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"This production would not be possible without our partners, please consider reaching out to thank them for their support of local arts! We’re so excited to share the first Northwest Arkansas Shakespeare Festival with you!! We believe Shakespeare remains so popular 450 years after his birth, because he is the most democratic of authors. No matter your age, gender, social position or culture there is something in his plays for you. There’s beautiful poetry, silly jokes, goofy slapstick, and profound insight into the human condition. This play in particular, we believe, has special relevance for our community. “As You Like It” is considered a pastoral, a romantic comedy that explores the intersection of city and country life. I cannot think of a more vital theme for us here in Northwest Arkansas, which every day benefits from vibrant diversity and exciting growth and development all the while retaining its small town charm. I love this play, mainly for its quirky characters. While the romantic lead, Rosalind, is Shakespeare’s largest female role – the play is very much an ensemble piece. The magic of the play is getting a chance to meet and spend 2 hours with this company of unique, charming people. As the director, I am doubly lucky because I’ve had the opportunity to get to know and spend time with the wonderful actors behind each of these characters. The sheer amount of talent involved in this show both on and off the stage is truly humbling. I have no doubt you’ll fall in love with each one of them as much as I have. Thank you to Virginia for all her work and patience through this process and Kassie Misiewicz and Josh Stacey for your support getting this festival off the ground!! Enjoy the show!! "
Justin Scheuer (Director) is the Artistic Director of The Classical Edge Theatre Company, for which he’s appeared as Cassius in “Julius Caesar,” Benedick “Much Ado About Nothing,” and Bottom in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” His original play the one-woman show written for his wife, “Masha’s Seagull,” opened the 2015 season of the Berkshire Theatre Festival. He has also performed with Theatresquared as Victor Fleming in “Moonlight and Magnolias,” Fred in “A Christmas Carol” and in the one-man show “Fully Committed” in partnership with the Walton Arts Center. Justin teaches theatre at Bentonville High School, where he’s directed over 25 productions, some of his favorites being Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice,” “Uncle Vanya,” “Macbeth” and “Tartuffe.” He is certified in broadsword and rapier & dagger through the Society of American Fight Directors and received his MFA in Acting at the University of Arkansas.
Shay Box is a rising sophomore at Oklahoma City University. Her past productions include Macbeth, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Medea, Noises Off, and Crowns. She would like to thank her amazing mother, her boyfriend Jason, and her dog and cat Brad and Charlie, respectively, for their unconditional love and support. She would also like to thank the cast for being a joy to work with and Justin Scheuer for having so much faith in her. She hopes everyone loves the show as much as she does!
Steven Marzolf is an Instructor of Theatre at the University of Arkansas and teaches acting and Shakespeare. Steven has taught Acting Shakespeare’s Folio Technique at many universities and professional companies around the country. He is a member of the actors union (AEA) and has directed several productions academically and professionally. Theatresquared acting credits include: Great Expectations, All The Way, Amadeus, The Spiritualist, The Fall of the House and the Arkansas New Play Festival. Regional acting credits include: Cyrano in Cyrano De Bergerac with Riverside Theatre in Iowa City, Coriolanus in Coriolanus with The Old Globe Theatre, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet with Notre Dame Shakespeare, along with several more productions at The Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Milwaukee Rep, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Riverside Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre Company (where he was apart of the original production of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning play August: Osage County). Directing credits include: The Glass Menagerie with Riverside Theatre in Iowa City, Crave with The Side Project in Chicago, Romeo and Juliet: In Concert with The South Arkansas Symphony/T2, The Trojan Women with The Stella Adler Institute in NYC, The Taming of the Shrew with The Classical Edge and several productions with the University of Tulsa and University of Arkansas. He holds an MFA in acting from The Old Globe Theatre/University of San Diego’s Professional Actor Training Program.
