Casting News for Wooden O

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We’re thrilled to announce our casting for this summer’s free Wooden O productions of The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Julius Caesar which start performances on Thursday, July 10. Both productions will perform in park venues throughout King County and then transfer to Walla Walla, WA as part of Shakespeare Walla Walla.

David Quicksall, who staged Seattle Shakespeare Company’s production of Coriolanus and recently appeared in Much Ado About Nothing, will direct The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The production features Jason Marr as Proteus and Conner Neddersen as Valentine. Marr recently appeared in Richard II and Neddersen has performed with Seattle Shakespeare Company’s touring program for three years.

Wooden O veteran Vanessa Miller directs an all-female cast of Julius Caesar. Miller directed the 2010 Wooden O production of Othello and appeared in The Comedy of Errors for Wooden O in 2011. Julius Caesar features Therese Diekhans as Julius Caesar, Suzanne Bouchard as Brutus, and Amy Thone as Cassius. Diekhans appeared in Coriolanus and the Wooden O production of The Winter’s Tale. Bouchard will be making her Seattle Shakespeare Company debut. Amy Thone is currently playing Kent in King Lear and appeared last summer in The Tempest.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona full cast includes: Scott Ward Abernethy (Thurio/Quintet/Ensemble), Bridgid Abrams (Ensemble/Singer), Kevin Bordi (Launce), Keith Dahlgren (Antonio/Host), Angelica Duncan (Julia), Jim Gall (Duke), Rachel Glass (Lucetta/Singer), Eric Jensen (Eglamour/Panthino/Singer), Jacob Livingston (Quintet/Ensemble), Jason Marr (Proteus), Carolyn Marie Monroe (Sylvia), Christopher Morson (Speed), and Conner Neddersen (Valentine).

Julius Caesar full cast includes: Tonya Andrews (Soothsayer), Suzanne Bouchard (Brutus), Aimée Bruneau (conspirator), Rebecca M. Davis (conspirator), Therese Diekhans (Julius Caesar), Karen Jo Fairbrook (Marellus/Caius Ligarius), Macall Gordon (conspirator), Heather Hawkins (Calpurnia), Meg McLynn (Portia/Octavius), Victoria McNaughton (ensemble), Sarah Russell (ensemble), Melissa Slaughter (ensemble), Amy Thone (Cassius), Nikki Visel (Conspirator), Kayla Walker (Lucius), Terri Weagant (Marc Antony), and Kate Witt (Casca).

Set designs for both productions will be by Craig B. Wollam. Costumes for The Two Gentlemen of Verona will be by Jocelyne Fowler and Kelly McDonald will design costumes for Julius Caesar. Evan Mosher will design sound for Julius Caesar and Brian Wagner will compose original music.

Leading Us Into Temptation – Artistic Director George Mount on the 2014-2015 Season

I think the season coming up has some amazing play titles associated with and some amazing directors associated with each of those shows. And again, it’s also coming in as one of those seasons where the directors are coming at the plays from a passion point of view.

The theme of the season this year is built around the idea of what we’re calling “Lead Us Into Temptation.” So each of the plays, somewhere in them, deal with elements of love, desire, lust, ambition…chasing after that forbidden fruit. And how ideas of jealousy, deception, and corruption can bump up against those notions of craven impulses or secret desires.

The thing that’s going to be kicking off the season is going to be a real note for something here in Seattle. Before we get to our four play themed season, of “Lead Us Into Temptation,” we’re going to kick off a 5th full production in early September of “Waiting for Godot,” Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece of the last century. It’s going to be built around an entire city-wide festival of the works of Samuel Beckett. We are involving over 20 arts and education organizations from the period of late August through early November, all coordinating and producing works by or inspired by Samuel Beckett.

We’ll have our show, “Waiting for Godot” performed in cooperation with ACT Theatre at the Falls Theatre in early September. We’re very excited about the opportunity for us, as theatre artists, and all of Seattle as audience members to jointly explore this great and profoundly important writer’s work.

