Have Stage, Will Travel: Royal Shakespeare Company in New York

| July 26, 2011 6:41 PM video
Greg Hicks performs a scene from the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of "King Lear" during a rehearsal at the Park Avenue Armory. AP Photo/Lincoln Center, Stephanie Berger.
The Royal Shakespeare Company in New York
Where: Park Avenue Armory
Opening: July 6
Closing August 14
Price: $250

When some shows go on tour, they pack costumes and props. The Royal Shakespeare Company shlepped a whole stage. For a six-week residency at the Park Avenue Armory, the world’s most famous Shakespeare troupe is performing on a full-scale replica of their theater in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. SundayArts followed the story as the stage took shape in the Armory’s 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall.

The set was built in Stratford-Upon-Avon, then shipped in pieces to New York, where it was re-assembled. Rebecca Robertson, president and executive director of the Park Avenue Armory, told SundayArts that the Drill Hall is a unique space in the New York cultural scene because “you can transform it and create a world that the audience enters into like you can’t do anywhere else.”

The Royal Shakespeare Company is an ensemble, and the actors trade roles in the Shakespearian repertoire. The company is performing “Julius Caesar,” “As You Like It,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “King Lear” and “The Winter’s Tale” throughout the summer.

In an interview with SundayArts, Artistic Director Michael Boyd emphasized the importance of the community space. He says that what is most important is that audiences “go away having loved it,” but admits that it would be a bonus if the performances inspired other theater companies to create spaces where “the audience are in congregation with the performers.”


“Sunday Arts” covers the Royal Shakespeare Company performances in New York. The production has been in planning for three years. Video courtesy of “Sunday Arts.”

  • Wendy Berry

    I was there on the hottest day of the year to see “Winter’s Tale”. This production was just incredible and brought out so many emotions in me. The theatre itself made me feel cozy and enclosed as we sat in Row KK. I told all my friends about this event and tried to get more tickets but none were available. It means I must travel to Stratford-Upon -Avon to catch more of this production. BRAVO to the cast.

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