Scott Russell is an AEA actor, fight choreographer, educator, and an Associate Instructor with Dueling Arts International; he currently divides his time between Fayetteville, AR and Indianapolis, IN. He is recognized as an Advanced Actor Combatant with DAI and the Society of American Fight Directors and an Intermediate Actor Combatant with Fight Directors Canada, the Society of Australian Fight Directors, Inc., the Nordic Stage Fight Society, and the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat. He has previously served as instructor for the Indianapolis Opera’s Resident Artist program. Scott is a graduate of The Conservatory at Act One Studios – Chicago, and a current MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas. He holds an undergraduate degree in Biology from Belmont University. Fight choreography credits include: Vietgone, The Dingdong, Detroit, The Champion, Great Expectations (TheatreSquared); Hand to God (The Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis); Life is a Dream, Man of La Mancha, The Metal Children, Angels in America Part 2 (University of Arkansas); Killer Joe (Theatre on the Square); Twelfth Night, As you Like It (Indianapolis Shakespeare Company); Hamlet, Richard III, As You Like It, Macbeth (First Folio Productions); and many others.
Michael J. Riha has taught at the University of Arkansas since 1992 and served as the Head of Design for twenty-one years. In 2013, he became the 4th Chair of the Department of Theatre at the U of A.Michael’s professional credits include, Assistant Designer to Tony Award winning set designer, Christine Jones on the Broadway musical, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, and the Metropolitan Opera’s 2013 production of Rigoletto. He has also worked at the Muny in St. Louis, MO, TheatreSquared, Fayetteville, AR, the national tour of Fiddler on the Roof, and for several Princess Line Cruise line productions. He has designed scenery and lighting regionally in California, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Indiana, New York, and Arkansas for over one hundred productions. He is also the author of “Starting Your Career as a Theatrical Designer: Insights and Advice from Leading Broadway Designers” published by Allworth Press. Michael is a proud member of USA-829.
MFA, University of Southern Mississippi. BFA, Marshall University. Shannon Miller began his career in 1987 as a stage technician for touring rock bands. From 1987 through the present, he has embarked on a series of challenging career opportunities that fostered his teaching, leadership, entrepreneurial strengths, and talents for entertainment design and technology. During this time, he has held positions at a variety of universities and professional theatres, including Marshall University (WV), Utah Shakespeare Festival, Millikin University (IL), Chicago Designs, Southern Arena Theatre (MS), Southern Opera (MS), Theatre West Virginia, Public Theatre of Kentucky, Barnstormers Theatre (NH), The University of New Orleans, McNeese State Univeristy (LA), Maltz Jupiter Theatre (FL), and University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Mr. Miller has also completed various designs and consultations for groups such as Christian Youth Theatre through his company, SRMDzynes. He is the founder of The Lakefront Youth Theatre Experience, a post-Katrina youth arts initiative and volunteer organization in New Orleans. These varied assignments have provided him with a unique perspective for problem solving in a variety of circumstances with many different personalities, educational backgrounds, artistic visions, and production challenges
This is Madi’s first time working with The Classical Edge! Madi is a recent graduate from the University of Arkansas. She has previously worked for TheatreSquared and local crew for National Tours at the Walton Arts Center. Previous design credits include Dr. Faustus and Twelfth Night. This fall she will begin graduate school at Indiana University for Costume Technology.
Emily Tomlinson (Rosalind) makes her Classical Edge debut. Recently she performed in TheatreSquared’s educational touring production The Math Show and traveling production of A Christmas Carol. Other credits include Sonya in Uncle (TheatreSquared's Arkansas New Play Festival), Rosalind in As You Drink It (LIT Co.), and Cinderella in Cinderella Confidential (Trike Theatre). University credits include Annabella/Pamela/Margaret in The 39 Steps, Julia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Celia in As You Like It, Silvia in Tribes, Violet Bradman in Blithe Spirit, Lady Macduff in Macbeth, Fritzie in Cabaret, and Alice in Vinegar Tom. She also played Simone in the virtual reality short film Say It With Music. She holds a BA in Drama from the University of Arkansas and an MFA in Performing Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Charlie Rodriguez is a MFA graduate from the University of Arkansas. He has has BA In Drama from Texas Women’s University in Denton Texas. He has performed with Dallas Shakespeare and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He has also worked with the local Shakespeare troupe The Crude Mechanicals. Charlie will be returning to London to study at The Royal Academy and to do another show in London in the late summer.
