Sunday, July 23, 2017

Michael Urie to Play Hamlet at Shakespeare Theatre Company

From our friends at the Shakespeare Theatre Company...

The Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) is delighted to announce that Michael Urie will lead the cast of Shakespeare’s most celebrated tragedy, Hamlet, at Sidney Harman Hall, January 16 - February 25, 2018. Hamlet will be directed by STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn.

In Hamlet, the greatest character of Western literature confronts the meaning of life, the bonds and limits of flesh and blood, and the line between madness and inspiration. In the wake of his father’s abrupt death, Hamlet returns home from university to find his personal and political world changed as he never imagined it could - his mother remarried, his uncle on the throne and a world seemingly gone insane. When his father’s ghost appears and demands vengeance, the increasingly desperate Danish prince must decide: submit or resist. Accept or avenge. Live or die.

“I’m delighted that Michael Urie will make his debut on our main stage,” Kahn said. “He is an extraordinary classical actor and I’ve hoped for some time that he’d play Hamlet when the moment was right for him as an actor.”

Urie, who received his classical theatre training at The Julliard School studying under Kahn, has established a highly successful stage and screen career and is currently starring in Red Bull Theater’s acclaimed production of The Government Inspector. He visited STC with the 2014 presentation of Buyer & Cellar, but will appear in an STC mainstage production for the first time.

Urie said, “The role of Hamlet is considered a rite of passage for an actor in the earlier half of their career, so I’m thrilled and honored to play the role at Shakespeare Theatre Company. Hamlet is the story of a young man experiencing so many overwhelming emotions for the first time, and that resonates with anybody who has loved and lost or felt betrayed.”

To book tickets for Hamlet, please visit, or call the box office on (202) 547-1122. More news on the production and casting will be available soon.

Shakespeare Theatre Company’s founding Artistic Director Michael Kahn has directed a wide variety of Shakespearean and classical works for STC, including last season’s The School for Lies, The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound, The Metromaniacs, a repertory of Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2, Wallenstein, The Government Inspector, Strange Interlude, The Heir Apparent, Old Times, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Liar, Richard II, The Alchemist, Design for Living, The Way of the World, and many more. His first show of the 2017/2018 season will be a pairing of short plays by Harold Pinter called The Lover and The Collection. Having brought international works like Headlong’s 1984, The National Theatre of Scotland’s Dunsinane and The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart and Théâtre de l’Atelier’s Les Liaisons Dangereuse to the theatre, Kahn continues to demonstrate the versatility and relevance of STC’s theatre programming with this season’s productions. In 1991, he created the Free For All, which brings an STC production to audiences completely free of charge every year. In addition to leading STC, he is also the founder of the Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University and the former Richard Rodgers Director of the Drama Division at Juilliard. Since the 1960s, Kahn’s work has been seen by audiences across the country and the world: in New York City, both on Broadway and Off-Broadway, as well as at both the American Shakespeare Theatre and the McCarter Theatre where he served as Artistic Director concurrently. In 2003, STC performed his production of The Oedipus Plays at the Athens Festival in Greece, where it received standing ovations and critical acclaim. In the summer of 2006, the Company took Kahn’s production of Love’s Labor’s Lost to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Complete Works Festival” in Stratford-upon-Avon. Kahn was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2013 and has been recognized as an Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Michael Urie has established a highly successful stage and screen career. He is currently starring in Red Bull Theater’s acclaimed production of The Government Inspector, and will headline this fall’s revival of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song at Second Stage Theater. He originated the role of Alex More in Jonathan Tolins’ Buyer & Cellar, appearing Off-Broadway, on tour, in London and for the PBS series Theater Close-Up. For this performance he received the Drama Desk Award, Clarence Derwent Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, LA Drama Critics Award and nominations for the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards. His New York theatre credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Broadway), Shows for Days (LCT), Homos, Or Everyone in America (Obie Award), The Cherry Orchard (CSC), Angels in America (Signature), The Temperamentals (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Theatre World awards, Drama League nomination), The Revenger’s Tragedy (Red Bull), Another Vermeer (HB Playwrights). Regionally, Urie has worked for Two River, The Old Globe, Vineyard Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Folger Shakespeare, Barrington Stage, Hyde Park (Austin), and The Blank (L.A.). He has appeared in numerous films including He’s Way More Famous than You (also directed), Thank You for Judging (co-director/exec. producer), Beverly Hills Chihuahua, WTC View, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, The Decoy Bride, Petunia, Such Good People, The Hyperglot (director), and Grantham & Rose (exec. producer). TV credits include Gavin Sinclair on Modern Family, Younger, Workaholics, The Good Wife, Hot in Cleveland, Partners and Marc St. James on Ugly Betty. He currently hosts the Logo series Cocktails and Classics and has worked on the web series “What’s Your Emergency” (director.)

Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) is the nation’s leading premier classical theatre company. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible to audiences in and around the nation’s capital.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Executive Director Chris Jennings, STC’s innovative productions inspire dialogue that connects classic works to the modern human experience. The Company focuses on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced in order to preserve and promote classic theatre - ambitious, enduring plays with universal themes - for all audiences.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and adult acting classes to accessible community programming like play-relevant discussion series and the Free For All. For the past 25 years, the Free For All program has offered an annual remount of a popular production completely free of charge to all audience members.

Located in downtown Washington, DC, STC performs in two theatres, the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre and the 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall. In addition to STC productions appearing year-round, these spaces also accommodate presentations from outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. The Company has been a fixture in the vibrant Penn Quarter neighborhood since 1992.