Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Presents 'Midsummer Night's Dream' 7/8 - 8/2
“The course of true love never did run smooth,” Lysander tells his distraught lover Hermia at the beginning of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Mischief, mayhem, moonbeams, and magic potions abound as four young Athenian lovers encounter more than they imagined possible in one of Shakespeare’s best known romantic comedies.The production previews July 8 and 9, opens July 10 and runs through August 2 in the Schubert Theatre. Single ticket prices range from $25 to $49, and $10 for student rush half hour prior to curtain. Performances are 7pm Tuesdays, 8pm Wednesdays through Saturdays, Sundays at 2 pm (with an additional 7:30pm show on July 12); 2pm matinees are Wednesday, July 22 and 29; and Saturday July 18, 25, and August 1. For tickets call 610.282.WILL  or online at www.pashakespeare.org.
Production sponsor is Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects.
Director Jim Helsinger returns to PSF for his tenth season. Helsinger has set the play in two different time periods. The two pairs of lovers—Hermia and Lysander, Helena and Demetrius—begin their journey in the Athens of the 1960s. When the lovers escape to the forest, the setting transforms to ancient Greece. “Those that like their Shakespeare classical will have classical,” promises Helsinger. “Those that like something different in their [Shakespeare] will have something different.”
The designers are Bob Phillips, sets; Rosemarie McKelvey, costumes; Thom Weaver, lights and Matthew Given, sound. Phillips designed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and Cinderella for PSF earlier this season and has worked as scenic designer for more than two dozen PSF productions since 1995. He has received the Outer Critics Circle, Villager, Madison, and Lillian Stoates Awards for his stage work and six Emmys for his television designs.
McKelvey, based in Philadelphia, previously designed PSF’s A Winter’s Tale (2007) and The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) in 2002. She received the 2007 Barrymore Award for her work on Caroline or Change at The Arden Theatre.
As lighting designer, Weaver’s recent projects include Arcadia at Folger Theatre and American Buffalo at Theatre Exile. In 2007 he received the Audelco Award for King Hedley II at Signature Theatre.
This marks Given’s sixth season as resident sound designer and his second as production manager for PSF. Some of his previous designs for PSF include last year’s Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker and King Lear.
Hannah Woodward is the Production Stage Manager.
Portraying Duke Theseus and Oberon, king of the fairies, is Ian Bedford. Previous PSF credits include the title role in Henry V (2002), Macduff in Macbeth (2004) and Charles in As You Like It (2006). PSF Newcomer Mhari Sandoval stars opposite Bedford as Hippolyta and queen Titania. Sandoval has appeared in more than 25 productions of Shakespeare plays at many of the nation’s leading Shakespeare theatres and this marks her fourth production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Festival favorite Carl N. Wallnau returns as Peter Quince and Egeus, Hermia’s father. Last season at PSF he was seen as Malvolio in Twelfth Night and DeGuiche in Cyrano de Bergerac. Returning to PSF for his fifth season is Zack Robidas, who plays Demetrius. Previous PSF productions include Othello (2006), Henry IV Part 1 (2005) and Macbeth (2004).
Making his PSF debut is Claro Austria, who plays both the conniving trickster Puck and Philostrate, the Master of Revels. Austria’s past productions include Shogun Macbeth at Pan Asian Repertory Theater in NYC and Mac Wellman’s Two September at The Flea Theater. Other PSF first-timers include Heather Leonardi as Hermia, Avery Clark as Lysander, and Rachel Moulton as Helena. Leonardi is a native of Orlando, Florida, where her credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Trapezium at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. Clark’s New York credits include originating the role of Bobby in Coronado, as well as Arcadia and The Lion in Winter. Moulton is a trainee of Shakespeare & Company. Her previous roles include Dory in Finding Nemo: The Musical, and Frankie in The Member of the Wedding.
One of the stars of the Philadelphia theatre scene, Scott Greer, makes his PSF debut this summer as Bottom. Greer has worked at many area theatres and won the 2008 Barrymore Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his role in Assassins at The Arden Theatre.
