The Shakespeare Players of Rochester
A program of the Rochester Community Players
In 1994, RCP created the Shakespeare Players program as a program of the Rochester Community Players. The program was founded by Peter Scribner, and the first production was Twelfth Night, November 19, 1994. Through the summer of 2011, RCPO's Shakespeare Players has staged 34 Shakespeare productions. Each July, we stage a free Shakespeare at the Highland Park Bowl; indoor productions are staged at MuCCC.`
Julius CaesarThe Rochester Community Players opens our 90th season with a production of Shakespeare's roiling political tragedy, Julius Caesar. The play tells the tale of the conspiracy to assassinate "the foremost man of all this world", the famous funeral oration of Mark Antony, which turned the fickled mob against the murderers, and the downfall of the conspirators Brutus and Cassius.
The production will be presented eleven times at MuCCC Theater, 142 Atlantic Avenue, Rochester (three blocks east of University Avenue). NOTE EARLIER START TIME (7:30) FOR EVENING PERFORMANCES! Performance dates are:
Friday & Saturday, October 25 & 26 at 7:30 PM
Sunday October 27 at 2:00 PM
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 31 thru November 2 at 7:30
Sunday November 3 at 2:00
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 6 thru 9 at 7:30 PM.
Ticket prices are $19 general admission, $14 anyone over age 65 and $9 for anyone under age 25.
Student special! And for the performances October 27, October 31, and November 6, tickets for anyone under age 25 are only $5.
Tickets are available online at muccc.org or may be purchased at the door.
Pictured above: From left to right: Roger Gans (Cassius), Bill Alden (Brutus), Ed Scutt (Caesar), Zac West (Antony) and Jamie Tyrrell (Portia).
About the Cast: Ed Scutt, retired English teacher from Hilton High School and long time RCP veteran, plays the title role of Julius Caesar. Bill Alden from Geneseo (Brutus) is a retired TV professional. Roger Gans (Cassius), recently retired as a professor at the U of R, has appeared in over 100 theatrical productions. Zak West (Mark Antony) is a recent graduate of Nazareth College as a theater major. Jamie Tyrell (Portia) is a medical student and a former professional actpr and director with Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival.
Tom Bohrer (Caska) has worked in local theater for over 50 years. Bernard Plansky (Trebonius) is a family physician who has received acting training at Shakespeare and Company and uses Shakespeare as therapy for recovering veterans at the VA. Brian Colm (Octavius) is an MCC student and an improv artist. Suzanne Bell (Calphurnia) is a veteran performer with the Off Monroe Players, the Gilbert and Sullivan group in Rochester. William Marsh (Decius) attended St. John. Fisher and Nazareth Colleges as an acting and theater student.
Jarvis Davis (Cinna) has appeared with several theater companies around town. Joseph Maurici was a theater student at Mercyhurst College. Deborah Barsel (Ligarius) has performed with various Rochester theater companies the past 15 years, including RCP's Irish Players program. Bri Meeks (Stage Manager and Messenger) has worked back stage many times before; this is her first acting role. Eoin Dennis (Lucius), a student at Harley, appeared at Geva as 'Billy' in On Golden Pond.
James Landers (Producer) has appeared in many RCP Shakespeare Players productions and directed Timon of Athens for us in 2011.
Peter Scribner (Director), a local attorney, is President of the Rochester Community Players and founded RCP's Shakespeare Players program in 1994.
About the Play: Julius Caesar is Shakespeare's recreation of the plot to assassinate the victorious Roman military leader in 44 BC, the falling out among the conspirators, and their ultimate defeat at the hands of Mark Antony and Octavius Caesar. The conspiracy was hatched by Gaius Cassius, who recruits Marcus Brutus, a patrician of peerless nobility, to be its leader. The plotters feared that Caesar intended to make himself King, ending the four hundred year old Roman Republic, and decided to preemptively kill him. After the murder, Brutus lectures the crowd of citizens on the righteousness of assassination, only to be followed by Mark Antony, a brash licentious lieutenant of Caesar, who sways the mob with powerful rhetoric, demolishing the arguments of the conspirators with faux-flatter ("yet Brutus says Caesar was ambitious, and Brutus is an honorable man"), and naked appeals to avarice. Brutus and Cassius flee from Rome, their armies defeated at Philippi (in modern Macedonia), and each meets his end there.
