Director debuts with Kingsmen festival
Rarely produced Shakespeare play kicks off season
The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company will kick off its 22nd year with its first staging of “The Two Noble Kinsmen” under the direction of a newcomer to the festival who has nearly 40 years of experience.
The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company will present the rarely produced play on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from June 29 through July 15 in Kingsmen Park on the Thousand Oaks campus of California Lutheran University.
In what is thought to be the Bard’s final work and a collaboration with his protégé, John Fletcher, Shakespeare reworked Geoffrey Chaucer’s already-famous “The Knight’s Tale.” “Kinsmen” tells the story of cousins and lifelong friends Arcite and Palamon finding themselves on opposite sides of a bitter love triangle.
“The only time I saw ‘The Two Noble Kinsmen’ was in 1987 at the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford, and I loved it, so I am thrilled that someone finally asked me to direct it,” said director Elizabeth Swain. “I love its mix of the tragic and the comic and its exploration of the foibles of chivalry and courtly love.”
Swain, who was born in England and moved to Los Angeles 10 years ago, is a member of the Antaeus Theatre Company and teaches with the Antaeus Academy. She has appeared as an actor on and off-Broadway and in regional theaters across the country and has extensive experience as a director, mostly focusing on Shakespeare and other classics.
Also new to the festival is Rafael Goldstein, an award-winning actor who appeared with Swain in Antaeus’ production of “The Curse of Oedipus” and will play Palamon in “Kinsmen,” and Connor Sullivan, who brings experience with Palos Verdes Performing Arts, the Actors Co-op Theatre Company in Hollywood and the San Diego Repertory Theatre to his role as Arcite. Returning to the festival in other major roles are Samantha Eggers as Emilia, Angela Gulner as Hippolyta, Ross Hellwig as Theseus and Rachel Seiferth as the Jailer’s Daughter.
The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company is the professional theater troupe of Cal Lutheran.
The play begins at 8 p.m. June 29 through July 1, July 6 through 8, and July 13 through 16. The festival grounds open at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking and entertainment.
General admission is free for those under 18, $15 for students with ID, $20 for seniors 65 and older, and $25 for everyone else. Reserved lawn boxes have room for six and are available online for $90 to $110. Individual tickets are available at the door only. For lawn box reservations or more information, visit kingsmenshakespeare.org or call 805-493-3452.