South Pacific cast includes leading actor direct from Broadway opposite Emmy nominee at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

by User Not Found | Jun 15, 2011

South Pacific at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival 2011 at DeSales University

South Pacific at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at DeSales University

  • previews June 15 and 16 
  • opens June 17
  • runs through July 3
  • Main Stage Theatre


  • 7pm Tuesday
  • 8pm Wednesday - Saturday
  • Sunday at 2pm
  • One Sunday evening performance is offered at 7:30pm on June 19.
  • Two Saturday matinees are scheduled June 25 and July 2 at 2pm.


  • Single tickets
  • subscriptions and packages
  • Buy online or contact the Box Office at 610.282.WILL [9455].

The 2011 Festival also features:

  • Hamlet and Pride and Prejudice in repertory with the same cast
    June 19 – August 7
    Main Stage
  • The Comedy of Errors
    June 22 – July 17
  • The Two Noble Kinsmen 
    July 27 – August 7
  • Sleeping Beauty 
    June 3 – August 6
  • Shakespeare for Kids
    July 27 – August 6

The opening production of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s 20th season, South Pacific, features several historic firsts:

  • an actor will arrive direct from a Broadway production to appear in the same role on the PSF main stage: William Michals, who played Emile de Becque in South Pacific at Lincoln Center will perform the role in PSF’s production;
  • a former PSF intern will return to the PSF stage after earning a Daytime Emmy nomination: Marnie Schulenburg will play opposite Michals as Nellie Forbush.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s legendary musical, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by James Michener, previews June 15 and 16, opens June 17 and runs through July 3 on the Festival’s Main Stage. 

The story focuses on a young U.S. Navy nurse who falls in love with an Island plantation owner during World War II. When the musical debuted in 1949, it won the Pulitzer Prize, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and nine Tony Awards. 

“The genius of South Pacific is this: it turns out to be a musical which was both deeply rooted in its time and feels timeless today,” wrote Ted Chapin, president of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, on the 50th anniversary of the musical.

The 2008 revival won five Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical Revival and garnered 11 Tony nominations, including best revival, director, choreographer, all four acting categories and all four design categories. It won best revival and six other Tonys. 

Songs from the production have become worldwide standards: “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Bali Ha’i,” and “There is Nothin’ Like a Dame.” 

The production sponsor is Alvin H. Butz, Inc., co-sponsors are Dr. and Mrs. Frank J. Szarko, and director sponsors are Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth. 

Fresh off of last season’s acclaimed production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Dennis Razze directs a stellar cast: in addition to Michals and Schulenburg, Amy Jo Phillips is featured as Bloody Mary, a role she played in several national tours. Spencer Plachy, a PSF veteran who played Jefferson in 1776 at PSF in 2009, performs as Lt. Joe Cable. 

Luther Billis is portrayed by Anthony Lawton, a renowned Philadelphia-area actor. David Jack, a recording artist known for his children’s music, is playing Commander Harbison. 

Stephen Casey and Nathan Diehl return to PSF as choreographer and music director/conductor, respectively. PSF veteran Will Neuert has created the Pacific landscape. Eric T. Haugen is the lighting designer. Sam Fleming, whose designs have been seen across the nation, has designed the costumes. The sound design has come from Matthew Given, production manager and PSF’s resident sound designer. Robin Grady serves as stage manager. 

Season Sponsors are Kathleen Kund Nolan and Timothy Nolan; Associate Season Sponsors are The Morning Call, Service Electric Cable TV & Communications and the Harry C. Trexler Trust. Director Sponsors are Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth. 

About PSF
The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is the Official Shakespeare Festival of the Commonwealth and a professional, not-for-profit, theatre company. An independent 501 c 3 organization, PSF receives support from DeSales University and relies on contributions from individuals, government agencies, corporations and foundations. PSF is a constituent of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, and a member of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Shakespeare Theatre Association.

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Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
610.282.1100 x1219

DeSales University
2255 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034