Kimiye Corwin and Anderson Matthews will headline Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' production of "Twelfth Night" May 24 through June 16 at Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park. Both Corwin and Matthews were last seen in SFSTL's production of "Hamlet" as Ophelia and Polonius, respectively, in 2010. Preview performances are scheduled for May 22-23. Rick Dildine, executive director of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, will direct.
Corwin, who was nominated for a Kevin Kline Award for her role in "Hamlet," has performed in numerous Off-Broadway and regional productions. She was a member of the Jose Limon Dance Company for five years and received her BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and her MFA in Acting from Brown/Trinity. Corwin currently lives in Brooklyn. Anderson has appeared in 26 Repertory Theatre of St. Louis productions. His Broadway credits include "The Robber Bridegroom" and Peter Ustinov's "Beethoven's 10th." He has appeared in film and on TV ("The Equalizer," and "Law and Order").
"The talent the Festival is able to attract continues to overwhelm me," said Rick Dildine, executive director of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. "Each year I am more and more impressed by the caliber of performers in St. Louis, Chicago and New York that want to be a part of our annual free production in Forest Park. Two years ago, both Corwin and Matthews gave impressive performances as Ophelia and Polonius, respectively, and this year we get to see their comedic skills at work as they take on Viola and Malvolio."
"Twelfth Night," considered one of the Shakespeare's most beloved comedies, honors the historical holiday tradition which closes out the Christmas season in which servants and masters switch roles for one night of raucous fun. It's the only play of Shakespeare's that literally begins and ends with music. The first line of the play is "if music be the food of love, play on" and the final moment is the Fool's parting song. In between there are numerous songs, all of which will be played on instruments by the actors performing on stage, another first for the Festival. In the past, all music featured in the Festival productions has been pre-recorded.
In another first under his tenure, Dildine announced he will be directing the production. Under his watch, the Festival has produced "Hamlet," "Taming of the Shrew" and "Othello," each one drawing record attendance crowds, and garnering nine Kevin Kline Awards nominations, four of them wins, including Best Play ("Hamlet").
Dildine will be joined by a creative team whose members are St. Louis-based and include Dottie Marshall Englis (Costumes), Scott Neale (Scenic Designer), John Wylie (Lighting Designer) and Rusty Wandall (Sound Designer). Music for the show is being composed by The Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra," a group known for composing and recording soundtrack music for local short and vintage films
In addition to Corwin and Matthews, other cast members include Charlie Thurston (Orsino), Leslie Ann Handelman (Olivia), Vichet Chum (Sebastian), Eric Hoffmann (Sir Toby Belch), Haas Regen (Sir Andrew Aguceheek), Andy Paterson (Fool), and St. Louisans Candice Jeanine (Maria), Joshua Thomas (Antonio), Gary Glasgow (Fabian), Michael Fariss (Ensemble), Kyle Powell (Ensemble), Alex Shaw (Ensemble) and Pete Winfrey (Ensemble).
Pre-performance backstage tours and 20-minute post-show talkbacks will continue this season. As in previous years, the pre-show Festival activities will include a nightly Green Show at 6:30 p.m. The pre-show will include a 20-minute adaptation of "Twelfth Night" which will introduce the characters and plot to children of all ages; musicians, dancers, singers, jugglers; and a craft table for kids.
In the past 12 years, the Shakespeare Festival has attracted more than 550,000 people to the performances in Forest Park. The organization has reached an additional 250,000 students through its educational touring productions, school program, summer camps and community partnerships. For more information, please visit www.sfstl.com or call 314/531-9800.