STC Presents The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Shakespeare Theatre Company welcomes former STC Associate Director PJ Paparelli who will direct and put a new twist on Shakespeare's earliest romantic comedy, The Two Gentlemen of Verona. This classic story of adolescent love and friendship will take place at STC's Lansburgh Theatre (450 7th Street NW) from January 17-March 4, 2012.
The play, perhaps Shakespeare's earliest, focuses on Valentine and Proteus, lifelong friends who are unexpectedly thrust into the rivalries and complications of adolescence. When both fall in love with the Duke of Milan's daughter, Silvia, the cunning Proteus betrays his friend. Will the banished Valentine find his home in the woods, amongst the outlaws? And what of Julia, Proteus' first love, who comes to court disguised as a boy? What happens when a group of youths is left without parents to guide them through life's journey? PJ Paparelli will direct this formative play of hidden identities and shapeshifting selves.
PJ Paparelli is a former STC Associate Director (1998-2004) under Michael Kahn's leadership. "Michael Kahn shaped my career," says Paparelli. "I am honored and thrilled to be a part of the company once again." Paparelli is exploring a new side in this Shakespearean classic. Two Gents will be classically set, but will "engage a contemporary sensibility with modern music and various items," adds Paparelli. Exploring life and excess, portions of the text will also be set to music and sung a capella throughout the show. Paparelli's Two Gents will be a vigorously modern one, investigating teen worries of today and using Shakespeare as a vivid reflection of our contemporary world.
This show also brings together four STC alums in the romantic leading roles— Nick Dillenburg (Proteus), Natalie Mitchell (Silvia), Miriam Silverman (Julia) and Andrew Veenstra (Valentine). Dillenburg was last seen as Vicomte de Nanjac in last season's An Ideal HusbanD. Mitchell was seen last season as Diana in All's Well That Ends Well. Silverman has previously graced the STC stage as Helena in All's Well That Ends Well, and was recently awarded the 2011 Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship. Veenstra was recently seen as Eraste in this season's world premiere of The Heir Apparent. Together they will bring these classic romantic characters to life. This also marks the STC debut for Tony Award-nominated actor, Euan Morton (Launce).
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA CAST
STC Affiliated Artist Adam Green will play Speed. Green's previous STC credits include All's Well That Ends Well and Cliton in The Liar, for which he received a Helen Hayes Award nomination as well as the Emery Battis Award for Acting Excellence. His New York credits include Election Day and All This Intimacy at Second Stage Theatre, The Witch of Edmonton at Red Bull Theater, Dov and Ali at the Playwrights Realm and Cherry Lane Theatre, None of the Above at Lion Theatre, The Mines of Sulphur at the New York City Opera and Bone Portraits at Soho Rep. He has appeared regionally in My Name is Asher Lev at Barrington Stage Company, Peter and the Starcatchers at La Jolla Playhouse, Monster at the Door at Alley Theatre, The Chosen at Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Awake and Sing! at Arena Stage and The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare on the Sound. He received an MFA in Acting from New York University and a BA in English from Harvard University.
Euan Morton makes his STC debut playing Launce. He was most recently seen at Ford's Theatre playing the role of Leo Frank in Parade. His Broadway credits include performances in Cyrano de Bergerac, Sondheim on Sondheim and Taboo for which he earned a Laurence Olivier Award nomination, a Tony Award nomination, a Drama Desk Award nomination, an Outer Critics Circle nomination and a Drama League Award nomination, as well as the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut. His off-Broadway credits include performances in Brundibar, Measure For Pleasure for which he won an Obie Award, Caligula: An Ancient Glam Epic and Howard Katz with Alfred Molina. Regionally, he has played the title role in The Who's Tommy at the Bay Street Theatre in New York and Chess at Signature Theatre in Virginia. He has two solo albums titled NewClear and Caledonia.
Miriam Silverman returns to STC to play Julia. Also an Affiliated Artist, Silverman's other STC credits include Helena in All's Well That Ends Well, Lucrece in The Liar, Celia in As You Like It and Marcela in The Dog in the Manger, for which she was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. Her New York credits include performances in Septimus and Clarissa at Ripe Time, The Witch of Edmonton at Red Bull, Hamlet at NYSF/Public Theatre, Bone Portraits at EST/Stillpoint and The Calamity of Kat Kat and Willie at Babel Theater Project. Her regional credits include performances in Moonchildren at the Berkshire Theater Festival, the world premiere of Peer Gynt at the Guthrie Theater, Awake and Sing! at Arena Stage, As You Like It at the Folger Theatre and Shapeshifter, Suddenly Last Summer and The Seagull at Trinity Repertory Company. Her film and television credits include Better Days Ahead, Pan Am and Law & Order: CSI. She received a BA from Brown University and a MFA from Brown/Trinity ConsortiuM. Silverman is a recipient of the 2011 Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship. While in residence at STC, she will study with many experts, apprentice with STC's Head of Voice and Text, Ellen O'Brien, and develop a personalized approach to verse and voice work to serve her as a performer and educator.
