Lauren Carlton is excited to return to the Rocket City Shakespeare stage after appearing in the company’s 2014 production of Coriolanus (Junius Brutus, Gentlewoman, 2nd Volscian Lord). After graduating with her BAC from the University of Alabama, she joined the teaching staff at Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater where she teaches acting, playwriting, improvisation, and musical theatre. Lauren comes to theatre from the world of opera where she performed as a mezzo-soprano with Greensboro Light Opera and Song, Eastern Music Festival, Greensboro Opera, Astoria Music Festival, and the University of Alabama Opera Theatre. She has appeared in local productions such as the Athenian Players’ Modern American One-Acts and Ars Nova’s The Ballad of Baby Doe, Hansel and Gretel (2009), Sid the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing, The Magic Flute, and Macbeth.
Andy Cayse -- Hastings., Tyrrell
Andy Cayse couldn't be more excited to be joining with Rocket City Shakespeare for his first performance in over seven years. Prior to his hiatus from the stage, Andy had done extensive work with the Jacksonville State University theater department, as well as work with the Renaissance Theater, Madison Community Chorus, and the Trumpet in the Land historical theater in Ohio. He would like to thank his family and friends for their continued love and support, as well as a shout-out to friend and co-worker Chad Burkhardt for letting him know about Rocket City Shakespeare in the first place.
Joanna loves being involved in theatre and is very excited about joining Rocket City Shakespeare. Recently, she played the role of Petra Quince in UAH's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Many years ago, she was involved in Shakespearean Shorts and Romeo and Juliet with photographer and Shakespeare practitioner Jeff White. When she's not acting, she is delivering mail or training dogs.
Matthew Kresal -- Brakenbury, Cardinal, Guard
Matthew is usually off-stage writing that acting upon it. Since 2010, he's been the writer of the Sci-Fi Review column in the North Alabama arts & entertainment magazine The Valley Planet (his review of the novel based on Douglas Adams' largely unfilmed Doctor Who script Shada for that magazine is quoted in its US paperback edition). He's also written about Doctor Who and “cult TV” topics for online fanzines including The Terrible Zodin and is also a contributor to the website Warped Factor. As if that's not enough he's also one of the organizers of the North Alabama Doctor Who convention Con Kasterborous. This is his first time acting since high school and, as such, he wishes to thank RCS performer Emily Shaffer for convincing him to audition as well as thanking Mandy for giving him the chance to hopefully not make a fool of himself.
Her first ever performance, Sarah Moore is excited and honored to be a part of Rocket City Shakespeare. Sarah is currently pursuing her MA in literature at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She thanks her husband and children for sharing her with the theatre these past few months and for tolerating her spontaneously quoting Shakespeare all about the house. Finally, major thanks to Mandy and Lee for letting her be a part of this fabulous production. Y'all are the best!
Shawn Murdock -- Clarence, Ratcliffe
Shawn has been pretending for his entire life. Over the course of his nearly three-decade career as someone with an overactive imagination, he has found himself portraying characters such as a starship pilot, a humanoid plant monster, dozens of household pets, and even a guy who believes that love is real and that life has meaning. Once, in fourth grade, he pretended that thought he had a chance of playing basketball professionally. Many critics consider it to be his greatest performance. He discovered Theatre (or “precision pretending,” as he likes to call it) during his first semester at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He was cast in the role of his lifelong idol, Ford Prefect, in an Alpha Psi Omega production of BBC Radio’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I mean, all he was trying to do was get some credit for his Theatre Appreciation class, and now look at him, with his costumes and his lines. Since then, Shawn has mostly portrayed dorks and preachers. He played Silvius most recently in Rocket City Shakespeare’s As You Like It. When he isn’t pretending, Shawn is probably either asleep or dead, but he still finds time to place words into aesthetically-pleasing arrangements, occasionally even for money. He would like to thank the enemies and friends he has made over the course of his life for driving him to be who he is today, the numerous English and Theatre professors at UAH who have been instrumental in his transformation from a directionless weirdo to an educated weirdo with productive hobbies, and his director Mandy Hughes, for giving him another opportunity to work with a company that’s been the most fun of any he’s ever worked with.
John Seigh -- Derby, Citizen, Ghost of Henry VI
Mandy L. Hughes -- Director, Head of Company
The founder of Rocket City Shakespeare, Mandy is excited that so many amazing people want to come and play Shakespeare with her! Having recently received her MA in English from UAH, Mandy is looking forward to embarking on a PhD program in 2016. In the mean time, she is an instructor at both AAMU and Virginia College in Huntsville. Thanks go out to awesome friends and family, most especially Vance, Celeste, and The Baby X, and to you, the audience.
Beta -- Running Crew