Shakespeare in Hollywood

10/6/2011 - 10/23/2011
12:00 AM
11:59 PM

Running 10/6/2011 to 10/23/2011


  • Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
  • Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
  • Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

A comedy by Ken Ludwig; Directed by Nancy Cates

Lights, camera, Shakespeare! It’s 1934 and famed movie director Max Reinhardt is determined to film William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the silver screen. He soon finds more than he bargained for – thanks to a gaggle of fairies and a mischievous ass running amok on a Hollywood set. This hilarious comic romp delights in Tinseltown tomfoolery.

Playwright Ken Ludwig drew his inspiration for the fictional Shakespeare in Hollywood from the real-life 1935 film version of Shakespeare’s comedy, which starred Mickey Rooney, James Cagney and Olivia de Havilland. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards and took home two (for cinematography and film editing). In Shakespeare in Hollywood, Ludwig creates a comical behind-the-scenes look at the making of this landmark film. With a playful, “puckish” flourish, the play plunges the “real” Oberon and Puck – two key characters from the classic play – onto the Warner Bros. film lot. Here, Oberon and Puck get the chance to “play themselves” in a truly brave new world of glitz, glamour and Hollywood dreams.

Shakespeare in Hollywood was commissioned by The Royal Shakespeare Company and premiered Sept. 5, 2004, at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. The production was directed by Kyle Donnelly. The production won the Helen Hayes Award (honoring professional theatre in the Washington, DC metropolitan area) as Best New Play of the Year. The cast of the Arena Stage premiere production of the play featured Alice Ripley in the role of Lydia Lansing; the former Lakewood resident and Kent State University graduate would later win the 2009 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Next to Normal. Since its premiere in 2004, Ken Ludwig’s comedy has been produced by hundreds of amateur and professional theaters across the United States.


$15 to $21

Special Preview Night Savings: All tickets are $15 on Thursday, Oct. 6 only!

For performances after Oct. 6

$21 for adults (ages 18 and older)
$19 for seniors (ages 65 and older) and college students on Thursdays and Sundays only
$17 for children (ages 17 and younger)

Group Discounts

$15 per ticket for groups of 12 or larger -- plus ticket No. 13 is FREE for the group leader!


SCOTT SHRINER (Max Reinhardt) is happy to return to Weathervane. His performances here have included Chanticleer Award-winning roles in Lend Me a Tenor, Three Days of Rain, Moon Over Buffalo and All My Sons. His favorite role remains Nick Cristano in Over the River and through the Woods in 2005 on our stage, which was his first show with director Nancy Cates (and Shakespeare in Hollywood marks his 14th with her). Scott also is a company member of Ohio Shakespeare Festival (OSF) and a frequent performer at Coach House Theatre. He sends love to Emily.

BEAU REINKER (Dick Powell) was seen on the Weathervane stage last season as the Duke of Bohemia in our Young Actor Series production of The Art of Deduction: Inside the Mind of Sherlock Holmes. He is a theater major at Kent State University. For Ohio Shakespeare Festival, he has appeared in King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, Richard III and Love’s Labour’s Lost. In addition, he has appeared in Into the Woods, Twelfth Night, Three Sisters, Picasso at the Lapine Agile, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Guys and Dolls, South Pacific and The Two Halves of Andrew’s Brain.

HENRY C. BISHOP (Jack Warner) started coming to Weathervane because it was one of the few places to work and “just act” (that was in Amadeus, the first time it was done here). Three of the other actors in this production started working here at about the same time: Tom, Tim and Karen. Working at other community groups, at that time, usually meant you had to sew, paint or screw boards together. Now he comes to Weathervane to work and play and laugh with old and new friends. Last spring Henry appeared as Charlemagne in Pippin, a totally pleasurable experience. Karen was in I, too. She was Berthe. Henry and Karen Wood live in Wayne County and the round trip is 66 miles, which, he says, “shows how much we like working here.”

MARK D. STOFFER (Daryl) appeared at Weathervane as Harry Houdini in our 2008 production of Ragtime. More recently, he served as lighting designer for last season’s Dietz Theater production of Long Day’s Journey into Night. He has worked both on and off stage for more than 20 years. Other recent roles include Sidney Bruhl in Deathtrap at Western Reserve Playhouse, Duncan Wooley in Leading Ladies at Coach House Theatre and as a company member with the Ohio Shakespeare Festival. Mark lives in Cuyahoga Falls with his wife, Sherri.

