Quintessence Theatre Presents THE VENETIAN TWINS, MERCHANT OF VENICE

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Quintessence Theatre Presents THE VENETIAN TWINS, MERCHANT OF VENICE

Quintessence Theatre Group launches its second season with two classic comedies: Carlo Goldoni's THE VENETIAN TWINS, in a translation by Ranjit Bolt, and William Shakespeare's THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, to be presented in repertory and directed by Alexander Burns. THE VENETIAN TWINS will start previews on Wednesday, October 5th at 7pm and open on Saturday, October 8th at 8pm. THE MERCHANT OF VENICE will start previews on Wednesday October 12th and open on Friday, October 21st at 8pm. Performances are Wednesday, October 5th through Sunday, November 20th at the Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, 19119. To purchase tickets, visit www.QuintessenceTheatre.org or call 1.877.238.5596.

THE VENETIAN TWINS

Separated in childhood, two Venetian twins unexpectedly arrive in Verona looking for love. Mistaken identities and madness ensue. Stolen jewels, lover's duels and a death by poison fuel Carlo Goldoni's 1748 comic masterpiece. Following the success of A Servant of Two Masters, Goldoni was determined to cement his place as Italy's greatest comic playwright. Influenced by Molière and inspired by the famous twin comedies of Plautus and Shakespeare, Goldoni reformed commedia dell'arte by removing the masks and introducing psychological realism and social commentary. Quintessence is excited to present one of the stage's funniest comedies using Ranjit Bolt's contemporary English translation.

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

A game involving three caskets will decide which suitor marries the beautiful heiress Portia. The fate of three merchant ships will ensure the Christian merchant Antonio's fortune. And three thousand ducats borrowed from Shylock, a rich Jewish merchant, to allow Bassanio a chance to win Portia will cost Antonio his life if the bond is forfeit. Shakespeare's timeless and complex romantic comedy challenges the power of faith, the power of money and the power of love, and asks what role mercy and justice play in mitigating these forces. Quintessence will continue its raw, bold, actor based productions of Shakespeare with THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, exposing the humanity and humor in one of Shakespeare's most modern and challenging plays.

Quintessence is proud to announce that Benim Foster* and J Center* will make their Quintessence debuts as part of the Venetian Repertory with Mr. Foster portraying Shylock and Pancrazio, and Mr. Center as the Duke, Old Gobo and Doctor Balanzoni. Josh Carpenter*, who played the titular role in Quintessence's Henry V and Algernon Moncrieff in The Importance of Being Earnest will play the Venetian twins and Antonio. Jessica Dal Canton, who played Dona Elvira in Quintessence's Don Juan, will portray Portia and Beatrice. Sean Bradley (Quintessence's Measure For Measure and The Apology) returns as Bassanio and the servant Brighella. Khris Davis (Henry V) rejoins Quintessence as Lorenzo and Arlecchino.

Quintessence Theatre Group is Philadelphia's new professional classical theatre company, dedicated to the performance and adaptation of epic works of classic drama and literature for the Contemporary Stage. Rooted in the traditions of classical drama, we explore what is essential in theatre and human nature, igniting the mind of artists and audiences through the power of the live actor, design and the spoken word.

Over the next five years Quintessence Theatre Group will work to establish an acting ensemble and a rotating repertory at the historic Sedgwick Theater in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. The Venetian Repertory marks Quintessence's first demonstration of the power of a repertory ensemble. Quintessence Theatre Group will continue its residency at the historic Sedgwick Theater, playing a central role in the renaissance of main street Mt. Airy, a thriving and diverse neighborhood located in northwest Philadelphia.

The repertory ensemble features Sean Bradley, Josh Carpenter*, J Center*, Sean Close, Jessica Dal Canton, Bethany Ditnes, Khris Davis, Daniel Fredrick, Benim Foster*, Alex Harvey, Leslie Nevon Holden and Ken Sandberg.

THE VENETIAN TWINS plays October 5th - November 19th. A special PAY WHAT YOU CAN preview will take place on Wednesday October 5th at 7:00pm. A discussion on Goldoni and Commedia will take place with director Alexander Burns before the show on Thursday, October 27th. A discussion with the cast will take place after the show on Wednesday, November 9th.

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE plays October 12th - November 20th. A special PAY WHAT YOU CAN preview will take place on Wednesday October 12th at 7:00pm. A discussion with the cast will take place after the show on Wednesday, October 26th. A discussion on Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe and THE MERCHANT OF VENICE will take place with director Alexander Burns before the show on Thursday, November 17th.

Performances take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm.

