merry wives
Ye Cast

Town Criers…Reid Johnson,
Daniel…Drake Fenlon
Shallow…Shannon Collins
Slender…Travis Flatt
Sir Hugh Evans…Evan Stevens
George Page…Andy Cannon
Falstaff…Steven W Gwilt
Bardolph…Evan Montgomery
Nym…Daniel R Fenlon
Pistol…James Alder
Anne Page…Katie Mannle
Alice Ford…Kim Frick-Welker
Margaret Page…Vicki Davis
Simple…Lisa Shinn
Host…Philip Charles Horn
Robin…Mac Brown
Mistress Quickly…Mary Boring
Rugby…Josie McQuail
Dr. Caius…Dave Davidson
Fenton…Evan Montgomery
Francis Ford…Patrick Mannle
William Page…Blake Knox
John…Daniel R Fenlon
Robert Daniel…Drake Fenlon
Recorder Musician…Diane Glasgow
Herne’s Oak…Cottonwood
Townspeople/Dancers:
Maggie Collins, Sally McDonald, Liv Sinclair,
Sandy Johnson, Abbey Brown, Rebecca Brown,
Mac Brown, Blake Knox, Drake Fenlon, Josie McQuail
Fairies:
Maggie Collins, Sally McDonald, Liv Sinclair, Abbey Brown,
Mac Brown, Evan Stevens, Katie Mannle, Shannon Collins,
Mary Boring, James Alder, Evan Montgomery

Production Staff
Producer—Chad McDonald
Director—Dave Johnson
Stage Managers—Sandy Johnson, Liv Sinclair
Lighting Design & Engineer—Brandon Walls
Scenic Design-Dave Johnson, Brandon Walls
Set Construction—Brandon Walls, Roger Long
Scenic Painter—Kim Frick-Welker
Paint Crew—Randi Finger, Joanne Longfellow,
Dana Honeycutt, Kyle Guth, Sandy Johnson
Costume Design —Amanda Dyer, Anthony Herd
Costume Construction—Amanda Dyer, Anthony Herd,
Kim Frick Welker, Nancy Brown
Herne Head Design & Construction-Randi Finger
Country Dance Choreography—Albert and Pat Wilhelm
Fairy Dance Choreography-Anthony Herd
Props—Rebecca Brown, Sandy Johnson
Buck Basket Construction—Dan Fenlon, Anthony Herd,
Kim Frick-Welker
Shakespeare in the Park Logo Design—Wayne Hogan
Poster & Program layout—Steve Gwilt
Publicity Photographs—Kim Frick-Welker, Megan Trotter

Presented by The Dept. of Leisure Services,
Cultural Arts Division & The Cookeville Performing Arts Center

Thanks to…
The Cookeville Arts Council
Cookeville Children’s Theatre
Cookeville Communications
Chuck Johnson Nursery
Stage One Dance Studio
Derrick Anthony Herd II
Mark Creter
TTU Backdoor Playhouse
Charles Long
Wesley Arena Theatre
Megan Trotter
Herald Citizen
Pat & Albert Wilhelm
Hannah Johnson
Samantha Raper
Mary Summerlin
Real Women Lingerie
Hank, Beth, & Sarah Mannle

Honeysuckle Creek by Amanda Dyer
Costuming, Alterations & seamstress work
931-239-9708

The settings:
Act I
scene 1: Windsor, before Page’s house
scene 2: The same
scene 3: The Garter Inn
scene 4: Dr. Caius’s house
Act II
scene 1: Before Page’s house scene
2: The Garter Inn
scene 3: A field near Windsor
Act III
scene 1: A field near Frogmore scene
2: A street
scene 3: Ford’s house scene
4: Page’s house
—intermission—
Act III
scene 5: The Garter Inn
Act IV
scene 1: A street
scene 2: Ford’s house
scene 3: The Garter Inn
scene 4: Ford’s house scene
5: The Garter Inn
scene 6: The same
Act V
scene 1: The same
scene 2: Windsor Park
scene 3: A street leading to the Park
scene 4: Windsor Park
scene 5: Another part of the Park


A note from the producers:

We hope you enjoy Shakespeare in the Park. It is our goal to continue with this annual event, and to watch it grow.  We are pleased to bring you the array of events that happen in this beautiful setting.  From Community Band concerts, to Sundays in the Park concerts, to Shakespeare in the Park, all events in Dogwood Park are free of charge.  Donations are welcome to help support Shakespeare and all of the other events.  Checks can be made payable to the Cookeville Performing Arts Center, or call 931.528.1313 to donate with a Visa or Master Card.  We thank you for supporting all of the arts in our  area.

Biographies

Daniel Drake Fenlon (Town Crier, Dancer, Robert) The product of a Drama Center production, Drake has grown up in and around the stage. For 18 years he has appeared in couple of shows here and there. As a senior at CHS, Drake is avidly involved in the Drama Department and is the president of the Improv club also known “Improvise Name Here.” Drake would like to thank all the little people and sends his love out to all.
Reid Johnson (Town Crier) is performing in his second Shakespeare in the Park production!

