SHAKESPEARE AT THE ROSE
ABOUT THE ROSE
In 2010, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp completed construction on The Rose, a replica Elizabethan Theater. The Rose, named for one of London's first theaters of the Elizabethan period (circa 1587), is a synthesis of various popular 16th century English theaters. Its design is based upon surviving sketches and documents from that period. Blue Lake's Rose is one of only a handful of Elizabethan replicas around the world. At approximately 1/2 the size of Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London, The Rose has a traditional thrust stage, a Juliet balcony, seating for approximately 600 in two galleries, plus the yard in front of the stage that can hold up to 150 groundlings. The theater is completely authentic with no electricity or indoor plumbing, save an emergency sprinkler system. Pigeon Creek is the only company which gives public performances in the Rose, which is most frequently in use by the campers who attend the Blue Lake Fine Arts camp throughout the summer.
2020 Rose Season
Pigeon Creek first performed at the Rose in the summer of 2012, and has now formed a regular partnership with Blue LakePublic Radio to offer a summer Shakespeare series each year. Ticket revenue from the Rose performances benefits - WBLV 90.3 & WBLU 88.9 - Blue Lake Public Radio. The Rose is used primarily for the instruction of middle school and high school level campers throughout the summer. Pigeon Creek's open to the public performances offer West Michigan audiences the very rare opportunity to experience Shakespeare’s plays performed in the theatre architecture from the Bard’s own time period.
For more pictures of the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company in action at The Rose, check out our Photo Gallery
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made significant changes to our summer performance plans. Please go to our CURRENT SEASON page for a detailed update.
Meet the 2019 Rose Actors
The Taming of the Shrew
Chaz Albright (Lord/Pedant/Servant/Widow) hails from parts unknown and has been working with Pigeon Creek since 2012. This is his eighth appearance at the Rose. He last performed here in 2016 as Orlando in As You Like It and Alonso in The Tempest. Other Rose performances include Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and The Merchant of Venice. Chaz is playing Mercutio in Pigeon Creek’s current production of Romeo and Juliet. Previous roles with the company include Shamraev in The Seagull, The Douglas/Poins in Henry IV, Charles Surface in The School for Scandal, Master Fenton in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Snug in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Grimaldi in ’Tis Pity She’s A Whore. He studied theater at Grand Valley State University where he appeared in several Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival Productions. Chaz is also a proud member of the United States Association of Reptile Keepers, and would like to urge you to brake for turtles!
Kathleen Bode (Sly) has been working with the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company since 1999. She is a member of the Board of Directors as well as the Chair of the Education Committee. Kathleen has previously appeared on the Rose stage in such roles as Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Mistress Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Rosalind in As You Like It. Some of her other roles with Pigeon Creek include Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Olivia in Twelfth Night, and Marcus in Titus Andronicus. Kathleen has a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with an emphasis area in Children’s Theatre and Social Change from Grand Valley State University. She has also studied in the Intensive Theater Training Program with Actors from the London Stage. In addition to her work with the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company, Kathleen teaches Performing and Creative Arts at D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s home.
Michael Dodge (Gremio) is pleased to return to Blue Lake. He has appeared with Pigeon Creek on the Rose Theatre stage previous years in Henry V (Fluellen/Exeter) and As You Like It (Duke Senior). When not working with Pigeon Creek you may find him onstage in Grand Rapids at the Civic or Circle Theatres, spending time with his delightful wife, Nancy, and preparing for the real-life role of “Grandpa” (with thanks to Katie and Matt for that opportunity…)
Jacqueline Frid (Bianca) Is appearing in the Rose for the first time. She has been in previous shows with Pigeon Creek, starting with 2010’s Merry Wives of Windsor, appearing as Slender and Robin. As a repertory member, she has also enjoyed playing roles such as Ross and Fitzwater in Richard II, Quintus in Titus Andronicus, Guildenstern in Hamlet, as well as Luce in the Pigeon Creek production of The Knight of the Burning Pestle for the Lake Effect Fringe Festival. She has enjoyed being a part of the scenes troupe as well. She is honoured to reprise Bianca for the Rose, as performing here has been a dream of hers. She is thankful for the patience of her daughter as she takes part in the wonderful plays with Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company, which she is also very grateful for.
Kimi Griggs (Grumio/Vincentio) has been working with Pigeon Creek since 2012. She has previously been seen on the Rose stage as Calpurnia/Various in Julius Caesar and Courtesan/Various in The Comedy of Errors. She has appeared this season as Lady Anne/Various in Richard III, and will appear as Juliet/Gregory in Romeo and Juliet. Other roles with Pigeon Creek include Celia in As You Like It, The Fool in King Lear, Lavinia in Titus Andronicus, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night. Kimi’s other credits include directing (All In The Timing, Grand Valley State), and costume design (The Little Mermaid, Caledonia Community Players; Beyond Therapy, GVSU). She was a Kennedy Center Region 3 Irene Ryan Semifinalist for her performance as Crystal in Bethany at Grand Valley State. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Theatre and Psychology from Grand Valley State University.
