To American audiences, Sam Mendes is perhaps best known as the Oscar-winning director of American Beauty and the doting husband of actress Kate Winslet. But across the pond, the 44-year-old Brit is also known for his work at the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he started as a fearless young director nearly two decades ago. For the second installment of his Bridge Project, an exciting three-year transatlantic collaboration between BAM, London’s Old Vic Theatre, and Mendes’s Neal Street Productions, he returns to his Shakespearean roots with two romantic comedies by the Bard: As You Like It, which opens January 12, and The Tempest, which opens on Valentine’s Day. The formidable cast includes Tony winner Stephen Dillane, Obie winner Ron Cephas Jones, and real-life married couple, British actress Juliet Rylance and American actor Christian Camargo.

Jan. 12-March 13, 2010