DAILY CAMERA: Colorado Shakespeare Festival gives a nod to its roots six decades later
The Bard in 60 Boulder summers
(Above: The Colorado Shakespeare Festival kicks off its 60th year this weekend at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Mary Rippon Theatre, courtesy of Daily Camera)
The span of 60 summers has given the Colorado Shakespeare Festival enough creative space to achieve plenty of milestones.
A few notable examples: Since its founding in 1958, the CSF has performed the entire canon of William Shakespeare’s 38 plays twice, making it one of only a handful of troupes in North America to achieve that honor.
One of the oldest Shakespeare-based companies in the country, the CSF has hosted professional actors and aspiring drama students alike; it’s served as a springboard for distinguished careers and as a final landing spot for accomplished international artists.
Last year, the CSF and the University of Colorado Boulder campus hosted a genuine First Folio compendium from the 17th century; last week, the National Endowment for the Arts officially announced a grant of $25,000 to the festival for its Shakespeare and Violence Prevention Project.
The significance of the festival’s achievements during its six decades isn’t lost on Tim Orr, the CSF’s producing artistic director.
“Sixty years is a serious chunk of time. That’s a long time for a theater company to be continuously producing,” Orr said, adding that the importance of the troupe’s 60 anniversary season started to weigh on his calculations as soon as he took up the role of festival honcho in 2014. “I wanted to do something special or noteworthy, something that looked back across 60 years.”
The answer came in a nod to the roots to the festival itself, a recreation of the initial 1958 season that launched one of Colorado’s most durable artistic traditions. The lineup for the summer echoes the program of that first foray into the work of one of the Western world’s most accomplished artists — “The Taming of the Shrew,” “Hamlet” and “Julius Caesar” were all a part of the first season, just as they’re on the slate for the summer of 2017. Tom Stoppard’s comedy “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” and “Original Practices” performances of “Henry VI Part 3” will also figure into the season. (Read the Full Article)