The Acting Company Presents William Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT
The Acting Company (Ian Belknap, Artistic Director; Elisa Spencer-Kaplan, Executive Director) presents William Shakespeare's beloved comedy, Twelfth Night, directed by Tony nominee Maria Aitken (The 39 Steps) with a dynamic cast of The Acting Company alumni and ensemble members of Delaware's Resident Ensemble Players (REP). When her ship is wrecked, Viola washes ashore in the unfamiliar land of Illyria and embarks on a journey to find her lost brother. Brimming with music, love and longing, Shakespeare's enchanting play transports audiences to a world of comedic mayhem, mistaken identity and unrequited passion. This co-production with the Resident Ensemble Players comes to Polonsky Shakespeare Center (262 Ashland Pl, Brooklyn), May 10-27.
Twelfth Night is The Acting Company's first collaboration with Aitken, whose "indomitably funny" (The New York Times) staging of Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps was a smash hit, winning the Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 2007, becoming the fifth longest-running play in West End History, and earning two Tony Awards for its Broadway run. Aitken's production of Twelfth Night sets Shakespeare's meticulously chaotic comedy of mistaken identity beyond a specific location or period, rather incorporating design elements that nod to the high fashion photography of Tim Walker, with costumes by Candice Donnelly harnessing the aesthetics of a number of historical eras. Illyria is given an otherworldly quality with a set by Lee Savage, inspired by the arresting landscapes and electrically charged skies of Iceland, with clean lines against a painterly northern lights-like background.
The cast features Michael Stewart Allen (War Horse national tour) as Valentine/Officer, Hassan El-Amin (REP Company, Dallas Theater Center) as Antonio, Lee E. Ernst (REP Company, Milwaukee Rep) as Sir Toby Belch, Kate Forbes (School for Scandal on Broadway, Theatre World Award) as Maria, Michael Gotch (Svejk at TFANA) as Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Matthew Greer (Cabaret on Broadway) as Orsino, Elizabeth Heflin (The Government Inspector on Broadway) as Olivia, Mic Matarrese (REP Company, Alley Theatre) as Fabian, Stephen Pelinski (Macbeth at TFANA) as Malvolio, Antoinette Robinson (REP Company, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival) as Lady in Waiting to Olivia/Female Officer, Joshua David Robinson (The Acting Company's X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation) as Feste, John Skelley (The Acting Company's Desire) as Sebastian, Susanna Stahlmann (Sound House at New Georges) as Viola, and Mickey Theis (Six Degrees of Separation on Broadway) as Curio/Priest. The creative team includes Lee Savage (Set Design), Candice Donnelly (Costume Design), Philip S. Rosenberg (Lighting Design), and John Gromada (Sound Design/Original Music).
Twelfth Night runs from May 10-27, 2018, at TFANA's Polonsky Shakespeare Center, 262 Ashland Place, Brooklyn. Matinees for student groups will be held at 10am on May 10 and 16. Performances take place at 7:30pm May 10-12, 15-19, and 22-27; at 2pm May 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27.
Press is welcome May 11, 12, 15, 16, and 22 at 7:30pm, and May 12 and 13 at 2pm. The production opens May 13.
Tickets can be purchased at theactingcompany.org or ordered by phone at866-811-4111. TFANA subscribers and flex pass holders may arrange tickets as advised by TFANA or call 212-229-2819, ext. 10 for assistance. Regular price tickets are $70. For ages 30 and under and full-time students of any age, $20 New Deal tickets may be purchased in advance for any performance. Patrons purchasing New Deal Student/Under 30 tickets will be required to provide a valid ID showing proof of age at time of ticket pickup for each discounted ticket purchased.
Maria Aitken (Director) Broadway: Man and Boy, The 39 Steps (Tony Nomination). US, UK, Australia: The Cocktail Hour, Private Lives, The Gift, Educating Rita, As You Like It, Quartermaine's Terms, The 39 Steps (Olivier Award), Japes, Man and Boy, As You Like It, Irma Vep, After the Ball Was Over, Happy Family, The Rivals. Lead actress in over 15 West End productions including Hay Fever, Blithe Spirit, Bedroom Farce, Design for Living and Private Lives. Film credits include A Fish Called Wanda (BAFTA nom). Teacher: BADA; Juilliard; Yale; NYU; Actors Center NYC; Academy for Classical Acting (DC); Royal National Theatre Studio (UK). Author: A Girdle Round the Earth, Style: Acting in High Comedy. Trustee of the Noël Coward Foundation.
