Mark Rylance, Jim Lichtscheidl, and More Set for NICE FISH at Guthrie Theatre

The Guthrie Theater today announced complete casting for its world premiere of Nice Fish by Mark Rylance and Louis Jenkins, dedicated to Nataasha van Kampen and James Hillman. The production will be directed by Rylance and Claire van Kampen (who also contributes original music) and will feature Rylance as Ron as well as actors Jim Lichtscheidl (Guthrie: Arms and the Man, The 39 Steps) as Eric, Emily Swallow (Guthrie: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Midsummer Night's Dream; Television: the upcoming TNT series "Monday Mornings") as Flo and Chris Carlson (Guthrie: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, God of Carnage) as Wayne in a humorous and mythic story based on Jenkins' prose poetry and taking place on the frozen waters of the Upper Midwest on the last day of ice fishing season. Nice Fish also features Bob Davis (Guthrie: Tales from Hollywood, Arsenic and Old Lace) as DNR Officer and Tyson Forbes (Guthrie: Peer Gynt, 1776) as Wainwright.

Rylance first appeared at the Guthrie a decade ago as Olivia in the Guthrie WorldStage Series presentation of an original practices production of Twelfth Night by Shakespeare's Globe. He returned for Measure for Measure two years later, and these pair of Globe performances sparked discussions between Rylance and the Guthrie's Joe Dowling that first led to Rylance's stark and powerful performance in the title role of 2008's Peer Gynt, and subsequently to Nice Fish. One of the most visceral and inventive actors of his generation, Rylance has won two Tony Awards for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play (Boeing Boeing in 2008 and Jerusalem in 2011) as well as an Olivier Award and a Critics' Circle Theatre Award. He was the first artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, where he served from 1995 to 2005.

Rylance has co-written Nice Fish with Duluth prose poet Louis Jenkins, an evocative and frequently surrealist wordsmith whose work has been heard on "A Prairie Home Companion." Jenkins' work has been promoted in the public eye and ear by Rylance, who accepted both of his Tony Awards by reciting poems by Jenkins (including a discourse on the pastime of walking through walls). The play tells the story of Eric and Ron, who are ice fishing on the verge of the last blizzard of the Midwestern winter when they encounter mythic individuals who, as Rylance told The New York Times, "provide a little bit of a challenge."

The artistic team includes Todd Rosenthal (Scenic Designer), Ilona Somogyi (Costume Designer), Mimi Sherin (Lighting Designer), Scott W. Edwards (Sound Designer), Michael Lupu (Dramaturg), Tree O'Halloran (Stage Manager) and Jon Ferguson (Assistant Director).

Nice Fish begins preview performances on April 6, opens April 12 and continues through May 18, 2013 on the McGuire Proscenium Stage at the Guthrie Theater. Single tickets start at $29 and are now on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at

The GUTHRIE THEATER (Joe Dowling, Director) was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. With annual attendance of nearly 500,000 people, the Guthrie Theater presents a mix of classic plays and contemporary work on its three stages. Under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. In 2006, the Guthrie opened its new home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie Theater houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms and dramatic public lobbies.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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