- King John
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- The Liar
- Artistic Team
- 2010 NPR interview with playwright David Ives about “The Liar.”
- Spotlight on actor Scott Coopwood
- Spotlight on Costume Designer Abra Berman:
- Spotlight on Intern actor Sean Mirkovich:
Shakespeare’s play KING JOHN was hugely popular during his lifetime. It was also the subject of the first film ever based on a Shakespeare play ; a two-minute 1899 silent film in black and white shows Herbert Beerbohm Tree enacting King John’s death scene.
One of the reasons the play was so popular is that in it Shakespeare romanticizes King John, showing him as savvy politician reluctant to cause harm to his nephew Prince Arthur, whose claim to the English throne was stronger than was John’s.
In reality, John was a disastrous ruler with a reputation for violent rages, few military successes, and a history of increasing taxes on the populace. His disagreement with the pope over who should be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury led to his excommunication, which made all marriages and christenings in England unlawful, a spiritual penalty which the English people abhorred. John’s abuses of power were so vast that he was eventually forced to sign the Magna Carta, which guaranteed basic rights to his subjects and the king’s acceptance that he could not exercise his will arbitrarily.
When John later tried to ignore the Magna Carta, he initiated a civil war during which he contracted dysentery, lost his treasure while trying to cross a rising river, and died while in flight. That Shakespeare was able to portray John as a smart politician, full of morality, with a legitimate claim to the crown, showed the Plantagenets in an exalted heroic light. The play is a gloriously rousing story of English patriotism. It it full of humor, wisdom, and dramatic excitement. We are thrilled to bring this little performed play to the Forest Meadows stage this summer.
One of the most popular of all Shakespeare’s plays, this romantic comedy of lunatics, lovers and poets transports us to the magical woods outside of Athens where the Fairy King and Queen squabble, play tricks, and eventually reconcile, while mortals (“Lord what fools these mortals be!”) fall in and out of love. Meanwhile, the pluckiest troupe of amateur actors ever assembled is rehearsing a play, a story of star-crossed lovers. The madness and mischief takes place mainly by moonlight in this magical, love-drenched tale. Shakespeare’s poetical skills are at their height and the music of his language weaves a charmed spell of its own.
We are setting this summer’s production of this magical, romantic play in magical, romantic Hawaii. For Background information about Hawaiian culture and concepts, please visit the website of Shawna Kealameleku’uleialoha Alapa’i at www.hulaon.org
About Aloha, written by Shawna Kealameleku’uleialoha Alapa’i
Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), was the first great French playwright. His work influenced Moliere, Racine, Marivaux and Beaumarchais. Under the patronage of Cardinal Richelieu, Corneille was encouraged to write plays which conformed to the classical unities, transpiring over a single day in a unique location.
The only two plays by Shakespeare that conform to these classical unities are his first comedy, “The Comedy of Errors“, and his final full-length play, “The Tempest“.
“The Liar” tells the story of a young man who cannot keep from telling lies, which become more and more outrageous over the course of the play. Of course, there is also a character who can only tell the truth. The clever plot has many romantic twists and turns. The adaptation by the brilliant David Ives is witty, charming, clever and tremendously fun. This is a fast-paced romantic romp in rhyming couplets, a tour de force of language, social satire, and theatrical comedy. We are delighted to present the Bay Area premiere of this classic new/old farce.
On the English Side
On the French Side
On the Side of the Pope
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Duke Theseus – Damien Seperi
Hippolyta, soon to be his bride – Sylvia Burboeck
Egeus, father of Hermia – Jack Halton
Hermia – Jessica Salans
Lysander – Brandon Mears
Demetrius – Evan Bartz
Helena – Luisa Frasconi
Bottom – Jarion Monroe*
Quince – Stephen Muterspaugh*
Flute – Alexander Lenarsky
Snout – George Q. Nguyen
Starveling – Amy Lizardo
Snug – Jai Sahai
Titania, Queen of the Fairies – Cat Thompson*
Oberon, King of the Fairies – Scott Coopwood*
Puck, Oberon’s henchman – James Hiser*
Peaseblossom – Ashley Rose McKenna
Cobweb – Megan Putnam
Mustardseed – Shana Tinkle
A Changeling Child – Jacob Trejo
Director – Robert S. Currier
Dorante – Darren Bridgett*
Cliton – Stephen Muterspaugh*
Clarece – Cat Thompson*
Lucrece – Elena Wright*
Alcippe – James Hiser*
Philiste – Scott Coopwood*
Geronte – Jarion Monroe*
Isabelle & Sabine – Natasha Noel
MSC Producer & Director, King John – Lesley Currier
MSC Artistic Director & Director, A Midsummer Night’s Dream & The Liar – Robert Currier
Stage Manager – Sabrina Kniffin*
ASM – Josh Garcia-Cotter
Set Designer – Mark Robinson
Lighting Designer – Ellen Brooks
Props Designer – Joel and Toni Eis
Sound Designer, Composer, King John – Brendan Aanes
Sound Designer, Composer, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Liar – Billie Cox
Costume Designer, King John & The Liar – Abra Berman
Costume Designer, A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Tammy Berlin
Dialect & Text Coach, King John – Lynne Soffer
Choreographer, A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Cynthia Pepper
Dramaturg – Cathleen Sheehan