Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre is thrilled to announce its cast members for the 10th anniversary season. This year’s lineup features some of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays, and returning to the stage this season will be several favorites from years past, many of whom comprise AST’s “Artistic Collective” actors and directors who assist year-round with the theatre’s artistic decisions and who have chosen to make AST their creative home. This group includes Nisi Sturgis, fresh off a critically-acclaimed tour of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced at the Goodman Theatre, Berkeley Rep, and Seattle Rep. Sturgis will play Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, having previously appeared as Viola in Twelfth Night and as Elizabeth in Richard III. Jordan Coughtry, who most recently starred in the title role in AST’s Hamlet, will play Puck in Midsummer and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. He will also be writing and performing original music for Midsummer. Robert G. Anderson, who famously stole the show with his dog Salem (Crab) in AST’s 2014 production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, will be returning with roles in both Midsummer as Peter Quince and Romeo and Juliet as Friar Laurence. And Salem is also returning for a special guest appearance in Midsummer! Both Paige Reynolds and Dan Matisa will be highlighted in the 10th anniversary season, AST veterans who have each appeared in nine of AST’s 10 seasons. Paige will play Hippolyta in Midsummer and Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, and Dan will return to the role of Bottom, the same part he played in AST’s 2007 production of Midsummer as part of AST’s inaugural season. Dan will also appear as Doc in West Side Story. Chad Bradford will round out the artistic collective in his directorial debut with AST for the touring family friendly production of Twelfth Night. Bradford will also take the stage as Oberon in Midsummer.
Playing the young lovers in Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story are a group of talented young performers, many of whom are making their AST debut. Starring as Maria and Tony are Lauren Langbaum and Dylan Stasack, respectively, both of New York City. Juliet will be played by Sophina Saggau, a young actress earning her degree at the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre BFA training program, and Romeo will be Haulston Mann, returning to AST for his second season, with his first appearance as an intern as part of the 2012 season.
West Side Story also features Michelle Alves in the key role of Anita. Alves recently appeared in the same role in the acclaimed National Broadway tour of West Side Story. Rounding out the company is a talented group of veterans and newcomers that audiences are sure to love.
“This is our 10th anniversary season, so not only did we want to thrill audiences with shows that have broad appeal, but we wanted to bring back company members that have had an impact on cultivating the large audiences we now enjoy,” said Mary Ruth Marotte, AST’s executive director.
AST’s 10th anniversary season begins on June 10th at 7:30 pm with a pay-what-you-can performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on The Lawn at University of Central Arkansas (in front of McAlister Hall). For more information about the complete season, visit www.arkshakes.com. Tickets are now on sale: 866-810-0012.
FULL 2016 Company List (in alphabetical order)
Michelle Alves*--Anita, West Side Story
Robert Anderson*--Peter Quince, Midsummer; Friar Laurence, Romeo and Juliet
Sam Babick--Diesel, West Side Story; Tybalt, Romeo and Juliet
Chad Bradford*--Oberon, Midsummer; Gladhand, West Side Story
Jordan Breckenridge--Flute, Midsummer
Sharon Combs--Olivia, Twelfth Night
Jordan Coughtry*--Puck, Midsummer; Mercutio, Romeo and Juliet
Barry Clifton--Egeus, Midsummer; Lt. Shrank, West Side Story
Matt Duncan--Starvling/Moon, Midsummer; Feste, Twelfth Night
Brian Earles--Toro, West Side Story
Adam Frank--Montague, Romeo and Juliet
Chris Fritzges--Snug/Lion, Midsummer; Capulet, Romeo and Juliet
Taylor Galloway--Philostrate/1st Fairy, Midsummer; Apothecary, Romeo and Juliet
Samantha Harrington--Anybodies, West Side Story; Viola, Twelfth NIght
Garrett Houston--Riff, West Side Story; Sir Andrew, Twelfth Night
Sydney Ippolito--Velma, West Side Story
LaDarius Jamerson--Pepe, West Side Story; Antonio, Twelfth NIght
Lauren Langbaum--Maria, West Side Story; Maria, Twelfth Night
Austin Larkin--Baby John, West Side Story; Sebastian, Twelfth NIght
Ashley Mahan--Consuelo, West Side Story
Haulston Mann--Lysander, Midsummer; Romeo, Romeo and Juliet
Dan Matisa*--Bottom, Midsummer; Doc, West Side Story
Zach Myers--Chino, West Side Story, Peter, Romeo and Juliet
Jordy Neill--Snout/Wall, Midsummer; Sir Toby, Twelfth Night
Ferghino Phillipe-Auguste--Pepe, West Side Story; Orsino, Twelfth Night
Moriah Patterson--Rosalia, West Side Story
Jess Prichard--Theseus, Midsummer; Krupke, West Side Story; Prince, Romeo and Juliet
Rafa Reyes--Bernardo, West Side Story; Paris, Romeo and Juliet
Paige Reynolds--Hippolyta, Midsummer; Lady Capulet, Romeo and Juliet
Justin Santostephano--Juano, West Side Story; Balthazar, Romeo and Juliet
Sophina Saggau--Hermia, Midsummer; Juliet, Romeo and Juliet
Matt Schmidli--Demetrius, Midsummer; Malvolio, Twelfth Night
Dylan Stasack--Tony, West Side Story; Samson, Romeo and Juliet
Nisi Sturgis*--Titania, Midsummer; Nurse, Romeo and Juliet
Harrison Trigg--Jet, West Side Story; Gregory, Romeo and Juliet
Xander Udochi--Shark, West Side Story; Abraham, Romeo and Juliet
Garrett Whitehead--Action/A-Rab, West Side Story; Benvolio, Romeo and Juliet
Emily Wold--Helena, Midsummer
*indicates member of Actor's Equity Association
In photo above: Nisi Sturgis as Viola and Chad Bradford as Orsino from 2012's Twelfth Night.