The Scranton Shakespeare Festival announces its sixth season —a daring lineup of single-gender casts for both Shakespeare plays and a baseball musical performed in a ballpark.
Randolph Curtis Rand is directing an all-male cast production of “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” featuring Grant Chamberlin, Derek Grabner, Conor McGuigan, Joe McGurl, David Merten, Lorenzo Pugliese, Gerome Samonte, Jon Steiger, Jonathan Strayer, and Bobby Temple.
Maura Malloy is directing a seldom attempted all-female cast version of “Measure for Measure,” featuring Jazmine Alexandria, Danielle Cohn, Jillian Geurts, Jenna Hokanson, Veronique Jeanmarie, Sarah Keyes, Donovan Lockett, Camille Reinecke, Maddison Ridley, Tamara Sevunts, Olivia Stevenson, and Constance Wookey.
Both Shakespeare shows will be performed at Scranton Prep, making a departure from their usual venue at the University of Scranton’s Royal Theater.
Artistic Director Michael Bradshaw Flynn is directing “Damn Yankees” at the PNC Field, in neighboring Moosic, a bold step up from previous years’ outdoor performances at Nay Aug Park.
The show will feature Jazmine Alexandria, Grant Chamberlin, Danielle Cohn, Mollie Downes, Michael Gilbert, Colin Holmes, Jillian Kemmerer, Sarah Keyes, Kiley Lotz, Matt Lynady, Kylo Martin, Joe McGurl, Juliana Pillets, Lorenzo Pugliese, Timothy Quinn, Gerome Samonte, Micah Scroggins, Jacob Shrimpf, Jonathan Strayer, Logan T. Sutton, Jerica Tallo, and Bobby Temple.
The festival opened in June with two original one-acts: one-woman show “Cheeks,” from Philadelphia-based theatre-maker Lee Minora, and one-man show “Skin of the Teeth,” an award-winning play from London-based FAT CONTENT theatre company, featuring Daniel Holme, at The Olde Brick Theatre in Scranton.
This sixth edition revealed itself to be ballsy (pun intended), as well as all-American, in more ways than one; “Damn Yankees” is being performed in the New York Yankees’ affiliate stadium, the PNC Field, combining the most decidedly American of all things — baseball and musicals.
On the other hand, one might venture to say that in giving two lesser-performed Shakespearean comedies a single-gender flair, the festival is addressing the way in which gender roles are everchanging in America, and joining a heated debate on the subject.
Two Gentlemen of Verona: July 22, 8 p.m. at Scranton Prep
Measure for Measure: July 6, 7, 8, and 21 at 8 p.m. and July 9 at 3 p.m. at Scranton Prep
Damn Yankees: July 14, 15 at 7:30 p.m. and July 16, 23 at 5 p.m. at PNC Field
All performances are free. Tickets can be reserved online.