The cast of The Two Gentlemen of Verona also includes Inga Ballard as Lucetta, Nick Dillenburg as Proteus, Davis Duffield as Outlaw #1, Chris Genebach as Outlaw #2, Gene Gillette as Thurio, Brent Harris as Duke of Milan, Stephen PatRick Martin as Panthino/Host, Christopher McHale as Antonio, Natalie Mitchell as Silvia, Todd Scofield as Eglamour/Outlaw and Andrew Veenstra as Valentine. Ensemble members include Aayush Chandan, James Graham, Michael Gregory, Aaryn Kopp, Matthew McGee, Janel Miley, Jacob Perkins and Jade Wheeler.
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA DIRECTOR
PJ Paparelli was STC's Associate Director from 1998 to 2004. For STC, he directed Much Ado About Nothing for the 2004 Free For All and Love Letters with Dixie Carter and HAl Holbrook. He was Associate Director for The Oedipus Plays at the Athens Festival, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Free For All) and The Merchant of Venice. He was also Assistant Director for A Woman of No Importance, Twelfth Night, King John, The Trojan Woman, King Lear, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Coriolanus, Timon of Athens, Richard II and The Duchess of Malfi.
In New York, he directed columbinus at the New York Theatre Workshop for which he received two Lucille Lortel Award nominations. He also directed Action at Circle Rep and Richard III at Juilliard. At the Moscow Art Theatre School, he directed True West in Russian. Since 2007, he has been the Artistic Director of American Theater Company, where he directed The Original Grease which won the 2011 Jeff Award for Best Musical, Yeast Nation, Escape, The Amish Project, Distracted, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, True West and Speech and Debate. From 2004 to 2007, he was the Artistic Director of Perseverance Theatre where he directed Yeast Nation, Equus, The Who's Tommy, Hamlet, Hair, Twelfth Night, Voyage, A Midsummer Night's Dream and columbinus.
His other directing credits include Escape at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival, The Merchant of Venice at the American Shakespeare Center, Twelfth Night at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Romeo and Juliet at the Folger Theatre, Corpus Christi at Source Theatre which won a 2003 GLAAD Award, The Diaries at Signature Theatre, Romeo and Juliet at the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, Love's Labor's Lost at the Washington Shakespeare Company and A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Fifteen-Minute Hamlet at a Shakespeare Intensive at Pittsburgh Public. In 2008 and 2010 he was named one of Chicago's Top 50 Influential Theater Players, and in 2004 he was a TCG Directing Fellowship Finalist. His playwriting credits include The Projects, columbinus which received five Helen Hayes Award nominations, Any Year is This Year (co-written with Maria Irene Fornes), The Raven Odyssey and Voyage. He has been an instructor at DePaul University, University of Alaska-Southeast, Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College, North Carolina School of the Arts, UNC at Chapel Hill, Catholic University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, Shakespeare Theatre Company's Master Classes and the Academy for Classical Acting, American Institute of Foreign Literature (Moscow, Russia) and Circle Repertory Company. He received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and also trained at the Moscow Art Theatre School.
In order to create the classical setting with contemporary flair of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Paparelli has assembled a creative team of familiar and new faces to STC. Set Designer Walt Spangler, Costume Designer Paul Spadone, Lighting Designer Howell Binkley and Composer/Sound Designer Fabian Obispo will create the backdrop for this adventurous classic.
THE ARTISTIC TEAM
Paparelli is assisted by Music Director Jon Kalbfleisch, Fight Director Paul Dennhardt, Production Stage Manager James Latus and Assistant Stage Manager Elizabeth Clewley. Gus Heagerty will be Paparelli's Assistant Director.
ABOUT THE Shakespeare Theatre Company
During the 2011-2012 Season, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is set to celebrate! Not only is it the 25th year of Michael Kahn's leadership, vision and artistic direction but, over the past quarter of a century, STC has become one of the nation's leading theatre companies. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible.
The Shakespeare Theatre Company's innovative approach to Shakespeare and other classic playwrights has earned it the reputation as the nation's premier classical theatre company. By focusing on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced, the Company's artistic mission is unique among theatre companies: to present theatre of scope and size in an imaginative, skillful and accessible American style that honors the playwrights' language and intentions while viewing their work through a 21st-century lens.
In its 2007-2008 Season, the company opened the Harman Center for the Arts, consisting of the new 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall and the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre, both located in downtown Washington's Penn Quarter neighborhood. A dynamic hub of activity, the Harman Center showcases the company as well as outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. STC's annual Free For All performance, a re-creation of a production from seasons past staged for free in August and September, is now held at Sidney Harman Hall. Sidney Harman Hall is located at 610 F Street NW. The Lansburgh Theatre also plays host to a number of different performing arts organizations and several of STC's mainstage productions. The Lansburgh Theatre is located at 450 7th Street NW.