Hayes Winner Acton Is Royal "Bottled Spider" in Chicago Shakespeare's Richard III

News   Hayes Winner Acton Is Royal "Bottled Spider" in Chicago Shakespeare's Richard III Wallace Acton, a fixture in the Washington, DC, theatre community will play the hunchback king — variously called a spider, a toad and worse — in Richard III at the Tony Award-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater this fall.

This will mark Helen Hayes Award winner Acton's CST debut. He has many credits at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC, and has performed at Freedom Stage, Signature Theatre, Woolly Mammoth and Arena Stage.

Artistic director Barbara Gaines directs the Shakespeare history play, to run Sept. 23-Nov. 22 in the Courtyard Theater on Navy Pier in Chicago.

Acton will join CST stage veterans Kevin Gudahl as Duke of Buckingham, John Reeger as Lord Stanley, Angela Ingersoll as Lady Anne, Dan Kenney as Sir William Catesby, Matt DeCaro as Edward IV, Wendy Robie as Queen Elizabeth, Mary Ann Thebus as Duchess of York and Marc Grapey as Lord Mayor of London.

The cast also includes Jennifer Harmon as Queen Margaret; Phillip James Brannon as Duke of Clarence; Mark D. Hines as Ghost of Henry VI; John Lister as Lord Hastings; Andi Bohs as Mistress Shore; Kevin Cox as First Murderer; Brendan Marshall-Rashid as Richmond; Steve Pringle as Scrivener; Juan Gabriel Ruiz as Lord Grey; Demetrios Troy as Lord Rivers; James Anthony Zoccoli as Sir Robert Brakenbury, and the children played by Scott Baity, Jr., Samuel L. Johnston, Matthew Heffernan and Joshua Heinlein.

"Shakespeare's first great stage success, and one of his most enduring, Richard III has entertained audiences around the world for centuries," according to CST. "As the final chapter of the playwright's sweeping chronicle of the English Wars of the Roses, Richard III dramatizes the life of one of the most diabolical and manipulative, yet charming and witty villains in Shakespeare's canon. Embittered by his own physical deformities, the power-hungry Richard will stop at nothing to gain control of England, seducing and murdering his way to the throne. Since its stage premiere in 1592 with Shakespeare's colleague Richard Burbage in the title role, audiences worldwide have been fascinated by Richard III." Director Gaines is joined by a veteran CST creative team that includes scenic designer Neil Patel; costume designer Susan E. Mickey; lighting designer Robert Wierzel; sound designer Lindsay Jones; wig and makeup designer Melissa Veal; properties master Michelle N. Warner; fight choreographer Robin H. McFarquhar; and verse coach Kevin Gudahl.

For more information call (312) 595-5600 or visit www.chicagoshakes.com.

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