A brand new adaptation of the beloved, Oscar-winning film, Shakespeare in Love, comes to life onstage in one of Austin Playhouse's biggest productions to date. Young Will Shakespeare is suffering from a severe case of writer's block as the deadline fast approaches for his new play-a half-baked mess called Romeo and Ethel, The Pirate's Daughter. But then he meets Viola de Lesseps, a headstrong noblewoman and Will's greatest admirer, who will stop at nothing to be in his next play. Both are despondent when they learn that Viola's father has promised her to the stuffy Lord Wessex in order to gain a title for their family. Against a bustling backdrop of mistaken identity, ruthless scheming, and backstage theatrics, this raucous romantic comedy tells the story of the love that inspired Will to write a masterpiece.
The production is co-directed by Don Toner and Lara Toner Haddock and stars Stephen Mercantel as Will Shakespeare and Claire Grasso as Viola de Lesseps. The cast features fellow Austin Playhouse Company Members Brian Coughlin as Lord Wessex, Mary Cox as Queen Elizabeth, Huck Huckaby as Fennyman, Samuel Knowlton as Tilney and Sir Robert de Lesseps, Bernadette Nason as the Nurse, Jason Newman as Marlowe, Michael Stuart as Burbage, J Ben Wolfe as Ned Alleyn, and Lara Wright as Mistress Quickly and Molly. The remaining ensemble cast includes Paul Christian, Bethany Harbaugh, Tyler Jones, Kevin Moxley, Luke Stiller, and Owen Ziegler.
The production team includes Buffy Manners (costume design), Diana Huckaby (assistant costume design), Joel Mercado-See (sound design), Mark Novick (lighting design), Mike Toner (set design), Toby Minor (fight choreography), and Sarah Fleming Walker (musical direction).