Press Room

ROMEO AND JULIET PRESS RELEASE

February 2, 2009
Contact: Heather Nowlin
(801) 581-7222
heather.nowlin@ptc.utah.edu

PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS

Romeo & Juliet

By William Shakespeare

Pioneer Theatre Company presents the most famous love story ever written, Romeo & Juliet, by William Shakespeare. The show runs February 13 through February 28, 2009.

Appearing as Juliet is AEA actress Amelia McClain. Her New York credits include such theatres as Les Freres Corbusier, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Slant Theatre Project. Regionally, she has appeared in The Pursuit of Happiness (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), Restoration Comedy (The Old Globe), and Noises Off (Arena Stage). McClain holds a B.F.A. from The University of Evansville and an M.F.A. from New York University.

Equity actor Matt Jared plays Romeo. Jared attended Juilliard and has since worked with The Old Globe, The McCarter, and Rep Stage theatres to name a few. His most recent feature film Spiker, in which he played a leading role, was recently released on DVD. This marks his PTC debut.

Romeo’s friends Mercutio and Benvolio, are played by AEA actors David Graham Jones and Eric Gilde, respectively. Jones appeared off-Broadway in The Merchant of Venice. His various regional credits include the Henry IV Part I at the Folger Theatre, King Lear with Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and The Cripple of Inishmaan with Actors’ Theatre of Kansas City, among others. He received a BFA from the University of Michigan and an MFA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Gilde most recently appeared in the New York productions of Edgewise for Cherry Lane Studio and Wedding Pictures with EST Marathon. Regional credits include The History Boys at St. Louis Repertory Theatre, All’s Well That Ends Well and The Ladies of the Camellias with Yale Repertory Theatre. He holds a BA and an MFA from Yale University.

Playing the part of Tybalt, enemy to Romeo and his companions, is Equity actor Michael Brusasco. Brusasco has appeared in the Bard’s works across the country, including such theatres as the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Great River Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Theatre, and the Utah Shakespearean Festival. In New York, he was seen in Of Monsters and Prodigies: The History of the Castrati with the Lincoln Center Festival.

The part of Paris, the wishful suitor to Juliet, is played by AEA member Michael Polak. Polak appeared off-Broadway in Soldier’s Wife at the Mint Theater. He is a New Times Award winner and Carbonell Award nominee for the role of Shane Mungitt in Take Me Out with the Caldwell Theatre Company. Polak received his MFA from Pennsylvania State University, and returns to PTC after last season’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Playing Juliet’s nurse is AEA actress Glynis Bell. Bell appeared most recently on Broadway in Amadeus and My Fair Lady. Her off-Broadway credits include Jewtopia, Pera Palas, and Richard III. She has performed extensively in regional theatre; her favorite roles include Sister Aloysius in Doubt, Alice in Retreat from Moscow, and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? This marks her PTC debut.

Friar Laurence will be played by Equity actor Mark Murphey. Murphey has been seen at regional theatres all over the country, and in 26 seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has played many of the Bard’s most famous roles including Hamlet, Iago, Romeo, Cassius, and Benedick. He has also spent seven seasons with A Contemporary Theatre in San Francisco. This marks his PTC debut.

Parents of the star-crossed lovers are portrayed by AEA actors Michael Fitzpatrick as Lord Capulet, Joyce Cohen as Lady Capulet, Paul Kiernan as Lord Montague, and Susan Dolan as Lady Montague. Off-Broadway, Fitzpatrick appeared as Sir Edward Clarke in Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, which was directed by its author Moisés Kaufman. Cohen recently completed a tour of Utah with Exposed, reprising the role she originated for Plan-B Theatre Company. She appeared on Broadway in Once a Catholic. Kiernan has been seen in several PTC productions, including Pride and Prejudice and Amadeus. He has appeared regularly at theatres across the Wasatch Front, most recently in the one-man production A Slight Discomfort for Salt Lake Acting Company.  Kiernan will also serve as fight choreographer for the production. Dolan has also appeared on stages around the state, including SLAC, Egyptian Theatre Company, Plan-B and Sundance theatres. She studied at The Actors Studio and The Strasberg Institute in New York, and has an M.F.A. in directing from the University of Utah.

Included in the ensemble are AEA members Steven Fehr and Garry Peter Morris; and rounding out the ensemble are Logan Black, Lauren Elyse Bradley, Nicholas Dunn, Jesse Ryan Harward, Stefanie Londino, Opie Mulvey, Zachary Scott, Aaron Spencer, Brandon Tessers, and Andrew Veenstra.

