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Company of “One Man, Two Guvnors” in 2023, (Jennifer Koskinen)

Author: Clay Bonnyman Evans

With ‘doubleheader’ Sundays, CSF audiences can savor two scoops of Shakespeare in a day

The classic baseball doubleheader, now mostly a memory, offered fans the opportunity to see both a day and night game between the same two teams on one day.

This summer, for the first time, Colorado Shakespeare Festival fans will have four opportunities to do the same thing, seeing the season’s main plays on a single day.

“We challenged ourselves to four doubleheader Sundays, in which patrons will see the matinee of one show, take a break, then come back and see the other in the evening,” says Producing Artistic Director Tim Orr.

The festival has staged one-off doubleheaders in the past, but this will be the first time festivalgoers can enjoy both featured productions in a single day, in this case the bloody, spectral tragedy Macbeth and beloved Shakespeare “sitcom,” The Merry Wives of Windsor. Doubleheader Sundays are scheduled for July 14, July 21, August 4 and August 11.

“We don’t do this often, but when we do, it’s always a blast,” Orr says. “Both cast and audience know they are going on this marathon together, sharing the excitement energy.”

After the curtain falls on the first play, production crews will surge into action to make a complete set changeover in the freshly renovated Roe Green Theatre. Audiences will experience the cast’s complete emotional and physical transformation in a single day.

“Part of the excitement is that you really get to experience the virtuosity of the players within the span of a few hours,” says Managing Director Wendy Franz, director of Macbeth. “You’ll see the thrilling plasticity of all the same actors moving from a powerful tragedy to completely different comedic roles at night.”

Or vice versa: Audiences will have a choice of seeing either the comedy or the tragedy first.

“We will alternate each Sunday: Do you like your ice cream before dinner, or after?” Orr says.

Orr says his instinct would be to “see Macbeth at night. It’s supernatural; it’s got ghosts and witches; I want to leave the theater after dark. 

“Tragedy first!” Franz says. “I want to see the heavy stuff, then finish with a light palate cleanser.”

Franz is currently working on “value-added” programming between performances, which could include such things as a picnic with a director or talkback with a dramaturg.

“We’ll definitely have some special events in between,” she says. “Stay tuned.”

Season and single tickets for CSF’s 2024 lineup are on sale now at coloradoshakes.org.