PROGRAM

E258CF8D-AD18-49BB-BD1F-F02384F6CAC0.JPG
E06581C1-CF6A-45BC-9FEC-F133939AD4CE.JPG

CAST

Alaina Whidby

Conor Lovell

Katie Akers

Kelsi Fay

Linda Rabin Hammell

Princess Beyoncé Jones

& CREATIVES

David Gram – Director *

Rachel Corp – Production Stage Manager

Leslie Littell – Costume Designer

Kerro Knox 3 – Lighting Designer

Terry Herald – Sound Designer

Anthony Guest – Fight Choreographer

Kimmie Parker – Poster Designer

Kristina Riegle – Production Manager/Vocal Coach

SDC_Program_Logo_Director-1.jpg

Thine own true knight,
By day or night,
Or any kind of light,
With all his might
For thee to fight,
John Falstaff.

SPECIAL THANKS

City of Auburn Hills

Fractured Atlas

Next Step Broadway

Oakland University School of Music, Theatre, and Dance

Panera – S. Adams, Rochester Hills

Rachel and Rob Arbaugh

Riegle Voice Studio

Rochester University

Sage Hegdal

Witty Fools: Scene Description and Cast

I)            Prologue (from A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

The Clowns discover Shakespeare. Linda welcomes us.
Cast: Full Company
II)            A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Synopsis: The Rude Mechanicals gather for a first rehearsal, where they are assigned their roles.
Cast: Linda (Quince), Kelsi (Bottom), Conor (Flute), Katie (Starveling), Princess (Snout), Alaina
(Snug)
III)           Much Ado About Nothing
Synopsis: Benedick and Beatrice share their feelings about ‘love’ and why they desire to remain single.
Cast: Conor (Benedick) and Princess (Beatrice)
IV)           Twelfth Night
Synopsis: Having disguised herself as a boy, Viola finds herself in the middle of a love knot.
Cast: Alaina (Viola)
V)            Love’s Labour’s Lost
Synopsis: Berowne and Rosaline reconnect at a masquerade. After some flirtatious banter where they unwittingly ‘drop their masks’, Rosaline abruptly departs. Berowne enlists the distracted clown Costard to deliver a message to Rosaline.
Cast: Conor (Berowne), Katie (Rosaline), Alaina (Costard)
VI)           Two Noble Kinsmen
Synopsis: The Jailer’s Daughter laments falling for a man her father has locked up and decides to take matters into her own hands.
Cast: Princess (Jailer’s Daughter)
VII)          King Lear
Synopsis: The Fool attempts to cheer up a despondent Lear, who is grieving a broken relationship with his daughters.
Cast: Linda (Lear), Kelsi (Fool)
VIII)         The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Synopsis: Having run away from home, Lance chastises his dog Crabbe for not being emotionally supportive of his decision.
Cast: Conor (Lance), Gershwin (Crabbe)
IX)            The Merry Wives of Windsor
Synopsis: Mistress Page and Mistress Ford receive similar love letters from a would-be-suitor. They conspire to humiliate the roguish knight.
Cast: Alaina (Mistress Page), Princess (Mistress Ford), Kelsi (Sir John Falstaff), Conor and Katie (The Hired Help)
X)             The Winter’s Tale
Synopsis: Autolycus, a knavish and down on his luck thief, spots a would-be ‘mark.’
Cast: Linda (Autolycus), Conor (Clown)
XI)            The Comedy of Errors
Synopsis: After arriving in Ephesus, Antipholus of Syracuse asks his servant Dromio to bring a purse of money back to their hotel for safekeeping. Dromio’s long lost twin, also named Dromio (who happens to work for Antipholus’ long-lost twin…also named Antipholus) arrives to implore Antipholus to come home to his wife Adriana. Confusion ensues…leading to more confusion.
Cast: Princess (Antipholus of Syracuse), Kelsi (Dromio of Syracuse/Dromio of Ephesus), Katie (Adriana), Alaina (Luciana)
XII)           The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Synopsis: Housemaid Lucetta delivers a love letter to Julia. Julia’s paranoia leads her to dismiss, rip up and subsequently try and put the pieces of the letter back together.
Cast: Princess (Lucetta), Katie (Julia)
XIII)          A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Synopsis: The Rude Mechanicals meet to rehearse “Pyramus and Thisbe.” One of their castmates is mysteriously transformed.
Cast: Linda (Quince), Kelsi (Bottom), Conor (Flute), Katie (Starveling), Princess (Snout), Alaina
(Snug)
XIV)          The Tempest
Synopsis: After thinking each was lost following a shipwreck, Trinculo and Stephano (with a new-found friend) happily (and drunkenly) celebrate their survival!
Cast: Katie (Trinculo), Alaina (Stephano), Kelsi (Bottom)
XV)           As You Like It
Synopsis: Jaques reports back about a life-altering encounter with a fool in the woods. Touchstone and Audrey negotiate the next steps in their courtship, from differing perspectives.
Cast: Linda (Jaques), Conor (Touchstone), Alaina (Audrey)
XVI)         The Birth of Merlin (attributed to William Shakespeare and William Rowley)
Synopsis: Clown and their sister Joan attempt to find the nameless man who impregnated Joan.
Cast: Clown (Kelsi), Princess (Joan), Conor (Prince)
XVII)        As You Like It
Synopsis: Phoebe weighs the pros and cons of a man with whom she recently encountered.
Cast: Katie (Phoebe)
XVIII)       A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Synopsis: Reunited, the Rude Mechanicals perform their rendition of “Pyramus and Thisbe.”
Cast: Linda (Quince), Kelsi (Bottom), Conor (Flute), Katie (Starveling), Princess (Snout), Alaina
(Snug)
XIX)         Finale (from As You Like It)
Synopsis: Linda and the Clowns take us home.

