SAN DIEGO–The Old Globe revealed two of the stars of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Othello, the first show of the Globe’s 2014 Summer Shakespeare Festival.
Making their Globe debuts are Emmy Award-winner Richard Thomas (“The Americans,” “The Waltons”) as Iago and Kristen Connolly (“House of Cards,” The Cabin in the Woods) as Desdemona. Both artists continue collaborations with Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein that began in New York: Thomas starred in Edelstein’s critically acclaimed production of Timon of Athens at The Public Theater in 2011, and Connolly in three Shakespeare plays that Edelstein helped produce at The Public. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
From New York’s Shakespeare in the Park to Balboa Park, Artistic Director Barry Edelstein makes his outdoor directorial debut in The Old Globe’s Lowell Davies Festival Theatre with one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies. Despite the prejudices in Venice, the brilliant general Othello excels both on the battlefield and in the halls of state. But when he marries Desdemona, his envious lieutenant Iago sets in motion a diabolical plan to destroy him. Edelstein gives us a riveting, intense, and intimate production where poetry soars and swords clash, where true love and wrenching jealousy collide.
“Shakespeare’s plays demand actors with superb technical skills, deep emotional range, and great charisma,” said Edelstein. “Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly have all three qualities in abundance. Audiences who know Richard from his iconic role in ‘The Waltons’ may not be aware that he is one of our country’s great stage actors with a long career in Shakespeare. He and I had a great time working on Shakespeare in 2011, and I’m thrilled to collaborate with him on what is perhaps the greatest villain in the Bard’s canon. Kristen is one of the most promising classical actresses of her generation whose imaginative response to Shakespeare’s ingénues dazzled audiences in New York. I know that The Old Globe’s audiences will love getting to know her, and I can’t wait to welcome her to San Diego.”
Richard Thomas (Iago) starred in the award-winning series “The Waltons,” for which he won an Emmy Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He has continued to star in series, films, plays, and over 50 movies for television. His theatre career began at age seven with the 1958 Broadway production of Sunrise at Campobello and continued with such shows as Fifth of July, The Seagull, The Front Page, Tiny Alice, Peer Gynt, Richard II, Richard III, Hamlet, and The Stendhal Syndrome. His other stage credits include Broadway’s Democracy and A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, the national tour of the Broadway revival of 12 Angry Men, and Unusual Acts of Devotion by Terrence McNally. His recent projects include the Broadway production of David Mamet’s Race; the title role in The Public Theater’s Timon of Athens;Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays for the Minetta Lane Theatre; and the world premiere of Camp David at Arena Stage. He last appeared on Broadway in the Manhattan Theatre Club revival of An Enemy of the People. Thomas can currently be seen on the hit FX series “The Americans.” He also had starring roles on series such as “Just Cause,” “It’s a Miracle,” and “The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson.” His television films include the Stephen King miniseries Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Stephen King’s It, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Silence, The Red Badge of Courage, The Master of Ballantrae, Johnny Belinda, Berlin Tunnel 21, Living Proof: The Hank Williams, Jr. Story, Hobson’s Choice, Roots: The Next Generations, Go Toward the Light, In the Name of the People, The Christmas Secret, The Miracle of the Cards, Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anna’s Dream, Annie’s Point, Wild Hearts, and most recently Hallmark Channel’s film Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. As a producer, Thomas has worked on such television projects as What Love Sees and For All Time. Thomas has appeared in such movies as The Wonder Boys, Battle Beyond the Stars, The Todd Killings, Last Summer, Winning, Red Sky at Morning, Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, and the forthcoming Anesthesia.
Kristen Connolly (Desdemona) recently completed shooting the NBC pilot “Tin Man,” written by Ehren Krueger and directed by D.J. Caruso. She also recently completed work on the History Channel miniseries Houdini opposite Adrien Brody. She is best known for playing the role of Christina Gallagher on the acclaimed Netflix series “House of Cards.” She was most recently seen on film in Lionsgate/MGM’s The Cabin in the Woods. Connolly’s other film credits include The Bay, The Happening, and Revolutionary Road. She has appeared Off Broadway in King Lear and the 2011 Shakespeare in the Park productions of All’s Well That Ends Well andMeasure for Measure.
Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein is a stage director, producer, author, and educator. Widely recognized as one of the leading authorities on the works of Shakespeare in the United States, he has directed nearly half of the Bard’s works. He recently made his Globe directorial debut with Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale starring Billy Campbell, the first Shakespeare to be staged in our indoor theatre in over a decade. As Director of the Shakespeare Initiative at The Public Theater (2008-2012), he oversaw all of the company’s Shakespearean productions, as well as its extensive educational, community outreach, and artist-training programs. At The Public, Edelstein staged Julius Caesar starring Jeffrey Wright for Shakespeare in the Park and The Merchant of Venice featuring Ron Leibman’s Obie Award-winning portrayal of Shylock. He was also Associate Producer of The Public’s Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino. From 1998-2003 he was Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company, where he produced and directed some of New York’s most memorable classical productions. Edelstein’s Shakespearean directorial credits include The Winter’s Tale with David Strathairn, Timon of Athens with Richard Thomas, As You Like It with Gwyneth Paltrow, and Richard III with John Turturro. His additional credits include the Lucille Lortel Award-winning revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons; the world premiere of Steve Martin’s The Underpants, which he commissioned; Molière’s The Misanthrope starring Uma Thurman in her stage debut; and the world premiere of novelist Nathan Englander’s play The Twenty-Seventh Man. Edelstein has taught Shakespearean acting at The Juilliard School, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program, and the University of Southern California. His book Thinking Shakespeare (called by New York magazine “a must-read for actors”) was published in 2007 and is now the standard text on American Shakespearean acting. He is also the author of Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions.
Performances run June 22 to July 27, with Opening Night on June 28 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets to the Globe’s 2014 Summer Season are currently available by subscription only, and prices range from $92 to $332. Subscription packages may be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE, or by visiting the box office.
The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park. Valet parking is also available during performances ($10). For additional parking information visit www.BalboaPark.org.