All-local cast to play ‘Our Town’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company

'It feels like a sort of homecoming for artists and audiences alike.' — Director Alan Paul

Shakespeare Theatre Company has cast Thornton Wilder’s Our Town entirely with DMV-based actors. Directed by STC’s Associate Artistic Director ALAN PAUL (Camelot) and playing February 17 to March 20, 2022, at Sidney Harman Hall, this Our Town production will celebrate community by utilizing only artists who call the DC-area home.

Led by five-time Helen Hayes Award winner HOLLY TWYFORD (Old Times, The Little Dog Laughed) in the iconic role of the Stage Manager, the cast includes CHINNA PALMER (Fairview) as Emily Webb and JAKE LOEWENTHAL (Macbeth) as George Gibbs, STC Affiliated Artist CRAIG WALLACE (Romeo and Juliet) as Mr. Webb, FELICIA CURRY (The Color Purple) as Mrs. Webb, ERIC HISSOM (Out of Time) as Dr. Gibbs, NATASCIA DIAZ (Man of La Mancha) as Mrs. Gibbs, and STC Affiliated Artist TOM STORY (Peter Pan and Wendy) as Simon Stimson.

Also featured in the cast are ELLIOT DASH as Constable Warren, HUDSON KOONCE as Joe Crowell, SARAH MARSHALL as Mrs. Soames, TOMMY NELSON as Wally Webb, SUZANNE RICHARD as Joe Stoddard, CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL RICHARDSON as Howie Newsome, and KIMBERLY SCHRAF as Professor Willard.

Shakespeare Theatre Company ‘Our Town’ cast.

A literary classic, Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town continues to leave audiences awestruck with wonder and a shared sense of our humanity. Guided by an amiable stage manager, the theater becomes turn-of-the-century Grover’s Corners, where the occurrences of everyday life reveal universal truths about community and love, life and death. “A hauntingly beautiful play” (The New York Times), Our Town is both deeply allegorical and endlessly captivating.

From STC’s Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul: “Our Town is more than a play—it’s a ritual of renewal. I can’t wait to hear Thornton Wilder’s timeless words fill Sidney Harman Hall as we emerge from this pandemic and come back to the theater. After such a long time apart, it seemed only fitting to reunite audiences with the local DC artists that they best recognize and love. It feels like a sort of homecoming for artists and audiences alike.”

In choosing to program this production for STC’s 36th Season Artistic Director Simon Godwin offers, “Our Town is a celebration of community. One of the greatest American plays, this production—starring all local actors—will be a glorious affirmation of our city and the healing power of stories. Wondrous, tender, and humane, Our Town will be the healing tonic all of us need.

CAST (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

FELICIA CURRY (Mrs. Webb) STC: Will on the Hill. NEW YORK: Off-Broadway: We Three Lizas, DMLRR: The Brontes, Petite Rouge. TOURS: KC: Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka | Mattel/Live Nation: Barbie Live!, Capitol Steps. REGIONAL: Berkshire Theatre Group, VA Repertory Theatre, Gulfshore Playhouse Signature Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Arena Stage, Factory 449, The Kennedy Center, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, Studio Theatre, Rep Stage, MetroStage. AWARDS: Berkshire Theatre Award nomination (Nina in Nina Simone: Four Women), RTCC Award (Celie in The Color Purple), Helen Hayes Award (Lela in Lela & Co.). OTHER: Company Member: Factory 449, Everyman Theatre | Ford’s Theatre Artistic Associate | Host of WETA Arts. PERSONAL: she/her/hers | Training: University of Maryland, College Park | Instagram: @thefeliciacurry.