Cast: Full Company

A Note from the Producing Artistic Director

Huzzah!

 

On behalf of Kristina and myself, I want to welcome you all to Renaissance City Repertory Theatre’s inaugural production: Witty Fools & Foolish Wits: A Comedic Romp with Shakespeare’s Clowns, Knaves, Lovers, and Jesters. Drawing on scenes and monologues from twelve of Shakespeare’s plays (and one that has been ‘attributed’ to him and his contemporary William Rowley), we have assembled a collage of comic pieces featuring an assortment of characters from Shakespeare’s canon.

 

Clowns remind us to look at the world with fresh eyes. They invite us to embrace our inner child and to find a sense of play in life. They can make us laugh in one moment and cry in the next. Observing life through their red nose is one of the best ways to hold up the proverbial mirror to humanity’s flaws, follies, and foibles. As we try and make sense of a fractured world (both here at home and abroad), I truly believe that clowns speak a universal language that has the power to unite us

 

RC Rep’s artistic mission is to produce contemporary and classical work from the international theatre canon, and to nurture new work that speaks to current issues which impact the global community. Our goal is to offer our audiences affordable ticket prices so that we may all gather and share in the joyous and communal act of theatrical storytelling. If you are interested in learning more about the company, working with us, making a tax-deductible donation, or would like to be kept in the loop about upcoming productions, please check us out at: www.rcrep.org.

 

A huge thank you to RC Rep’s Board of Directors, our intrepid cast, our wonderfully resourceful production team, and all of you for helping us launch Renaissance City Repertory Theatre.

 

We look forward to the artistic adventures that lie ahead.
 

Warmly,
David Gram
Producing Artistic Director

AlainaWhidby2021.jpg

Alaina Whidby

Alaina Whidby is a Michigan born actress and director. She graduated from Oakland University with a BFA in Musical Theatre in 2020. She has been working in the Detroit area, most recently portraying the role of Mercutio in Shakespeare Royal Oak's production of Romeo and Juliet. It is a Shakespeare kind of a summer for Alaina. She is very excited and honored to be working with the wonderful team at Renaissance City Rep in their very first production. She would like to thank David and Kristina for being the wonderful humans that they are and hopes you enjoy the show!

ARTIST BIOS

Conor Lovell

Conor Lovell is a 24 year old who attended Oakland University to pursue his acting degree. Shortly after, he found his love for animal training. Other moments on stage include James in Miracle Worker at Birmingham Village players, Max in Stitches at Lakeland Players and multiple shows at Avondale high. He is ecstatic to be working with his OU alumni once again to bring a fun evening to the community!

Conor Lovell Headshot.jpeg
Katie Akers Headshot #2.JPG

Katie Akers

Katie Akers is so excited to be a part of the first show with RC Rep! Katie is a Detroit based theatre performer, after graduating with her degree from WSU in 2019. Previous favorite roles include Hermia and Little Red. When not on stage, you can catch Katie teaching vocal lessons or watching the newest true crime show. Thank you to my family, friends, and Tom for their amazing support, and God for his continual blessings. 

