The RSC in NYC – Shakespeare Comes Out to Play on the UES!
The New York Times reports that the Royal Shakespeare Company has committed to installing a classical theater inside the Park Avenue Armory for a six-week residency in the summer of 2011. The planned 900-seat theater replica based on their current Courtyard Theatre in Stratford on Avon with seating on three levels, a proscenium and a traditional thrust stage perfect for.. you guessed it – The Bard himself.
And here you may say, “Does NYC really need any more theatre? And does it have to be done by Brits in tights?” To which we say both yes and no. Hear us out…
NYC is Behind in DC in Shakespearean Shenanigans
As strange as it seems, NYC has exactly ZERO major theatre companies dedicated entirely to Willie the Shake. In fact, some of our major companies seem to eschew The Bard on purpose (Lincoln Center has only done three Shakespearean productions in a decade!) or go for other classical outlets (The Roundabout has been a Shaw lover’s best friend for the last few years). Compare that to Washington DC or Chicago – both of whom have Shakespeare Theatres going all year round.
So, yes…we could be getting our Shakespeare on a bit more. But here’s the great news – we have many excellent Off Broadway companies rocking out the classics every day…and now we have a wonderful opportunity to let them to step it up!
Why not let companies like Red Bull Theatre (who had the cojones to produce both Edward the Second and Pericles – not Da Shakes most crowd pleasing plays around), The Pearl, Theatre for a New Audience (who just opened Measure for Measure!), and Classic Stage Company do a round-robin residency on the RSC stage once they’ve left? The people behind these companies are passionate and motivated – if they had a chance to partner with an entity like Lincoln Center as the RSC has, well…then we might be looking at our best chance to cultivate an organically homegrown Shakespeare Theatre Company on the same scale that DC and Chicago have.
Store it in New York! We Deserve It!
So we say, keep the theatre here! We’ll support the RSC whenever they come to tread the boards and build their audience with our own productions in the meantime.
And while Charles Isherwood can be quoted in the Times Article saying that it helps the Royal Shakespeare Company by sparing them “the trouble of finding somewhere to put the massive thing”, we would like to point out that Manhattan Mini Storage has great storage rates on our larger storage space rentals in NY and the Upper East Side 62nd street location is very close.
Manhattan Mini Storage would quite do. At least as a place to help store, say, props? Or those lovely Elizabethan costumes? Bring it on, Brits! We’ll keep an eye on your stuff…you just keep bringing Shakespeare to the people in every way you can.