Cymbeline is one of Shakespeare’s most fantastical plays, making it a perfect fit for our magical 40th! A brilliant princess, an evil queen, a misguided king and a thoroughly rotten clown are just some of the characters in this fairy tale romance, made even more whimsical and theatrical by Chris Coleman’s six-person adaptation, in which five actors and a musician play all the parts!
In an attempt to gain power, King Cymbeline's evil queen urges her step-daughter, Princess Imogen, to marry Cloten, the queen’s son. Cymbeline banishes Posthumus, Imogen’s husband, who flees to Rome. Here, he enters into a bet with Iachimo, who claims that he can seduce Imogen. After arriving at the palace, Iachimo steals Imogen’s bracelet and presents that as evidence to Posthumus. Heartbroken upon seeing the bracelet, Posthumus writes to his servant, Pisanio, and orders him to kill Imogen. Pisanio arrives in Wales, but unable to fulfil Posthumus’s request, disguises Imogen as a boy and instructs her to join the Roman army.
From deep within a Welsh cave, Belarius explains that his sons, Guiderius and Arviragus, are actually the King’s heirs, kidnapped away as children. Imogen finds herself at Belarius’s cave, where the men allow the disguised Imogen to stay. The next morning, as the men are hunting, Imogen drinks a potion and falls into a deep sleep.
At the palace, Cloten demands to know where Imogen has gone. Dressed in Posthumus’s clothing, he leaves to seek revenge. Eventually he crosses the hunters, a fight ensues, and Cloten is beheaded. The men return to the cave, where they find Imogen sleeping. Assuming that she is dead, they bury her alongside Cloten. When Imogen awakes, she believes the body next to hers is Posthumus. Roman soldiers pass by and Imogen agrees to serve in Lucius’s army.
Guiderius and Arviragus, along with the help of Posthumus, save the king and help win the war. Posthumus identifies himself as a Roman and is taken prisoner along with Lucius, Iachimo, Posthumus, and Imogen. Within the King’s tent, mistaken identities are revealed and joy restored.
Andy Park (Director) is excited to return to the Festival. Previous shows with ISF include Peter and the Starcatcher, Failure: A Love Story and Shakesfear. Andy recently was appointed Artistic Director of Nebraska Repertory Theatre and left Chicago where he served as Artistic Director of Quest Theatre Ensemble and Shedd Aquarium. Favorite directing projects include Seashore with TriArts Inc., Blue Nativity with Quest Theatre Ensemble, One World with Shedd Aquarium, Circus Crashers at Actors Gym, a spectacle for the Lollapalooza Music Festival, Cirque Shanghai at Navy Pier and Bai Xi at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City. Visit stagedirector.org to learn more.
Joe C. Klug (Scenic Designer) is delighted to be working with Illinois Shakespeare Festival. His previous work includes A Midsummer Nights Dream, Merry Wives of Windsor (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Conway), Devil's Music, The Doyle and Debbie Show (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre), The Life of Galileo and Our Class (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Chicago), The Little Mermaid (Orlando Rep), Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, Junie B. Jones is not a Crook (First Stage Theatre), Black Comedy and What the Butler Saw (Bristol Valley Theatre, NY). He currently is the Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at University of Arizona and is a proud member of USA Local 829.
Nicholas Hartman (Costume Designer) comes to us from Venice Theatre in sunny Venice, Florida. As he has been the resident costume designer for Venice Theatre. Prior to that Nicholas was at RWS and Associates, in New York City a Corporate entertainment company. He had previously been the resident designer/shop manager with the Manatee Players at Riverfront Theatre in Bradenton, FL. He has also worked in the greater Chicago, IL area. Nicholas holds an associate’s degree from International Fine Arts College in Miami, FL as well as a bachelor of fine arts from Illinois State University. He holds numerous awards in costume design and construction at national and state levels including National Outstanding Best Costume Designer at the AACT.
Dan Ozminkowski (Lighting Designer) is thrilled to make his ISF debut. Regional designs include Smokey Joe’s Café (Arena Stage), Treasure Island, A New Musical (Arkansas Repertory Theatre), Let Me Down Easy (Wexner Center for the Arts, Philadelphia Theatre Company, San Diego Repertory Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre) and the U.S. Premiere of From Here to Eternity (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse). Tours: Spirit of Uganda (2010, 2012, 2014). Associate/assistant design credits: A Night With Janis Joplin (Broadway); Impressionism (Broadway); and Le Rêve (Wynn, Las Vegas). Nominated: Barrymore PECO Award for Outstanding Lighting Design. USA 829. B.F.A. Purchase College; M.F.A. Parson. Dan is the Head of Lighting Design at Illinois State University.
