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Much Ado About Nothing Company Information

Much Ado about Nothing


Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by James R. Tompkins

Benedick, a soldier: Jake Beamer 
Beatrice, niece to Leonato: Jocelyn Matsuo 
Leonato, Governor of Messina: Travis Stolp
Don Pedro, Prince of Arragon: Robbie McCracken
Claudio, a young lord of Florence: Reese Fischer
Hero, daughter to Leonato: Elisabeth Riddle
Don John, the bastard brother of Don Pedro: David Galloway
Borachio, follower of Don John: Richard Ribuffo
Friar Francis: James Thompson
Dogberry, a Constable: Braden McCampbell
Verges, a head borough: Eric Knoppkie
Ursula, gentlewoman attending on Hero
: Ashley Smith
Margaret, gentlewoman attending on Hero: Lauren Street 
Conrade, follower of Don John: Tommy Neville
Antonio, brother to Leonato: Ronnie Dobbs
Balthazar, attendant on Don Pedro: Phoebe Bell
Messenger, army soldier: Patrick Taft
First Watch: André Mulligan
Second Watch: Derek Wahle
Sexton: Megg Ward
Girl: Ann-Claude Rakotoniaina
Sweeper: Dustin Marsh 
Claudio’s Uncle: Derek Wahle
Men’s understudy: Dustin Marsh

The play takes place on the island of Sicily in Messina, Italy

James Tompkins (Director) earned his BA from Lake Forest College, his MA from the University of Washington, and received a two year grant from the French Government to study at L'Ecole Jacques LeCoq. He has taught at the Academy of Dramatic Art, Ohio State University, The Drama Studio, The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, The Webber Douglas Academy, The Central School of Speech and Drama, Arts Educational (all in London), the National School of Drama, New Delhi, India, and the National Academy of Performing Arts and the National College of Arts in Pakistan. His professional acting credits include The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, A Contemporary Theatre, the Provincetown Playhouse, and The Louisville Children's Theatre. He wrote and directed two Commedia dell'Arte plays for the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival; his The Seven Labors of Arlecchino toured last year with UofL’s Repertory Company. Last season he directed The Flu Season.

Michael Hottois (Scenic and Lighting Design) is the resident Scenic and Lighting Designer for the Theatre Arts Department. Michael has designed well over 300 major productions with some of his favorites being Woyzeck, Ring ‘Round the Moon, Metamorphoses, Arsenic & Old Lace, and Uncle Vanya. Over the past few summers he designed Always, Patsy Cline; All Shook Up; The Producers; Ain't Misbehavin'; and No, No, Nanette for the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in New York. His credits as a scenic artist include the films Boris and Natasha and Closetland, as well as Soul of the Game for HBO. He is also a member of United Scenic Artists Union, Local 829.

Zhanna Goldentul (Costume Design) is the resident Costume Designer for the Theatre Arts Department.  Her recent designs for the department include Atomic Bombers, Richard III, The Laramie  Project, A Song for Coretta, Come Down Burning, Titus  Andronicus, Cage Rhythm, Romeo and Juliet, Blithe Spirit, and many others.  She is a graduate of the Theatrical Art College in Moscow and earned her MA in Fine Arts from UofL.  She has designed costumes at Stage One: Louisville Children’s Theatre, and has been a member of the United Scenic Artists' Union since 1993.

Gina Vito (Assistant Costume Design), Louisville, KY, is a junior Theatre Arts major.  She has spent the last year working at Walt Disney World through the Disney College Program and works in the Theatre Arts Costume Shop under a work scholarship. She recently served as the Stage Manager for A Perfect Wedding, Assistant Stage Manager for How I Learned to Drive and The Colored Museum, and appeared in various roles in The Laramie Project.

