THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE'S 2004-2005 SEASON CONTINUES WITH

Lorenzaccio

BY ALFRED DE MUSSET

Translated and Adapted by John Strand

Directed by Michael Kahn

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Shakespeare Theatre continues its 2004-2005 season with the world premiere of a new translation and adaptation of Alfred de Musset's Lorenzaccio . Written by local playwright John Strand and directed by Shakespeare Theatre Artistic Director Michael Kahn, the play runs from January 18 to March 6, 2005. A standard of the French repertoire rarely performed in the United States, Lorenzaccio is a gripping drama of political intrigue, moral dilemmas and individual heroism. For the production, Kahn directs an ensemble of actors featuring Jeffrey Carlson, Robert Cuccioli, Ralph Cosham, Tana Hicken, Michael Rudko, Chandler Vinton and Company Members Floyd King, David Sabin and Ted van Griethuysen.

New Technology Management, Inc. is the production sponsor, while media partner Roll Call provides promotional support throughout the run. The production is part of Paris on the Potomac , a citywide celebration that honors the longstanding cultural ties between two world capitals: Washington, D.C. and Paris.

Set against the backdrop of 16th-century Florence, Lorenzaccio centers on the complex character of Lorenzo de Medici, friend and cousin to the notorious Alessandro de Medici, Duke of Florence. At the price of his moral and physical integrity, Lorenzo allies himself to the Duke in order to kill him, hoping to liberate Florence from the Duke's tyrannical rule. As Lorenzo's friends and family become ensnared in the Duke's corrupted web, he questions how far a man must go to see freedom and justice prevail.

“The play begins at time when the Republic of Florence has failed, and the de Medicis have taken power,” Artistic Director Michael Kahn explains. “Florence is no longer free, no longer democratic. The play takes a good and hard look at people's response to this change. Do people allow themselves to become corrupted? Does politics become more important than morality? Does the end justify the means?

“All of the characters are caught up in this maelstrom of politics, and—like in Shakespeare—their personal politics are entangled in that. Lorenzo is inspired by this idea of democratic government, but in order to make that idea reality, he must commit questionable acts. The play doesn't answer all the questions it asks, but it does leave you thinking about what makes good leadership, what makes good government.”
 

THE PLAYWRIGHT

John Strand 's adaptations and original work have been produced at theatres across the country. His translations and adaptations include Moliére's The Miser , Lovers and Executioners (based on a play by Montfleury, a rival of Moliére), Tom Walker (based on the folk tale by Washington Irving), and Charity Royal (an adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel Summer ) all for Arena Stage. His original plays include the book for the musical The Highest Yellow , Three Nights in Tehran , The Cockburn Rituals , The Diaries , Otabenga and Lincolnesque , a new play about contemporary politics to be presented by South Coast Repertory. Nominated several times for the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play, Strand won the award in 1999 for Lovers and Executioners .

THE CAST

Jeffrey Carlson makes his Shakespeare Theatre debut in the title role of Lorenzo de Medici. Carlson most recently appeared off-Broadway as Gash in Bryony Lavery's comedy Last Easter . A graduate of The Juilliard School, he made his Broadway debut as Billy in The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? Other Broadway roles soon followed: Marilyn in the musical Taboo and Valère in the revival of Moliére's Tartuffe . Other credits include the pre-Broadway production of The Miracle Worker, the off-Broadway production of Thief River , Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and Candida at McCarter Theater, Manuscript at the Cape Cod Theatre Project and Sodom and Gomorrah at the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Center.

Robert Cuccioli makes his Shakespeare Theatre debut as Alessandro de Medici, the Duke of Florence. Cuccioli most recently appeared in the title role of Macbeth at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Cuccioli received a Tony nomination for his performance in the title role of Broadway's Jekyll and Hyde . He also appeared as Javert in the Broadway production of Les Misérables . Regional credits include the lead in the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Enter the Guardsman (which later played off-Broadway), numerous productions at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Antony in the Guthrie Theatre's Antony and Cleopatra and Joseph Surface in the McCarter Theater's School for Scandal , among many others. Cuccioli also directed The Glass Menagerie at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and several productions of Jekyll and Hyde.