The 2009 Festival also features The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (through June 28, in the Schubert Theatre), the Tony Award-winning musical 1776 (through July 5 on the Main Stage), Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (July 15-August 2, on the Main Stage); Cinderella (May 29-August 1, in the Schubert Theatre). A new production, Shakespeare for Kids, runs on the Main Stage with performances July 22-25 & July 28-August 1 at 10am. The free outdoor Green Show completes the season's offerings and is performed one hour prior to each evening performance.Single ticket prices range from $25 to $52, (except for children’s productions). Discounts are available for subscribers, seniors, students, and groups. Season tickets are still available and offer patrons the greatest discounts and flexibility. Tickets can be ordered by calling 610-282 WILL or online at www.pashakespeare.org. Dr. and Mrs. Frank J. Szarko are the 2009 Season Sponsors. Associate Season Sponsors are the Harry C. Trexler Trust, The Morning Call and Service Electric Cable TV & Communications. Director sponsors are Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth.The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at DeSales University is the Official Shakespeare Festival of The Commonwealth and a professional, not-for-profit theatre company. An independent 501 c 3 organization, PSF receives support from DeSales University and relies on contributions from individuals, government agencies, corporations and foundations. PSF is a constituent of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, and a member of the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia and the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America.For ticket information, contact PSF at 610-282-WILL or online at www.pashakespeare.org.
Patrick Mulcahy, Producing Artistic Director, will direct Antony and Cleopatra this season. Since assuming leadership in 2003, Mr. Mulcahy has overseen PSF's return to artistic excellence and financial stability, rebuilding the professional company of artists and achieving increasing national recognition for the Festival. Further accomplishments include: PSF’s awards from the National Endowment for the Arts; featuring artists who are winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Emmy, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Jefferson and Barrymore awards to the Festival; growth in all income areas; a 50% increase in attendance, and the expansion of the number of Actors’ Equity contracts per season. As a professional director, actor, and fight director, his credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, television and radio. For PSF, he directed The Winter’s Tale (2007), Henry IV, Part 1 (2005), The Tempest (1999) and acted in and served as fight director for The Taming of the Shrew (1998) and Julius Caesar (1997). As Head of Acting at DeSales, he directed ten productions for Act 1, including I Hate Hamlet, The Grapes of Wrath, The Foreigner and The Diary of Anne Frank. He holds an M.F.A. in directing from Syracuse University. Claro Austria (Puck/ Philostrate) Past productions include Shogun Macbeth at Pan Asian Repertory Theater in NYC, Mac Wellman’s Two September at The Flea Theater, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in L.A., Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya at Freehold Theater in Seattle, and The Lower Depths in Tokyo. He also toured with Intiman Theatre’s Living History Program for youth audiences throughout Washington State. He trained at Freehold Lab & Studio and is a graduate of the University of Washington.
Ian Bedford (Oberon/Theseus) returns to PSF for his fifth season. Recent regional credits: The School of Night (Mark Taper Forum), The Beaux Stratagem and Richard III (Shakespeare Theatre Company), the title roles in Richard III (Lake Tahoe Shakespeare) and Macbeth (Orlando Shakespeare) and Treasure Island (People’s Light). TV credits include a recurring role on Law & Order: SVU. He holds an M.F.A. from UC San Diego and is an adjunct at Temple University.
Avery Clark (Lysander) New York credits include originating the role of Bobby in Coronado, Arcadia, The Lion in Winter, The Scarecrow, Arms and the Man, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Regional: Romeo and Juliet, Count of Monte Cristo, Cymbeline (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Journey’s End (Alley Theatre), The Heidi Chronicles (Repertory Theater of St. Louis), Shape of Things (Premiere Stages), Three Days of Rain (Oldcastle Theater Company), Rabbit Hole (Theatresquared). Avery plays a small role on Guiding Light.
Mary Anne Furey (First Fairy/Peaseblossom) is a recent DeSales graduate. This season she worked as assistant choreographer on The Green Show and also appears as a chipmunk in Cinderella. Recent Act 1 credits include Yum Yum in Act 1’s The Mikado, Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, Celeste #1 in Sunday in the Park with George and The Raven in The Robber Bridegroom.
