Chekhov, Shakespeare highlight sked

EDINBURGH — The American Repertory Theater and the Kennedy Center’s Suzanne Farrell Ballet will be among highlights of the 60th Edinburgh Intl. Festival, which announced its program March 22. The event, which runs Aug. 13-Sept. 2, will feature leading theater directors including Peter Stein, Francois Girard and Calixto Bieito, plus an extensive lineup of classical concerts.

Krystian Lupa’s staging of Chekhov’s “The Three Sisters,” which in December played at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, Mass., will be one of five major theater productions playing in the Scottish capital. The Polish helmer worked for the first time with U.S. actors, including Kelly McAndrew, Molly Ward and Sarah Grace Wilson as the titular siblings.

Also in the theater program, German helmer Stein will stage Shakespeare’s “Troilus and Cressida” in a newly commissioned production that will transfer to Stratford, England, as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ambitious yearlong season of the Bard’s complete works. Casting has not been announced.

Stein, whose EIF production of “Blackbird” is playing in London’s West End, also crops up in the opera program, staging Tchaikovsky’s “Mazeppa” for the Opera National de Lyon. The same company is producing a Brecht/Weill double-bill — “The Lindbergh Flight” and “The Seven Deadly Sins” — directed by Canada’s Girard, who made his name with the films “Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould” and “The Red Violin.”

Controversial Catalonian helmer Bieito will risk ruffling more feathers with the world preem of his adaptation of “Platform,” Michel Houellebecq’s novel, in which a French civil servant sets up a travel agency specializing in third-world sex tourism.

After a run in May at Quebec City’s Carrefour International de Theatre, “Long Life,” a wordless production from the New Riga Theater in Latvia, will arrive in Edinburgh. For the home team, the new National Theater of Scotland will present “Realism,” a play by Anthony Neilson, whose “The Wonderful World of Dissocia” was a critical hit two years ago.

Brian McMaster, who retires after 15 years as EIF director after this year’s event, will be succeeded by former Melbourne Intl. Arts Festival topper Jonathan Mills in October.

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