In composing the play, Shakespeare drew primarily on the works of the Roman historian Plutarch, translated into English by Thomas North in 1579. The play is believed to have been the first Shakespeare play staged at the Globe Theater, in 1600. Shakespeare is faithful to the historical record, as understood in his era, making just a few alterations for dramatic effect. The only known text of Julius Caesar comes from the First Folio of 1623. It is considered a relatively uncorrupted or 'clean' text, as it includes such things as offstage sound effects, which likely came directly from the Globe Theater's own 'prompt book' copy of the play.
Original practices used in this production: When Shakespeare wrote his plays (1593-1611), the live stage of the era used several techniques that are not commonly used in more modern dramas. These techniques were incorporated by Shakespeare into the structure of his plays, and by using them we can bring out elements of the play that are less emphasized in modern theatrical practices. The phrase 'original practices' is used to describe Shakespeare productions that attempt to recreate the theatrical techniques of the Elizabethan era.
No production can replicate all such practices, although 'OP' plays at Shakespeare's Globe in London and the American Shakespeare Center in Virginia, using original pronunciation and men playing woman characters, come close. We think of 'original practices' as a list of staging techniques, some of which are appropriate for a specific production, depending on the goals of that production and that company. We have incorporate several original practices, or Elizabethan staging techniques, in Julius Caesar that we believe are appropriate for our actors, our audience, our company and our venue (MuCCC.) Our goal is not to create an historical recreation of an Elizabethan but rather to use those techniques that help to bring the play alive.
Our production will be using several Elizabethan staging techniques, including:
No scene changes: The action is non-stop, with no scenery changes, as it was at the Globe Theater in 1600.
Universal lighting: The houselights will remain on, in dim candle-light settings, throughout the production, just like indoor productions four hundred years ago.
Full thrust stage: Seating at MuCCC has been rearranged for this production so that the audience surrounds the acting area on three sides, as was the practice in indoor performances of the Elizabethan and Jacobean. Shakespeare knew that the actors could see the audience, and the audience could see each other, and wrote his plays with this in mind.
Audience contact: Due to the seating and lighting, there was a direct connection between audience and actor far more intimate than in modern drama. Characters often speak directly to the audience, even when addressing each other. This technique creates an intense bond between audience and the play.
Live sound effects: All music and sound effects in the production are live, with no electronic recordings.
Original text: Our text is the Applause First Folio edition of the play (Neil Freeman, editor.) The original unaltered punctuation of the 1623 First Folio, helps modern actors understand the meaning of the text.
Uncut text: The production is virtually uncut, with rapid pacing and an anticipated running time (not including intermission) of 2 1/2 hours, standard for a Shakespeare play ("the two hours traffic of our stage"; Romeo & Juliet prologue.)
Elizabethan costuming practices: No matter what the era of the play, Elizabethan theater companies costumed their shows in contemporary finery. For classical productions, elements of Roman costumes (togas and such) were worn over doublet and hose. We follow this practice, not only to honor the tradition but to indicate that the characters in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar are actually Elizabethan personalities portraying historic Roman characters.
Free Shakespeare at the Highland Park Bowl
William Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT
One of Shakespeare's most beloved comedies, Twelfth Night is a fun gender-bending story of fools, mistaken identities and excessive passions. Like a party that has gone on for too long, Twelfth Night exposes human excess in our pursuit for love. Full of mistaken identities, comic pranks, tomfoolery, and music, the play revolves around a pair of twins separated by a shipwreck who find themselves falling in love with all the wrong people.
The production takes a stylistic nod to the gender bending excess of the 1970’s. Music and Fashion is inspired by Elton John, David Bowie, the later era Beatles, the Mods and Glam Rock. A good time will be had by all!
by William Shakespeare
To be staged at the Highland Park Bowl; 1200 South Avenue
July 5 to 20, 2013 (all performances at 8:00 PM)
NO MONDAY OR THURSDAY PERFORMANCES
There is no admission charge (donations are solicited during intermission.)