Matthew Given (Sound Designer) also designed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), 1776, and Antony & Cleopatra. He recently became PSF’s full-time production manager. This season marks his sixth as resident sound designer. Some PSF designs include: Dracula, King Lear, The Winter’s Tale, and The Merchant of Venice. His design credits include the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Gala Hispanic Theatre, Rutgers University, and various theatres in the New York City area. He holds an M.F.A. in sound design from Ohio University. Morgan Michelle Godshall (Cobweb) is a sixth grader at Lower Macungie Middle School, where she is a member of the cadence choir and recently enjoyed being in Oklahoma. She has been acting since the age of four when she landed her first commercial for Spaghettio’s. She was in many other commercials, and in a film directed by Robert Altman.
Scott Greer (Bottom) has worked at many of the area theatres including: The Arden, Walnut, Wilma, People’s Light, InterAct, and Delaware Theatre Co. Regional theatre credits include: Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Round House, BoarsHead, and Westport Country Playhouse. Awards: ’01 Barrymore for Best Actor in a Play (It’s All True, InterAct), ‘02 Barrymore Best Actor in a Musical (Baby Case, Arden), ’08 Best Supporting Actor in a Musical (Assassins, Arden), and the ’02 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist. His adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (with 1812) earned him a ‘04 nomination for Best New Play.
Jim Helsinger (Director) returns to PSF for his tenth season. Past directing credits at PSF include The Mystery of Irma Vep, Sleuth, The Imaginary Invalid, Charley’s Aunt, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (1999). As a playwright, his adaptation of Dracula: the Journal of Jonathan Harker was produced in last summer’s PSF season. As an actor at PSF, he performed in Love’s Labour’s Lost (Don Armado), Twelfth Night (Malvolio), The School for Wives (Arnolphe), Much Ado About Nothing (Dogberry), All’s Well that Ends Well (Parolles), The Merchant of Venice (Bassanio) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bottom). Other directing credits include: Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Florida Studio Theatre, Cape May Stage, New York Fringe Festival and Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF (where he serves as the Artistic Director).
Kaitlyn Kurowski (Mustard Seed) also appears as Inconsequentia in Cinderella. DeSales University Act 1 credits: Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Mikado, Merry Christmas George Bailey, Death of a Salesman, and Sunday in the Park with George.
Heather Leonardi (Hermia) hails from Orlando, Florida, where her credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Trapezuim (Orlando Shakespeare Theatre); Stop Kiss, Mary’s Wedding, Lobby Hero, and Dangerous Liaisons (Mad Cow Theatre); The Well of Horniness, SPORT: REMATCH and The Blue Room (Orlando Fringe Festival). Heather graduated from Rollins College (Fl) and is currently employed at Walt Disney World.
Rosemarie McKelvey (Costume Designer) is a Philadelphia-based costume designer whose credits include The Arden Theatre Company, People’s Light and Theatre Company, New Paradise Lab., 1812 Productions, Theatre Exile, Interact Theatre Company, The Minneapolis Children’s Theatre and The Actors Theatre of Louisville. When she is not designing, Rosemarie is an adjunct professor at Moore College of Art & Design. She received the 2007 Barrymore Award for her work on Caroline or Change at The Arden Theatre.
Rachel Moulton* (Helena) Favorite roles include: Dory in Finding Nemo: The Musical, Frankie in The Member of the Wedding, Helena in Midsummer, Babe in Crimes of the Heart, Petra in A Little Night Music, and Edith Piaf in La Petite Piaf. She has trained at Shakespeare & Company and is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and Syracuse University.
Lauren Mulcahy (Cobweb) returns to the Labuda stage after appearing in Cyrano de Bergerac for PSF and Merry Christmas, George Bailey! for Act 1. She was in productions of Oklahoma! and The Taming of the Shrew at Lower Macungie Middle School where she is a student. She played the leading role of Lucy in Dig It at Wescosville Elementary.
Jonathan Mulhearn (Flute) is a senior theater major at DeSales, and graduate of the British American Drama Academy at the University of Oxford. He also appears as Courier in 1776 and the King’s Messenger in Cinderella. Previous credits include: Detective Trotter in The Mousetrap, Haimon in Antigone, and Jack in Into the Woods. Bob Phillips (Scenic Designer) also designed this season’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and Cinderella and has designed more than two dozen PSF shows since 1995. Bob celebrates his fifteenth season as Resident Designer for the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre where he has designed over 66 productions. His television designs include Another World, Search for Tomorrow, and Sesame Street, where he just finished his 20th season, and is now the production designer. Bob has received the Outer Critics Circle, Villager, Madison, and Lillian Stoates Awards for his stage work and six Emmys for his television designs.
