Jim Abele to Play Title Role in KING CHARLES lll at Pasadena Playhouse; Cast Complete!
Pasadena Playhouse, the State Theatre of California, announces the cast and creative team for the Los Angeles Premiere of King Charles III by Mike Bartlett, the second production of the 2017/18 Centennial Season of the Pasadena Playhouse, which also serves as Producer Artistic Director Danny Feldman's inaugural season.
Performances are from November 8 to December 3 (press opening is November 12). Tickets are now on sale at pasadenaplayhouse.org.
King Charles III will be directed by Michael Michetti, who is currently helming three consecutive productions in Pasadena - this production, Mrs. Warren's Profession at A Noise Within, and in February A Streetcar Named Desire at The Theatre @ Boston Court, where he is co-artistic director.
As in Shakespeare, Bartlett, using both blank verse and prose, speculates on what happens after the Queen is dead. After a lifetime of wanting and waiting, Prince Charles (Jim Abele) ascends to the throne.
The characters are a mix of some the audience might expect -- Camilla (Laura Gardner), William (Adam Haas Hunter), daughter-in-law Kate (Meghan Andrews) and Harry (Dylan Saunders) - and some they wouldn't: Harry's new love interest replete with a past (Sarah Hollis), and the family Ghost (Nike Doukas) whose picture on the cover can still sell a lot of magazines. Then there's the Prime Minister, Evans (J. Paul Boehmer), publicity counsel Reiss (Mark Capri) and Stevens, the opposition leader (Carie Kawa).
King Charles III features scenic design by David Meyer; costumes by Alex Jaeger; lighting design by Elizabeth Harper; original music and sound design by Peter Bayne; wig and hair design by April Metcalf; casting by Nicole Arbusto; and Nike Doukas serves as the accent coach for the production. King Charles III also features an original score recorded by the Pasadena Master Chorale, led by chorale director Jeffrey Bernstein.
"We thought King Charles III a most fitting play for our Centennial Season," said Pasadena Playhouse artistic director Danny Feldman. "This Oliver Award winning, Tony nominated play has one foot deeply planted in the Shakespearean tradition and another foot in the future. It's a great nod to our history as we became the State Theatre of California in 1937 when the Pasadena Playhouse performed the entire canon of Shakespeare's plays. And thematically, the play feels more contemporary and relevant than when it first premiered just two years ago "
Director Michael Michetti said, "Bartlett takes these iconic, beloved, and often ridiculed public figures and creates a 'Future History Play' in the spirit and style of Shakespeare. The result is a clever, beautifully crafted drama which mixes gorgeous dialogue, humor and tragedy, and the intrigue of a political thriller, while giving us a rare glimpse at what just might be going on at Buckingham Palace when the Royal Family is away from the prying eyes of the public and the press."
Playwright Mike Bartlett wrote in The Guardian regarding his experience writing the play, "The idea for King Charles III arrived in my imagination with the form and content very clear, and inextricably linked. It would be a play about the moment Charles takes the throne, and how his conscience would lead him to refuse to sign a bill into law. An epic royal family drama, dealing with power and national constitution, was the content, and therefore the form had surely to be Shakespearean. Characters in this form are allowed to use extended imagery to explore psychology and for a writer this is seductive. You can understand why Shakespeare succumbed to it so often."
"Then in performance audiences seemed to enjoy it. Some of them didn't realize it was in verse until they saw the text on the page. At first I thought this was a shame, but I quickly understood that it meant they were enjoying it for all the right reasons - meaning, imagery, character - rather than worrying about the technical aspects. I hugely enjoyed the process of writing this play, more than any play I'd written before. I loved what heightened language could do in a scene, and being able to have a character explore inner decision-making and psychology with an audience."
Mike Bartlett (Playwright) is currently Associate Playwright at Paines Plough. In 2011 he was writer-in-residence at The National Theatre, and in 2007 he was Pearson Playwright in Residence at The Royal Court Theatre. His play Love, Love, Love won Best New Play in the 2011 Theatre Awards UK, and his play Cock won an Olivier Award in 2010 for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre; he won the Writer's Guild Tinniswood and Imison prizes for Not Talking and the Old Vic New Voices Awards for Artefacts. Theatre credits include: Love, Love, Love, 13 (National Theatre), Decade (co-writer), Earthquakes In London, Cock, Contractions, Artefacts, and My Child. Radio credits include: "The Core," "Heart," "Liam," "The Steps," "Love Contract," "Not Talking," and "The Family Man," all on BBC. Screen credits include "Earthquakes in London" and "Hometown." Directing credits include Honest by DC Moore. He is currently under commission from Headlong Theatre, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Hampstead Theatre, and The Royal Court Theatre.
