Renowned Canadian actor Stephen Ouimette makes his Chicago Shakespeare debut in the role of Pandarus. A respected actor in Canada for many roles (and directorial gigs) at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, he is also widely known now as the ghostly artistic director character, Oliver, on three seasons of the TV comedy, "Slings & Arrows," first seen on Canadian TV and recently in the U.S. on the Sundance Channel. The workplace comedy — about a Canadian theatre troupe not unlike Stratford — is also available on DVD.
The 32-member Troilus and Cressida cast includes notable Chicagoans Bruce A. Young — who performed in CST's very first production 20 years ago — Scott Jaeck, Greg Vinkler and Ross Lehman.
Troilus and Cressida is performed in Chicago Shakespeare's Courtyard Theater, and opens on William Shakespeare's 443rd birthday, April 23. Performances play to June 24.
"A forceful attack on politics, the brutality of war and betrayal, Troilus and Cressida is rooted in the decade-long Trojan War," according to CST. "Seven years into the conflict, few care about its original cause — the abduction of Helen by the Trojan prince Paris — and both the Greeks and Trojans are plagued with infighting. Against this backdrop of intrigue, Troilus and Cressida's doomed love is destroyed by circumstance, misunderstanding and deceit."
Kevin O'Donnell and Chaon Cross play Troilus and Cressida. The troupe includes Scott Jaeck as Agamemnon; Greg Vinkler as Ulysses; Ross Lehman as Thersites; Bruce A. Young as Achilles; with Lea Coco as Paris; Lacy Coil as Cassandra; Mary Kay Cook as Helen; William Dick as Alexander/Calchas/Menelaeus; James Harms as Nestor; Michael Huftile as Patroclus; Dan Kenney as Aeneas; John Timothy McFarland as Ajax; Amy Montgomery as Andromache; Mark Montgomery as Hector; Andrew Rothenberg as Diomedes; and Matthew Lon Walker as Priam. Completing the cast are Chris Amos, Casey Campbell, Kevin Crowley, Nick Horst, Omicah JD House, Rian Jairell, Ian Maxwell, John Sanders, Dan Sanders-Joyce, Sarah Taylor, Jeff Trainor, Douglas S. Tyler and Dan Wachter. Music is by George Stiles, composer of CST's The Three Musketeers (and composer of new music for Broadway's Mary Poppins).
The creative team includes set designer Michael Philippi; lighting designer Robert Wierzel; sound designer Lindsay Jones; costume designer Nan Cibula-Jenkins; make-up and wig designer Melissa Veal; and fight choreographer Robin McFarquhar.
For information, visit www.chicagoshakes.com.