Paul J. Pride Jr. (Starveling) recently graduated from DSU. This season he also plays Joseph Hewes in 1776 and a mouse in Cinderella. He was seen in last year’s Festival as Burgundy in King Lear. He was also seen in many Act 1 productions, including: The Mikado, Death of a Salesman, and Into The Woods.
Zack Robidas (Demetrius) is a founding member of At Play Productions. He is a member of the Old Vic New Voices Network and is a resident member of the 24 Hour Plays. Zack has spent five summers with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and is a graduate of DeSales University. He has appeared on Law and Order, L&O Criminal Intent and plays a recurring character on the NBC show Kings.
Mhari Sandoval (Titania/Hippolyta) has appeared in over 25 productions of Shakespeare (among other plays and playwrights.) She spent five years in the resident company of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, as well as working at theaters across the country. She is delighted to be working on her fourth production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, her first Hippolyta, and her second Titania. (She’s also played Hermia and Helena.) In New York, Mhari has appeared at the Mint Theatre and with the Alibi Group, has had roles on One Live to Live, the Disney serialized film Secret Bodyguard, and done voice-over work for scores of commercials.
Eddie Seage (Snug) also appears as George Read in 1776 and as the Step Mother in Cinderella. Last season at PSF, he performed as a member of The Ensembles in Twelfth Night and Cyrano de Bergerac, in addition to his role as the Bandar Log King in The Jungle Book. He is a rising junior at DeSales University. His Act I credits include Merry Christmas, George Bailey! and Death of a Salesman.
Chris Stevens (Snout) also appears as Rev. John Witherspoon in 1776 and as the Prince in Cinderella. Act 1 credits: Sunday in the Park with George, Merry Christmas, George Bailey!, Thoroughly Modern Millie, A Child's Christmas In Wales, and The Robber Bridegroom.
Carl N. Wallnau* (Egeus/ Peter Quince) played Malvolio in Twelfth Night and DeGuiche in Cyrano de Bergerac last season at PSF. Previous PSF productions include Sleuth, Amadeus, Charley’s Aunt, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Comedy of Errors and The Taming of the Shrew. He has worked at numerous regional theatres including Paper Mill Playhouse, Second Stage in NYC, People’s Light, Hartford Stage, Bristol Riverside, Forum Theatre, Premiere Stages, Orlando Shakespeare Company and 14 months on the road with the First National Tour of Titanic. He is currently Artistic Director of the Centenary Stage Company, an Equity theatre located on the campus of Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ, where he is also Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and Chairman of the Fine Arts Department. He received his M.F.A. from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Thom Weaver (Lighting Designer) also designed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) for PSF this season. Recent projects include Arcadia (Folger Theatre), American Buffalo (Theatre Exile), Scorched (Wilma), Murderers (Asolo Rep), ReENTRY (Two River), My Name is Asher Lev (Arden), A Year with Frog and Toad (Two River), Two Rooms (Lion Theatre, NY), Five Fingers of Funk (Children’s Theatre Company), Twelfth Night (Cal Shakes). Other: CENTERSTAGE, Syracuse Stage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Folger Theatre, Signature Theater Company, Media Theatre, Berkshire Opera, Delaware Theatre Company, York Theatre, Summer Play Festival, 37 ARTS, Spoleto Festival USA, City Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and Yale Rep. 2007 AUDELCO Award for Signature Theater’s King Hedley II. Education: Carnegie Mellon and Yale.
Hannah Woodward (Production Stage Manager) also served as production stage manager for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Previous PSF credits include: The Winter’s Tale, The Mystery of Irma Vep, King Lear. New York: In Paradise, She Plundered Him, All Eyes & Ears, Night Over Taos (all with Intar), 24 Hour Plays on Broadway, Paula, Brutality of Fact. Regional: McCarter, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Luna Stage, Helen Hayes Youth Theater, and Ogunquit Playhouse.