Cal Shakes Continues 40th Season with A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Now thru 9/28
California Shakespeare Theater continues its 2014 season with Shakespeare's comic exploration of love in all its glory and madness, A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Shana Cooper, with movement by Erika Chong Shuch. A Midsummer Night's Dream plays at the Bruns Amphitheater from tonight, September 3 through September 28.
Ms. Cooper, whose previous Cal Shakes credits include boldly imagined productions of Taming of the Shrew and last season's Romeo and Juliet, infuses Dream with an exuberant physical life in collaboration with choreographer, Erika Chong Shuch, who also plays the roles of Titania and Hippolyta.
"I think Shana is one of the most talented emerging theater artists in our country, as brave as she is intelligent, and a great storyteller who brings the visual, the physical, and the emotional together in revelatory ways," says Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone. "I can't wait for audiences to experience the dream she is concocting with this incredible company of artists, in partnership with the brilliant Erika Chong Shuch."
The company of A Midsummer Night's Dream includes: Danny Scheie, fresh from his triumphant performance as the Dromios in The Comedy of Errors, as Puck; Margo Hall (last seen as Lena in A Raisin in the Sun) as Bottom; Daisuke Tsuji (whose many Oregon Shakespeare Festival credits include the Fool in 2013's King Lear), making his company debut as Oberon and Theseus; and Erika Chong Shuch (whose many credits at Cal Shakes include the movement for and the role of Ariel in 2012's The Tempest) as Titania and Hippolyta. The young lovers are played by: Tristan Cunningham and Lauren English as Hermia and Helena; and Dan Clegg and Nicholas Pelczar as Lysander and Demetrius. In addition to Ms. Hall, the Mechanicals are played by: James Carpenter (last seen as Alfred Doolittle in Pygmalion) as Starveling; Catherine Castellanos (last seen as Mrs. Pearce in Pygmalion) as Snout; Craig Marker (who returns to Cal Shakes for the first time since 2010's Macbeth) as Flute; and Liam Vincent (who appeared in both Raisin in the Sun and The Comedy of Errors this season) as Peter Quince; with dancers Travis Rowland and Parker Murphy appearing, along with other members of the acting company, as the Fairies.
The creative team for A Midsummer Night's Dream includes set designer Nina Ball, whose designs have been seen throughout the Bay Area, including this season's The Comedy of Errors; costume designer Katherine O'Neill, founding member of New House Theatre, and costume designer for Cal Shakes' 2011 production of The Taming of the Shrew; lighting designer Burke Brown; whose work for theaters, dance and opera companies has been seen around the country and internationally, including The Joseph Papp Public Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Asolo Rep, the Baryshnikov Arts Center, Abbey Theatre (Dublin), Alvin Ailey, and Yale Baroque Opera Company; and sound designer Paul James Prendergast, who designed Cal Shakes' Romeo and Juliet and King Lear, and has provided numerous soundscapes at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Guthrie, and Seattle Rep, among others.
Shana Cooper (Director) returns to Cal Shakes, having directed Romeo and Juliet in 2013 and The Taming of the Shrew in 2011; she also served as Associate Artistic Director from 2000-04.She is the cofounder of New Theater House with Yale School of Drama alumni. Recent projects include Venus in Fur (Seattle Rep, Arizona Theatre Company), The Unfortunates and Love's Labor's Lost (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), American Night: The Ballad of Juan José and Romeo and Juliet (Yale Repertory Theatre), the Black Swan Lab (a new play workshop series at OSF), Three Sisters (The Studio/New York), and A Lie of the Mind (A.C.T. MFA program). Productions with New Theater House include A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Whale Play by Victor I. Cazares, and Twelfth Night (in collaboration with actors at OSF). Other directing credits include Oklahoma! at the Hangar Theatre (associate director), The Ghost Sonata, and Richard III at Yale School of Drama, and productions at Willamette Repertory Theatre, Sonoma Repertory Theatre, Cal Shakes Student Company, Washington Shakespeare Festival, Amherst College (guest artist), Willamette University (guest artist), and Magic Theatre's Young California Writer's Project. Upcoming projects include A Midsummer Night's Dream at Playmaker's Rep, and The Unfortunates and The Strand at A.C.T. Awards: 2010 Princess Grace Award, Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize in Directing (Yale School of Drama), Drama League Directing Fellow, TCG Grant, Phil Killian Directing Fellow (OSF), Jack O'Brien Directing Fellow, and G. Herbert Smith Presidential Scholarship. Ms. Cooper earned her MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama.
Single tickets for A Midsummer Night's Dream range from $20 to $72, with discounts available for seniors, students, military families, persons age 30 and under, and groups. Prices, dates, titles, and artists are subject to change. For information or to charge tickets by phone with VISA, MasterCard, or American Express, call the Cal Shakes Box Office at 510.548.9666. Additional information and online ticketing are available at www.calshakes.org.