Classic American Comedy The Foreigner to open on Main Stage at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival; In Repertory with Henry V

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lisa Higgins, 610.282.WILL [9455], ext. 4
July 2, 2015

Center Valley, PA – A “real, live foreigner” creates hilarious misunderstandings while delivering heartwarming laughter in Larry Shue’s award-winning comedy, The Foreigner, in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s production previewing July 8 and 9 and opening Friday, July 10.

Playing on the Main Stage through August 2, the production features the same repertory cast performing in Henry V.

Madcap mischief ensues when a diverse cast of characters meet in Betty Meek’s Fishing Lodge Resort in Georgia. Sgt. “Froggy” LeSueur, a British munitions expert, PSF veteran Carl N. Wallnau, insists on bringing his pathologically shy friend Charlie Baker, played by Jacob Dresch, across the pond for a vacation.

The widowed innkeeper, Betty, Jane Ridley, is thrilled to meet someone from another country—even when Froggy tells her that Charlie does not speak English and should not be asked questions.

The cast includes a real-life married couple with extensive PSF credits playing an engaged couple: Emmy-nominee Marnie Schulenburg, who portrays the Southern debutante Catherine Simms, and Zack Robidas (It’s Complicated, Arbitrage), who plays the Rev. David Marshall Lee.

David Button appears as Catherine’s younger brother, Ellard Simms, who’s presumed not to be the sharpest tool in the shed. The county property inspector with designs on the resort, Owen Musser, is Anthony Lawton, whose many PSF credits include twice portraying the clown Feste in Twelfth Night. The ensemble includes Philadelphia actors William Zielinski and Brian McCann, and Emmy winner Wayne S. Turney.

Long-time PSF actor and director Jim Helsinger, who directed last year’s Lend Me a Tenor, leads a creative team that includes six-time Emmy winner Bob Phillips, set designer; Marla Jurglanis, costumes; Thom Weaver, lights; Kristian Dereck Ball, sound. Jane Ridley serves as dialect coach and Alison Hassman as production stage manager.

Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects is production sponsor for The Foreigner; co-sponsors are Bazzini and Keenan-Nagle Advertising, Inc.

The show runs July 8- August 2 on the Main Stage in repertory with Henry V.

Preview: Wed. July 8th, 8pm
Preview: Thu., July 9th, 8pm
Opening: Fri., July 10th, 8pm
Tue. July 14th, 7pm
Wed., July 15th, 8pm
Sun., July 19th, 2pm
Wed. July 22nd, 8pm
Fri., July 24th, 8pm
Sat., July 25th, 8pm
Sun., July 26th, 2pm & 7:30pm
Tue., July 28th, 7pm
Thu., July 30th, 8pm
Sat., Aug. 1st, 2pm, Audio Description for patrons who are visually impaired.
Sun., Aug. 2nd, 7:30pm

Amaranth Foundation is the 2015 season sponsor. Associate season sponsors are the Szarko Family, Harry C. Trexler Trust, Dr. James and Penny Pantano, and Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth.

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, a professional company in residence at DeSales University, is the Official Shakespeare Festival of the Commonwealth and a professional, not-for-profit theatre company. An independent 501 c 3 organization, PSF receives support from DeSales University and relies on contributions from individuals, government agencies, corporations and foundations.

PSF is a constituent of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, and a member of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Shakespeare Theatre Association, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, and Discover Lehigh Valley.

For tickets, call 610.282.WILL [9455] or go online to

The Festival’s 24th season continues with Around the World in 80 Days (through July 12); Henry V (July 16- August 2); Pericles (July 22- August 2); Shakespeare for Kids (July 22- August 1) and Rapunzel (through August 1).

One night events include Jeremiah James performing a special concert, Choose Love, on Monday, July 27 at 7:30pm on the Main Stage. James recently played Javert in PSF’s record-breaking production of Les Misérables.

Tickets are available by calling 610.282.9455, or online at

Company Bios

JIM HELSINGER (Director) PSF directing include Lend Me a Tenor, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Sleuth, The Imaginary Invalid, Charley’s Aunt, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). Other directing credits: Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Florida Studio Theatre, Actor’s Playhouse, Florida Repertory Theatre, Cape May Stage, New York Fringe Festival and Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF (where he serves as Artistic Director, 20th season). Jim has acted at PSF in the roles of Lady Bracknell, Master Ford, Don Armado, Parolles, Bassanio, Malvolio (2x), Arnolphe, Dogberry and Bottom. He has performed Off-Broadway in The Death and Life of Sherlock Holmes, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Contrast; regionally in the title roles of Cyrano de Bergerac, Hamlet, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, Dracula, and Henry V; and in TV/Film in From the Earth to the Moon, Noah Knows Best, Mortal Kombat and Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. As a playwright, his adaptation of Dracula the Journal of Jonathan Harker was also produced at PSF.

BOB PHILLIPS (Scenic Designer) has designed 50 shows for PSF over the past 20 years: favorites include The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, School for Wives, Measure for Measure, and Sleuth, as well as last season’s rep shows Macbeth and Lend Me a Tenor. Bob is Resident Designer for Centenary Stage Company. His television designs include Another World, Search for Tomorrow, Encyclopedia and Sesame Street. Bob has received the Villager, Madison, Outer Critics Circle and Lillie Stoates awards for his stage designs, and six Emmys for his television work.

