Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte, Richard Ruiz and more set for Holiday Infused ‘Twelfth Night’, directed by Victor Maog at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Dec. 3 – 13

12th Night PR Victor Maog is at the helm of Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s holiday infused production of William Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night, in the Nafe Katter Theatre, 820 Bolton Rd, Storrs, CT 06269, December 3rd – 13th. Wrapped in carols and mistletoe Shakespeare’s finest comedy is a paean to the restorative power of love and the uproarious joy of the holidays. For tickets and information please visit crt.uconn.edu or call (860)-486-2113.

After being shipwrecked at sea and losing her twin brother, Viola washes up on the shores of Ilyria. She disguises herself as a young page named Cesario and goes to work for the handsome nobleman, Duke Orsino, who is madly in love with the Lady Olivia. When “Cesario” is sent to deliver a message of Orsino’s love to Olivia, the Lady falls in love with Viola, disguised as a young man. Trapped in a seemingly inescapable love triangle, the three pursue their interests in a hysterical comedy of mistaken identity, set against the backdrop of the upcoming holiday season.

Victor Maog. Photo by Lia Chang

Victor Maog. Photo by Lia Chang

Victor Maog is the artistic director of Second Generation Productions, as well as the vice-president of the board of directors of the Consortium of Asian American Theatres and Artists. He was recognized in October by American Theatre magazine as one of 20 Theatre Professionals to Watch. Maog is no stranger to Shakespeare, having directed his own adaptation of The Tempest at Ohio Theatre. Maog says “It’s a great honor to be invited to be part of CRT’s distinguished family of artists. Moreover, it’s a thrill to present one of Shakespeare’s great comedies during this festive season. Having spent my childhood listening incessantly to Christmas music, I can’t wait to share such rich language, joy, and mischief framed by some of my favorite tunes. Vince Cardinal and his team have built a program that is robust in acting, design, and tech with a strong sense of community. I can’t wait to showcase the tremendous gifts they have to offer!”

Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s more popular comedies, and the story of mistaken identity is one of his greatest comedic ploys. Dramaturg Molly Hamilton said, “Historically, the twelve days after Christmas Eve were a time of celebration, role reversal, and saying goodbye to the customary way of life. Between the pranking, the masquerading, and the abundance of festivity there is definitely much more to this play than what meets the eye.”

Joining the cast is equity actor Richard Ruiz, playing Sir Toby. Ruiz is no stranger to the CRT stage, having previously played Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady and Sancho Panza in Man of La Mancha. Upon receiving his MFA from UConn in 1998, Ruiz began his professional career in New York. Off-Broadway credits include: Two Gentlemen of Verona: The Musical at The Public Theatre, Fiorello, Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Winter’s Tale, Guys and Dolls, Cyrano, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, among others. His national tour credits include: Man of La Mancha, Sweet Charity, Urinetown, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Ruiz recently recorded the American cast album of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Equity actor Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte will also join the cast, taking on the role of Malvolio. Guilarte most recently had co-starring roles on Elementary and Madame Secretary. Other film and television credits include: Jessica Jones, Person of Interest, Nurse Jackie, Law and Order: SVU, Turks, Early Edition, The Workplace, When Kiran Met Karen, and How It Probably Went Down: Gandhi. He was recently seen onstage as Oberon/Theseus in Masterworks Theatre Company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other recent credits include: Fifth Planet From The Sun at Lincoln Center’s Clarke Studio Theatre and the King of Siam in Marriott Theatre’s production of The King & I. Off Broadway credits include Macbeth, Awake and Sing, Bunty Berman Presents, Marat/Sade, and The Winter’s Tale. Guilarte holds a BFA from DePaul Theatre School and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

The rest of cast includes acting MFA candidates Darren Brown, Arlene Bozich, Curtis Longfellow, and Jeff DeSisto, BFA actors Juliana Bearse, Madison Coppola, Chester Martin, Brian Sullivan, Kevin Hilversum, Joon Ho Oh, BA Theatre studies majors Olivia Benson and Max Helfand, and puppetry MFA candidate Mark Blashford.

The creative team includes: Victor Maog (Director), Brett Calvo (Scenic Designer), Justin Poruban (Lighting Design), Tuoxi Wu (Costume Designer), Abigail Golec (Sound Design), Marie Percy (Movement/Fight Choreography), David Alan Stern (Voice & Text Coach), Gregory Maine (Technical Director) and Tom Kosis* (Production Stage Manager).

PERFORMANCE AND TICKET INFORMATION
Evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Select matinee performances start at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Season subscriptions and single tickets are available now. Single tickets range from $7 to $30. All student tickets are only $7.

Children must be at least 4 years old to attend CRT productions. For additional ticket information or to charge tickets by phone, call 860.486.2113. All sales are final; no refunds. Play selections and performance dates are subject to change.

Please call the box office at 860.486.2113 for tickets and additional information or visit www.crt.uconn.edu for specific show dates and times because performance schedules vary and are subject to change.

The Nafe Katter Theatre is located on the campus of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT.

Connecticut Repertory Theatre

CRT, part of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut, is the professional producing arm of the Department of Dramatic Arts. CRT stages an array of the best in theatre, from classic plays and musicals to premieres of the latest contemporary work, featuring some of the nation’s finest theatre professionals on stage with the department’s most promising students. The synergy between professionals and advanced student artists creates extraordinary theatre and a unique learning environment.

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@liachang.com

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