Knoxville, TN - The course of love definitely does NOT run smooth when William Shakespeare’s family-friendly comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” plays on the Clarence Brown Theatre Mainstage February 19 through March 8, 2015. An Open Captioned performance will take place on Sunday, February 22 at 2:00 pm. A special “Behind the Scenes” discussion about how the design process evolved will take place on Sunday, February 22 immediately following the matinee. A talkback with the actors will take place following the March 1 matinee. And a “Deaf Night at the Theatre” performance will take place on March 3 at 7:30 pm. Free and convenient parking is available in the McClung Tower Garage on Volunteer Boulevard. The production is sponsored by Schaad Companies, UT Medical Center, Stowers Machinery and the Tennessee Arts Commission.  Media sponsors include the Knoxville News Sentinel, WUOT, B97.5, and WUTK.

Young heroine Hermia vows to escape her father's mandate of marriage and runs away with her lover to an enchanted forest where they find themselves in the middle of a fairy feud.   Also in the forest are a cast of actors rehearsing a play to be performed at the Duke’s wedding. While they are rehearsing, one of the fairies, Puck, transforms the head of one of the actors into that of a donkey. When the Fairy Queen, Titania, falls instantly in love with him, comedy and mayhem ensue.

“I never tire of the charming inventiveness of this story and its colorful, multifaceted view of one of life’s great mysteries—Love. Nor do I tire of the antics of the array of eclectic characters that inhabit the play—a duke, an Amazon, fairies of various ranks, lovers and mechanicals,” said Director John Sipes.  “But the strongest, and most personal appeal for me, is how this story so accurately, so poetically, and so rhapsodically, depicts Love, the vexations of wooing, and both the travails and triumphs of relationship with another.”

John Sipes (Director) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Tennessee. Before joining the UT faculty, he was a Director and the Resident Movement Director for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 15 seasons. Prior to his residency at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he was a Director and Movement Director for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival for 12 seasons, and served as the Festival’s Artistic Director for five seasons. Recent CBT directing credits include: “The Whipping Man,” “Red,””Fuddy Meers,” and “Woyzeck,” among others.  He also has directed in regional theaters across the country. In 2011, he received the College of Arts and Sciences Award for New Research, Scholarly, and Creative Projects in the Arts and Humanities.

The cast is comprised of several visiting guest artists, UT Theatre faculty and resident artists, community artists and UT Theatre graduate and undergraduate students.

Amanda Catania (Helena) is a visiting guest artist from Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  She has performed in such Chicago theatres as the Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater in the Park, and Shakespeare Project of Chicago.  Regional theatre credits include the Cardinal Stage Company, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Aquila Theatre Company.  She received a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Grant Goodman (Oberon/Theseus) is a visiting guest artist originally from Indiana and a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has performed Off-Broadway and regionally in theatres such as the Hartford Stage, Yale Repertory, Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.), Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Old Globe (San Diego), Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Milwaukee Repertory, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and many others. Film and television credits include: “As the World Turns,” “Sex and the City” and “Sleepers.”

David Kortemeier (Nick Bottom) is a visiting guest artist who performs regularly at the CBT. Some CBT credits include: “A Christmas Carol,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Moonlight & Magnolias,” “The Music Man,” “Man of La Mancha,” “Amadeus,” “Oedipus the King,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” and “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” His work also has been seen at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, the Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Cleveland, Drury Lane Theatre and Noble Fool Theatricals in Chicago as well as 13 seasons with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Bloomington. He holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Louisville.

Visiting guest artist Abbey Siegworth (Hippolyta/Titania) is originally from Chicago and now lives in Brooklyn. She has performed at the Dallas Theater Center, American Players Theatre, and in Milwaukee and Chicago theaters.  She earned a BFA from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and an MFA from Southern Methodist University.

UT Theatre resident artists and staff include: David Brian Alley (Tom Snout); Neil Friedman (Egeus/Francis Flute); Carol Mayo Jenkins (Philostrate); and Terry Weber (Peter Quince). Community actors include Jacques DuRand (Peter Quince Understudy); Anna Resch (Changeling Child); and Donald Thorne (Snug/Lion).

UT Theatre MFA candidates and undergraduates include: Melissa David (Peaseblossom); Andrew Drake (Moth); Brian Gligor (Demetrius); Kyle Maxwell (Puck); Lindsay Nance (Hermia); Cynthia Anne Roser (Cobweb); Steve Sherman (Lysander); Ben Bean (Oberon Fairy 1); Shea Madison (Mustardseed); Leo LaCamera (Starveling); Maddie Poeta (Changeling Child) and Chris Ward (Oberon Fairy/Attendant.

The creative team for this production includes:  UT Theatre faculty member Marianne Custer (Costume Designer); visiting guest designer John Ambrosone (Lighting Designer); visiting guest designer Curtis Craig (Sound Designer/Composer); UT Theatre faculty member Christopher Pickart (Scenic Designer); UT Theatre faculty member Katy Wolfe Zahn (Musical Director/Choreographer); UT Theatre faculty member Abigail Langham (Voice Coach), and UT Theatre MFA candidate Kent McQuilkin (Projections Coordinator).
 
A Preview for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is Thursday, February 19 followed by Opening Night Friday, February 20. The show runs through March 8. UT faculty/staff, senior citizens, military personnel, children and students receive discounts. For tickets, call the Clarence Brown Theatre box office at 865-974-5161, Tickets Unlimited at 865-656-4444 or order online 24/7 at www.clarencebrowntheatre.com      
         
With a dual mission to train the next generation of theatre artists and to provide top quality professional theatre, like that of a teaching hospital, the Clarence Brown Theatre at the University of Tennessee Knoxville is one of only 12 academic LORT (League of Resident Theatre) institutions in the nation.  Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Calvin MacLean and Managing Director David B. Byrd, the CBT season runs from August through May and features eight productions ranging from musicals to drama. 

Productions remaining in the 2014-2015 Season include “A Shayna Maidel” and “The Threepenny Opera.”
For more information, tickets or accessibility accommodation requests including Open Captioning, ASL, and assistive technologies, please call the CBT Box Office at 865-974-5161 or visit us online at clarencebrowntheatre.com/access. Stay Connected to the Clarence Brown Theatre on Facebook (Clarence Brown Theatre), follow us on Twitter (@ClarenceBrown) and view Clarence Brown videos on YouTube (Clarence Bro).

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