DERRICK WINGER (Oberon) hails from Akron, Ohio, and is thrilled to be playing the role of Oberon, The Fairy King. This is Derrick's second show at Weathervane Playhouse, the first being The Lion in Winter, in which he appeared as Richard. Most recently, Derrick appeared on stage as a member of the Ohio Shakespeare Festival company. He would like to thank his friends and family for their constant support, and his wife, Justine, for graciously dealing with his hectic schedule.

KAREN L. WOOD (Louella Parsons) most recently appeared at Weathervane in June as Berthe in Pippin. During July and August, Karen enjoyed performing on the grounds of Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron with Ohio Shakespeare Festival. She has appeared at Weathervane in many favorite shows, including Guys and Dolls (Adelaide), She Loves Me (Amalia), Cabaret (Frln. Schneider), Gypsy (Mazeppa), Nunsense (Mother Superior), Arsenic and Old Lace (Miss Abby), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Domina) and The Wedding Singer (Grandma Rosie). Karen enjoyed singing and dancing in Chicago so much that she married the leading man, Henry C. Bishop. Karen volunteers as a music provider for Hospice and Palliative Care of Greater Wayne County, serves as Community Relations Chairperson for the Wayne County Retired Teachers and is an elder at Creston Presbyterian Church.

HOLLY HUMES (Lydia Lansing) has been seen on several local stages, including Weathervane, Coach House Theatre, Ohio Shakespeare Festival and Dobama Theatre. She was last seen with OSF at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in both Love's Labour’s Lost and Richard III. Last season, she was seen as Laura (The Unexpected Guest) and Joanna (Present Laughter) at Coach House Theatre. Previous seasons with OSF include King Lear (Goneril) and Romeo and Juliet (Lady Capulet). Favorite roles at Weathervane include Becca (Rabbit Hole) and Lizzie (The Rainmaker). Other credits include Leading Ladies (Audrey), Doubt (Sister James), The Comedy of Errors (Adriana), Proof (Catherine), The Laramie Project, Song of Survival (Dawn), and V-E Day (Lil). Holly is the office manager at Fairlawn Family Chiropractic Center, and an assistant speech coach at Wooster High School. She thanks her husband, Scott Custer, for all of his love and support.

AMANDA DAVIS (Olivia Darnell) is so thrilled to be working with this talented cast! She was last seen at Weathervane as Janice in Italian American Reconciliation (for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Chanticleer Award). She was also in Weathervane’s Putting It Together, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat during the same season. Amanda is a summa cum laude graduate of Kent State University and recently earned her second degree in nursing. Other Weathervane credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Children of Eden (for which she won a Best Actress in a Musical Chanticleer Award), Ragtime, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Lion in Winter, Lend Me a Tenor, Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet. She also appeared in Ohio Shakespeare Festival’s production of Love’s Labour’s Lost.

BENJAMIN FORTIN (Puck) is excited to be returning to the Weathervane stage. He first appeared on the Weathervane stage in Youth productions including Charlotte’s Web and Winnie the Pooh (Pooh). On our mainstage, he was last seen in the 2006-2007 season in Over the Tavern (Rudy), All My Sons (Burt) and The Full Monty (Nathan). Elsewhere, he has been seen in Ohio Shakespeare Festival productions of The Taming of the Shrew and Love’s Labour’s Lost, and most recently in the Coach House Theatre production of The Unexpected Guest. Benjamin is a sophomore at Kent State University majoring in entrepreneurship and managerial marketing.

TOM STEPHAN (Will Hayes) is happy to return to the Weathervane stage after appearing in last season’s Breaking the Code and The Nerd. He is a member of The Largely Literary Theater Company (with which he will appear in The Tell-Tale Play and A Christmas Carol this year), and Ohio Shakespeare Festival – and he is now in his 42nd year with Stow Players. A six-time Chanticleer Award winner, Tom is a retired English and drama teacher from Stow-Munroe Falls High School, and is the longest “surviving” member of Mysteries by Moushey. He has served on the boards of Weathervane Playhouse, Stow Players and a number of community and civic groups. He currently serves as the president of the Board of The GriefCare Place. He balances diverse community involvement with voice-over, commercial, and industrial video work.

RON CUIRLE (Joe E. Brown) was last on stage at Weathervane playing opposite his real-life wife as Bob Cratchit in Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge. Elsewhere, you may have also seen him wrangling his troops as George Custer in Custer at Coach House Theatre, grieving his dead wife as Stu Gellman in Caroline, or Change at Karamu, parenting puppets as the father in The Long Christmas Ride Home at The Bang and the Clatter Theatre Company, celebrating Beethoven Day as Schroeder in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, banishing his daughter as Duke Frederick in As You Like It or exchanging vows as Michael in I Do! I Do! (the latter of which was on these very boards). No matter the venue, Ron always returns home to the one he loves...Emily.

