Stuck in a filthy barn in Elizabethan England, a lowly bumpkin known as “Will Shakspere” longs to be an artist. Continuously thwarted by his hilariously chore-giving, homebound wife, Will takes off for London to pursue his dreams. Did the stageuck Will then become a mere front-man for the likes of Sir Francis Bacon, the Earl of Oxford, and even Queen Elizabeth, all too proud to admit they scribbled plays for the unwashed masses? So the stage is set for The Beard of Avon, Amy Freed’s (a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Freedomland) deliciously witty and farcical play that brilliantly fashions the longstanding debate over who really penned the Bard’s canon into an examination of the mortality of artists and the immortality of their legacy. As Will comically struggles to become an artist in his own right, Freed, with a gleefully winking awareness of the intervening centuries, keenly reflects on artistic inspiration, the struggle to become an artistic master, and the very meaning of creativity.
Set Design Neil Patel
Costume Design Catherine Zuber
Lighting Design Michael Chybowski
Original Music and Sound Design David Van Tieghem
with Timothy Doyle, James Gale, Kate Jennings Grant, Mark Harelik, Tom Lacy, Alan Mandell, Tim Blake Nelson, David Schramm, Justin Schultz, Jeff Whitty and Mary Louise Wilson