Shakespeare Theatre Celebrates Holidays with A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, 11/15-12/30

Shakespeare-Theatre-Celebrates-Holidays-with-A-MIDSUMMER-NIGHTS-DREAM-1115-1230-20010101

The Shakespeare Theatre Company, recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, kicks off its holiday season with William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Director Ethan McSweeny (Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice) takes a fresh approach to this well-loved play filled with magic and wonder. The production runs at STC's Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street NW) from November 15-December 30, 2012.

Mismatched lovers Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius and Helena flee to the forest outside Athens, but they run into a supernatural squabble that will alter their destinies forever. Will mischievous Puck create harmony or cacophony within the forest? Will Bottom and his Mechanicals put on a successful show for the Duke? Love, magic and wonder fill the air as dreams blend with reality in this must-see Shakespeare classic.

Under McSweeny's direction, theatre, magic, ghosts and fairies become one in the ruins of an abandoned theatre. The stunning stage within a stage, intricate costumes and innovative use of props all provide a feast for the imagination.

"Between the fairies, the lovers, and the mechanicals Midsummer is a three-ring circus of a play," McSweeny said. "The challenge to the director and the company is to imagine a world in which all three rings perform equally well. We are fortunate to bring together a truly stunning group of actors assembled from all across North America for what I hope will be a funny and beautiful treat for the whole family."

A Midsummer Night's Dream is sponsored by Arlene and Robert Kogod; the Presenting Education Sponsor is Target. Additional support provided by American Airlines and British Airways.

To purchase tickets or to learn more, patrons can call the box office at 202.547.1122 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM CAST

Tim Campbell makes his debut with STC as Theseus/Oberon, doubling as Duke of Athens and King of the Fairies. Campbell has had roles in many productions at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival such as As You Like It, Troilus and Cressida, Richard III, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, Henry V, Titus Andronicus, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra and The Tempest. He acted in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's production of Private Lives, as well as a number of international productions; he appeared in Ed's Garage and Miracle on 34th Street at Grand Theatre, Death of a Salesman at Citadel Theatre, A Streetcar Named Desire at Blue Bridge, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Soulpepper Theatre, Molière at Tarragon Theatre, Salt-Water Moon and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Resurgence Theatre, the title role in Macbeth at Rose Theatre, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at Birdland Theatre, Stones in His Pockets at Globe Theatre, and Romeo and Juliet and The Melville Boys at Sudbury Theatre Center. He can be seen on film in Deadly Hope, Killshot, and Hollywoodland, and on television in Nikita, Warehouse 13, The LA Complex, Saving Hope, The Firm, Lost Girl, Against the Wall, Combat Hospital, Flashpoint, Cheater's Club and Twitches. Campbell trained at Bishop's University in Quebec.

In his first STC production, Bruce Dow appears as Nick Bottom, an amateur thespian who makes a bit of an ass out of himself. Dow has acted in numerous Stratford Shakespeare Festival productions such as The Tempest (starring Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer), The Comedy of Errors, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Into the Woods, Patience and Man of La Mancha. On screen, he has appeared in Drone, Murdoch Mysteries and Rick Mercer Report. He recently appeared on Broadway as King Herod in the Tony-nominated Jesus Christ Superstar. His other New York credits include Anything Goes, The Music Man and Jane Eyre. Off-Broadway he has performed in Grenadine (NYC premiere reading of the Yale Drama Award-winning play by Neil Wechsler). Dow is a guest lecturer at colleges and universities across America. He received his MFA in Directing from the University of British Columbia.

STC Affiliated Artist Adam Green will play the King's Butler Philostrate and the impish fairy Puck. Green's previous STC credits include Lavatch in All's Well That Ends Well (mainstage and Free For All), Speed in The Two Gentleman of Verona 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 Actor 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.

Joining STC's cast as the Fairy Queen Titania and Hippolyta is Sara Topham. At The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Topham performed in The Misanthrope, Twelfth Night, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (directed by Ethan McSweeny), Peter Pan, The Importance of Being Earnest, Fuente Ovejuna, An Ideal Husband, King Lear, The Glass Menagerie, London Assurance, As You Like It, Noises Off, Henry VIII, Agamemnon and All's Well That Ends Well. On Broadway she recently played Gwendolyn in The Importance Of Being Earnest. Topham's theatre credits include Travesties at McCarter Theatre, The Tempest at Hartford Stage, Hedda Gabler and The Turn Of The Screw at Belfry Theatre, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at Neptune Theatre and Amadeus at Theatre Aquarius. Her onscreen credits include Eloise at Christmastime, The Importance of Being Earnest and Twelfth Night.

