NDSF 2022 Professional Company cast announced; tickets on sale Apr. 23

The Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival is thrilled to announce the cast and performance locations for the 2022 Professional Company performance of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Chris Anthony. 

Shakespeare’s classic tale of star-crossed romance will be brought to life by an extraordinary ensemble of local and national progressionals alongside students and MFA graduates from programs across the country. 

Tickets for Romeo and Juliet will be available for purchase on William Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23, 2022, at shakespeare.nd.edu. 

Romeo and Juliet Cast: 

  • Jess Alexander: Mercutio
  • Louis Arata: Montague
  • Marlon Burnley: Benvolio
  • MaConnia Chesser*: Nurse
  • David Chudzynski: Prince
  • James Cullinane: Paris
  • Zach Harness: Tybalt
  • Josie Mi: Juliet
  • Matt Monaco*: Lord Capulet
  • Tiana Mudzimurema: Ensemble
  • Gabe Ozaki: Balthazar
  • Krosby Roza: Romeo
  • Chauncy Thomas*: Friar Lawrence
  • Rachel Thomas: Ensemble
  • Carolina Vargas: Lady Capulet

* This artist appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Visit shakespeare.nd.edu for more information. Be sure to follow our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram accounts for all of the latest updates. 

NDSF 2022 Touring Company cast and locations announced!

The Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival is thrilled to announce the cast and performance locations for the 2022 Touring Company performance of All’s Well That Ends Well, directed by Scotty Arnold. 

The All’s Well That Ends Well cast combines local professionals with students and MFA graduates from a wide range of colleges & universities including CalArts, Northeastern University, DePaul Universitry, the University of Southern California, St. Mary’s College, the University of Notre Dame, and many more. 

This year’s production will travel to multiple locations across Michiana, including stops in Mishawaka, Elkhart, Valparaiso, Goshen, Niles, St. Joseph, and more. 

All’s Well That Ends Well Cast: 

  • Jess Alexander: Lord 1 (Captain Dumaine)
  • Louis Arata: La Few
  • David Chudzynski: King
  • James Cullinane: Lord 2 (His brother)
  • Zach Harness: Bertram
  • Allison Jones: Widow
  • Josie Mi: Mariana
  • Lauren Miller: Countess
  • Tiana Mudzimurema: Diana
  • Gabe Ozaki: Parolles
  • Krosby Roza: Soldier 1 (Interpreter)
  • Rachel Thomas: Helen

All’s Well That Ends Well Performance Schedule: 

Visit shakespeare.nd.edu to learn more about the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival. 

“Much Ado About Nothing” Spring 2022 Tour: Entry #9

By Annabelle Terry
Sunday 20th February 2022

‘Contempt, farewell! And maiden pride, adieu!’ – Beatrice 3.1

Indiana round two.

This week the AFTLS tour was back in Indiana but this time by Winona Lake at Grace College. As soon as we arrived at our hotel (having been driven there in a limo, I should add!) we were taken to look around campus including the Little Theatre where we were due to perform later in the week. Though it be but little, it is fierce – a lovely intimate venue with about 100 seats for the audience – perfect for our show and Shakespeare shows in general, I think.

We spent the week delivering various workshops with the students at Grace and enjoying the views around the Lake which, yes, was frozen! It seems to cold weather was following us again as we were due for another ice storm by the time opening night came around on Thursday. The snow came thick and fast but, thanks to the resilience of the English department, the show went on!

We played to sold out audiences all three nights we played and it was great to see the students we had met that week in the crowd – it was particularly rewarding for me to have the ‘Back in Five’ college improv troop watching, as I had led (and participated in) an improvisation workshop with them earlier that week. Between the 5 of them they had a great positive energy and playfulness which was infectious. It struck me how much AFTLS’ style of performance would appeal to those that also enjoy watching improv – yes, we have scripts that we follow, but we remain on stage throughout changing ‘hats’, as it were, at the drop of a hat to become the different characters; the same occurs in an improv show a lot of the time. With this being said, it came naturally to Back in Five when I handed them the Dogberry/Sexton scene in Much Ado and asked them to have a go at staging it themselves and play all 8 characters in the scene between them. They were naturals! And hopefully now more confident to have fun with Shakespearean texts.

It was great to have 3 consecutive shows this week. It meant we were able to find new moments within the show and now have the nerves throughout which often come when only doing one performance. The response was, again, wonderful. One student came and thanked us after one night saying “college kids are starved of romance!” and how they had enjoyed seeing this story of comedy, tragedy and love mixed into one. Others were surprised at how much they managed to follow and enjoy it, having never watched one of Shakespeare’s plays. I do think Much Ado is a special show and a crowd pleaser to perform – it has all the punchlines, quick wit and farcical possibilities followed by the most gut wrenching drama and emotional language. It remains one of my favourites and even more so after this tour.

Tomorrow we will be down south in Alabama and I’m looking forward to some slightly warmer weather and to visit UNA.

“Much Ado About Nothing” Spring 2022 Tour: Entry #8

By Annabelle Terry
Sunday 13th February 2022

‘Be vigilant, I beseech you’ – Dogberry 3.3

Let’s go, Falcons!

