DATES, TIMES & LOCATION CAST PRESS RELEASE PHOTOS
For Immediate Release
First Odyssey Theatre / Circus Theatricals co-production of the century is William Shakespeare's Hamlet
Los Angeles, March 1, 2000 - Circus Theatricals announced today that the first Odyssey Theatre/Circus Theatricals co-production of the new century will be William Shakespeare's, “Hamlet.” Directed by Casey Biggs, Jack Stehlin is set to play the title role. The play opens April 15th, and is part of the Odyssey theatre’s subscription season.
Hamlet, Shakespeare's timeless tale of murder, love & revenge, unfolds in a post-modernist setting. This circa 1600 classic tells the tale of Hamlet, prince of Denmark. Racked with grief over his father's death and by his mother's hasty marriage to his uncle Claudius, Hamlet is incited to revenge the murder of his father (whom he believes was killed by his uncle, now the new king).
The cast also includes veteran LA actor Neil Vipond (recently nominated for an L.A Drama Critics Circle award) as Polonius, Louis Lotorto (most recently seen as Vince in Buried Child at A Noise Within) as Laertes, Steve Irish as Claudius, British stage actress Jill Gascoine as Gertrude, and newcomer Patricia Agenheim as Opheilia. The cast is rounded out with Jack Kissell, Dean Nichols, Dan Gibbons, Andy Prosky, Chet Grissom, and Jerry Goble.
Set design is by J. Gregor Veneklausen, and costumes by Laura Alvarez. Associate director is John Lantz.
In preparing to do the play, Biggs and Stehlin cut it down to around two hours. "It's been a couple of years since Casey Biggs and I worked together," says Jack Stehlin, and when he presented the idea of doing 'Hamlet,' I thought that it was great idea. The themes addressed in the play speak clearly in the beginning of this new century." Biggs and Stehlin were school mates at The Juilliard School, and the two actor-directors played opposite each other in the critically acclaimed Los Angeles premiere of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow at The Odyssey Theatre. Biggs also directed Circus Theatricals' award-winning production of Hedda Gabler at the Hudson Guild.
Casey Biggs (director) has been nominated for five Helen Hayes Awards. He directed the award-winning Hedda Gabler for Circus Theatricals (Hudson Guild) in 1998. Other directing credits include directing Lynne Redgrave in An Evening of Shakespeare, Stacey Keach in his Macbeth, and co-wrote and directed Prince of Players about the life of Edwin Booth. As an actor, he has appeared in Exceptions and the Rule directed by Jerome Robbins at the Lincoln Center and The Cradle will Rock directed by John Houseman at American Place Theatre and The Old Vic in London.
Off Broadway credits include The Country Wife directed by Garland Wright, Twelfth Night directed by Michael Langham, and Dubliners directed by Paul Walker. At Arena Stage in Washington, D.C, credits include All the King’s Men, Happy End, Summer and Smoke, The Taming of the Shrew, and George Bailey in the premiere of the musical version of It’s a Wonderful Life. He also played Elmer Gantry in the premiere of the musical Gantry. He premiered David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow in Los Angeles with Jack Stehlin at the Odyssey Theatre. At the Mark Taper Forum he played Marc Antony in Julius Caesar and Jack Burden in the world premiere of Hope of the Heart directed by Adrian Hall. This past summer he played Stanley Kowalski with Dixie Carter in A Streetcar Named Desire in Memphis, played in David Mamet’s Oleanna directed by Stan Wojewodski at the Yale Repertory Theatre.
Film and Television credits include: “Snoops” (ABC), four seasons on “Star Trek; Deep Space Nine,” “Ali,” the upcoming film “Auggie Rose,” “The Price of Freedom,” William Travis in the Imax film “Alamo,” “The Pelican Brief,” The ABC series “S.T.A.T.,” “Ryan’s Hope,” “Appearance,” “Line of Fire,” and Brave New World.”
He is a founding member of two theatre companies; Dearknows in New York City, and Interact in Los Angeles. He toured with the Acting Company founded by John Houseman and is a graduate of The Juilliard School.
Jack Stehlin (Hamlet, Artistic Director of Circus Theatricals) has won numerous Back Stage West Garland, Drama-Logue, and LA Weekly awards. He last directed and played the title role in The Cheats of Scapin, at the Odyssey Theatre. Other L.A. stage credits include ‘Jim’ in the world premiere of The Job produced by Circus Theatricals at the Hudson Guild Theatre and Off-Broadway at the WPA; the Los Angeles premiere of Speed-the-Plow (Odyssey), Twelfth Night ,Tartuffe,The Misanthrope (Hudson), Tennessee William’s The Kingdom of Earth at The Hudson, Horton Foote’s West Coast premiere of The Habitation of Dragons (Zephyr Theatre)
In New York, Mr. Stehlin played Stanley on Broadway in Brighton Beach Memoirs directed by Gene Saks. Off-Broadway, in New York, he directed and played Macbeth at (C.S.C.) the Classic Stage Company. He has made numerous appearances at the New York Shakespeare Festival, including Steven Berkoff’s production of Richard II, Henry V with Kevin Kline, Casanova by Constance Congdon, directed by Michael Greif, Henry IV, Part I with Mandy Patinkin, directed by Des McAnuff; Julius Caesar with Al Pacino and Martin Sheen, Timon of Athens directed by Brian Kulick, Richard Foreman’s Don Juan, and Romeo and Juliet directed by Les Waters. Stehlin has also appeared at CSC, Primary Stages, O’Neill Playwright’s Conference, American Repertory Theater, Hartford Stage, Philadelphia Drama Guild, Alley Theatre, Indiana Rep, Milwaukee Rep, Paper Mill Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Missouri Rep, and Stamford Center of the Arts (again with Al Pacino in Salome).
