In Washington, the Bard’s the Thing
The Shakespeare Theatre Company is gearing up for its spring season with its annual Will on the Hill event, which provides members of Congress and the journalists who cover them the chance to perform. The D.C. theater’s spring season might be one of its best yet, with its exploration of the intersection of Washington drama and the dramatic arts. And it aims to raise a little money in the process.
It all kicks off with Will on the Hill on May 6. For one evening (or for at least an hour), Beltway frenemies call a truce, don ridiculous costumes and put on a show to benefit the theater company’s metro-area educational programs. If you’re cringing, don’t worry: These Washington folks get an assist from a couple of professional actors.
This year the captains of the good ship Shakespeare are actors John Leguizamo (“Ice Age,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” “Romeo and Juliet”) and Anna Chlumsky (“VEEP,” “In the Loop,” “My Girl”).
The congressional cast includes Reps. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., Susan A. Davis, D-Calif., Donna Edwards, D-Md., Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y., Jim McDermott, D-Wash., Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., Jared Polis, D-Colo., Peter Roskam, R-Ill., Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., and Peter Welch, D-Vt.
Also hamming it up for a good cause will be Hardball’s Chris Matthews, NPR’s Susan Stamberg, CBS’ Major Garrett and Rita Braver, ABC’s Rick Klein, Politico’s Jonathan Allen and The Hill’s Bob Cusack.
A week later on May 13, the Shakespeare Theatre Company continues the jollities with its annual Mock Trial and Dinner. Supreme Court justices join some of the most skilled judges and lawyers this town has to offer to hear a case based on one of Shakespeare’s plays. This year the case is Pen v. Sword, based on the Bard’s tragedy “Coriolanus.”
Presiding over the court will be Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who will be joined by Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Stephen G. Breyer. Merrick B. Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and two of his colleagues, Douglas H. Ginsburg and Brett M. Kavanaugh, will also weigh in.
A little bit of free advice? Grab your tickets now to these events now. Will on the Hill tickets are $50; the Mock Trial and Dinner has already sold out, but you can get on a waiting list at shakespearetheatre.org.