Meet the Cast of the Winter’s Tale: Grant Goodman

Grant Goodman (Leontes)

Grant Goodman (Leontes)

Grant Goodman (Leontes, the King of Sicilia) is thrilled to be “back home again in Indiana” to perform at The Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival. Off-Broadway credits include: Antony & Cleopatra, The Merchant of Venice (Theatre for a New Audience), King Lear, The Iliad (Lincoln Center), Richard II (New York City Center/Pearl Theatre) and Pericles (Red Bull) among others.  Regional credits include extensive work with: Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.), The Old Globe, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Court Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Arizona Theatre Company, PlayMaker’s Repertory Company, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage, the Illinois, Kentucky, and Utah Shakespeare Festivals, and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey among many others. Television credits include: As the World Turns and Sex and the City. Training: Graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Grant was recently selected to represent the U.S. in the International Actors’ Fellowship at The Globe Theatre in London this coming fall.


For tickets visit DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Box Office

For information visit Shakespeare at Notre Dame

Meet the Cast of The Winter’s Tale: Joneal Joplin

Joneal Joplin (Camillo)

Joneal Joplin (Camillo)

Joneal “Jop” Joplin (Camillo) is pleased to be making his debut at NDSF with The Winter’s Tale. He has appeared in over 300 productions throughout the U.S. and Canada. Recent roles have included Tony Reilly in Outside Mullingar, The Old Actor in The Fantastiks!, Monseigneur Ryan in Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, Uncle Ben in Death of a Salesman, Selsdon Mowbray in Noises Off, Northumberland in Henry IV, Archbishop and King Louis in Henry V, Candy in Of Mice and Men, John of Gaunt in Richard II and Captain Smith in Titanic. He has performed at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Missouri Rep, South Coast Rep, The Muny Opera, Dallas Theatre Center, Atlanta Theatre Under The Stars, Kansas City Starlight, The Hangar Theatre, Country Dinner Playhouse, Indianapolis Starlight, Theatre on the Square, Ensemble Theatre, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, The Human Race Theatre, Actor’s Studio, and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company to name a few. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity, the proud father of two splendid actors, Jen and Jared, and the proud husband for 53 years of his lovely bride, Janie.


For tickets visit DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Box Office

For information visit Shakespeare at Notre Dame

Meet the Cast of The Winter’s Tale: Shanara Gabrielle

Shanara Gabrielle (Hermione)

Shanara Gabrielle (Hermione)

Shanara Gabrielle (Queen Hermione) is happy to be joining the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival for this production of The Winter’s Tale! Regional highlights include: A Christmas Carol (Actor’s Theatre of Louisville), Blithe Spirit (Great Lakes Theatre/Idaho Shakespeare), Clybourne Park, The Comedy of Errors, Macbeth (St. Louis Repertory Theatre), Ilona in She Loves Me (Guthrie Theater), Black Pearl Sings!(The Black Rep), The Love List (American Heartland Theatre), Othello, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Twelfth Night (Great River Shakespeare Festival), Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Cooking With Elisa (Upstream Theatre), Guys and Dolls, Lend Me a Tenor (Northern Stage). NYC highlights include: The Wild Party, The Truth, Meet Me In St. Louis, The American Girls Revue, In The Mood. Film/TV highlights include: Chicago Fire, Conviction, Guiding Light, numerous commercials and independent films. BFA – Webster Conservatory, Princess Grace Foundation Award, AEA, SAG-AFTRA. For more information visit shanaragabrielle.com.


For tickets visit DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Box Office

For information visit Shakespeare at Notre Dame

Meet the Cast of The Winter’s Tale: L. Peter Callender

L. Peter Callender (Antigonus/Old Shepherd)

L. Peter Callender (Antigonus/Old Shepherd)

L. Peter Callender (Antigonus/Old Shepherd) is Artistic Director of African-American Shakespeare Company in San Francisco, California, and a proud member of Actors Equity Association. As an Associate Artist at California Shakespeare Theater, Mr Callender has appeared in over 50 plays over the years. Favorites include: Leontes (Winter’s Tale), Laertes (Hamlet), Orsino (Twelfth Night), Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Capulet (Romeo and Juliet), Antony (Julius Caesar), Leonato (Much Ado About Nothing), Roebuck Ramsden (Man and Superman), Colonel Pickering (Pygmalion) and Bolingbrook (Richard II). He has appeared on Broadway in Prelude to a Kiss and on several noted Bay Area stages: Berkeley Rep (SPUNK), A.C.T (The Tempest), San Jose Stage (RACE), Aurora Theater (Breakfast with Mugabe, Permanent Collection). Mr Callender is the recipient of several acting awards and is also a Visiting Professor at Stanford University teaching Acting Shakespeare.


