About the Playwright
William Shakespeare is the world's most widely-read author. During his short lifetime, he wrote 37 plays, 154 sonnets, and five full-length poems. Shakespeare was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He attended the Stratford Grammar School, but did not proceed to Oxford or Cambridge. In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway and over the next three years the couple had a daughter, Susanna, and twins Judith and Hamnet. Shakespeare moved to London and embarked on a career as an actor, poet, and playwright, joining one of the most successful acting troupes in London, The Lord Chamberlain's Men. When the troupe lost the lease on their theatre, they built The Globe Theatre and opened it in 1599. James I came to the throne in 1603 and renamed the troupe The Kind's Men; they performed for the king and the public for the next decade. In June 1613 a canon fired during a performance of Henry VIII set fire to the roof and burned the theatre to the ground. The theatre was later rebuilt but Shakespeare retired from the stage to Stratford where he had purchased a home and had considerable land holdings. He continued to write until his death in 1616 at the age of 52.
About the Director
Shawn Kairschner has acted and directed in numerous venues in the United States and in England, including a three-year stint as the Artistic Director of the Sideway Theater Company in Berkeley, CA, for whom he directed or produced a variety of productions from Shakespeare to original, one-person shows. Recent directorial credits include The Caucasian Chalk Circle in Williamstown, MA, as well as Equus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and a musical adaptation of Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market at Stanford University, where he received his Ph.D. As an actor, he was in the first American cast to appear onstage at the Globe Theatre in Southwark, London; most recently, he played Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew at the Winedale Shakespeare Festival. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Department at Villanova, where he teaches acting and dramaturgy. His scholarly work on nineteenth-century European acting technique has been featured in "Performance Journal" and will be included in a forthcoming collection published by the University of Toronto Press.
Prospero (Brian McCann) and the Ensemble
Ferdinand (Charles Illingworth IV) and Miranda (Jessica Dal Canton
Prospero II (Jared Nelson) is instructed by Prospero (Brian McCann)
The Goddess Blessing (Kristi A. Good, Jenny Jacobs, Maria Gianfrancisco)
Trinculo (Shaun Malleck), Caliban (Chris Braak), and Stephano (Joshua Hoover)
Ariel (Kristi A. Good) leads Caliban (Chris Braak)
Miranda (Jessica Dal Canton) and Ferdinand (Charles Illingworth IV)
Antonio (Jared Nelson) and Sebastian (Jarad Mitchell Benn)
Miranda (Jessica Dal Canton), Prospero II (Jared Nelson), and the Ensemble
Trinculo (Shaun Malleck)
Stephano (Joshua Hoover), Caliban (Chris Braak), and Trinculo (Shaun Malleck)
Prospero (Brian McCann) and Ariel (Kristi A. Good)