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Ian Merrill Peakes to Take on Title Role in TIMON OF ATHENS at Folger Theatre

Folger Theatre concludes its very successful 25th anniversary season this spring with Shakespeare's gripping tragedy Timon of Athens.

Directed by Robert Richmond (Othello, Henry V, Richard III), this rarely produced satire examining wealth, false friendships, and the abuse of generosity features Helen Hayes Award-winner Ian Merrill Peakes (Macbeth, Othello, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead) in the title role. Timon of Athens is on stage from May 9 through June 11, 2017.

Tickets are available online at or by calling the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077.

Timon is a wealthy and popular aristocrat with a propensity for being overly generous. Sparing no expense on lavish parties, expensive gifts, and charity, Timon unexpectedly loses his great fortune. When he seeks out those friends he has helped financially in the past to keep him from ruin, Timon discovers that they will not reciprocate.

Alongside Ian Merrill Peakes, the cast of Timon of Athens features Antoinette Robinson as Timon's trusted steward Flavius, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh as the Athenian soldier Alcibiades, Eric Hissom as the fierce cynic Apemantus, Sean Fri as Timon's most proud companion Sempronius, Louis Butelli as Timon's indebted friend Ventidius, Amanda Forstrom as Alcibiades' mistress Timandra, and Kathryn Tkel as Senator. The production also includes Aliyah Caldwell (Phrynia), John Floyd (Cupid), Andhy Mendez (Lucullus), and Michael Dix Thomas (Poet/Lucius).

"This play is so very unlike any other work in Shakespeare's canon," says director Robert Richmond. "It is a wonderfully fantastical cautionary tale exploring the timeless themes of over-generosity, mismanagement of money, and expectations of friendships. In wanting to represent the world we live in today, our production takes place in a very modern world. A world where technology has taken over and high finance happens all online. We have assembled a marvelous creative team to illustrate this world and the downward spiral that our title character experiences, along with inimitable cast, led by the extraordinary Ian Merrill Peakes."

The creative team for Timon of Athens includes scenic design by Tony Cisek (District Merchants, Julius Caesar), costume design by Mariah Hale (Sense and Sensibility, Richard III), and lighting design by Andrew F. Griffin (Othello, Henry V). The creative team also includes Matt Otto (sound design) and Francesca Talenti (projection design).

"Timon of Athens is a rich, complex, and compelling work that offers a fascinating look at fiscal responsibility and how indebtedness can affect one's relationships," says Janet Alexander Griffin, Folger Theatre's Artistic Producer. "We are delighted to close our twenty-fifth anniversary season with Shakespeare's timeless tale about money and introducing audiences to this rarely seen hidden gem of a play."

Timon of Athens plays at Folger Theatre from May 9 through June 11, 2017. Tickets are $35-$75. Lower-priced previews and discounts for students, seniors, military, educators, and groups of ten or more are available and may be purchased at the Folger Theatre Box Office at (202) 544-7077 or online at

Watch a teaser for the show and go behind the scenes with the director below!

Related Programming:

Pay-What-You-Can performance is on Tuesday, May 9, 7:30pm. Tickets will be available to the public at 5pm. One ticket per person.

Folger Theatre's Stage Director Talk will take place on Thursday, May 11 at 6:30pm. Learn about the creative process, staging, and vision of Timon of Athens with director Robert Richmond. $20, includes light fare reception.

College Night will be held on Friday, May 19 at 8pm. Tickets are $15, with a valid student ID. Call the box office at (202) 544-7077 or visit in person to purchase tickets.

Free Folger Friday: My Fool, My Purse: Talking Timon and Iago on Friday, May 19 at 6:00pm will feature award-winning actors Ian Merrill Peakes (Timon) and Louis Butelli (Ventidius), as they discuss the relationships between the wealthy Timon and one of drama's greatest villains, Iago (Othello).

A Pre-Performance Talk with Folger Director Michael Witmore explores Timon of Athens from a scholarly perspective on Wednesday, May 24 at 6:30pm. Tickets are $20, with light fare included.

Folger Theatre's Brews & Banter Pre-Show Talk will be held on Thursday, June 1 at 6:30pm. Before the show, quench your thirst and join this lively small group conversation with Timon of Athens cast members Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (Alcibiades) and Kathryn Tkel (Senator/Merchant). $15, with beer and light fare included.

Audience members are encouraged to stay and take part in our Post-Show Discussion with the cast of Timon of Athens on Thursday, June 1. This interactive discussion, led by Folger's Resident Dramaturg Michele Osherow, will follow the 7:30pm performance.

