We are very pleased to announce the incredible line-up of talented actors from across the country and right here in Arkansas joining us for this season's festival. The full list is below, but a few highlights are:
AST Artistic Collective Member Robert G. Anderson will play the foolish Spanish knight Don Armado in Love's Labour's Lost and Casca in Julius Caesar. AST Audiences will remember Robert from his past work including Polonius in Hamlet and last year's Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet and Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Robert comes to us from Urbana, Illinois, where he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Illinois.
AST Artistic Collective member Chad Bradford will take on the charismatic salesman Harold Hill in The Music Man, as well as returning to direct our Family Shakespeare production of The Taming of the Shrew. Chad's past roles at AST include Oberon in last summer's A Midsummer Night's Dream (and Lysander in the previous version), Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice, and Bill Sykes in Oliver! Chad is a freelance director and actor who currently splits his time between New York City and Little Rock. Chad is also an alum of the University of Central Arkansas theatre program.
AST Artistic Collective Member Dan Matisa will play the title role of the doomed leader in Julius Caesar, and Mayor Shinn in The Music Man. Dan returns for his 10th season with AST, coming to us from Emporia, Kansas, where he is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Emporia State University. Some of the many highlights of Dan's time with AST include: Bottom in both of our productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, and another titular doomed leader, Richard III.
AST Collective member Paige Reynolds takes on the gender-bending role of Decius Brutus in Julius Caesar, in a newly imagined adaptation of the play where women are an integral part of the conspiracy. Paige has been seen on the AST stage for ten straight seasons, with many notable performances including Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet (twice!), Mistress Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Olivia in Twelfth Night, and Desdemona in Othello. Paige also runs AST's dramaturgy program, and is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Central Arkansas.
Joining Paige in the female leadership of Julius Caesar is Quetta Carpenter. Though Quetta's family has roots in Arkansas dating back to 1860, this will be her first time performing with AST. Quetta will be playing Cassius, the conniving Senator with a "lean and hungry look." She will also play the Princess of France in Love's Labour's Lost. Quetta's work has been seen all over the country, including at Utah Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Southwest Shakespeare. Quetta also currently teaches in the Acting Program at the University of Texas at Austin.
Gabriella Perez will also make her debut at AST as Marian the Librarian in The Music Man and Portia in Julius Caesar. Gabby appeared in the National Touring Company of Anything Goes (directed by Kathleen Marshall), as well as Regional productions of Into the Heights, Showboat, and Man of La Mancha, to name a few. She is based in New York City.
Jess Prichard, a familiar face at AST, returns this summer to play Brutus in Julius Caesar and the King of Navarre in Love's Labour's Lost. This will be Jess's third summer at AST, where he has been seen as the Prince in Romeo and Juliet, Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Officer Krupke in West Side Story. Jess is based in New York City.
There are many more both familiar and new faces taking part in our AST 2017 season--and we are so excited to have all of them joining us!
Full 2017 Company List (in alphabetical order)
Ashley Hart Adams -- Calpurnia, Julius Caesar; Katherine, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Zoe Allison -- Ensemble, Julius Caesar
Robert G. Anderson* -- Casca, Julius Caesar; Don Armado, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Sam Babick -- Lepidus, Julius Caesar; Dumaine, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Suzanne Banister -- Alma Hix, The Music Man
David Bauman -- Jacey Squires, The Music Man
Chad Bradford* -- Harold Hill, The Music Man
Alan Brincks -- Antony, Julius Caesar; Berowne, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Robert Hunter Bry -- Lucius, Julius Caesar; Longaville, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Quetta Carpenter* -- Cassius, Julius Caesar; Princess, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Sharon Combs -- Marcade, Love’s Labour’s Lost; Biondello, The Taming of the Shrew
Kat Cordes -- Rosaline, Love’s Labour’s Lost; Kate, The Taming of the Shrew
Emily Davies -- Zaneeta, The Music Man
Matt Duncan -- Nathaniel, Love’s Labour’s Lost; Hortensio/Gremio, The Taming of the Shrew
Stephanie Freeman -- Maud Donlop, The Music Man
Chris Fritzges -- Artemedorius, Julius Caesar; Holofernes, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Taylor Galloway -- Esemble, The Music Man; Jacquenetta, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Maxel Garcia -- Ensemble, The Music Man; Tranio, The Taming of the Shrew
Michael Henderson -- Olin Britt, The Music Man
Ashley Mahan -- Cinna, Julius Caesar
Tucker Martin -- Tommy, The Music Man; Trebonius, Julius Caesar
Dan Matisa* -- Mayor Shinn, The Music Man; Caesar, Julius Caesar
George Mayo -- Oliver Hix, The Music Man
Jordy Neill -- Costard, Love’s Labour’s Lost; Petruchio, The Taming of the Shrew
Tommy Novak -- Marcellus, The Music Man; Baptista, The Taming of the Shrew
Liz Parker -- Mrs. Squires, The Music Man
Moriah Patterson -- Bianca, The Taming of the Shrew
Stacy Pendergraft* -- Mrs. Paroo, The Music Man; Boyet, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Gabriella Perez -- Marion, The Music Man; Portia, Julius Caesar
Patrice Phillips -- Eulalie Shinn, The Music Man
Jess Prichard -- Brutus, Julius Caesar; Navarre, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Paige Reynolds -- Decius, Julius Caesar
Levi Smith -- Ensemble, Julius Caesar and Love's Labour's Lost
Zev Steinberg -- Dull, Love’s Labour’s Lost; Grumio, The Taming of the Shrew
Will Stotts -- Ewart Dunlop, The Music Man; Lucentio, The Taming of the Shrew
Rama Tchuente -- Metellus, Julius Caesar; Maria, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Jordan Tudor -- Ethel Toffelmeyer, The Music Man
Jeff Ward -- Ensemble, The Music Man
David Weatherly -- Charlie Cowell, The Music Man
Fred Webb -- Ensemble, The Music Man
Tre Whitley -- Octavius, Julius Caesar; Moth, Love’s Labour’s Lost
*indicates member of Actor's Equity Association