After earning a B.F.A.in Theatre from Oklahoma University in 1982, Harry toured for a year with the renowned Repertory Theatre of America, delivering nearly 300 performances of: "Private Lives", "Same Time Next Year", "Chapter Two", and "Spoon River Anthology". Next, came six years in New York City, then nine years in Los Angeles, where he studied acting at the Lee Strasburg Studio (NYC), and continued working as an actor, singer, and dancer in a variety of reputable theatre companies on both coasts....some credits include: "Romeo & Juliet", "Twelfth Night", "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Oklahoma", "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", "The Fantasticks", "Barefoot in the Park", "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Zoo Story". Harry made a very natural segue into education, and for 19 years has been teaching Theatre and English in California, Florida, Oklahoma, and Missouri, and currently teaches Drama and Forensics at Lincoln Junior High, here in Bentonville.
Keefer Dean Roach is a Fayetteville, AR resident. He is an actor/musician who is in his second show with the Classical Edge. This is his seventh Shakespeare show having been in Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Taming of The Shrew, and Twelfth Night (thrice). He would like to thank Celeste and his dog, Ghost.
Mischa Hutchings (Jaques) Recent roles include: Mary in It's a Wonderful Life: a radio Play (TheatreSquared), Mary in Detroit (Catastrophic Theatre), Alice in Lidless, Stacey in Spaghetti Code (Horse Head Theatre), Meg in Leighza Walker's Fishing (Cone Man Running Productions, Elizabeth Keel’s Rainbowlands (14 Pews) Margaret in Leading Ladies (Texas Repertory Theatre) Karen in Speed the Plow (Country Playhouse); Catherine in Elizabeth Keel's Notions of Right and Wrong (Mildred's Umbrella). Other favorite roles include: Catherine in Proof, Carol in Oleanna, Mary in It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play Sylvia in Sylvia plus 3 years tour of duty at Main Street Youth Theater. Mischa holds her BA from the University of St. Thomas and is a company member of Horse Head Theatre. Mischa is a third year MFA Acting Candidate at The University of Arkansas
JOE BINZER makes his Classical Edge debut. He has previously worked with TheatreSquared on its educational touring production of The Math Show as well as its traveling production of A Christmas Carol. Other previous credits include Orlando in As You Drink It (Legitimately Intoxicated Theatre Co). University credits include Alan in God of Carnage; Johnson in Really, Really; Himself in The People We're Not; various roles in Ragtime!; Bobby in Cabaret; Lori in The Demise of the Downtown Bar Scene; Callahan in Legally Blonde; and Henry II in Lion in Winter. He played Nathan the virtual reality short film Say It With Music. He holds an MFA in Performing Arts from the Savannah College of Art & Design and a BA in Film, Television & Theatre from the University of Notre Dame
is an actor based in Fayetteville, Arkansas and Indianapolis, Indiana. She is also a teaching artist in both states educating everyone from toddlers to doctors through the medium of theatre. In Indiana Jaddy has been a leader with Young Actors Theatre, and has performed at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, The Phoenix Theatre, Q Artistry, Indianapolis Shakespeare Co., and The Childrens Museum's Lilly Theatre. Since moving to Arkansas in December, Jaddy has been working with Trike Theatre for Youth both performing and teaching. Jaddy studied theatre and voice at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Christopher Tennison is delighted to be returning to Classical Edge where he was last seen in Taming of the Shrew. He hails from Houston, Texas, where he worked in theater and arts education for over 20 years. Recent/Favorite shows include: TheatreSquared: It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Town Center Theatre: Night and Her Stars; Main Street Theater: Somebody's Sons, Beyond The Fringe; Phoenix Theater: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet; Main Street Theater for Youth: If You Take a Mouse to The Movies, The Outsiders, The Diary of Anne Frank; The Fan Factory: Oleanna. He was the Founding Artistic Director of Town Center Theatre in The Woodlands, Texas, and is currently the Head of Academy at Trike Theatre here in Bentonville. Chris holds a BA from The University of St. Thomas, and just earned his MFA from The University of Arkansas.
David Jolliffe is a founding member of the Classical Edge Theatre Company and for the company has played Casca in JULIUS CAESAR, Leonato in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Starveling in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, and Sir Andrew Aguecheek in TWELFTH NIGHT. He is the executive producer of the LatinX Theatre Project, and he reads a role in the Prison Stories Project's production of ON THE ROW. On June 29, he will become Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Arkansas.
