Shakespeare Festival St Louis - In the News

05.29.19 – 06.23.19

Directed by Tom Ridgely


Belonging to Shakespeare’s “lyrical” period, which also included Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the play tells the story of the Princess of France and her ladies who arrive on a diplomatic mission to Navarre only to be met by a young king and his lords who have taken a vow not to see women. Affairs of state give way to affairs of the heart as Shakespeare reveals with great humor and compassion the way our culture sometimes doesn’t fully prepare us for the realities of love and intimacy. A feast of language and theatrical virtuosity, Love’s Labors Lost shimmers with all the passion and promise of a first kiss.


Patrick Blindauer (Costard)Blindauer returns to Shakespeare Festival St. Louis having previously appeared in Romeo & Juliet (Chorus, Peter, Apothecary) and The World Begun (Mike). Local projects include 42nd StreetSingin’ in the Rain, and Annie at The MUNY, The Wizard of Oz (Lion) at Variety Theatre, and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner at Upstream Theater. On-screen, he was featured in seven episodes of Strangers with Candy and had a speaking role in A Beautiful Mind. Blindauer is a graduate of the Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts.

Jeffrey Cummings (Boyet)Cummings is delighted to make his Shakespeare Festival St. Louis debut with Love’s Labors Lost.  Since returning to the St. Louis area in 2017, local credits include Oslo, Caught, and Hamlet (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Life Sucks (New Jewish Theatre), and Macbeth: Come Like Shadows (Rebels & Misfits).  Regionally, he has worked with the Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Utah Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Festival…

Philip Hernández (Armado)Hernández is the only man in Broadway history to play both Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert in Les Misérables. He made his Broadway debut in the Original Cast of the Tony Award-winning Kiss of the Spider Woman, directed by Harold Prince, and created the role of Reverend Gonzalez opposite Marc Anthony and Ruben Blades in the Original Broadway Cast of Paul Simon’s The Capeman.

Carl Howell (Dull) Howell is making his first appearance at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis.  Selected theatre work includes Alabama Story, Hamlet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Peter and the Starcatcher (1st National Tour, directed by Roger Rees), Deathtrap (Syracuse Stage), Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival) and The Land Whale Murders (Shelby Company, directed by Tom Ridgely).

Sam Jones (Longueville)  Jones is extremely excited to be a working with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis this summer. He is a graduate from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, where his favorite credits include playing Richard III in Richard III, Trinculo in The Tempest, and The Emcee in Cabaret. He spent last summer at the Great River Shakespeare Festival in the apprentice program and he played Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice.

Katy Keating (Nathaniel) Keating is the Co-Artistic Director of Poor Monsters and the communications director at ERA. She is so excited to be back at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis after performing in Into the Breeches last fall. Recently, she appeared in Well (Mustard Seed Theatre), No Exit (SATE), Life Sucks (New Jewish Theatre), and Titus Androgynous (YoungLiars). Keating directed Classic Mystery Game (SATE), and Or What You Will, The Third (Poor Monsters)

Vivienne Claire Luthin (Maria) Luthin is thrilled to be making her Shakespeare Festival St. Louis debut. A recent graduate from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University, Luthin’s favorite roles have included Captain Beatty in Fahrenheit 451, Cathy (The Last Five Years), and Farrah/Evil Tina (She Kills Monsters). 


Kiah McKirnan (Catherine) McKirnan, a recent graduate of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University is thrilled to be joining Shakespeare Festival St. Louis this summer. Favorite university credits include Three Sisters  (Masha) and By The Way, Meet Vera Stark (Vera). Film credits include Tanya (Tanya), a short film directed by Monica Raymund.


Molly Meyer (Jaquenetta) Meyer is a soon to be a graduate of Saint Louis University and is proud to jump right into the professional world with her Shakespeare Festival St. Louis debut. Proudly from Milwaukee, WI. Recently she was seen in Godspell (Morgan), The Crucible (Elizabeth Proctor), and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Bandleader)


Riz Moe (DuMaine) Moe, a current student at the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University, is proud to be making his Festival debut. A native of Madison, WI, some of his favorite roles include Jem Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird) at Children’s Theatre of Madison, and Romeo (Romeo and Juliet) at MATC.


Carine Montbertrand (Holofernes) Montbertrand is continuing in a streak of gender bending, having recently played Ebenezer Scrooge and Dogberry with Titan Theatre at Queens Theatre. Off-Broadway projects include Soho Rep, Classical Theatre of Harlem, The Acting Company (Lady M, Margaret RIII).  Regionally: Westport Country Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Hartford Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Alley, Denver Center, UDREP, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (Acclaim Award, Emilia in OTHELLO)…

Naima Randolph (Moth) Randolph is excited to be making her Shakespeare Festival St. Louis debut. She was a member of the Shakespeare Squadron, and was both a camper and an Assistant Teaching Artist with the Festival’s camp. Credits include: Three Cheers to Grace (Young Playwrights Theatre) in Washington D.C and Antigone (Howard University). Training: Howard University BFA in Theatre Arts-Acting, and the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer in Oxford program.

Michael James Reed (Forester/Marcadé) Reed is a Shakespeare Festival St. Louis veteran, having appeared as an actor in Forest Park in Romeo & Juliet, The Winter’s Tale, Antony & Cleopatra, Henry IV & V, Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew. As part of the Festival’s In the Streets programming, Reed was seen in Good in Everything, and at the Pulitzer Museum in Loves Labor.

Sky Smith (King of Navarre) Smith is very excited to be making his Shakespeare Festival St. Louis debut. Recent credits include: Twelfth Night (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival); Book of Will (HVSF); Love’s Labours Lost (The Acting Co); ABC Discovers: Talent Showcase (ABC). Smith received his BFA Acting degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and Atlantic Theater Company.

