April 22, 2008

Adapted and Directed by Laura Depta  -  Original Music by Stan Peal
Charlotte, NC – Charlotte’s very own Epic Arts Repertory Theatre presents the premiere of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Musical’ this June at Spirit Square.  Director, Laura Depta, has skillfully adapted and gently updated some of Shakespeare's more archaic language creating a text with all of the beauty and poetry of Shakespeare but more easily heard and understood by the modern audience member.  Original music by Stan Peal adds the finishing flair to this sexy, mystical, fairyland fantasy about the whim of passion and the power of love.
This original Epic Arts Repertory Theater production stays faithful to Shakespeare's comedy about two couples in love with the wrong partners, how the lovers’ lives are complicated by city law, feuding faerie royalty, and of course, the whimsical nature of love and how they are all finally brought together rightly, thanks in part, to the mischievous work of Puck. It’s a saucy rendition of love lost and found, and perfect Summer fare!
“I endeavored to weed out and update some of the more archaic language to make the original script more accessible and understandable to a wide audience. I’ve maintained

rhyming couplets and been pretty faithful to the iambic pentameter, so it will still sound and feel like Shakespeare, except that now the audience will understand so much more of what’s actually being said!” , Says Depta.
Stan Peal has penned an original score to bring the action on stage to musical life. Says Peal, “I tried to bring a sense of mystery and magic to the score to match the elements of fantasy and sensuality that Laura’s focusing on in her interpretation.  This production will be darker and sultrier than the typical version of Midsummer, so I wanted the music to convey those qualities from the first note.”
Featuring a cast of some of Charlotte’s best actors and most dazzling voices including: Award winning actress, Barbi Van Schaick, as Puck; Opera singer, Amy Van Looy, as Titania; Epic Arts’ own Stan Peal as Bottom, the clown; classically trained actor, William Boyer, returning to the stage after a hiatus of several years in the part of Oberon; and New York actor/singer/comedian, Joe Rux, returning to Charlotte as Demetrius; as well as many names familiar in both theatre and opera, including: Michael Dane, Stephanie DiPaolo, Samantha Driver, Stephen Friedrich, Gerard Hazelton, Barbara Kukor, Amanda Lebonville, Tanya McClellan, Doug Roaten, Noah Rice, Paula Schmitt and Shon Wilson!
Performances will run June 7-22, 2008 on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Spirit Square’s Duke Energy Theater. See performance schedule below for details.
Saturday, June 7 - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 8 - 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 12 - 7:30 p.m.*
Friday, June 13 - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 14 – 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 15 – 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19 - 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 20 - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 21 – 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 22 – 2:30 p.m.
* Thursday, June 12 is a special 2-for-1 performance.  Patrons can purchase two tickets for the price of one ($20) on this night.
Adult Tickets: $20.00 / Students-Children-Seniors $15.00 / Group Rate Tickets (call for details) $12.00.  Tickets available through the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Box Office, located in Founders Hall at 130 North Tryon Street, Charlotte; Telephone: 704-372-1000 and

Laura has Directed or Co-Directed several of Epic Arts Repertory Theatre’s award-winning shows, including ‘Goddess and the Magdalene,’ ‘Cyrano de Bergerac,’ and ‘Hop-Frog.’ She has also received critical acclaim as a Charlotte actress, including Metrolina Theatre Association awards for her work as the title characters in Epic Arts Repertory’s productions of ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ and ‘Goddess and the Magdalene.’ Other work for Epic Arts includes productions of ‘A Mad, Mad Madrigal’ and ‘The Friar and The Nurse,’ which was revived at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in 2004 and the New York Fringe Festival in 2005. She has also appeared at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte.
Laura is also co-founder and former artistic associate for Fifty Foot Penguin Theater in Minneapolis. Her last performance in the Twin Cities was as a lead role in ‘Down the Road’ and ‘Tone Clusters’ for which she received critical recognition in the Minneapolis City Pages' "Best of 2001." Laura has additionally worked and studied under Peter Hedges in New York and at the Moscow Art Theatre School, where she played Pauline in ‘The Seagull.’ She is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Laura was named as one of the Charlotte Observer’s People to Watch in 2004. Under her leadership, Epic Arts has been named “Best New Theatre Company” by Charlotte Magazine, and has received several MTA and Creative Loafing awards for original productions, including most recently, ‘A Mad, Mad Madrigal,’ ‘The Friar & The Nurse’ and ‘The Expanding Sky.’        

Laura has joined forces with actor, composer, playwright and real-life husband, Stan Peal, on ‘A Midsummer Night’s Musical.’ 
Stan is Managing Director of Epic Arts Repertory Theatre where he has contributed original music to the productions of ‘The Friar and The Nurse,’ ‘A Mad, Mad Madrigal,’ ‘Scratchy Scratcherton’s Revenge’, ‘The Expanding Sky,’ and ‘Premature Burials.’ Other Charlotte productions featuring his music include ‘Best Little Crackhouse in Philly’ at BareBones, ‘Snow White and the Seven Deadly Sins,’ at Theatre Charlotte, ‘Tales of Horror from the Bible,’ at Off-Tryon and ‘As Y’all Like It,’ presented by Collaborative Arts.
Stan’s music has been featured in New York at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival, and NY Artists Unlimited. Other productions showcasing Stan’s music have appeared all over the country, from Atlanta to Minneapolis to Denver, as well as national tours and radio.
Stan’s is the recipient of an NCArts/ASC Regional Artists Grant, an EST/Sloan Foundation Commission, and a Jerome Foundation Residency/Commission at The Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro, MN as well as several awards received in Charlotte, New York and Minneapolis. 
Stan works as a freelance writer in Charlotte. Recent projects include work for NASCAR, Junior Achievement, Patterson-Pope, and Charlotte Trolley, Inc. He recently received four Golden Addy awards and a Best of Show for his Charlotte Checkers commercial campaign.