TIMOTHY H. CHAMPION (Jimmy Cagney/Harry Warner/Groucho Marx) with this show celebrates his 34th Weathervane production; he has earned seven Chanticleer Awards. He is always delighted to work with Nancy Cates, under whose direction he turned in some memorable performances here: Launce in The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons; Julian in Lend Me a Tenor; Jim Bayliss in All My Sons; and Richard Maynard in Moon Over Buffalo. Other recent performances include Wilfred Roberts in Witness for the Prosecution and Sidney Black in Light Up the Sky (both of which were at Coach House Theatre). Tim spends his summers with Ohio Shakespeare Festival; most recently dying in both Richard III and King Lear, thoughts of which may please some here. By day, Tim practices trust and estate law at Champion & Company, LPA.

BARRY FRIEDMAN (Albert Warner/Ensemble) recently retired after 42 years in the diamond industry. Barry relishes the opportunity to become more involved with his passion for the theater. A current WCP Board of Trustee member, Barry has a long list of stage credits ranging from Sam the Pickle Man in Crossing Delancey to a newspaper reporter in The Great White Hope along with a musical thrown in – Kiss Me, Kate – that won him a Chanticleer Award for best supporting actor in a musical. Barry gets his inspiration and encouragement on the stage from his leading lady, Dede. Together with Percy and Cece they reside in Hudson,Ohio. “Figurez vous!”

TODD SHAVER (Sam Warner/Ensemble), returning to Weathervane Community Playhouse after many years, is excited about being part of this great production. If you are old enough to remember, you might have seen him as Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh (Weathervane Youth Theater) or as Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank (Akron Children’s Theater). Todd thanks Nancy for giving him this opportunity. He sends special thanks for the support from his family.


NANCY CATES (Director) has directed 13 shows for Weathervane, spanning genres from comedy (Over the River and Through the Woods, Blithe Spirit, Communicating Doors, The Last Night of Ballyhoo) to drama (A Man for All Seasons, All My Sons), from musical (Gypsy) to classic (The Two Gentlemen of Verona), and farce (Lend Me A Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo) to thriller (Bloody Murder). She is most pleased to return for this production of Shakespeare in Hollywood, the fourth Ken Ludwig farce which she has had the pleasure to direct (including Leading Ladies, a Royal Coach Award winner at Coach House Theatre, just up the hill.) Nancy is one of the two Artistic Directors of both Ohio Shakespeare Festival and Coach House Theatre, and a professional director of more than 30 years. She has directed more than 180 plays in LORT (League of Resident Theatres), regional, university, community and dinner theatres in five states, and has won 23 newspaper, in-house, and critics’ awards for her shows, including a Best Production Chanticleer Award for Lend Me A Tenor here at Weathervane. She is an honors graduate of the University of Virginia, a devotee of plays of Noel Coward, and, although a huge fan of Mr. Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, finds tonight’s send-up of the filming of Max Reinhardt’s 1935 film version far preferable to the actual film itself!

KENDRA SCHAEFER (Stage Manager) is excited to work again with Nancy Cates, this time in a new setting. Although this is her first play at Weathervane Playhouse, Kendra is no stranger to theater. Having worked in several theaters in the area, Kendra can be found most often at Coach House Theatre, where she stage manages, runs props and does anything else that is needed. Some of her favorite shows include Art, Doubt and Veronica's Room (Spot Lights Theatre). Kendra is thrilled to work with such a talented and hilarious cast. She sends her love to her husband, Bob, and their four-legged child, Pepper.

LOIS BENNETT (Sound Designer) has been volunteering at the Playhouse since 1985, working on props, lighting and sound crews. Last season, she designed sound for our production of The Nerd. She is a past recording secretary of the Women’s Board, and co-wrote a humorous adaptation of Hansel and Gretel, which was performed in 1992. Lois also appeared on stage here as Granny Northrup in On Borrowed Time and elsewhere in several Mysteries by Moushey interactive, audience-participation murder mysteries. She won Chanticleer Awards for her sound design for Camping with Henry and Tom and The King of the Kosher Grocers.

