Washington Shakespeare Company and the National Museum of Women in the Arts have launched a new partnership to present the work of women playwrights both past and present. This year's reading series kicks off with Women Dramatists and Poets of the Renaissance. Learn what women thought and wrote in the age of Shakespeare.
The reading series will be held in the Performance Hall of the National Museum of Women in the Arts at 1250 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005. Tickets are $10 if purchased in advance and pay-what-you-can at the door. Tickets can be purchased at www.boxofficetickets.com/wsc or 1-800-494-TIXS (8497). Below is a schedule of events:
7 p.m., Monday, April 6
The Tragedie of Antonie by Mary Sidney
Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner
The Tragedie of Antonie (1595), Sidney's loose translation of Gariner's Marc Antonie, portrays Cleopatra's constant love for Marc Antonie rather than characterizing the Egyptian queen as an unscrupulous seductress who betrays him.
7 p.m., Tuesday, April 14
The Concealed Fancies by Elizabeth Brackley and Jane Cavendish
Directed by Catherine Aselford
Set against the backdrop of the English Civil War, The Concealed Fancies (1645) presents two young sisters, Luceny and Tattiney, who endeavor to conceal their own "fancies" from their frustrated suitors, Courtly and Presumption. The evening will also include short dramatic works and excerpts from other women dramatists of Renaissance, including Queen Elizabeth I.
7 p.m., Monday, May 4
The Tragedy of Miriam, the Fair Queen of Jewry by Elizabeth Carey
Directed by Jessica Lefkow
Falsely accused of being unfaithful, Miriam, wife of King Herod, faces execution. The Tragedy of Miriam (1613) also explores the themes of divorce and female agency as experienced by women of the Renaissance through the lens of this ancient tale.
7 p.m., Monday, May 11
Desiring Voices: Women Sonneteers of the Renaissance
Selected works from Gaspara Stampa, Louise Labe, and Mary Wroth
Introductions by Alison Pruitt, Nicole Jost, Soo-Jin Lee
Three women sonneteers of the Renaissance, Gaspara Stampa (Italian), Louise Labe (French), and Mary Wroth (English) come to life to recite their poetry and speak about their art, life, and loves.
7 p.m., Monday, May 18
Love's Victory (or Not?) by Mary Wroth
Directed by Jessica Burgess
Presided over by Cupid and Venus, Love's Victory (1621) is a pastoral tragic-comedy that follows the desires of a group of shepherds and shepherdesses as they contend with love. But in this version love is cut short when Venus does not descend from the heavens to neatly sort everything out.
7 p.m., Monday, May 25
Sofonisba by Callie Kimball
Directed by Dorothy Neumann
The Renaissance painter Sofonisba Anguissola balances court politics, art, and her own desires as she seeks recognition in a man's supposed profession. Sofonisba (2008) looks back on the lives of Renaissance women from a modern perspective.