Shakespeare Festival St Louis - In the News

A Most Outrageous Fit of Madness

Presented during In the Works at The Grandel in November 2018.

Written by Nancy Bell
Directed by Gary Wayne Barker


A Most Outrageous Fit of Madness is a delightful new play for young audiences by Festival favorite Nancy Bell, inspired by the mistaken identity hijinks of The Comedy of Errors.

About Nancy Bell

Nancy Bell is a St. Louis actor, director and award-winning playwright with a national career spanning film, stage and television. Her work has been produced and celebrated across the country, most recently with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ own production of Blow, Winds! for Shakespeare in the Streets. She is the recipient of four STL Theatre Circle Awards and is a 2017 Visionary Award winner as Outstanding Arts Professional.






Erika Denise Flowers-Roberts (Roman Ephesus) was most recently seen in Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates (Heidi) at Metro Theater Company, Julius Caesar (Mark Antony, Calpurnia) and Found at Sea (Marnie) with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ Education Tour, and All Shook Up (ensemble member) at Tent Theater. She graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in speech and theater education and is now teaching with COCA.

Karl Hawkins  (Ollie Ephesus) is excited to be joining the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis Education Tour. A recent graduate of the Conservatory of Theatre & Dance at Southeast Missouri State University, Hawkins was recently seen in Cardenio: Shakespeare’s Lost Play (St. Louis Shakespeare) and In The Heights (R-S Theatrics).  Favorite credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), Middletown (Mechanic) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Chip Tolentino). To Thine Own Self Be True!

Ryan Lawson-Maeske (Tip Syracuse) is psyched for the chance to perform with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis! A proud graduate of Saint Louis University, his recent credits include Luchadora (Mustard Seed Theatre/Theatre Nuevo) and Born Yesterday (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). Upcoming productions include Little Foxes and Tribes, both at St. Louis Actors’ Studio. Much love to his family and friends, and a big thanks to Gary for the opportunity.

Michael James Reed* (Mom/Amelia Ephesus, Dad/Aegeon Syracuse) Over 10 Festival appearances including Romeo & Juliet, The Winter’s Tale, Antony & Cleopatra, Henry IV & V, Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew. Local credits include The Rep, MUNY, New Jewish, Hot City, Upstream, & Actors Studio. New York credits include La Bete (Broadway) and King Lear (Roundabout). Regional highlights include Old Globe, Alley Theatre, ACT, South Coast Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz.  Michael trained at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Jen Sinnen (Mimi Syracuse) Sinnen’s professional credits include tours with The National Theatre for Children and Missoula Children’s Theatre, as well as After Orlando at The Uppity Theatre Company, and Big Love performed at the Festival Teatro de la Habana in Havana, Cuba. Other favorite credits include The Drowsy Chaperone (Trix), Trojan Women (Talthybius) and Slasher (Christi). She also recently wrote and performed a one-woman show entitled Things [un]said. Sinnen is a graduate of Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts.

*Denotes member, Actors’ Equity Association

Creative Team

Gary Wayne Barker (Director) An active actor/director, Barker recently directed A Most Outrageous Fit of Madness (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Education Tour).  He is a two-time Kevin Kline Award winner for acting.  Regional (selected): Repertory Theatre St. Louis, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Mustard Seed Theatre, Arrow Rock Theatre, New Jewish Theatre, Upstream Theatre, Ozark Actors Theatre.  Education:  MFA Acting, Michigan State University; Actors Center NY; Central School of Speech and Drama, London.  Professor of Acting and Associate Dean, Saint Louis University.

Margery and Peter Spack (Set Design) made their Shakespeare Festival St. Louis debut with 2016’s Tales of Shakespeare at Powell Hall with the St. Louis Symphony and designed the 2018 Festival mainstage production of Romeo & Juliet in Forest Park. Recently they have designed scenery for Heisenberg and Safe House at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Golda’s BalconyIntimate Apparel (Winner, Set Design in a Play, 2018 STL Theater Circle), and Never
 the Sinner at The New Jewish Theatre. As Studio Spack Environment Design, Margery and Peter Spack design corporate theater, product reveals, broadcast news, trade show environments, and private events. They both have BFAs from Webster University and reside in their hometown of St. Louis.

Michele Friedman Siler (Costume Design) In addition to working with the Shakespeare Festival’s Education Tour, Michele’s recent design credits include A Streetcar Names Desire for the Tennessee Williams Festival, New Jerusalem, Never The Sinner, Intimate Apparel, for New Jewish Theatre, The Tempest, Cardenio, The Heir Apparent, for St. Louis Shakespeare,  Infected, A Human Being Died That Night, The Death of Atahualpa, for Upstream Theatre,  and Blithe Spirit, Waiting for Godot for St. Louis Actors’ Studio.