Free Folger Friday: The Bard and The Duke will take place on Friday, June 9 at 6:00pm. Hear and discuss this jazzy take on Shakespeare's tragic tale as Dr. Maurice Jackson of Georgetown University delves into Duke Ellington's album Timon of Athens: Incidental Music for Shakespeare's Play.

An Open-Captioned performance will take place on Sunday, June 11 at 2pm.

Please check for a complete listing of Free Folger Friday pre-show events.


Louis Butelli (Ventidius) - Folger Theatre: Gravedigger's Tale, Mary Stuart, Julius Caesar (2014, 2000), Twelfth Night (Helen Hayes nomination), Henry V, Henry VIII (Helen Hayes Award), Othello; Shakespeare Theatre Company: The Taming of the Shrew. Regional: ART, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Yale Repertory, Long Wharf Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Off-Broadway: Sleep No More, Much Ado About Nothing, The Comedy of Errors, Agamemnon, Othello, Twelfth Night; The New Victory Theater: A Midsummer Night's Dream; 47th St. Theater and Ars Nova: CYCLOPS: A Rock Opera (also director, co-writer, NYMF Award, Pulitzer Jury nomination, 3 LA Weekly Award nominations). Television: The Knick, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Unusuals, All My Children, Benders. Numerous national and international tours. Co-founder, Psittacus Productions.

Aliyah Caldwell (Phrynia/Ensemble) - Dayo N Dance Contemporary Performance Company: UP! Dance Project; DANCE IQUAIL: BLACK SWAN; Ballet Nouveau Contemporary Theatre: Winter Wonderland; BalaSole Dance Company: Mixtus; Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts: Journey.

Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (Alcibiades) - Folger Theatre: Julius Caesar; Forum Theatre: The Pillowman, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Bobrauschenbergamerica, Scorched; CenterStage: The Container; The Kennedy Center: Mockingbird; Round House Theatre: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo; Studio Theatre: Water by the Spoonful, Edgar and Annabel; Theater J: The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, Boged; Keegan Theatre: A Few Good Men; Imagination Stage: The BFG; Taffety Punk Theatre Company: Henry VI Part I, Pericles, Love's Labours' Lost; Hub Theatre: A Man, His Wife, and His Hat; 1st Stage: Side Man; Rorschach Theatre: After the Quake. Regional: Theatre Exile: The Invisible Hand; Gulfshore Playhouse: The Liar. Film: Imperium, Sally Pacholok.

John Floyd (Cupid/Ensemble) - Regional: Williamstown Theatre Festival: Unknown Soldier; Trustus Theatre: Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet, Peter and the Starcatcher, Marie Antoinette; Theatre SC: The Three Musketeers, Hamlet, The Trojan Women, The Women of Lockerbie, Ajax in Iraq, Yellowman, King Lear, The Importance of Being Earnest.

Amanda Forstrom (Timandra) - Folger Theatre: Sense and Sensibility (u/s), Julius Caesar (AD), Twelfth Night (u/s); Round House Theatre: Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley; Shakespeare Theatre Company: Tartuffe (u/s); Keegan Theatre: Picasso at the Lapin Agile; Taffety Punk Theatre Company: The Tempest, Titus Andronicus, Bloody Poetry, Charm, BOOTLEG Pericles, BOOTLEG The Two Gentleman of Verona; Rorschach Theatre: Very Still & Hard To See (Helen Hayes Award nomination, Outstanding Production), She Kills Monsters; SCENA Theatre: War of the Worlds (Prague Fringe Festival), Antigone Now (Preseren Festival), Handbag; WSC Avant Bard: Orlando; Arts on the Horizon: Adventures of Mr. Bear, Snow Day, Point A to Point B. Regional: Virginia Shakespeare Festival: Cymbeline, The Lost Colony; Pacific Performance Project/East: A Midsummer Night's Dream. Off-Broadway: Irondale Ensemble: Julius Caesar, Color Between The Lines. Film and television: Redemption, UNION, Bennie's Gym, NewsWatch.

