The University of Houston's School of Theatre has challenged itself with this year's Houston Shakespeare Festival by bringing one of the Bard's most intense plays to the Miller Outdoor Theatre. Titus Andronicus is the bloodiest of all Shakespearean tragedies. Rape, murder, mutilation, cannibalism and everything else modern audiences associate with the early work of Wes Craven abound. After the emperor of Rome dies, the general Titus refuses the crown and places Tamora, Queen of the Goths, on the throne instead - but not before stupidly murdering one of her sons in a ritualistic sacrifice. Needless to say, Titus has a powerful new enemy. Audiences who want something lighter should go on Wednesday for The Tempest, a richly textured romance that takes place on a magical island. The festival runs Wednesdays through Sundays from July 29 to August 11, alternating between Titus Andronicus and The Tempest each day.
Sun., July 30, 8 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 3, 8 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 5, 8 p.m.; Wed., Aug. 9, 8 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 11, 8 p.m.