Press Room

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM PRESS RELEASE

January 29, 2008
For: IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Heather Nowlin
(801) 581-7222

heather.nowlin@ptc.utah.edu

PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By William Shakespeare

Pioneer Theatre Company presents Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, running February 15 through March 1, 2008.

Gods mix with mortals, a feuding king and queen unleash magical practical jokes on one another, spells yield improbable love affairs and a band of comical tradesmen wander into an enchanted wood and are transformed in the most unlikely ways in Shakespeare’s most popular and enduring comedy.

The King and Queen of the Fairies (double-cast as Theseus, the Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, his betrothed and Queen of the Amazons) are played by Equity actors Don Burroughs and Celeste Ciulla, respectively. Burroughs joins the PTC production on leave from his role in the Las Vegas production of Mamma Mia! His New York credits include Dessa Rose at Lincoln Center and Reunion at Theatre Row. A native New Yorker, Ciulla has spent several years off-Broadway at The Pearl Theatre Company, where she played Kate Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer, Ariel in The Tempest, Angela in The Phantom Lady, Desdemona in Othello, and Hermione in Andromache, among others. She returns after having played Lady Macbeth in PTC’s 2003 production of Macbeth.

The two pairs of mixed-up lovers are portrayed by AEA actors Tarah Flanagan as Hermia, Michael Polak as Lysander, Yvonne Woods as Helena, and Bjorn Thorstad as Demetrius. Flanagan has portrayed Celia in As You Like It (Great River Shakespeare Festival), Dawn in Lobby Hero (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Babe in Crimes of the Heart and Lori in a.m. Sunday (Humana Festival-Actors Theatre of Louisville). Polak appeared at New York’s Mint Theater in Soldier’s Wife. Regionally he has appeared in such plays as Doubt, Turn of the Screw, and Romeo and Juliet at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. He returns to PTC after playing Tony in last season’s You Can’t Take It With You. Woods has appeared in several New York productions, including Franny’s Way at Playwrights Horizons, Henry Flamethrowa for Studio Dante, The General From America at Theater for a New Audience, and Slag Heap at The Cherry Lane Alternative. Thorstad’s New York credits include Autophagy for The Drama League, Dan Fogler’s Elephant in the Room! in the NY Fringe Festival, and Clean at Urban Stages. He appeared at PTC in Ten Little Indians and in last season’s Pride and Prejudice.

The sprite Robin Goodfellow – or Puck – is played by Equity actor Christopher Gerson. Gerson has appeared in theatres across the country including The Actors’ Gang, The Colony Theatre, and Odyssey Theatre (L.A.). Favorite roles include the title roles in Macbeth and Hamlet, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. He makes his Pioneer Theatre Company debut as the servant to the Fairy King.

Playing Nick Bottom, one of a band of tradesmen who wander into the enchanted forest, is PTC favorite Max Robinson. Robinson was last seen as Staff Sgt. “Froggy” LeSueur in The Foreigner at PTC. He portrayed Thénardier in last season’s Les Misérables, Brabantio in Othello, and Hercule Molineaux in PTC’s world premiere production of The Ladies Man, and has appeared in nearly 100 other productions on the Simmons Pioneer Memorial stage.

Bottom’s fellow tradesmen are played by Equity members Craig Bockhorn as Peter Quince, Dirk Lumbard as Robin Starveling, Rusty Ross as Francis Flute, Jason Tatom as Tom Snout, and Steven Fehr as Snug the Joiner. Bockhorn was in the recent Broadway production of On Golden Pond, and also toured that show nationally. He returns to PTC after appearing in Julius Caesar, Cyrano de Bergerac, and A Streetcar Named Desire. Lumbard’s Broadway credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Imaginary Friends, and The Music Man. He was last seen at PTC in the 2004 production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as Lumiere. Ross appeared in the original Broadway cast of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! This marks his PTC debut. Tatom has been seen in numerous Salt Lake theatrical productions, including SLAC’s Man from Nebraska and Plan-B’s recent production of Exposed. He returns to PTC after last season’s production of You Can’t Take It With You. Fehr has been seen at regional theatres across the West, and starred in the Nevada Conservatory Theatre’s production of Annie with Sally Struthers. He has been seen at PTC in Cyrano de Bergerac and Camelot.

Egeus, father to Hermia and friend of Theseus, is played by Equity member Justin Ivie. Ivie has been seen in theatres across the Wasatch Front, and was recently seen on the Simmons Pioneer Memorial stage as the Preacher McNulty/Woodling in Paint Your Wagon. This marks his 19th appearance at PTC.

The “Philostrate,” or Theseus’ Master of Revels for the wedding feast, is played by Paul Mulder. Mulder’s New York credits include Dr. Dietrich’s Process, Twelfth Night and Angel uh God. His television credits include the role of Andy Ross on All My Children, and numerous TV and radio commercials. He last appeared at PTC in Julius Caesar.

The band of fairies attending Queen Titania in her royal forest court are local actors Michael Burns, Jesse Dornan, Thomas Marcus, and Opie Mulvey. Bryan Kido understudies for the production.