Returning to PTC to direct the production is Paul Barnes. Barnes is a founding and producing director of the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, Minnesota, where he will direct Love’s Labour’s Lost in 2009. Utah audiences may also be familiar with Barnes’ work in Cedar City, where he has directed at the Utah Shakespearean Festival since 1993. He returns to PTC after directing several other productions, most recently last season’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and both the 2004 and 2005 productions of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Jayne Luke is choreographer for the production.  In addition to being an accomplished actress, Luke has choreographed several productions for PTC. Other PTC choreography credits include The Yellow Leaf, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pride and Prejudice, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Phantom, BigRiver,and Evita.

Scenic design is by Bill Clarke. Clarke designed A Walk in the Woods and Abby’s Song on Broadway, and his off-Broadway work includes Eccentricities of a Nightingale and The Daughter-in-Law, which both appeared on the NY Times’ Ten Best List, Secret Order, June Moon, Queens Blvd., Ann Magnuson’s You Could Be Home Now, Keith Reddin’s The Innocents’ Crusade, Alan Havis’ Morocco and The Cherry Orchard.

Costume design for the production is by Susan Branch Towne. Among Towne’s New York credits are 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.  She returns to PTC after designing My Fair Lady, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Chicago, and Julius Caesar, to name a few. Local audiences may know her work from the Utah Shakespearean Festival, where she designed during the 1996-1999 seasons.

Lighting design is by Michael Gilliam. His Broadway credits include Brooklyn, BigRiver and Stand-Up Tragedy. He has also lit Gershwin Alone on London’s West End, and several productions off-Broadway including Striking 12, Blue, and Menopause The Musical. His national tours include Guys and Dolls and BigRiver. He returns to PTC after lighting Doubt and Othello.

Sound design is by Joe Payne. Payne is in his ninth 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.

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MEDIA PHOTO SHOOT: There will be a media photo shoot on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009, at 6:00 p.m. 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 Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 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) 581-6270.

WHO:                 Pioneer Theatre Company

WHAT:              Romeo & Juliet
By William Shakespeare

WHEN:              February 13 – February 28, 2009

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:              $22 – $40; Children K – 12 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 p.m.
Monday – Friday, and Saturdays when there are performances

CAST:
Glynis Bell*……………………………………………………….. Nurse
Logan Black………………………………………………………. Guard to Escalus/US-Mercutio
Lauren Elyse Bradley…………………………………………… Friend to Juliet/US-Juliet
Michael Brusasco*……………………………………………… Tybalt
Joyce Cohen*……………………………………………………. Lady Capulet
Susan Dolan*…………………………………………………….. Lady Montague
Nicholas Dunn……………………………………………………. Gregory/US-Paris
Steven Fehr*……………………………………………………… Peter
Michael Fitzpatrick*……………………………………………. Capulet
Eric Gilde*………………………………………………………… Benvolio
Jesse Ryan Harward……………………………………………. Guard to Escalus/US-Capulet
Matt Jared*……………………………………………………….. Romeo
David Graham Jones*………………………………………….. Mercutio
Paul Kiernan*…………………………………………………….. Montague/Fight Choreographer
Stefanie Londino…………………………………………………. Friend to Juliet/US-Nurse
Amelia McClain*………………………………………………… Juliet
Garry Peter Morris*…………………………………………….. Prince Escalus/Apothecary
Opie Mulvey……………………………………………………… Page to Paris/US-Peter
Mark Murphey*…………………………………………………. Friar Laurence
Michael Polak*………………………………………………….. Paris
Zachary Scott…………………………………………………….. Abraham/US-Tybalt
Aaron Spencer…………………………………………………… Samson/Friar John/US-Friar Laurence
Brandon Tessers…………………………………………………. Guard to Escalus/US-Benvolio
Andrew Veenstra……………………………………………….. Balthasar/US-Romeo

* Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association.

ARTISTIC TEAM:
Director…………………………………………………………….. Paul Barnes
Choreographer…………………………………………………… Jayne Luke
Set Designer………………………………………………………. Bill Clarke
Costume Designer………………………………………………. Susan Branch Towne
Lighting Designer………………………………………………… Michael Gilliam
Sound Designer………………………………………………….. Joe Payne
Wig and Make-up Designer………………………………….. Amanda French