From the 2009-2010 Season:
Playing June 05, 2010 to June 27, 2010
A Suzi Bass Awards Recommended Show!
Forced into the Senate by his overbearing mother, the Achilles-like Coriolanus does nothing to hide his disdain for democracy, which works against him as Rome’s leader. His citizens are hungry; his Senate peers are disloyal.
Eventually banished by his own people, this God of War does the only thing he knows to do: lead his own enemy’s army to kill the very people he serves. Shakespeare’s tale of extreme betrayal is also one of his bloodiest and most political tragedies.
Join us as we explore this grand-scale story of militaristic pride, maternal influence and knowing who’s got your back. Literally.
You know what they say: Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.Click here to see an interview with J.C. Long.
Click here to see an interview with Andrew Houchins.
Coriolanus is the first of the last 5 Shakespeare plays left to be performed by this company! Donate to our Canon Completion Project Challenge Fund to help us finish all of Shakespeare's plays by this time next year!
Our Education Development Coordinator, Kristin Hall, is very enthusiastic about this production and she wants you to know more about it so you'll get excited, too! Read what she has to say here.
Participate in our Coriolanus Photoshop and Caption Contest! Go here for more information
Join the cast and crew members for a Question and Answer session on Sunday June 13 after the show!
Read the Plot Synopsis
Caius Marcius, arrogant patrician, loathes the common people, the hungry plebeians of Rome, who return his hate. He shows so much personal bravery in the defeat of the Volscians, led by Tullus Aufidius, that he is given the name of Coriolanus (from the town of Corioli, the Volscian stronghold) and, in Rome, is chosen as a candidate for the consulship. Detesting the obligatory display of humility in public, he carries it out with contempt, though the Tribunes of the People are in venomous opposition.
Accusing him of being a traitor to the Roman people, they urge the plebeians to demand his death. At length he goes into exile (“There is a world elsewhere”) and seeks his enemy Aufidius who, at Antium, is planning a fresh attack. News of this deeply disturbs the Roman citizens; Coriolanus, advancing as a general of the Volscians, remains obdurate until he yields to the pleading of his mother, wife and son, and prepares to make a treaty of peace. Aufidius, who has been bitterly jealous, charges him before the Volscian Senate with betraying the cause, and he is stabbed to death. “Struck with sorrow”, Aufidius orders the body to be taken up; “He shall have a noble memory.”
-The Pocket Companion to Shakespeare’s Plays by J C Trewin
People often ask me what my favorite Shakespeare play is and I’m genuinely amazed my answer always seems to be the play I’m working on at the moment. That sounds cliché I know, but it’s true and if history holds, by the time you read this my new favorite play will be Coriolanus. In fact I’m sure of it.
Shakespeare’s Coriolanus presents a number of unique challenges to the modern producer, not the least of which is a serious level of bloody combat right smack at the beginning of the play. Just fielding ten combatants on a stage is enough to discourage most theater companies. Of course, if you saw our productions of Henry VI parts 1 2 & 3 or the recent Richard III, you’ll know that we live and breathe this stuff and that for us, swinging steel at the heads of our mortal enemies is just another day at the office. But bloodlust and violence are just two of the reasons I am so excited to be doing this wonderful play. After 25 years of producing, directing and acting Shakespeare for a living, it’s a real thrill to be doing what for me really is a brand new play by Shakespeare. Not only that, Coriolanus was written in 1607, during the last ten years of his career. That means that the text we have to work with was written when Shakespeare was at the utmost height of his creative powers.
Like I said . . . we live and breathe this stuff and encountering Fresh Shakespeare of this quality is a joy beyond measure.
So sit back, relax and enjoy our journey to ancient Rome. Then let me know what YOU think at .
Act One - 80 minutes Act 2 - 50 minutes
Coriolanus – J.C. Long*
Titus Lartius – Matt Nitchie
Cominius – Troy Willis*
Menenius Agrippa – J. Tony Brown*
Sicinius Velutus – Drew Reeves*
Junius Brutus- Doug Kaye*
Volumnia – Joanna Daniel*
Virgilia – Becky Cormier Finch
Valeria – Laura Cole
Nicanor - Matt Nitchie
Tullus Aufidius - Andrew Houchins*
Adrian - Nicholas Faircloth
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
Bardometer RatingHow difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
What does rating this mean?
These plays are extremely passionate and heavy on religious, historical and/or political content. There may be increased violence, gore and sexuality (though, unless noted, there is never any nudity). The language is complex and the themes are dark. We provide a synopsis in the Playbill for these plays which will explain any historical or political elements you may need to know.
We recommend this type of play to Shakespeare-geeks, College or Advanced Students, frequent theatre-goers and people who like documentaries or “guy films”.
How to prepare for seeing this kind of play: You may wish to read the synopsis, search the internet for resources, or see a movie-version if one exists.
Performances this Season
- A Midsummer Night’s DreamPerformances begin July 24, 2014
- The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)Performances begin August 14, 2014
- The Comedy of ErrorsPerformances begin August 28, 2014