Michael Stewart Allen (Valentine/ Officer) is an alum of The Acting Company: The Tempest, Moby Dick Rehearsed, Two Gentleman of Verona, and Love, Shakespeare. Tour:War Horse first national and international tour. Regional credits include Constellations (Shakerbridge Theatre); Baskerville (Forestburgh Playhouse); Stalking the Bogeyman (Florida Studio Theatre); The Crucible, Macbeth (Arkansas Rep); Long Day's Journey into Night (Palm Beach Drama Works); The Two Musketeers (The Hippodrome); 15 seasons at The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ; Amadeus, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, Taming of the Shrew, and The Madness of King George (The Old Globe), PA Shakespeare Festival, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Contemporary American Theater, The People's Light, and The Folger Theater. Film and television credits: "The Blacklist," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," Admiral Rickover Cold Mountain. Training: UNC Chapel Hill.
Hassan El-Amin (Antonio) is a member of the REP Company: From the Author Of, The Mountaintop, Tartuffe, The Elephant Man, The Bells, Clybourne Park, God of Carnage. Company member, Brierley Resident Acting Company. Regional: Dream Girls, The Mountaintop, All the Way, Colossal, Stagger Lee, Driving Miss Daisy, Les Misérables, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park, Fly, The Odd Couple, King Lear, A Christmas Carol, God of Carnage, The Wiz, Henry IV, Death of a Salesman (Dallas Theater Center); Fences, Seven Guitars, Radio Golf, Jitney, Blues for an Alabama Sky, The Lion King, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, Othello, Stick Fly, The Whipping Man, A Soldiers Play at theaters including The Alley, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, Goodman, Arena Stage, Guthrie, Alliance, Huntington, Denver Center, Portland Center Stage, Trinity Rep, Milwaukee Rep, San Diego Rep, Penumbra, Colorado, Oregon, and Utah Shakespeare Festivals. Training: UD Professional Theatre Training Program.
Lee E. Ernst (Sir Toby Belch) is a member of the REP Company: Director - Clybourne Park; Actor - Dial "M" for Murder, From the Author Of, You Can't Take It with You, Tartuffe, The Elephant Man, The Bells, Waiting for Godot, Things We Do for Love, To Kill a Mockingbird (also Associate Director), Wait Until Dark, Heartbreak House, The Patsy, The 39 Steps, Juno and the Paycock, The Millionairess, Macbeth, Angels in America, Wit, The Mousetrap, The Servant of Two Masters. Regional: Milwaukee Repertory Theater-resident actor: Clybourne Park, Cabaret, Death of a Salesman, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Crucible, A Christmas Carol, Assassins, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Lombardi, Of Mice and Men, The Norman Conquests, Cyrano De Bergerac, Richard III, Work Song, Tartuffe, The Seafarer, Barrymore; American Players Theatre-Founding acting company member: Cyrano, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear. Other regional: Arizona Theatre Company, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Kansas City Rep, New American Theatre, Peninsula Players, American Conservatory Theater, Tokyo's Institute of Dramatic Arts, Texas Shakespeare Festival: Hamlet (director), The Nerd (director). Awards: AriZoni and Shepherd - Express "Best Actor" awards, The Minerva Laureate (Wisconsin Academy of Letters, Arts, and Sciences), and Lunt-Fontanne Fellow, by the Ten Chimneys Foundation. Training: UD Professional Theatre Training Program.
Kate Forbes (Maria) is an alum of The Acting Company: A Doll House, Twelfth Night, The African Company Presents Richard III, Othello. Broadway: Sight Unseen, Macbeth, Inherit the Wind, The School for Scandal (Theatre World Award). Off-Broadway: Othello with Liev Schrieber and Keith David (Public); Love, Janis (Village Theater), The Entertainer (Classic Stage); All's Well That Ends Well, The Merchant of Venice, Othello (Callaway Award), The Jew of Malta (TFANA); Margaret: A Tygers Heart (Red Bull). Regional: The Crucible, Hamlet, Macbeth, La Dispute, Cloud Nine (Hartford Stage); The Price (Long Wharf); The Night of the Iguana (Guthrie); The Provoked Wife (ART); The Scent of Roses (ACT); A Streetcar Named Desire (Dallas Theater Center); Skylight (PlayMakers Rep); others at the Shakespeare Theater, The Intiman, Great Lakes, Berkshire Theater Festival, and Yale Rep. Film/TV: The Longest Ride, The Sacrament, Hot Summer Nights, All Saints, Steel Country, Mercy Street, Law and Order, Soaps. Award-winning narrator of audio books. Training: M.F.A., NYU Graduate Acting.
