Our dynamic 2016 season features national talent and timely themes, including our first ever production of Shakespeare’s political drama Julius Caesar, presented in repertory with the classic tale of love and magic, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Performances run from June 29 through August 20.
James Pickering will direct Julius Caesar, which he calls “an action-packed exploration of the death of a republic and the birth of a fascist state.” In a summer when our nation’s attention is focused on turbulent political events, the timeless story of Caesar’s ambition and downfall will be a riveting exploration of power, betrayal and passion. Mr. Pickering is a regional audience favorite who was last seen as Friar Lawrence in Door Shakespeare’s 2015 production of Romeo & Juliet.
Often called the most perfect comedy in Shakespeare’s canon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be given new life by director Joseph Hanreddy. By setting the play in present day Door County, Hanreddy brings contemporary design, an earthy locality, and a heartfelt vision to this exploration of “uncertainty in the course of true love.” Mr. Hanreddy is former Artistic Director of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater whose critically acclaimed adaptation of Pride and Prejudice was presented by Door Shakespeare in 2011.
This year’s company brings together national talent in acting and production roles. “We are thrilled to welcome a group of veteran Shakespeare talent who bring a wealth of experience to the company, along with fresh new faces from around the country,” says Amy Ludwigsen, Executive Director of Door Shakespeare. “This summer, the company will be operating at the highest levels of creativity and professionalism, thanks to this accomplished group of artists.”
Actors Neil Brookshire, John Taylor Phillips and Demetrios E. Troy make their Door Shakespeare debuts this summer, having been seen on stage at venues including The Goodman Theatre, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Company, the Utah Shakespeare Festival and American Players Theatre. Also new to the Door Shakespeare stage are Ty Fanning, Phillip Sletteland, Anne E. Thompson of Chicago; Marti Gobel (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, First Stage) and Norman Moses (Skylight Music Theatre, Milwaukee Rep), along with Marques Causey of Milwaukee and James Carrington of Madison.
Chicago based actors Joe Bianco, Joe Boersma and Carley Cornelius return to the Door Shakespeare stage this summer. Young ensemble members include siblings Elliott, John and Luke Brotherhood and Freedom and Jamaica Gobel.
Joining Door Shakespeare’s artistic team for the first time are Costume Designer Kärin Simonson Kopischke and Lighting Designer Aaron Sherkow as well as Movement Director Shanara Gabrielle. Production Stage Manager Melissa Wanke, Music Director Matt Deitchman, and Fight Choreographer Ryan Schabach reprise their roles in the company. Scenic Designer Aaron Kopec returns to make additions to the set structure he created last year. Undergraduates Evangeline King of Lawrence University and Claire Kedjidjian of Butler University are production interns.
2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. “At Door Shakespeare, we continue to inspire audiences to find a connection to the characters, relationships and themes of the Bard’s work,” says Ludwigsen. “This year’s season will prove Shakespeare’s work is as vibrant, exciting and relevant as it has ever been.” Door Shakespeare’s lakeside garden setting, newly renovated last year to enhance the outdoor stage, gives audiences a unique Shakespeare experience.
*Photography by Bruce Ambuel. Steven Lee Johnson and the Ensemble of The Tempest, 2015