KRISTIAN DEREK BALL (Sound Designer) has designed sound and written music for theatrical and film companies both nationally and internationally, as well as recorded and produced music for various artists and musicians worldwide. As an accomplished artist and performer, his work is featured with Franklin Furnace Archive (New York MoMA), Nelson Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City), Lehigh University Art Gallery (Bethlehem) and most recent Arizona State University, School of Art.

ALISON HASSMAN (Production Stage Manager, Foreigner/Henry) PSF shows #7 and #8. Off-Broadway: Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Hamilton, Phoenix (with Julia Stiles), Los Monólogos de la Vagina, The Brightness of Heaven. New York: 24 Play Company, Cherry Lane, 59E59, the York. Dance: New York City Ballet, Hunter College. Regional: Two River, McCarter, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Trinity Rep.

DAVID BUTTON (Ellard Simms) is Artistic Director of the Clear Space Theatre in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware where he’s been an acting company member since 2006. Credits: Avenue Q (Princeton/Rod), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), How to Succeed (Finch), Ragtime (Younger Brother), The Secret Garden (Dickon), and Dirty Blonde (Charlie).

JACOB DRESCH (Charlie) performed in the rep company last season as Max in Lend Me a Tenor and Malcolm in Macbeth. Other PSF favorites include: Octavius Caesar in Antony & Cleopatra, Shawn Keogh in Playboy of the Western World and Fenton/Nym in The Merry Wives of Windsor. He currently teaches at the New York Film Academy. Training: M.F.A. from UC Irvine, B.A. from DeSales University.

ANTHONY LAWTON (Owen) has worked as a professional actor for 22 years. Favorite roles include Feste in Twelfth Night (twice at PSF, once at Lantern), George in Of Mice and Men (Walnut St.), Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet (Arden); man in Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (1812 Productions), Coleman in Lonesome West (Lantern), and Stephano in The Tempest (PSF). Since 1998, he has produced solo and small-cast works under the rubric of The Mirror Theatre Company, the mission statement of which is “Spiritual Theatre for a Specular Audience.”

JANE RIDLEY (Betty, Dialect Coach) PSF credits: A Man for All Seasons, The Importance of Being Earnest (2003), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and School for Wives (1996). Regional: Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia; Mill Mountain Theatre in Virginia; Pennsylvania Centre Stage; Delaware Theatre Company; the Round House Theatre in Washington D.C.; Barter Theatre, Virginia; and seasons for The Orlando Shakespeare Theater and The Utah Shakespearean Festival.

ZACK ROBIDAS (David) PSF: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 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 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 (Catherine) NY/Regional Theatre: How I Learned to Drive (Second Stage), South Pacific and The Two Gentleman of Verona (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, plus guest star and recurring roles on Manhattan Love Story, Royal Pains, Alpha House, Army Wives, Canterbury’s Law, & Fringe. Marnie can also be seen in films such as Made for Each Other, Penny Dreadful, and The Golden Scallop.

LARRY SHUE (Playwright) Following a record-breaking run of seven hundred performances at New York’s Astor Place Theatre, The Foreigner was produced internationally. He was the author of The Nerd, which ran successfully on Broadway with a National Tour and many productions overseas. His play Wenceslas Square was performed Off-Broadway at the New York Shakespeare Festival. He joined Milwaukee Rep in 1977, appearing in a wide variety of productions. He created roles in works by Amlin Gray, Andrew Johns, Tom Cole, himself, and David Mamet, who dedicated the published version of his Lakeboat to Mr. Shue and to the play’s first director, John Dillon. Mr. Shue was also the author of Grandma Duck is Dead, as an actor, he assumed the title role in The Foreigner after Anthony Heald and originated the role of the Rev. Dr. Crisparkle in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood at the Delacorte Theatre. He was killed in a plane accident in 1985.

WAYNE S. TURNEY (Ensemble) is a professor on the Theatre faculty at DeSales, where he recently directed Moliere’s The Miser. He also tours the country in his Solo Performance of The Gospel According to Saint Mark. A PSF regular, Turney arrived in 2005 to perform the title character in Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid and stayed on to play myriad old men, most recently Escalus in Measure for Measure and Chasuble in The Importance of being Earnest. Credits include Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Actors’ Summit, the Cleveland Play House, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville and many others.

CARL N. WALLNAU (Froggy) is pleased to return to PSF. Favorite past roles here include last season’s Saunders in Lend Me A Tenor, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Andrew Wyke in Sleuth, Senex in Forum and Sir Francis in Charlie’s Aunt. He has worked at numerous regional theatres including Paper Mill Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Second Stage in NYC, People’s Light, York Musical Theatre, 1812 Productions, The Lark Theatre, Bristol Riverside, Forum Theatre, Premiere Stages, The Orlando Shakespeare Company and will be appearing this winter at the Arden Theatre in Bruce Graham’s new play Funnyman, directed by Matt Pfeifer. . He is currently Artistic Director at CSC, an Equity theatre located on the campus of Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ, where he is also Professor of Theatre Arts and Chairman of the Fine Arts Department. He has directed more than 60 productions including the critically acclaimed The English Bride, which recently had its NY premiere at 59e59. He received his MFA from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts and his married to his favorite actress Colleen Smith Wallnau.

PATRICK MULCAHY (Producing Artistic Director, PSF). 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 tripling 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 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 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.