Michael Gotch (Sir Andrew Aguecheek) is an alum of The Acting Company and a member of the REP Company. The Acting Company: Richard III, Murder by Poe. REP: Director - Wait Until Dark, Dancing at Lughnasa (co-director); Actor - I Am My Own Wife, Dial "M" for Murder, You Can't Take It with You, The Elephant Man, Clybourne Park, Waiting for Godot, Red, The 39 Steps, Hamlet (BroadwayWorld Award, Best Actor - Delaware), Angels in America, The Cripple of Inishmaan, O Beautiful, The Glass Menagerie, The Homecoming, Death of a Salesman. Off-Broadway: Svejk (U.S. Premiere, Theatre for a New Audience). Regional: Armadale (world premiere), I Am My Own Wife (Milwaukee Rep); The Importance of Being Earnest (South Coast Repertory); Amadeus (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Shakespeare's R&J (Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Jeff Nomination & After Dark Award); Julius Caesar, Timon of Athens, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing (Falstaff Award Nomination), (American Players Theatre); The Piano Men, Daisy (ACT Seattle). Training: UD Professional Theatre Training Program.
Matthew Greer (Orsino) is an alum of The Acting Company: Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing. Broadway: The Real Thing (2014 & 2000), Seminar, Cabaret, The Judas Kiss. First National Tour: Spamalot. Off-Broadway: includes Hit the Wall, Barrow Street Theater; Love, Love, Love, Dinner With Friends, If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, Suddenly Last Summer, Roundabout Theatre Company; The Duchess of Malfi, Red Bull Theater; A Mother, a Daughter, and a Gun; others. Regional: includes The Three Musketeers, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Syracuse Stage; Taking Steps, Barrington Stage; Bedroom Farce, And a Nightingale Sang, Things We Do for Love, Westport Country Playhouse; The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde, Hamlet, Death of a Salesman, Pride & Prejudice, Guthrie Theater; In the Next Room, Skylight, Cymbeline, PlayMakers Rep; Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, The Shakespeare Theatre; A Civil War Christmas, Baltimore Center Stage; As You Like It, Shakespeare on the Sound; others. Television: "Guiding Light". Director: Never the Sinner, Convergent Theatre Co.. Training: Juilliard.
Elizabeth Heflin (Olivia) is a member of the REP Company: Dial "M" for Murder , From the Author Of, You Can't Take It with You, Tartuffe, The Elephant Man, God of Carnage, Things We Do For Love, Heartbreak House, The 39 Steps, The Millionairess, Macbeth, The Threepenny Opera, The Skin of Our Teeth (Barrymore nomination), The Little Foxes, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, among others. Broadway: The Government Inspector. National Tour: The Odd Couple. Regional: Alley Theatre-company member 13 years; Bad Dates (Milwaukee Repertory Theater); The Taming of the Shrew (The Old Globe); The Play's the Thing (Actors Theatre of Louisville); The Dinner Party (Paper Mill Playhouse); Dancing At Lughnasa (Dallas Theatre Center) TV/Film: "Guiding Light," "New York News," "Days Of Our Lives," "As The World Turns," "The Pretender." Training: UD Professional Theatre Training Program.
Mic Matarrese (Fabian) is a member of the REP Company: Dial "M" for Murder, Tartuffe, The Elephant Man (Dr. Treves), The Bells (Baptiste), Waiting for Godot (Pozzo), Wait Until Dark (Mike), Angels in America (Joe), Faust (Mephisto), The Night of the Iguana (Shannon), The Threepenny Opera (Mac the Knife), Anything to Declare?, among others. Regional: The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet (Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival); Noises Off (Alley); A Streetcar Named Desire (Artists Repertory Theatre); Crime and Punishment (Chamber Theatre); A Christmas Carol (Milwaukee Repertory Theater); My Dear Dorothea (In Tandem Theatre); Trojan Woman (Renaissance Theaterworks); The Fantasticks (Skylight). Training: UD Professional Theatre Training Program.
Stephen Pelinski (Malvolio) is a member of the REP Company: Director - All in the Timing; Actor - Dial "M" for Murder, From the Author Of, You Can't Take It with You, Tartuffe, The Elephant Man, The Bells, Clybourne Park, Waiting for Godot, Red, To Kill a Mockingbird, Wait Until Dark, Heartbreak House, The Patsy, Angels in America, Faust, Death of a Salesman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Imaginary Invalid. Off-Broadway: Theatre for a New Audience. Regional: Born Yesterday (Alley); Over forty roles at the Guthrie including: Three Sisters, Iphigenia At Aulis, The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull, Much Ado About Nothing, and A Doll's House; Chautauqua Theatre Company: You Can't Take It With You; Intiman Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Center Stage, Citadel, The National Theatre in Ottawa, Atlantic Theatre Festival. T.V./Film: Sweet Land, Wooly Boys, Factotum, Irv De Toilette, Killer Movie. Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship recipient, Ten Chimneys Foundation. Training: UD Professional Theatre Training Program.
