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Ian McDiarmid Coming To Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Posted By Mike on April 12, 2012

Ian McDiarmid is headed to the Windy City a little later this month in order to star in Timon of Athens at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Check out the press release below for details!

Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces complete casting for
25th Anniversary Season finale

Ian McDiarmid in
Timon of Athens

Directed by CST Artistic Director Barbara Gaines
Featuring Sean Fortunato, James Newcomb and Danforth Comins
Performances begin April 24, 2012

Chicago?March 22, 2012?Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) announced today casting for its 25th Anniversary Season finale, William Shakespeare?s rarely produced Timon of Athens, directed by CST Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and featuring Tony Award winner Ian McDiarmid in the title role. Performed in CST?s Courtyard Theater from April 24 to June 10, 2012, Gaines? production also features Sean Fortunato as Flavius, James Newcomb as Apemantus and Danforth Comins as Alcibiades.

A cautionary tale about the seductive power of wealth, Gaines? Timon of Athens is set in the world of high-risk futures trading, where Timon is a god among men. But when the tides of monetary fortune turn and his former friends become ruthless creditors, Timon is left in financial freefall. Leading the cast of Gaines? production in the title role is internationally celebrated actor Ian McDiarmid, who won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for his performance as Teddy in Brian Friel's Faith Healer (2006), co-starring Ralph Fiennes and Cherry Jones. McDiarmid?s additional credits include productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Six Characters in Search of an Author on London's West End (2008), as well as an appointment as the Joint Artistic Director of London's Almeida Theatre from 1990 to 2001, during which Almeida won the 1993 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre. He is also well known for his film and television appearances, and is perhaps most famous for his chilling performance as the Emperor in George Lucas's 1983 Star Wars Return of the Jedi, and later as Senator Palpatine in the Star Wars prequels.

?I?ve long admired Ian as a consummate theater artist?an actor, director and remarkable artistic director when, with Jonathan Kent in the 1990's, he led brilliant work at London?s Almeida Theatre,? says CST Artistic Director Barbara Gaines. ?We?ve been looking for a project to work on together and collaborating with Ian for the first time on Timon of Athens has been a perfect confluence of circumstance, affording us the opportunity to create an incisive approach to Shakespeare?s original text in a timely production for our audience featuring Ian performing the title role." says Barbara Gaines.

Commenting on Shakespeare?s Timon of Athens, Ian McDiarmid says, ?It is very much a play for now. Shakespeare proves once again to be our close contemporary, reflecting, in this instance, a culture luxuriating in unearned wealth and then shocked and bereft by the sudden lack of it; a state exactly mirrored by Timon himself.?

Joining McDiarmid in the role of Flavius is Chicago Shakespeare Theater veteran actor and four-time Jeff Award nominee Sean Fortunato. Frequent Oregon Shakespeare Festival company members James Newcomb and Danforth Comins perform the roles of Apemantus and Alcibiades, respectively. Comins last appeared at CST as Banquo in Gaines? production of Macbeth, and Newcomb appeared in the Theater?s multiple Jeff Award-winning production The Madness of George III last season. Kevin Gudahl, performing the role of Poet/Judge, returns for his 31st role at CST. Additional actors returning for Gaines? production include: Sean Blake as Timander; William Dick as Jeweller/Senator; Terry Hamilton as Ventidius/Old Senator; David Lively as Sempronius; Samuel Taylor as Lucius/Thief; Demetrios Troy as Banker/Varro/Thief; and Bruce A. Young as Lucullus. Timothy Edward Kane, who is currently performing the role of Oberon/Theseus in CST?s A Midsummer Night?s Dream through April 7, will return to perform the role of Painter. Rounding out the cast for Timon of Athens are John Byrnes as Caphis, ensemble members Wesley Daniel and David Schlumpf, and dancers/ensemble members Jen Donohoo, Noelle Kayser, Luke Manley, Bianca Lozano Sanders, and Malachi Squires.

CST Artistic Director Barbara Gaines is the founder of Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where she has directed more than 30 of Shakespeare?s plays. Honors include: the 2008 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre; the prestigious Honorary OBE (Office of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in recognition of her contributions to strengthening British-American cultural relations; and Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best Production (Hamlet, Cymbeline, King Lear and The Comedy of Errors), and for Best Director (Cymbeline, King Lear and The Comedy of Errors). She received the Public Humanities Award from the Illinois Humanities Council, and is the recipient of the Spirit of Loyola Award. Ms. Gaines received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Dominican University and an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Lake Forest College. She serves on the Shakespearean Council of Shakespeare?s Globe Theatre in London and is a Life Trustee of Northwestern University. She made her Lyric Opera Debut directing Giuseppe Verdi?s Macbeth.

In addition to choreography by Joffrey Ballet Master Nicolas Blanc, Gaines? creative team for Timon of Athens includes Scenic Designer Kevin Depinet, Costume Designer Susan E. Mickey, Lighting Designer Robert Wierzel, Projection Designer Mike Tutaj, Composition and Sound Designer Lindsay Jones, Wig and Makeup Designer Melissa Veal, Fight Director James Newcomb, Verse Coach Kevin Gudahl and Properties Master Chelsea Meyers.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater?s Timon of Athens runs from April 24 to June 10, 2012 in CST?s Courtyard Theater. Tickets are on sale now for $44?$75 with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more. All patrons receive a 40% discount on guaranteed parking in Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater?s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater?s website at www.chicagoshakes.com.

About Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this season, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is a leading international theater company, known for vibrant productions that reflect Shakespeare?s genius for intricate storytelling, musicality of language and depth of feeling for the human condition. Recipient of the 2008 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Chicago Shakespeare?s work has been recognized internationally with three of London?s prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards, and by the Chicago theater community with 62 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Artistic Excellence. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, CST is dedicated to producing extraordinary classic productions, new works and family fare; unlocking Shakespeare?s work for educators and students; and serving as Chicago?s cultural ambassador through its World?s Stage Series. At its permanent, state-of-the-art facility on Navy Pier, CST houses two intimate theater spaces: the 500-seat Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the 200-seat Carl and Marilynn Thoma Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Through a year-round season encompassing more than 500 performances, CST leads the community as the largest employer of Chicago actors and attracts 200,000 audience members annually?including nearly 16,000 subscribers and 40,000 students and teachers.

Thanks Jimmy!

Related Stories

April 24, 2012   Ian McDiarmid Coming To Chicago Shakespeare Theater
April 16, 2011   Ian McDiarmid Signs For Official Pix
July 8, 2010   Ian McDiarmid Poetry Reading
December 13, 2009   Ian McDiarmid On BBC Radio 4
February 18, 2009   Ian McDiarmid Talks A Little Star Wars
January 12, 2009   Ian McDiarmid Returns To Scotland

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