Sound and fury: Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival tour of Macbeth hits the road to high schools and middle schools through November 22
Center Valley, PA – Ghosts and witches, prophesies and curses plunge Macbeth and his Lady into a world of evil in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s 14th annual WillPower touring production. Shakespeare’s brilliant tragedy runs for three performances at DeSales University October 9, 10, and 18, and tours to schools throughout the state until November 22.
For the sixth year, PSF was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which has helped WillPower log 12,000+ miles and serve 40 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. PSF’s WillPower tour is part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
“No one is born liking Shakespeare,” says Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy. “One must be properly introduced in performance.”
The centerpiece of PSF’s educational programming, the WillPower Tour has performed at 150+ schools, and for 130,000+ students since its inception in 2000. The tour meets multiple state standards, and includes an 80-minute production with set and costumes, trained actor-teachers, workshops, and a classroom study guide.
With scenic design by six-time Emmy winner Bob Phillips and costumes designed by Marla Jurglanis, Macbeth is directed by Gina Lamparella, whose Broadway acting credits include Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler on the Roof, Les Misérables and others. Rick Sordelet, whose 56 Broadway credits include The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, creates fight choreography.
Replete with some of Shakespeare’s most commonly known phrases, Macbeth reveals a world of evil:
“Is this a dagger which I see before me.”?
“What’s done is done.”
“Something wicked this way comes.”
“Out, damned spot! Out I say!”
“Blood will have blood.”
“Macbeth confronts the reality of evil on a personal level and in the political arena,” says Mulcahy. “Questions of the risks of unchecked power, the line between strength and tyranny, and the roles of masculine and feminine energy in leadership continue to fascinate.”
Fully titled the Linny Fowler WillPower Tour in honor of an endowment gift by its namesake, Linny Fowler, who passionately believed in the power of theatre and education, the tour has several dates available.
The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest presents Shakespeare in American Communities. Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is one of 40 professional theater companies selected to participate in the program, bringing the finest productions of Shakespeare to middle- and high-school students in communities across the United States. This is the eleventh year of Shakespeare for in American Communities, the largest tour of Shakespeare in American history.
Gina Lamparella (Director)
Recently directed PSF’s production of Beauty and the Beast. Other PSF: assistant director of Hamlet (2011) and played Miranda in the Tempest (1999). Other directing includes last season’s WillPower tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As an actor, she appeared on Broadway in Phantom of the Opera, A Little Night Music, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Fiddler on the Roof, Gypsy, Jane Eyre and Les Misérables.
Marla Jurglanis (Costume Design)
PSF: Measure for Measure, The Comedy of Errors, Taming of the Shrew, King Lear and Othello. As Resident Costume Designer for People’s Light & Theatre Company in Malvern, Pa., she has designed more than 70 productions. Marla’s designs have also been seen at Delaware Theatre Company, The Arden Theatre Company, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, Virginia Stage Company, Alliance Theatre Company and George Street Playhouse.
Bob Phillips (Set Design)
PSF design credits include more than 40 productions over the past 19 years, including last summer’s The Importance of Being Earnest and Measure for Measure. Other PSF: The Tempest, The Winter's Tale, Around the World in 80 Days, School for Wives and Sleuth. Resident Designer for Orlando Shakespeare Theatre and Centenary Stage Company. Regional: Florida Studio Theatre, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Alpine Theatre Project, 1812 Company and the Arden Theatre. TV: Another World, Search for Tomorrow, Encyclopedia, and Sesame Street where he is currently Production Designer. Awards: Villager, Madison, Outer Critics Circle and Lillie Stoates awards for his stage designs, and six Emmys for his television work.
Rick Sordelet (Fight Choreographer)
Broadway: 56 Broadway shows including The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Scottsboro Boys, also the National Tours of Beauty and the Beast, and Les Miserables. International: 53 First Class productions worldwide: Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Ben Hur Live in Rome and European Tour. Opera: Cyrano (starring Placido Domingo) at the Metropolitan Opera, The Royal Opera House and La Scala, in Milan. Don Carlo directed by Nicholas Hytner at the MET, and others. PSF, directing: Romeo and Juliet (2010); fight choreography, Oklahoma, Cyrano, others. Film: The Game Plan (starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), Dan in Real Life (starring Steve Carell, and Juliet Binoche).
Brandon Burton (Macduff/Murderer)
Currently a working actor residing in New York City, Brandon has dedicated his life to social justice and cultural awareness through Arts Education. Recent credits include Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Matt in the upcoming short film The Gloaming.
Kaitlyn Frotton (Lady Macduff/Lennox/Fleance/Witch)
NYC credits include: Mirror, Mirror (Libby), Scab (Anima) *featuring Alice Ripley, It Had to Be You (Young Gabby). Regional: Almost, Maine (Gayle, Hope), Rocky Horror…(Columbia), Hairspray (Brenda), Legally Blonde (Brooke), Pajama Game (Mae), Brigadoon (Maggie). Kaitlyn is the co-founder of Tunnel Theatre Company in NYC, and the award recipient of the Mark Twain Comedy Award-Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.
Laura Iris Hill (Ross)
Laura Iris Hill trained at BAPA in Australia. Credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth performed in Tokyo. New York: Jack London: His Lives and Loves (Marvel Rep), Cosi and Speaking in Tongues. Laura was also a recurring guest over two years on Aussie TV show Neighbours.
Andy McCain (Duncan/Murderer/Porter/Seyton/Lord)
Last fall, he played Nick Bottom in PSF's WillPower Tour of A Midsummer Night's Dream. He recently finished an 11-country tour of a TYA show, The Legend of Tex, which toured the Middle East, Turkey, Asia and South America, teaching English to students learning it as a secondary language.
Brandon Meeks (Macbeth)
WillPower tour credits include the title role in Hamlet (2012), and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (2011). Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival summer credits include Henry VIII, Shakespeare for Kids, The Tempest, King John, and The Comedy of Errors. Film and TV credits: Olives (2013). Others: A Christmas Carol (Roxy Regional Theatre), The Winter’s Tale (Roxy Regional Theatre), and Urinetown: The Musical (University of Louisville).
Jonathan Minton (Banquo/Doctor/Murderer/Messenger/Lord)
New York: Soliony in Three Sisters (Modern Theatre Project), Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night (Mad & Merry), Lord Rivers in Richard III (Hudson Warehouse), Crito in Socrates on Trial (Educational Theatre of New York), and the Jailer in Comedy of Errors (Hudson Warehouse). Others: Trinculo in The Tempest, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Ivan in The Seafarer, Torvald in A Doll's House, Katurian in The Pillowman and George Hastings in She Stoops to Conquer.
Brendan Moser (Malcolm/Witch/Servant/Lord)
Recent PSF roles include Arthur in King John, Prince Phillip in Beauty and the Beast and Prince Robert in Snow White. A DeSales Theatre graduate, he recently earned his teaching certification.
Bonnie Jean Witkowski (Lady Macbeth/Witch)
A Brooklyn native and recent graduate of DeSales, Act 1 credits include Madame Defarge (A Tale of Two Cities; World Premiere), Mrs. Clandon (You Never Can Tell), herself (A Grand Night for Singing), and a swing in Chicago, where she performed as Liz. This summer Bonnie was in PSF’s Shakespeare for Kids.
Chantel King (Stage Manager)
A wide variety of jobs in theater have allowed her to do many things -- from working at Busch Gardens Williamsburg to touring across the USA with renowned Aquila Theatre's production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.