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Chicago Shakespeare Theater
announces cast and creative team for

Love’s Labor’s Lost

Shakespeare’s exuberant romantic comedy staged by Marti Maraden
February 7–March 26, 2017

 

Chicago—January 6, 2016—Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) announces the cast and creative team for Shakespeare’s playful romantic comedy Love’s Labor’s Lost, staged by acclaimed director Marti Maraden as part of the Theater’s 30th Anniversary Season. Four gentlemen foreswear love and worldly pleasures for scholarly pursuits, only to be put to the test by the arrival of four beautiful ladies from the French Court—and the ensuing hysterical misadventures. Called one of the 101 greatest plays of all time and “the first full flowering of [Shakespeare’s] genius” by The Guardian critic Michael Billington, Love’s Labor’s Lost highlights the playwright’s witty wordplay in a joyful celebration of love. Maraden sets the production in the decadent courts of the eighteenth century and the Age of Reason. Featuring a stellar comedic cast, Love’s Labor’s Lost is presented at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, February 7–March 26, 2017.

Former Artistic Director of Canada’s Stratford Festival Marti Maraden returns to Chicago Shakespeare to stage this charming comedy, following her celebrated productions of Othello (2008) and Much Ado About Nothing (2005). One of Canada’s most sought-after directors, Maraden has worked extensively at Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival and Canadian Stage—and served as the Artistic Director of the National Arts Centre English Theatre for nearly a decade. Love’s Labor’s Lost is particularly special to Maraden—she made her Stratford Festival stage debut playing the role of Katherine in 1974, and has since acted and directed the play on three more occasions.

At the center of the comedy is the ever-studious King of Navarre, portrayed by John Tufts. Tufts most recently appeared in both parts of the Tug of War (2016) saga as Henry V and Suffolk, in addition to performing 12 seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Jennie Greenberry makes her Chicago Shakespeare debut as the winsome Princess of France, whose arrival at the court throws the King’s plans to the wind. Greenberry is a regular company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where she has appeared as Ophelia in Hamlet, Marina in Pericles and Cinderella in Into the Woods.

The King’s companions are played by Nate Burger (Berowne), Madison Niederhauser (Longaville) and Julian Hester (Dumaine). Burger, a regular at American Players Theatre, returns to Chicago Shakespeare after leading The Heir Apparent as Eraste. Niederhauser makes his Chicago Shakespeare debut after performing with Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. Hester previously appeared in the World’s Stage production Since I Suppose (2014). The ladies of the Princess’s court are portrayed by Laura Rook (Rosaline), Jennifer Latimore (Maria) and Taylor Blim (Katherine). Rook returns to CST where she has appeared as Bianca in Othello (2016), Princess Katherine in Henry V (2014) and Juliet in the Short Shakespeare! production of Romeo and Juliet (2013). Latimore, who has credits at American Players Theatre and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, recently performed in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Shakespeare collaboration of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago. Blim, a recent graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul, makes her CST debut.

Allen Gilmore portrays the self-impressed and long-winded Spaniard, Don Armado. Gilmore, a 2015 Lunt-Fontanne Fellow, has performed regularly with Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre and Congo Square Theatre. A trio of Chicago Shakespeare veterans adds comic flair to the proceedings: David Lively as the schoolteacher Holofernes, Greg Vinkler as the priest Sir Nathaniel and Steven Pringle as the constable Dull. James Newcomb, who most recently appeared in Tug of War: Foreign Fire and Civil Strife (2016), plays the Princess’s attendant Boyet. Alex Goodrich, who most recently appeared in Chicago Shakespeare’s Seussical (2014), is the clever Costard, whose defiance of the king’s decree leads to hilarious high-jinks. Maggie Portman plays the straight-talking country girl, Jaquenetta. Portman has appeared at the Paramount, Drury Lane and Goodman Theatre.

Aaron Lamm portrays Don Armado’s quick-witted young page Moth. Rounding out the ensemble are Manny Buckley (Marcade), Drew Johnson (Forester) and Mario Guzman (Le Beau).

The lush visual world of Love’s Labor’s Lost is created by Scenic Designer Kevin Depinet, Costume Designer Christina Poddubiuk and Lighting Designer Greg Hofmann. Depinet, a multiple Jeff Award-winner, has designed over a dozen Chicago Shakespeare productions, including The Heir Apparent (2015) and Sense and Sensibility (2015). Poddubiuk is a frequent collaborator with Maraden, having designed both of her previous CST productions, and also boasts many credits with the Stratford and Shaw Festivals. Hofmann previously designed Road Show (2014) and Ride the Cyclone, at CST (2015) and again in its recent off-Broadway run at MCC Theater (2016)—as well as productions at Paramount Theatre and Drury Lane Theatre. Keith Thomas creates original compositions as Composer and Music Director. Thomas is a Montreal-based composer who works across America and Canada creating music for theater, television and movies. Rounding out the design team is Chicago Shakespeare’s resident Wig Master Richard Jarvie. Jarvie has designed 29 productions in CST’s history and has worked extensively with Stratford Festival, The Guthrie Theater, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. The creative team also features Elizabeth Swanson as Assistant Director, Matthew Raftery as Choreographer and Larry Yando as Verse Coach.

For more information about the production, visit www.chicagoshakes.com/LovesLabors.

Love’s Labor’s Lost will be performed at Chicago Shakespeare Theater February 7–March 26, 2017. Tickets are on sale now for $48–$88 (subject to change). Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more, as well as CST for $20 tickets available for patrons under 35.For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com.

CST strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. Love’s Labor’s Lost will have an Audio-described performance on Sunday, February 26 at 2:00 p.m. (with optional Touch Tour at 12:00 p.m.), ASL Duo-interpreted performance on Friday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. (interpreted by Will Lee and Elizabeth Bartlow Breslin) and Open-captioned performances on Thursday, March 23 at 1:00 p.m. and Friday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Love’s Labor’s Lost is featured as part of Chicago Theatre Week (February 9–19, 2017), presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago.

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