BENNINGTON -- Oldcastle Theatre Company, a professional Equity regional theatre newly installed in its renovated, fully accessible theatre space in downtown Bennington, is opening the play "A Strange Disappearance of Bees" by Elena Hartwell on May 17, running through June 2.
"A Strange Disappearance of Bees" by Elena Hartwell is a beautifully written play that tells the story of an Amerasian man looking for his Vietnam veteran father. Hartwell’s play centers on five people searching for home, love and true family, juxtaposed against the flight of the bee in a poisonous world. With compelling characters and a tender story which is told in memories that blend back and forth into one another, the play is both poignant and entertaining. Actors for this production include Michael D. Nichols, Melissa Hurst, Jenny Strassburg, Loren Dunn and Simon Yokoyama.
Michael D. Nichols has appeared previously at Oldcastle in "Sweet Talk" and "An American Revolution." He has also appeared at many regional theatres, and on Broadway in November (world premiere with Nathan Lane), and in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" with Gary Sinise (winner of Tony Award for Best Revival). On television, he has appeared in "All My Children," "Another World," "As the World Turns," "Days of Our Lives" and "General Hospital." Nichols is a veteran of the Army.
Playing Rud, the Beekeeper, is Melissa Hurst, who has appeared in "Picnic," "I’m Not Rappaport," "On Golden Pond," and "Our Town" at Oldcastle Theatre. In New York, Melissa has worked at the Atlantic Theatre Co., Joe’s Pub/The Public Theatre, LaMama and Soho rep, along with appearing in the off-Broadway premiere of "The Houseguests" by Harry Kondoleon (Obie Award -- Best Play).
Jenny Strassburg returns to Oldcastle Theatre where she previously appeared in "Third" and "One, Two, Three." Previous credits include: Lydia in "Pride and Prejudice" (Pioneer Theatre Co.), Emma in "Echoes of the War" (starring Richard Easton and Frances Sternhagen, The Mint Theatre), Gwendolen in "The Importance of Being Earnest" and Sophia Western in "Tom Jones" at the Dorset Theatre Festival.
Loren Dunn played the titular role in Wendy Wasserstein’s Third at Oldcastle Theatre Company. Loren most recently appeared in "You Can’t Take It With You" at the Geva Theatre Center, starring Robert Vaughn. Other credits include Tennessee Williams’ The "Pretty Trap" (off-Broadway, N.Y. premiere), "The Night of the Iguana," "Women of Manhattan," and "Cassiopeia." He has also appeared on television in "As the World Turns," "One Life to Live" and "30 Rock."
Simon Yokoyama is debuting at Oldcastle Theatre with this production. This will be his third time working with the playwright, Elena Hartwell.
The production runs May 17 through June 2. Performances are on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 p.m. For more information or tickets, call Oldcastle Theatre at 802-447-0564 or visit their website at www.oldcastletheatre.org. Oldcastle Theatre is located at 331 Main St. in downtown Bennington.