Merry Wives of Windsor | July 4 – August 18

by William Shakespeare
directed by Catherine Weidner

sponsored by Christine & David Heckman

In Shakespeare’s only domestic comedy, laughter reigns supreme and feminine wisdom triumphs over jealous husbands, confused lovers, and one corpulent knight. Sir John Falstaff arrives in Windsor in need of money. Instead of searching for work, he plots to woo not one, but two wealthy women. Disguises and complications abound as the two women teach Falstaff a loving lesson with manipulative messengers, secret scandals, and a flurry of forgiveness.

Schedule
Thursday, July 4, 7:30 p.m. (Preview)
Friday, July 5, 7:30 p.m. (Opening)
Saturday, July 13, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 17, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 21, 7:00 p.m. (Post-Show Discussion)
Thursday, August 1, 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 1, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, August 9, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 10, 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 17, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 18, 1:00 p.m.
Production Team & Cast (coming soon)

 

From the Director

Rumor has it that Queen Elizabeth I commissioned this play from Shakespeare in order to see the character of Falstaff in a comic light and a leading role. Two weeks later, with only a short passage written in verse, Shakespeare provided this high-spirited farce with a moral twist, one that has entertained audiences ever since. The play resonates today because the women are in charge for a change; and it also illuminates the mischief and mayhem that result from making snap judgments. It’s fun to imagine how we could update the setting, have all the messages sent via Twitter feed, and have some fun at the expense of the current political climate; or, take a more serious approach and have Falstaff in a white bathrobe, reading Variety, and then thrown into jail in the forest to fend for himself. Boom!

But instead, we’ve set the play in a time when “Father Knows Best” in part to set that concept on its ear, to focus on how far we’ve come, and acknowledge the journey ahead. Our production takes the long view: we’re all in this together, our words and actions matter, and we need to look at our own behavior and make changes. We do this through the lens of physical comedy, honoring the work of legends Flip Wilson, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, and Carol Burnett, and by filtering in new voices from Awkwafina, Maya Rudolph, Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy, and Tina Fey. Putting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances is the classic recipe for comedy, and right now, we could all use a hearty laugh–with a little grace and forgiveness thrown in for good measure.