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GERTRUDE AND CLAUDIUS World Premiere Of First Orlando Shakes Commission Announced

GERTRUDE AND CLAUDIUS World Premiere Of First Orlando Shakes Commission Announced

Mark St. Germain's Gertrude and Claudius, based on the novel by John Updike, commissioned and produced by Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCF runs from February 20 - March 23, 2019. Gertrude and Claudius will play in repertory with Shakespeare's Hamlet. Tickets (starting at $30) are available now by phone (407) 447-1700 ext. 1, online at, or in person at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 East Rollins Street).

Serving as a prequel to Hamlet, Gertrude and Claudius brings a new point of view to the classic tale of guilt and revenge. The infamous couple serve as the villains in Shakespeare's work, but are offered a new exposition in this tale of good intentions and family dysfunction. With ominous hints at the familiar story to come, Gertrude and Claudius is a play that shakes up what you thought you knew about Elsinore.

"Staging the World Premiere of this imaginative prequel in repertory with Hamlet gives audiences a chance to appreciate how the scripts dovetail to give us a deeper understanding of Shakespeare's work," said Director Jim Helsinger. "John Updike's novel gives us the opportunity to see the other side of the story, then Mark St. Germain has brought it to life in his adaptation."

Orlando Shakes' Gertrude and Claudius features:

  • Paige Lindsey White* as Gertrude. Stage: Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion (Pasadena Playhouse); Macon Hill in Abundance and Lauren in Kings (South Coast Rep); Brooke Wyeth in Other Desert Cities (Arizona Theatre Company & Indiana Rep); Ann in At Home at The Zoo (Wallis Annenberg); Titania in Mendelssohn's Midsummer (Disney Concert Hall); Georgie in Heisenberg (u/s) (Mark Taper Forum); Fallen Angels & Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Ensemble Theatre Santa Barbara); Rapture Blister Burn (San Diego Rep); Love's Labour's Lost & Romeo and Juliet (Santa Cruz Shakespeare); Trying, Ghost-Writer, and The Heir Apparent (International City Theatre); The Children, R II & With Love and A Major Organ (Theatre @ Boston Court); Walking the Tightrope (24TH ST Theatre), Ivo van Hove's A View From the Bridge (Ahmanson & Kennedy Center, u/s). International Tour: Trial of the Catonsville Nine (The Actors' Gang). TV: Shameless, American Woman, Corporate, Days of Our Lives, TV Funhouse. LA Drama Critics' Circle Award Lead Performance Winner, 3 Ovation Nominations www.

  • Gene Gillette* as Claudius. Broadway National Tours: Ed Boone in The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night Time, Ted Narracot in War Horse both for The National Theatre of Great Britain. Regional and Off Broadway: Macbeth with Frances McDormand at Berkeley Rep, the title role in Hamlet at the Denver Civic, Pale in Burn This at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Thurio in Two Gentlemen of Verona for The Shakespeare Theatre, Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire (Ovation Award) Theatreworks, Padraic in Lieutenant of Inishmore (Ovation Award) and Bobby Reyburn in Coyote on a Fence (Ovation Award) both with Curious Theatre. Television: Quantico, Elementary, The Good Wife, Person of Interest, Law and Order SVU. MFA: The Shakespeare Theatre's Academy for Classical Acting

The cast also features Greg Thornton* as King Rorik/Ensemble, Dan Kremer* as Polonius, Adam Reilly as Laertes/Ensemble, Junior Nyong'o as Hamlet/Ensemble, Susan Maris* as Ophelia/Ensemble, Kenny Babel as Amleth, Rudy Roushdi* as Ensemble, Mandi Lee as Herda, Amanda Anne Dayton as Bernardo/Guard, Carlos Pereyo as Crowd/Guard/Priest, Andy Hansen as Guard/Marcellus/Crowd, Terence Lee as Servant/Yorick/Crowd, and Daniel Romano as Bishop/Crowd.

Director Helsinger has directed many Orlando Shakes productions including The Mystery of Irma Vep - A Penny Dreadful, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Henry V, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Monty Python's SPAMALOT, The Adventures of Pericles, and West Side Story. He has also directed for The Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Florida Repertory Theater, Actors' Playhouse, Florida Studio Theatre, Cape May Stage, Prague Shakespeare Company, and Colorado Shakespeare Festival. He is a member of Actors' Equity Association, National Theatre Conference, National New Play Network, and is a past president of the Shakespeare Theatre Association and recipient of the prestigious Sidney Berger Award for outstanding talent and dedication to the works of William Shakespeare. Helsinger also serves as Orlando Shakes' artistic director and a UCF faculty member.

The artistic team also includes Scenic Designer Jim Hunter**, Lighting Designer Bert Scott**, Costume Designer Jack Smith, Sound Designer Britt Sandusky, and Fight Choreographer Tony Simotes.

*Member of Actors' Equity Association

**Member of United Scenic Artists


Preview Dates: February 20 & 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Opening Date: February 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Senior Matinees: March 6 & 13 at 2:00 p.m.

Talk Back Performance: March 10 at 2:00 p.m.

Sunday Funday: February 24 at 12:00 p.m.

Opening Night Party & Pre-Show Chat - Friday, February 22

Arrive at 6:15 p.m. to enjoy free light appetizers, followed by a brief, informative discussion about the creative process with the director and members of the creative team. Free to all opening night ticket holders. No RSVP necessary.

Sunday Funday - Sunday, February 24 at 12:00 p.m.
Step up your matinee game at Orlando Shakes Sunday Funday! We invite the culturally curious to see the magic of our theater in a whole new way at a themed pre-show bash. Tickets ($40) include the pre-show party and performance when you use code word FUNDAY.



Wednesdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and every Sunday and select Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. - starting at $30

Preview Performances and Senior Matinees - starting at $18

DISCOUNTS (May not be combined with any other offers)

Group Sales: 20% off groups of 10+

Student Rush: $15 - 30 minutes prior to show w/ valid student ID

Student and Active/Retired Military: $10 off single ticket prices w/ valid ID (Only available in Price Levels A and B)

$25 Under 35: Patrons under 35 years old can purchase $25 tickets for evening and weekend matinee performances during March 14-17. Call the Box Office at (407) 447-1700 ext. 1 or purchase online with code word: 25UNDER35 (Only available in Price Levels B and C.)

If it were a movie, Gertrude & Claudius would be rated "R". Children under 5 will not be admitted to the theater. For the complete content advisory, please visit:

Gertrude and Claudius is presented by Rita & John Lowndes. This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. This play is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

Funding for the commission of Gertrude and Claudius generously provided by Rita and John Lowndes.

Orlando Shakes is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of and This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the State of Florida.

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