The Highland Park Bowl is located at 1600 South Avenue, Rochester, at the corner of South Avenue and Robinson Drive. Parking is available on Robinson Drive and on neighborhood streets (please be courteous and observe the on-street parking restrictions.) Light refreshments will be sold on the premises. Bugs are rarely a problem, but repellant is advisable, to be on the safe side. Up-to-date rain-out information will be posted on our phone line, 585-234-7840. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and your favorite beverage, and enjoy this delightful tale!
COUNTY EXECUTIVE TO "THROW OUT THE FIRST LINE" OPENING NIGHT: Maggie Brooks, the Monroe County Executive, will be on hand opening night, July 5, to welcome the audience and "throw out the first line." Similar to the ceremonial throwing out of the first ball to open a baseball season, Ms. Brooks will declaim the famous opening line of the play to inaugurate this Summer's production. The Monroe County Parks Department has been our host and co sponsor of this event for the past seventeen years (since 1997.)
Declaration of Independence reading July 6: Immediately preceding our performance on July 6, various public officials from all over Monroe County will be our guests, conducting a public reading of the United States Declaration of Independence. The reading will start at about 7:45 PM, followed by our production if Twelfth Night.
Sign interpretation performance July 13: The performance of Twelfth Night on Saturday, July 13 will be sign-interpreted for the deaf. In case of rain, the sign-interpretation performance will be July 15. Underwriting for the sign interpretation performance is made possible by the law firm of Boylan Code. The interpretation is being provided by StageHands, a repertory group of certified theatrical interpreters.
Photos taken by Ken Dauer
photo 1 (L to R) Olivia Choma (as Viola) Eddie Coomber (as Sebastian) and Stephanie Roosa (As Olivia)
Photo 2 (L to R) Elliot F. Fox (as Sir Toby Belch), Jay O'Leary (underneath) (as Fabian), T. Bohrer (as Sir Andrew Aguecheek)
Photo 3 (L to R) T. Bohrer (as Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Elliot F. Fox (as Sir Toby Belch), James Heath (as Antonio), and Olivia Choma (as Viola)
T. Bohrer (Sir Andrew Aguecheek)
Mr. Bhorer has performed in no less than 27 productions with RCP since 1997 and was most recently at the Bowl as Leonato in “Much Ado About Nothing” in 2010For the past twelve years, more or less, he has appeared in the Landmark Society of Western New York Ghost Walk, recreating characters, mostly unsavory, from Rochester’s historic past. He has been Dr Tumblety – Rochester’s candidate for “the man who most likely was Jack the Ripper” – four times.A researcher and re-constructor of sixteenth- through nineteenth-century English country dance, his dance company performed for fifteen years at events in the Rochester area. At the time of the Rochester sesquicentennial celebration he was awarded a grant for research on dance and dancing masters in early Rochester. His theatrical activity also extends to puppetry. He is proprietor of and performer with T. Bohrer’s One-and-Only Punch and Judy show, a member of the international Punch and Judy Fellowship, and in 2012 participated in Punch’s 350th anniversary celebration at London’s Covent Garden. He has worked as Master Puppeteer with the BOCES enrichment program for middle and primary schools and is collector and constructor of puppets of various types.
Olivia Choma, (Viola)
Olivia is a Political Science major at Monroe Community College. After finishing her associates degree with MCC, she plans on transferring to a four year university to study International Relations. Olivia also works part time in the bakery at the Holt Road Wegmans. Her past credits with the Rochester Community Players include: ensemble in The Merchant of Venice, Ratcliff in Richard III, and Miranda in The Tempest.
Jillian Christensen (Stage Manager)
Jillian has been the resident Stage Manager for many RCP shows for many years and appeared as Lady Macduff in our 2010 production of “Macbeth”. She directed our Fall 2012 production of “The Tempest” to much acclaim and has Stage Managed and Directed for Method Machine, Geva Next Stage, and Out-Of-Pocket Productions. She would like to thank her husband John for his support and understanding.
