This swashbuckling romp abounds with comedy, danger, and romance. Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s production of Ken Ludwig’s The Three Musketeers previews July 12 and 13, opens July 14, and continues through August 6 in repertory with Shakespeare’s As You Like It at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of DeSales University.
Tony award winning playwright Ken Ludwig wrote the adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ famous novel, The Three Musketeers. Ludwig’s work was last seen on the PSF Main Stage in the 2014 production of Lend Me a Tenor.
The director of the production is world-renowned fight choreographer Rick Sordelet whose credits include 66 productions on Broadway, plus Disney, The Metropolitan Opera, and the Royal Opera House. He directed PSF’s production of Romeo and Juliet in 2010 and has staged fights for numerous Festival productions.
“Ken’s script delivers an adventurous coming of age story with fast paced twists, amazing sword play, Machiavellian intrigues and justice triumphing over evil,” says Sordelet.
Ludwig’s reimagining of the timeless tale brings to life the heroic characters of D’Artagnan and the famous Musketeers. D’Artagnan (Sean Patrick Higgins) and his sister Sabine (Stephanie Hodge) set off to Paris. In search of adventure, D’Artagnan meets the Musketeers: Athos (Ian Merrill Peakes), Porthos (Zack Robidas), and Aramis (Alexander Sovronsky). They join forces to protect her Royal Highness, Queen Anne (Marnie Schulenburg). Two dangerous enemies, Cardinal Richelieu (Paul Kiernan) and Milady (Stella Baker), will stop at nothing to take revenge on the three Musketeers.
Christian Kelly-Sordelet is the fight director who choreographs “the deadly ballet of cut and slash—The sword fights are explosive, moving at a dazzling speed, with each one holding its own surprises for the audience to enjoy,” says Kelly-Sordelet.
Award-winning designer Brian Sidney Bembridge makes his PSF debut to create the set for the high-stakes adventure. Associate costume designer for Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera, Sam Fleming returns to PSF to design costumes, and Masha Tsimring is the lighting designer. Alexander Sovronsky, who plays the Musketeer Aramis, is also the sound designer, composer, and music director. Alison Hassman serves as the production stage manager and Carolyn Reich is the assistant stage manager.
“Ken (Ludwig) is giving this beautiful tale of The Three Musketeers a new polish with exciting new scenes,” says Sordelet. “The PSF audience will be the first to see the fresh take he’s created.”
Breslin Ridard Fadero Architects are the production sponsors for The Three Musketeers; production co-sponsors are Bazzini and Keenan-Nagle Advertising.
David B. Rothrock and Patrina L. Rothrock are the 2017 season sponsors. Associate season sponsors are the Szarko Family, Harry C. Trexler Trust, and Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth.
Performances on the Main Stage:
Wednesday, July 12, preview 8PM
Thursday, July 13, preview 8PM
Friday, July 14, opening 8PM
Tuesday, July 18 & August 1 7PM
Wednesday, July 19 & 26 8PM
Sunday, July 23 & August 6 2PM
Saturday, July 29 2PM
Sunday, July 30 7:30PM
Thursday, August 3 8PM
Saturday, August 5 8PM
There will be an audio described performance on Saturday, July 29, at 2pm.
Single tickets start at $25; youth, military, and group discounts are available.
The Festival’s 26th season also includes: The Ice Princess (Now thru – August 5); The Hound of the Baskervilles (Now thru – July 16); As You Like It (July 20-August 6); Troilus and Cressida (July 26-August 6); and Shakespeare for Kids (July 26-August 5).
There will also be a one-night only concert with Broadway star Dee Roscioli (Eva Peron in Evita) on Monday, July 31 at 7:30PM. Join us for an eclectic evening of Broadway, pop hits, and new original work, on the Main Stage. Tickets are $38.
PSF is a constituent of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for American theatre, and a member of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Shakespeare Theatre Association, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, and Discover Lehigh Valley.
For tickets, contact PSF at 610-282-WILL, ext. 1, or www.pashakespeare.org.
