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Shakespeare ’70 to Present ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’ at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre June 22 to July 1

6/6/18


Falstaff receives the comeuppance he deserves! Dale Simon is taunted in the forest by, from left, Peyton Estabrook, Evan Chartock, Charlotte Kirkby, and Chris Soto.

Dr. Caius (Olivier Leroux) delivers disturbing news to merry Mistress Page (Kyla Mostello Donnelly).

West Windsor, N.J. – Shakespeare’s light-hearted comedy about societal hierarchies and the power of love to bring them down comes to the stage at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre. In their annual tribute to The Bard, Shakespeare ’70 presents “The Merry Wives of Windsor” Fridays, June 22 and 29 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, June 23 and June 30 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, June 24 and July 1 at 2 p.m.

Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on June 22.

First performed in 1602, “The Merry Wives of Windsor” has been hailed for dramatizing the emergence of a new middle class, eschewing pretension and aristocratic authority, while championing female autonomy and the power of love to break down class distinctions.It reintroduces the character of Falstaff, the larger-than-life aging knight known from several of Shakespeare’s previous History plays. It is said that Queen Elizabeth the First directly requested this play, telling Shakespeare she would like to see Falstaff in a romantic comedy.

Comedic intrigues indeed abound, as upper- and lower-class characters are drawn together in the close-knit Windsor community.The main plot surrounds the virtuous but feisty Mistress Page and Mistress Ford, who are married to two wealthy men of Windsor. They are about to prove that wives can be  merry and faithful at the same time – which Mr. Page understands, but Mr. Ford doubts. With themes that are strikingly relevant today, the women set out to trick the sexually predatory Falstaff and cure Mr. Ford of his jealousy. Meanwhile, the Pages' daughter, Anne, is married to Fenton, a man of higher rank, but less wealth. Their love is a testimony to social assimilation that allows individuals to transcend class and create new and inclusive social groups.

The cast stars Dale Simon of Flemington as Sir John Falstaff; Brittany Rivera of  Hamilton as Mistress Alice Ford; Kyla Mostello Donnelly of Levittown, Pa., as Mistress Margaret Page; Michael Krahel of Hillsborough as Master Ford; Timothy Kirk of Delran as Master Page; Charlotte Kirkby of Ewing as Anne Page; Evan Chartock of West Windsor as William Page; Patrick Lavery of Flemington as Sir Hugh Evans; Olivier Leroux of Pennington as Doctor Caius; Susan Blair of Philadelphia, Pa., as Mistress Quickly; Mort Paterson of Philadelphia, Pa., as Robert Shallow; Christopher Loos of Newton as Abraham Slender; Christopher Soto of Hightstown as Rugby, servant to Caius; Ernie Albanesius of Chesterfield as Pistol, follower of Falstaff; Peyton Estabrook of Hightstown as Bardolph, follower of Falstaff; Daniel Altobelli of Mount Holly as Nym, follower of Falstaff; Fiona Misiura of Hightstown as Robin, servant to Falstaff; Isabelle Bannon of Princeton as Simple, servant to Slender; John Fischer of Hamilton as Fenton; and Russ Walsh of Morrisville, Pa., as the Host of the Garter Inn.

The production team includes Director John F. Erath, Assistant Director Janet Quartarone, Producer Curt Foxworth, Stage Manager Lili Timmes, Technical Director Dale Simon, Sound Designer Andrew Timmes, Assistant Stage Manager Samantha Miller, and Assistant Stage Manager Brenna Herrity.

Shakespeare ’70’s repertoire covers 40 years of productions ranging from the comedies, tragedies and histories of our Great Namesake, to the works of some outstanding modern playwrights. The theater company spans three generations of actors, directors and technical crew, united by a love for classic theater. More about Shakespeare ’70 is available at www.shakespeare70.org or on Facebook.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking next to the theater. For a complete listing of adult and children's events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.

2017-18 Kelsey Schedule
Kelsey Theatre Website
Audition Information
Theatre Workshops for Children and Teens


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