The four lovers will be played by the following: Robert Beitzel (Off-Broadway: In Masks Outrageous and Austere) as Lysander, Christiana Clark (Off-Broadway: Pure Confidence) as Helena, Chris Myers (10x25 at Atlantic Stage II) as Demetrius and Amelia Pedlow (last seen at STC as Jessica in The Merchant of Venice) as Hermia.

Additional cast members include: Nancy Anderson as Fairy, Christopher Bloch as Starveling, Robert Dorfman as Snug, David Graham Jones as Francis Flute, Lawrence Redmond as Egeus, Herschel Sparber as Tom Snout and Ted Van Griethuysen as Peter Quince. Ensemble members include Maxwell Balay, John Bambery, Jacqui Jarrold, Joe Mallon, Max Reinhardsen, Rohan Saxena, Gracie Terzian, Jessica Thorne and Katherine Turner.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM DIRECTOR

Ethan McSweeny grew up in Washington, D.C., and returns to STC to direct A Midsummer Night's Dream. Previous credits with STC include Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, Ion, Major Barbara, for which he received a Helen Hayes nomination, and The Persians. He made his New York debut with the Off-Broadway premiere of Never the Sinner (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards) his Broadway debut with the 2000 revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, Tony Award nomination). His D.C. credits include the world premiere of A Time to Kill at Arena Stage, the original Never the Sinner at Signature Theatre (Helen Hayes nomination) and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Centerstage (Baltimore City Paper, Best of 2008). McSweeny has directed on many of the nation's most prestigious stages including the Guthrie, the Goodman, The Old Globe, the Denver Center, the Alley, Dallas Theater Center, South Coast Repertory, CenterStage, Pittsburgh Public, George Street Playhouse, San Jose Repertory, Westport Playhouse, the Wilma, Primary Stages, Playwrights Horizons and the National Actors Theatre, among others. Of his nearly 70 productions of new plays, classics and musicals, recent highlights include: the New York premiere of Kate Fodor's Rx for Primary Stages, the world premiere of ReGina Taylor's The Trinity River Plays for Dallas Theater Center and the Goodman Theatre, Christopher Hampton's Tales from Hollywood at the Guthrie, and revivals of The Pirates of Penzance and Dangerous Liaisons for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada. From 2004 to 2012 he led the Chautauqua Theatre Company, directing productions including Love's Labor's Lost, Glass Menagerie, Death of a Salesman, The Just, The Cherry Orchard, All My Sons and Cobb in addition to numerous readings in the New Play Workshop series that he inaugurated in 2005.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM DESIGNERS

To craft the world of an aging stage within a stage, McSweeny has secured the help of a creative team well-known for their work with STC. Scenic Designer Lee Savage, Composer and Sound Designer Fitz Patton, Costume Designer Jennifer Moeller and Lighting Designer Tyler Micoleau continue in their roles as top notch artisans and deft collaborators to shape a production rich in visual and auditory imagery.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM ARTISTIC TEAM

McSweeny is assisted by Production Stage Manager Joseph Smelser, Stage Manager Brandon Prendergast and Assistant Stage Manager Hannah O'Neil. Jenny Lord serves as the Assistant Director. Peter Pucci is the Choreographer for this production.

*Artists and dates are subject to change.

Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has become one of the nation's leading theatre companies. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Managing Director Chris Jennings, STC'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.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and acting classes to discussion series as well as accessible programs like the annual Free For All, one of STC's most beloved annual traditions, allowing audiences to experience Shakespeare at no charge.

Located in our nation's capital, STC performs in two theatres, the Lansburgh Theatre and Sidney Harman Hall in downtown Washington, D.C., creating a dynamic, cultural hub of activity that showcases STC as well as outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. STC moved into the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre in March 1992, after six years in residency in the Folger Library's Elizabethan theatre. At that time the Penn Quarter neighborhood was not considered desirable by many; since then, STC has helped drive its revitalization. The 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall opened in October 2007.

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