Shakespeare's Early Rom-Com The Two Gentlemen of Verona Takes the Stage at PSF

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lisa Higgins, 610.282.WILL [9455], ext. 4 June 11, 2014 Lisa.Higgins@pashakespeare.org

Center Valley, PA—Two gentlemen, two servants, two cities, and two lovely ladies provide unique comic and dramatic possibilities in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Written by the twenty-something William Shakespeare, Two Gents previews June 18 and 19, and opens Friday, June 20 in the Schubert Theatre of the Labuda Center on the DeSales University campus. Ticket prices range from $25 to $53.

"The play explores how a young person feels when they leave home and become part of a more sophisticated world," says director Matt Pfeiffer. Proteus and Valentine are the best of friends -- until Proteus falls for the object of Valentine's affections, Silvia. Forsaking his first love, Julia, Proteus sets out to betray his unsuspecting friend.

Luigi Sottile and Zack Robidas portray Valentine and Proteus, respectively. But little do the "gentlemen" know, the heroines of the play have the most to teach them about the complexities of love and friendship.

Emmy nominee Marnie Schulenburg returns to the PSF stage as Silvia and Nicole Erb joins PSF for the first time as Julia, the beloved to Proteus who takes matters into her own hands when he leaves Verona for Milan.

Peter Danelski and Scott Greer play Speed and Launce, servants to the gents. Duncan, a rescue dog named for the character in Macbeth, takes on the role of Launce's dog, Crab. Peter DeLaurier portrays Silvia's father, the Duke of Milan, and Alex Bechtel is Valentine's foolish rival, Thurio.

Schulenburg and Robidas are newlyweds who last performed together at PSF in 2006, though each has appeared individually since then: Schulenburg starred as Nellie Forbush in 2011's South Pacific, while Robidas was in the rep company last season as Algernon Moncreiff in The Importance of Being Earnest and Claudio in Measure for Measure.

Costumes are designed by Marla Jurglanis and scenery designed by Samina Vieth. Steve TenEyck designed lights; Matthew Given, sound. Alex Bechtel is serving as music director; Luisa Ann Torres is production stage manager.

Prologues, informal talks led by a PSF staff member, take place in the theatre 45 minutes prior to every performance and are free. Other extras include "Savoring Shakespeare" – a specialty dinner themed to the play with behind-the-scenes insights by Dr. June Schlueter – at 5:30pm on Thursday, July 10, and Saturday, July 12.

Production Sponsor is DeSales University. Co-sponsors are Embassy Bank and Lutron Electronics.

The production previews June 18 and 19, opens June 20 and continues through July 13. Performances are 7pm Tuesdays; 8pm Wednesday through Fridays; 2pm and 8pm Saturdays [except June 21st, which only has an 8pm curtain] and 2pm Sundays. Additional Sunday performances at 7:30pm are June 22 and July 6. There is no performance on Wednesday, July 4.

To order tickets call 610.282.WILL [9455] or online www.pashakespeare.org.

The Festival's 23rd season also features Fiddler on the Roof (June 11 – June 29); Lend Me a Tenor (July 9 – August 3) in repertory with Macbeth (July 17 – August 3), Tina Packer's Women of Will (July 20 – August 3); Cinderella (through August 2); and Shakespeare for Kids (July 23 - August 2).

PSF is also offering two "one-night-only" performances: Anthony Lawton's adaptation of C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce, Monday, June 23 at 7:30pm and the world-renowned Baltimore Consort will present "The Food of Love: Songs for Shakespeare" on Monday, July 28 at 7:30pm.

The season sponsor is Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects. Associate Season Sponsors are Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, The Szarko Family and the Harry C. Trexler Trust. Media sponsors are The Morning Call and Service Electric Cable TV & Communications.

