Martin Platt, Artistic Director of Olney Theatre Center, and Jason King Jones, Director of National Players, have announced the titles for the 65th anniversary tour of National Players. For the first time this century National Players will tour with three productions, Shakespeare's Macbeth and Comedy of Errors, and Homer's Odyssey.
National Players has not presented Macbeth since the 1979-80 Tour 31. "The Scottish Play," as it is superstitiously called by theatre artists, is one of Shakespeare's most popular tragedies. It follows the story of a Scottish anti-hero and his quest to seize and retain power by any means necessary. Macbeth will be directed by Casey Kaleba.
Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare's shortest play, is a raucous tale of mistaken identity and twins separated at birth. Directed by Jason King Jones, the ninety-minute slapstick romp is ideal for families and audiences of all ages.
For the first time in National Players' history, The Company will bring to life Homer's epic poem of Odysseus's remarkable voyage. Odyssey, a new verse play, written and directed by Jones, is a dynamic piece of ensemble storytelling that continues Homer's ancient oral tradition with striking clarity.
"We are very excited to branch into new territory," says Jason King Jones, Director of Education and National Players. "It's great to tackle works we haven't done before. All three of these plays speak to the present day in different ways, and we’re thrilled to share them on Tour 65," says Jones.
Two radically different Shakespeare plays and a new approach to an ancient text: this is a perfect example of National Players’ mission to stimulate young people’s higher thinking skills and imaginations by presenting classical plays in innovative and accessible ways. National Players has brought theatre to unlikely corners of the nation for the past sixty-four years, and productions of this caliber are sure to fuel it for its next sixty-four.
"Whether it is Charleston, South Carolina, or Yankton, South Dakota, National Players truly belongs to the nation—as it has throughout its remarkable history," says Jones.