Michigan Shakespeare Festival Kicks Off 20th Season Today
The Michigan Shakespeare Festival will open their 20th Anniversary Season, today, July 17, 2014. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and Shakespeare's romantic adventure Cymbeline will run in repertory for five weeks, today, July 17 -August 17, 2014.
Six discounted previews, sponsored by Jackson's JTV and The Commercial Exchange, will begin each run, followed by Press Opening Night on the third performance of each production.
Regular performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. with Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. All performances will be held at the Baughman Theatre, located in the Potter Center on the campus of Jackson College, 2111 Emmons Road, Jackson MI 49201. The 20thAnniversary Season is sponsored by the Weatherwax Foundation, the James A. & Faith Knight Foundation, the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, MACI Youth Fund, Experience Jackson, Consumers Energy, Comerica Bank, Jackson Community Foundation, Anethesia Business Consultants, Jackson College, Samuel Higby Camp Foundation, Louis Glick Memorial Trust, Jackson Art & Literary Association, and the Hurst Foundation.
The 2014 Season opens with Shakespeare's most well known work, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. "It's our 20th Anniversary and Shakespeare's 450th birthday," stated Artistic Director Janice L. Blixt. "If ever there was a perfect time to do Hamlet, it's now." Blixt will direct both Hamlet and the witty comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. The Festival is pleased to announce that Robert Kauzlaric, director of She Stoops to Conquer (2013 Season), Love's Labour's Lost (2012 Wilde Award "Best of the Bard") and Tartuffe (2011 Season) will return this summer to helm Cymbeline.
MSF is particularly pleased to announce the return of several MSF Artistic Associates. Janet Haley (Flint, MI) will be appearing as Gertrude in Hamlet and the Queen in Cymbeline, Alan Ball (Oak Park, IL) will be playing Polonius in Hamlet, Reverend Chausable in The Importance of Being Earnest and Belarius in Cymbeline. David Blixt (Chicago, IL) returns as Iachimo in Cymbeline. Additional returning company members include David Turrentine (Chicago, IL), Brandon St. Clair Saunders (Chicago, IL), Daniel Helmer (Flint, MI), Wendy Hiller (Ann Arbor, MI), Lydia Hiller (Ann Arbor, MI) and Rick Eva (Canton, MI). Making their debut with the Festival are Joe Lehman (Chicago, IL), Rachel Hull (Flint, MI), Christopher Payne (Detroit, MI), Edmund Alyn Jones (Detroit, MI), Eric Eilersen (Rochester, MI) and Shawn Pfautsch (Chicago, IL) playing the title role in Hamlet.
Tickets for the 2014 Season are now on sale, including season Flex Passes, and can be purchased by calling the Potter Center Ticket Office at 517-796-8600 or by visiting www.michiganshakespearefestival.com. A Flex Pass will include one ticket to each production, and show dates and times can be chosen at the time of purchase, or at a later date. The Potter Center Ticket Office is open Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and one hour prior to show time. The ticket office is located within the Potter Center at 2111 Emmons Road, Jackson MI 49201.
Founded in 1995, the Michigan Shakespeare Festival is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit professional theatre company operating under a League of Regional Theatres Letter of Agreement with the Actors' Equity Association. The MSF is dedicated to entertaining and educating a broad-based audience through professional performances of Shakespeare's works and other classic plays. In 2003 the MSF's quality productions earned it the designation as "The Official Shakespeare Festival of the State of Michigan" from the Michigan State Legislature. The MSF performs a repertory season of three productions annually at The Baughman Theatre, located in Jackson College's Potter Center.