ZACH NUSBAUM (Lighting Designer) is a sophomore at Kent State University majoring in Aeronautical Systems Technology. He is a brother of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, and enjoys hanging out with his brothers and friends on and off campus. At Weathervane, he has run the light board on too many shows to mention, but this is his first show as a designer. At Copley High School, he designed lights for many productions including, but not limited to, the 2010 Man of the Year. In his "spare time,” he runs a DJ/Live Audio Company called MoK 5 Entertainment. You can contact him at for all your music and party needs!

JESSICA MAXSON (Properties Designer) was properties co-designer here (with her sister, Jennifer) for last season’s production of The Nerd. She has volunteered at Weathervane for five years, during which time she has worked on the props crew for Rabbit Hole, The Wedding Singer, Intimate Apparel and Pippin. She holds an associate’s Degree from Akron Institute and works as a medical assistant for Pioneer Physicians Network. She thanks her sister, Jen, for giving her the confidence to design a show on her own. “Thanks, Toast!”

 JASEN J. SMITH (Costume Designer) joined the Weathervane professional staff in August 2008 as its Resident Costume Designer and Costume Shop Manager. Since then, he has designed costumes for the Playhouse's productions of Children of Eden, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Bloody Murder, Intimate Apparel and Pride and Prejudice. His co-costuming credits include Putting it Together (with Adam Thatcher) and Man of La Mancha (with Hedy Jones), the latter of which earned him and his collaborator the Chanticleer Award for best costume design. Jasen also won the 2009 Marquee Award for Best Costume Design from the Youngstown Area Community Theatre Association for his work on Children of Eden. His other regional costume-design credits include Porthouse Theatre (The Odd Couple), Case Western Reserve University (The Philadelphia Story, How I Learned to Drive, Much Ado About Nothing and Stage Door), and Ohio Light Opera (Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, Robin Hood and The Merry Widow).

ALAN SCOTT FERRALL (Scenic Designer and Technical Director) began with Weathervane as a backstage volunteer under the tutelage of the late John R. Thomas. This is Scott’s 15th season as a Weathervane staff member. Previously, he worked at Cuyahoga Falls High School and has designed sets for the Players Guild of Canton, Cleveland SignStage Theatre and Western Reserve Public Media (PBS-TV Channels 45/49). Scott has earned seven Chanticleer Awards – as stage manager for Fences; for lighting designs for The Laramie Project and A Lesson Before Dying; for co-lighting designs for A Man for All Seasons, The Full Monty and Man of La Mancha; and, most recently, for Best Technical Element/Young Actor Series-Lighting Design for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.


KEN LUDWIG is an internationally acclaimed playwright whose many hits on Broadway, in London’s West End and throughout the world have made his name synonymous with modern comedy. He has won the Laurence Olivier Award, England’s highest theatre honor, as well as three Tony Award nominations and two Helen Hayes Awards. His work has been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and has been performed in at least 30 countries in over twenty languages. His musical Crazy for You ran for over four years on Broadway and in London. Lend Me A Tenor, originally produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and revived on Broadway in 2010, was called “one of the two great farces by a living writer” by The New York Times. Ludwig’s other plays and musicals include Moon Over Buffalo (Broadway and London’s Old Vic, starring Carol Burnett, Lynn Redgrave, Joan Collins and Frank Langella); Twentieth Century (Broadway, starring Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche); The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Broadway); Treasure Island (London, Theatre Royal, Haymarket; 2009 American Alliance for Theatre and Education Distinguished Play Award for Best Adaptation); Leading Ladies (premiered at the Cleveland Play House in 2004); Be My Baby (starring Hal Holbrook and Dixie Carter); The Beaux' Stratagem (adaptation with Thornton Wilder at the request of the Wilder Estate); The Three Musketeers (Bristol Old Vic); An American in Paris; Sullivan & Gilbert; The Fox on the Fairway; and The Game's Afoot. His children’s play ’Twas the Night Before Christmas will premiere this November at The Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, Maryland. His work has appeared in The Yale Review, and he is writing a book for Crown Publishing entitled How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare. He studied music at Harvard with Leonard Bernstein and theatre history at Cambridge University in England. For more information, visit his Web site at


Box Office Info

Mondays: CLOSED
Tuesdays—Fridays: 11 am to 5 pm
Performance Saturdays: Noon to 5 pm

The Box Office is also open beginning one hour before each performance and remains open until the end of each performance.

Get tickets by phone at 330-836-2626
or purchase online below.*

*A $4.00 per-ticket surcharge will be added to each Internet sale.
*A $2.00 per-ticket facility-and-handling fee will be added to each telephone or window sale.
*Group orders are not available online.

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