This week, Folger Spotlight will be giving you glimpses into preparations forThe Second Shepherds’ Play, which begins performances this Sunday, November 27. Folger Spotlight already gave you a sneak peak at the puppet stars of the show. Now, say hello to the humans who will be bringing this charming yuletide story to life!
We begin with the trio of shepherds, guarding their flock by night. Matthew R. Wilson last joined us back in 2011 for The Comedy of Errors playing, among others, Mycroft Smalls and The Duke. Those who saw A Midsummer Night’s Dream earlier this year might recognize Megan Graves from that production—she played Snug, the hapless joiner-turned-lion impersonator. Louis E. Davis (Coll) rounds off our trio, and we’re thrilled to welcome him as he makes his Folger debut!
The Sheep Thieves
We move from the innocent shepherds to the cunning sheep thieves. Ryan Sellers (Mak) is another actor making his Folger debut, and he has his eye on a certain ewe-know-what….Meanwhile, Tonya Beckman (Gill) returns as Mak’s wife (and the brains of the operation). Scheming is no new skill for Beckman, as she previously appeared at the Folger as the wily Maria in 2013’s Twelfth Night. From forgery to sheep-stealing, Beckman’s cunning knows no bounds!
Completing our cast is our marvelous ensemble, which features Lilian Oben (Mary/Ensemble), Emily Noël (Angel/Ensemble), Malinda Kathleen Reese (Sheep/Ensemble) and Danny Cackley (Ensemble). Here, we have no strangers to the Folger: Music lovers will recognize Noël from Folger Consort’s Measure+DIDO at the Kennedy Center this past October, while Oben understudied for both A Midsummer Night Dream and Sense and Sensibility this year and Cackley was an understudy for Folger’s 2011 production of Othello.
Finally, though Reese is making her debut in a Folger production, it’s not the first time she’s tread the boards here on Capitol Hill—she recently filmed an installment of the popular YouTube Google Translate series on our stage, asking Hamlet’s famous question, “Living…or decomposing?”
That’s our cast, but we can’t end without recognizing our wonderful musicians who will join the actors on stage. Folger Consort co-artistic director Robert Eisenstein is joined by Daniel Meyers, who helped provide music for Shakespeare’s Globe‘s recent Broadway stay, and Brian Kay, who has previously performed with Folger Consort as well as being a founding member of Divisio.
Stay tuned all this week as Folger Spotlight brings you more insider information on The Second Shepherds’ Play. Tomorrow, we go into the rehearsal room and see what all these talented folks have been up to…
Come see The Second Shepherds’ Play, November 27- December 21 at Folger Theatre. For tickets and more information, visit us online or call the Folger Box Office at 202.544.7077.