FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jim Warren Set to Join The Rustic Mechanicals in 2019. Audition Dates Set for Entire Season.

Vintage Theatre Company’s Founding Producer and Artistic Director Jason A. Young proudly announces The 2019 Rustic Mechanicals’ statewide touring season, directors for each show, and audition dates for new and returning troupe members.

The Rustic Mechanicals, West Virginia’s Shakespeare troupe, will produce three tours next year. The first is a spring tour of Measure for Measure directed by kb saine, which is followed by As You Like It directed by Jim Warren for their annual summer West Virginia Shakespeare in the Parks tour. Their 2019 season will conclude with a fall tour of Julius Caesar directed by Young.

“This next season is our sixth one out on the road around the state,” said Young. “We are excited to be bringing our audiences three shows we have yet to produce before. By the end of 2019, we will have completed, over our six years, 16 shows from Shakespeare’s cannon.”

The Mechanicals will open the year with Shakespeare’s under-produced and under-appreciated masterpiece Measure for Measure.

Existing somewhere between comedy and tragedy, the story takes place in Vienna, which has become a hovel for brothels and promiscuous behavior. The Duke, reluctant to wield his power to clean up the city, leaves, transferring the responsibility to his deputy Angelo. Angelo soon starts implementing harsh and radical changes. The young Claudio finds himself afoul of an ancient law when he gets his love Juliet pregnant. Angelo sentences him to death for his crime of fornicating out of wedlock. Claudio’s friends Lucio and Froth meet with Claudio’s sister Isabella and plead with her to change Angelo’s mind. Thus begins a plot of intrigue and mistaken identity.

“At its core Measure for Measure is a play about when women speak up, men in power don’t believe them,” said Young. “I feel like the time has come for us to tell this story.”

Measure for Measure will be directed by kb saine. kb has been a director, author, educator, and theatre historian for nearly two decades. For six years she served as the Producing Artistic Director of Sycamore Rogue in Petersburg, VA, and has also worked with Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, WV, and the Dallas Theatre Center in Dallas, TX. A graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College, kb has taught at her alma mater as well as at Wesleyan College in Macon, GA; Virginia Commonwealth University; and Davis & Elkins College.

“I’ve been really impressed with Vintage’s growth in the past few years and have been looking forward to the time when I would be asked to direct for them,” said saine. “When Jason approached me about Measure for Measure, I jumped at the chance to bring such a relevant story to stages all across West Virginia.”

The Mechanicals will move outdoors in July with their 6thAnnual West Virginia Shakespeare in the Parks Tour. This summer’s production will be Shakespeare’s romantic pastoral comedy, As You Like It.

As You Like It stirs wit, sentiment, intrigue, and love into a charming confection, which challenges the traditional rules of romance. At its heart, a feisty but feminine Rosalind, in love with the endearingly naïve Orlando, uses her disguise as Ganymede to counsel him playfully in the art of wooing. Distraction is provided by the remarkably funny Touchstone and the lugubriously witty Jacques.

“We like to do comedies in the summer,” said Young. “We love being a part of the tradition of open-air Shakespeare, and we think audiences enjoy a light-hearted show on a beautiful summer evening.”

As You Like It will be directed by Jim Warren. Jim Warren is the Founding Artistic Director of the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA, and over his 30-year history with the company, has directed 128 productions including 32 of Shakespeare’s 38 plays.

“I am thrilled to return to West Virginia and play with my friends at Vintage,” said Warren. “As You Like It is an enchanting play, filled with wisdom, whimsy, and song. I can’t think of a more delightful play to be the first Rustic Mechanicals’ show I get to direct.”

The Mechanicals 2019 season will conclude with an October tour of the political thriller Julius Caesar.

As the all-conquering hero, Julius Caesar returns from war, and mutiny is rumbling through the corridors of power. The politics of spin and betrayal turn to violence as the race to claim Rome spirals out of control.

“A great play about politics is going to fit right into the fall of 2019 as the national Presidential race begins to heat up,” said Young. “Julius Caesar is also a part of the high school English curriculum in West Virginia, so we plan on showing this production to a lot of students.”

Young will direct Julius Caesar, the 10thMechanicals show he will have helmed.

“It is very exciting for us to have three directors this season,” said Young. “It allows us to have two new voices in our troupe that can help us grow as artists and people. I for one am really looking forward to our upcoming auditions.”

Auditions for The Mechanicals’ 2019 touring season will be held December 15-17, 2018, at The Vintage Theatre Company at 305 Washington Avenue in Clarksburg, WV.

Actors can audition for all three shows on Saturday, December 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Additional auditions for As You Like It and Julius Caesar will be on Sunday, December 16 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for Measure for Measure on Monday, December 17, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“We will be casting the entire season from these auditions,” said Young. “The troupe will be set before the year is out.”

Actors should prepare a one-minute Shakespeare monologue and be prepared to cold read from selections from this season’s scripts.

Audition appointments are required and can be made by emailing VintageTheatreCo@gmail.com.

“Touring Shakespeare is a 400-year-old-tradition,” said Young. “We understand the nobility of the work and the heritage that they are a part of. I fully expect this season to be a labor of love for us all.”

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