Orlando Shakespeare Theater & UCF to Present THE ADVENTURES OF PERICLES, 2/24-3/26
The Adventures of Pericles opens with Pericles, Prince of Tyre, finding himself in mortal danger after solving the puzzle of a murderous king. Forced to flee across the seas, he embarks on a journey in search of adventure, riches, and a lost princess. As he travels to parts unknown, Pericles discovers the ultimate satisfaction is the joy of simply coming home.
Orlando Shakespeare Theater's production of The Adventures of Pericles is presented in partnership with Oregon Shakespeare Festival's "Play on! 36 playwrights translate Shakespeare." "Play on!" is a project that consists of 36 playwrights commissioned to translate 39 plays attributed to Shakespeare into contemporary modern English. The project's main goals are to increase understanding and connection to Shakespeare's plays and provide completed texts in contemporary modern English as performable companion pieces for Shakespeare's original texts.
"We are thrilled to be bringing this unique adaptation of The Adventures of Pericles to Orlando Shakes," said The Adventures of Pericles Director Jim Helsinger. "This project is an experiment meant to enhance, not detract from our mission to perform bold productions from Shakespeare's canon. If you've ever had trouble understanding Shakespeare, we invite you to come see this modern translation of his work."
Playwright/Translator Ellen McLaughlin's plays have received numerous national and international productions including Days and Nights Within, A Narrow Bed, Infinity's House, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Tongue of a Bird, The Trojan Women, Helen, and The Persians and Oedipus.
The production features Orlando Shakes favorite John P. Keller returning in the title role as Pericles. Previous Orlando Shakes credits include Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker, Othello, and Sense and Sensibility. Additional credits include Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Contemporary American Theater Festival, and Mile Square Theatre.
Dameka Hayes will be joining the cast as well playing the role of Thaisa. Past credits include The Color Purple (Oprah Winfrey's First National Tour), The Tempest (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Martin and Martin Before The Dream (Coretta Scott King in NETC), and Annie (2014 film directed by Will Gluck).
Also returning to Orlando Shakes is Greg Thornton as Simonides, following his performance as Ralph Nickleby in the 2014 production of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. Additional credits include John Ferguson (Off-Broadway), The Conjugality Test (Midtown International Theatre Festival), and The Contrast (Edinburgh Festival).
Gracie Winchester will also be returning to Orlando Shakes as Marina. Winchester made her debut at Orlando Shakes as Caroline in the Theater's PlayFest reading of I and You. Additional credits include Macbeth (Off-Broadway) and Equus (Maxwell Caulfield and Juliet Mills).
Orlando Shakes newcomer Lisa Wolpe takes on the role of Lychorida. Wolpe has performed in many cross-gender leading Shakespearean roles including Hamlet, Richard III, and Romeo and Juliet. She recently toured her solo show Shakespeare & the Alchemy of Gender and is the Artistic Director for the Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company.
Additional casting includes Stephen Lima as Lysimachus (Peter and the Starcatcher and Henry V), Joe Vincent as Cerimon (A Christmas Carol and The Merchant of Venice), Richard Watson as Helicanus (Henry V and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby), Paul Bernardo as Cleon (Peter and the Starcatcher and A Christmas Carol), Brad DePlanche as Boult (Spamalot and Henry V), Jennifer Bonner as Dionyza (Bad Dog), and Brad Frost as 3rd Fisherman (Romeo and Juliet and Cymbeline).
Director Jim Helsinger's Orlando Shakes directing credits include Spamalot, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Every Christmas Story Ever Told, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged), and many others. Most recently, he directed the Summer 2015 productions of Much Ado About Nothing at Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's The Foreigner.
Set Designer Kat Conley returns to Orlando Shakes after previously designing Les Miserables and The Taming of the Shrew. She has also served as the Charge Scenic Artist for the Alliance Theater since 1999.
The Adventures of Pericles is presented by A. Brian Phillips, P.A. with additional funding provided by Macy's. This project is also funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program.
Orlando Shakespeare Theater is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of www.power2give.org/centralflorida, and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts. Orlando Shakespeare Theater is also sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.