Matt Peoples is proud to make his return to the Bentonville stage! Matt last appeared onstage as Rocky in Arkansas Public Theatre’s The Rocky Horror Show (2017) and previously worked with the Classical Edge as Flute/Thisby in A Midsummer Night's Dream (2015). He also appeared as the Velveteen Rabbit in the Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre 2013 touring production of The Velveteen Rabbit. By day, Matt also teaches Theatrical Design & Technology at Bentonville High School. “Thanks to my fellow cast members, co-workers, friends and students for all of your support.”
Jake Lewis is a Senior Theatre Major at The University of Arkansas. Jake has been working with The Classical Edge since he was sixteen, previously appearing in their productions of Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Along with acting on a local level, Jake frequently performs both stand-up and improv comedy, and seeks to pursue a career in the comedy field.
Na'Tosha De'Von makes her Classical Edge debut as Celia. She has been seen in production such as Life is A Dream, Avenue Que, Steel Magnolias, and For Colored Girls to name a few. She recently worked with Theater For One outside of New York. NaTosha is a traveled published spoken word artist. She holds a B.S. in Speech Communication as well as Theater from Jackson State University and is a Third year MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas.
Laura Shatkus is an actor, director and producer who spent 10 years working and training as a theatre artist in Chicago before relocating to Northwest Arkansas for her MFA in Acting. She was most recently seen in Ripcord at The Hippodrome Theatre, where she also appeared as Syme in 1984 and the Charwoman in A Christmas Carol. In Arkansas, Laura is the Producing and Artistic Director of ArkansasStaged, a collective of theatre artists, placing an emphasis on womxn’s voices and leadership, working to bring staged readings and experimental/experiential theatre to life in unique spaces like 21C Museum Hotel. Other acting work in Northwest Arkansas includes many appearances on stage at TheatreSquared including Mrs. Van Buren in Intimate Apparel and Eliza Poe in The Fall of The House as well as roles in All The Way, Amadeus, and several seasons in The Arkansas New Play Festival. She holds an MFA in theatre from the University of Arkansas and was named one of 20 visionaries by the Arkansas Times in 2017.
Espen Mays is in his third semester at Northwest Arkansas Community College studying theatre and horticulture. He has performed with the NWACC theatre department, the Crude Mechanicals, and is excited to take part in his first Classical Edge production. He would like to thank his family, friends, and especially his cat, Wednesday.
Megan Marks is working towards a BFA in Musical Theatre at Missouri State University as of Fall 2018. She has enjoyed working under the direction of Justin and Virginia Scheuer in multiple shows and with theatre companies such as Tableside Theater and Carle Diem Theatre.
Branson is an NWACC student majoring in Fine Arts. He is one of those quiet at first, cheesy later on kind of people. He loves anime, food, games, and wants to travel the world someday. Acting was one of his many hobbies and is now turning it into a career. Dancing, drawing, and singing are a few other hobbies he plans on polishing up. He follows a quote to heart from an elementary motivational guest speaker, "Be the better version of yourself than you were yesterday." Branson hopes to inspire others with that quote no matter of age, ethnicity, or gender.
Angela is grateful to have been involved in her first Shakespearean play and is excited to study nursing this coming fall at the University of Arkansas. She would like to thank her friends and family, especially Tommy for all the support and kindness.
Graham Sloter is a Bentonville high school graduate. He is happy to have this opportunity to work with this amazing cast and get the experience of a more professional theatre experience. He would like to thank all his pals and mates for sticking with him throughout the process and his family for always supporting no matter how small the part.
Kennedy Frazier is a recent graduate of Bentonville High School and is very honored to join the cast of As You Like It in the first NWA Shakespeare Festival. Her recent credits include Men on Boats (Andrew Hall), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Rosa Bud), Argonautika (Medea), and Tartuffe (Madame Pernelle). She will be attending Kenyon College in the fall as a Theatre Performance and Neuroscience major.
Jason Howard is a sophomore at Southern Arkansas University studying criminal justice. He would like to thank Shay Box for being an awesome girlfriend and always supporting him. He’d also like to thank his parents for raising him.