Brad Craddock (Director)
Brad has recently been seen as Stephano in the Shakespeare Players production of the Tempest, Clarence in Richard III, Alcibiades in Timon of Athens, Gratiano in Merchant of Venice, Friar Francis in Much Ado About Nothing, and Osric in Hamlet. He directed the School of the Arts productions of ‘Night Mother, The Colored Museum, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, Medea, and the playwrights’ festival from 1999-2011. Previously he worked in the literary management departments of the Cleveland Playhouse and The Goodman Theatre, and helped found Theater Q in Chicago, IL. His original plays have been given productions and readings at Geva, The Mid-American Playhouse, The Athenian Players, the Red Herring Theater Company, Bowling Green State University and Ohio University. His play Pink Ribbons will be produced during the upcoming Fringe Festival in the fall. He holds a BFA in Creative Writing and Theater from Bowling Green University, an MSED in Secondary English from SUNY Brockport, and an MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University. He is the author of the comic novels Alice’s Misadventures Underground and The Curse of the Dark Woods. He has taught creative writing and English literature at the School of the Arts since 1998. This is his first directing position with the Rochester Shakespeare Players and would like to thank the cast and crew for their dedication and excellence with this project.
Eddie Coomber (Sebastian)
This is Eddie’s first Shakespeare Players production. He most recently appeared as Eddie in “Is Life Worth Living” for the Irish Players of Rochester.
Ken Dauer (Duke Orsino/Sound Designer)
Ken is a long time member of RCP and the Shakespeare Players and bears the distinction of appearing in EVERY Highland Park Bowl production. He also spearheads the demanding sound design at the Bowl. He most recently appeared in The Irish Players “Is Life Worth Living” and as Prospero in “The Tempest” at MuCCC last Fall.
Elliot F. Fox (Sir Toby Belch)
Elliot has been performing on stage and screen for nearly 20 years. Shakespeare was where he got his start and is a playwright he's always happy to come back to. Noted roles in the past include Benvolio in "Romeo and Juliet", Gratiano in "The Merchant of Venice", Achilles in "Troilus and Cressida", and nearly every role in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at some point or another. Outside of the Bard's work, Elliot has been seen on stage as Lazar Wolf in "A Fiddler on the Roof", Jack Jerome in "Brighton Beach Memoirs", Jack Palmer in "The Boys Next Door", and most recently as Sheriff Gilbeau in "August: Osage County". This is Elliot's first time working with the Rochester Community Players and he's very excited about performing at the Highland Bowl.
James Heath (Antonio/Set Designer/Fight Choreographer)
James has been involved with the Shakespeare players since 1998 and is happy to be making his 8th appearance in a Highland Park bowl production . Recently he has played Lucio in Measure for Measure, The Prosecutor in "Romance", Richard Sumner in "The Desk Set", Bradley in "Buried Child", Richmond in "Richard III" , Clarke in "none of the Above", and Bassanio in "Merchant of Venice". His most memorable role would be "Hamlet" staged here at the Highland bowl. When he is not involved in a show, you can find him white water kayaking or playing the piano.
Jones, Jeffery W. (Malvolio)
Twelfth Night Marks Jeff’s Sixth production with RCP and he has appeared in numerous productions in Indiana, Boston, and even Alaska. He most recently appeared as Richard in last year’s “Richard III” at the Highland Park Bowl. Jeff is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the English/Philosophy Department at Monroe Community College. Jeff's mother, Louise Jones, recently moved to Rochester and, when she's not writing her Will Jones, Amateur Detective series, is costuming Twelfth Night. Jeff is married to playwright and professor, Maria Brandt. He is also the proud father of eight-year-old cellist / mathematician / aspiring Quidditch player, William Jones.
Louise Jones (Costume Designer)
Louise fell in love with theatre when she was young. She got degrees in it, taught it, directed it, occasionally performed and witnessed theatre every single place she has lived. She gradually learned to love the Idea of Theatre: How it can show and teach us better than any book, and that there is nothing like the energy onstage when the actors and the words interact.
Recently relocating to Rochester from Fort Wayne, IN, Louise is happy to once again be working on a play with her son, Jeffery (Malvolio).
Louise also sincerely believes that Christopher Marlowe wrote all of William Shakespeare. Other than that, she leads a pretty normal life.
