Campbell, Carney, Davis Star in La Jolla's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, 7/20-8/22
La Jolla Playhouse presents its production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley, playing in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre July 20 - August 22, 2010 (press opening: July 27 at 7:00 pm).
The cast features Tony Award nominee Charlayne Woodard (The Night Watcher, Pretty Fire) as "Hippolyta/Titania," Obie Award-winners J. Smith-Cameron as "Helena" and Martin Moran as "Puck" and celebrated local Shakespearean actor Jonathan McMurtry as "Egeus."
The full cast includes Amelia Campbell as "Hermia," Maggie Carney as "Peter Quince," Matthew Patrick Davis as "Tom Snout/Wall," Zach Harrison as "Starveling/Moonshine," Tim Hopper as "Lysander," Sean Mahon as "Demetrius," Hugo Medina as "Snug/Lion," Amanda Naughton as "First Fairy," Daniel Oreskes as "Theseus/Oberon," Chris Reed as "Flute/Thisbe," Lucas Caleb Rooney as "Nick Bottom," as well as Ken Berkeley, Matt Cusick and Tatyana Petruk as Fairy-Acrobats and Kyle Anderson, Cate Campbell, Maritxell Carrero, Sarah Garcia, Anne Stella and Bowman Wright as Fairies.
The creative team includes Christopher Ashley, director; Mark Bennett, composer; Neil Patel, set designer; David C. Woolard, costume designer; Howell Binkley, lighting designer; Leon Rothenberg, sound designer; Eric Stern, music director/conductor; Basil Twist, puppet designer; and Andrew Pacho, choreographer. The production also features original music by Broadway composer Mark Bennett intertwined with Felix Mendelssohn's 1842 music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, performed by current members and alumni of the San Diego Youth Symphony.
La Jolla Playhouse's inventive production of A Midsummer Night's Dream opens in a Victorian drawing room and then takes some fanciful twists as the setting shifts to the forest - suggesting
that falling in love can be like losing one's bearings. Contributing to the fantastical environment
will be Mark Bennett's delightful original score, aerialist fairies, and internationally-renowned
puppeteer Basil Twist's unique brand of whimsical puppetry.
Performance times for A Midsummer Night's Dream are Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm; Thursday through Saturday at 8:00pm; and Sundays at 7:00pm. Matinees are held on
Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm. Single tickets range from $31 to $66, and subscriptions to
La Jolla Playhouse's 2010/11 season are available by calling (858) 550-1010 or by visiting
Charlayne Woodard ("Hippolyta/Titania") has written and performed four acclaimed solo plays:
Pretty Fire (La Jolla Playhouse 1999), Neat, In Real Life and The Night Watcher, which she
developed at The Playhouse during the 2008-9 season. Her multi-character play, Flight, has been produced at regional theatres around the country. Ms. Woodard received an Obie Award
for her performance in Suzan-Lori Parks' In the Blood (Public Theatre). Recent theatre credits include Lynn Nottage's Fabulation (Playwrights Horizons), Stunning (Lincoln Center) and
Katherine in Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare Theatre Company). Ms. Woodard was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in the original Broadway company of Ain't Misbehavin'. Television credits include recurring roles on Law & Order, Special Victims Unit; Terminator, Sarah Connors Chronicles; and ER. Film credits include Unbreakable, Sunshine State, The Crucible and Eye for an Eye.
J. Smith-Cameron ("Helena") earned an Obie Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for her
portrayal of "Alexa" in Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown. She also earned a
Drama Desk nomination for that role, as well as for her appearance in The Naked Eye, directed
by Christopher Ashley. Smith-Cameron has portrayed numerous Shakespearean roles,
including Juliet, Hermia, Puck, Portia, Perdita and Viola. Her Broadway credits include Crimes
of the Heart, Wild Honey and Our Country's Good, for which she received a Tony Award
nomination. This summer she can be seen as "Melinda Mickens" in the award-winning HBO
Drama True Blood. She also stars opposite Anna Paquin in the upcoming Kenneth Lonergan
Martin Moran ("Puck") was awarded a 2004 Obie Award and received two Drama Desk
Nominations for his one-man play, The Tricky Part.... Moran appeared at La Jolla Playhouse in
1994 in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. His Broadway performances include
Spamalot, Cabaret, Titanic, Bells Are Ringing, Big River, How to Succeed..., A Christmas Carol
and Oliver!. His off-Broadway credits include A Man of No Importance at Lincoln Center
Theater; The Cider House Rules at Atlantic Theater Company and Floyd Collins at Playwrights
Horizons. His film and television work includes The Big C with Laura Linney, Mr. Tambourine
Man, Possible Side Affects, The Next Big Thing, Private Parts, Law & Order, Law & Order
Criminal Intent, Dellaventura and Mary and Rhoda. Moran received the 2005 Barnes and Noble
Discover Great New Writers and 2005 Lambda Literary Awards for his memoir The Tricky Part:
A Boy's Story of Sexual Trespass, A Man's Journey to Forgiveness.
