The New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, La., will present a season this summer unlike any other in its history as it stages Hamlet and Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead in a repertory format from June 14–July 8.
Managing Director Clare Moncrief will direct Hamlet, and veteran Festival actor Danny Bowen will direct Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead as a co-production with Red Noses Theatre Company. Red Noses founder and founding member of SFT, Dr. Buzz Podewell, will serve as Dramaturge for the season. Dr. Podewell last worked with the Festival as director of 2009's Love's Labor's Lost.
This season will offer audiences the opportunity to experience two distinct perspectives on Shakespeare's timeless story, as a single cast performs both Hamlet and its darkly humorous counterpart, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. The season calendar includes dates when both shows can be seen in a single day.
The cast will include Dave Davis as Hamlet, Ashley Nolan as Gertrude, Danny Bowen as Claudius, Martin Covert as Polonius, and Nysa Loudon as Ophelia. Brendan Bowen will play Rosencrantz with Alex Ates as Guildenstern. Mark McLaughlin will play the role of the Gravedigger in Hamlet and The Player in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Rounding out the cast are Dean Wray, Jarrod Smith, Burton Tedesco, PJ McKinnie, Andy Vaught, Dylan Michael Collins, Thomas Michailidis, and Patrick Bowen.
Clare Moncrief and Danny Bowen have been active members of the New Orleans theatre community for more than 30 years. A three-time Big Easy Award winner and member of Tulane's adjunct faculty, Moncrief has served as managing director of The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane since 1999, directing the All Things Shakespeare program since 2008, and most recently directing A Midsummer Night's Dream for the summer 2011 season.
In his 16-plus years with The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, Danny Bowen has played many roles, including Macbeth, Mercutio, Marc Antony, Caliban, Orsino, Petrucchio, and Bottom. In addition to his work with the Festival, Danny Bowen is a founding member of Red Noses Theatre Company and most recently directed its December 2011 production of Histrionics, starring Mark McLaughlin.
The summer season will include a free performance in the Lab Theater, The Shakespearean Jazz Show, produced by students from Emerson College. The season will conclude with its All Things Shakespeare performance of The Winter's Tale, directed by Billy Slaughter.
April 29, 2012