Daile Mitchum (Captain Valentine/ Valentine, officer)
This is Daile’s first
appearance onstage and with the Rochester Community Palyers. She was Phi Theta Kappa, Heald College in San
Jay O’Leary (Fabian & Curio)
Jay has been involved with theatre for most of her life. Recent productions include; Assistant Director of Fox on the Fairway, Colette in Defrost, Director of Songs For A New World, Director of The Zoo Story (SUNY Brockport Spring 2013), Assistant Stage Manager of Mauritius, Carly in Reasons to be Pretty (SUNY Brockport Fall 2012), Zlata in Necessary Targets and Chorus Leader in Trojan Women (MuCCC July 2012). A firm believer in theatre education, she has been an acting coach for several high school productions and is currently coaching a handful of young actors. Jay has trained with Geva Theatre’s Summer Academy and has vocal training from Hochstein School of Music. In 2008 she was the winner of the English Speaking Union’s Regional Shakespeare Competition. Jay would also like you to know that she loves cupcakes and her favorite instrument is the sax.
Stephanie Roosa (Olivia)
Stephanie is proud to be once again performing with RSP. Previously she played The Fool in RSP’s King Lear. Stephanie has also performed twice with the Rochester Irish Players, most recently as Annie in Is Life Worth Living and last year as Josie in A Moon for the Misbegotten in Dublin Ireland where she took home the Acting Irish Theatre Festival award for Best Actress. In 2011 Stephanie directed RSP’s summer production of Othello. Outside of RCP, Stephanie has worked with the following Rochester theatre groups: Arden Theatre Conservatory (As You Like It), Blackfriars Theatre (Crimes of the Heart, Noises Off, Party to Murder, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, & Elephant Man), Bread & Water Theatre (Thornton J. Wilder), Out of Pocket Productions (The Children’s Hour, Stop Kiss, Separation, Cupid & Psyche, & Love Letters), The Penfield Players (Brothers O’Toole, Communicating Doors, The Ladies of the Camellias, Echoes, Don’t Drink the Water, Peril on the High Sea, & Heartburn Hotel), Shipping Dock Theatre (Magic Fire, Exonerated, & Witness), and T.Y.K.E.S. (Sleeping Beauty & Alexander is Not…Going to Move). Stephanie is the Founder and Artistic Director of Out of Pocket Productions Theatre and has a BA in Theatre from Knox College, Galesburg IL. Currently Stephanie is putting her entrepreneurial skills to the test with the start her own professional and speaking company Believe to Succeed Training. Stephanie would like to send a call out to her very own Fool who continues to make her smile both onstage and off.
Sanford, Katharine (Maria)
Katharine is happy to be performing at the Highland Bowl again, after previously appearing here in Much Ado About Nothing in 2010. Other shows with the Rochester Community Players include Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice and The Tempest. She has also appeared recently with the Penfield Players as the heroine in their melodramas Egad! The Woman In White, and The Villain Took A Chip Shot. Other work includes Lysistrata as the title character, The Importance of Being Earnest as Cecily, Widowers Houses as Lickcheese, and several one acts with Black Sheep Theatre. She holds a BA in Theatre from William Smith College.
Jeff Siuda (Feste)
Jeff is thrilled to be returning to the Highland Bowl, where he has previously appeared in RCP productions of Richard III and Othello. Jeff has appeared on various stages across Rochester for more than ten years. Local credits include: Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter (Geva Theatre Center); 33 Variations, Rounding Third, Crimes of the Heart, The Pillowman, Noises Off, Epic Proportions, A Party to Murder, and Enchanted April (Blackfriars); Stories from the Fringe, Welcome to the Neighborhood, What’s Wrong with this Picture?, and Jewtopia (JCC Centerstage); Love Letters and Separation (Out of Pocket Productions); The Hobbit (Rochester Children’s Theatre); The Hostage (The Irish Players of Rochester); and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Don’t Drink the Water (The Penfield Players). Jeff lives in Irondequoit with his dog, cat, and lovely wife Stephanie, whose performance as Olivia you are certain to enjoy tonight.
Fall 2012: Julius Caesar (October 25 thru Nov. 9, 2013 at MuCCC Theater. For more information on school group reservations, call Peter Scribner at 585-261-6461