Michael Michetti (Director) is happy to return to the Playhouse, having previously directed Mamet's A Life in the Theatre starring HAl Holbrook. Co-Artistic Director of The Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena: Stupid F**king Bird, Paradise Lost: Shadows & Wings, his own adaptation of A Picture of DorIan Gray, and The Twentieth-Century Way (also off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwright's Theatre). Elsewhere: the world premiere of Robert Schenkkan's Building the Wall at the Fountain Theatre; District Merchants at South Coast Rep; Mrs. Warren's Profession, Figaro, and The Grapes of Wrath at A Noise Within; Kiss Me, Kate, Carousel, and Man of La Mancha at Reprise.
Jim Abele (Charles) Recent: Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of Roe at Arena Stage and Berkeley Rep. New York: Hedda Gabler (Broadway), View of the Dome, The Country Girl and Angel City (off Broadway). Regionally, Old Globe, Seattle Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Ford's Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Milwaukee Rep, and Pittsburgh Public, among others.
Meghan Andrews (Catherine) Frost/Nixon (Broadway and National Tour - Donmar Warehouse), The Grapes of Wrath (Broadway - Steppenwolf), The Trip to Bountiful (Off-Broadway - Signature Theatre Lucille Lortel Nomination, Goodman Theatre), Collected Stories (Rubicon Theatre), Miracle on South Division Street (Colony Theatre), The Spitfire Grill, Educating Rita (North Coast Rep), The Empty Man (The Blank Theatre).
J Paul Boehmer (Prime Minister Evans) Broadway productions include Sir Peter Hall's An Ideal Husband and the New York and Off Broadway premier of Miss Evers' Boys. Regionally he played Hamlet at the Dallas Shakespeare Festival and has appeared at the Old Globe Theatre in two summer Shakespeare seasons and The Constant Wife. Also "Star Trek Voyager, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise."
Mark Capri (Reiss) Pasadena Playhouse: Equus (Frank), Light Up The Sky (Carlton), Noises Off (Lloyd at Marines Memorial), Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock) and Casa Valentina (cover). Trained at RADA and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. Toured India and Southeast Asia with Shakespeare and Shaw. Received a Theatre World Award for On Approval (George) at the Roundabout, over a hundred productions throughout US and UK. Films include The Empire Strikes Back and Titanic.
Nike Doukas (Ghost) is delighted to return to the Playhouse where she was last seen in Casa Valentina. She most recently appeared in the world premiere of Yoga Play at South Coast Repertory. Other theatre credits include: The Jewel Theatre, The Kinetic Theatre, PICT Classic Theatre, The Old Globe, The Mark Taper Forum, Shakespeare Festival LA, ACT (Seattle), the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, The Berkeley Shakespeare Festival, and The American Conservatory Theatre. TV credits include "Modern Family" and a recurring role on "Desperate Housewives."
Laura Gardner (Camilla) returns to the Pasadena Playhouse -- Isn't It Romantic, The Fourth Wall, and Other People's Money. Los Angeles credits include Tainted Blood at the Road Theatre directed by Michael Michetti, Razorback at the Rogue Machine and Fighting Words at the Celtic Arts Center. New York Broadway Smile and Off-Broadway The Cocktail Hour.
SARAH HOLLIS (Jess) Theatrical productions include: Viola in Twelfth Night (PCPA), Betty Boop 5 in Collective Rage (Boston Court), and ensemble in Pasadena Playhouse's Pgymalion.
Adam Haas Hunter (William) Selected regional and local credits include: Three Days in the Country, King Charles III, Abundance, The Whipping Man, Prometheus Bound, The Nether, The Great Divide, The Government Inspector, Dark Plays or Stories for Boys. Adam has won or been nominated for Ovation, LA Drama Critics, LA Weekly and Broadway World awards.
Carie Kawa (Stevens) Regional credits include Constellations (TheatreWorks SV), the world premieres of No More Sad Things, The Uncanny Valley, A Nighttime Survival Guide, and Narwhal! Unicorn of the Sea, all at Boise Contemporary Theater, punkplay (Clubbed Thumb) and many Shakespeare plays from coast to coast.
Dylan Saunders (Harry) makes his Pasadena Playhouse debut. Theatre: Mark Taper Forum at Center Theatre Group, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Theatre Apostrof (Prague, CZ), and the National Theatre of London (Connections Festival).
Celebrating its centennial this year, Pasadena Playhouse is one of the most prolific theater companies in America. Its legacy includes world premieres by beloved American Playwrights Eugene O'Neil and Tennessee Williams and productions that have transferred to Broadway like Sister Act: The Musical. In 1937, the Playhouse was officially recognized as the State Theater of California for its contribution and commitment to the dramatic arts. Today it continues that tradition of excellence under the helm of Producing Artistic Director, Danny Feldman. Dedicated to enriching lives through theater, community programs and learning, Pasadena Playhouse is a living force in the community.