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One Singular Sensation: A CHORUS LINE Opens At Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

A Chorus Line boasts classic numbers such as "What I Did for Love," "One," "I Can Do That," "At the Ballet," "The Music and the Mirror," and "I Hope I Get It."

One Singular Sensation: A CHORUS LINE Opens At Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival opens the iconic Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Chorus Line. The show previews June 22 & 23, opens June 24 and will run through July 10 at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of DeSales University.

A Chorus Line illuminates the ambitions of ensemble dancers in the final chorus audition for an upcoming Broadway show. One of the longest running Broadway musicals of all time, A Chorus Line boasts classic numbers such as "What I Did for Love," "One," "I Can Do That," "At the Ballet," "The Music and the Mirror," and "I Hope I Get It."

After many months of casting, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) has assembled a cast of many Broadway, television, and film actors, as well as veterans of national tours and regional theatres, several of whom have previously performed in the production.

The cast is led by James Harkness, Sissy Bell, and Patrick Higgins; and the creative team is led by Director and Choreographer Luis Villabon.

A newcomer to PSF, Harkness will portray Zach. He holds numerous Broadway credits including originating the lead role of Paul Williams in the Tony nominated Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations. Other Broadway credits include The Carole King Musical, Chicago, Dream Girls, Aida, The Color Purple, and Guys and Dolls. He also has a best director nomination, is an award-winning choreographer, and a songwriter.

Also making their PSF debut is Bell, who will play the role of Cassie. A veteran of numerous Broadway shows (select: Anastasia and Tootsie) and Off-Broadway productions, she has also participated as a dancer/performer at the annual Tony Awards and at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Higgins, who makes his PSF debut in the role of Mark, recently played the leading role of Baby John in Steven Spielberg's film West Side Story (landing his first professional film credit at the age of 15). He is presently pursuing his BFA in Musical Theatre at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

They are joined by Lauren Emily Alagna (Kristine), Kathryn Brunner (Val), Bianca Bulgarelli (Bebe), Julia Feeley (Judy), Madison Finney (Shelia), Musa Hitomi (Connie), Matthew Aaron Liotine (Greg & Dance Captain), Milan Magaña (Diana), Eddie Martin Morales (Paul), Brandon Moreno (Larry), Paul Watt-Morse (Don), Clint Maddox Thompson (Al), Emma Vielbig (Maggie), and Shaun-Avery Williams (Richie).

The company also includes Jaylen Axel (Butch), Josiah Behrens (Tom), Josh Curran (Roy), Morgan Harrison (Vicki), Thomas Henke (Bobby), Marlena López Hilderley (Tricia), Justin Lopez (Patrick), Andrew Ruggieri (Mike), Nick Schrier (Frank), and Lilianna Solum (Lois).

The Director and Choreographer of the production is Luis Villabon, who will recreate Michael Bennett's original iconic choreography. Villabon was mentored by Tony Award winner andA Chorus Line original Broadway cast member, Baayork Lee. As an actor, he has appeared in A Chorus Line as Butch once; Paul twelve times; Mike once; and Zach twice, totaling over 1,750 performances. His select A Chorus Line re-staging credits include: the 2007 Italian National Tour; the 2009 South Korean National production in Seoul; the 2011 Japanese production in Tokyo; and he served as Associate Director for Antonio Banderas' 2019-2022 Spanish language production in Spain. Other credits include the Assistant Director/Choreographer to Ms. Lee in A New Brain (NYC) and Jesus Christ Superstar (European Tour). Among many other professional credits, he was also the Assistant Choreographer to Paula Abdul in Reefer Madness (NYC).

Joining Villabon in his PSF debut is Musical Director and Conductor Andy Peterson. Hailing from Australia, he has worked on Broadway's Tootsie, as well as being the noted composer of Broadway's Razorhurst and Stalker: The Musical. He was also the co-creator on the hit musical audio series The World to Come, for which he wrote more than 50 original songs.

Broadway's Michael McDonald will design the costumes. Previous PSF credits include Oklahoma! and West Side Story. Nominated for a Tony, Drama Desk, and Hewes Award for his costume designs for Hair on Broadway and in the West End, he holds numerous credits from Broadway, Off-Broadway, as well as regional theatres.

Richard Latta, who is the current and continuing Resident Lighting Designer for Ogunquit Playhouse (having designed hundreds of plays & musicals over the years) will design the lighting for the show. He has designed for A Chorus Line twice previously.

Sound design is by David M. Greenberg, resident sound designer and sound supervisor for PSF and DeSales University. A member of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA), he holds an MFA in Theatre Sound Design and Technology from the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The production Stage Manager is Randy Lawson who has production stage managed three previous productions of A Chorus Line. His select Broadway credits include: The Phantom of the Opera, Sugar Babies (Broadway Revival Workshop), and Million Dollar Quartet (National Tour).