PATRICK MULCAHY (Producing Artistic Director) Since assuming leadership in 2003, Mulcahy has led PSF’s return to artistic excellence and financial stability, built the professional company of artists, oversaw the quadrupling of the endowment, and achieved increasing national recognition for the Festival. Further accomplishments include PSF’s first-ever awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and attracting a company of artists including winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Emmy, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Jefferson, and Barrymore awards to the Festival, growth in all income areas, a 75% increase in annual attendance, and the expansion of the number of Actors’ Equity contracts per season. As a professional director, actor and fight director, credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, television, and radio. Mulcahy has acted with Angela Bassett, Peter MacNicol, Hal Holbrook, Joan Cusack, Don Cheadle, Anne Meara, Milo O’Shea, Cynthia Nixon, Tony Shaloub, Bradley Whitford, and others at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Stage, Roundabout Theatre Company, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Syracuse Stage, and the Walnut St. He served as a fight director for Tom Hulse and Timothy Busfield in A Few Good Men on Broadway and for Off-Broadway productions starring John Savage, John Mahoney, Marcia Gay Harden, and Patrick Dempsey. He directed Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga in The Real Thing, and, for PSF, directed Julius Caesar (2016), Macbeth (2014), Hamlet (2011), Antony and Cleopatra (2009), The Winter’s Tale (2007), Henry IV, Part I (2005), The Tempest (1999), and acted in and served as fight director for The Taming of the Shrew (1998) and Julius Caesar (1997). Also head of acting at DeSales, Patrick holds an MFA from Syracuse University.
RICK SORDELET (Director) World-renowned fight director with 66 Broadway credits, including Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close, Misery starring Bruce Willis, Disney’s The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, and the national tours of Beauty and the Beast and Les Misérables. International Credits: Tarzan, Aida, Ben Hur Live in Rome and the European tour. Opera Credits: Cyrano de Bergerac starring Placido Domingo at the Metropolitan Opera, The Royal Opera House and the LaScala in Milan, Italy; Film: The Game Plan, Dan in Real Life, and Hamlet. TV: chief stunt coordinator for Guiding Light for 12 years. He also directed PSF’s production of Romeo and Juliet in 2010 in addition to fight directing multiple productions for the Festival. Awards: Edith Oliver Award for Sustained Excellence from the Lucille Nortel Foundation. Instructor at Yale School of Drama, board member of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and the author of the play Buried Treasure.
KEN LUDWIG (playwright) is a Pennsylvania native born in York, a graduate of Haverford College in Delaware County, PA. He is also a graduate of Harvard Law School with a degree in international law. He has had six shows on Broadway and seven in the West End and his plays and musicals have been performed in more than 30 countries in over 20 languages. His first Broadway play, Lend Me a Tenor was written while working full time at the Washington law firm Steptoe & Johnson and garnered two Tony-Awards (nominated for seven). He has also won two Laurence Olivier Awards (England’s highest theatre honor), the Charles MacArthur Award, two Helen Hayes Awards, The Edgar Award for Best Mystery from The Mystery Writers of America, the SETC Distinguished Career Award, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Services to the American Theatre. During PSF’s run of The Three Musketeers, Ludwig’s newest show, Robin Hood!, will make its world premiere at the Old Globe in San Diego, California. Ludwig is one of this season’s most produced playwrights in America with shows including Crazy for You, Moon Over Buffalo, Treasure Island, and The Fox on the Fairway. PSF produced Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor in 2014.
Artist bios (alphabetical order):
STELLA BAKER (Milady/Old Lady) is a second-year MFA candidate at Yale School of Drama, where she appeared in Our Lady of 121st St., The Dog Pack Play, Othello, and Everything that Never Happened. Other credits include Styx Songs, and The Quonsets (Yale Cabaret). She holds a BA in philosophy from Reed College, where she appeared in Julius Caesar and The Bacchae and spent a semester with the American Conservatory Theater.
BRIAN SIDNEY BEMBRIDGE (Scenic Designer) PSF debut. Off-Broadway: The Public Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, The Flea. International: Theatre Royal Stratford East in London, Illawarra Performing Arts Centre and Platform Hip Hop Festival in Sydney, Australia, among others. Regional: Guthrie Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Looking Glass Theatre Company (Artistic Associate), The Second City, Victory Gardens Theater, Drury Lane Theatres, Opera Omaha. Honors: LA Drama Critic Circle Awards, LA Weekly Awards, and an Ovation Award.