As an artistic director, what I get the great pleasure of doing, is giving other artists an opportunity to explore their passions. And the directors associated with the plays this year have, each of them, brought a particular excitement and a particular dream passion to each of these shows. Jon Kretzu doing “Twelfth Night” is getting a chance to explore some beautiful opulence and sort of faded glory and degradation all at the same time in his production of “Twelfth Night.”

Desdemona Chiang is an exceptionally talented and exciting director whose work with Azeotrope people may be familar with. She’s also got a great history with Shakespeare, and she is over the moon excited about “Measure for Measure.” She approached me about, when I met with her, because I think her talent is so great, I wanted her to get a chance to explore Shakespeare…the first show on her list was “Measure for Measure.”

Makeala Pollock who is directing “Tartuffe” is developing a passion for the works of Moliere. She recently directed “The Bourgeois Gentlemen” at Cornish College and is getting…is chomping at the bit to get some more of that Moliere wit and social commentary expressed in Seattle.

And the great John Langs, whose work we’ve enjoyed with “King Lear,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “Antony and Cleopatra,” has one of the strongest and most distinctive voices in Seattle theatre directing, and to bring it to bear upon this great play of jealousy and passion and deception is going to be right up his alley. I think it’s going to be flexing all the muscles that he has already finely developed.

There are going to be a lot of great plays that you’re going to want to see and a subscription is one of the best ways to ensure that you see every one of them.

Waiting for Godot – September 3-21, 2014

Twelfth Night – October 21-November 16, 2014

Measure for Measure – January 6-February 1, 2015

Tartuffe – March 17-April 12, 2015

Othello – April 22-May 10, 2015

Seeking Wooden O Site Manager

David S. Hogan as King Henry in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 Wooden O production of "Henry V."
David S. Hogan as King Henry in the 2013 Wooden O production of “Henry V.”

Seattle Shakespeare Company is currently accepting applications for a site manager for the theatre’s summer 2014 Wooden O outdoor productions. This 5-week part-time, temporary position involves primarily evening and weekend duties that will include:

  • Serving as a public representative of Seattle Shakespeare Company
  • Setting up an informative and welcoming station and signage
  • Coordinating and supervising volunteers
  • Giving brief speeches before each performance to welcome the audience
  • Selling merchandise and collecting donations
  • Soliciting free Groundling memberships
  • Serving as an information resource regarding Seattle Shakespeare Company and the performance.
  • Tallying cash donations after each performance
  • Submitting performance reports
  • Others duties as assigned

The position requires that the site manager have reliable transportation, be able to lift 30lbs, and have a schedule flexible enough to evening hours during the week and all weekends during stated work period. This position will start the week of July 7 and be employed through August 10, 2014. If you have questions or are interested in applying for the summer Wooden O site manager position, please send a cover letter and resume to:

Jeff Fickes, Communications Director | email
Seattle Shakespeare Company
PO Box 19595
Seattle, WA  98109

Salary: $10 per hour. All applications will be considered. Candidates will be called for an interview. Application deadline is March 14.

General Auditions for Wooden O 2014 Productions

The cast of Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 Wooden O production of "The Tempest."
The cast of Seattle Shakespeare Company’s 2013 Wooden O production of “The Tempest.”

Seattle Shakespeare Company will hold general auditions on Saturday March 1 from 11AM to 6PM for its two Wooden O summer 2014 productions directed by David Quicksall and Vanessa Miller.

Please email casting to schedule an available slot. To solicit a time for this audition please include a headshot and resume in your email message.

Where: Cornish Playhouse, 201 Mercer Street, Seattle WA 98109. The auditions will take place in the Founder’s Room located in the upper lobby near the bar. Please enter the building through the side door located near Seattle Rep.

Audition requirements: two heightened text pieces (90-second maximum per piece), and at least one of them should be by Shakespeare. The second piece will only be seen at the director’s discretion and request, so please be ready but don’t assume that both pieces will asked to be heard.  Also note, you may be asked to sing a capella.