TV Film credits include the “Judging Amy,” “ER,” “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,” “Get Real,” the NBC M.O.W. “Blackout,” “N.Y.P.D. Blue,” (ABC)“ The Practice,”“General Hospital,” and “The Client” His voice can be heard regularly on A&E, including the voice of John Wilkes Booth on “The John Wilkes Booth Story.”
He is an alumnus of John Houseman’s The Acting Company and a graduate of The Juilliard School.
Circus Theatricals, (formerly The Hudson Guild) an acting company under the leadership of husband and wife team Jack Stehlin and Jeannine Welles (who serve as Artistic Director and Producing Director respectively) was founded in New York by Jack Stehlin in 1983. The company was named in honor of Stehlin's family, who come from a long line of Circus performers in the U.K. and Australia, and with the Ringling Bros. here in the United States).
The first of many productions was Uncle Vanya with Kevin Spacey, followed by celebrated productions of Danton’s Death at the RAPP Arts Center, and MacBeth at the Classic Stage Company (CSC). In Los Angeles, Jack Stehlin partnered with Jeannine Welles to form the new Circus Theatricals. Together they have produced over 26 plays in a period of five years, including The Cheats of Scapin, The Job, which garnered critics choice LA Times, three Garland Awards, Three LA Weekly Nominations , and won the LA Drama Critics Circle Ted Schmit Award for ‘World Premiere of an Outstanding New Play’. The Circus Theatricals production of The Job subsequently enjoyed a critically successful run Off-Broadway at the acclaimed WPA Theatre. Other productions included Peer Gynt, Twelfth Night, a celebrated production of Tartuffe, Hedda Gabler (Critic’s Choice in the LA Times and was singled out by the LA Times as one of the ten best productions of the year, garnered four Drama-Logue Awards for Production, Direction, Performance, and Costumes, and received a Garland award for Costumes), Antigone (Drama-Logue award for “Production”), The Maids, The Stronger, Leftovers, The Lower Depths, The Misanthrope (Drama-Logue Awards for Directing and Acting), Lysistrata, Denied, Tryst and Shout, six one act festivals, and co-produced Gravity Shoes with John Bunzel (LA Weekly Award for Playwriting).
June 1999, Circus Theatricals began it’s residency at The Odyssey Theatre, where they will co-produce two plays a season.
THE ODYSSEY THEATRE ENSEMBLE
The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble is Los Angeles`s oldest 99-seat theatre complex. Founded in 1969 by Artistic Director Ron Sossi, the Odyssey is recognized nationally and internationally as Los Angeles` flagship innovation-oriented theatre and presenter of international work. Originally located in a Hollywood storefront, in 1973 the Odyssey moved to a larger venue in West Los Angeles where, beginning with one 99-seat theatre, it gradually expanded to a 3-theatre complex.
When the Odyssey`s home of sixteen years was sold in 1989, the city of Los Angeles made available an industrial site which was renovated into a 3-theatre cultural oasis on Sepulveda Blvd. between Santa Monica & Olympic.
Today , both critically and in public perception, the Odyssey is considered one of Los Angeles` most important theatres at any level producing such acclaimed productions as Mary Barnes, Kvetch, Awake & Sing, Chicago Conspiracy Trial, Edmond, McCarthy, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Tracers, Master Class and a larger body of work by Bertolt Brecht. The Odyssey has sent a number of its original productions to New York, Chicago, other American cities, and Europe.
HAMLET DATES, TIMES, INFO.
Ron Sossi and Jeannine Welles present William Shakespeare's Hamlet. An Odyssey Theatre Ensemble/Circus Theatricals co-production. Hamlet opens Saturday April 15th, and plays Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8PM, Sundays at 7PM, for eight weeks.The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 South Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles. Valet parking, air-conditioned theatre. Tickets: (310) 477-2055. Running time: approximately 2 hours, 15 minutes.
STUDENT, GROUP RATES AVAILABLE!
email: Jeannine Welles
Odyssey Theatre press contact: Jerry Charleson (310) 477-2055
PATRICIA AGEHEIM as Ophelia and JACK STEHLIN as Hamlet
JILL GASCOINE as Gertrude and JACK STEHLIN as Hamlet
The CAST / CREW
||JEANNINE WELLES & RON SOSSI
||J. GREGOR VENEKLASEN
|the Player King, Gravedigger
c/o The Odyssey Theatre
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
West Los Angeles, CA 90025
"DON’T MISS THIS IF YOU CARE ABOUT SHAKESPEARE (OR EVEN IF YOU DON’T!)"
Pick of the Week! LA Weekly
“Thoughtful, vividly theatrical, visceral and emotionally moving.
It is also splendidly entertaining!!”
Critics Choice! Back Stage West/Drama-Logue
Be There! Los Angeles Times
“Stehlin is one of our very best actors, unpredictable, dangerous, brimming with energy. He’s an electrified presence on the stage, and his portrayal gives us a fresh look at the not-so-melancholy Dane!!
New Times LA
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