The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will close its 2010 Season with the American East Coast and regional premiere of British author Dodie Smith’s I Capture The Castle, a stage adaption of Smith’s 1948 popular coming-of-age novel. I Capture The Castle provides a perfect holiday outing opportunity for the whole family. It begins performances on December 1, 2010 and continues through January 2, 2011. There are no performances on December 25 or January 1. For tickets or more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road), in Madison.
Born in Lancashire, England in 1896, playwright and author Dodie Smith is best known for her children’s book The Hundred And One Dalmatians. Her first novel, I Capture The Castle, was written while she was living in the United States writing screenplays for Paramount. Smith adapted I Capture The Castle into a stage play in 1952, and is the author of more than 20 plays, novels, and screenplays. Several of her works were adapted into films including Autumn Circus, Call It a Day, Dear Octopus, and The Hundred and One Dalmatians. I Capture The Castle was made into feature film and released in 2003 starring Bill Nighy. Also in 2003, the British public voted I Capture The Castle one of the nation’s 100 best-loved novels as part of the BBC’s The Big Read.
I Capture The Castle is the story of a seventeen-year-old budding writer, Cassandra, and her eccentric family who live in a crumbling 17th century English castle. This captivating romantic comedy is a perfect coming-of-age classic for family audiences and is full of colorful bohemian characters, wonderful wit and wry wisdom. “We are thrilled to present the first major American production of this British classic on our stage,” said artistic director Bonnie J. Monte. “Director Cameron Watson brought this play to us after a very successful production in Los Angeles, and I knew it would be a beautiful, heartwarming story for the holidays and for our family audiences.”
New Jersey native Rebecca Mozo plays the young budding authoress Cassandra Mortmain. Mozo played Anya opposite Annette Bening and Alfred Molina in The Cherry Orchard at the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles and she was nominated for an Ovation Award for Best actress for her performance as Cassandra in I Capture The Castle in Los Angeles. At South Coast Repertory, she has appeared in Doubt, The Heiress and In The Next Room or the vibrator play. She is also the narrator for the Vampire Diaries audio book series.
Company member Nisi Sturgis returns to The Shakespeare Theatre to play Rose Mortmain, Cassandra’s love-struck sister. For The Shakespeare Theatre, Sturgis appeared in Arms And The Man, A Streetcar Named Desire and Pride And Prejudice. On Broadway she has appeared as Annabella, Margaret and Pamela in The 39 Steps. She has worked in major regional theatres nationwide including the Denver Center Theatre Company, the Old Globe Theatre and Geva Theatre. She is currently appearing in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.
Making her Shakespeare Theatre debut is Erika Rolfsrud as Topaz Mortmain, a beautiful model and the step-mother to Cassandra and Rose. Rolfsrud appeared on Broadway in The Coast Of Utopia, Exit The King and Rabbit Hole. Off Broadway, she appeared in Misalliance at the Pearl Theatre Company, The Glory Of Living at MCC and How I Learned To Drive at the Vineyard.
Matt Bradford Sullivan returns to The Shakespeare Theatre to play the father James Mortmain, a brilliant author but one who has struggled with a 10-year long writer’s-block. Sullivan has appeared in Twelfth Night, Noises Off and King Lear at The Shakespeare Theatre. For the New York Shakespeare Festival he appeared in Macbeth, and Coriolanus. He has also appeared in productions at The Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Studio Arena, Hartford Stage and the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D. C.
Josh Carpenter and Tony Roach play Neil and Simon Cotton, two wealthy American brothers who have inherited the castle. Carpenter is in his third season with The Shakespeare Theatre where he has appeared in Henry V, Pride and Prejudice, Richard III and The Cherry Orchard.
Tony Roach is making his Shakespeare Theatre debut. Most recently, he appeared in All’s Well That Ends Well, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, The Liar and The Imaginary Invalid at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C. He has also appeared at The Arizona Theatre Company, the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival among others.
Also in the cast are Shakespeare Theatre veterans Pressly Coker, John FitzGibbon, Kristen Kittel, Daniel Marconi, and Wendy Barrie-Wilson. Making their Shakespeare Theatre debuts are Eric Rolland, Maureen Silliman and Mary Stewart.
TD Bank is the official Opening Night Sponsor of I Capture The Castle. "We are delighted to support The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and this wonderful production of I Capture The Castle," said Ruth Wilson, Retail Market Manager for Morris County, New Jersey. "We are so
fortunate to have one of the nation's largest Shakespeare theatres right here in our own community and we are pleased to be a part of their continued success."
Cameron Watson is making his Shakespeare Theatre directing debut with this production. As an actor, he appeared at The Shakespeare Theatre in 1997 in A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Bonnie J. Monte. He directed the American premiere of I Capture The Castle at The El Portal Theatre in Los Angeles. At the Colony Theatre in Los Angeles, he directed Grace and Glorie, Educating Rita, and Trying. He directed Rolling With Laughter for the El Portal theatre as well as at the Edinburgh Festival and Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End. Watson wrote, directed and produced the Miramax feature film Our Very Own starring Allison Janney, Jason Ritter, Keith Carradine, Autumn Reeser and Cheryl Hines. He is a LA Ovation Award nominee, and a winner of the Backstage Garland Award and the Prism Award.
The Artistic Staff
Creating the world of I Capture the Castle are set designer Harry Feiner, lighting designer Jared Sayeg, costume designer Hugh Hanson, and sound designer Michael Eisenberg. Amanda Michaels serves as production stage manager.
Single tickets for I Capture The Castle are now on sale and start at $31. Single ticket prices include a $2 facility fee not subject to discount. Student Rush tickets are available a half-hour before curtain for $10 with a valid student ID. For tickets, call the box office at 973-408-5600, visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preview performances for I Capture The Castle are Wednesday, December 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, December 2 and 3 at 8:00 p.m., and Saturday, December 4 at 2 p.m. These Preview performances offer opportunities for reduced-priced tickets while enjoying the excitement of the very first performances in front of an audience. As always, the first Preview performance is Pay What You Can night. Visit The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office between noon and curtain on December 1 and purchase a ticket for what you are able to pay for that evening’s 7:30 preview performance (offer subject to availability).
For no more than the cost of a regular ticket, three Symposium Series performances for each show include a post-play discussion with the cast and artistic staff. Symposium performances for I Capture the Castle will be Tuesday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, December 11 and 18 at 2:00 p.m.
For each production, The Shakespeare Theatre presents the popular education program Know the Show. From 7:00 to 7:30 p.m., artists from The Shakespeare Theatre will present a pre-performance talk that provides background information and an insider’s perspective on the production. Know the Show will be held on December 9 at 7:00 p.m. General admission is $5 for the general public, $4 for ticket package holders. Tickets to that evening’s 8:00 p.m. performance may be purchased separately.
The Saturday, December 18 at 2 p.m. performance will be audio described for those who are blind or have visual impairments. Audio description enables patrons with visual impairments to hear, through an FM transmitter, a live description of the action on the stage. A pre-performance sensory seminar is offered that allows patrons to feel props, costumes and set pieces to further enhance their live theatrical experience. The service is offered free of charge.
Special Holiday Family Performances will be held on Friday, December 24 and Friday, December 31 at 2 p.m.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free.
The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the Theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors. Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available. Braille and large print programs are available. Infrared listening devices are available free of charge. Some performances are audio described. Contact the theatre for more information. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey’s only professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare’s canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.