ELLIOT DASH (Constable Warren) STC: Kiss Me, Kate; As You Like It; Hamlet; Henry V; Macbeth; Volpone; All’s Well That Ends Well. NEW YORK: The Acting Company | Tour ‘2000. REGIONAL: Arena Stage: The Pajama Game | Folger Theatre: Elizabeth the Queen | Olney Theatre Center: The Little Mermaid | Ford’s Theatre: A Christmas Carol, Little Shop of Horrors, Civil War | Wayside Theatre: Othello, Driving Miss Daisy | Northern Lights Playhouse: Show Boat, Little Shop of Horrors, Lend Me a Tenor | Rock Lyceum: Little Shop of Horrors, Driving Miss Daisy. PERSONAL: Elliot is also a teacher and photographer. | Teaching: Shenandoah University, University of South Carolina, The Sheridan School | Training: MFA in Acting, University of South Carolina, Full season internship: The Shakespeare Theatre Company | Instagram: @elliotdashphoto | Web: ElliotDash.Photograph.

NATASCIA DIAZ (Mrs. Gibbs) STC: Measure for Measure (Mariana), Othello (Bianca, u/s Emilia). NEW YORK: Broadway: Man of La Mancha (Antonia, u/s Aldonza), Seussical (BirdGirl). Off-Broadway: Grand Hotel (Rafaela), Jacques Brel, Tick, Tick… Boom! (opposite Joey McIntyre, LA Ovation Award nomination), Saturday Night. NATIONAL TOUR: West Side Story (Anita, Chicago Jeff Award, St. Louis Kevin Kline Award). REGIONAL: Hartford Stage: Ah, Wilderness! (Lily Miller) | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Collective Rage: A Play in Five Bettys (Betty #3, world premiere)| Signature Theatre: Passion (Fosca, 2019 Helen Hayes Award), The Threepenny Opera (Jenny, Helen Hayes Award nomination) | MetroStage: Jacques Brel (Woman 1, 2013 Helen Hayes Award), Savage in Limbo (Denise Savage), ROOMS (Monica, Helen Hayes Award in a tie with Chita Rivera) | The Muny: Chicago (Velma, St. Louis Critics Award nomination). FILM: Every Little Step (self). TELEVISION: FBI, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU. Website: NatasciaDiaz.com

ERIC HISSOM (Dr. Gibbs) NATIONAL TOUR: The 39 Steps. REGIONAL: Arena Stage: Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike, JQA | Ford’s Theatre: Born Yesterday, Twelve Angry Men | Folger Theatre: Cyrano, Arcadia, The Winter’s Tale, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth, Love’s Labor’s Lost | Studio Theatre: The Effect | Theater J: Everything is Illuminated, Life Sucks, Body of an American | Round House Theatre: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The Great Leap | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play | La Jolla Playhouse: The 39 Steps | Milwaukee Repertory Theater: Eurydice | Seattle Repertory Theatre: The 39 Steps | Asolo Repertory Theatre: Glengarry Glen Ross, The Great Society | Syracuse Stage: Around the World in Eighty Days | Cleveland Play House: The Game’s Afoot. FILM: Out of Time (with Denzel Washington, Dir. Carl Franklin). TELEVISION: One Tree Hill, Xena, Mortal Kombat. AWARDS: Helen Hayes Award (Bernard in Arcadia at Folger Theatre). PERSONAL: Training: Florida StatenUniversity’s Asolo Conservatory: MFA | Website: EricHissom.com

HUDSON KOONCE (Joe Crowell) REGIONAL: Axelrod Theatre: A Bronx Tale (Young C), Gypsy (Newsboy). TELEVISION: Disney FamnJam. PERSONAL: Hudson is a singer and competitive dancer in Hip Hop and Contemporary styles with his dance studio. Rep: BEA. Management: Linda Townsend Management | Training:nAdrenaline Dance Studio, Broadway Artist Alliance | Instagram: @HudsonKoo.

JAKE LOEWENTHAL (George Gibbs) NEW YORK: NY Fringe & Encores: Bunked! | NYMF: Open the Dark Door. REGIONAL: Signature Theatre: Rent (Mark Cohen) | Hartford Stage: Macbeth, La Dispute | Trinity Rep: A Christmas Carol | Quintessence Theatre Group: King Lear | Playhouse on Park: Cabaret | Theater at Monmouth: Henry V, Richard III, Dial M For Murder | Short North Stage: Bad Jews, The Rocky Horror Show, Noises Off (director) | Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre: Young Frankenstein. TRAINING: Brown University/Trinity Rep: MFA | Instagram: @jake_loew | JakeLoewenthal.com.

