Shakespeare’s great comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, highlights Aquila Theatre’s 25th anniversary season. Spying, subterfuge, deception, false identities, slander, manipulation, and love all take part in this wonderfully entertaining battle of the sexes.
Much Ado About Nothing, thought to have been written in 1598, belongs to a group of Shakespeare’s more mature romantic comedies. It is an exuberant, philosophical, and festive play excelling in combative wit, melodrama, and potential tragedy. Much Ado About Nothing is wonderfully intricate, flush with surprising twists and turns, and articulated in expert language.
Aquila Theatre’s original Much Ado opened in Boston and toured the United States in 2000/2001. It was performed in 60 American cities, ran for nearly a year including Off Broadway in New York, was performed at the White House for the President and First Lady, and was then revived at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2006. The New York Times described the show as “Outstanding . . . almost unbearable fun. . . gleefully engaging . . . and directed with inspiration.” The New Yorker hailed it as “Just plain cool . . . beautifully spoken, dramatically revealing, and crystalline in effect.” Aquila’s original Much Ado was a Critic’s Choice for Time Out, The Village Voice and The New York Times.
Lincoln Hudson trained at the Mountview Theatre School in London and has been a professional Actor for 25 years. His work includes: BADIN THE BOLD (Red Lion Theatre), JOSEPH & HIS AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (Really Useful Group), HOT STUFF (Bill Kenwright Ltd), HANCOCK's LAST HALF HOUR (Covent Garden Studio Theatre), THE GREEN PARAKEET/MACBETH (Greenwich Studio Theatre), THE ARCADIANS (Kings Head Theatre), LES MISERABLES/ OLIVER (Cameron MacKintosh Ltd), MY FAIR LADY (Royal National Theatre), FUNERAL GAMES (Drill hall, London), NORTHANGER ABBEY (Queens Theatre, Hornchurch), THE WIZARD OF OZ (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), DICK WHITTINGTON (Haverhill Theatre, Suffolk), THE INVISIBLE MAN/ TWELFTH NIGHT (Aquila Theatre US National Tour), MIRACLE ON 34th STREET (Pitlochry Repertory Theatre), LOVE (Cirque Du Soleil), SHAKESPEARES ROSES/ AMERICAN HAMLET (LV Shakespeare Theatre) and DARK LADY OF THE SONNETS (Royal National Theatre. Lincoln's TV & Film work includes SEX IN THE CITY (HBO), THE BILL (Carlton TV), UNIQUE SPECIES (Channel Five), CHARLIE (Midas Films), THE ALAN CLARK DIARIES (BBC TV) and MURPHYS LAW (Thames TV.) Lincoln is also a Writer and independent filmmaker; he has made four documentaries one of which SPEAK-EASY won the 2010 LA Film Awards. He is an immigrant from the UK and is incredibly proud to be an American Citizen.
Palmyra Mattner is a Syrian/German graduate from the conservatory program at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. She grew up on the Middle Eastern island of Bahrain where she made her first foray into the world of acting by participating in local theatre. Having played parts from Mary Adams in Amanda Whittington’s BE MY BABY to Penelope Toop in Philip King’s SEE HOW THEY RUN, she got a diverse taste of roles under her belt. During her time in New York, Palmyra has expanded her acting portfolio to include: Beatrice in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Ranevskaya in THE CHERRY ORCHARD, Zinaida in IVANOV, The Captain in COMMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA, Little Stone in EURIDYCE as well as multiple roles in THE WINTER'S TALE. She has also had the opportunity to perform self-written pieces with the Stella Adler Studio’s Outreach at the Phoenix House, as well as originating the role of ‘Mother’ in Fay Simpson’s adaptation of Raymond Carver’s SCOTTY.
Toby Miller's recent work includes: Disney's TARZAN (White Plains Performing Arts Center) and the world premiere of Sprat Artistic Ensemble's HENRI (Ryan Reid, writer/director, Smith Center for the Performing Arts). Toby also: took on the lead role in the first revival in 30 years of the Broadway production of Edward Gorey's DRACULA directed by John Shea at the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket (TWN), appeared as Geoffrey in the TWN production of John Guare's SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION and as Richard Hannay in THE 39 STEPS at the Sierra Repertory Theatre (CA) and Lees-McRae Theatre (NC). Other recent credits include Lanford Wilson's TALLEY'S FOLLY, directed by Marta Rainer and George Brant's ANY OTHER NAME, directed by Bryan Halperin. Other appearances include the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and the Stage Door (FL). New York credits include Jones in Sam Graber's THE FUTURE OF OFFICE SEX at the Abingdon Theatre Company. Toby recently completed the title role in the short film THE ARNOLD CROMBECK STORY based on a story by Patrick McGrath. He also voiced Trex in Ward and Mark Sutton's multi-episode cartoon, THE ADVENTURES OF TREX, BLIND DATER. Follow his work at tckm1.info.
Desiree Sanchez, Director, has directed 2015/2016 season’s production of Romeo & Juliet and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and the past productions of The Tempest and Wuthering Heights for the 2014/2015 season, and the past productions ofTwelfth Night and Fahrenheit 451 for the 2013/2014 season, A Female Philoctetes at BAM Fisher’s Hillman Studio, The Taming of the Shrew and Cyrano de Bergerac for the 2012/13 season, Herakles at BAM in March 2013 and the Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece and the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation in Athens in July, 2012, Macbeth and The Importance of Being Earnest for the 2011/12 season, and Six Characters in Search of an Author for the 2010/11 season; created movement for Aquila’s A Very Naughty Greek Play(Aristophanes’ Wasps), Catch-22, Julius Caesar, The Iliad: Book One and The Comedy of Errors; performed in The Iliad: Book One at The Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece; and was the lead teaching artist for Aquila’s Shakespeare Leaders program in Harlem. Desiree had a twenty-year dancing career including working as a principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet where she worked under the direction of numerous directors and choreographers that included Francesca Zambello, Mark Lamos, Doug Varone, John Dexter, Franco Zeffirelli, Julie Taymor, and Andrei Konchalovsky. Other companies and choreographers she has worked with include the Boston Ballet, Neo Labos Dancetheatre, Donald Bryd/The Group, Sean Curran, Gelsey Kirkland, Bill T. Jones, Heidy Latsky, Eun Me Ahn in Korea, and Robert La Fosse. She has also collaborated with the Winnipeg Contemporary Dance Company of Canada and the Delfos Danza Compania of Mexico. She performed for the Papermill Playhouse as a featured dancer in the musicals, Carousel and The King and I. She has also taught at Long Island University, as a visiting associate professor of dance, Elliot Feld’s Ballet Tech and has a Certificate of Movement Therapy from The New School and is a proud graduate of Walnut Hill School of the Arts.
The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest presents Shakespeare in American Communities. Aquila Theatre is one of 40 professional theater companies selected to participate in bringing the finest productions of Shakespeare to middle- and high-school students in communities across the United States. This is the 13th year of this national program, the largest tour of Shakespeare in American History.
For more information, visit www.shakespeareinamericancommunities.org.