Company Bios

ALEX BECHTEL (Thurio) is a Philadelphia-based theatre artist. As an actor, writer, composer, sound designer, music director, and director, Alex has worked with many Philadelphia companies, including 1812 Productions, New Paradise Laboratories, People's Light & Theatre Company, Act II Playhouse, Applied Mechanics, Groundswell Theatre Company, and Theatre Horizon. BFA The University of the Arts, and a graduate of the inaugural class of The Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training. His original play The West premiered in March.

PETER DANELSKI (Speed) a recent graduate of DeSales with degrees in theatre and philosophy, returns for his fourth summer with PSF where his credits include The Two Noble Kinsmen, King John, and Henry VIII, among others.

PETER DELAURIER (Duke) is an artistic associate and long-time member of the resident ensemble at Peoples Light & Theatre. He has a long association with the Lantern Theater in Philadelphia. Peter and his late wife, Ceal Phelan, co-founded the Delaware Theatre Company in 1978. He has won and lost Barrymore Awards in all non-musical acting categories. Peter has directed at resident theatres around the country, served as Artistic Director of New Stage Theatre in Jackson, MS and is a published playwright.

NICOLE ERB (Julia) PSF debut. Regional: Arden Theater, Lantern Theater, Theatre Out, Act 2 Playhouse. Recently: The Edge of Our Bodies with Matt Pfeifer (Theatre Exile) and The Crucible (Antaeus Theatre, where she is a member of A2). Film/TV: V/H/S, Big Time Rush, Non-Stop to Comic-Con. Education: Temple University (BA), University of California, Irvine (MFA). When home in LA, Nicole studies at BGB Studios (on-camera) and Upright Citizen Brigade (Advanced Studies- Improv).

MATTHEW GIVEN (Resident Sound Designer, Production Manager) 11th season as Resident Sound Designer for PSF. Notable PSF designs include: The Winter's Tale, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, King Lear, Dracula, Hamlet (2011), Romeo & Juliet (2010), Sleeping Beauty and The Mystery of Irma Vep. Other regional: The Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Theatre Exile, The Centenary Stage Company, and Arcadia University. He holds an MFA in sound design from Ohio University.

SCOTT GREER (Launce) last appeared at PSF as Bottom in Midsummer… in 2009. A 20-year veteran of Philadelphia theatre, Scott has worked for the Arden, Walnut, Wilma, People's Light, 1812 and many more. Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Round House, and the Pearl Theatre in New York. He has won four Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre including the prestigious F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist, and has appeared as a solo vocalist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

MARLA JURGLANIS (Costume Designer) PSF credits: Measure for Measure, Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear, Othello and three WillPower tours. As Resident Costume Designer for People's Light & Theatre Company, Marla has designed more than 70 productions. Her 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.

MATT PFEIFFER (Director) is a Philly-born actor and director who serves as the Associate Artistic Director of Theatre Exile. 17th season at PSF. PSF credits include directing The 39 Steps, The Complete Works Abridged, and Dracula. Other credits: Arden Theatre, Two River Theatre, Walnut St. Theatre, Delaware Theatre Co, Lantern Theatre, Theatre Horizon, and InterAct Theatre. Matt is a seven-time Barrymore nominee and recipient of the F. Otto Haas Award.

ZACK ROBIDAS (Proteus) PSF: The Importance of Being Earnest, Measure for Measure, Much Ado, Othello, The Winter's Tale, The Taming of the Shrew, Henry IV Part 1, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Merchant of Venice. He has also worked on multiple productions with The Orlando Shakespeare Theater and NYC's Flux Theatre Ensemble. Film: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Arbitrage, It's Complicated, Tooth and Nail, and The Golden Scallop. TV: Blue Blood, 30 Rock, CSI: NY, Law and Order, L&O Criminal Intent, I Just Want My Pants Back, Kings, as well as ESPN's digital series The Pretty Good Sports Show.