Guest director Paul Barnes directs. Barnes is a founding and producing director of the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, Minnesota, where he will direct The Merchant of Venice in 2008. He has directed at the Utah Shakespearean Festival since 1993, most recently The Foreigner in 2005. He returns to PTC after directing last season’s You Can’t Take It With You, and the 2004 and 2005 season productions of Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, among many others.

Set design is by Peter Harrison. Harrison is a nominee of the American Theatre Wing Design and Barrymore Awards. His recent credits include Horton Foote’s The Roads to Home Off-Broadway with Jean Stapleton. In opera, he has served as resident designer for the Cleveland Orchestra Blossom Opera and has designed for New York City Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, American Music Theatre Festival, Juilliard Opera and Chicago Opera Theater. This is his 24th production at PTC.

Costume Designer Susan Branch returns to PTC after designing Griffelkin for New York City Opera and the Off-Broadway productions of Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!, She Loves Me, Fortinbras and Two Gentlemen of Verona. Her previous PTC designs include Chicago, Julius Caesar, and both productions of Disney’s Beauty and The Beast.

Lighting Design is by Kenton Yeager. Yeager has designed, produced or directed more than 500 productions for theatre, dance, music, churches, festivals, and National Tours around the world. He currently runs the Masters Program in Entertainment Lighting Design at University of Tennessee in Knoxville and is Artistic Director of Creative Event Horizons.

Former PTC Music Director James Prigmore returns to compose original music for the production. Prigmore’s music has been heard on Starsky and Hutch, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat and numerous other TV shows. In 2002, he was asked to create a special arrangement for the Richard Rogers Centenary Concert at New York’s City Center, and was commissioned to write a cantata commemorating the 150th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s first vision by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1970.

Choreographing the production is local actress Jayne Luke. Luke has choreographed many PTC productions, and recently returned from touring the popular local play East of Eden in which she acted. She is the artistic director for the nonprofit Walk-Ons, Inc.

Sound design is by PTC resident sound designer Joe Payne. Payne is in his eighth season as Resident Sound Designer for Pioneer Theatre Company. He has designed sound and/or composed music for more than 100 productions in theatres throughout the country.

Hair and make-up designer Amanda French, PTC resident designer, has worked for theatres all over the west. She is a contributing writer in the ninth edition of Stage Makeup by Richard Corson and James Glavan and is a featured artist in The Costume Technician’s Handbook by Rosemary Ingham and Liz Covey.

###

MEDIA PHOTO SHOOT: There will be a media photo shoot on Tuesday, February 5, 2008 at Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 E., SLC. Please RSVP at (801) 581-7222.

PHOTOS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD: High-resolution color photos of this production will be available for media use on the PTC website beginning Wed., February 6, 2008 after 3:00 p.m. Go directly to www.pioneertheatre.org /season/presspix.html

TV CAMERA FILMING: Filming a short segment of the production during Preview or Opening Night for press use can be arranged. Call (801) 581-6270.

INTERVIEWS: Interviews with the cast and artistic staff are available. Call (801) 581-7222.

PRESS TOURS: Tours of the set for the press are available. Call (801) 581-7222.

WHO:              Pioneer Theatre Company

WHAT:           A Midsummer Night’s Dream

WHEN:           February 15 – March 1, 2008

TIMES:           Mondays – Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.

Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00 p.m.

Saturday matinees, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:         Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre

300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City

PRICE:           $21 – $39; Children are half price on Mondays and Tuesdays

MORE INFO: Box Office (801) 581-6961. The Box Office is open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, and Saturdays when there are performances

CAST:

Andrew Abbott………………………………………………….. Attendant

Craig Bockhorn*………………………………………………… Peter Quince

Michael Burns……………………………………………………. Peaseblossom/First Fairy

Don Burroughs*…………………………………………………. Theseus/Oberon

Celeste Ciulla*…………………………………………………… Hippolyta/Titania

Jesse Dornan……………………………………………………… Mustardseed

Steven Fehr*……………………………………………………… Snug the Joiner

Tarah Flanagan*…………………………………………………. Hermia

Christopher Gerson*…………………………………………… Puck

Justin Ivie*………………………………………………………… Egeus

Dirk Lumbard*…………………………………………………… Robin Starveling

Thomas Marcus………………………………………………….. Cobweb

Paul Mulder*……………………………………………………… Philostrate

Opie Mulvey……………………………………………………… Moth

Michael Polak*………………………………………………….. Lysander

Max Robinson*………………………………………………….. Nick Bottom

Rusty Ross*………………………………………………………. Francis Flute

Zachary Scott…………………………………………………….. Attendant

Jared Cole Shipley………………………………………………. Attendant

Jason Tatom*…………………………………………………….. Tom Snout

Bjorn Thorstad*…………………………………………………. Demetrius

Dave Williams……………………………………………………. Attendant

Yvonne Woods*………………………………………………… Helena

Bryan Kido……………………………………………………….. Understudy

ARTISTIC TEAM:

Director…………………………………………………………….. Paul Barnes

Set Designer………………………………………………………. Peter Harrison

Costume Designer………………………………………………. Susan Branch

Lighting Designer………………………………………………… Kenton Yeager

Choreographer…………………………………………………… Jayne Luke

Composer…………………………………………………………. James Prigmore

Sound Designer………………………………………………….. Joe Payne

Wig and Make-up Designer………………………………….. Amanda French

* Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association.