"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"
Through Aug. 29
Longacre Lea Productions at Catholic Univ.
Kathleen Akerley was sick of hearing her name mispronounced. So "on a complete whim," she says, she named her theater production company to mimic the correct pronunciation of her name. Long ayyy . . . ker . . . ley.
"I thought I was just going to do one show and then leave," says Akerley. "Now I'm kind of stunned by my Donald Trump-ism." One show? Ha. Akerley left the practice of law to pursue her love of theater. She recently understudied the female lead of Bunny in the Studio Theatre's production of "The Desk Set," making it onstage during the show's extension week. She has other local productions among her credits, including writing a play for the 19th Annual Washington Theatre Festival. She formed Longacre Lea last year specifically to put on Shakespeare's "Macbeth," a play she had been burning to direct since graduating from Catholic University's acting program. Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" is her second project. (Pictured above, from left, are Mark E. Gladue as Guildenstern, Patrick Sweetman as the Player, and Charlie M Berfield as Rosencrantz.) Yes, the nearly three-hour play, inspired by "Hamlet," is an ambitious production, she says.
"I'm probably biting off a dangerous amount of stuff, but I felt it was worth an experiment."
And putting her name at the forefront is not simply an act of hubris. Akerley is not only director of the play, she's also the producer, sound designer, house manager and box office manager. But most of all, she's a fan.
"I think a lot of plays are weak -- bad writing is so irritating," she says. "I'm really attracted to plays that are written just stunningly."