Shakespeare in Love | BAY AREA PREMIERE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2017

MARIN THEATRE COMPANY PRODUCES
BAY AREA PREMIERE OF
THE ENCHANTING, ELIZABETHAN ROMP

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
Screenplay by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman
Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall

Production Dates: November 24,  2017 - December 17, 2017
Opening Night: Tuesday, November 28, 2017

MILL VALLEY, CAMarin Theatre Company (MTC) celebrates the holiday season with Lee Hall’s delightful adaptation of Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman’s effervescent romance, Shakespeare in Love. In the Elizabethan era, when women are forbidden to become actors, what’s a stage-struck lady to do? Viola de Lesseps adores plays, especially those by a young writer named Will Shakespeare, but can only look on as men and boys perform them. Will, meanwhile, has his own struggles—his inspiration fled, debts and unwritten commissions piling up—until he meets a beautiful woman who could be just the muse he needs to finish his first masterpiece.

Lee Hall’s adaptation brings the beloved film to life, with mistaken identities, backstage theatrics, and live music played out on a single stage. Under the direction of artistic director Jasson Minadakis, MTC’s production will attempt a never-before-seen doubling, with 13 actors performing 35 roles—among them, Ned Alleyn, Richard Burbage, Christopher Marlowe, and Queen Elizabeth herself!

MTC welcomes 13 Bay Area favorites to our stage—Megan Trout as aspiring actress Viola de Lesseps; Adam Magill as the titular writer Will Shakespeare; L. Peter Callender as powerhouse actor Richard Burbage; Stacy Ross as the indomitable Queen Elizabeth I; Mark Anderson Phillips as penny-pinching Fennyman; Lance Gardner as Fennyman’s loyal henchman, Lambert; Sango Tajima as the young rascal, John Webster; Kenny Toll as both the tragically talented Kit Marlowe, and grandiose egoist Ned Alleyn; Thomas Gorrebeeck as the greedy fiancee, Wessex; Robert Sicular as rival theater manager, Henslowe; Ben Euphrat as the lovable ingenue, Sam; Liam Vincent as the novice actor, Ralph; and Brian Herndon as the Lord Chamberlain and Queen’s watchdog, Tilney. Our astounding cast of local actors—with nine playing musical instruments throughout, and 11 doubled in numerous roles—will bring to life the camaraderie and multi-talented flexibility of a true Shakespearean troupe. Onstage, the Academy-Award winning film finds its true essence: a love letter to theatre itself.

From Script to Stage

In epic style, the North American debut of Lee Hall’s Shakespeare in Love at the Stratford Festival in Ontario featured 28 cast members performing the 35 roles the script required, with nine actors doubled. The London world premiere, produced by Disney Theatricals, also starred 28 actors. Both featured elaborate period costumes and sets, several onstage musicians, and a live dog.

After initially reading the script—which sparkles with new speed, theatricality and wit—MTC artistic staff yearned to bring this epic narrative to our stage; to tackle the challenges it presented to every member of the production team, from costumes to music direction. This Spring, MTC secured permission to reassess the possibilities for doubling the characters in the script, with one stipulation: no omissions. Two fully-cast readings and numerous character charting later, we have brought to life a version of Lee Hall’s melodic script that requires only 13 actors—nearly half the original cast size.

More On the Writers

Lee Hall’s acclaimed play Spoonface Steinberg (1997), a monologue for a nine-year-old autistic girl dying of cancer, was first broadcast by BBC Radio 4 in 1997. He subsequently adapted the play for television in 1998 and for the stage in 2000. He was appointed Writer in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1999/2000 under the Pearson Playwrights Scheme Award. Cooking with Elvis (2000), adapted from the play he wrote for the BBC Radio “God's Country” series that included Spoonface Steinberg, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2000 and transferred to London's West End in a production starring the comedian Frank Skinner. His adaptation of Goldoni's The Servant with Two Masters was first staged at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford in 1999. He has translated two plays by Bertolt Brecht: Mr Puntilla and His Man Matti, written for The Right Size/Almeida Theatre, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1998; and Mother Courage, staged by Shared Experience theatre company in 2000. His adaptation of the Dutch play The Good Hope (2001) by Herman Heijermans opened at the Royal National Theatre in 2001.

