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Free, Public Performances Of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Set To Launch Rude Grooms' Commons Series


Free, Public Performances Of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Set To Launch Rude Grooms' Commons Series

Queens-based Rude Grooms announced today initial details for the company's inaugural public production: William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, led by actor-manager Laura Piccoli (Unhealthy at Battalion Theatre Co) and produced in partnership with Long Island City Artists at the Plaxall Gallery and the Astoria Park Alliance. The production will play shows in Queens at the Plaxall Gallery, Astoria Park, Queensbridge Park, and Rainey Park as well as in Manhattan at the West End Theatre. Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made online at

In addition to Piccoli, The Acting Company includes Marie Louise Guinier* (Scissoring at INTAR), Sibel Damar ("We Will Slay" at UCB), Dhruv Iyengar (The Taming of the Shrew at Ithaca Shakespeare Company), Daniel Kemper (The Limit of the Tongue at The Daughter's Collective), Deb Radloff* (Caucasian Chalk Circle at Classic Stage Company), Joseph Robinson* (Nashville Shakespeare Festival), Montgomery Sutton* (Twelfth Night at Shakespeare's Globe), and Molly Thomas (Medea at Titan Theatre Company).

Kate Pitt (The Way of the World at the Folger Theatre) is the Book-Holder, Kara Arena (The Winter's Tale at Seven Stages Shakespeare Company) is the Master of Music, Bridget Bose (Guilty Pleasures Cabaret) is the Master of Movement, and Calley Luman (Hamlet at Seven Stages Shakespeare Company) is Associate Producer.

Rude Grooms' Master of the Revels Montgomery Sutton says "Much Ado About Nothing is a perfect production to launch our free, public Commons Series. This show is a 90-minute, family-friendly romp with live acoustic music, award-winning professional artists, and a delightful contemporary sensibility."

"The Commons Series brings free performances of new and classic plays into active public spaces and underserved communities. The goal of these productions is to activate familiar spaces in new ways and bring world-class performers out into our communities, removing as many barriers as possible between actor and audience."

The production will preview on Tuesday, August 14 in Long Island City's Queensbridge Park and Wednesday, August 15 in Astoria's Rainey Park before opening Thursday, August 16 at the West End Theatre on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The production will continue at Astoria Park on Friday, August 17 and Saturday, August 18, and finish its run on Sunday, August 19 with a Sunset Festival Performance outdoors at the Plaxall Gallery in Long Island City, featuring food, local craft beer, and other fun pre-show activities.

All performances are at 6:30pm, with an additional 1:30pm matinee indoors at the Plaxall Gallery on Sunday, August 19. Free reservations can be made at

* These actors are appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association. Equity approved Showcase.

Rude Grooms is a Queens-based Startup Theatre Experiment rooted in the Elizabethan Tradition: we build cutting-edge theatrical experiences to provoke, inspire, & entertain, and we train Actor-Creators to tell their stories more clearly, bravely, & impulsively.

Kara Arena (Master of Music) is an actor/singer-songwriter with original work performed at the Gilbert Theater and The Millspace Center for Art. Recent acting credits include: The Winter's Tale (Seven Stages Shakespeare Company), The Weird (Off The Grid Theatre Company), Crazy For You (Reagle Music Theater). Workshops: Picnic at Hanging Rock (Goodspeed Opera House New Works Festival), Big Deal (Musical Theatre Factory). Boston Conservatory 2017.

Marie Louise Guinier (Leonata) has performed Off-Broadway at the INTAR Theatre (Scissoring), at BAM Harvey, and LINCOLN CENTER Out-of-Doors; regionally at The Folger Theatre in Washington DC (Njinga the Queen King). She created the roles of Patience Cooper in Patience of Nantucket at The Boston Center for the Arts (IRNE nomination) and Gladys in Evensong at APAC (NYIT award nomination). Her work in film & TV includes HBO's High Maintenance, ABC's What would You Do?, and the multi award winning short "If the Trees Could Talk." Coming in 2019 she will appear in Strive starring Danny Glover.

Sibel Damar (Friar, Acting Apprentice) is a NYC based actress and performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on the Improv team "We Will Slay." She is a Voice Over Artist for DDO Artists Agency and has done work for Coca-Cola and some brand name skin care products that she can't mention yet. She is best known for her work in the New York 48hour Film festival 2017 in which she won Best Supporting Actress for her performance in "A Rose for Wally."

