The Box Office will be closed Friday, July 3 for Independence Day. Tickets are available online anytime.

Author: A.H. Goldstein

DAILY CAMERA: Colorado Shakespeare Festival to try some gender-bending in 2016

The work of William Shakespeare is hardly sacrosanct.

Tweaking elements of the Bard of Avon’s work has become an industry standard on stage and screen. Whether it’s adjusting the characters, the setting or the costumes, reimagining Shakespeare’s 400-year-old-plus canon is an expected part of staging his work in the 21st century.

Even so, Geoffrey Kent is a bit leery about certain kinds of edits to the playwright’s work.

Kent, a veteran actor, director and fight coordinator with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, says trying too hard to add modern messages to Elizabethan narratives can take away from the heart of the material.

“I’m not a big fan of agenda-driven Shakespeare. I think the agenda can take over the story,” said Kent, who has been tabbed to direct the CSF’s 2016 production of “The Comedy of Errors.” “And what I want to do is just tell a great story.”

But Kent and the rest of the CSF crew aren’t purists when it comes to staging the nation’s second-oldest Shakespeare festival. (“Comedy of Errors” kicks off the season with a June 3-Aug 7 run at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre, except for July 2. That show was canceled because of a conflict with a Dead & Company concert at Folsom Field, as was a July 2 production of “Equivocation” and a July 3 performance of “Troilus and Cressida.”)

The upcoming season will carry its own agenda, but Kent insists it won’t detract from the underlying soul of “Comedy of Errors.” Neither will it derail the storytelling behind “Troilus and Cressida,” “Cymbelline” and “Henry VI Part 2.”

“I guess I do have an unspoken agenda: I’d like to see more women in Shakespeare. Every year we audition dozens of women, but every year we only have four or five roles,” Kent said. “How can we employ more talented Shakespearean actresses than we have in the past?”

This year, the answer lies in swapping the genders of the lead characters in “The Comedy of Errors,” as well as roles in the rest of season selections. With the recent announcement of the upcoming season’s cast lists, the CSF has staked a claim to make one of Boulder’s signature cultural events more inclusive.

Read more on the Daily Camera’s website.

Upcoming CSF News View all events

All's Well That Ends Well

Loading
Jul 3-Aug 8, 2020

All's Well That Ends Well

By William Shakespeare

A smart and sexy coming-of-age romp set in elegant 1950s France, "All’s Well That Ends Well" introduces audiences to Helen and Bertram—one...

The Odyssey

Loading
Jul 3-Aug 8, 2020

The Odyssey

By Homer, adapted by Mary Zimmerman

In Mary Zimmerman’s sweeping adaptation of Homer’s classic adventure, our hero Odysseus undergoes an epic journey to return to his own kin...

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Loading
Jul 8-Aug 9, 2020

A Midsummer Night's Dream

By William Shakespeare

Kick off the season with a summer-long party! In this glam run of Shakespeare’s electric comedy, the paths of four young lovers, some feuding fa...

Latest CSF News View all news items

Jul 1, 2020

Colorado Shakespeare Festival Receives $25,000…

The Shakespeare in American Communities grant funds CSF’s Shakespeare & Violence prevention…

Jun 3, 2020

Black lives matter

From the staff of CU Presents Black lives matter. CU Presents stands…

Apr 3, 2020

CU Presents public health update:…

April 3, 2020: During the COVID-19 crisis, we’d like to reassure ticket…