Kelsi Fay

Kelsi is a metro-Detroit based actor who has appeared on stages such as The Monsterbox (Stupid F***ing Bird) and The Dio (Curious Incident...) and is excited to take the stage with Renaissance City Rep. When Kelsi is not onstage, Kelsi can be found teaching the youth of tomorrow through theatre camps and substitute teaching. Favorite past roles include Janis (Hands on a Hardbody) and Penny Pennywise (Urinetown). Have a good show!

KelsiFay Headshot 2022.jpeg
Linda Rabin Hammell 0910 compressed.jpeg

Linda Rabin Hammell

Linda has appeared on stages from hometown Philly to Cambridge MA to Brooklyn NY, and in Michigan at such venues as Open Book, Detroit Rep, The Ringwald, Matrix, Performance Network, Jewish Ensemble, The New Theatre Project, Blackbird, Penny Seats, Abreact, Puzzle Piece, The Dio, Shakespeare Royal Oak, and Shakespeare West. She welcomes everyone to Renaissance City Rep’s inaugural show, and hopes RCRT becomes YOUR family’s new tradition!

Princess Beyoncé Jones

Princess Beyoncé Jones is excited to be a part of this witty production with a beyond wonderful ensemble! This is her first production with Renaissance City Repertory Theatre. Past credits include Apothecary/Prologue in Romeo+Juliet and Mrs. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility. Princess is pursuing a BFA in Acting at Oakland University. She gives thanks to her loved ones and the company of Witty Fools & Foolish Wits!

Princess Jones_Headshot.png

David Gram – Producing Artistic Director/Stage Director

David received his BFA in Theatre from Simon Fraser University, and both his MFA in Directing and a Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration from Boston University. In addition to teaching and directing at a number of universities and colleges, David is a freelance acting coach who works with actors and opera singers on audition and performance techniques - with an emphasis on monologue and song preparation and interpretation. He also gives master classes in red nose clowning, neutral and character mask work. www.david-gram.com

Leslie Littell – Costume Designer

Costume Design Concept and Facilitator. No joking around! Leslie is serious about creating
character through costume and has worked for Meadow Brook Theatre Ensemble and Plowshares
Theatre locally as well as serving as Costumer for Eisenhower Dance Detroit for over ten years. Formerly
the Costume Specialist at Oakland University for the Dept. of Music, Theatre & Dance, she hails from the
east coast and her work has also been seen west of the Rockies!

Kerro Knox 3 – Lighting Designer

Kerro Knox 3 is the 9th great grandson of Stephen Hopkins who was shipwrecked off Bermuda in 1609 and some say is the model for Stephano in The Tempest.  Enjoy.

Terry Herald – Sound Designer

Terry Herald is a composer, arranger, conductor, musical director, who has worked in the Detroit scene for fifty years. He has scored numerous film and TV projects, served as arranger and conductor for artists including Earl Klugh and Alexander Zonjic, and received commissions from numerous orchestras and arts organizations. Herald’s accomplishments include commissions for the Detroit Symphony’s Civic Orchestra, the film score for Air Force One, the Planes and the Presidents, the Award Winning Journey to Justice, and Nickelodeon’s Mr. Wizard’s Teacher to Teacher series.

Anthony Guest – Fight Choreographer

Anthony currently serves as Associate Professor of Theatre at Oakland University and has directed, fight directed, or performed in over 100 productions. His most recent credits include the Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol at Meadow Brook Theatre and fight directing for Fenton Shakespeare Festival. Tony has choreographed fights for Shakespeare in Detroit, Mill Mountain Theatre (Roanoke, VA), Community Circle Theatre (Grand Rapids, MI), and The University of Michigan-Flint.

Kristina Riegle – Vocal Coach

Kristina owns and operates Riegle Voice Studio, a private voice and acting studio operating in Birmingham MI. She is a voice and speech instructor at Rochester University, and has taught voice and musical theatre at Wayne State University. Kristina is also a Standardized Patient (SP) and SP Trainer with Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, where she helps medical students hone their communication skills and physical examination techniques. For more information about Kristina, please visit her website: www.kristinariegle.com.

NSB WFFW.jpg
RVS ad for WFFW.jpeg