Ralph Cosham returns to play Count Cibo. Cosham most recently appeared as Antonio in the Free For All production of Much Ado About Nothing . His other Shakespeare Theatre credits include The Winter's Tale , Don Carlos , Richard II and Timon of Athens , among others. Cosham was a member of the Folger Theatre company from 1978 to 1981 and the Arena Stage company from 1984 to 1995.

Colleen Delany returns to play Louisa Strozzi, daughter of the Florentine noblemen Philip Strozzi. Delany made her Shakespeare Theatre debut as Thaisa in Pericles . Delany is well-known to Washington audiences, having performed at Arena Stage, Signature Theatre, Folger Theatre, Studio Theatre and Woolly Mammoth, among others.

Tana Hicken returns to play Marie de Medici, Lorenzo's mother. Hicken last appeared at the Theatre as the Duchess of York in Richard III . Hicken's other Shakespeare Theatre credits include The Winter's Tale , King Lear , Richard II and King John . She has appeared in regional productions with Arena Stage, Round House Theatre, Hartford Stage, Center Stage and Goodman Theatre, among others.

Kate Kiley makes her Shakespeare Theatre debut as Sofia, wife to the cloth seller Paolo. Kiley has performed across the country, appearing in productions at the Kennedy Center, Ford's Theatre, Arena Stage, Folger Theatre, San Diego Repertory, Arkansas Repertory and numerous theatres in San Francisco and San Diego.

Company Member Floyd King plays Valori, a papal envoy. King last appeared at the Shakespeare Theatre as both Pander and the First Fisherman in Pericles . His numerous other Shakespeare Theatre credits include Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2 , The Rivals , Richard III , The Silent Woman , Hamlet , The Two Gentlemen of Verona , Don Carlos , Camino Real , The Country Wife , Coriolanus and A Midsummer Night's Dream. King also has appeared in regional productions at the Folger Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Studio Theatre, Alley Theatre and Pittsburgh Public Theater, among others.

Pedro Pascal returns to play Piero Strozzi, son to Philip Strozzi. Pascal made his Shakespeare Theatre debut as Oswald Alving in Ghosts . Pascal performed off-Broadway in The Bald Soprano , Troilus and Cressida and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean . Regional credits include performances with Portland Center Stage, Merrimack Repertory and Mark Taper Forum, among others.

Marni Penning makes her Shakespeare Theatre debut as Catherine de Medici, Lorenzo's sister. A co-founder of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, Penning performed more than 35 roles in 10 seasons for the festival. Regional credits include Folger Theatre, American Century Theater, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and Georgia Shakespeare Festival, among others.

Michael Rudko returns to play Cardinal Cibo, brother to Count Cibo. Rudko's Shakespeare Theatre credits include Tesman in Hedda Gabler and Feste in Twelfth Night . Rudko's Broadway credits include Serious Money , Timon of Athens and Gore Vidal's The Best Man . In London he alternated lead roles in the Donmar Warehouse revival of Sam Shepard's True West , and he was the only American actor in the 1999 company at Shakespeare's Globe. Regional credits include performances with the Wilma Theater, Walnut Street Theatre, Great Lakes Theatre Festival and Dallas Theatre Center, among others.

Company Member David Sabin plays Paolo, a cloth seller . Sabin was last seen as Ragueneau in the Theatre's production of Cyrano . Sabin has appeared in numerous productions at the Theatre, including in A Midsummer Night's Dream , The Rivals , Richard III , The Silent Woman , The Winter's Tale , The Little Foxes , Hamlet , A Woman of No Importance , Richard II , Love's Labor's Lost , Camino Real , The Country Wife , Coriolanus and King Lear . On Broadway, Sabin has appeared in Slapstick Tragedy , The Threepenny Opera , Miss Moffat , Gabrielle , Ambassado r! , The Water Engine and Othello . He also has appeared off-Broadway and in regional productions at such theatres as Studio Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Steppenwolf, Yale Repertory and Seattle Repertory.