Jake Beamer (Benedick), Louisville, KY, is a third-year MFA student in Performance. He received his BA in Theatre from the University of Kentucky. Past productions at UofL include Big Sweety in Plays: A Play, Richmond in Richard III, Esu Elegba in How Orisanmi Chose His Head and Angelo in Measure for Measure. Past credits elsewhere include Kennedy King in The Kings of Christmas at The Bard’s Town, Dracula in Dracula and Captain Von Brackenstrand in Liberty Inn, both at the California Theatre Center, and Saturninus in Titus Andronicus at the University of Kentucky. He is also trained in six weapons through the Society of American Fight Directors. This is his thesis performance.

Phoebe Bell (Balthasar), Elizabethtown, KY, is a senior majoring in Music Therapy. Past performances at UofL include Waitress in Blind Date #3 and Mrs. Diebold in A Night at the Restaurant, both with Studio Theatre, Mona/Ensemble in Chicago with the Cardinals for the Appreciation of Musical Theatre, and The Woman who Loved Vaginas in The Vagina Monologues.

Ronnie B. Dobbs (Antonio), Wiesbaden, Germany, is a Data Analyst for Humana in Louisville. Past productions at UofL include Uncle Gustav in Monsieur Baptiste, the Con Man and Messenger in The Bacchae.

Reese A. Fisher (Claudio), Crestwood, KY, is a sophomore majoring in Theatre Arts and French. Past productions at UofL include Bradyman in Plays: A Play, Richard Feynman in Atomic Bombers, and Prologue in The Flu Season. Past credits elsewhere include Anthony Kirby in You Can’t Take It with You, Titus Savage in The Curious Savage, and Professor Bhaer in Little Women, all at Little Colonel Playhouse.

David Galloway (Don Jon), Clinton, SC, is a second-year MFA student in Performance. He earned his BA in Theatre from Presbyterian College. Past productions at UofL include Enrico Fermi in Atomic Bombers and Sir Richard Ratcliffe in Richard III. Past credits elsewhere include various roles in Hairspray! and Sam Weinberg in A Few Good Men, both at the Workshop Theatre, and Egeus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Sir Thurio in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, both at the South Carolina Shakespeare Company.

Eric Knoppkie (Verges), Bloomington, IN, is a freshman majoring in Education. This is his debut performance at UofL. He recently appeared as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Owen Valley High School.

Braden McCampbell (Dogberry), Amarillo, TX, is a freshman Theatre Arts major. This is his debut performance at UofL. Past credits elsewhere include Zombie 13 in Thriller, Cockney Chain in My Fair Lady, Danforth in The Crucible, and Monk Choir in The Magic Flute, all at the Amarillo Opera.

Robbie McCracken (Don Pedro), Anderson, SC, is a first-year MFA student in Performance. He earned his BA in Theatre from Anderson University. This is his debut production at UofL. Past credits elsewhere include King Wingina in The Last Colony, at the Waterside Theatre, Victor in Cabaret at the Warehouse Theatre, Macduff in Macbeth, and Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie, both at Anderson University.

Dustin Neal Marsh (Understudy), Pewee Valley, KY, is a freshman at UofL. This is his debut production at UofL. Past credits elsewhere include Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, Duncan in Macbeth, Genghis Kahn in Seussical, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, all at South Oldham High School.

Jocelyn Matsuo (Beatrice), Salt Lake City, UT, is a third-year MFA student in Performance. She earned her post graduate diploma in Classical Acting from LAMDA. Past productions at UofL include Ensemble in Plays: A Play and Mad at Miles: A Black Woman’s Guide to Truth, various roles in How Orisanmi Chose His Head, and Mariana in Measure for Measure. Past credits elsewhere include Hope in This Hope Box with The Poorhouse Theatre Company, Allison in Look Back in Anger at the Georgia Court Theater, Estelle in No Exit, and various roles in The Saturday Mash-up at the Sidewalk Theatre. She has certificates in Ballroom Dancing and Corporeal Mime and in Stage Combat. This is her thesis performance.