Kieran Periera (Sound Designer) is back for fourth year at the festival. Kieran finished his M.A. in Sound Design for Animation in 2015 at ISU. Last year he designed Hamlet, Peter and the Starcatcher, and Twelfth Night. He looks forward to another great summer and thanks you all for supporting the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.
Jordan Coughtry (Posthumus/Cloten/Belarius) ISF credits: Failure: A Love Story, Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors; New York: Very Very (J, J & Z), Murder in the Cathedral (Hoi Polloi), Be Story Free (InVerse Theatre), Winter Journey (P.S. 122). Regional: Godspell (Olney Theatre Center); Twelfth Night (Westport Country Playhouse); Red (TheatreWorks); Emma (Pioneer Theatre); Candida (Two River Theatre); All’s Well that Ends Well (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Shakespeare Theatre/RSC); The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ (9 seasons) including Amadeus, Our Town, and Wittenberg; Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre (Artistic Collective member) including Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Thom Miller (Iachimo/Arviragus/Queen/2nd Captain) is thrilled to return to ISF. He was previously seen in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Love’s Labour’s Won, and Richard II. Favorite regional credits include: Company (Writer’s Theatre), Reasons To Be Pretty (Studio Theatre), The Last Five Years (Denver Center), Hair (Prince Music Theater), Macbeth (Texas Shakespeare Festival), Boeing Boeing (Northern Stage), Off-Broadway: Camp Wanatachi (La Mama), Mental: The Musical (Cherry Lane). Thom received a BFA in Acting from North Carolina School of the Arts and an MFA from the University of Illinois. He is a professor of Voice and Verse in the Department of Drama at Syracuse University.
Thom Quinn (Cymbeline/Philario/1st Lord/Captain) is pleased to be returning for his thirteenth summer with the festival. In the 2016 season, he enchanted audiences in his portrayals of Feste in Twelfth Night and Lord Aster in Peter and the Starcatcher. His favorite ISF roles include the title role in King John, Kent in King Lear, John Dory in Wild Oats, Chorus in Failure: A Love Story, and Tom in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). He has created over eighty roles for the professional stage at theatres around the country. An accomplished teacher of acting, Tom serves on the faculty of Illinois Wesleyan University, where he is an Associate Professor, and Director for the School of Theatre Arts.
Raffeal A. Sears (Pianist/Lady/Cornelius) A native of Kansas City, MO. He is a 3rd year MFA actor at University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign. He studied commercial vocal performance at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. He is a wedding and corporate vocalist for Starlight Orchestras in New York. Recent stage credits include: Staged reading of Master Wilder and the Cabala (Illinois Theatre/ Goodman Theatre), Romeo & Juliet (Illinois Theatre), Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea (Illinois Theatre), The Grapes of Wrath (Illinois Theatre), and Henry V (Armory Theater), The Play of Adam (The Met Cloisters, NY), Amazing the Change (Atlantic Theatre, NY), A Midsummer's Night Dream (Nashville Shakespeare Festival), Lost in the Part (Amity Hall, NY), In the Blood (The New School, NY), Moonchildren (Kansas City Rep, MO), and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day (The Coterie, MO). Voice Over: McDonald’s, Burger King, Grand Theft Auto.
Nisi Sturgis (Imogen) ISF credits: Gertie Fail, Lady Macbeth, and Luciana. She recently toured as Emily in Disgraced at the Goodman Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre (BATA award). Broadway: The 39 Steps. Off-Broadway: Intimate Apparel. Regional highlights: In the Next Room and Baskerville (Cleveland Play House, Baskerville also at Cincinnati Playhouse); Doubt, Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Denver Center); A Doll’s House, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Pentecost (The Old Globe); Streetcar Named Desire, Our Town (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ). TV: five seasons as June Thompson in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (best ensemble SAG Award nomination). MFA: The Old Globe.
Patrick Toon (Pisanio/Frenchman/Lucius/Guiderius/1st Captain) has performed at regional theatres in Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Colorado as well as in numerous plays in New York City. Favorite roles include Roland in Constellations, Jaques in As You Like It, Jim in The Weir and especially Chaps in ReEntry, a play about mental health and the military which performed for active duty personnel and their families at bases around the country.
Pantagraph: Life's a circus in 3-ring 'Cymbeline'