Utah Shakespeare Festival Announces First Round of Casting
CEDAR CITY, UT — The Utah Shakespeare Festival recently announced the casting of the first eight actors for the 2013 season. All are familiar faces, having appeared at the Festival in the past. Actors slated to appear thus far are Corey Jones, Melinda Parrett, Henry Woronicz, Roderick Peeples, Melinda Pfundstein, Quinn Mattfeld, David Ivers, and Barbara Bednarczuk. A complete casting list will be available soon at www.bard.org.
"This is a sneak peak at some of the very talented actors we have assembled for our 2013 Company,” said Brian Vaughn, artistic director. “They are extraordinary actors playing some extraordinary roles, and I can't wait for our audiences to come see them at play."
Corey Jones is appearing this year in the first play in the Festival’s history cycle in the title role in King John. He will also be seen portraying the “poor credulous monster,” Caliban in The Tempest.
Jones first appeared at the Festival last season as Aaron in Titus Andronicus, Reverend Sykes in To Kill a Mockingbird and Count Aubespine in Mary Stuart. He has performed at numerous theatres around the country, some of which include Santa Cruz Shakespeare, Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts Theatrefest, Chautauqua Theatre, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown Theatre and St. Louis Shakespeare Festival.
Melinda Parrett will return to the Festival to play the sassy nightclub singer Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, as well as the airy spirit Ariel in The Tempest.
Parrett was last seen at the Festival in 2011 as Belinda Blair in Noises Off!, Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juilet, and Emilia in The Winter’s Tale. In previous years she has played such roles as Rosalind in As You Like It (2009), Alice in Henry V (2009), Katharina Minola in The Taming of the Shrew (2008), Yente/Grandma Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof (2008), Miss Proserpine Garnett in Candida (2007) and Maria Merelli in Lend Me a Tenor: The Musical (2007).
Henry Woronicz will take on the monumental role of Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, in The Tempest.
Woronicz directed the powerful Titus Andronicus last year at the Festival. He has also directed As You Like It (2009), The Taming of the Shrew (2008), and Coriolanus (2007). As an actor he’s portrayed Antonio in The Merchant of Venice, Duke in Measure for Measure and title roles in Henry V, Richard III, and Macbeth.
Roderick Peeples will appear on the Festival stage this year in the courtroom drama, Twelve Angry Men as Juror #10.
Past roles at the Festival Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Argante in Scapin, and Paulet in Mary Stuart in 2012; Friar Lawence in Romeo and Juliet, The Duke of Buckingham in Richard III, and Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2011; and Fluellen in Henry V and Duke Senior in As You Like It in 2009.
Melinda Pfundstein, who has appeared in numerous roles at the Festival, will perform this year as Rosaline in Love's Labour's Lost and Constance in King John.
Many Festival-goers will remember her for her acclaimed portrayals last year of Fantine in Les Misérables and Mistress Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor. She has also appeared in such roles as Hermione in The Winter’s Tale (2011) and Margot Wendice in Dial M for Murder (2011),Miss Jane Bennett in Pride and Prejudice (2010), Biddy in Great Expectations (2010), Claire Holmes in The Secret Garden (2009), Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof (2008), Roxane in Cyrano de Bergerac (2008), Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (2004), Martha Jefferson in 1776 (2003), Gloria Thorpe in Damn Yankees (1999), and many others.
Quinn Mattfeld will be back on the Festival stage as the rogue pirate, Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher. He will also appear as King of Navarre in Love's Labour’s Lost.
In 2011 Mattfeld played Garry Lejeune in Noises Off!, Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, and Young Shepard in The Winter’s Tale. In 2010 he was Malcolm in Macbeth, Mr. Wickham in Pride and Prejudice, Quinn in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). And in 2009 he was Orlando in As You Like It, Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors, and Duke of Gloucester in Henry V.
David Ivers, a long-time actor at the Festival and now artistic director, will appear in Richard II, the second play in the history cycle and the beginning of the War of the Roses. He will play the sensitive, but flawed King Richard II.
In the previous twenty years he has played nearly forty roles at the Festival, including last season’s Scapin in Scapin and Jake in Stones in His Pockets. In 2011 he was Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale and Tony Wendice in Dial M for Murder. A variety of other roles have includedBenedick in Much Ado about Nothing, Clown #1 in The 39 Steps, Jaques in As You Like It, Homer Bolton in Morning’s at Seven, Truffaldino in The Servant of Two Masters, Caliban in The Tempest, and Garry Lejeune in Noises Off! He has also directed three shows at the Festival: Romeo and Juliet in 2012, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) in 2009, and Cyrano de Bergerac in 2008.
Barbara Jo Bednarczuk will play the fun, flirtatious Cindy Lou in The Marvelous Wonderettes.
Bednarczuk played the strong-willed Eponine in last year’s Les Misérables. She has also been a Dance Captain/Ensemble Member in The Music Man (2011), Featured Performer in The Greenshow (2011); Kitty Bennett/Georgiana Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (2010), and Featured Performer in The Greenshow (2010).
“We are thrilled to have these talented actors returning to the Festival for another year,” said R. Scott Phillips, Festival executive director. “They are all consummate professionals who bring life and emotion to our stages and who our audiences recognize and appreciate for their great artistry.”
Tickets are now on sale for the 2013 season at www.bard.org and 1-800-PLAYTIX (800-752-9849). The season runs from June 24 to October 19.