Plans ‘alternative formats’ if in-person not allowed

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival on Dec. 17 announced its 2021 lineup, which will include The Tempest and a modern play about the legacy of slavery in America.

Should in-person performances be allowed by next summer, the festival plans to present The Tempest and James Ijames’ The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington under the tent at Boscobel in Garrison, where HVSF has performed for the past 34 years. (The 2020 season was canceled.) But 2021 will be its last at Boscobel, because the company plans in 2022 to move to a new site on what is now part of the Garrison Golf Club.

If in-person shows are not allowed because of continuing pandemic restrictions, the company will figure out a way to produce them in alternative formats, said Davis McCallum, the artistic director, in a statement.

The company will also produce a radio-play adaptation of Macbeth that will be shared with schools. Raz Golden, who formerly worked on a podcast adaptation of Richard II for The Public Theater, will direct.

Longtime company member Ryan Quinn will direct The Tempest, while Taylor Reynolds will direct Ijames’ play, which takes place in 1800 as the slaves at Mount Vernon wait to be freed upon the death of Martha Washington.

“Planning a season in an ongoing pandemic is a challenge, but we feel that we are uniquely positioned to make theater under an open-air tent next summer,” McCallum said. “A scaled-back two-play season will allow us to adapt to the changing circumstances of the pandemic and returns us to our roots as a repertory company, with many of the same actors appearing in both plays.”

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