatre at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003.   For tickets and information call 202 544-7077.

1 Henry IV ~ Folger Theatre

Jordan Wright
September 10, 2019

With season opener 1 Henry IV, director Rosa Joshi makes her Folger Theatre directorial debut.  As expected it is a departure from the classic interpretation to an edgier contemporary dynamic.  As Joshi describes it, “I Henry IV is filled with intrigue, humor, action and suspense – messy people doing messy things under messy circumstances.”  And that suits the context, both in defining our current politics as well as society in general.

Falstaff (Edward Gero) holds court at the Boar’s Head Tavern in Shakespeare’s 1 Henry IV. On stage at Folger Theatre, September 3 – October 13, 2019. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

As an exercise in sub rosa dastardly doings, mad scenes of revelry, and the royals’ intractable determination to use the church as their backup plan, it’s rollicking good fun.  Scenes of drunken nights at the pub interspersed with first-class plotting and the clickety-clack of swordplay serve as backdrop as Prince Hal tries to get back into the good graces of his authoritarian papa, King Henry IV, and at the same time trying to keep the lid on Falstaff, a dyspeptic thief and party animal who turns tail at the thought of a fight, while puffing up his image to anyone who’ll lend an ear.  He’s the epitome of a self-dealing scoundrel with some of the best throw down lines ever written.

Poins (Jazmine Stewart) puts a scare into her partner-in-crime Falstaff (Edward Gero), as Prince Hal (Avery Whitted) looks to ease the tension. C. Stanley Photography

Ed Gero plays Falstaff, a far cry from his award-winning role as the conservative Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, in The Originalist and, perhaps, even farther from his role as King Henry half a decade ago in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Henry IV.  Here Gero takes on the role of the loveable scallywag and crusty rogue interested in women and ale more than any rule of law that might reduce his formidable swagger.

King Henry IV (Peter Crook, right) shows great displeasure with his son, Prince Hal (Avery Whitted) in Shakespeare’s coming-of-age-tale 1 Henry IV. On stage at Folger Theatre, September 3 – October 13, 2019. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

No matter.  Young Hal adores his cantankerous Falstaff.  “That huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloakbag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox,” Hal affectionately calls his surrogate father.  To prepare Hal for a visit with the king wherein Hal plans to reclaim his princely duties and pledge support in the king’s looming battle against the rebels, Falstaff pretends to be Hal’s father.  It’s here where Gero has the audience well in hand with his sendup of the king greeting his son.  Garbed in a red velvet pillow for a hat and swathed in a tablecloth for a robe, he is a marvelous and commanding comedic presence.

Mistress Quickly (Kate Eastwood Norris, right) sees to her patrons at the Boar’s Head Tavern (left to right: Todd Scofield as Bardolph, Sam Midwood as Peto, Edward Gero as Falstaff). C. Stanley Photography

Gero plunges expertly into the role of the hapless ne’er-do-well, as you might expect from this seasoned actor, yet it is Avery Whitted as Hal who brings balance, pace and a sharp sense of comedic timing to his character, and, more importantly, to the play itself.  I found myself drifting off into Shakespeare’s cadences, and the predictability of the script, until Whitted was in a scene.  Something about his buoyancy, craftsmanship, athleticism and ability to instantly anchor everyone around him, made him immensely entertaining to watch.

The cast of Folger Theatre’s 1 Henry IV (Peter Crook as King Henry IV at center). C. Stanley Photography

Also, notable and pleasurable to watch are three-time Helen Hayes Award winning actor Naomi Jackson as Worcester, Peter Crook as King Henry IV, and the delightful Kate Eastwood Norris in dual roles as Mistress Quickly and Vernon.

Scenic Design by Sara Ryung Clement; Costume Design by Kathleen Geldard; Lighting Design by Jesse Belsky; with Original Music and Sound Design by Palmer Heffernan.

Through October 13th at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003.   For tickets and information call 202 544-7077 or order online.  And be sure to follow the free new podcast, “Will & Our World” featuring talks on Shakespeare, his world, and talks with contemporary artists, authors and scholars of Shakespeare.