Laura Sohn (Roseline) A Jersey girl from birth, Sohn is a graduate of Rutgers University. Rutgers credits: An Evening of Clifford Odets (Director: Moritz von Stuelpnagel), Ivona, Princess of Burgundia (Director: Lenard Petit), Henry V (Director: Michael Sexton), An Oresteia (Director: Mary Kate Burke), and Family Style (Director: José Zayas). Regional theater: peerless (Director: Louisa Proske), Starcrossed (Director: Hester Kamin). TV: Instinct, God Friended Me.

Bradley James Tejeda (Biron) Tejeda is an actor/writer born and raised in South San Antonio, Texas. He is a recent graduate from the Yale School of Drama (c/o) 2016. He works freelance as a Physical Acting Resource. He is currently working on generating devised physical theatre works inspired and influenced by organic intelligence, psycho-somatic expression, Human Resiliency to Trauma, and Masked Physical Theatre that responds to Ancestrally inherited human behavior and response. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Kea Trevett (Princess) Trevett’s New York stage credits include: Little Rock (Sheen Center), The Last Match (Roundabout, u/s), Othello (Classic Stage Company), The Comedy of Errors (Classic Stage Company). International: Antigone, (Director: Greg Mosher; Africa Tour). Trevett has developed new work with The Lark, Ars Nova, Ensemble Studio Theater, Cherry Lane, and Irish Rep. TV credits: Fosse/Verdon (FX). Recent Film: MilkwaterThe Kindergarten Teacher. Trevett received her MFA at Columbia University.


William Shakespeare (Playwright) rose from obscurity to become the most read, adapted and translated writer of all time, but also the subject of great speculation. We know he was baptized at Stratford-upon-Avon on April 26, 1564, and was buried at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford on April 25, 1616. Tradition holds that he was born three days earlier and that he died on his birthday—April 23—but this is perhaps more romantic myth than fact.

Tom Ridgely (Director) Tom Ridgely has been the Executive Producer of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis since 2018. A Drama Desk-nominated director, he has developed or presented work at the Public Theater, The Old Globe, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Society, Red Bull and more. He’s worked with Tony nominees Sting, Sherie Rene Scott, Laura Osnes, Will Swenson, Kelli O’Hara, Bill Irwin and others, and his productions have won DFW Theater Critics Forum and ECNY Awards and been nominated for CT Critics Circle and BroadwayWorld Connecticut Awards.

Jason Simms (Set Designer) Jason Simms is a designer for plays, musical theatre, and opera. Work in other regional theaters includes: Pioneer Theatre Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, Weston Playhouse, George St. Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Co., People’s Light and Theatre (Philadelphia), Bristol Riverside Theatre (Bristol, PA), Denver Center Theatre Co., Chautauqua Theatre Co. (Chautauqua, NY),

Melissa Trn (Costume Designer) is a St. Louis native and Webster University alum, is excited to be working with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis.  Melissa has designed all over the country for BAM, SITI Company, Under the Radar at the Public Theater (NY) IAMA Theatre Company, The Getty Villa, Ammunition Theater, Southcoast Repertory Theater, The Geffen Academy (LA), San Francisco Playhouse, Triad Stage, Asolo Repertory Theater, The Black Rep of St. Louis, ART’s Oberon, Telluride Theater, The YALE Rep and many others. Melissa has an MFA from The Yale School of Drama.

Rusty Wandall (Sound Design)  Rusty Wandall is excited to be returning to the festival for his seventh year. Wandall was honored with the 2016 St. Louis Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Sound Design for his work on the Festival’s production of Antony and Cleopatra. He is currently the head of sound design at Webster University and the resident sound designer at the Repertory Theater of St. Louis.  He has also…

John Wylie (Lighting Design) John Wylie is the Head of Production Programs at Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts where he teaches Technical Direction and Lighting.  Wylie’s recent designs for SFSTL include Romeo & Juliet, The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Antony and Cleopatra, Henry V and Twelfth Night.

Matt Pace (Composer) is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and co-founder of The Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra, is thrilled to join Shakespeare Festival St. Louis for his fourth show in the park as composer/music director (after 2013’s Twelfth Night and 2016’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and his second show also appearing on stage as a performer (after 2017’s The Winter’s Tale). He plays in various bands and ensembles around St. Louis and currently teaches musicianship and music theory as an adjunct at Webster University.

Brien Seyle (Composer) happily returns to the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis for a fourth season as musical factotum. Along with composition partner and co-founder of The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra, Matt Pace, Seyle wrote and arranged music for Twelfth Night (2013), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2016), and The Winter’s Tale (2017). A lifelong violinist, he performed as part of the ensemble in 2013 and 2017, and, now, again this year. Seyle took four semesters of music theory at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park; other than that, he’s learned by doing, which is to say performing, in bands and art projects both good and bad. He is now old enough to skew toward the former.
The Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra composes and performs original soundtrack music for silent films and other collaborative art projects. Co-founders Brien Seyle and Matt Pace have written and performed scores for more than a dozen silent films, and continue to provide music for museum exhibits, performance art pieces, and theater. Over the years, the ensemble has grown into a sort of playground for talented young composers and instrumentalists. Many members of the revolving cast hold advanced degrees in composition, performance, or music theory. Others seemed to emerge fully formed from local independent music scenes. Together, they continue to pursue the group’s mission of supporting narrative through music in the St. Louis region and beyond.


Leadership support for Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ 2019 season is provided by the Whitaker Foundation. The festival is also funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts & Education Council of Greater St. Louis.