CEDAR CITY, UT—A number of exciting new faces will grace the Utah Shakespearean Festival stages this summer. Patrons will be introduced to new actors who have worked at theatres like The Old Globe, American Conservatory Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and more.
A complete casting list is available at www.bard.org/about/actor.html.
"Nothing gives me more pleasure in my work than to introduce new acting talent to our audiences,” said Kathleen F. Conlin, Festival associate artistic director/casting director. “These actors bring sterling reputations in the field as classical actors, musical theatre performers, and, sometimes, both! Not restricted by any medium, collectively they have appeared in recent Broadway shows, on long-running television series, and repeatedly in the major American regional theatres. Their passion for creating indelible characters will bring our plays alive in new ways while enriching our ensemble."
Staring as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice is first-time company member Tony Amendola. He will also play the Porter and numerous other roles in Macbeth. Amendola has been seen on stage at The Old Globe, American Conservatory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, and Berkeley Repertory. His film credits include The Legend of Zorro, The Mask of Zorro, and The Perfect Sleep. He has been seen on numerous television series including CSI: NY, Dollhouse, Numb3rs, Terminator: The Sara Conner Chronicles, Stargate SG-1, and Dexter.
David Barrus joins the company as Joe Gargery in the world premiere musical Great Expectations, and Aragon in The Merchant of Venice. Barrus’ acting credits include Drift on Broadway and the national tour of Les Miserables. He has also worked at the Sundance Theater, Pioneer Theatre Company, and for Disney MGM Studios. He has been seen on the television series Surviving Disaster.
Ellen Crawford will play Jane Austen’s notorious comic mother figure, Mrs. Bennet, in Pride and Prejudice and the iconic Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. Crawford originated the role of Miss Havisham in the developmental workshop production in 2008. She has also performed on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre and at various regional theatres including The Old Globe Theatre, Berkeley Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse and the Arena Stage. Film credits include Soldier, The War of the Roses, and Teachers. Her television credits include CSI, Boston Legal, Without a Trace, and a reoccurring role in ER.
Gary Neal Johnson joins the company as Antonio in The Merchant of Venice, and Don Pedro in Much Ado about Nothing. Johnson has performed at Kansas City Repertory, American Conservatory Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, and Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.
Kymberly Mellen joins the Festival for the first time to play two of Shakespeare’s most well-known female characters, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing. Mellon has performed at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Milwaukee Rep., Steppenwolf, Writer’s Theatre, and Pioneer Theatre Company. She currently serves as a visiting instructor in the Theatre and Media Arts Program at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Jack Noseworthy will play the role of Pip in Great Expectations this summer. Noseworthy will also play the role of Bingley in Pride and Prejudice. He has starred in numerous Broadway musicals including A Chorus Line, Lestate, and Jerome Robbins Broadway. His film credits include Pretty Ugly People, Undercover Brother, U-571, and Encino Man. He has been seen on television in CSI, Law & Order, Judging Amy, and Law & Order SVU.
Although Max Robinson is new to the Festival, he is a favorite with Salt Lake City, Utah audiences having starred in more than 15 productions at Pioneer Theatre Company. This summer at the Festival he will play the convict Magwitch in Great Expectations and Duke/Tubal in The Merchant of Venice. Robinson has also performed at Sundance Summer Theatre, Studio Theatre and Repertory Theatre of Saint Lois.
Jeff Steitzer joins the Festival summer acting company as the loveable Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Pumblechook/Wemmick in Great Expectations. Steitzer has worked at Yale Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, Seattle Rep., and Arizona Theatre Company. His television and film credits include Law and Order, The Fugitive, and The Beayer directed by Jodie Foster.
“It is exciting to have these talented actors join our summer acting company,” said R. Scott Phillips, Festival executive director. “We look forward to working with them, and combining our efforts to produce a memorable summer season.”
Tickets are now on sale for the 2010 season at bard.org and 1-800-PLAYTIX (800-752-9849). The summer season runs from June 28 to Sept. 4 and includes Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, and Macbeth, in addition to Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and a world premiere musical Great Expectations.