Sean Fri (Sempronius) - Folger Theatre: Richard III; Signature Theatre: The Threepenny Opera; Shakespeare Theatre Company: The Tempest. Regional: Totem Pole Playhouse: Almost, Maine, Travels With My Aunt, Honus and Me, Suite Surrender, It Could Be Any One of Us, Sherlock Holmes, The Final Adventure, Murder in Green Meadows, Lone Star; Little Theater on the Square: Sanders Family Christmas; N.Y. Fringe: M (an adaptation of Macbeth). Off-Broadway: Kirk Theater: Heat Lightning; Aquila Theatre Company: Cyrano de Bergerac. Tours: Aquila Theatre Company: Much Ado About Nothing, Cyrano de Bergerac.

Eric Hissom (Apemantus) - Folger Theatre: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Cyrano, Arcadia (Helen Hayes Award), Macbeth; Round House Theatre: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: In the Next Room, or the vibrator play; Actors Theatre of Louisville: Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged); Asolo Repertory Theatre: Glengarry Glen Ross, The Games Afoot; Arden Theatre Company: Our Town, August: Osage County; Milwaukee Repertory Theater: Eurydice; Two River Theater Company: Melissa Arctic; Syracuse Stage: Around the World in Eighty Days; Cape Playhouse: The Mystery of Irma Vep; Orlando Shakespeare Theater: Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter's Tale, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Private Lives, Art, Wittenberg. Off-Broadway: New York Fringe Festival: China-The Whole Enchilada. National Tour: The 39 Steps. Film and Television: Out of Time, Mortal Kombat, Sheena, One Tree Hill.

Andhy Mendez (Painter/Lucullus/Ensemble) - Regional Theatre: ASOLO Rep.: Hamlet: Prince of Cuba. Off Broadway: 777 Theatre: Strawberry and Chocolate; TNC: Sotto Voce, Daughter of the Waves. Film: Half the Perfect World, For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story, Cuban Blood. Television: Orange is the New Black, Forever, Blue Bloods, Blacklist, Gossip Girl, NYC 22, Golden Boy.

Ian Merrill Peakes (Timon) - Folger Theatre: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Helen Hayes Award), Othello, Henry VIII (Helen Hayes nomination), Macbeth (Helen Hayes nomination), The Game of Love and Chance (Helen Hayes nomination), Measure for Measure, The Clandestine Marriage, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Melissa Arctic, Twelf Night; Shakespeare Theatre Company: King Charles III, The Taming of the Shrew. REGIONAL: Arden Theatre: Equivocation, Something Intangible (Barrymore Award), All My Sons (Barrymore Award), Three Days of Rain; Wilma Theater: Body of an American, The Invention of Love; Philadelphia Theatre Company: Sideman (Barrymore Award); Theatre Exile: Invisible Hand (Barrymore Award nomination), Red Light Winter (Barrymore Award nomination); Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival; Walnut Street Theatre: Peter and the Starcatcher; People's Light & Theatre; Denver Center for the Performing Arts: The Catch, Glengarry Glen Ross, When Tang Met Laika; Actors Theatre of Louisville: The Crucible, Twelfth Night; Shakespeare Santa Cruz: Much Ado About Nothing; Pittsburg Irish & Classical Theatre: The False Servant. Television: Still Standing, Hack, Homicide. FILM: Lebanon, PA, Gentleman's Game.

Antoinette Robinson (Flavius) - Folger Theatre: As You Like It. Regional: Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival: As You Like It, Our Town; Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival: Much Ado About Nothing; Seattle Children's Theater: Edge of Peace; Guthrie Theater: Time Sensitive; Hyde Park Theater: Mr. Marmalade, The Motherf***er with The Hat; The Queens Company: Sir Patient Fancy, The Winter's Tale, The Taming of The Shrew. Off-Broadway: New York Classical Theater: As You Like It. Film: Ol' Daddy, Consumed, 9 Actors.

Michael Dix Thomas (Poet/Lucius/2nd Senator) - Shakespeare Theatre Company/ACA: Love's Labor's Lost. Regional: Theater at Monmouth: Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Real Inspector Hound, Boeing Boeing, Macbeth, Hamlet; Portland Stage Company: The Sisters Rosensweig, A Christmas Carol; Shakespeare & Company: Measure for Measure; American Irish Repertory Ensemble: Brendan.

Kathryn Tkel (Senator & Merchant) - Folger Theatre: Sense and Sensibility; Woolly Mammoth Theater Company: An Octoroon; Ford's Theatre: The Guard; Mosaic Theater Company: Promised Land; Rep Stage: Venus in Fur, Hunting and Gathering; Everyman Theatre: By the Way, Meet Vera Stark; Kennedy Center TYA: Mockingbird. Regional: Arizona Theatre Company: Romeo and Juliet; San Jose Repertory Theatre: Legacy of Light, Secret Order; San Francisco Playhouse: Den of Thieves, The Story; Lorraine Hansberry Theatre: Almost Nothing, Day of Absence; California Conservatory Theatre: Steel Magnolias; Willows Theatre Company: The Kentucky Cycle; Just Theatre: 1001; Boxcar Theatre: Museum, Headspace, Animal Kingdom, Manners and Civility.