Company Member Ted van Griethuysen plays Philip Strozzi, a patriarch of the Florentine nobility. Van Griethuysen most recently appeared as King Duncan and as the porter in Macbeth . Van Griethuysen's numerous Shakespeare Theatre credits include performances in Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2 , Ghosts , The Silent Woman , Don Carlos , Richard II , Timon of Athens , The Country Wife , Coriolanus and King Lear . Van Griethuysen's Broadway credits include roles in Romulus , Inadmissible Evidence and Galileo . He also has appeared Off -Broadway at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Eastside Playhouse, Opposites Company, Roundabout Theatre Company and La MaMa, and in regional productions at the Folger Theatre, Studio Theatre, American Shakespeare Festival, Long Wharf Theatre and Hartford Stage, among others.

Chandler Vinton makes her Shakespeare Theatre debut as Countess Cibo. Vinton most recently appeared in Round House Theatre's production of Living Out and as Lady in Arena Stage's production of Orpheus Descending . She appeared in the Brooklyn Academy of Music production of Quartett and in productions with Actors Theatre of Louisville.

The production also features Sean Brennan , Aubrey Deeker , David B. Heuvelman , Sebastian Rodriguez , John Livingstone Rolle , Bernard Burak Sheredy , J. Fred Shiffman and ensemble members Randolph Adams , Teresa Lim , Gamal Palmer , Tyler Pierce , Kim Stauffer , Patrick C. Tansor , Jonathan Wiener and Derek Wilson .

THE DESIGNERS

For the production, Kahn has assembled a team of designers well-known to Shakespeare Theatre audiences. Set Designer Ming Cho Lee , with the help of Associate Set Designer Blythe R.D. Quinlan and Assistant Set Designer Evonne Paik , has created a set that moves quickly from bedchamber to cathedral to the streets of Florence. The backdrop includes a larger-than-life reproduction of Carlo Crivelli's painting Saint Jerome and Saint Augustine . Lee's Shakespeare Theatre credits include Don Carlos , King John , The Merchant of Venice , Peer Gynt , Mourning Becomes Electra and Macbeth (1995). The designer for numerous Broadway productions, Lee won a Tony Award for his set design for K2 , a play set just below the summit of the world's second highest mountain. Costume designer Murrell Horton has designed a series of lush, richly detailed costumes, inspired by Italian Renaissance paintings. Horton's Shakespeare Theatre credits include Richard III , The Silent Woman , Hamlet , Hedda Gabler and Camino Real . He also has designed for The Acting Company, Indiana Repertory, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Juilliard School and Pearl Theatre. Howell Binkley returns to create the lighting design for the production. Binkley's Shakespeare Theatre credits include Cyrano , Five by Tenn , The Winter's Tale , The Two Gentlemen of Verona and King Lear , among many others. His numerous Broadway credits include Parade , Avenue Q , Golda's Balcony , The Full Monty and Kiss of the Spider Woman . The design team also includes Composer and Sound Designer Scott Killian , Fight Choreographer Brad Waller , and Voice and Text Coach Ralph Zito .

PRODUCTION SPONSOR

The Shakespeare Theatre is pleased to recognize New Technology Management, Inc. as corporate sponsor of Lorenzaccio . The Reston, Virginia-based New Technology Management, Inc. is a prime contractor to the Department of Homeland Security, specializing in developing advanced border and perimeter security technologies deployed at military installations, land border ports of entry, airports and seaports across the country.

The company is committed to advancing the freedom that the United States provides—as Shakespeare wrote, “Joy's soul lies in the doing.”

A strong believer in corporate citizenship and community service, and a longtime supporter of the performing arts, New Technology Management, Inc. is a committed supporter of the Theatre's productions and sponsors events such as Congressional Night, which benefits the Theatre's educational and community outreach programs. Lurita Doan, President and Founder of New Technology Management Inc., is a Trustee of The Shakespeare Theatre and holds a masters degree in Renaissance literature.

SPECIAL PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS

•  On Sunday, January 23 at 1 p.m., The Shakespeare Theatre continues Windows, a lively discussion and introduction to Lorenzaccio with local scholars and members of the artistic staff. All are welcome. Call 202.547.1122 and press 4 to reserve a space.

