Casting announced for Shakespeare in Love and King Richard II at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Contact: Tina Slak
May 22, 2018

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival announces the principal actors cast in its productions of Shakespeare in Love and King Richard II, which will play in repertory July 11 through August 5 on the Main Stage at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of DeSales University.

Luigi Sottile will star in the lead role of Will Shakespeare opposite Mairin Lee who will play his muse, Viola De Lesseps in the stage adaptation based on the Academy Award-winning screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard. Both were last seen in PSF’s 2017 production of Troilus and Cressida.

Sottile’s PSF credits include Hector in last season’s Troilus and Cressida and Valentine in the The Two Gentlemen of Verona in 2014. Recent credits include The Way of the World at Folger Theatre; Shakespeare in LoveThe Tempest and Othello at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; and Much Ado About Nothing and The Three Musketeers at Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Mairin Lee’s PSF credits include Troilus and Cressida (Cressida), Pride and Prejudice (Elizabeth Bennet), and Hamlet (Ophelia). Lee has performed in the Broadway production of The Heiress (Walter Kerr Theatre); Off-Broadway credits include She Stoops to Conquer (The Actors Company Theatre) and The Winter’s Tale and Measure for Measure at New York Classical Theatre.

Making his PSF debut, Christian Coulson will play the title role in Shakespeare’s epic King Richard II. Coulson is a British actor most widely recognized for his role as Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Other notable film credits include The Hours (starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman), Love is Strange and the upcoming romantic comedy Bite Me. Television credits include recurring roles on Nashville and Mozart in the Jungle, as well as Nurse JackieThe Good Wife, and Gossip Girl.

Rounding out the repertory cast are Justin AdamsStarla BenfordChristopher Coucill, Christopher Patrick MullenBrandon PierceWayne TurneyJo Twiss, and Richard B. Watson.

Shakespeare in Love and King Richard II feature the same cast performing in repertory, alternating performances daily and often on the same day. This is the 8th season PSF is offering plays in repertory.

“Rep gives our audience a unique chance to see what exceptional actors can do, especially if patrons see both plays on the same day or weekend,” says Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy who returns to the director’s chair with Shakespeare in Love. “PSF patrons can experience the complete transformation of the actors’ roles and of the space.”

The creative team for Shakespeare in Love includes Daniel Conway (scenic design), Lisa Zinni (costume design), Eric T. Haugen (lighting design), Liz Filios (Music Director and sound design), Erin Sheffield (Dance Choreographer), and Alison Hassman (Stage Manager).

The creative team for King Richard II includes Daniel Conway (scenic design), Olivera Gajic (costume design), Eric T. Haugen (lighting design), William Neal (sound design), J. Alex Cordaro (Fight Director), and Alison Hassman (Stage Manager).

Shakespeare in Love previews at 8pm, on July 11 and 12. Opening night is Friday, July 13 at 8pm. King Richard II previews at 8pm, on July 19 and 20. Opening night is Saturday, July 21 at 8pm. Both productions run through August 5. Single tickets start at $25 and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 610.282.WILL [9455].

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s 27th summer season launches with Ragtime on June 13, and features William Shakespeare’s popular comedy Twelfth Night and an actor-driven production of Shakespeare’s spirited and bittersweet comedy All’s Well That Ends Well.

The season will run June 1 to August 5 at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the bucolic Center Valley campus of DeSales University.

Children’s programming opens on June 1 with Alice in Wonderland and runs through August 4.  Celebrating its ten-year anniversary is PSF’s Shakespeare for Kids, a one-hour production designed for pre-school and elementary age students to actively experience Shakespeare’s vibrant language and characters. On the Main Stage, July 25 through August 4.

The 2018 Festival Season Sponsors are Keith and Stefanie Wexler. The Associate Season Sponsors are Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, Kathleen Kund Nolan and Timothy E. Nolan, the Szarko Family, and Harry C. Trexler Trust. The Production Sponsor for Shakespeare in Love is Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects and the Production Sponsor for King Richard II is Amaranth Foundation.

New subscriptions and single tickets are now on sale at: or by calling the box office at 610.282.WILL [9455].

Summer 2018 Season:

Main Stage: Ragtime (June 13 to July 1), Shakespeare in Love (July 11 to Aug 5), King Richard II (July 19 to Aug 5)Shakespeare for Kids (July 25 to Aug 4).

Schubert Theatre: Alice in Wonderland (June 1 to Aug 4), Twelfth Night
(June 21 to July 15), All’s Well That Ends Well (July 25 to Aug 5).

About Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy, Managing Director Casey Gallagher, and Associate Artistic Director Dennis Razze, is the only professional Equity theatre of its scope and scale within a 50-mile radius. PSF is one of only a handful of theatres on the continent producing Shakespeare, musicals, classics, and contemporary plays all of which can all be seen in rep and in multiple spaces within a few visits in a single summer season. A patron would have to travel seven to nine hours from PSF to find a greater range of offerings at a single theatre within a few weeks’ time.

The Festival’s award-winning company of many world-class artists includes Broadway, film, and television veterans, and winners and nominees of the Tony, Emmy, Obie, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Jefferson, Hayes, Lortel, and Barrymore awards. A leading Shakespeare theatre with a national reputation for excellence, PSF has received coverage in The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, American Theatre magazine, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. “A world-class theater experience on a par with the top Bard fests,” is how one New York Drama Desk reviewer characterized PSF.

Founded in 1992 and now the Official Shakespeare Festival of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PSF’s mission is to enrich, inspire, engage, and entertain the widest possible audience through first-rate productions of classical and contemporary plays, with a core commitment to Shakespeare and other master dramatists, and through an array of education and mentorship programs. A not-for-profit theatre, PSF receives significant support from its host, DeSales University, and from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. With 150 performances of seven productions, the Festival attracts patrons each summer from 30+ states. In 25 years, PSF has offered 161 total productions (69 Shakespeare), and entertained 850,000+ patrons from 50 states, now averaging 38,000+ in attendance each summer season, plus another 15,000 students each year through its WillPower Tour. PSF is a multi-year recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts: Shakespeare in American Communities, and is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and the Shakespeare Theatre Association. In 2013, leaders of the world’s premier Shakespeare theatres gathered at PSF as the Festival

PATRICK MULCAHY (Producing Artistic Director) Since assuming leadership in 2003, Mulcahy has led PSF’s return to artistic excellence and financial stability, built the professional company of artists, oversaw the quadrupling of the endowment, and achieved increasing national recognition for the Festival. Further accomplishments include PSF’s first-ever awards 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 75% 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 Bassett, 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 St. 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 Julius Caesar (2016), Macbeth (2014), 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). Also head of acting at DeSales, Patrick holds an MFA from Syracuse University.