PRAISE FOR JOE BANNO’S SHAKESPEARE & CLASSICS
“A nervy, electrifying heartbreaker….A director’s triumph. The freshness of Banno’s invention, his brash, unapologetic wit, his delight in the extraordinary material – these qualities can make it seem as if the joy and wonder in Shakespeare’s plays were completely new to him, and so he can make them new again to us”.
WASHINGTON POST on “ROMEO AND JULIET”
"A true spellbinder, this audacious production succeeds marvelously….Rich, magical and stirring….It’s directed by a man drunk on love of Shakespeare.”
on THE TEMPEST
“Theatre-goers spend countless hours in search of the visceral charge that goes through an audience when a production fires the imagination of the whole house at once. Right now, the Folger is one place they can find it.”
WASHINGTON CITY PAPER on HAMLET
“Banno has gone as far as you can go into the dark, empty heart of Chekhov’s masterpiece, finding the roots of Beckett’s absurdist comedies. This production is a brilliant one….Startling, poetic, enrapturing”
on THE CHERRY ORCHARD
“Banno’s anarchic production catches the play’s sly, sassy spirit, spraying it with pop-cultural jokes and references. You never know what you’ll see next in one of Banno’s inventive versions of the classics.”
on DON JUAN OF SEVILLE
Celebrated for his culturally relevant updating of classic and period material – like his American-set deconstructions of “Tartuffe”, “Don Juan of Seville”, “The Cherry Orchard” and “The Importance of Being Earnest” at Source Theatre, and “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” at Rep Stage – Joe Banno has garnered particular praise for his work in Shakespeare, having directed nearly half the Bard’s canon of plays.
He directed eight Shakespeare works for the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, including a notably popular production of “Much Ado About Nothing”; a racially-charged update of “The Merchant of Venice”; an experimental take on “Hamlet”; a Busby Berkeley-flavored staging of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (which was later showcased in the Folger Library’s historical-retrospective exhibition, “A Play Fitted: Shakespeare on the Stage”); and a gritty, contemporary “Romeo and Juliet” that won three Helen Hayes Awards including one for Outstanding Direction.
Banno’s Shakespeare has also been seen at the cutting-edge Washington Shakespeare Company/Avant-Bard – seven productions, focusing on rarely-seen works like “Cymbeline”, “Troilus and Cressida” and “Edward the Third”, as well as a “Pericles” production that is discussed in the current Arden Shakespeare edition of the play.
At the American Shakespeare Center’s historically-recreated Blackfriars Theatre, Banno directed a twice-extended, year-long run of a corporate-set “King Lear”, which was the featured production during that year’s Shakespeare Theatre Association of America Conference.
COPYRIGHT 2017 BY JOE BANNO ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SITE BY KIKKERT DESIGN