Robert Richmond (Director) - Folger Theatre: Gravedigger's Tale, Julius Caesar (2014, 2001), Richard III, Twelfth Night, Henry V, Othello, Henry VIII. As the director of the Folger Shakespeare Library audio recordings: Julius Caesar, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Regional theaters include: The Lost Colony: The Lost Colony; La Jolla Playhouse; Denver Center for the Performing Arts; Two River Theater Company. Off-Broadway: Much Ado About Nothing, The Comedy Of Errors, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Iliad: Book One, King Lear, Twelfth Night, Agamemnon. He is Co-Artistic Director of Theatre South Carolina, Associate Chair and Undergraduate Director. Directed Dreadful Sorry, winner of the South Carolina Film Commissions 2010 Production Grant.

Tony Cisek (Scenic Design) - Folger Theatre: District Merchants, Mary Stuart, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Twelfth Night, Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello (2011), The Comedy of Errors, Henry VIII, Much Ado About Nothing (2009, 1998), 1 Henry IV, The School For Scandal, The Tempest (2007, 2000), Romeo and Juliet (2005, 1997), Melissa Arctic, Elizabeth the Queen, Twelfth Night (costumes), As You Like It (2001), Shakespeare's R & J, Hamlet; Folger Consort: The Second Shepherds' Play (2016, 2007), Comus. Work at other DC theatres includes: Arena Stage, Ford's Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, Signature Theatre, Theater J, Theater Alliance, The Kennedy Center. Regional theaters include: Guthrie Theater, Goodman Theatre, ALLIANCE THEATRE, South Coast Rep, Milwaukee Rep, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Cleveland Play House, Intiman Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Syracuse Stage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Two River Theater Company, Delaware Theatre Company. Off-Broadway: Beyond Glory, columbinus.

Mariah Hale (Costume Design) - Folger Theatre: Sense and Sensibility, Mary Stuart, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Twelfth Night, Henry V, Henry VIII (Associate Costume Designer), Othello (Associate Costume Designer). Regional: Goodspeed Opera/Norma Terris Theatre: Both Barrells; American Stage Company: The Butter and Egg Man; Algonquin Arts Center: The 39 Steps, A Year with Frog and Toad; Kline Theatre: Romeo and Juliet; Yvonne Theater: Nine, The Misanthrope. Off-Broadway: Variety Arts Theater: A Good Swift Kick; New York Music Theatre Festival: Cyclops: A Rock Opera. Associate Costume Designer: Regional: Dallas Theater Center: Arsenic and Old Lace. The Lost Colony: The Lost Colony. Madison Square Garden: A Christmas Carol. Roundabout Theater: Picnic, Company. Broadway and National Tours: Smokey Joe's Café, Chicago, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Crazy for You, Guys and Dolls, Andrew Lloyd Weber's Music of the Night, Disney's King David. Teaches fashion design at College of Morris and Brookdale College, costume design at Gettysburg College and Rider University, Westminster School of the Arts.

Andrew F. Griffin (Lighting Design) - Folger Theatre: Twelfth Night, Henry V (Helen Hayes Award), Othello (Helen Hayes nomination); Olney Theater Center: The Producers, Avenue Q, A Chorus Line, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown; Signature Theatre: The Last 5 Years; Woolly Mammoth: You for Me for You; Synetic Theater: King Lear (Helen Hayes Award), The Tempest (Helen Hayes nomination), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello; Theatre J: Race. Regional: Yale Repertory Theatre: The Moors; Riverside Theatre: A Chorus Line; Yale Dramatic Association: The Wild Party; Yale School of Drama: Othello, The Children, Don Juan, The Master and Margarita, Measure for Measure; Yale Summer Cabaret: Midsummer, Orlando, Antarctica!, Phaedra's Love; Tricities Opera: La Boheme; International: He Left Quietly (Toronto, Canada).