Andre Mulligan (First Watch), Louisville, KY, earned his BA degree in Political Science and History from UofL. Past productions at UofL include Mister in King Hedley II, Sean David in A Photographer, and Kid #1 in Slanguage, both for Studio Theatre. Past credits elsewhere include Romeo in One Night Only at The Winery.  He is the CEO for Romeo Entertainment.

Tommy Neville (Conrade) Atlanta, GA, is a senior Theater Arts Major. He recently served as the Sound Designer for The Artifacts (Studio Theatre), Richard III, and Measure for Measure, and appeared as Heath Ledger in Hell's Awesome and Donny in Lambs (Studio Theatre). Past credits elsewhere include the role of Lord Chamberlain with the Ballard Madrigals of 2007 and 2008. He is also the Sound Engineer for the Theater Arts Department.

Ann-Claude Rakotoniaina (Girl), Owensboro, KY, is a sophomore Biology major.  She recently appeared as Mrs. Clifford in A Night at the Restaurant (Studio Theatre). Past credits elsewhere include Hope in Almost, Maine and Professor Nemur in Flowers for Algernon, both for Theatre Workshop of Owensboro, and Diane Dunwoody in Clockwork and Maggie in Those Crazy Ladies in the House on the Corner, both at Owensboro Catholic High School.

Richard Ribuffo (Borachio), West Palm Beach, FL, is a first-year MFA student in Performance. He earned a BA in Theatre from Palm Beach Atlantic University, and certificates from the Burt Reynolds Institute and the Society of American Fight Directors. This is his debut production at UofL. Past credits elsewhere include Feldzieg in Drowsy Chaperone and Mr. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, both at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Marlon Brando in A Love Lost Life at Cuillo Theatre, and Sir Toby in Twelfth Night with Miami Shakespeare.

Elisabeth Riddle (Hero), Morehead, KY, is a freshman Theatre Arts major. This is her debut production at UofL. Past credits elsewhere include Mrs. Jewels in Sideways Stories from Wayside School and Lorina/Duchess in Alice in Wonderland, both at Lexington Children’s Theatre, Young Eva in And then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank at the Paramount Arts Center, and Narrator in The Greek Mythology Olympiaganza at Rowan County Senior High School.

Ashley Smith (Ursula), Louisville, KY, is a second-year MFA student in Performance.  She earned her BA in Theatre from the University of Kentucky.  She recently appeared as Laura Fermi in Atomic Bombers and Rivers in Richard III.  Past credits elsewhere include Little Red in Once upon a Wolf at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Sarah in Dracula and Gina Jo in Christmas Bells, both at the Kentucky Repertory Theatre, and Sister James in Doubt at the University of Kentucky. She is currently training in silks at Turners Circus.

Travis Stolp (Leonato), Costa Mesa, CA, is a first-year MFA student in Performance. He earned his BA in Drama from University of California Irvine, and is a graduate of the Professional Intensive Acting Program at the South Coast Repertory. This is his debut production at UofL. Past credits elsewhere include Hawthorne in The Crucible, Peter Carlson in Earthlings Beware, and Murray in The Odd Couple, all at the Costa Mesa Playhouse, and Henry Harry in Brilliant Traces at Vanguard University.

Lauren Street (Margaret), Nashville, TN, is a third-year MFA student in Performance.  Previous productions at UofL include Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, Karl in A Perfect Wedding, Teenage Greek Chorus in How I Learned to Drive, and The Woman in Blind Date (Studio Theatre). Past credits elsewhere include Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie and Ensemble in The Laramie Project, both at Naked Stages, and Mrs. Bassett in Summer and Smoke and Estelle in No Exit, both at Middle Tennessee State University. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and a recipient of the David Shelton Award for her play Grande Finale, which will premiere at KCACTF February 2013. This is her thesis performance.

Patrick Taft (Messenger), Florence, KY, is a freshman English major. This is his debut production at UofL. Past credits elsewhere include Dr. Seward in Dracula with the Backstage Players and Paul Blanchard in Moon over Buffalo at the Blazard Theatre.

