It’s 1606 and an egomaniacal Shakespeare (Michael Urie) is plagued… with writer’s block. London’s theatres are closed and the actual plague has the Bard stuck in quarantine with his “young” apprentice, Francis (Ryan Spahn). In through the window climbs Jane Anger (Amelia Workman), a Cunning Woman and a writer of her own merit with a dream to change history (and the cajones to make it happen). As Shakespeare attempts to write King Lear, Jane and Anne Hathaway (of Stratford, not Hollywood, played by playwright Talene Monahon) take matters into their own more than capable hands.
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All titles, artists, and dates subject to change.
Reviews from the Off-Broadway Run:
“[Jane Anger] has a liveliness that the exceptional cast runs away with, delivering Monahon’s mile-a-minute gags with zest.” —The New York Times
“Monahon’s excellent new play meets that scourge of stupidity with rage, wit, and the most artfully crafted dick jokes you’ve ever heard.” —Theatrely
“[Michael] Urie is, as always, a triumph. His Shakespeare consists of a deliberately limited set of ingredients — peevishness, sudden freak-outs, equally sudden flops into boneless ennui—which Urie assembles and reassembles into a banquet.” —Vulture
“With its gleefully anachronistic tone, nod-and-wink meta-humor and raunchy antics, ‘Jane Anger’ makes for brazen counterprogramming as it follows a staging of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ at STC’s Harman Hall and precedes a production of ‘King Lear’ at the Klein Theatre in February. Its portrayal of Shakespeare himself, stricken with writer’s block and a severe case of narcissism, plays as particularly irreverent at a company adorned with his name.
“I’m completely tickled and excited by the fact that this play comes between two incredibly detailed, amazing Shakespeare interpretations,” [director Jess] Chayes says. “To have sandwiched between those a play where we can gleefully skewer Shakespeare and the patriarchy, it’s just the best programming choice I could imagine.”
Check out The Washington Post‘s full interview with Jane Anger‘s cast and director below.
“Monahan’s script imagines that Shakespeare and Anger actually knew each other and uses quick-witted, ribald comedy and fast-paced dialogue to explore what their relationship would have been like if Shakespeare was a toxic goofball and Anger an empowered free thinker…
But for all its humor, Jane Anger is a play that raises questions about who gets to have a voice in society, “particularly in the early 1600s when women were not given many opportunities,” [Ryan] Spahn says. “It’s a play that encourages people to seize their own narrative. And if you are trying to seize your narrative and no one is listening, speak up, and if people continue not to listen then start to get angry.”
Read DC Theater Arts‘ candid full interview with Michael Urie and Ryan Spahn below.
Playwright: Talene Monahon
Director: Jess Chayes
In association with: Jennifer Campos Productions
Scenic Designer: Kristen Robinson
Costume Designer: Andrea Hood
Lighting Designer: Stacey Derosier
Original Music & Sound Design: Lindsay Jones
Special Effects Design: Jeremy Chernick
Resident Dramaturg: Dr. Drew Lichtenberg
Fight Choreographer: Sean Michael Chin
Original Casting: Claire Yenson
Resident Casting Director: Danica Rodriguez
Assistant Director: Ashley Mapley-Brittle
Production Stage Manager: Marne Anderson*
Assistant Stage Manager: Dayne Sundman
Stage Management Swing: Lauren Pekel
Michelle and Tim Gillis
Kendall Kay and Jack Davies
Emily Lenzner and Vivek Jain
The Shrivastava Family
Rob and Robin Wilder and the Duane Wilder Foundation
Special Thanks to Pat Addiss.
The health and well-being of our patrons, artists, and staff are our top priority at STC. Based on audience surveys, CDC recommendations, and the countless hours of work and data analysis of our in-house Covid-19 Committee, STC has developed (and will continue to develop) policies and procedures to best serve everyone entering our theatre and spaces.
Beginning with our production of Much Ado About Nothing this November, STC will be hosting MASK REQUIRED performances on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays and MASK RECOMMENDED performances on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.