Shannon Collins (Shallow) is grateful to live in a community that appreciates and supports the arts. He is especially thankful to share the stage with his daughter Maggie as she debuts as an actor. Professor of literacy by day and occasional thespian by night, Shannon’s constant roles are “husband” to Susan; “dad” to Molly, Craig, and Maggie; and “friend” to phenomenal TTU colleagues and learners. Here’s to literacy and living a literary life!

Travis Flatt (Slender) This is not the first time for Travis to play ‘the suitor the girl doesn’t want.’ Type-casting. An actor must develop a thick skin. Favorite roles of Travis’ include Gollum (The Hobbit, Knoxville), Ichabod Crane (Sleepy Hollow, Knoxville), and the Cowardly Lion (Wizard of Oz, Oak Ridge). In Cookeville he’s played in Bat Boy: the Musical, Escanaba in Love, Every Xmas Show Ever…, and many more. Next up for Travis is the pursuit of an MFA in performance. Wish him broken legs.
Evan Stevens (Sir Hugh Evans) was Polonius in Hamlet & Trinculo in The Tempest. He would like to apologize in advance for his bad Welsh accent.
Andy Cannon (George Page) is husband to Sherrie Cannon and father to Tori Cannon. Andy played Prospero in last year’s production of The Tempest.
Steven W Gwilt (Falstaff) is the only human being to have survived all seven Dogwood Shakespeare in the Park productions. Cheers to all, and LYM to Vegas wife, Amy.

Evan Montgomery (Bardolph, Fenton) is performing in his first Shakespeare in the Park production!

Daniel R Fenlon (Nym, John) After 45+ years of theatre, my first Shakespeare play. It is a great honor to perform with this talented cast and crew. I want to thank Dave for his dedication and direction to bring this performance to life. And I want to thank my wife Barbara for keeping her sanity while her boys perform.

James Alder (Pistol) is performing in his third Shakespeare in the Park production!

Katie Mannle (Anne Page) is super excited to be back at Shakespeare in the Park after last performing in the series as “Lady Montague” in Romeo and Juliet and “Helena” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream! She sends her love to the Davis and Mannle families…especially Merry who made the trip from Norfolk, Virginia to support her favorite sister! Biggest Love to Peanut and Master Ford…you guys Rock My World!!!
Kim Frick-Welker (Alice Ford) A thirty-year veteran of the boards, Kim’s last appearance in the Shakespeare series was that of Gertrude in Hamlet. More recently she played Mrs. Gottlieb in the Backstage at CPAC production of Dead Man’s Cell Phone. Other favorite roles include Catherine Sloper in The Heiress, Poppy in Noises Off, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible and Zelda Fitzgerald in The Last Flapper. “Much love to my husband, Bruce, my beautiful daughters, Heather and Chelsea, and to you, our patrons for supporting the performing arts!”
Vicki Davis (Margaret Page) is thrilled to be back on the boards for the first time since portraying femme fatale Charity Haze in The Butler Did It ten years ago. In the interim, she served on the stage management staff of Knoxville’s Clarence Brown Theatre and led the first four seasons of Knoxville’s Shakespeare on the Square as Production Stage Manager.

Lisa Shinn (Simple) could not be more grateful for this opportunity to perform with such an outstanding cast! She would like to thank all those involved, for people truly do not realize that even the smallest actions serve as influence on a young actor. Previously, Lisa has performed with Cookeville Children’s Theatre, CPAC (mainstage and backstage productions) and the Cumberland County Playhouse. Shakespeare, however, feels the most “right.” Thanks to all!

Philip C. Horn (Host) is as always humbled and excited about being part of this wonderful yearly event. Audience members may recall him as Stefano in “The Tempest”and Osric in “Hamlet.” Love and gratitude to past directors; Kathy G.,Lucas F.,Mark C.,Charles L.,Kim F-W.,and Steve G. Cast and crew-“Didn’t we have so much fun?” Dave-¡Qué diversión! To our patrons-CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE ARTS!!!!!

Mac Brown (Robert, English Country Dancer, Fairy) is performing in his first Shakespeare in the Park production!

Mary Boring (Mistress Quickly) has had a wonderful time with this great cast and crew.  Mary last appeared on stage in “Vagina Monologues” and you may remember her from “Parallel Lives” and other local productions.  Mary is a Project Leader for The Princeton Review.   Thanks, Dave, for casting me as Quickly; I love her!  Love to Camilla & Judah – and to her husband, mine Host.

Josie McQuail (Rugby) is a professor of English at TTU. She chased the spirit of Shakespeare through London and Stratford-Upon-Avon this past summer while teaching in England. Funny that she found him in Dogwood Park. Next summer Scotland – and the Scottish play in Dogwood Park? Thanks, Dave, for the chance to see Shakespeare from the inside.