For tickets visit DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Box Office

For information visit Shakespeare at Notre Dame

Meet the Cast of The Winter’s Tale: Jens Rasmussen

Jens Rasmussen (Polixenes)

Jens Rasmussen (Polixenes)

Jens Rasmussen (Polixenes, the King of Bohemia) has performed Off-Broadway in I Came to Look for You on Tuesday, La Ma Ma ETC; Stories from the 99%, Working Theatre; The Strangest, HERE; Carry the Tiger to the Mountain, Pan Asian Rep, The Fundamentalist, Scandinavian American Theatre Co. His regional credits include Skin Tight, Studio Theatre; Conference of the Birds, Folger; Merchant of Venice, Milwaukee Rep; 20th Century Way, Know Theatre of Cincinnati. FILM: The Rebuild, Attack of the Morningside Monster, Survivor Type. Find more information at jensrasmussen.info.


For tickets visit DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Box Office

For information visit Shakespeare at Notre Dame

Meet the Winter’s Tale Cast: Wendy Robie

Wendy Robie (Paulina)

Wendy Robie (Paulina)

Wendy Robie (Paulina) has recent credits in Chicago including The Game’s Afoot with Drury Lane Theatre, Southbridge with Chicago Dramatists, Cyrano de Bergerac, Private Lives, Richard III, Hamlet, and Hecuba with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Sense and Sensibility with Northlight Theatre, Float with About Face, Mother Courage and her Children with Steppenwolf, Trojan Women  with The Goodman Theatre (Jeff nom. for best supporting actress), and A Delicate Balance with Remy Bumppo. Outside the U.S., Robie appeared as “Regan” in Brian Bedford’s King Lear at the 2007 Stratford Festival of Canada, and as “Bishop” in Joan Dark with the Linz, Austria 09 Kulturhouptstadt. Regional credits include the Illinois Shakespeare Festival 2013 Season; The Actors’ Theatre of Louisville; Kansas City Repertory; Arizona Theatre Company; Broadway in Texas, Austin; Portland Repertory Theatre, and South Coast Repertory Theatre (Dramalogue Award, lead actress). Film credits include Wes Craven’s The People Under the Stairs, and the recently released Were the World Mine. T.V. credits include Star Trek, DS9, and two seasons as “Nadine” in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Robie received the Chicago After Dark Award for Outstanding Season for 2005.


For tickets visit DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Box Office

For information visit Shakespeare at Notre Dame

Meet the Cast of The Winter’s Tale: Giles Davies

Over the coming weeks, we’ll introduce the principal actors of our Professional Company productions: The Winter’s Tale and William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged).  Starting with the character whose profession is self-described as “a snatcher-up of unconsidered trifles,” Autolycus is part thief, part con-man, wordsmith, and ballad-singer, and one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedic creations. Playing the role is Giles Davies.   -NDSF Staff

Giles Davis (Autolycus)

Giles Davies (Autolycus)


Giles Davies (Autolycus) was born in Hong Kong and is of British descent.  He grew up watching his parents on stage and acted from the age of five.  He received his undergraduate degree from Ball State University, and then traveled the globe, performing his solo work wherever possible. After graduating from The Ohio State University’s graduate program (with a specialty in creating solo work), he immediately joined the ensemble with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.  Currently living in Tampa, he is in Cincinnati over the next year as a visiting professor at The University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music & Drama. He loves teaching, directing, and the tropics.  Favorite past roles include Coriolanus, Macbeth, Richard III, Dracula, Frankenstein (solo), Caliban in The Tempest, and Vladimir in Waiting for Godot.


For tickets visit DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Box Office

For information visit Shakespeare at Notre Dame

 

Bro-etry in Poetry (by Andrew S. Hughes)

From left, Xavier Blevel, Anthony Murphy, Quint Mediate and Damian Leverett perform a ballet scene Thursday, July 9, 2015, during rehearsal outside the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center for the upcoming Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival's Young Company production of "Love's Labor's Lost." SBT Photo/GREG SWIERCZ

From left, Xavier Bleuel, Anthony Murphy, Quint Mediate and Damian Leverett perform a ballet scene Thursday, July 9, 2015, during rehearsal outside the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center for the upcoming Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival’s Young Company production of “Love’s Labor’s Lost.” SBT Photo/GREG SWIERCZ

Love's Labor's Lost Rehearsal Photo 4

Xavier Bleuel sings as musicians play behind him in this scene from the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival’s Young Company production of “Love’s Labor’s Lost” that opens Sunday in Valparaiso and travels to area outdoor venues through Aug. 24. SBT Photo/GREG SWIERCZ

