CSF announces cast for 2017 season

March 1, 2017

(Right: Robert Sicular and Lenne Klingaman)

It’s no doubt that the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s 2017
lineup is stacked: “Hamlet,” “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Julius Caesar” are among the hit plays audiences can choose from this summer.

If you’ve been wondering how the cast list might measure up to these big titles, wonder no more: The 60th season boasts a cast of returning favorites, Colorado stage mainstays and white-hot up-and-comers.

Among the highlights, says Producing Artistic Director Timothy Orr, are leading performances from Shakespeare heavyweights Robert Sicular and Lenne Klingaman. They’ll take on the title roles in “Julius Caesar” and “Hamlet,” respectively.

"I’m super excited about the cast we’ve put together this summer,” Orr says. “We worked really hard to assemble a group of local favorites—some of the best in Colorado—as well as actors from California and New York that we’ve been trying to get out here for several years.”

One of those out-of-towners is Scott Coopwood, a Marin Shakespeare Company and Portland Center Stage regular who’s ecstatic to take on the role of Petruchio in “The Taming of the Shrew” for the second time in his career. Coopwood has artistic history with Orr and Klingaman, but the San Francisco Bay Area resident has never been part of CSF until now.

“When the opportunity came for me to audition for two roles, I was just thrilled,” Coopwood says. “I’ve been wanting to come out to Boulder for years.”

Last decade, on a Lake Tahoe stage, the Kate to Coopwood’s Petruchio was Carolyn Howarth, who will direct this summer’s “Hamlet.” But this time around, it’ll be Shelly Gaza, another CSF newcomer based in Greeley. Gaza’s Kate is a plucky Air Force pilot who’s just returned to New York City from a tour in World War II, and Coopwood’s Petruchio, older and wiser in this production, must grapple with the fact that he’s fallen in love with his strong, stubborn match.

This summer’s indoor productions are packed to the gills with beloved Colorado actors, every single one ready to take on the unique challenge of playing the same character in two different plays. The cast list reads like a “Who’s Who” of local favorites, from Mare Trevathan (“The Comedy of Errors,” “Cymbeline”) to Sam Gregory (“Henry V,” “Othello”) to Emelie O’Hara (“The Comedy of Errors,” “Troilus and Cressida”) to Rodney Lizcano (“Equivocation,” “Othello”).

Along with Klingaman, the leads of the indoor stage will be two of the state’s favorite comedic actors, Michael Bouchard and Sean Scrutchins (“Troilus and Cressida,” “Cymbeline”). They’ll play the zany title characters in Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead,” a genius retelling of “Hamlet” from the perspective of its two most minor characters.

Orr, who’s set to direct “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead,” says, “I can’t believe I get to work with Sean and Michael in the title roles. Comedically, these guys can tear the roof off a theatre.”

This summer’s standouts aren’t just in front of the audience—they’re also backstage. Scenic and Lighting Designer Stephen C. Jones, whose latest project just opened off Broadway, has been tapped to light both indoor plays—no easy feat, given that they’ll often be performed back to back with just 30 minutes of changeover time. And Meghan Anderson Doyle, the brains behind last year’s Parisian costumes in “The Comedy of Errors,” returns this summer to design New York-centric, post-war duds for “The Taming of the Shrew.”

And in its traditional nod to CU Boulder’s rich well of student talent, CSF has tapped some budding actors from within the university’s Department of Theatre & Dance to join the festival as interns. BFA candidates Elise Collins (“Equivocation”) and Kristopher Buxton (“The Comedy of Errors”) are back for another summer, and newcomers include Ayla Sullivan (“Twelfth Night”) and Ian Fraser (“The Rocky Horror Show”).

See full cast lists for: The Taming of the Shrew  Julius Caesar  Hamlet  R & G Are Dead

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