LeBow, Fisher, Kissel, DeVries, Campbell, Coffey and More to Star in Nelson World Premiere

By Andrew Gans
14 Aug 2008

Casting has been announced for the Huntington Theatre Company's world premiere of Richard Nelson's How Shakespeare Won the West.



Directed by Jonathan Moscone, previews will begin at the Boston University Theatre Sept. 5 with an official opening scheduled for Sept. 12 at 7 PM. The production, which kicks off artistic director Peter DuBois' inaugural season at the Huntington, will continue through Oct. 5.

Inspired by actual accounts, How Shakespeare Won the West, press notes state, "tells the story of an eccentric but enterprising troupe of New York actors that travels west to attain fame and fortune by performing Shakespeare for entertainment-starved California ’49ers. Surprisingly stiff competition, complicated romantic entanglements, and Indian attacks make their cross-country adventure more than they bargained for."

The cast will be headed by Will LeBow as Thomas Jefferson Calhoun, the head of the pioneering acting troupe; Mary Beth Fisher as Alice Calhoun, his wife; and Jeremiah Kissel as Edward Oldfield, a "utility player" who masquerades as a renowned British actor, despite actually being from Albany, NY.

The company will also feature John DeVries, Ron Campbell, Chris Henry Coffey, Kelly Hutchinson, Erik Lochtefeld, Sarah Nealis, Susannah Schulman and Joe Tapper with Marc Harpin and Curt Klump.

In a statement artistic director DuBois said, "I wanted to kick off the season with something that is a celebration of ambition, that has a strong exuberant quality, and that celebrates the art form of theatre. It is an honor to be premiering a new work of Richard [Nelson's], one of the theatre's great masters of language. His incorporation of text from Shakespeare's plays into his script not only enhances his storytelling – it allows us to hear Shakespeare's beautiful language in new and enlightening ways."

The production will feature scenic design by Antje Ellermann, costume design by Laurie Churba Kohn, lighting design by Japhy Weideman, and music composition and sound design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen. Production stage manager is Bethany Ford; stage manager is Leslie Sears.

The Huntington's main stage, the Boston University Theatre, is located at 264 Huntington Avenue in Boston, MA. For tickets call (617) 266-0800 or visit www.huntingtontheatre.org.