Dates for the Wooden O productions are July 10 through August 17. Rehearsals will begin June 9, 2014. Both productions will perform in Walla Walla for one week.

Bright Spots of 2013

At Seattle Shakespeare Company, we start our staff meetings by sharing Bright Spots that have happened to us in the week. These are triumphant moments, both big and small, that acknowledge the positive aspects of our jobs.  It’s fun to share them with staff members who may not have been around to experience them directly.

This year, we asked our board, staff, and artists to give us their Bright Spots of the past year, and what they had to share is listed below. Did you have a Bright Spot at Seattle Shakespeare Company in 2013? Let us know in the comments section.

 

Jennifer Lee Taylor as Beatrice and Matt Shimkus as Benedick in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 production of "Much Ado About Nothing." Photo by John Ulman.

The interaction with the water feature in Much Ado.

David Allais, Board member

 

Jennifer Sue Johnson as Nora and Michael Patten as Torvald in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 production of "A Doll's House." Photo by John Ulman.

A standout for me was the entire production of A Doll’s House. Great director, wonderful cast and very appreciative audiences.

Rod Pilloud, Stage Manager

 

1) Here’s a serious answer:
Seeing the energy, skill, dedication, and passion that the Wooden O actors and stage managers brought with them each night to every park — new or familiar — was nothing short of inspiring.

2) And here’s a laugh:
Also, if you ever wondered whether or not it’s a good idea to melt chocolate over an open flame that’s propped up on some stones on the grass (or if a tea towel will sufficiently put out the inevitable grass-fire without bursting into flames itself) … it’s not (and it won’t). The Great Flaming Fondue Fiasco of 2013. Never Forget.

To all my friends at Seattle Shakes — thanks for a beautiful summer and some lovely lasting friendships <3

Kaeline Kine, Wooden O Site Manager

 

Amy Thone as Prospero in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 Wooden O production of "The Tempest."

The most memorable moment with Seattle Shakespeare this year was the final performance of The Tempest , specifically the curtain call. Being surrounded by these amazingly talented people who had inspired and taught me so much, with a lazy summer sun setting in the background casting a pink hue on everyone. I looked around and promised myself to never forget that moment: Holding Pilar’s hand, and George crying harder than anyone else and every face in the audience smiling. I couldn’t have asked for a better or more beautiful moment to recognize that my life had profoundly changed.

Kellyn Traeckenschuh, actor

 

Betsy Schwartz as Mrs. Linde and Peter Dylan O'Connor as Krogstad in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 production of "A Doll's House." Photo by John Ulman.

The atmosphere of the rehearsal room over at SCT for A Doll’s House was one of the most supportive and generous that I have ever experience. From Russ down to little Mia, the cast and crew worked so lovingly and honestly on this powerful play. My contribution was small but I felt so honored to be included in the production.

Laura Ferri, actor

 

The War of Kindness between Tempest and Henry 5!

Michael Patten, actor

 

Romeo and Juliet at Olympic Sculpture ParkRomeo and Juliet at the Olympic Sculpture Park – how the cast improvised to incorporate the roof top of the temporary house into the balcony scene – also watching casual passers-by stop, astonished, to watch the superb performance. They tore themselves away so very reluctantly.

Sarah Alsdorf, Board member

 

Kelly Kitchens as Kate and David Quicksall as Petruchio in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 production of "The Taming of the Shrew" Photo by Chris Bennion.

Watching audience members cry because they were laughing so hard at the antics of the cast of Taming of the Shrew, then watching Bash supporters raise their bid cards after Kelly Kitchens (our “Kate”) lifted them with her own moving story. I’m proud of SSC’s wonderful works and our fabulous fans!!

Sue Petitpas, Board member

 

Loved the story that Kelly Kitchens shared onstage at this year’s “Bash.” She crystalized the art and idealism that drives Seattle Shakespeare to do what we do. Brilliant.

Jeannie Blank, Board member

 

Mike Dooly as Stephano and Brian D. Simmons as Caliban in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 Wooden O production of "The Tempest."

