The professional theatre company opens its MainStage season Sept. 8 at The High Point Theatre, where performances continue through Oct. 8. The Festival then moves to Raleigh to perform Oct. 11-15 at the Fletcher Theatre in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
Todd Scofield, who last performed at NCSF in 2001, plays Tranio in Shrew and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet.
Michael Zlabinger will play Lucentio in Shrew and Romeo.
Lucius Houghton, a company regular for the Festival's first 20 seasons, and a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, returns to play Grumio in Shrew and Peter in Romeo and Juliet.
Lesley Hunt plays Nurse in Romeo and Juliet. A voice teacher at the North Carolina School of the Arts for three decades before her retirement, she performed with NCSF in the 1980s. Graham Smith returns to the MainStage after an absence of nearly a decade to portray Gremio in Shrew and Capulet in Romeo and Juliet.
John Woodson returns to the NCSF stage after a 20-year absence to play Prince Escalus in Romeo and Juliet. He also directs Shrew.
Allan Edwards, an annual NCSF favorite since the late 1980s, plays Baptista in Shrew and Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet.
Joining these Festival veterans will be Equity actors new to NCSF audiences. Monica Bell will portray Kate in Shrew and Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet.
Patrick Tansor, who has performed at The Folger Theatre and The Shakespeare Theatre in D.C., plays Hortensio in Shrew and Paris in Romeo and Juliet.
Jennifer Jellicorse, a Greensboro native who grew up attending NCSF performances, has worked professionally in London during the past decade. She will play Bianca in Shrew and Juliet.
Dan Murray, a Winston-Salem native whose parents taught for many years at the North Carolina School of the Arts School of Drama, debuts at NCSF as Petruchio in Shrew and Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet.
Non-Equity actors round out the 30th season company: Mary Jellicorse of Greensboro plays Lady Montague in Romeo and Juliet. She performed in Henry V during The Festival's 1977 premiere MainStage season; Tim Austin of Winston-Salem plays the Pedant in Shrew and Montague in Romeo and Juliet; Bradley Smith makes his MainStage debut as Curtis in Shrew after recently completing NCSF's three-month GlobeWorks school tour; Conrad Ricamora, a Charlotte native, plays Biondello in Shrew and Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet.
Interns from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro play numerous attendants and servants this season: Ariel Burke, Ben Holbrook, Emily Rieder and Marvin Riggins Jr.
Laura Simcox is designing the season's costumes and Joe Gardner designs scenic pieces for the festival's unit set. Dale Girard serves as fight choreographer, and Rodney Luck choreographs movement in Romeo and Juliet. Todd Wren returns for his fifth season as lighting designer. Mary Irwin and Ben Furey serve as vocal/text coaches.
Since its founding in 1977, The Festival (designated "the State Shakespeare Festival" by the North Carolina General Assembly) has mounted more than 100 major productions.
For more information, visit www.highpointtheatre.com or www.ncshakes.org.