“The Merry Wives of Windsor” is cast; opening August 18 in Pacifica

The Half Moon Bay Shakespeare Company’s Artistic Director, Debbie Lynn Carriger, announced that casting is complete for “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” to be performed in August and September at the Mildred Owen Concert Hall in Pacifica, CA. This will be Half Moon Bay Shakespeare’s first indoor performance.

Founded in 2012, Half Moon Bay Shakespeare brought the plays of The Bard to outdoor theaters in Half Moon Bay until 2020, when the pandemic shut down performances for a few years. The company is unable to perform this year in its usual venue, John L. Carter Park in Half Moon Bay, which is currently under renovation, so the company turned to the Mildred Owen Concert Hall to stage this year’s play.

“I feel like we found a secret gem of a space, and Kat and Tom [Kat Ilvedson, Office Manager, and Tom O’Toole, Board Chair and House Manager] at Pacifica Performances have been so supportive of having a stage play in this beautiful theatre,” said Carriger.

The play will be set in 1920s America—the era of flappers, prohibition, and the Jazz Age.

Cast members include some veteran Half Moon Bay Shakespeare actors as well as many new faces. The audience will see Lisa Burton Guevera as Mistress Margaret Page; Miranda Liu Sayer as Anne Page/Host; Dana Cordelia Morgan as Mistress Quickly; Kate Tomatis as Mistress Alice Ford; Julia Thollaug as Master Abraham Slender; Rich Mattiello as Justice Robert Shallow; Doug Nolan as Master Francis (Frank) Ford ; Jeff Beck as Master George Page; Matthew Daly as Sir Hugh Evans; Rob Hedges as Doctor Caius; Salma Zepeda as Bardolph/Jack Rugby; Edric Young as Fenton/Nym/Second Servant; and Robyn Drake as Pistol/Peter Simple/First Servant. The role of Sir John Falstaff, one of Shakespeare’s most popular characters, will be played by Cara Burgoyne.

“Merry Wives is funny for audiences and fun for actors to perform. I’m excited to see so many diverse faces in this company,” said Carriger. “So many good actresses came to audition that we have a few women playing men’s roles in our production, but I am especially thrilled for Cara to walk the boards as our Falstaff. She’s such a facile actor and comedienne.” 

Evening performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on August 18, 19, 25, 26 and September 8, 9, 14, and 15. Matinee performances will be held at 2 p.m. on August 19, 26 and September 9, and 16. The Mildred Owen Concert Hall is located at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd, Pacifica, CA 94044. For more information, visit www.hmbshakespeare.com.