SARAH MARSHALL (Mrs. Soames) STC: The Comedy of Errors (Dr. Pinch), The Government Inspector (Grusha), Macbeth (Witch), Pericles (Ceremon). REGIONAL: Berkshire Theatre Festival: The Book Club Play | Arena Stage: The Glass Menagerie, How I Learned to Drive, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Women, You Can’t Take it With You, Briarpatch, The Miser, Blithe Spirit, Execution of Justice | Studio Theatre: Doubt, Admissions, The Apple Family Plays, Golden Dragon, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Miss Margarida’s Way, Sylvia, Betty’s Summer Vacation | Folger Theatre: The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Twelfth Night | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Zombie: The American; Civilization; In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play; Dead Man’s Cell Phone; Clean House; The Dead Monkey; Wanted | Round House Theatre: Angels in America, Camille, The Cherry Orchard, Love and Anger, Escape from Happiness, Criminals in Love, Baby with the Bathwater. TEACHING: Georgetown University, Duke Ellington School of The Arts.

TOMMY NELSON (Wally Webb) NATIONAL: On Point National Dance Competition (First Place Overall National Champion Junior Soloist). REGIONAL: Kennedy Center: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre: Revelations | City Dance: Creating the Magic | Strathmore Music Center | UniverSoul Circus Pre-Show | FILM: Showtime’s The Comey Rule (2020) (Child Protestor). PERSONAL: he/him/his. Tommy is an award-winning dancer/performer. Training: Linda Townsend Feature Films/Commercials Workshops.

CHINNA PALMER (Emily Webb) REGIONAL: Round House Theatre: Nollywood Dreams (upcoming) | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Fairview. FILM: Akata Boys, The Zeke Sanders Story, Train, We Find Love. AWARDS: American Black Film Festival: Web Series Official Selection (Perfect). OTHER: Perfect (web series); Homebound: We Wear the Mask (Round House Theatre web series) | Washington Post: Throwback Thursday series. PERSONAL: she/her/hers. Chinna is a student of life taking every step “rooted in Love; driven with Purpose; in search of Truth.” | Teaching: Young Playwright’s Theatre; Howard University (Acting for TV/Film TA) | Training: Howard University: BFA in Acting; British American Drama Academy: Midsummer in Oxford | Instagram: @chinna.palmer.

SUZANNE RICHARD (Joe Stoddard) REGIONAL: Ford’s Theatre: A Christmas Carol | Studio Theatre: A Clockwork Orange | Folger Theatre: All’s Well That Ends Well | Washington Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Longacre Lea: Bald Soprano | Project Y: The Crackwalker | Imagination Stage: Perfectly Persephone | 1st Stage: Italian American Reconciliation | Taffety Punk: Julius Caesar. INTERNATIONAL: Liz Lerman’s Dance Exchange: Ferocious Beauty-Genome (Tour). FILM: Franmeister (Franmeister), The Snowflake Crusade, Odyssey. PERSONAL: she/her/hers. Susie is Artistic Director of Open Circle Theatre where she received Helen Hayes Award nominations for Outstanding Direction and Musical in a Regional Production as well as the Theatre Lobby Award for Jesus Christ Superstar. Additionally, she is the recipient of the Montgomery County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts Community Award, is a member of The Kennedy Center’s Culture Caucus, and directs the annual musical at Farquhar Middle School in Olney. | Teaching: Artstream, Georgetown University | Training: UNC-Chapel Hill: BA in Acting | OpenCircleTheatre.org.

CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL RICHARDSON (Howie Newsome) STC: Macbeth. TOURS: Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!, National Players Tour 65. REGIONAL: Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: A Strange Loop | Arts on the Horizon: Jingle Journey (Co-Creator/Composer), Everyday Magic | Signature: Assassins, Gun and Powder | Kennedy Center TYA: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical! | Olney Theatre Center: Matilda | Ford’s Theatre: The Wiz, Into the Woods | Round House Theatre: The Book of Will | Imagination Stage: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown | Know Theatre of Cincinnati: Andy’s House of [blank]. PERSONAL: he/him/his. Christopher is a director, teaching artist, and proud DCCAH Fellow (FY20–FY22). | Training: The College of William & Mary: BA in English and Theatre | CMRich.me

KIMBERLY SCHRAF (Professor Willard) REGIONAL: Arena Stage: The Heiress; Ah, Wilderness!; The Women | Ford’s Theatre: Death of a Salesman, Our Town, The Laramie Project, The Carpetbagger’s Children, Sabrina Fair | Studio Theatre: The Apple Family Play Cycle, Hedda Gabler, Frozen, Crestfall | Everyman Theatre: Pipeline, You Can’t Take It with You, Proof | Folger Theater: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Measure for Pleasure, The Gigli Concert, Watbanaland | Olney Theatre Center: The Diary of Anne Frank | Mosaic Theater Company: Oh, God; Vicuña & the American Epilogue | Round House Theatre: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, A Prayer for Owen Meany | Theater J: The Sisters Rosensweig, The Admission, Hannah and Martin. INTERNATIONAL: Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You. TELEVISION: Homicide: Life on the Streets. PERSONAL: Teaching: The Theatre Lab, Georgetown University | Training: St. John’s College: BA.

TOM STORY (Simon Stimson) STC: Affiliated Artist; Peter Pan and Wendy, The School for Lies, The Taming of the Shrew, The Winter’s Tale (2014 Free For All and mainstage), The Government Inspector, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Cymbeline, Twelfth Night (2010 Free For All and mainstage), Richard II, Henry V, Design for Living, Major Barbara, The Rivals, Twelfth Night (1995 Free For All), Measure for Measure. REGIONAL: Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Shipwreck | Synetic Theatre: Three Men in a Boat | Arena Stage: The Book Club Play, Oliver! | Ford’s Theatre: Our Town, Sabrina Fair, A Christmas Carol, 1776, The Glass Menagerie | Round House Theatre/Olney Theatre Center: Angels in America | Round House Theatre: Georgia McBride (director) | Mosaic Theater Company: Blood Knot | Berkshire Theatre Festival: The Book Club Play, The Glass Menagerie, Amadeus, Secret Lives of the Sexists, The Heidi Chronicles, The Misanthrope, Moby Dick– Rehearsed, Camelot, Life’s a Dream, Design for Living (director) | Studio Theatre: POP!, The Wolfe Twins, The Invention of Love, The York Realist, Ivanov, A Number, The Pillowman, The Rocky Horror Show, Moth (director), Terminus (director), Silence! The Musical | Folger Theatre: As You Like It; The School for Scandal; Henry IV, Part 1 | Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, McCarter Theatre Center, Kansas City Repertory, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre. AWARDS: Seven Helen Hayes Award nominations; Fox Foundation Fellowship. TRAINING: Duke University; The Juilliard School.

HOLLY TWYFORD (Stage Manager) STC: Harold Pinter’s Old Times (Anna; Emery Battis Award for Acting Excellence). REGIONAL: Close to eighty productions in the Washington Metropolitan area, including Arena Stage, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and more. Nationally, Ms. Twyford has appeared in various productions and readings in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Red Bank, NJ, and Santa Cruz, CA. DIRECTING: No Rules Theatre Company: Stop Kiss | Adventure Theatre MTC: A Lump of Coal for Christmas | Studio Theatre 2ndStage: Edgar and Annabel, Mary Kate Olsen is in Love | Theater J: Becoming Dr. Ruth | Signature Theatre: Escaped Alone | Factory 449: The Amish Project (Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Director). OTHER: She has appeared on the small screen and in several independent films, most recently the feature film Dakota. Her credits also include numerous commercials, voiceovers, and educational and training films. AWARDS: Multiple Helen Hayes Award nominee and five-time winner for Folger Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet (Juliet), Studio Theatre’s The Shape of Things, Signature Theatre’s The Little Dog Laughed, Folger Theatre’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Ford’s Theatre’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. PERSONAL: Ms. Twyford is proud to be a Lunt-Fontanne Fellow, a member of the Studio Theatre’s Cabinet, and a Ford’s Theatre Associate Artist. Ms. Twyford is proud to be a resident of Washington, D.C.

