Four plays in two days

Prague Shakespeare Company presents three comedies and a tragedy

So many plays, so little time. You can see shortened versions of four Shakespeare plays in two nights at the Estates Theater on July 20 and 21, presented by Prague Shakespeare Company under the banner Not Your Grandma's Shakespeare.

The Comedy of Errors and Two Gentlemen of Verona will be double billed on July 20; Much Ado About Nothing and Julius Caesar both hit the boards July 21. The plays are in English with Czech surtitles based on a translation by Martin Hilský.

The plays are each approximately 80 minutes long each, and there is an interval between the plays each evening, adding up to about three hours each night in total.

The plays feature professional Prague Shakespeare Company artists along with faculty and participants from the Prague Shakespeare Company 2018 Summer Shakespeare Intensive program.

The Comedy of Errors and Two Gentlemen of Verona are both comedies. The former, directed by Jennifer King, features switched identities, spurned lovers and plucky servants. The plot revolves around two pairs of twins who were separated at birth. Jennifer King acts, directs and teaches in the US and across Europe. She is a tenured professor of theater at Napa Valley College, where she founded and runs Shakespeare Napa Valley.

Two Gentlemen of Verona is Shakespeare’s first great romantic comedy, filled with love and betrayal. Close friends Valentine and Proteus both pursue the Duke of Milan's beautiful daughter, Sylvia. The seldom-produced play is directed by and stars Ben Crystal, who has been a promoter of original pronunciation. He has appeared on stage at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, among many other venues.

Much Ado About Nothing is another comedy, while Julius Caesar is a historical tragedy. Much Ado About Nothing is one of the more accessible plays, with themes of loyalty, chivalry, and love. It is one of the most popular comedies in the English language. This production is directed by Kiara Pipino and Linda Gates. Kiara Pipino is an assistant professor of theater at King University, and the artistic director and the resident director of the Festival Internazionale Valle Christi in Italy, among other credits. Linda Gates is head of voice at Northwestern University.

Julius Caesar follows the aftermath of the assassination of the Roman leader. The political masterpiece still rings true today. It is directed by Prague Shakespeare Company artistic director Guy Roberts.

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