Matt Otto (Sound Design) - Adventure Theatre: Elle Enchanted; Solas Nua: Johnny Meister and the Stitch (Helen Hayes Award nomination). Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival: Our Town; Brown/Trinity Rep: Vibrator Play; Yale Rep: Stones in His Pockets; Colt Couer: Empathitrax; Barrow Group: Abigail's Party, Pavilion; Leviathan Theatre Company: Living Room Series: Immigration; Ma-Yi Theater Company: Alamat: Filipino Gold; Cherry Lane Theatre: King Lear. Off-Broadway: Fractured Atlas: The Fatal Eggs; 59e59: Hi Hitler; The Edinburgh Fringe (SCT); Tectonic Theatre Project: Square Peg Round Hole. MFA: Yale School of Drama.

Francesca Talenti (Projection Design) - Folger Theatre: Pericles, Hamlet. Regional: Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Pericles; REDCAT: Palm Quart; PlayMakers Repertory Company: Penelope, Pericles; Burning Coal Theatre Company: Hysteria. Off-Off-Broadway: The Brick Theatre: The Uncanny Valley (Playwright/Director). Film/TV: Writer/director of more than 20 independent films and animations. Awards: Best Animation, Adobe Digital Cinema Festival; Honorable Mention, Sundance Film Festival; Kauffman Foundation fellowship; WGBH, The Independent Television Service and Latino Public Broadcasting grants. Teaching: Professor, the University or North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Education: MFA, the University of Southern California; BA, Brown University.

Michele Osherow (Resident Dramaturg) - Folger Theatre: As You Like It, Sense and Sensibility, District Merchants, A Midsummer Night's Dream (2016, 2006), texts&beheadings/ElizabethR, Pericles, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Mary Stuart, Julius Caesar, Fiasco Theater Co.'s The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet (dramaturg and actor), Twelfth Night, Henry V, The Conference of the Birds, The Taming of the Shrew, The Gaming Table, Othello (2011, 2001), Cyrano, The Comedy of Errors, Henry VIII, Hamlet, Orestes: A Tragic Romp, Much Ado About Nothing, Arcadia, The Winter's Tale, 1 Henry IV, Macbeth, The Tempest, Measure for Measure (dramaturg and actor). Regional: Quotidian Theatre Company: Afterplay (actor), A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur (actor), Captain Drew on Leave, Dublin Carol, The Carpetbagger's Children, The Mollusc, Tomorrow (actor), The Seagull (actor), Valentine's Day (actor), While We Have the Light (actor), Uncle Vanya (actor), A Little Trick (actor); Jewish Repertory Theatre: The Dybbuk (actor). Arden Theatre Company: The Chosen, As You Like It (actor), Love's Labors [sic] (actor); Associate Profesasor of English at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Folger Theatre is the centerpiece of Folger Shakespeare Library's programs for the public and is recognized for dynamic performances in its 250-seat Elizabethan-styled theatre and for specializing in innovative stagings of works by Shakespeare, other classical work, and new plays inspired by these traditions. Since 1991, Folger Theatre has been honored by the Helen Hayes Awards with 24 awards and 154 nominations for excellence in acting, direction, design, and production-including the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Resident Play in 2007 for Measure for Measure, 2011 for Hamlet (a year in which all three of Folger's theatrical productions were nominated in that category) and in 2013 for The Taming of the Shrew. Folger Theatre brought Shakespeare's Globe's Hamlet from London for the company's first Washington appearance in 2012 and continued that collaboration in 2014 with the touring production of King Lear (featuring Joseph Marcell). Folger Theatre produced The Two Gentlemen of Verona with the highly celebrated Fiasco Theater Company, a production that went on to win two Helen Hayes Awards, including "Outstanding Ensemble in a Play," and was restaged at the Theatre for A New Audience in New York City. In its 2015/16 season, Folger Theatre collaborated with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the first time to stage Shakespeare's adventure tale Pericles, and commissioned Aaron Posner's District Merchants, which had its world premiere at Folger Theatre and was later produced at South Coast Repertory in California. Janet Alexander Griffin is the Artistic Producer of Folger Theatre and Director of Public Programs which includes the Folger's music and literary series.

Folger Shakespeare Library is a renowned center for scholarship, learning, culture, and the arts. Home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection and a primary repository for research material from the early modern period (1500-1750), Folger Shakespeare Library is an internationally recognized research library offering advanced scholarly programs in the humanities; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K-12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs -theatre, music, poetry, exhibits, lectures, and family programs. A gift to the American people from industrialist Henry Clay Folger, Folger Shakespeare Library-located one block east of the U.S. Capitol-opened in 1932 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more at

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