SAM FLEMING (Costume Designer) Her designs have been seen at theatres across the country including the Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Alley Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Arizona Theatre Co, Playmaker’s Repertory, Hartford Stage, Denver Center, Center Stage, Peterborough Players, Houston Opera Studio, Skylight Opera, ACT Seattle and Berkeley Rep. She designed over 50 productions for Milwaukee Repertory Theater during her 14 years with the company. In New York, she has worked with the Pearl Theatre, and The Mint. She is the associate costume designer for The Phantom of the Opera.
ALISON HASSMAN (Production Stage Manager) 12th production with PSF; New York: Hamilton, The Nutcracker (New York City Ballet, Lincoln Center), Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Me and the Girls(Roundabout, with Alan Cumming), Cherry Lane, Westside Theatre, 59E59, York, 24 Hour Play Company. Regional: McCarter, Two River, Delaware Theatre Company, Theater Horizon, Trinity Rep, Bristol Riverside, Premiere Stages, Philadelphia Theatre Company.
SEAN PATRICK HIGGINS (D’Artagnan) PSF debut.Regional: Wintertime (Yale Cabaret); Pericles (Elm Shakespeare Company); The Liar, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet (Livermore Shakespeare Festival); Noises Off, Taming of the Shrew (Idaho Repertory Theatre). Yale School of Drama: Macbeth, Women Beware Women, Winter’s Tale, Deer and the Lovers, Paradise Lost. He is also the recipient of the Jerome L. Greene and Wesley Fata Awards. BADA, Oxford. MFA, Yale School of Drama
DAN HODGE (King Louis XIII) For PSF: Taming of the Shrew, Henry V, Measure for Measure, King Lear and The Winter’s Tale. In Philadelphia: Walnut St., Arden, Wilma, InterAct, Theatre Exile, Curio and Hedgerow Theatre. A co-founder of the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective he appeared in Changes of Heart, Creditors, Fair Maid of the West, his one-man The Rape of Lucrece, and directed their productions of The Duchess of Malfi and Timon of Athens, and Mary Stuart. Dan holds his MFA in Acting from the USD/Old Globe, San Diego.
STEPHANIE HODGE (Sabine) PSF: Love’s Labour’s Lost, Julius Caesar, Pericles, 80 Days, Little Mermaid, Rapunzel; Act 1: The Crucible, Elektra, Bus Stop. Upcoming: Stephanie directs Act 3’s Beauty & the Beast at DeSales University.
JOHN KEABLER (Rochefort, Stanley) Selected Regional Theatre: Merchant of Venice, Richard III, It’s a Wonderful Life (The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); Henry IV part 1 and 2 (The Shakespeare Theatre of DC); Romeo and Juliet, Merry Wives of Windsor, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, the world premiere of In This Corner (The Old Globe). Selected Film and television: Sugar (starring Alice Ripley), Faith, Love and Whiskey;Madam Secretary, 30 Rock, All My Children. MFA from The Old Globe.
PAUL KIERNAN (Richelieu) Favorite roles include: Cyrano in Cyrano (Hangar Theater), Juror #10 in 12 Angry Men (Pioneer Theater), Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew (Tennessee Shakespeare), Friar Lawrence in Romeo & Juliet (PSF). Film and TV: From the Earth to the Moon, Luck of the Irish, Go Figure, The Cell 2, Ice Spiders. As a writer, his plays have been produced in New York, Florida, Boston, and Michigan. He holds an MFA from Brandeis University.
IAN MERRILL PEAKES (Athos)12th PSF show (Much Ado, Othello, Shrew among others). Last season included a three theater tour of Charles III at ACT in San Francisco, Seattle Rep, and The Shakespeare Theatre in DC; most recently Timon at the Folger. Two Best of Denver Awards. Nominated for six Barrymores (won three), four Helen Hayes Awards (won one) and the winner of the 2003 F. Otto Haas Award for Emerging Artist.