Love’s Labor’s Lost ~ Folger Theatre

Jordan Wright
May 6, 2019 

The King of Navarre (Joshua David Robinson) has a word for the ladies of France (l to r: Yesenia Iglesias, Chani Wereley, Kelsey Rainwater). Photo by Brittany Diliberto

One of Shakespeare’s most delightful rom-coms has arrived with a fresh, new take thanks to Director Vivienne Benesch.  Set in the 1930’s with lots of modern-day dialogue, hilarious puns and wicked asides, and contemporary twists on the characters, this witty play provides plenty of laughs at the expense of egotistical, narcissistic lords who, obeying their King’s decree, forswear women, food and sleep in pursuit of higher learning.  Unfortunately for these knaves, their willpower is weak, and the ladies’ is strong.  “Young blood doth not obey an old decree,” sayeth Berowne.  It’s a sort of #MeToo for the Princess of France and her ladies-in-waiting as they lure the men, then conspire to trick them into making fools of themselves.

The King of Navarre (Joshua David Robinson, top) proclaims his court as a place of scholarly pursuit to his companions (Zachary Fine, Jack Schmitt, Matt Dallal). Photo by Brittany Diliberto

It would be just the ticket for coquettish larks, except that the women in this production can’t seem to carry it off.  I’ve never seen a cast so off-balance.  The male actors are brilliant, but the women are stilted and dull, and when they prank the men, it just seems like a gang of angry harpies, as opposed to a bit of a romp with a wink and a nod.  It’s almost as if they rehearsed in different theaters.  Perhaps it would have worked better had Shakespeare himself cast it, due to his predilection for all-male casts.

Zachary Fine as Berowne, Eric Hissom as Don Armado, Louis Butelli as Holofernes. Photo credit Brittany Diliberto

Zachary Fine as Berowne, one of the lords, is flat out, award-winning caliber, fantastic.  Totally engaging and utterly believable, he is riveting to watch in his hapless pursuit of forbidden love.  Eric Hissom as Don Armado gives us one crazy-ass Spaniard whose struggles to command the English language whilst mooning over unrequited love, will have you in stitches.  And, for added comic relief, Louis Butelli as Holofernes, the tweed-sporting pedantic who overemphasizes his diction, quite nearly steals the show, though he has some competition from Edmund Lewis as Costard, a tool belt-sporting slave who fumbles everything.

Jaquenetta (Tonya Beckman) and her admirer Costard (Edmund Lewis) in Love’s Labor’s Lost. Photo by Brittany Diliberto

There is a great deal of physical comedy for the men – in one scene they wrestle in pajamas, in another they visit the women disguised as dancing Cossacks – whereas the women just seem to stand around gossiping and griping in pretty clothes.  Not so for Susan Romeas Nathaniel whose comic flirtations with Holofernes afford us with some of the funniest, pinkies-out moments of the play.  Rome plays Nathaniel as a lady with lightning-quick aplomb.

Lee Savage’s set design is so fox clever, you have to wonder why it’s never been done before.  A reconstruction of the Folger’s own two-tiered Paster Reading Room, replete with green reading lamps, old books and stained glass window provide the perfect backdrop to the King’s demand for serious study.  The aisles provide the rest, leaving the actors to personally connect with the audience.

So, two casts – male and female – that seem to be in entirely different plays.  More’s the pity.

With Joshua David Robinson as King of Navarre; Amelia Pedlowas Princess of France; Megan Graves as Mote; Yesenia Iglesias as Maria; Kelsey Rainwater as Rosaline; Matt Dallal as Longaville; Jack Schmitt as Dumaine; Chani Wereley as Katherine; Josh Adams as Dull and Marcade; and Tonya Beckman as Boyet and Jaquenetta.

Lighting by Colin K. Bills; Costume Design by Tracy Christensen; Original Music and Sound Design by Lindsay Jones.

Through June 9that the Folger Theatre at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003.   For tickets and information call 202 544-7077 or visit website.  To follow discussions of Shakespeare’s world with some of today’s leading artists, authors and scholars you’ll find Shakespeare Unlimited podcasts entitled “Will & Our World” at  These are free wherever you get your podcasts.