Posted on February 10, 2010
To go, or not to go...well, of course you should go! That is, to the Lincoln Center Festival in the summer of 2011, when the Royal Shakespeare Company sets up shop in New York’s Park Avenue Armory, as part of the Center’s Summer Festival. An announcement was made this week at a news conference at Alice Tully Hall that the troupe, perhaps the most prestigious classical theater company in the world, will present 45 performances of Shakespeare’s’ works in repertory, for a six-week residence from July 6 to August 14, 2011. The five plays are being chosen from the company’s current offerings: “King Lear,” “Romeo and Juliet,” Julius Caesar,” "Antony and Cleopatra,” The Winter's Tale,” and “As You Like It.” An exact copy of the Royal Shakespeare Theater is being built in Stratford, and will be shipped (in pieces) to New York and then assembled in the Armory’s Drill Hall. Is there room there, mayhap you are wondering? Prithee, do not fear: The Hall holds a whopping 55,000 feet of space. The theater, modeled on a new one that is set to open in spring of 2011, will offer seating on three levels for 930 people. The seat farthest from the stage? A mere 49 feet away. And the Royal Shakespeare is importing more than the stage: 44 actors, 23 musicians, and 30 other artists are coming along as well. Although the Royal Shakespeare Company has been offering productions in the United States for the last 15 years, this is the first time they will undertake anything of this magnitude.