ESAU PRITCHETT (Treville) was born in Saginaw, MI. He earned a BA in Theatre/Performing Arts from Oakland University in Rochester, MI. He has been working in theatre, television and film for over a decade. PSF debut. His theatre credits span the spectrum of contemporary works and classical theatre, especially Shakespeare. Television: HBO’s The Night Of, Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, Law and Order, Chicago PD and Netflix’s Iron Fist.
KELSEY RAINWATER (Constance Bonacieux) Regional: Shakespeare Theatre Company: Macbeth (Young Siward/Ensemble). Rutgers Theatre Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena), Carlo At the Wedding (Eva), Balm in Gilead (Judy). International: Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe (Titania), Shakespeare’s Globe: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Titania). Training: Rutgers University and Shakespeare’s Globe: MFA.
CAROLYN REICH (Assistant Stage Manager) Third season with PSF; New York: Autumn (Billie Holiday Theatre); Esai’s Table, The Surgeon and Her Daughters (Cherry Lane Theatre); National Tour: The Bodyguard (Troika Entertainment), The Bridges of Madison County (NETworks); Regional: West Side Story, Les Misérables (PSF); Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage (Trinity Repertory); Into the Woods (McCarter). Carolyn is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
ZACK ROBIDAS (Porthos) has appeared in PSF’s Henry V (title role), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Berowne), The Foreigner (David), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Proteus), Measure for Measure, The Importance of Being Ernest, Othello, The Winter’s Tale, Taming of the Shrew, and Macbeth. Film: It’s Complicated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Arbitrage, The Golden Scallop, Stereotypically You and the recently completed Empathy Inc. He has also appeared on episodes of Blue Bloods, 30 Rock, CSI NY, Marvel’s Defenders, and Law and Order.
MIKE ROSSMY (Buckingham) Previously at PSF: Tybalt (Romeo and Juliet) and Fight Director (West Side Story). Broadway: Superior Donuts, Cymbeline. T.V. and Film: Kevin Can Wait, Banshee, Law and Order, and The Guiding Light. Fight Directing: Troilus and Cressida at New York Shakespeare Festival (2016 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Fight Choreography). Michael is a faculty member at The Yale School of Drama and the Stage Combat Supervisor for Yale College.
MARNIE SCHULENBURG (Queen Anne) NY/Regional: How I Learned to Drive (Second Stage), The Yellow Wood (New York Music Festival dir. B.D. Wong), 24 Hr Plays (dir. Moises Kaufman); South Pacific, The Foreigner, Henry V & The Two Gentleman of Verona (PSF). TV: As The World Turns, One Life To Live, Elementary, Manhattan Love Story, Royal Pains, Army Wives, & Fringe. Selected Film: Made for Each Other, Three Sessions and The Golden Scallop.
ALEXANDER SOVRONSKY (Aramis/Music Director/Composer/Sound Designer) NYC credits include Cyrano de Bergerac (Broadway with Kevin Kline), and numerous productions at The Public/NYSF, TFANA, Atlantic Theater, Red Bull Theater, Classical Theater of Harlem, The Pearl, Hang A Tale, Resonance Ensemble, Teatro Circulo, and Happy Few Theatre Co. Regionally, credits include Shakespeare & Company, Barrington Stage, The Walnut Street Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, Hartford Stage, Wharton Salon, Connecticut Repertory Theater, and the American Shakespeare Center at the Blackfriars Playhouse. Internationally, he played the title role in Hamlet at Teatro Franco Parenti in Milan, Italy (and also resumed the role in a NYC remount of the production). He has written music and sound designed for Broadway, Off-Broadway, and numerous regional theaters. Alexander teaches at Mary Baldwin University and George Washington University at their graduate acting programs, teaching classes and workshops on the dramatic functions of music & sound in Shakespeare’s plays.
MASHA TSIMRING (Lighting Designer) is a NYC based lighting designer for performance. Recently: As You Like It (CalShakes); The Garden of Forking Paths (Nichole Canuse Dance Co.); My Fair Lady (Playmakers Rep); Constellations (Wilma); Grounded (Interact); In the Next Room (Chautauqua Theatre Co.); Minor Character (New Saloon); The Bachelors (Lesser America); Invisible Hand (Theatre Exile); The Price (Triad Stage); MFA – Yale School of Drama.