While performing at Seatac Park this summer in The Tempest, a young man approached me during setup and asked me what we were doing. I told him we would be performing Shakespeare tonight for free.

He then asked “What’s Shakespeare?” Inwardly I died a little, but I told him he should hang around and find out. He did. Sitting front row center with a huge smile. He came up after, shook my hand, and said than you. Best moment in my career.

Brian Simmons, actor

 

I suspect that most folks focus on the final product–the art. My highlight of the past year was watching the “making of” disc. George blossoming into his new role; Michelle and Casey coming into their own; John and George on stage opening night doing Martin & Lewis.

Phil Miller, Board member

 

Amy Thone (Prospero) standing on a big mossy rock in the island forest wilderness (the stage stairs/promontory), reaching her long thin arms toward the sky…my idea of an actor, reaching…

Susan Wilder, Board member

 

Love's Labour's Lost (2013)

Making my directing debut with Seattle Shakespeare Company last winter was a time of pure joy and deep fulfillment. Everyone in the Love’s Labours Lost family, both on stage and off, were so supportive, creative and loving that it made the process from first day of rehearsal through closing night unforgettable. On a personal note, Love’s Labours Lost was the first show I directed after conquering cancer last December and I cannot think of a more glorious way to celebrate life and art – my deepest gratitude and love to all of you!

Jon Kretzu, Director of Love’s Labour’s Lost

 

The Taming of the Shrew 2013When I cast Brandon Ryan as Biondello in our remount of The Taming of the Shrew… well, I had no idea how far we could go…

Because this actor is: CRAZY AND FREAKIN TALENTED!!!!

Brandon reminded me:

There are very few limitations in the theater…

We didn’t have to follow any of the rules!

What a joyful experience for a director to work with an actor who is so open to an organic, undetermined process!

Seriously – this is truly rare with any sort of actor.

Shrew will always hold a special place in my creative heart!

Aimée Bruneau, Director of The Taming of the Shrew

 

The absolutely stunning and poignant production of Taming of the Shrew – the intensity of the emotions and wonderful staging.

Shawn Aebi, Board member

 

The cast of Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 Wooden O production of "The Tempest."

Closing night of Tempest and Wooden O’s 20th anniversary season was one of the most moving events I’ve been a part of as an actor.

Jim Lapan, actor

 

Henry V 2013

It was so fulfilling to do the Fight Direction on Henry V for Wooden O. I had to leave for my honeymoon just before tech. When we returned 3 weeks later, it was an absolute delight to see the show after a few weeks of performances. It seemed that the players had really found their “sea legs” and I we truly loved the experience.

Peter Dylan O’Connor, actor/fight choreographer

 

The Taming of the Shrew 2013

The remount of Wooden O’s production of The Taming of the Shrew was last season’s highlight for me. The chance to be reunited with such a marvelous troupe of players was glorious. It was a real joy to rejoin Kelly Kitchens and unleash our inner rednecks while spouting the words of Shakespeare!

David Quicksall, actor

 

Love's Labour's Lost (2013)

All the bizarre rituals we created backstage during the run of Love’s Labour’s Lost. They got stranger and stranger as the run progressed.

Brandon Simmons

 

Much Ado About Nothing 2013

I truly enjoyed the hilariously funny Much Ado About Nothing, with its terrific set and cast. Seeing George Mount on stage as Don Pedro was a highlight!

Lynne Graybeal, Board member

 

Being present in the room at Bill’s Bash as Kelly Kitchens voiced the dreams of a little girl, brought to life by the visual power of live Shakespeare, and realizing Seattle Shakespeare Company has the power and the mission to continue that dream.

Roberta Greenwood, Board member

 

A highlight for me was our Bill’s Bash event this past spring. I was incredibly moved by the tremendous outpouring of support from our patrons and donors. It was a fun-filled night and the most successful fundraiser in SSC’s history, raising more than $210,000 to support our work in the community. Way to go, everyone!

Lauren Domino, Development Director