Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ Production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream Opens on June 3 at Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park
Preview performances set for June 1-2
ST. LOUIS (May 9, 2016) – Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ production of A Midsummer Night’s Dreamopens at 8 p.m. on Fri., June 3, at Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park. Highlights to this year’s production include the creative twist of twins in the role of Puck, original music composed by New York actor-musician Peter Mark Kendall and St. Louis-based The Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra, the unveiling of Schlafly 1616, a beer brewed specifically for the Festival, and a uniquely enthralling set design that features three stories of doors.
“This production in particular will offer audiences an unexpected level of magic and visual experiences,” said Rick Dildine, artistic and executive director of the Festival, who is also directing the show. “Peter Mark Kendall and Rats & People have created a stellar composition that exceeds anything ever produced for the Festival before. The songs written for Titania, the role played by Olivier nominee Nancy Anderson, will truly captivate audiences. In addition, Scott Neal’s unique set design will provide for some innovative staging that will create some very entertaining moments.”
The production runs nightly (excluding Tuesdays) through June 26; preview performances are scheduled Wed., and Thurs., June 1-2. The show begins at 8 p.m. Performances will be signed for the deaf and hard of hearing on Thurs., June 16. Open lawn seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Ticketed, reserved seating is also available online and in the park. Visit www.sfstl.com for details.
This marks the company’s 16th season of producing free, live, outdoor, professional theatre in the park. Joining Anderson on the mainstage are 20 performers, 14 of them St. Louisans, including Festival veterans Whit Reichert (Egeus) and Jerry Vogel (Starveling/Moonshine), who both appeared in the Festival’s 2002 production of Midsummer. Timothy Carter, who will be appearing in the role of Oberon, played Scar in the national tour of The Lion King for four years, and has been seen on TV in “Orange is the New Black” and “The Blacklist.” Recent Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University graduates and identical twins Ryan and Austin Jacobs will share the role of Puck.
The nightly Green Show will kick-off at 6:30 p.m. Pre-show entertainment will include a 20-minute adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, designed to introduce the characters and the plot to children of all ages and performed by members of the Shakespeare Squadron, the Festival’s teen ensemble. The Green Show will also feature nightly performances by local musical acts on two side stages, as well as jugglers entertaining guests throughout the Glen on select nights.
Audiences will also be able to sample Schlafly 1616, a one-of-a-kind unfiltered lager crafted by the St. Louis Brewery in honor of the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. The beer will be available for purchase in the Glen, as will Festival and Schlafly co-branded growlers. Schlafly is the official beer of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis.
The Festival will be accepting nominations for the 2016 Maryville University Educator of the Year Award through May 13. The award is presented annually during the Festival season to an outstanding teacher in the field of arts education. To make a nomination, visit https://www.sfstl.com/in-the-schools/.
Butler’s Pantry and the Festival will offer “Shakespearean Epicurean” picnic boxes for two that will include a full dinner and dessert, plus optional reserved blanket or chair seating for the show. Orders must be made in advance at https://www.sfstl.com/in-the-park/reservations/. Nightly food and beverage concessions will once again be provided by the Saint Louis Zoo.
In the past 16 years, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis has attracted more than 670,000 people to its annual free performances In the Park. The organization has reached 290,000 students In the Schools through its educational programming and, in 2010, launched SHAKE 38, a marathon participatory presentation of Shakespeare’s entire 38-play canon community wide. In 2012, the Festival shut down its first street, Cherokee, to present a community-based play In the Streets. Shakespeare Festival St. Louis receives generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts & Education Council of Greater St. Louis. For more information, please visit www.sfstl.com or call 314-531-9800.
Row 1 (l to r): Alan Knoll, Rachel Christopher, Ben Watts, Tim Carter, Jacqueline Thompson, Paul Cereghino.
Row 2 (l to r): Pete Winfrey, Austin Jacobs, Nancy Anderson, Myke Andrews, Michael Propster, Brian Seyle.
Row 3 (l to r): Cassia Thompson, Justin Blanchard, Raina Houston, Ryan Jacobs, Reginald Pierre, Matt Pace.
Row 4 (l to r): Jay Stalder, Jerry Vogel, Stephen Pilkington, Gabriela Diaz, Rick Dildine, Whit Reichert.