Shakespeare NYC Presents A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Winter's Tale

Fresh from their critically acclaimed production of Twelfth Night, ShakespeareNYC, formerly Shakespeare at Love Creek, presents a double-barreled sampling of The Bard with productions of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and THE WINTER'S TALE. The two works, presented in repertory, will hold court at the Lion Theatre at 410 West 42nd Street on Theatre Row starting March 18th. Both plays are Equity Showcases and each will be helmed by ShakespeareNYC Artistic Director Beverly Bullock.

Things start off with the dark and rarely-performed drama THE WINTER'S TALE, which illuminates the fine line between love and hate. Leontes, King of Sicilla and a man of terrible jealousy, believes his wife Hermione is having an affair with his close friend Polixenes, the King of Bohemia. In a rage, Leontes orders him put to death. But thanks to a warning, by the Lord Camillo, Polixenes is able to escape. Leontes instead exacts his revenge on Hermione and her newborn daughter. 16 years later, events conspire to bring the surviving principals together again, but is it too late to heal old wounds and prevent the dooming of the next generation?

One the last plays Shakespeare wrote, THE WINTER'S TALE falls into what is called the Romance category. Where love has the chance (but not the guarantee) of triumphing over tragedy and where redemption is obtainable for even the most misguided. This is also the play containing that most famous of stage directions: "Exit, pursued by a bear". The play will be done in a classic setting, with Grecian dress.

Running March 18th - April 3rd, the cast of THE WINTER'S TALE features David Blatt, Carrie-Ann Brown, Lisa Came, Jon Dean, Geoffrey Dawe*, Sri Gordon, Kristen Hammer, Peter Herrick*, Gretchen Howe, Tyler Ashby Jones*, Jonathan J. Lidz, Katherine Kelly Lidz, Patricia McNamara, Matt Mercer*, John Montague, Jeff Riebe*, Benjamin Rishworth*, Nicholas Stannard*, Kaleb Szabo, Kristen Walsh and Hannah Wolfe.

Things take a turn for the brighter with the lyrical A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, one of Shakespeare's most popular comedies. As the play begins, Hermia and her true love Lysander are forced to flee the city of Athens to escape Hermia's arranged marriage to Demetrius. However, the couple is pursued by the spurned lover, along with Helena, Demetrius' old flame, who still carries a torch for him. (The marriage has been ordered by Theseus, the ruler of the city, who is in the process of getting ready for his own nuptials.)

This star-crossed foursome enters a nearby forest where they become unwittingly involved in a plot hatched by Oberon, the King of the Fairies. Oberon has been having some troubles with his Queen, Titania, and her wandering eye, and he decides to use magic to help her realize the error of her ways. Plans go awry when Oberon's servant Puck makes a crucial error in judgment, leading to a string of misunderstandings and miscast spells that threatens most everyone's happiness - not to mention setting the stage for one of the few "cat fights" in the Shakespeare cannon.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is one of Shakespeare's earlier works and one of the few of the period to be an entirely original story - with little, if any, material drawn from already existing sources. Showcasing the worlds of both the real and the magical, the play makes for a delightful journey into the fantastic, allowing themes of love and understanding to play out in many different forms. This production is a semi-revival of one Ms. Bullock staged five years ago. The play will be performed in modern dress but remain in the tradition Grecian setting.

Running March 19th - April 2nd, the cast of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM features: David Blatt, Carrie-Ann Brown, Geoffrey Dawe*, Jon Dean, Sri Gordon, Kristen Hammer, Catherine Hennessey, Peter Herrick*, Gretchen Howe, Tyler Ashby Jones*, Jonathan J. Lidz, Katherine Kelly Lidz, Patricia McNamara, Matt Mercer *, John Montgomery, Jeff Riebe*, Benjamin Rishworth*, Joanie Schumacher*, Nicholas Stannard*, Kaleb Szabo, Lisa Came and Hannah Wolfe.

Beverly Bullock has directed and designed costumes and sets for classical and modern theatre, opera, operetta and musicals with New York and regional performing companies, including The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, Masterworks Laboratory Theatre, and Opera Northeast. She was a costumer at Eaves Costume Company, where she assisted designers for Broadway, television and feature films. Miss Bullock also founded and was Artistic Director of Shakespeare at Love Creek, a division of Love Creek Productions. She directed and designed 10 Shakespeare plays for SaLC over a four-year period, including the OOBR Award-winning "Much Ado About Nothing".

