Shakespeare Theatre Company's Will on the Hill Set for Today
On Tuesday, June 17, 2014, Will on the Hill, a favorite bipartisan event of theatre and political fans alike, returns to the Shakespeare Theatre Company. This year's event features a performance of Lend Me Your Ears, an original play by Peter Byrne, written with assistance from The West Wing Writers Group, and directed by STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul. The cast will include special guest performers Nicholas Bruder, Harry Hamlin and Hannah Yelland.
The annual Will on the Hill event welcomes Members of Congress, Senators and distinguished Washington insiders onto the Shakespeare Theatre Company stage to perform scenes from Shakespeare infused with comedic references to contemporary politics. The event pays tribute to the unique dynamic of our city and provides a wonderful way to engage new audiences. Will on the Hill will take place in Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street NW), and begins with a VIP cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the performance at 7:30 p.m. and a buffet dinner immediately after the performance.
This year's cast for Will on the Hill will include three special guest performers. Harry Hamlin is a classically trained actor and veteran star of television, film and stage for three decades, whose work ranges from multiple Golden Globe nominations for his iconic role on L.A. Law to a recent Emmy-nominated performance on AMC's Mad Men. Nicholas Bruder currently stars as Macbeth in the haunting Off-Broadway phenomenon, Sleep No More. Hannah Yelland appeared in STC's production of The Winter's Tale (2012-2013), and returned this season to reprise her Tony Award-nominated role of Laura Jesson in Brief Encounter, which she has also toured extensively throughout the U.K. and U.S.
In addition to Lend Me Your Ears, the evening includes a performance from students in Text Alive!, a free arts integration program offered by STC to D.C. area schools, which teaches Shakespeare's plays through performance and adaptation. This year, students from Maryland's Charles Flowers High School will perform Henry IV, Part 1 Act 2, scene 4, reimagined in a Bollywood theme.
About Lend Me Your Ears: In the waning hours of Super Tuesday, a documentarian visits the campaign headquarters of a candidate who's on the verge of a narrow victory-or a humiliating defeat. Complicating matters, the headquarters are located in the candidate's hometown, which is in the middle of its Shakespeare festival, complete with costume-wearing and verse-speaking. The idealistic filmmaker clashes with a jaded campaign manager as the voting results come in, and as donors, rival candidates, reporters and others attempt to get in one last wheedle, one last dig, one last question before the final tally.
Many Senators and members of Congress will join Nicholas Bruder, Harry Hamlin and Hannah Yelland on the STC stage, including Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Jim Moran (D-VA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jared Polis (D-CO), Tom Rice (R-SC), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Dina Titus (D-NV) and Kevin Yoder (R-KS).
Other illustrious cast members include Ian Liddell-Grainger (MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset); Comm. Mignon Clyburn (Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission) and Christina Sevilla (DA U.S. Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President); Marla Allard; and members of the media, including Bob Cusack (Managing Editor, The Hill), Benny Johnson (BuzzFeed), Rick Klein (ABC News' Political Director), Dana Milbank (The Washington Post) and Kelly Jane Torrance (The Weekly Standard). The Honorary Co-Chairs for the event are Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX).