Friday, July 31, 2009


Director: Grant Mudge
Tuesday and Wednesday, August 4th and 5th, 630-930pm, at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 1925 Grove Avenue. (at Meadow & Grove)

Auditions for Much Ado About Nothing, the inaugural production in the Gottwald Playhouse at Richmond CenterStage, will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, August 4 and 5, from 630-930pm in the Richmond Shakespeare offices, located at 1925 Grove Avenue. Entry is off the alley behind Tabernacle Baptist Church. Director Grant Mudge seeks 13 men and 4 women, ages 20-70. Experience with Shakespeare is required. Those auditioning will be asked to present a monologue (under 2 mins) and to read from the script. An appointment is required. Please call 804-232-4000, e-mail at or direct-msg via Twitter: RichmondShakes. Performers paid. Some academic internships available.

Rehearsals begin August 24. Previews start October 1, and the show will run Thurs-Sun from Oct 3-25. (Performances are Ths-Sat at 8pm and Sundays at 2:30pm, with some weekday matinees.)

List of primary roles
1. Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon
2. Benedick
3. Beatrice, Niece of Leonato
4. Hero, Daughter of Leonato
5. Leonato, Duke of Messina
6. Antonio, his brother
7. Balthasar
8. Claudio
9. Conrade
10. Borrachio
11. Don John, Bastard Brother of Don Pedro
12. Margaret
13. Ursula
14. Friar Francis
15. Verges
16. Sexton
17. Dogberry, a Constable

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Too Like the Lightning

After thirteen years, you'd think I'd get accustomed to rainouts. On average, we lose three (3) performances per summer. At that rate, for 2009, we're officially done with 'em. Someone please tell the weather deities.

That said, I love all the weather references in the first 20 minutes of Midsummer, besides "I will move storms;" there's
"Brief as the lightning in the collied night
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth
And ere a man hath power to say 'Behold!'
The jaws of darkness do devour it up,"
and, upon being asked why her chekk is so pale, Helena responds, "Belike for want of rain(!), which I could well beteem them from the tempest of my eyes!" Will's was an open-air playhouse---these lines can't be mere coincidence; they help bond us together----actors and audience in one experience. Magic.

We'll be back for more tonight.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Timeless 'Hamlet' has modern feel

Published: July 19, 2009

Like your "Hamlet" to have a colloquial, of-the-moment feel? The revamped Richmond Shakespeare production at Agecroft Hall has a Hamlet whose manner is so contemporary, you expect at any moment to see him texting Horatio.

There's no effort here to change the period of the tragedy, which is probably the 17th century, but Becky Willet's lovely costumes are not tied to any particular age. What's notable is the 21st-century sensibility -- lots of sarcasm and heavy irony in the line readings, and Jeff Cole's thoroughly extroverted Hamlet, with many modern mannerisms.

Grant Mudge directed both this and last fall's indoor-season version of the tragedy, and there are some differences. Jay Banks' Horatio is just as intelligent as Andrew Hamm's, but he's not the staunch friend Hamm's was. There's less romance and more insanity between Cole and his Ophelia, Liz Blake. And the production works better overall because of the more conventional thrust stage at Agecroft; Mudge can move his actors naturally, without the constraints of the long rectangle he had for a stage in the fall.

All the best elements of the production remain: high-quality spoken verse (Rebecca Jones was text and verse consultant), Blake's touching vulnerability, Cole's unflagging intensity. Timothy Saukiavicus is an even more craven Claudius than he was before, and Joseph Anthony Carlson is magnetic as Laertes -- his execution of Vanessa Passini's fabulous fight choreography includes a full-out leap that left audience members gasping.
A three-piece ensemble provides lovely background music, and the summer stage makes possible some effective stagecraft, like the entrance of Ophelia on her bier, hauntingly lit by designer J. David White.

In the customary Richmond Shakespeare style, 11 actors play 22 roles. But most of the principals play only one apiece, which leaves Katie Ford, 'Rick Gray, Shirley Kagan and LaSean Green playing 13 parts, and they do admirable work.

Susan Haubenstock is a freelance writer and editor based in Henrico County. Contact her at

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Friday, July 17, 2009

'Midsummer' Gets Final Added Performance

We had hardly communicated the addition of July 29 when it became clear it well sell out---in less than five days, there are now only two (count ‘em, 2) remaining seats for that Wednesday added show.

As such, I’m pleased to announce a final additional night (once it’s gone, folks, there will be no more) of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Tuesday, July 28, 2009. Visit the website below and click on tickets---before someone else grabs yours.

Catch the fastest-selling show in town….before it’s gone.

Grant Mudge
Artistic Director
Richmond Shakespeare
804-232-4000 Admin
804-232-4400 Fax

NOW OPEN! – the 2009 Richmond Shakespeare Festival
THRU JUN28.09 – Henry V [The History Cycle]
JUL2-12.09 – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Seven Shows Only!)
JUL16-AUG2.09 - Hamlet

Monday, July 13, 2009

Richmond CenterStage - Performing Arts Center

Grant Mudge
9:09am Jul 13th
Richmond CenterStage - Performing Arts Center

Checkout CenterStage on Facebook!

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