2017 SHAKESPEARE SEASON

Through the laughter, we find characters trying to stake a claim to true love, true friendship, and true justice–and ultimately coming to terms, as we all do, with what life throws at them.  We hope you will join us for a season that promises to raise questions about what we value most and the (sometimes absurd) lengths we will go to achieve them.  

The BTE’s 2017 season is a bold step forward for our theater company, and we could not be more excited.  Now more than ever, we are demonstrating our commitment to the growth of theater artists with a yearlong series of workshops on acting and directing for our first-ever Brass Tacks troupe.  The sixteen strong, talented artists that make up our 2017 troupe will practice various techniques and hone their skills, eventually bringing all that work to the stage in three of Shakespeare’s plays.  If you like your Shakespeare well-acted and well-told, you will not want to miss these three productions.  It will be a season like none you have ever seen. –James Ingagiola, Artistic Director

The season begins with Much Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare’s wittiest comedies.  As Don Pedro, Prince of Arragon, leads his victorious soldiers to the city of Messina, the scene shifts to conflicts of a different kind.  The young Count Claudio falls in love at first sight with the lovely Hero only to have his feelings dashed through the machinations of the vengeful Don John, Don Pedro’s half-brother.  Meanwhile, Benedick, another of the Prince’s followers, engages in a war of words with Hero’s cousin Beatrice–each denying an attraction for the other.  Will these two pairs find true love behind all the masks and deceptions?  And will the bumbling constable Dogberry bring the “aspicious persons” to justice?  Find out this spring.  See cast biographies here!

April 21 – May 7, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at the CCC (1600 Pauline Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI). Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for students (with ID). For reservations, email btereservations@gmail.com or call or text (734) 926-5376.

The scene shifts to Venice for our second offering of the season as Bassanio seeks to woo the rich heiress, Portia who resides in Belmont.  The problem:  Bassanio has no money to get there, so he resorts to borrowing from his friend, Antonio, a wealthy merchant.  The problem:  Antonio has no cash on hand, but he offers to be bound for the money that Bassanio borrows from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender.  The problem:  Shylock, seeking some measure of vengeance for the mistreatment he has received in the past, lends the money under one chilling condition.    And all of this is before Bassanio even gets to Belmont to woo the woman of his dreams.  A close friendship, a lover’s merit, and the limits of mercy and justice are tested in our summer production of The Merchant of Venice.

August 3 – 5, Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Kerrytown Concert House (415 N Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor, MI). Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for students (with ID). For reservations, visit http://www.kerrytownconcerthouse.com/ or call (734) 769-2999.

In the fall, we move to Vienna (though the names remain Italian) for our production of Measure for Measure.  Often labeled one of Shakespeare’s problem plays–a comedy with dark, dramatic undertones and overtones–it is the story of a duke, Vincentio, who leaves his morally bankrupt city in the hands of one of his sternest deputies, the austere Angelo.  The first victim of Angelo’s strict interpretation of the law is the young Claudio (another one), who is doomed to die for committing adultery.  Claudio’s virtuous sister, Isabella, leaves her convent to plead with Angelo for her brother’s life–only to be forced into a terrible dilemma by the deputy:  Her brother or her virtue.  Questions of morality, of duty, and of justice are brought to the fore as the characters try to maneuver between reality and their ideals.

November 3 – 19, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at the CCC (1600 Pauline Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI). Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for students (with ID). For reservations, email btereservations@gmail.com or call or text (734) 926-5376.


THE 2017 TROUPE 

Brittany Batell, Amy Bogetto-Weinraub, Mary Conley, Isaac Ellis, Craig Ester, Ethan Gibney, Sara Long, Veronica Long, Kathleen E. Marinan, Maegan Murphy, Amanda Photenhauer, Anne S. Rhoades, Russ Schwartz, Kate Topham, Aaron C. Wade, and Elizabeth Wagner.