Raleigh, N.C. (Jan. 9, 2015) -   A convergence of arts organizations throughout Raleigh, presenting work written or inspired by William Shakespeare, has given rise to Wherefore: Shakespeare in Raleigh.

This unique series, from January to June, celebrates the lasting impact and timeless popularity of Shakespeare by offering everyone in the Triangle, from the expert to the neophyte, an opportunity to experience a variety of his work as presented by the area's most exciting arts institutions. Area residents and visitors can find full information and purchase individual show tickets at http://www.visitRaleigh.com/wherefore

Wherefore: Shakespeare in Raleigh will include six theatrical productions and one semi-staged production presented by the North Carolina Symphony, in collaboration with PlayMakers Repertory Company.

Patrons can choose to attend one or more productions from:

  • Burning Coal Theatre: Romeo & Juliet (Jan. 22-Feb.15) - the tragic love story about two young people who dare to defy their parents and find love with each other, despite their family's bitter and age-old rivalry.
  • Raleigh Little Theatre: Much Ado About Nothing (Feb. 13-Mar. 1) - Beatrice and Benedick disdain love and each other, which makes them a perfect match. If they can't see how much they belong together, perhaps they can be tricked into it.
  • Bare Theatre: Measure for Measure (Mar. 19-Apr. 4) - Considered one of Shakespeare's "problem plays," concerning desire, sexuality and social norms, taking place in 1920s Paris.
  • North Carolina Symphony: A Midsummer Night's Dream (May 8-9) - North Carolina Symphony will present a semi-staged production of Midsummer Night's Dream, at Meymandi Concert Hall, in collaboration with PlayMakers Repertory Company.
  • Seed Art Share: A Midsummer Night's Dream (May 28-June 6) - Mischievous sprites, lost lovers and bumbing rustics cross paths in a magical night under the towering trees, fairy ferns and blooming roses of the Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden.
  • Theatre In The Park: Equivocation written by Bill Cain (June 5-21) - Regional premiere! Shakespeare is commissioned to write the official history of the gunpowder plot, but it must have witches. In this high-stakes political thriller, the Bard creates one of his most famous works.
  • Bare Theatre and Raleigh Little Theatre: Macbeth (June 19-27) - Experience one of Shakespeare's most notorious dramas, performed under the stars in Raleigh Little Theatre's amphitheatre.

"Many people don't realize that there are over 30 actively producing theatres in the Triangle. To the best of our knowledge, a collaborative festival of this magnitude has never been attempted here before, but it presents wonderful opportunities for audiences to experience this timeless work in a variety of settings and stagings," says Renee Wimberley, Creative Director, Seed Art Share.

"I am so excited about this series," says Equivocation director David Henderson. "What a great opportunity to not only see some wonderful productions by some of the area's leading arts organizations, but also witness each organization's unique, individual interpretation of Shakespeare."

Raleigh Little Theatre's Artistic Director Patrick Torres states, "As a newcomer to Raleigh, the enthusiasm these companies are bringing in launching Wherefore is exciting. I'm amazed that such a diverse group of institutions were so willing to come together to create this series. The support we've seen is astonishing. Raleigh truly is an artistic city, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it."

Join Wherefore: Shakespeare in Raleigh for a kickoff party on Tuesday, January 20th at The Hive in downtown Raleigh. This event will feature live music, a performance by the Nickel Shakespeare Girls and a panel discussion hosted by Frank Stasio, from WUNC's The State of Things, as to why these plays matter and what they mean to modern audiences. This event is free and open to the public, and a cash bar is available. The program will begin at 7pm, and doors will open at 6:30pm. More information and free online registration for the party is found at www.visitRaleigh.com/rsvp.

Wherefore: Shakespeare in Raleigh is sponsored by WUNC and supported by the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. For ticket information and a complete schedule of Wherefore: Shakespeare in Raleigh, please visit www.visitRaleigh.com/wherefore.