The Shakespeare Theatre Company welcomes former STC Associate Director PJ Paparelli who will direct and put a new twist on Shakespeare's earliest romantic comedy, The Two Gentlemen of Verona. This classic story of adolescent love and friendship will take place at STC's Lansburgh Theatre (450 7th Street NW) through March 4, 2012.
The play, perhaps Shakespeare's earliest, focuses on Valentine and Proteus, lifelong friends who are unexpectedly thrust into the rivalries and complications of adolescence. When both fall in love with the Duke of Milan's daughter, Silvia, the cunning Proteus betrays his friend. Will the banished Valentine find his home in the woods, amongst the outlaws? And what of Julia, Proteus' first love, who comes to court disguised as a boy? What happens when a group of youths is left without parents to guide them through life's journey? PJ Paparelli, "one of the most exciting talents working in Washington" (The Washington Post), will direct this formative play of hidden identities and shapeshifting selves.
PJ Paparelli is a former STC Associate Director (1998-2004) under Michael Kahn's leadership. "Michael Kahn shaped my career," says Paparelli. "I am honored and thrilled to be a part of the company once again." Paparelli is exploring a new side in this Shakespearean classic. Two Gents will be classically set, but will "engage a contemporary sensibility with modern music and various items," adds Paparelli. Exploring life and excess, portions of the text will also be set to music and sung a capella throughout the show. Paparelli's Two Gents will be a vigorously modern one, investigating teen worries of today and using Shakespeare as a vivid reflection of our contemporary world.
This show also brings together four STC alums in the romantic leading roles— Nick Dillenburg (Proteus), Natalie Mitchell (Silvia), Miriam Silverman (Julia) and Andrew Veenstra (Valentine). Dillenburg was last seen as Vicomte de Nanjac in last season's An Ideal HusbanD. Mitchell was seen last season as Diana in All's Well That Ends Well. Silverman has previously graced the STC stage as Helena in All's Well That Ends Well, and was recently awarded the 2011 Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship. Veenstra was recently seen as Eraste in this season's world premiere of The Heir Apparent. Together they will bring these classic romantic characters to life. This also marks the STC debut for Tony Award-nominated actor, Euan Morton (Launce).
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA CAST
STC Affiliated Artist Adam Green will play Speed. Green's previous STC credits include All's Well That Ends Well and Cliton in The Liar, for which he received a Helen Hayes Award nomination as well as the Emery Battis Award for Acting Excellence. His New York credits include Election Day and All This Intimacy at Second Stage Theatre, The Witch of Edmonton at Red Bull Theater, Dov and Ali at the Playwrights Realm and Cherry Lane Theatre, None of the Above at Lion Theatre, The Mines of Sulphur at the New York City Opera and Bone Portraits at Soho Rep. He has appeared regionally in My Name is Asher Lev at Barrington Stage Company, Peter and the Starcatchers at La Jolla Playhouse, Monster at the Door at Alley Theatre, The Chosen at Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Awake and Sing! at Arena Stage and The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare on the Sound. He received an MFA in Acting from New York University and a BA in English from Harvard University.