Antoinette Robinson (Lady in Waiting to Olivia/Female Officer) is a member of the REP Company: The Mountaintop. New York/Regional: Timon of Athens, As You Like It (Folger Theatre), Sir Patient Fancy, The Winter's Tale, Taming of the Shrew (The Queens Company), As You Like It (New York Classical Theatre), As You Like It, Our Town, Measure for Measure (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Becoming Something (Esperance Theatre Company), Edge of Peace (Seattle Children's Theatre), Time Sensitive (Guthrie), The Mother***ker with The Hat, Mr. Marmalade, Spirits to Enforce (Hyde Park Theatre). Film/TV: Ol'Daddy, 9 Actors, The Great Black Way (web series). Training: M.F.A., University of Texas at Austin.
Joshua David Robinson (Feste) is an alum of The Acting Company: X: Or Betty Shabazz v The Nation, Julius Caesar, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Macbeth. Off-Broadway: The Convent of Pleasure (Cherry Lane Theatre), Sense of an Ending (59e59). Regional credits include All The Way (Cleveland Playhouse) and Three Sisters (Playmakers Repertory Company(The Guthrie). Joshua is always working to use theatre as a means to engage with his community and promote social justice Training: M.F.A., NYU Graduate Acting.
John Skelley (Sebastian) is an alum of The Acting Company: Desire, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet. Off-Broadway: The Changeling (Red Bull). Regional: includes Long Day's Journey Into Night, Hay Fever, Charley's Aunt, The Importance of Being Earnest, Two Gentlemen of Verona, A View From the Bridge, Roman Holiday, Tales From Hollywood, A Christmas Carol, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jane Eyre (Guthrie); The Glass Menagerie (Denver Center); Art, And A Nightingale Sang (Westport); A Christmas Carol (Cincinnati Playhouse). TV/Film: "Law & Order: SVU," "Elementary," Into Temptation, Jerry Schwingle & The Happiness... Training: B.F.A., University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program.
Susanna Stahlmann (Viola) is an alum of The Acting Company: Macbeth, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. New Georges: Sound House; Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, In Game or Real; Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival: Hamlet, Around the World in 80 Days; Hope Summer Repertory Theatre: Pride and Prejudice, An Inspector Calls; Children's Theatre: Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl, The Hobbit, Prom. Training: B.F.A., University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program.
Mickey Theis (Curio/Priest) is an alum of The Acting Company: Desire. Broadway: Six Degrees of Separation (U/S). Off-Broadway: Among the Dead (Ma-Yi Theater Company), Posterity (Atlantic Theater Company). Regional: Hamlet (Yale Repertory Theater). Television: Vinyl, Shades of Blue. Recipient of the Oliver Thorndike Award in Acting. As a songwriter, he has released a solo album, Range Songs. Training: M.F.A., Yale School of Drama.
Founded in 1972 by John Houseman and Margot Harley, The Acting Company (Ian Belknap, Artistic Director; Elisa Spencer-Kaplan, Executive Director) is "the major touring classical theater in the United States" (The New York Times) and the only professional repertory company dedicated to the development of classical actors. the company has reached 4 million people in 48 states and 10 foreign countries with its productions and education programs, and has helped to launch the careers of some 400 actors, including Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, Rainn Wilson, Jesse L. Martin, Keith David, Frances Conroy, David Ogden Stiers, Harriet Harris, David Schramm, Jeffrey Wright and Hamish Linklater. Over a dozen commissioned new works and adaptations include plays by Lynn Nottage, Tony Kushner, John Guare, David Mamet, Beth Henley, Rebecca Gilman, Maria Irene Fornes, William Finn, Ntozake Shange, and more. the company received a special Tony Honor for Excellence in Theater in 2003 for its contributions to the American theater.
The Resident Ensemble Players (REP) is a professional theatre company located at the University of Delaware, headed by Producing Artistic Director Sanford (Sandy) Robbins. The REP offers frequent productions of outstanding classic, modern and contemporary plays performed in a wide variety of styles that celebrate and demonstrate the range and breadth of its resident acting company. The REP is committed to create future audiences for live theatre by offering its productions at low prices that enable and encourage the attendance of everyone in the region, regardless of income.