From today, rehearsals are underway for the 2012 season at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, which includes productions of RAGTIME and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.
Playing in repertory from 18 May – 8 September 2012, Timothy Sheader directs RAGTIME, a contemporary musical based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow; Olivier Award nominated Javier De Frutos is choreographing.
Matthew Dunster is directing Shakespeare's most magical of plays A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM from 2 June – 5 September 2012.
Each company consists of 26 actors, 20 of whom will appear in both productions.
Tamsin Carroll plays Titania (Dream) and Emma Goldman (Ragtime). Antipodean Tamsin recently played Nancy in Oliver! at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Recently seen in Sheffield's production of Company and the Donmar Warehouse production of Passion, David Birrell plays Thesues (Dream) and Father (Ragtime). Harry Hepple, who recently played the title role in Pippin at the Menier Chocolate Factory, plays Qunice (Dream) and Younger Brother (Ragtime). Following his performance as Piggy in the Open Air Theatre's production of Lord of the Flies, George Bukhari plays Bottom (Dream), and Christopher Colquhoun, best known for his on-screen character Simon Kaminski in Casualty and Holby City, plays Oberon (Dream). See notes for Editors for full cast listing.
Ragtime the Musical has a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. This powerful musical, set at the turn of the 20th century, unites three families separated by race and destiny. The 1996 Broadway production won four Tony Awards including Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score.
Designer Jon Bausor will work with Sheader and Dunster on Ragtime the Musical, following his acclaimed set designs for Lord of the Flies and The Crucible. Laura Hopkins will design the costumes for both productions. Laura's previous credits include Shoes (Sadlers Wells) A Delicate Balance (Almeida) and Black Watch (National Theatre Scotland).
Artistic Director, Timothy Sheader, says: "What has proved exciting at Regent's Park over the past few years are productions that embrace scale, both physically and in their narrative. The titles for 2012, each with their own particular ambition, are united in their exploration of space, light and the changing atmosphere of theatre in the open air."
Sheader and Executive Director, William Village, have overseen four seasons at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, each of which has, in turn, broken the record for attendance and Box Office takings. Their productions of Hello, Dolly! (2009) and Into the Woods (2010) both won the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival with Hello, Dolly! also picking up the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical.
Regent's Park Open Air Theatre's 2011 production of Crazy for You has received three nominations for the 2012 Olivier Awards including Best Musical Revival, Best Costume Design for Peter McKintosh and Best Theatre Choreography for Stephen Mear. The production transferred directly to the West End, where it played until 17 March. 115,494 people saw the show which ran for a total of 30 weeks across both venues.
Beyond the Park, Timothy Sheader will direct and Liam Steel will co-direct Stephen Sondheim's Into The Woods at New York's Delacorte Theater, Central Park, this summer. Based on the 2010 Olivier Award-winning Regent's Park Open Air Theatre production, this new Public Theater production will feature an entirely American cast.