Much Ado About “Starstuff”, Thrones, and Love
STAUNTON, Va., May 25, 2017 – The American Shakespeare Center (ASC) is prepping to launch the 2017/18 Artistic Year with an ambitious, adventure-filled Summer/Fall Season. The ASC’s talented troupe of actors will bring to life lost boys, bantering lovers, and clever and cunning royals in a season packed with music, mermaids, romance, and drama.
The Summer/Fall Season kicks off with the five-time Tony-winning Broadway hit Peter and the Starcatcher by Rick Elice. Based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, Starcatcher brings to life the heart-warming and richly imaginative story of how Neverland and Peter Pan came to life. Packed full with music and intrigue, Starcatcher is ideally suited for the ASC’s style and Shakespeare’s staging conditions. “It’s tailor-made for families and the kid inside us all who crave adventure and a place to belong,” says Artistic Director and Co-Founder Jim Warren. Starcatcher features Benjamin Reed as Peter and Lauren Ballard as Molly with ASC newcomer Greg Brostrom as Black Stache. Starcatcher opens on June 14. Pay-what-you-will performances are June 14 and 16. Pre-show lectures are on September 20 and November 2.
Opening alongside Starcatcher is William Shakespeare’s classic comedy Much Ado about Nothing. While the villainous Don John (Josh Innerst) devises a scheme to shatter the nuptials of Claudio (Benjamin Reed) and Hero (Lauren Ballard), the young lovers conspire to trick the utterly charming pair, Beatrice (Allison Glenzer) and Benedick (David Anthony Lewis), into admitting their much-denied love. In this powerful comedy of effervescent wit, Shakespeare gives us the joy of love won and the ache of love lost. Jenny Bennett (director of 2016’s King Lear and 2015’s The Winter’s Tale) returns to direct. Much Ado opens June 15. Pay-what-you-will performances are June 15 and 17. Pre-show lectures are on September 13 and November 9.
Shakespeare’s exuberant romantic comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost enters the mix in July. The King of Navarre (Greg Brostrom) and his three “schoolmates” are ripe for an education in love from the Princess of France (Shunté Lofton) and her three ladies. Joining the lovers is a gloriously goofy troupe of clowns, including the love-warrior Don Armado (Chris Johnston) and the lust-sick rogue Costard (David Anthony Lewis). “In an age when news is fake and facts have alternatives, Shakespeare’s agile comedy offers a timely reminder that words matter and that our word is our bond,” says director Matthew Radford Davies about his ASC debut. Love’s Labour’s Lost opens July 7. Pay-what-you-will performances are on July 7 and 9. Pre-show lectures are on October 4 and 19.
Finally, René Thornton Jr. makes his highly-anticipated debut as Richard III in the brilliant, brutal, and innovative The Fall of King Henry (Henry VI, Part 3). The Wars of the Roses game of thrones continues as the House of Lancaster, led by the fearsome Queen Margaret (Allison Glenzer), plots revenge and counter-revenge against the House of York. Shakespeare holds nothing back in the thrilling final chapter in the life of King Henry VI (Chris Johnston). Thornton Jr. will return as Richard III next year in Richard III. The Fall of King Henry opens September 7. Pay-what-you-will performances are on September 7 and 9. Pre-show lectures are on September 27 and October 12.
The 2017 Summer/Fall Season features Allie Babich, Lauren Ballard, Greg Brostrom, Allison Glenzer, Josh Innerst, Chris Johnston, David Anthony Lewis, Shunté Lofton, Benjamin Reed, and Tim Sailer, Christopher Seiler, and René Thornton Jr.