He also wrote the screenplay to the film Billy Elliot (1999), directed by Stephen Daldry for Tiger/BBC Films/WT2, and received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. He adapted his own play, I Luv You Jimmy Spud (1997), as a feature film starring Billy Connolly in 2000. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the film, Pride and Prejudice, in 2005, and adapted The Wind in the Willows for television, in 2006.

Marc Norman is a screenwriter known for Shakespeare in Love (1998), Cutthroat Island (1995), The Aviator (1985), and The Killer Elite (1975). He wrote an episode of the Mission: Impossible TV series. Other writing credits include: Bike Riding in Los Angeles: A Novel; What Happens Next?: A History of Hollywood Screenwriting. Awards: With Tom Stoppard, Norman won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in the 1998 Academy Awards for their script of Shakespeare in Love; he also shared in the Best Picture Oscar for the film as co-producer.

Sir Tom Stoppard is a Czech-born playwright. He began his career in England in 1954 as a journalist, soon moving to London in 1960 to start work as a playwright. His first play, A Walk on the Water (1960), which was televised in 1963, soon reached London with a stage version titled Enter a Free Man (1968). His next work, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1964-65), showed at the 1966 Edinburgh Festival to rave reviews. It became internationally known in 1967 after it was entered into Britain's National Theatre. Additional work includes stage plays Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1978), The Real Thing (1982) and Rock 'n' Roll (2006). Over the course of his career he has written for radio, television, film and stage. In 1998 he co-wrote the Academy Award winning screenplay for the film Shakespeare in Love.

Marin Theatre Company’s Own Jasson Minadakis to Direct

MTC’s Jasson Minadakis directs this Shakespearean jaunt in his twelfth season as artistic director. His directing credits here include the world premiere of Thomas and Sally, August: Osage County, Guards at the Taj, The Invisible Hand, Anne Boleyn, The Convert, The Whale, Failure: A Love Story, the world premiere of Lasso of Truth, The Whipping Man (San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for best production and best acting ensemble), Waiting for Godot, Othello, the Moor of Venice, The Glass Menagerie, Edward Albee's Tiny Alice, the world premiere of Seagull, Happy Now, Equivocation (SFBATCC Award for best director), the world premiere of Sunlight, Lydia, The Seafarer, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, A Streetcar Named Desire, said Saïd, Love Song and The Subject Tonight is Love.

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CALENDAR LISTING
Theater | Performing Arts

WHAT
Shakespeare in Love

WHO
Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard | Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall | Music by Paddy Cunneen
Directed by Jasson Minadakis

FEATURING
Megan Trout: VIOLA DE LESSEPS
Adam Magill*: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Mark Anderson Phillips*: FENNYMAN / ENSEMBLE
L. Peter Callender*: RICHARD BURBAGE / BOATMAN / ADAM
Stacy Ross*: QUEEN ELIZABETH / MISTRESS QUICKLY / NURSE / MOLLY
Brian Herndon*: TILNEY / NOL / SAMPSON / WABASH
Sango Tajima: GREGORY / BENVOLIO / JOHN WEBSTER / ABRAHAM / ENSEMBLE
Lance Gardner*: KATE / LAMBERT / ROBIN / LADY CAPULET
Ben Euphrat*: SAM / FREES / CATLING / ENSEMBLE
Robert Sicular*: HENSLOWE / DE LESSEPS / ENSEMBLE
Kenny Toll*: KIT MARLOWE / NED ALLEYN / ENSEMBLE
Thomas Gorrebeeck*: WESSEX / VALENTINE / PETER / TYBALT / ENSEMBLE
Liam Vincent*: RALPH / NURSE

* Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association

WHEN
November 24 - December 17

PERFORMANCES
OPENING NIGHT: Tuesday, November 28, at 7:30pm

Evenings
Tuesday - Sunday, 7:30pm

Matinees
Sunday (Preview), November 26, 4pm
Thursday (Perspectives), December 7, 1pm
Saturday, December 2 & 16, 2pm
Sunday, December 3, 10 & 17, 2pm

WHERE
Marin Theatre Company | 397 Miller Ave | Mill Valley, CA 94941

ABOUT
Young Will Shakespeare has writers block. That is, until he finds his muse – Viola. This beautiful young woman is Will’s greatest admirer and will stop at nothing to appear in his next play. In a classic case of mistaken identity and backstage theatrics, Will’s love for Viola quickly blossoms, inspiring him to write his first masterpiece. This charming adaptation of the Academy Award-winning screenplay features live musicians and 13 of the Bay Area’s favorite actors!