Tickets are $30, $20 for seniors (65 and over), $15 for youth (25 and under). There are $10 industry and student rush tickets available at the box office one hour before the performance. To purchase tickets visit SmartTix at www.SmartTix.com or www.QuintessenceTheatre.org, or call 1.877.238.5596. For information on any of the performance or above events please email BoxOffice@QuintessenceTheatre.org.

2011 - 2012 SEASON

Quintessence Theatre Group's 2011-2012 season will include Goldoni's THE VENETIAN TWINS and Shakespeare's THE MERCHANT OF VENICE presented in repertory, Anouilh's adaptation of Sophocles' ANTIGONE, and Chekhov's THE SEAGULL. Each play is dominated by an ambitious young protagonist who strives to discover identity, truth and honor; each celebrates the power of the young mind in the face of adversity. Through visceral actor-driven theatrical events, Quintessence will build an audience for progressive classic theatre in Philadelphia, demonstrate the power of repertory theatre and ignite Philadelphia's theatrical imagination with adaptations of classic texts for the Contemporary Stage.

THE ENSEMBLE

SEAN BRADLEY Quintessence: Measure for Measure, Apology. Philadelphia: Lord of the Flies (Curio Theatre); A Prometheus Bound (Renegade Classic Theatre); As You Like It, Hamlet (Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre); The Winter's Tale (Delaware Shakespeare Festival); Much Ado About Nothing (Theatre Horizon); Winners (Round Table Theatre); Titus Andronicus (Plays and Players). Educational: The Cider House Rules Pt 1 & 2, Roger and Miriam, The Philadelphia Story, Measure for Measure, Venus (University of the Arts). As Fight Director: Othello (Goodwill Theatre); See What I Want to See, Dog Sees God, In the Blood (Philly Fringe); A Prometheus Bound (Renegade Classic Theatre). Training: BFA, University of the Arts.

JOSH CARPENTER* Quintessence: Henry V, The Importance of Being Earnest. Philadelphia: Diabolique (Exigent Theatre). New York: How To Act Around Cops (The Studio at Cherry Lane Theatre); Holiday (Gotham Radio Theatre); Exhaustion (Naked Angels Lab); Taking One for the Team (Target Margin Theater); Radioplay (Manhattan Theatre Source); Tough! (American Theatre of Actors). Regional: A Midsummer Night's Dream, I Capture the Castle, Henry V, Pride and Prejudice, Richard III, The Cherry Orchard (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); Romeo and Juliet, All's Well That Ends Well, The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, Henry V, A Christmas Carol (American Shakespeare Center, VA); A Midsummer Night's Dream (New England Shakespeare Festival). International: The Detectives, Jackie and the
Giant (Bear Educational Theatre, Czech Republic). Training: Northwestern University.

J CENTER* Philadelphia: Nagg in Endgame, Krapp in Krapp's Last Tape, and M (the Man) in Play (EgoPo). Regional: As You Like It, Twelfth Night (The Globe/SSA); the Narrator in The Rocky Horror Show, George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (New Arts Theatre, Dallas); the Historic Event in How I Got That Story, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (Stage West, Fort Worth TX). Film: The Last Airbender, Law Abiding Citizen, Jacob and Death, La méduse rouge, Changing the Game.

SEAN CLOSE Quintessence: Henry V, The Importance of Being Earnest. Regional: The Pillowman (Bootless Artworks), As You Like It (Theatre Horizon), High Dramma Sketch Comedy. Educational: The Seagull, Eurydice, Hair, Antigone, Orpheus Descending, Damn Yankees, Little Shop of Horrors (College of William & Mary). Training: BA in Sociology and Theatre at College of William & Mary.

JESSICA DAL CANTON Quintessence: Don Juan. Philadelphia: The Greek Theatre Project (Iris Theatre Company); Silverhill (InterAct); Boeing Boeing (Act II); Hedda Gabler (Mauckingbird); Arms and the Man (Hedgerow); The Three Sisters, Incorruptible, TheTempest, Our Town (Villanova). Regional: The Foreigner (Covina Center); George Washington Slept Here, Pirates of Penzance, The Foreigner, Blythe Spirit (Maples Rep); Gypsy, You Can't Take it With You (Arlington Theatre). International: CrossedWires, Necropolis (Prague Fringe); Medea (Cyprus International Theatre). Upcoming: Changes of Heart (Philadelphia Artist Collective). Training: BFA, University of Texas; MA,Villanova. www.Jessicadalcanton.com

KHRIS DAVIS Quintessence: Henry V. Philadelphia: Ruined (PTC); Go Green (WST Outreach tour); Black Nativity (Theatre Double); Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters (Camden Rep); First Breeze of Summer (Adrien Theatre); u/s Blue Door, Superior Donuts (The Arden Theatre).

