Shakespeare’s fantastical, epic odyssey Pericles closes the season at The Shakespeare Theatre
MADISON, NJ — The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey closes its 51st season with a sparkling and wintery new production of Shakespeare’s Pericles. Performances begin December 4th and continue through December 29th at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave. (at Lancaster Road) in Madison. Individual tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling the box office at 973-408-5600 or by visiting www.ShakespeareNJ.org. Performances are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Individual tickets range from $35 to $70; student rush tickets are available 30 minutes prior to curtain for $15.
Inspired by ancient Greek mythology, Pericles is Shakespeare’s grand “once upon a time” adventure tale with equal parts One Thousand and One Nights, Homer’s Odyssey, and the episodic romance of Shakespeare’s own The Tempest, Cymbeline, and The Winter’s Tale. Pericles carries audiences on a voyage across the ancient Mediterranean, encountering everyone from kings, goddesses, pirates, pimps, and magicians along the way. Pericles, Prince of Tyre, discovers a terrible secret in the court of Antioch, and flees, fearing for his life. Thus begins his long and perilous odyssey, filled with adventure, betrayal, joy, sorrow and ultimately, reunion, redemption and renewal.
The tale of this Prince’s adventures proved to be one of Shakespeare’s most popular works in earlier centuries. Renaissance dramatist Ben Jonson famously complained about the play’s lasting popularity, even twenty years after its premiere. Pericles was one of the most produced works when the English theaters reopened after the Restoration in late seventeenth century. Though authorship questions persist because the play did not appear in the First Folio, scholars agree that much of the play bears Shakespeare’s rich character development and linguistic dexterity.
Resident director Brian B. Crowe has revitalized Pericles with his shimmering wintery vision of icy seas, new worlds, and lost souls. In Crowe’s words, “What has made the play endure is the heart Shakespeare creates at the center of the story. What could, in less skilled hands, come across as melodrama or mere spectacle, Shakespeare spins into a glittering tapestry of hope, heartbreak, and ultimate triumph.”
As the hero Pericles, leading man Jon Barker returns to the Theatre after appearing as the charming Prince Mikhail in this summer’s Russian romance Tovarich. His Shakespeare Theatre credits include Henry IV, Part One, Othello, The Misanthrope, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, and The School For Wives among others. He has also appeared at the Terrace Theater in the Kennedy Center, the Paramount Theatre, 12 Miles West, and Luna Stage.
Company member Jacqueline Antaramian portrays the goddess Diana among other characters in her third season with the Theatre where she has performed as Emilia in Othello and Gertrude in Hamlet. She recently appeared on Broadway in Soul Doctor as well as in Master Class, Mary Stuart, Coram Boy, Julius Caesar (with Denzel Washington). She has appeared on television and film in Side Effects, Fringe, Lipstick Jungle, The Shining, and The Sopranos.
Shakespeare Theatre veteran John Hickok portrays Pericles’s noble deputy Helicanus. Previously, he has appeared at The Shakespeare Theatre as Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Polonius in Hamlet, and Gloucester in Henry VI: Blood and Roses. He has worked extensively regionally and on Broadway, playing opposite Frank Langella in Man and Boy at the Roundabout and originating the roles of Governor Slaton in Parade, Zoser in Aida, and Professor Bhaer in Little Women.
Corey Tazmania leads the Greek chorus as the poet Gower. At the Shakespeare Theatre, she performed in Oliver Twist, Macbeth, and The Tempest on the Main Stage and The Taming of the Shrew on the Outdoor Stage. Tazmania recently appeared in The Second World Congress of Free Artists (Camel Collective at ICI), As You Like It (Here and Now), and R.U.R. (Resonance Ensemble).
As Cleon, the conniving governor of Tarsus, Clark Scott Carmichael, returns for his eleventh season with the Theatre where he has appeared in The Liar, A Christmas Carol, All’s Well That Ends Well, Henry VI, That Scoundrel Scapin, Carnival!, among others. He appeared on Broadway as Jumper in Tom Stoppard’s Jumpers, directed by David Leveaux and starring Simon Russell Beale. His film and television credits include the hit series House of Cards, Boardwalk Empire, Campbell Scott’s Hamlet and the forthcoming films Sweet Lorraine starring Tatum O’Neal and Hard Sell starring Kristin Chenoweth.
Maria Tholl is Thasia, princess of Pentapolis and Pericles’s great love. Tholl returns to the Theatre this season after appearing as the spunky Celia in this summer’s As You Like It on the Outdoor Stage.
Kristie Dale Sanders is Thasia’s faithful nurse maid, Lychorida. At The Shakespeare Theatre, Sanders appeared in Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The School for Wives, King Lear, Measure for Measure, and The Rivals, among others. Her Broadway credits include Evita, Next Fall, Phantom of the Opera, Urinetown, and The Sound of Music.
Lindsey Kyler makes her Shakespeare Theatre debut as Pericles’s innocent but fiercely independent daughter Marina. She recently performed at Arena Stage in the world premiere of Legacy of Light and, regionally, the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. She is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.
Kelsey Burke, Andrew Criss, Aaron Gaines, John Greenbaum, Jordan Laroya, Amaya Murphy, Quentin McCuiston, Jensen Austria Olaya, Meg Kiley Smith, Jeremy Spears, and Jon Sprik appear as the many colorful inhabitants of play’s ancient Mediterranean world.
BRIAN B. CROWE is in his eighteenth season with The Shakespeare Theatre where he is currently the Director of Education. At the Theatre, he has directed Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, Timon of Athens, The School for Wives, The Winter’s Tale, Henry VI: Blood & Roses, Julius Caesar, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Tempest (2002) and The Comedy of Errors (2001) on the Main Stage, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2007) and The Taming of the Shrew (2006) on the Outdoor Stage and the 1999 world premiere of his original script, Wonderland (…And What Was Found There) on the Other Stage. The Star-Ledger called Mr. Crowe “one of the state’s most ingenious directors” for his work on Love’s Labour’s Lost and named him Best Director of a Drama (Julius Caesar and Wonderland) as well as one of three “theatre artists to look for in the new millennium.” He has also directed over twenty Shakespeare LIVE! touring productions including Nevermore (his original piece based on the writings and mysterious death of Edgar Allan Poe), As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, among others. Other directing credits include Red Herring and A Perfect Ganesh at 12 Miles West; Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest (DayTony recipient), Noises Off, the Midwest regional premiere of The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Patient A with The Human Race Theatre Company, where he is currently a resident artist; Somewhere in Between and Children of a Lesser God at Dayton Playhouse; The Destiny of Me for The Act-Up Theatre Festival; and Bent. Mr. Crowe was a Fellow at the 2000 International Salzburg Shakespeare Seminar.