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Washington Stage Guild Presents RESOLVING HEDDA

It's not easy being one of the most influential characters in modern drama, especially knowing you have to die at the end of every performance. What would happen if you simply refused to play along? And what would the other characters do? The Washington Stage Guild invites audiences to play along with a Hedda Gabler who breaks out of Ibsen's well-made play and wreaks comic havoc. Resolving Hedda, by Jon Klein promises laughter to all. Even those new to the story of Hedda, along with the most devoted lovers of the classic play, will delight to postmodern antics. Resolving Hedda opens Thursday, March 21 and runs through Sunday, April 14. Press opening performance will be on Sunday, March 24 at 2:30 pm.

Leading the cast as Hedda herself is Kelly Karcher. Recently returned to the area from Seattle, where she appeared as Lydia Wickham in Taproot Theatre Company's holiday production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Kelly holds an MFA from the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University. Among the classical roles Kelly has performed at various Shakespeare venues across the country are Ophelia, Juliet and Miranda. No stranger to comedy and musicals, Kelly has also performed several roles in productions of the popular musical The Marvelous Wonderettes, including a national tour.

Jamie Smithson appears as George, Hedda's hapless husband. Most recently seen at Ford's Theater in Born Yesterday, Jamie's DC-area work includes roles in An Act of God at Signature Theatre, The School for Lies at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center, Sense and Sensibility at Folger Theatre and Fiddler on the Roof at Arena Stage.

Matthew Castleman portrays Eilert, Hedda's erstwhile lover. Matthew has worked at many area theaters, including Studio Theatre, Folger and Annapolis Shakespeare Company. Most recently he worked with 4615 in Silver Spring, where he was nominated Best Actor in a Small Professional Theater by Broadway World for his portrayal of Lars in Dinner. Notable past roles include Brutus in Julius Caesar, Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet, and the title role in Brecht's Baal.

Emelie Faith Thompson plays Thea, Hedda's innocent foil. Emilie recently played Siobhan in the Virginia Repertory Company's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night. She has appeared at the Barter Theatre in numerous appearances, including as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, and also appeared at the Wayside Theatre as Shelby in Steel Magnolias.

Steve Beall plays Judge Brack. A frequent performer at the Quotidian Theater Company, where he played Larry Slade in The Iceman Cometh, Steve recently received accolades for the one-man play St. Nicholas by Conor McPherson. He has also acted with Spooky Action, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Synetic Theater, Taffety Punk, Constellation, Folger Theater and Rep Stage theatre companies, among many others.

Jewell Robinson, a longtime favorite with Washington audiences, appears as Hedda's Aunt Julia. She received a Helen Hayes Award as best supporting actress in the Arena Stage production of Blue, the Audelco Award for her work in Blue at New York's Gramercy Theatre; and the Mary Goldwater Award from the Theatre Lobby Foundation for her body of acting work. Creator and producer of the National Portrait Gallery's live performance series Cultures in Motion, she has presented, produced, written, and occasionally performed in more than 100 original programs about Americans whose contributions merit inclusion in the NPG collection. Among her many WSG appearances are roles in The Old Masters, The Family Reunion, Mixed Babies, and A Song at Twilight.

Resolving Hedda is directed by WSG Associate Artistic Director Steven Carpenter. His many directing credits at WSG include On Approval, Inventing Van Gogh, Red Herring, Darwin in Malibu and A Skull in Connemara. He received a Helen Hayes Award nomination for directing Thief River at Theater Alliance. Other area directing credits include productions at RepStage, TheaterJ and Bay Theatre. Also a Helen Hayes Award acting nominee, Steven has played many roles for the Washington Stage Guild, most recently as Joseph Tooker in Summerland and as Senator E. W. Higgins in last season's Alabama Story.

Making her Stage Guild debut as set designer is Tara Lyman-Dobson. Other design elements are provided by a trio of WSD resident designers Sigrid Johannesdottir with costumes, Frank DiSalvo with sound, and Marianne Meadows with lighting.

Playwright Jon Klein is the author of over thirty produced plays, produced Off-Broadway as well as Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, Philadelphia's Arden Theatre, Center Stage in Baltimore, South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, Alliance Theatre in Atlanta and Alley Theatre in Houston. He is probably best known for his play T Bone N Weasel, with more than a hundred productions throughout the US, and which he adapted for a TNT Network film, starring Gregory Hines and Christopher Lloyd. Jon is also the author of the only authorized stage adaptation of the famous children's book Bunnicula by James and Deborah Howe, which has received over a hundred productions in the US and Canada, including a national tour. He was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for his critically acclaimed Young Robin Hood, which made its world premiere at the Round House Theatre. It's always great to get to work on a new play, and this production has the bonus attraction of being a timely, fun and thought-provoking riff on a treasured classic, says director Carpenter. I'm very excited to investigate what happens when Hedda launches herself fully-blown into the MeToo generation.


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