BETHANY DITNES Quintessence: Don Juan, Measure for Measure. Philadelphia: Carrie (Brat Productions); How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found, Sick, Pussycat (Luna Theatre Company); The Diary of Anne Frank (Ritz Theatre Company); Henry V, Henry IV Part 1 (Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre C.A.A.); Mate(Primary Stages); The Shape of Things (Theatre Revolution). Educational: The Philadelphia Story, Hot L Baltimore, The Dinner Party, Measure For Measure (University of the Arts). Training: BFA, University of the Arts.

Benim Foster* Broadway: Barefoot in the Park w/ Patrick Wilson and Amanda Peet, directed by Scott Elliot. National Tour: Twelve Angry Men w/ Richard Thomas and George Wendt, directed by Scott Ellis (Roundabout Theatre Company). Off-Broadway: Becky Shaw (Second Stage); Last Train To Nibroc (Drama League Nomination for Best Play); Henry V directed by Doug Hughes (NYSF/The Public). Regional: Sleuth with Keir Dullea (Playhouse on the Green); Daniel Goldfarb's Modern Orthodox regional premiere (Caldwell Theatre Company); A Higher Place In Heaven (People's Light); Duplex (Best Actor Award, Midtown International Theatre Festival). Film: STAGS (Best Actor Nomination, Visionfest Film Festival 2011), FLYING SCISSORS (with Matthew Arkin), BROADWAY DAMAGE, ANALYZE THIS, Independent Film Channel's THE UNDESERVED, the award winning short IMPERFECTION. Television: "FRINGE," "UGLY
BETTY," "LAW & ORDER," "LAW & ORDER: SVU," "GUIDING LIGHT," "AS THE WORLD TURNS," "ANOTHER WORLD," "ALL MY CHILDREN." Training: BFA, North Carolina School of the Arts.

Daniel Fredrick Quintessence: Don Juan. Regional: reasons to be pretty (Journey Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, 12th Night (Trinity Shakespeare Festival); Much Ado About Nothing (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival); Something Intangible, Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Circle Theatre); Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Watertower Theatre); Sonnets For An Old Century (Firestarter Productions); Chicago (Center Season). Training: BFA in acting, Texas Christian University.

Alexander Harvey Quintessence: Henry V. New York: Long Day's Journey Into Night (Theatre Row/York Shakespeare Company); Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear (ShakespeareNYC/Vook); Dreams of a Common Housefly (BAX/Upstart Festival); The Merchant of Venice and The Jew of Malta (YSC); King Lear (Balloon Heaven/Producer's Club); Mrs. Warren's Profession (Compassion Theater Co.); To Walk In Darkness (Turtle Shell). Regional: Doubt , Hip/Shake, The Red Sun and The Green Moon (Syracuse Stage). UK: The Merchant of Venice w/s (Shakespeare's Globe); Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Midsummer Night's Dream (new vic). Training: RADA, The Bristol Old Vic and Syracuse University.

LESLIE NEVON HOLDEN Philadelphia: The Musical Adventuresof Flat Stanley, A Christmas Carol, 2010-2011 Acting Apprentice and Touring Outreach Company (Walnut Street Theatre). www.leslienevon.com & www.lnhtheatrearts.com

KEN SANDBERG Quintessence: Henry V, Don Juan. Philadelphia: Dog Sees God, Aspects of Love, The Shape of Things, Shakespeare's Land of the Dead, Zombie! The Musical, Simulations (Plays and Players); Romeo and Juliet (Arden Theatre Co);This is Our Youth (Sympatico Theatre Project); Anonymous Theatre (PDC); Sleep Detective, Spit for Tat (PTW); Wategate the Musical (Underground Arts); Conversations from the Cafe, Sidewalk Cafe (Represented Theatre Co). New York: Teach You Children (Dramatists Guild of America); Fabian is a Hurricane Now (HEM Theatre Collective). Regional: A Winter's Tale, Taming of the Shrew (Collingswood Shakespeare Theatre, NJ); Shenandoah, Grease, Wizard of Oz (Alhambra Dinner Theatre, FL). Training: American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

*Actors appear courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.

ALEXANDER BURNS (Director/Artistic Director) Quintessence: The Importance of Being Earnest, Don Juan, Apology, Henry V, Measure for Measure. Regional: Romeo and Juliet (Trinity Shakespeare Festival), Hamlet (Shakespeare Theatre Company, DC @ Carter Barron), Henri Gabler, Diabolique, The Maids (Exigent Theatre). Alexander was a Directing Fellow at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. As an assistant director Alexander has worked at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Old Globe, Steppenwolf Theater, The Goodman Theatre, The Flea Theatre, The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Alexander has assisted directors Frank Galati, Michael Kahn, Gale Edwards, Robert Moss and Ethan McSweeny. Training: Northwestern University, LCT Directors Lab, and the Jack O'Brien Directors Lab.

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