THE Pearl Theatre Company (J.R. Sullivan, Artistic Director) has announced the company for Shakespeare's drama, RICHARD II. The production, beginning November 8 at New York City Center Stage II, will be directed by J.R. Sullivan and features Sean McNall as Richard II. The twelve member cast features both members of The Resident Acting Company and guest artists who will portray over 30 characters.
Including McNall, RICHARD II features six members of The Pearl's Resident Acting Company. Jolly Abraham (the Queen and Henry Percy) has been a Pearl company member since 2008, and can currently be seen in The Bald Soprano as Mrs. Martin. Abraham has also been on Broadway in Coram Boy and Bombay Dreams. Robin Leslie Brown (Duchess of Gloucester and Green), a founding member of the ensemble, can also be seen in The Pearl's The Bald Soprano as Mary. Dominic Cuskern (Lord Marshal), a member since 2000, appeared last year in The Pearl's The Misanthrope, Rosmerholm, and The Sneeze. Chris Mixon (Earl of Northumberland), the newest Pearl company member, appeared in last season's Wittenberg and The Sneeze. He has been seen regionally at the Denver Center Theatre Company, Two River Theater Company, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. A company member since 1997, Carol Schultz (Duchess of York) was last seen in The Subject Was Roses in 2010. Her other New York credits include Lincoln Center Theater, Minetta Lane Theatre, and Classic Stage Company.
Joining The Pearl's company members are six guest actors, all making their debut with the company. Wayne T. Carr (Duke of Aumerle) has been featured at Hudson Valley Shakespeare, The Goodman Theatre, Indiana Repertory and Milwaukee Repertory. Carr has made appearances on "The Wire" and "Chappelle's Show." Bill Christ (Edmund, Duke of York) has been seen on Broadway in Born Yesterday and Inherit The Wind. He has also appeared off-Broadway at Classic Stage Company, and on television in HBO's "The Laramie Project." Grant Goodman's (Henry Bolingbroke) New York credits include King Lear and The Iliad at Lincoln Center. His other credits include Utah Shakespeare Festival, and television's "As the World Turns" and "Sex and the City." Simon Kendall (Bushy) has been featured in productions around the country including the title role of Vincent in Brixton at Cleveland Playhouse. Dan Kremer (John of Gaunt) has extensive national credits including Utah Shakespeare Festival, Yale Rep, Seattle Rep, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Rounding out the cast is Charlie Francis Murphy (Bagot), recently seen in Shakespeare in the Park's productions of All's Well that Ends Well and Measure for Measure.
William Shakespeare's great tale charts the fall of one leader and the meteoric rise of another with the crown of England as the prize and the future of the nation perilously in the balance. Richard II is a powerful and provocative study of a king and a nation caught in the upheaval of social change and political turmoil. Written entirely in verse and epic in its scope, Richard II is one of Shakespeare's most powerful plays.
The Pearl Theatre Company is dedicated to playing a vital role in the cultural life of New York City and its surrounding region by creating productions that examine, explore, and illuminate the human condition. The Pearl is an artistic home for a diverse company of theatre professionals, especially a core company of resident actors. The Pearl provides engagement opportunities that both educate and enrich the experiences of artists, students, and audiences. Last season, The Pearl received a 2011 Lortel Award nomination for best revival (for The Misanthrope), and a special 2011 Drama Desk award for "notable productions of classic plays and nurturing a stalwart resident company of actors."
The Pearl's is supported, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additionally, The Pearl receives major support from the Fund for the City of New York, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Shubert Foundation, and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.
The Pearl's production of THE BALD SOPRANO by Eugène Ionseco is currently playing at City Center Stage II through October 23, 2011. Following RICHARD II will be THE PHILANDERER by Bernard Shaw in January 2012. The season will conclude in March with A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN by Eugene O'Neill.
The Pearl is currently offering subscription packages for the season. For subscription tickets and information, please visit www.pearltheatre.org or contact 212-598-9802.