James Thompson
(Friar Francis), Louisville, KY, is a junior double majoring in Spanish and Theatre Arts. Previous productions at UofL include James in Plays: A Play, Vaughn in Richard III, Nilly in The Sausage Eaters (Studio Theatre), and Edmund in A Perfect Wedding. He recently appeared as Alfred in Death by Chocolate at Jeffersontown High School.

Derek Wahle (Claudio’s Uncle/Second Watch), Louisville, KY, is a junior Theatre Arts major.  Past productions at UofL include Klaus Fuchs in Atomic Bombers, and Bartholomew in A Night at the Restaurant (Studio Theatre).

Megg Ward (Sexton), Crestwood, KY is a junior triple majoring in Theatre Arts, Humanities, and History. Past productions at UofL include Megg in Plays: A Play, Sir William Catesby in Richard III and Justice in Measure for Measure. Past credits elsewhere include Mrs. Kirby in You Can’t Take It with You, Mrs. Savage in The Curious Savage and Jo March in Little Women, all at the Little Colonel Playhouse.

Sue Hlavinka (Stage Manager), Radcliffe, KY, is a senior Theatre Arts major. She was recently seen as Momma Morton in Chicago with the Cardinals for the Appreciation of Musical Theatre at UofL. Previous production credits at UofL include Stage Manager for Blues for an Alabama Sky, Richard III, and Don’t Call her Bitch (Studio Theatre). She recently served as Stage Manager for Strike Zone at The Bard’s Town Theatre and as Scenic Designer for Anything Goes with CAMT at UofL. She was also a Stage Management Nominee for KCACTF in 2011.

Gaelan Genoud (Assistant Stage Manager), Louisville, KY, is a sophomore Theatre Arts major. This is his debut production at UofL. Past credits elsewhere include George Holly in Suddenly Last Summer at Murray State University, Harry in Mamma Mia at the Mougins School, France, Faustus in Dr. Faustus, and Tyler in Fight Club, both at LAMDA.

Michelle Gentry (Assistant Stage Manager), Louisville, KY, is a sophomore Theatre Arts major. Previous productions credits at UofL include Master Carpenter for Shakin’ the Mess outta Misery, Carpenter for Blues for an Alabama Sky, The Flu Season, and Richard III, and Assistant Scenic Designer for Atomic Bombers.

Scenic and Lighting Design: Michael Hottois
Costume Design: Zhanna Goldentul
Sound Arrangement: Tommy Neville
Stage Manager: Sue Hlavinka
Choreographer: Lauren Street
Musicians: Phoebe Bell and TommyNeville
Assistant Stage Managers: Michelle Gentry,
Voice Coach: Daniel Hill
Technical Director: Garry Brown
Technical Production Supervisor: Charles Nasby
Scenic Construction: Amos Dreisbach, Michelle Gentry, Janine Hogan, Collin Sage, Kathryn Spivey, Derek Wahle, TA 240 Stagecraft I
Production Buyer: Robert McCracken
Costume Shop Manager: Melissa Shepherd
Costume Construction: James Coomer, Amy Davis, Jody Ann Henry, Jennifer Siow, James Thompson, Gina Vito
Wardrobe Master: James Coomer
Costume Buyer: James Thompson
Wardrobe Crew: Grace Bors, Kyle Layman
Properties Manager: Megan Ward
Properties Crew: Blair Boyd, Reese Fisher, Kathryn Spivey
Master Electricians: Lauren Camargo, Mo Stucker
Lighting Crew: TA 349 Stage Lighting
Sound Engineer: Tommy Neville
Sound Operator: John Radeke
Box Office Manager: Melanie Henry
Box Office Staff: Candice Tempel
House Manager: Chavon Lewis

Acknowledgements: Walden Theatre, Reese Fisher, Dirty Tease, TA 545 Costume Craft, Hank Bullitt

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