Dhruv Iyengar (Messenger, Acting Apprentice) is a rising sophomore in the BFA Acting program at Ithaca College. Some of his previous work includes Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew (Ithaca Shakespeare Company), Warren in This is Our Youth (Ithaca College), Dr. Wendell Barnes in Boy (Ithaca College), and Roderigo in Othello (Shakespeare Dallas/Junior Players). He is incredibly thrilled to be a part of Rude Grooms' inaugural public production and such a diverse and electric ensemble of artists. Special thanks to Monty for this amazing opportunity.

Daniel Kemper (Don Pedro) is an actor, singer, and chess teacher based in New York. A Florida native, he has a passion for collaborating with artists from the Bronx all the way down to Brooklyn, and everywhere in between. Recent credits include work with The Daughter's Collective, Duende Theatre Group, and the occasional ShakesBEERience with Seven Stages Shakespeare Company. He is thrilled to play in one of his favorite Shakespeare stories alongside this absurdly talented cast.

Calley Luman (Associate Producer) is an actor, writer, and visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY from Yukon, OK. Recent acting credits include: Hamlet, The Winter's Tale (Seven Stages Shakespeare) and A DREAM PLAY (Egg & Spoon Theatre Collective.) To find out about her writing and visual art, head over to or follow her on instagram at @Calley_at

Laura Piccoli (Actor-Manager, Hero/Conrad) Film/TV: Law and Order: SVU (dir. Mariska Hargitay), Samantha Moonley's Greatest Feeling (dir. David Light and Garrett Kennell, Audience Award NFFTY). Theater: The Shrew, The Tempest (Seven Stages Shakespeare Company), Tape (Bridge Theatre), Unhealthy (Battalion Theatre). BFA, NYU: Stella Adler Studio in NYC and RADA in London, UK.

Kate Pitt (Book-Holder) does theater. A generous amount. Mostly Shakespeare. B.A. Yale (History). Additional Training: RADA, Shakespeare & Company, Double Edge. Four years in Public Programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Recent: Assistant Director, The Way of the World (dir. Theresa Rebeck). Sellsword writer/director/dramaturg/coach. Former All-American foil fencer and current novice swing dancer. @KatePitt.

Deb Radloff (Dogberry/Margaret) NYC: A Brand New World (Three Act Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (M.O.D theatre), "Mother Knows Best" (Best Emerging Solo Artist at the United Solo Theatre festival), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Classic Stage Company), Brewed (NYC Fringe) REGIONAL: Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Northern Stage), The Yiddish Are Coming: The Chosen Musical (world premiere, Denver Civic Theatre), Pericles, Othello, Twelfth Night, and Measure for Measure (Nebraska Shakespeare Festival), Richard III, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, Inherit Wind, Amadeus, As You Like It, and Death of a Salesman (The Old Globe). MFA, The Old Globe/USD. Rep. by the amazing folx at Professional Artists.

Joseph Robinson (Don John/Verges) is a transplant from Tennessee, where he has worked with Tennessee Rep, the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, and the Nashville Children's Theatre. Northeast regional credits include acting & directing with Connecticut Free Shakespeare, Courthouse Center Stage Rhode Island, Elektra Theatre NYC, and others. He is a fight choreographer, stunt performer, & teaching artist with Neutral Chaos NYC. This fall he joins the MFA candidates at George Washington University's Academy for Classical Acting.

Montgomery Sutton (Benedick) London: Twelfth Night (Shakespeare's Globe); Off-Broadway: A Midsummer Night's Dream (New York Classical Theatre); Regional: Henry V (Cape Fear Regional Theatre), The Winter's Tale (Seven Stages Shakespeare Company), Love's Labours Lost, King Lear, Richard III, Measure for Measure (Trinity Shakespeare), Florida Studio Theatre, Second Thought Theatre, Theatre Three, Uptown Players, Circle Theatre. Film/New Media: Trouble with Women, 1865. Playwright: Advent (O'Neill semi-finalist); Antigone (Gilbert Theatre); Your Colonel (Metropolitan Playhouse). BFA, NYU. Up Next: Pleading Infinity (United Solo). | @montgomerysutto.

Molly Thomas (Beatrice/Oatcake) is delighted to be part of this beautiful show! Favorite roles include Creon in Titan Theatre Company's Medea, Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet, and a very hungry Mob in Coriolanus. She also performs nationwide with the Vixens En Garde, an all-female sword-fighting and Shakespeare troupe, of which she is a founding member. BFA, NYU: Atlantic Acting School.

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