This week we were in residency at the prestigious USA Air Force Academy in Colorado. I’d heard many times before about Colorado’s beautiful landscape but there really is nothing like seeing it yourself. Snow topped mountains and ancient red rock are the beautiful backdrop of this state and one which, I imagine, never gets old for its residents.

Getting to be on base at the Air Force Academy was an experience I will never forget. When the cadets weren’t flying or jumping out of planes they were in workshops with us for the week! I was intrigued to see how they would take to learning and trying their hand at some Shakespeare and, unsurprisingly, they encountered the task with vigor and respect. It was a delight to see my workshop full of future military members and leaders performing the storm scene from The Tempest – zooming across the room in wheelie chairs as boats and banging on the walls to create thunder.

We were treated to a tour of the campus by 3 brilliant cadets and given a real insight into the rigorous training they undertake during their four years at base. There was a palpable sense of comradery and belonging, albeit intense, and us actors came away feeling very lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of it for a moment in time.

The theatre space we performed in on Thursday was HUGE. A five thousand seat venue with a massive stage, usually used for presentations and award ceremonies. Safe to say we felt a little daunted when putting our minimal props and set out, but after a tech rehearsal we quickly adjusted – after all, that’s the nature of touring; each venue is different from the last and you attune your performance accordingly to suit. And what a blast it was! Despite sitting in this massive venue, our audience still felt right there with us, listening to our show and responding generously. This really hit home for me that Shakespeare’s works are and should be for everyone, not just the choice few who can interpret it on a scholastic level. Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed in pubs, taverns and alehouses for everyone to hear and enjoy, and it’s only in our lifetime that it can often be made exclusive and reverential. I really enjoyed breaking down these barriers with the students in the workshops, topped off by the ultimately relatable Much Ado, I think was a great move. The faculty at USAFA were brilliant too and eager to learn how they can continue to get the cadets learning in a more active way in the classroom, which was really refreshing to hear.

A highlight of the week was watching the college ice hockey game on Friday night – it was brutal and passionate, but I was more impressed by the college’s brass band who played throughout the game. It was a great atmosphere. At the weekend there was so much to pack in and see. On Saturday we took the train up Pike’s Peak and stood at the summit taking in the unbelievable views, and on Sunday we went to the aptly named Garden of the Gods to look at the billion year old red rocks. It was truly unforgettable.

We are headed back to Indiana next for our next residency at Grace College by Winona Lake. We’re all very excited to be back in the state we started the tour and to see some familiar faces…

“Much Ado About Nothing” Spring 2022 Tour: Entry #7

By Annabelle Terry

Sunday 6th Feb 2022

“When you depart from me sorrow abides and happiness takes his leave.” – Don Pedro 1.1

Pennsylvania, it’s been a blast.

This week we were in residency at Bloomsburg University – a university which had not previously been visited by AFTLS in the history of their tours, and who welcomed us so warmly. The campus felt exciting and full of great students and facilities.

Of course, there was lots of snow around which didn’t let up – in fact it got worse, and by the end of the week there were severe weather warnings and an ice storm due to hit. I have never seen ice like it! Our cars were covered in what looked like an outer shell of glass which we had to crack off each morning. It was definitely thermal wearing weather and, despite worries that the show might not go ahead because of it, the team at Carver Hall were resilient and brilliant and we played on Friday as scheduled.

I was both excited and intrigued to see how the a totally new audience would take to the AFTLS style of multi-roling and the stripped back nature of the shows. The wonderful students we met over the week’s workshops sounded just as intrigued, particularly those due to perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” themselves in the next couple of months. Tom and I got to have a zoom Q&A with most of them and they were so generous with their questions and attentive with our answers.

I’m pleased to say that the show went down a storm (not of the ice variety thankfully). As soon as we heard the audience respond to the first few lines we settled into the show – having not done it for a week can always be a bit daunting, but thanks to the intense nature of our rehearsals it’s firmly in our muscle memory now.

The next morning we got to host workshops for the local community. Will and I met some of the local ‘River Poets’ in the morning as well as the founding members of the Bloomsburg ensemble and owner of the Alvina Krause Theatre in town, Laurie. She was kind enough to secure us tickets for that evenings performance of The Mountaintop. We were lucky enough to go onto stage after the show to see the set up close and meet the very talented two cast members in the production. It was a treat to get to be audience members for the night – it was clear that this small town values its local theatre immensely and the buzz about the place was great to see.

Then on Sunday a few of us decided that New York was just too close to pass up a quick day trip to. I was designated driver and we set off early to maximise the time we had in the city. The drive was beautiful – past the Pocono mountains and through states including New Jersey before finally getting into the Big Apple. I had never been to New York and, boy oh boy, it did not disappoint. Luckily we were joined by a friend of Katherine’s who took us on a whistle-stop tour of the best sights in the city. 5th Avenue, Central Park, the 9/11 memorial, St Nicholas’ church, the Empire State Building, the Flat Iron Building, the Brooklyn Bridge to name just a few, and some great food spots. Although we only had a day, we packed it all in and were left feeling so lucky that we got to experience this iconic place together.

Now, onwards to Colorado! I’m currently on the flight from DC to Denver and can’t wait to land and see this amazing state and its natural beauty. We will be in residence at the prestigious Air Force Academy which, no doubt, will be an amazing opportunity to be a part of.