Tickets $22 - $60

Discounts for seniors, teens, military families, Marin County teachers and groups of 7 or more are available. Contact the Box Office for more details.

Press Photos will be available for Shakespeare in Love on Friday, November 17, 2017.

marintheatre.org | (415) 388-5208 | boxoffice@marintheatre.org

MTC ENGAGEMENT EVENTS

  • Pre-Show Discussions: Join members of MTC’s artistic staff and cast of the show to discuss the play, playwright and play’s themes on Wednesdays before the 7:30pm performances.

  • After Words: Join a member of MTC’s artistic staff (often with one or more members of the cast) for a Q&A talkback after every performance, except Saturday evenings and Opening and Closing Nights.

  • Perspectives: The third Thursday of each show is the Perspectives matinee performance which includes a pre-show topical lecture. For Shakespeare in Love, the Perspectives matinee is scheduled for Thursday, December 7, 2017 with the pre-show lecture beginning at 12:30pm, and the performance beginning at 1:00pm.

  • MTC After Hours: Following the 7:30pm performance on Saturday, December 9, join members of the audience and cast in the lobby to continue the conversation. Featuring music and drink specials.

  • Window on the Work: Join members of MTC’s artistic staff and cast of the show to discuss artistic and production elements of MTC’s production of the play on Thursday, November 14 at the Mill Valley Public Library.

  • Shakespeare in Love: A Peek into the Process: Have you ever wondered what goes into taking one of the most beloved movies of all time and bringing it to the stage? As part of MTC’s adult education classes, you have the opportunity to be a fly on the wall through the process for our Bay Area premiere of Shakespeare in Love. In this class, participants will observe the artistic progression from the first Design Presentation and Read-through to Opening Night, with opportunities to debrief after each session with a member of the artistic staff. Dates span October 24 - November 29. To register, or for more information, contact MTC’s Director of Education, Ashleigh Worley: ashleighw@marintheatre.org

ACCESS
Marin Theatre Company is proud to provide open captioned performances of each of the plays in our mainstage series on the Thursday matinee. The open captioned performance for Shakespeare in Love will be Thursday, December 7 at 1:00pm.

For visually impaired patrons, Large Print playbills are available with one week’s advance notice. To request a Large Print playbill, call MTC’s Box Office, (415) 388-5208, or use the California Telecommunications Relay Service by dialing “711.” For hearing impaired patrons, amplified sound Assistive Listening Devices are available. Our system will also work with personal assistive hearing devices equipped with a T-coil.

CONTACT
marintheatre.org | (415) 388-5208 | boxoffice@marintheatre.org

ABOUT MTC
Marin Theatre Company is the Bay Area’s premier mid-sized theater and the leading professional theater in the North Bay. We produce a six-show season focused on new American plays. We are committed to the development and production of new plays, with a comprehensive New Play Program that includes productions of world premieres, two nationally recognized annual playwriting awards and readings and workshops by the nation’s best emerging and established playwrights. Our numerous education programs serve more than 10,000 students from over 40 Bay Area schools each year. MTC strives to create intimate, powerful and emotional experiences that engage audiences to discuss new ideas and adopt a broader point of view. We believe in taking risks and inspiring people to participate in live theater, regardless of personal means. MTC celebrates the intellectual curiosity of our community, and we believe that theater is an important tool to help build empathy. MTC was founded in 1966 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

PRESS CONTACT
Kate Robinson, Communications & Public Relations Associate
(415) 322-6029 | kater@marintheatre.org

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