Kat Hermes (Director) is a member of Pigeon Creek's repertory company who has been acting with Pigeon Creek since 2008. She has appeared in all of PCSC'S performances at The Rose. She performed here last year as Don Jon in Much Ado About Nothing and Pistol/Catherine in Henry V. Her other Rose roles include Casca in Julius Caesar, Caliban in The Tempest, Jaques in As You Like It, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and Viola in 12th Night. Recent roles with the PCSC include Konstantin in The Seagull, Hamlet in Hamlet (Wilde Award Nominated), Edmund in King Lear, and Titus in Titus Andronicus. She has previously directed Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Pigeon Creek. She received a Wilde Award for "Best Performance of the Bard" for her performance as Falstaff in Henry IV Part I. She has also performed with Stark Turn Players and Actor's Theater in Grand Rapids and The Piven Theater in Chicago. Kat studied Drama at Clarke University (Dubuque, IA) and Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance at Mary Baldwin University in partnership with the American Shakespeare Center (Staunton, VA).
Scott Lange (Tranio) is the president of Pigeon Creek's board of directors and a member of the repertory company. He has previously been seen on the Rose stage as Hamlet in Hamlet, Macbeth in Macbeth, Ariel in The Tempest, Cassius in Julius Caesar, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing as well as many others. This past season he has played Trigorin in Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, and Richard III in Richard III. He has a B.A. in Theater from Grand Valley State University. You can also find him performing as Antony in Pigeon Creek’s upcoming production of Antony & Cleopatra later this summer at The Rose or recommending books at The Bookman in Grand Haven. Lange also frequently performs as an audio narrator for Brilliance Books.
Ashley Normand (Biondello, Curtis) has been working with Pigeon Creek since 2015, with Taming of the Shrew being her second time performing in the Rose. Her previous appearances with PCSC include Rafe in Knight of the Burning Pestle, Sebastian in Twelfth Night, and Hero in Much Ado About Nothing. Ashley has also performed with MY Musical World (Princess Story), and The Brutal Sea (Love & Semiotics), as well as GVSU Theatre and Michigan Tech University Theatre. Ashley has a minor in Theatre from Grand Valley State University.
Brie Roper (Katharina) has been working with Pigeon Creek since 2008. Prior Rose performances include Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and Much Ado About Nothing. Previous roles with Pigeon Creek include Katharina in Taming of the Shrew, Saturninus in Titus Andronicus, Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice, Amiens in As You Like It, Diana in All’s Well That Ends Well, Feste in Twelfth Night, Quince/The Wall in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hecate/Lennox in Macbeth. Brie has also performed with GVSU Theater and GVSU Opera Theater in Grand Rapids where she played Bella in Big Love, and Mrs. Jones in Street Scene, and with Peppermint Creek Theater in Lansing as Mrs. Winthrop in The Secret Garden. Offstage credits include musical direction for GVSU productions of You Can Lead a Horse to Water, Vinegar Tom and The Rocky Horror Show. Brie was a winner in the GVSU Shakespeare Festival Student Performance Competition. Brie has a BME from GVSU and also trained at the Circle in the Square Theater School Musical Theater Workshop.
John Scritchfield (Petruchio) returns to the role of Petruchio in his third time performing at the Rose. Last year, he was seen with Pigeon Creek as Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing, and the year prior as Bassanio in Merchant of Venice. Recently, he has been teaching at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, directing Almost, Maine for Shadblow Theatre, and choreographing violence for Calvin College's production of Peter and the Starcatcher. He would like to offer his sincere thanks to his wife and kids for their love and support and to Pigeon Creek for allowing him to reprise this role.
Brad Sytsma (Hortensio/Huntsman/Page) has been performing with the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company for the last six years, and is a member of the Repertory Company. Brad has previously appeared at the Rose as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Antony in Julius Caesar, Ferdinand in The Tempest, Laertes in Hamlet, Balthazar/Pot Pan in Romeo and Juliet, and as Master Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Other recent credits include Malvolio in Twelfth Night with Pigeon Creek, Remnar Soady in Escanaba in da Moonlight, Ken Gorman in Rumors, and Lloyd Dallas in Noises Off with Shadblow Theatre, and Caleb DeLeon in The Whipping Man with Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids. Brad studied Theatre and Business at Olivet Nazarene University. Brad serves on the artistic board of Shadblow Theatre, where he also performs and directs. When he’s not onstage, Brad works as a playwright whose works have been featured Off Off Broadway, here in Michigan, across the United States, and Canada.
Riley Van Ess (Lucentio) is pleased to be having his debut performance here at the Rose with Taming of the Shrew. Previous roles he has played with the company include Oswald in King Lear, Orlando in As You Like It, King Henry VI in Henry VI, Buckingham in Richard III, Medvedenko in The Seagull and Octavius in Antony and Cleopatra (which he will be remounting here at the Rose this August).
Scott Wright (Baptista/Huntsman/Nathaniel/Haberdasher) is a member of Pigeon Creek Shakespeare’s Repertory Company since 2010 and is thrilled to be making his fourteenth appearance at the Rose, having played such roles as Falstaff's Ghost/Chorus in Henry V, Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, Caesar in Julius Caesar, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Prospero in The Tempest, Charles the Wrestler/Amiens in As You Like It, Claudius in Hamlet, Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Macduff in Macbeth, Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, and Bottom in Midsummer Night's Dream. Scott also appeared in PCSC’s 2019 season as Lord Stanley/Murderer #2 in Richard III; and in 2018 as Touchstone in As You Like It, and Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York in Henry VI. Scott was fight choreographer for PCSC's recent productions of Richard III, King Lear, and Hamlet, holds certifications in Sword & Buckler and Rapier & Cloak from Stage Combat Deutschland, and was recognized as an Actor/Combatant by the Society of American Fight Directors in 2018.