CRAIG WALLACE (Mr. Webb) STC: Affiliated Artist; Numerous productions including Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2; The Government Inspector; Romeo and Juliet; Julius Caesar; Antony and Cleopatra; Tamburlaine; Edward II. REGIONAL: Ford’s Theatre: Death of a Salesman, A Christmas Carol, Fences, The Guard (Helen Hayes Award nomination), The Laramie Project, Our Town, Necessary Sacrifices, Sabrina Fair, Jitney | Round House Theatre: A Doll’s House, Part 2; “Master Harold”…and the Boys; Permanent Collection; Tabletop; The Little Prince | Folger Theatre: District Merchants, Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, Cyrano, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello (Othello), As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Measure for Measure | Arena Stage: All the Way, The Great Society, K2, All My Sons, The Great White Hope, Hot-n-Throbbing | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Botticelli in the Fire, The Last Orbit of Billy Mars, Tommy J & Sally, Our Lady of 121st Street, Starving | Everyman Theatre: The Cherry Orchard, The Soul Collector | Signature Theatre: Angels in America, Parts One and Two (Helen Hayes Award nomination for Part Two) | Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Hangar Theatre. TEACHING: STC’s Academy of Classical Acting at The George Washington University, Howard University. TRAINING: Howard University: BFA; Pennsylvania State University: MFA; Royal National Theatre, London.

ALAN PAUL (Director / STC Associate Artistic Director) STC: All the Devils Are Here, Peter Pan and Wendy, The Comedy of Errors (Helen Hayes Award Nomination, Best Director); Romeo and Juliet (mainstage and 2018 Free For All); Camelot; Kiss Me, Kate; Man of La Mancha (Helen Hayes Award Nomination, Best Director); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Helen Hayes Award, Best Director); The Boys from Syracuse; The Winter’s Tale (2014 Free For All); Twelfth Night (2010 Free For All); As You Like It (Associate Director); Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 (Associate Director); numerous galas, readings, and special events; Assistant Director: 13 shows. THEATRE DIRECTING: 5th Avenue Theatre: Kiss Me, Kate | Arena Stage: The Pajama Game | Signature Theatre: I Am My Own Wife | Studio Theatre 2ndStage: Silence! The Musical (Helen Hayes Nomination, Best Director), The Rocky Horror Show | MetroStage: Fully Committed | University of Maryland: The Matchmaker | Apex Theatre Company: Richard II. OPERA DIRECTING: Palm Beach Opera: The Pirates of Penzance (with Stephanie Blythe) | Portland Opera: Man of La Mancha | Washington National Opera: Penny (premiere) | numerous works for Urban Arias, The In Series, Strathmore Concert Hall, Wolf Trap Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra. PERSONAL: Finalist for the 2013 European Opera Directing Prize (Vienna, Austria) | AlanPaulDirector.com.

ABOUT SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY

For more than 35 years the Shakespeare Theatre Company has dedicated itself to being the nation’s premier classic theatre. By focusing on works with profound themes, complex characters and heightened language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries, and those playwrights he influenced, STC’s artistic mission is unique among regional theatres: to bring to vibrant life groundbreaking, thought-provoking and eminently accessible classic theatre in a uniquely American style. STC proudly received the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award®.

ABOUT THORNTON WILDER

American playwright and novelist THORNTON WILDER is a staple in American literature. He won three Pulitzer Prizes for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and for the plays The Skin of Our Teeth and Our Town. Best known for his simple and traditional plays that reflect human nature, Wilder continues to move and inspire audiences to this day.

Our Town plays February 17 to March 20, 2022, at Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, Washington, DC. For tickets ($35–$120) visit ShakespeareTheatre.org or call 202.547.1122.

Shakespeare Theatre Company’s COVID Health and Safety guidelines are here.

1 COMMENT

  1. It’s about time the bigger DC theatres stopped going to New York for their casting needs. The pool here is deep and diverse. Having spent some time in casting for one of the major hirers, I was saddened by the disparaging attitude they had to local actors, not without exception, but for the most part.

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