MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TAKE TO THE (ONLINE) STAGE FOR SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY’S WILL ON THE HILL

Pay-what-you-will pricing benefits arts education programming

August 5, 2020, Washington, D.C.: D.C.’s most popular bi-partisan event is going online — making it accessible to the entire nation!  On Monday, September 14th, Members of Congress and distinguished Washington influencers from both sides of the aisle will present the Bard’s take on power and policymaking in an original script. This year, audiences can pay any price they choose with all proceeds going to STC’s education and community engagement programs. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a VIP Virtual Pre-Show Reception to be followed at 7 p.m. by a Virtual Performance.

This year’s witty script Will on the Hill… or Won’t They? is written by playwright, director, and actor NatCassidy (Any Day Now, Old Familiar Faces) and tells the story of two

congressional aides of opposing parties who have secretly crossed the aisle in a bipartisan romance that rivals Romeo and Juliet. In this laugh out loud send-up that marries contemporary politics and Shakespearean verse, they wonder how celebrating the Bard during these turbulent times makes sense. It is up to these star-crossed lovers to unite the bickering cast preparing for the show within the show.

The evening’s broadcast will also feature students from STC’s Virtual Camp Shakespeare, the company’s popular summer-long program that brings Shakespeare’s plays to life for children ages 7 to 18—a key demonstration of the educational programs supported by Will on the Hill’s fundraising efforts.

“Our Congressional cast is volunteering their time and talent because they know that the arts can change lives,” Senior Director of Engagement and Education Samantha Wyer Bello, who will direct this year’s play, states. “This unique show

couldn’t happen without a team of imaginative professionals doing what they do

best, be it in performance, in fundraising, or education. My hope is that we

build a joyous experience that allows us to laugh and also remember why the

arts matter.”

The illustrious cast will include Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE),a Will on

the Hill regular, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Sen. Angus King (I-ME).  Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Rep. André Carson (D-IN), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Carol Miller (R-WV), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV), Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX), and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)  are all confirmed to perform. Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the United States Dame Karen Pierce and Ian Lidell-Grainger, a Member of Parliament in the UK, are both slated to join the performance. All cast members are subject to change.


Co-Chaired by Bernie McKay, Karishma Page, and Vin Roberti,Will on the Hill is an extraordinary event fostering bipartisan support for STC’s arts education programs, which reach nearly 20,000 students and teachers annually. STC’s Engagement and Education Department provides in-school and online workshops, free teaching materials, and free or deeply subsidized tickets and transportation to theatrical performances.

The Will on the Hill broadcast will be available on a Pay-What-You-Will basis, allowing audiences nationwide —for the first time ever—to take part in the fun. For additional information about Will on the Hill 2020, please visit ShakespeareTheatre.org/WillontheHill or contact STC’s Corporate Giving Office at 202.547.3230 ext. 2323 or WOTH@ShakespeareTheatre.org.

Members of the press interested in preview and review coverage may contact STC’s publicist at press@shakespearetheatre.org.

SPONSORS:

Will on the Hill 2020 is supported by its Lead Sponsors: Intuit Inc. and the Roberti Family Foundation for Civic Engagement, Playwright Level Sponsors: ICF International Inc., and McDermott Will & Emery, and Media Sponsor: THE HILL.

Designer Sponsors: Altria Group, Capital One, K&L Gates, Motion Picture Association, and Nick and Marla Allard

Producer Sponsors: Nissan North America, Stephen & Lisa Ryan

Patron Sponsors: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Karishma & Jonathan Page

Benefactor Sponsors: National Association of Realtors, National Multifamily Housing Council

About the Playwright

Nat Cassidy (Playwright) is an award-winning actor, writer, and musician based in NYC. As an actor he can be seen on shows such as The Good Fight (CBS), Blue Bloods (CBS), Bull (CBS), Quantico (ABC), The Following (Fox), The Affair (Showtime), Red Oaks (Amazon), High Maintenance (HBO), Law & Order: SVU (NBC), The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show (Netflix), as well as on stage in numerous productions and workshops both Off- and Off-Off-Broadway. He’s the author of award-winning plays such as The Temple, or, Lebensraum, Any Day Now, Tenants, The Reckoning of Kit & Little Boots, The Demon Hunter, I Am Providence, Pierce, Old Familiar Faces, Goldsboro, and many others, which have been produced and developed across the country and published by Samuel French, Broadway Play Publishing, Smith & Kraus, NYTE, and Applause Books. In New York, his plays have been nominated for a combined total of 17 New York Innovative Theatre Awards, including 3 times for Outstanding Full-Length Script (which he won in 2009, and in 2011 for Outstanding Solo Performance for his one man show about H.P. Lovecraft) and he was commissioned by The Kennedy Center to write the libretto for a world-premiere opera. He wrote the novelization of the hit podcast Steal the Stars, which was published by Tor Books in 2017 and which NPR included among the best books of that year. He has also signed a two-book deal with Tor’s horror imprint, Nightfire, with the first original horror novel MARY coming in 2022. www.natcassidy.com

About the Director

Samantha Wyer Bello (Director) is an award-winning stage director and educator with over twenty years of executive leadership success in not-for-profit theatre. Throughout her artistic career, Samantha has worked to uplift all she serves through her direction of breathtaking stage productions and vital relationship development within each community.

For Shakespeare Theatre Company, Ms. Bello has directed readings of A NumberMiss Evers’ BoysPicasso at the Lapin Agile, ArcadiaR.U.R. and created and adapted A Mini-Summer Night’s Dream and The Tiny Tempest. Previously, she served as Associate Artistic Director for Arizona Theatre Company for twelve seasons, where her directing credits include I Am My Own WifePermanent CollectionA Streetcar Named DesireProofLost in Yonkers (with Judy Kaye), To Kill a Mockingbird (co-pro w/ Kansas City Repertory), Tuesdays With Morrie, and A Moon for the Misbegotten. In Kansas City, she worked as the Director of Playwright’s Stage for Missouri Repertory Theatre.

Ms. Bello has directed for The Playwright’s Center, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Childsplay, Spooky Action Theatre, Voice and Vision -New York, and Edinburgh Fringe in Scotland. Ms. Bello has been a grants panelist and guest speaker for arts organizations including Theatre Communications Group, DC Commission on Arts and Humanities, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Tucson Pima Arts Council, Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture and West Valley Arts Council. She has taught and directed for University of Missouri, Arizona State University and University of Arizona. Ms. Wyer received her MFA in Acting/Directing at University of Missouri/Kansas City and is a proud member of SDC.

 About Will on the Hill

Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual Will on the Hill benefit welcomes Members of Congress and Washington influencers to perform scenes from Shakespeare—infused with comedic references to contemporary politics.

Will on the Hill pays tribute to the unique dynamic of our city and provides a wonderful way to engage new audiences and support Shakespeare Theatre Company’s artistic, education and community outreach programs.

Newsroom
Media Relations
If you are a member of the press, please contact us at:

Shakespeare Theatre Company
516 8th Street SE
Washington, DC 20003-2834
Phone: 202.547.3230

Press Contact –
Colleen Kennedy
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