The rest of the creative team is assembled with Associate Director and Associate Choreographer David Grindrod, whose credits include performing in A Chorus Line on Broadway at New York City Center, and in the National Tour, Japan Tour, China Premier, and others. Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) Ashani Smith returns to PSF following ASM for last summer's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

A Chorus Line features music by Marvin Hamlisch, a book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, with lyrics by Edward Kleban. It was conceived and originally directed by Michael Bennett. Bob Avian was the co-choreographer on the original Broadway production which was produced by The New York Shakespeare Festival, Joseph Papp Producer, in association with Plum Productions, Inc.

Alvin H. Butz, Construction Manager is the Production Sponsor for A Chorus Line. The Production Co-Sponsors are Air Products, Diefenderfer Electrical Contractors, andFitzpatrick, Lentz, & Bubba; and the Orchestra Sponsors are Allen Organs and Uline. Kathleen Kund Nolan & Timothy E. Nolan are the 2022 Season Sponsors. Associate Season Sponsors are Douglas Dykhouse, Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, The Szarko Family, and Harry C. Trexler Trust.

Subscription packages and single tickets can be purchased online at pashakespeare.org or by calling the PSF box office at 610.282.WILL [9455].

Summer 2022 Season

Main Stage: Little Red (Open now to Aug 6), A Chorus Line (June 22 to July 10), Fences (July 27 to August 7), Shakespeare for Kids (July 28 to Aug 6).

Schubert Theatre: Every Brilliant Thing (Open now to June 19), Much Ado About Nothing (July 13 to Aug 7), The River Bride (a staged reading, July 1 to July 3).

The summer season is now open and runs to August 7 at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the bucolic campus of DeSales University in Center Valley.

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival features acclaimed actors from Broadway, television, and film, and is summer home to over 200 artists from around the country, including winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Emmy, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Jefferson, and Barrymore awards.

For tickets, contact PSF at 610.282.WILL[9445] or pashakespeare.org.

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy, is the only professional Equity theatre of its scope and scale within a 50-mile radius. PSF is one of only a handful of theatres on the continent producing Shakespeare, musicals, classics, and contemporary plays, all of which can normally be seen in rep and in multiple spaces within a few visits in a single summer season. Similarly, PSF was among just a handful of theatres on the continent in recent summers to produce three Shakespeare plays in a single summer season. A patron would have to travel seven to nine hours from PSF to find a comparable range of offerings at a single theatre within a few weeks' time.

The Festival's award-winning company of many world-class artists includes Broadway, film, and television veterans, and winners and nominees of the Tony, Emmy, Obie, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Jefferson, Hayes, Lortel, and Barrymore awards. A leading Shakespeare theatre with a national reputation for excellence, PSF has received coverage in The Washington Post, NPR, American Theatre Magazine, Playbill.com, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and in recent seasons The New York Times has identified PSF as one of the leading summer theatre festivals in the nation. "A world-class theater experience on a par with the top Bard fests," is how one New York Drama Desk reviewer characterized PSF.

Founded in 1992 and the Official Shakespeare Festival of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PSF's mission is to enrich, inspire, engage, and entertain the widest possible audience through first-rate productions of classical and contemporary plays, with a core commitment to Shakespeare and other master dramatists, and through an array of education and mentorship programs. A not-for-profit theatre, PSF receives significant support from its host, DeSales University, from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Traditionally, with 150 performances of seven productions, the Festival attracts patrons each summer from 30+ states. In 30 years, PSF has offered 200+ total productions (82 Shakespeare), and entertained 1,000,000+ patrons from 50 states, now averaging 34,000-40,000 in attendance each summer season, plus another 13,000 students each year through its WillPower Tour to schools. PSF is a multi-year recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts: Shakespeare in American Communities, and is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group, and the Shakespeare Theatre Association (STA). In 2013, leaders of the world's premier Shakespeare theatres gathered at PSF as the Festival hostesd the international STA Conference.

The Festival's vision is for world-class theatre.

Patrick Mulcahy (Producing Artistic Director, PSF) (he/him) Since assuming leadership in 2003, Mulcahy has led PSF's surge in artistic excellence, financial stability, and national recognition. Accomplishments include first and subsequent grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, attracting a multitude of award-winning artists including winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Barrymore, and Emmy awards, a doubling of annual attendance, a successful campaign to double the Festival's endowment, and the expansion of the number of Actors' Equity contracts per season. He led the strategic planning process that led to PSF's Vision 2030, a commitment to world-class professional theatre, and coverage in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Washington Post. As a professional director, actor, and fight director, credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, television and radio. Mr. Mulcahy has acted with many industry luminaries including Don Cheadle, Angela Bassett, Cynthia Nixon, and Tony Shaloub at the New York Shakespeare Festival, The Roundabout Theatre, Hartford Stage, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, and the Walnut Street Theatre. He served as fight director for A Few Good Men on Broadway, and multiple Off-Broadway productions starring Marcia Gay Harden, John Mahoney, Patrick Dempsey, and John Savage. He directed Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga in The Real Thing, and, for PSF, directed The Winter's Tale, Henry IV, Part 1, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Shakespeare in Love. Also Head of Acting at DeSales, Patrick holds degrees in acting and directing from Syracuse University.


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