Jonathan McMurtry ("Egeus") received a lifetime achievement award at the San Diego Theatre
Critics Circle's Craig Noel Awards in 2009. He is an Associate Artist of The Old Globe and has
appeared in more than 170 productions there since 1961, including Macbeth, The Winter's Tale,
Henry IV, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, As You Like It, Bus Stop, Da, Waiting for Godot,
Rashomon, among many others. Additional credits include A Life in the Theatre (San Diego Critics'
Circle Award), North Coast Rep, Gaslamp Theatre; Picasso at the Lapin Agile, A Christmas Carol,
Uncle Vanya, San Diego Rep; and leading roles at South Coast Rep, Alley Theatre, Arizona Theatre
Company, Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Berkeley Rep, and the roles of Shylock and
Macbeth at Walnut Creek's Regional Center for the Arts. Mr. McMurtry is the recipient of the KPBS
Patté Award for "Shiley Lifetime Achievement" in Theatre, the ‘92 Joe Callaway Award, L.A. Critics
Circle Award for the title role in Uncle Vanya, and 30 Drama-Logue Awards. FILM: Running with
Scissors, Beautiful Joe, Little Nikita, Best Laid Plans, The Settlement. TV: Encore! Encore!, The Skin
of Our Teeth (live PBS telecast from the Globe), thirtysomething, Cheers, Almost Perfect, The
Naked Truth, Wings, Frasier.
Christopher Ashley (Director) has served as La Jolla Playhouse's Artistic Director since
October 2007. During his tenure, he has helmed the acclaimed productions of Restoration,
Xanadu and Memphis, which opened on Broadway in October 2009 and earned four Tony
Awards, including Best Musical. He spearheaded The Playhouse's Resident Theatre program
and was instrumental in developing the EDGE series. Credits include the Broadway productions
of Xanadu (Drama Desk nomination), All Shook Up and The Rocky Horror Show (Tony, Drama
Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations), as well as The Kennedy Center productions
of The Lisbon Traviata, Sweeney Todd and Merrily We Roll Along. Other New York credits
include Blown Sideways Through Life, Jeffrey (Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards), The Most
Fabulous Story Ever Told, Valhalla, Regrets Only, Wonder of the World, Communicating Doors,
The Night Hank Williams Died, Fires in the Mirror (Lucille Lortel Award), among others. He also
directed the feature film Jeffrey and the American Playhouse production of Blown Sideways
Through Life for PBS. Mr. Ashley is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award, the Drama
League Director Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications
Group Director Fellowship.
Mark Bennett (Composer) has composed scores and designed sound for the American
premieres of new plays by Tom Stoppard, Edward Albee, Arthur Miller, Athol Fugard, Tony
Kushner and Caryl Churchill, among many others. Recent Broadway projects include A Steady
Rain, The Coast of Utopia (Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Music for a Play), Henry IV,
Golda's Balcony, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Goat and Tartuffe. For the past two years
he has been the composer for director Sam Mendes' Bridge Project, scoring As You Like It and
The Tempest, among other works. With A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mark continues a careerlong
collaboration with director Christopher Ashley, which has included Valhalla, Without Walls
(Mark Taper Forum) and The Naked Eye. At the La Jolla Playhouse he has composed and
sound designed many productions, including Dogeaters, Wonderland and The Country.
Bennett's new musical Most Wanted was commissioned by La Jolla Playhouse and was part of
their EDGE series in 2008.
Originally from San Francisco, Basil Twist (Puppet Designer) is a third generation puppeteer
who lives and works in New York. Original creations include The Araneidae Show, Symphonie
Fantastique, Petrushka, Master Peter's Puppet Show, Dogugaeshi, La Bella Dormente nel
Bosco. Collaborations include "Arias with a Twist," "Behind the Lid" and "Red Beads." Since
1998 Twist has continually expanded the realm of puppetry by creating and touring new works
that integrate live music. He has partnered with such premiere institutions as The Spoleto
Festival, Lincoln Center's Voice and Visions Series, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Japan
Society and Gotham Chamber Opera. Twist premiered his second opera, Hansel and Gretel,
with The Houston Grand and Atlanta Opera Companies. His work has been recognized with an
OBIE Award, five UNIMA Awards for Excellence in Puppetry, two Bessie Awards, a New York
Innovative Theatre Award, a Drama Desk Award and a Henry Hewes Design Award. Mr. Twist
is a Guggenheim Fellow and is an inaugural United States Artist Ford Fellow. He designed the
puppetry for The Addams Family musical currently on Broadway.
TICKETS: $31 -- $66
BOX OFFICE: (858) 550-1010; www.lajollaplayhouse.org