From left, Xavier Blevel, Anthony Murphy, Quint Mediate and Damian Leverett perform a ballet scene Thursday, July 9, 2015, during rehearsal outside the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center for the upcoming Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival's Young Company production of "Love's Labour's Lost." SBT Photo/GREG SWIERCZ

From left, Xavier Blevel, Anthony Murphy, Quint Mediate and Damian Leverett perform a ballet scene Thursday, July 9, 2015, during rehearsal outside the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center for the upcoming Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival’s Young Company production of “Love’s Labor’s Lost.” SBT Photo/GREG SWIERCZ

It shouldn’t count as a spoiler to reveal Love’s Labor’s Lost doesn’t end with one or more marriages. The play’s title means, after all, love’s labor is lost. And in that respect, the play, this year’s Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival Young Company production, is unique among William Shakespeare’s comedies.

“In all of his other plays about wooing, it ends with the men getting the women,” director West Hyler says. “It’s a war of wooing in which the men are conquerors.”
Here, the men still see themselves as warriors, but Hyler thinks the play’s nontraditional ending fits perfectly with its main characters. “These lovers are immature,” he says. “You cannot love until you have grown up. What happens at the end of the play is they grow up.”

Hyler, who joined NDSF last year to direct the Young Company’s production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, has staged nine productions of Jersey Boys on five continents, directed circuses and has a background in classical theater, an interest that drew him to work with NDSF and the Young Company. The troupe consists of about 20 students from around the country who audition to take classes, produce their own play that they perform in area parks, and be cast and crew members for NDSF’s main stage production, which is The Winter’s Tale this year.

Fittingly for a Young Company production, scholarly pursuits set the plot in motion in Love’s Labor’s Lost, which scholars believe Shakespeare wrote in 1595 or ’96; they know it was performed in 1597. The play takes place at the court of Ferdinand of Navarre, where the king and three of his noblemen — Berowne, Longaville and Dumaine — have taken an oath to forswear women and other pleasures to devote themselves to three years of study in an effort to make the court a renowned academy. The Princess of France, however, arrives with three noblewomen — Rosaline, Maria and Katherine — and the men all fall in love with the ladies.

Abigail Schnell and Xavier Bleuel rehearse a scene for the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival’s Young Company production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” that opens Sunday in Valparaiso and plays at area outdoor venues through Aug. 24. SBT Photo/GREG SWIERCZ

Abigail Schnell and Xavier Bleuel rehearse a scene for the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival’s Young Company production of “Love’s Labor’s Lost” that opens Sunday in Valparaiso and plays at area outdoor venues through Aug. 24. SBT Photo/GREG SWIERCZ

To Hyler, the play has a “collegiate feel,” so he’s updated it to the 1890s and set it at a fictional Midwestern university, the University of Navarre, with the women coming from a sister school in Quebec.

“I think of it as the Smith girls go to Harvard,” he says. “I thought it was a great choice (for the Young Company), because it takes place in this fraternal bond of the boys and this sisterhood of the women. I recognized it was more or less a college romance… Loves grow very quickly, the love reaches a fever pitch quickly, and it fades quickly.”
The men’s oath, however, restricts them from courting the women in an overt manner.
“It’s a boy thing to do,” Hyler says, “to keep an oath despite all intelligence to the contrary.”
At the July 8 Beyond the Stage: Explore Love’s Labor’s Lost program, the four actors who play the king and his noblemen performed Act IV, Sc. 3, which the cast and crew have nicknamed “Bro-etry in Poetry” because it depicts each of the male suitors reciting a sonnet he’s written about the object of his attraction, with each of them thinking he’s alone and undetected by the others. The scene has a brilliant energy and hilarious joy to it while demonstrating how precisely Shakespeare’s words and the student’s performances make each of the men distinct characters. “On this one, it moves very, very fast, almost like a runaway train,” Hyler says about the play as a whole, but he could just as easily be referring that scene in particular. “The language is incredibly rich in this. It’s full of witty repartee, almost like a Noel Coward or Oscar Wilde.”

Director West Hyler, center, speaks to actor Quint Mediate during a rehearsal outside for this year’s Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival’s Young Company production of “Love’s Labor’s Lost." SBT Photo/GREG SWIERCZ

Director West Hyler, center, speaks to actor Quint Mediate during a rehearsal outside for this year’s Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival’s Young Company production of “Love’s Labor’s Lost.” SBT Photo/GREG SWIERCZ

Between scenes, Hyler has selected several works by 19th-century French composer Jacques Offenbach for the students to perform on violin, viola, trumpet, guitar and other instruments. “It allows the world to be set,” he says, and for the audience “to slow down at times to think about what you’ve seen and sort of have a palate cleanser before the next course in this feast of language.” The music serves as a transition, but “also to advance the plot,” Hyler says. “It’s diegetic; in other words, it’s being played as if it’s inside this world.”