•  Following the evening performance of Lorenzaccio on Wednesday, January 26, all are welcome for a post-show discussion with members of the cast. Those attending the evening's performance are guaranteed seats. Limited additional seating is available on a first-come basis. Call 202.547.1122 for the approximate start time. No reservations required.

•  On Saturday, March 5, following the 2 p.m. matinee, The Shakespeare Theatre sponsors Classics in Context. This lively discussion features scholars and artists discussing their connection to the play. Call 202.547.1122 and press 4 to reserve a space.

•  There will be audio-described performances of Lorenzaccio on Saturday, February 12 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, February 24 at 8 p.m. Sign-interpreted performances are Tuesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 26 at 2 p.m.

Paris on the Potomac

Lorenzaccio is part of Paris on the Potomac , a citywide celebration that honors the longstanding cultural ties between two world capitals: Washington, D.C. and Paris. From Valentine's Day through Memorial Day 2005, more than 80 French-themed exhibits, performances, walking tours, lavish restaurant experiences and romantic hotel packages highlight Paris' influence on Washington, D.C.'s arts, culture and culinary scene. Paris on the Potomac is produced by The American Experience Foundation in partnership with the Washington, D.C. Convention and Tourism Corporation and Cultural Tourism D.C. For more information, visit ParisOnThePotomac.org.


 

FACT SHEET: Lorenzaccio by Alfred de Musset
Translated and Adapted by John Strand
Directed by Michael Kahn

The Shakespeare Theatre continues its 2004-2005 season with the world premiere of a new translation and adaptation of Alfred de Musset's Lorenzaccio . Written by John Strand and directed by Michael Kahn, the production will play from January 18 to March 6, 2005 . A standard of the French repertoire rarely performed in the United States, Lorenzaccio is a gripping drama of political intrigue, moral dilemmas and individual heroism. For the production, Kahn directs an ensemble of actors featuring Jeffrey Carlson, Robert Cuccioli, Ralph Cosham, Tana Hicken, Michael Rudko, Chandler Vinton and Company Members Floyd King, David Sabin and Ted van Griethuysen.

DATES: January 18 to March 6, 2005
  Press Night: Sunday, January 23, 2005
  Opening Night: Monday, January 24, 2005

LOCATION: The Shakespeare Theatre, 450 7th St. NW, between D and E streets, just off Pennsylvania Avenue, between the Capitol and the White House.

TIMES: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. (except January 25); Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. (except January 20); Sundays at 7:30 p.m.; matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. (except January 23); matinee at noon on Wednesday, February 2.

TICKETS: $12.75-$68 with discounts available for groups, senior citizens and students.

ACCESSIBILITY : The Theatre is accessible to persons with disabilities, offering wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, audio enhancement at every performance, and Braille and large print programs.

•  On Sunday, January 23 at 1 p.m., The Shakespeare Theatre continues Windows, a lively discussion and introduction to Lorenzaccio with local scholars and members of the artistic staff. All are welcome. Call 202.547.1122 and press 4 to reserve a space.

•  Following the evening performance of Lorenzaccio on Wednesday, January 26, all are welcome for a post-show discussion with members of the cast. Those attending the evening's performance are guaranteed seats. Limited additional seating is available on a first-come basis. Call 202.547.1122 for the approximate start time. No reservations required.

•  On Saturday, March 5, following the 2 p.m. matinee, The Shakespeare Theatre sponsors Classics in Context. This lively discussion features scholars and artists discussing their connection to the play. Call 202.547.1122 and press 4 to reserve a space.

•  There will be audio-described performances of Lorenzaccio on Saturday, February 12 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, February 24 at 8 p.m. Sign-interpreted performances are Tuesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 26 at 2 p.m.

PARKING: Paid parking is available in the PMI parking garage on D Street, between Eighth and Ninth streets, and the Colonial Parking garage in the Lansburgh building (enter on Eighth Street between D and E streets).

METRO: Archives-Navy Memorial station (Yellow and Green Lines) is one and one-half blocks south of the Theatre. Gallery Place station (Red, Yellow and Green Lines) is one block north of the Theatre at the MCI Center. For further information, call Metro at 202.637.7000.

Box Office: 202.547.1122 (voice) TTY: 202.638.3863 Toll Free: 877.487.8849

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