MARNIE SCHULENBURG (Sylvia) NY/Regional: How I Learned to Drive (Second Stage), South Pacific, (PSF), A Midsummer Night's Dream (On the Square), The Yellow Wood (NYMF dir. B.D Wong), Hearts like Fists, The Angel Eaters, and Pretty Theft (Flux Theatre Ensemble). TV/Film: Alison Stewart on As The World Turns, Young & The Restless, Jo Sullivan on One Life To Live. Guest star and recurring roles: Royal Pains, Alpha House, Army Wives, Canterbury's Law, and Fringe. Marnie can be seen in films such as Made for Each Other, Penny Dreadful, and The Golden Scallop.

LUIGI SOTTILE (Valentine) PSF debut. Favorite projects include: Buena Vista (Noah - Steppenwolf), Three Sisters (Andre - Arden Theatre), Angels in America (Joe - Wilma Theater), (28) In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play (Leo - Wilma Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Fred - Milwaukee Rep), An Ideal Husband (Lord Goring - Walnut Street Theatre), Seminar (Douglas - Philadelphia Theatre Company). Up next: The Cherry Orchard (Yasha - People's Light & Theatre).

STEVEN TENEYCK (Lighting Designer) Design work has been seen both nationally and internationally. Companies include Tacoma Opera, Madison Opera, Syracuse Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, Syracuse Stage, TACT –NYC, Big Art Group NYC, Pacific Performance Project, The Kitchen Theatre Company, The Hangar Theatre, Merry-go-Round, Ensemble Theatre, and The Herson Group Ltd. Steve teaches lighting design at Ithaca College and received his MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle.

SAMINA VIETH (Set Designer) designed last season's The 39 Steps and Beauty and the Beast at PSF. A freelance scenic and props designer working in the Washington D.C. area, her recent scenic designs include: Theatre Horizon: The 39 Steps; Quotidian Theatre: A Walk in the Woods; American University: The Rocky Horror Show, Inherit the Wind; Barter Theater: Women Beware Women, Age of Arousal, Wooden Snowflakes; Keegan Theater: Laughter on the 23rd Floor. MFA in Scenic Design from Florida State University.

PATRICK MULCAHY (Producing Artistic Director, PSF; Director, Macbeth) Since assuming leadership in 2003, Mulcahy has led PSF's return to artistic excellence and financial stability, rebuilt the professional company of artists, and achieved increasing national recognition for the Festival. Further accomplishments include PSF's first-ever award from the National Endowment for the Arts and attracting a company of artists including winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Emmy, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Jefferson, and Barrymore awards to the Festival, growth in all income areas, a 60% increase in annual attendance, and the expansion of the number of Actors' Equity contracts per season.

As a professional director, actor and fight director, credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, television, and radio. Mulcahy has acted with Angela Basset, Peter MacNicol, Hal Holbrook, Joan Cusack, Don Cheadle, Anne Meara, Milo O'Shea, Cynthia Nixon, Tony Shaloub, Bradley Whitford, and others at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Stage, Roundabout Theatre Company, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Syracuse Stage, and the Walnut Street Theatre. He served as a fight director for Tom Hulse and Timothy Busfield in A Few Good Men on Broadway and for Off-Broadway productions starring John Savage, John Mahoney, Marcia Gay Harden, and Patrick Dempsey. He directed Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga in The Real Thing, and, for PSF, directed Hamlet (2011), Antony and Cleopatra (2009), The Winter's Tale (2007), Henry IV, Part I (2005), The Tempest (1999), and acted in and served as fight director for The Taming of the Shrew (1998) and Julius Caesar (1997). As head of acting at DeSales, Patrick directed ten productions for Act 1, including I Hate Hamlet, The Grapes of Wrath, The Foreigner, and The Diary of Anne Frank. He holds an MFA from Syracuse University.

Media representatives: To schedule reviews and/or interviews or request photos, please contact Lisa Higgins at Lisa.Higgins@pashakespeare.org or call 610.282.9455, ext. 4.