But the play’s world also has reality as part of it. At the end, the princess learns her father has died, and she and her court prepare to return to France. The women tell the men they’ll have to wait one year to prove their love for them is true before they will marry Ferdinand and his friends. “It brings the reality of adulthood and responsibility and mortality into the world,” Hyler says about the unusual ending. “When a parent dies, you inherit the mantle of responsibility,” he says. “While your parents are alive, you sort of have a ticket to be irresponsible… They don’t win the labor they have put forward in the pursuit of love, but they have shed some of their immaturity.”

— by Andrew S. Hughes for the South Bend Tribune (July 16, 2015)

Go Backstage with Shakespeare

The Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (NDSF) announced an expanded 2015 “Beyond the Stage” series this week. Featuring backstage access and conversations with Festival artists, NDSF’s “Beyond the Stage” events offer guests a behind-the-scenes look at the 2015 titles before they see the performances.

Beyond the Stage: Explore Love's Labor's LostThe series kicks off with Explore Love’s Labor’s Lost. Join director West Hyler (Broadway, Cirque du Soleil) and members of the NDSF Young Company for a glimpse at their touring Young Company show, Love’s Labor’s Lost. Following a conversation with Hyler, enjoy highlights from the production performed by members of the Young Company. The evening concludes with an audience Q&A.

  • Wednesday, July 8 at 7:30pm | Philbin Studio Theatre, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center | Tickets: $10 | CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

An Evening with Reed Martin & Austin TichenorNext, enjoy An Evening with Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor. Two of theatre’s greatest comedians, Martin and Tichenor are the writer-director team behind this summer’s brand-new comedy, William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged). Their irreverent abridgments have been performed on five continents, at the White House, The Kennedy Center, and as part of China’s Wuzhen International Theater Festival. With their new comedy, the “bad boys of abridgment” return to Shakespeare for the first time in over 27 years. Don’t miss your chance to meet Martin and Tichenor before you see their play.

  • Wednesday, July 29 at 7:29pm | Philbin Studio Theatre, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center | Tickets: $10 | CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Beyond the Stage: Explore The Winter's Tale

Finally, Explore The Winter’s Tale with director Drew Fracher. Guests will tour behind-the-scenes, see how the magic is made, and meet the teams making it happen. This hour-long event begins with Fracher, in conversation with 2015 NDSF actor Wendy Robie. Fracher has worked throughout the Midwest’s most prominent regional theaters and on Broadway. Robie is perhaps best known as Nadine (with her eye patch) in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Guests will then see the set, visit the costume shop, and learn about the creative process directly from The Winter’s Tale designers and production staff.

  • Wednesday, August 8 | Tours at 6pm, 6:30pm, and 7pm | DeBartolo Performing Arts Center | Tickets: $10 (limited to 25 for each tour) | CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Purchase tickets for “Beyond the Stage” events and learn all about the 2015 NDSF productions at shakespeare.nd.edu. For interviews and/or media requests, contact Audience Development Manager Aaron Nichols at aanichols@nd.edu or (574) 631-3777.

Shakespeare at Notre Dame to host First Folio in 2016

First Folio Title Page

The title page of Shakespeare’s First Folio published in 1623 and coming to Notre Dame in January 2016.

One of the world’s rarest and most treasured books, the First Folio is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. It will be displayed in the Hesburgh Libraries at Notre Dame January 4 through January 29 during a nationwide traveling exhibition entitled “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare,” sponsored by the Folger Shakespeare Library in partnership with the Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association and hosted by Shakespeare at Notre Dame.

The exhibition, announced by the Folger Shakespeare Library on Thursday (April 23), Shakespeare’s 451st birthday, is one of numerous events planned worldwide for 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

“We are honored to partner with the Hesburgh Library’s Rare Books Collection and the Folger Shakespeare Library in serving as the sole Indiana venue for the First Folio exhibition,” said Scott Jackson, executive director of Shakespeare at Notre Dame. “Our mission is to directly engage our audiences with the works of Shakespeare both on the page and on the stage. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to host the First Folio in a venue as iconic as Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library will provide the wider Michiana community with an entirely new way to experience one of the world’s greatest dramatists.”

When it was published in 1623, the First Folio could be purchased for 20 shillings, roughly $200 today. Since then it has become one of the most valuable printed books in the world; a First Folio sold for $6.2 million in 2001 at Christie’s and another one for $5.2 million in 2006 in London.

ToBe_FirstFolio_smallIn the Notre Dame exhibition of the First Folio, the book’s pages will be opened to the most familiar of all Shakespearean lines; “To be or not to be” from Hamlet’s soliloquy. The exhibition will include digital and interactive features on Shakespeare’s life, times and work, and several public events presented by Shakespeare at Notre Dame.