ShakespeareNYC is a new theatre company dedicated to performing the plays of William Shakespeare. They are passionately devoted to fulfilling Shakespeare's vision in beautiful, gripping, and highly theatrical productions. Their mission is to pursue clarity and wit, and devote themselves to the timelessness of Shakespeare's moral vision. ShakespeareNYC's inaugural season consists of Twelfth Night (done last fall); The double bill of THE WINTER'S TALE and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and Julius Caesar, in spring 2005. Additional information on the company can be found at www.shakespearenyc.com.

A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTS DREAM and THE WINTER'S TALE will be performed at the Lion Theatre at the Theatre Row Studios, located at 410 West 42nd Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues). Press are invited to all performances. Tickets are $15.00, plus a $1.25 theatre restoration charge. Individual show times for each of the productions are listed at the end of this release. Reservations: 212-479-4200 or www.ticketcentral.com.

WHAT:
THE WINTER'S TALE and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
by William Shakespeare
directed by Beverly Bullock
Presented by ShakespeareNYC

SYNOPSIS:

THE WINTER'S TALE
A seldom-seen romance work of the Bard's, The Winter's Tale explores the follies of jealousy and suspicion as well as the hope of redemption. When Leontes, King of Sicilla, wrongly suspects his friend Polixenes of having an affair with his wife, he sets in motion a tale of tragedy which may continue unto the next generation unless it can be stopped in time.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Take four young lovers, a dark forest, a group of ham actors and the King and Queen of the Fairies (not to mention their followers), mix them together and you have the recipe for love and laughter. Where fantasy becomes reality and reality can seem less than an illusion. One of the Bard's best-loved works.

Both plays are Equity Showcases
WHERE:
The Lion Theatre
Theatre Row Studios
410 West 42nd Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues)
Please Note: The Theatre is wheelchair accessible.

WHEN: March 18th - April 3rd

TICKETS:
$15.00 + a $1.25 theatre restoration fee

RESERVATIONS:
212-279-4200 or www.ticketcentral.com

SUBWAY INFO:
Take the A, C, E, N, R, 1, 2 or 3 trains to 42nd Street

INFORMATION:
www.shakespearenyc.com

CAST - The Winter's Tale:

David Blatt, Carrie-Ann Brown, Lisa Came, Jon Dean, Geoffrey Dawe*, Sri Gordon, Kristen Hammer, Peter Herrick*, Gretchen Howe, Tyler Ashby Jones*, Jonathan J. Lidz, Katherine Kelly Lidz, Patricia McNamara, Matt Mercer*, John Montague, Jeff Riebe*, Benjamin Rishworth*, Nicholas Stannard*, Kaleb Szabo, Kristen Walsh and Hannah Wolfe

CAST - A Midsummer Night's Dream:

David Blatt, Carrie-Ann Brown, Geoffrey Dawe*, Jon Dean, Sri Gordon, Kristen Hammer, Catherine Hennessey, Peter Herrick*, Gretchen Howe, Tyler Ashby Jones*, Jonathan J. Lidz, Katherine Kelly Lidz, Patricia McNamara, Matt Mercer*, John Montgomery, Jeff Riebe*, Benjamin Rishworth*, Joanie Schumacher*, Nicholas Stannard*, Kaleb Szabo, Lisa Came and Hannah Wolfe

SHOW TIMES - THE WINTER'S TALE

Friday, March 18th at 8pm
Saturday, March 19th at 2pm
Saturday, March 26th at 8pm
Sunday, April 27th at 3pm
Monday, March 28th at 7pm
Thursday, March 31st at 8pm (Talk Back after the show)
Saturday, April 2nd at 8pm
Sunday, April 3rd at 3pm

SHOW TIMES - A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

Saturday, March 19th at 8pm
Sunday, March 20th at 3pm
Wednesday, March 23rd at 8pm
Thursday, March 24th at 8pm (Talk Back after the show)
Friday, March 25th at 8pm
Saturday, March 26th at 2pm
Friday, April 1st at 8pm
Saturday, April 2nd at 2pm

* - denotes a member of Actors' Equity

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