Dave Davidson (Dr. Caius) Is having a great time slicing and dicing the English language on behalf of the Earl of Oxford and his friend Dave Johnson. This is my third Shakespeare in the Park production having appeared as Antonio in Twelth Night and as the Grave Digger and other roles in Hamlet.

Diane Glasgow (Recorder Musician) Thanks to a cocobolo tree in the Brazilian rain forest, a New Hampshire recorder maker, and an anonymous 16th Century composer, I can play for you!

Patrick Mannle (Francis Ford) Patrick is delighted to return to the Shakespeare series having last appeared in Hamlet. Favorite roles include Hamlet, Reuben in Escanaba in the Moonlight, Allen in Play it Again Sam, and himself as the dad of two-year old Meredith Jane Mannle who makes all things beautiful. He is happy to share the stage again with his beautiful wife Katie, whom he met on this same stage six years ago. Thanks and love to our parents!

Blake Knox (William) attends Avery Trace Middle School. He enjoys football, baseball, and soccer. In addition to playing the part of “William” in Merry Wives, he plays trumpet in the ATMS band. He would like to thank both his parents and teachers for preparing him for this exciting play and hopefully success.

Maggie Collins (English Country Dancer, Fairy) is in Mrs. Mattson’s third-grade class at Sycamore Elementary. Merry Wives is Maggie’s debut performance as an actor; however, she has danced in several recitals. Currently Maggie studies under the amazing dancers/teachers at Stage One Dance Studio. Maggie wishes to thank Mr. Dave for giving her the opportunity to “play” under the stars and moon and apologizes to Falstaff for pinching him too hard.

Sally McDonald (English Country Dancer, Fairy) is in 5th grade at Prescott South Middle School. She has been seen previously in CCT’s production of Alice in Wonderland and in the Performing Arts Center production of Music Man. She studies Ballet and Modern at the Leisure Services School of Dance. She would like to thank Mr. Dave for inviting her to be part of the show.

Liv Sinclair (Stage Manager, English Country Dancer) is happy to be once again working on Shakespeare but a little out of her element actually acting as well as stage managing.  Thanks to the cast and crew for being so easy to work with.  Thanks to my family and theatre family for supporting my crazy obsession.  Much love to her two precious nieces and the one on the way.

Director’s Bio
Dave Johnson is an Associate Professor of English and Communication at Volunteer State Community College—Livingston Center. He also hosts Cumberland Viewpoint on Cookeville Communications radio stations. This is his second directorial attempt for Dogwood Shakespeare, having collaborated on Hamlet two years ago. He would like to thank his wife, Sandy, for all her support and hard work on this show, and for being the best partner in life anyone could have. He thanks his kids—Holley, Hannah, Mirrah, Reid, Angela–for making him such a proud dad.

Director’s Notes
William Shakespeare wrote The Merry Wives of Windsor after Queen Elizabeth I requested him to write another play featuring one of her favorite characters, Sir John Falstaff, and there is evidence that it was debuted for the Queen at Windsor Castle on Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23rd, 1599. As the legend goes, he wrote the play in only two weeks, completing it in time to be performed at the installation of the Knights-Elect for the Windsor Order of the Garter. These are just some of the many reasons his 23rd production is unique.
Merry Wives is also Shakespeare’s only play set entirely in 16th century middle class England and peopled with characters of his milieu and time.  All the other plays either take place in distant lands or feature kings, queens, and members of the aristocracy exclusively in the lead roles.  This might account for why the play contains the least amount of poetic verse of his 37 plays.  The script is thick with the vernacular of Shakespeare’s world, and the wordplay is, in my opinion, some of his most fun and colorful.  But that is “neither here nor there” (Mistress Quickly).
It is also considered by some scholars to be his most farcical play, with all its physical, slapstick comedy. No doubt, it reveals Shakespeare at his most playful—one of the main reasons I was drawn to it. And the fact that it offers an opportunity for children to be involved makes it even more special. We are so fortunate to have some the most amazing kids in our cast.
But don’t underestimate the rich thematic layers that display a prescient Shakespeare, ahead of his time, with his powerful women, his undermining of stale tradition, and his satire of the materialism of the rising mercantile class of the early 17th century.
But the story also climaxes in a park, and here we are at the Dogwood Performance Pavilion in our own village green on a cool evening in early autumn, the perfect setting for such a playful play that concludes with an idealistic message of love, forgiveness, and tolerance. Does it get any better than that? (Well—maybe Hamlet).
Thanks go to the City of Cookeville and the Cookeville Arts Council for supporting the venue and the production. I hope our rendition reveals why it is worthwhile to keep Shakespeare alive in our town and to offer this wonderful opportunity to our theater community. The cast and crew have worked very hard to put on this very complicated play. I know I speak for them all when I say we hope you enjoy the show! -dj