Casting Announced for The Porters of Hellsgate’s Production of OTHELLO

Calloway as Achilles

Thomas Bigley and Matt Calloway in The Porters’ 2012 production of Troilus & Cressida

The Porters of Hellsgate present Othello, directed by Thomas Bigley Feb. 28 – March 28 at the Whitmore Theatre in North Hollywood. Othello kicks off The Porters’ ninth season, returning artistic director Charles Pasternak to the stage for The Porters for the first time since his award-nominated performance playing King Henry V just one year ago. Pasternak will star as Iago, with resident artists Matt Calloway in the title role and Eliza Kiss as Desdemona. Associate artistic director Thomas Bigley returns to the director’s seat for the first time since his lauded King Lear in 2013.

The cast will also include Gus Krieger as Roderigo, Alex Parker as Cassio, Hilary Schwartz as Emelia, Jacques Freydont as the Duke of Venice, Sean Faye as Gratiano, Thomas Bigley as the Clown, Christine Sage as Bianca, Evan Lipkin as Montano, Brent D. Christensen as Brabantio, Kipp Moorman as Lodovico, and Michael Bigley and Kyle J. Nash in the ensemble.

Technical credits:
Stage Manager: Alicia Patterson
Costume Design by Jessica Pasternak
Lighting Design by Sterling Hall
Scenic Design by Alex Parker
Sound Design by Nicholas Neidorf

February 28 – March 28, 2015
The Porters of Hellsgate @ The Whitmore Theatre
11006 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, 7pm on Sunday, March 1st, and at 2pm on Sundays, March 8th, 15th, and 22nd. The production will run approximately two hours with one intermission. Click Here for tickets, $20 online; $25 at the door. All major credit cards accepted at the door. Reservation line: (818) 325-2055.

Audition Update: SOC, The Porters of Hellsgate, Shakespeare in the Vines

Shakespeare O.C. has announced that general auditions for their 2015 season will take place on Saturday, February 7 and Sunday, February 8 at the Garden Grove Amphitheater. The season will open with Romeo & Juliet, directed by John Walcutt, and will also include a second Shakespeare play and a world premiere drama, both TBA. All roles (except Romeo) are available, and SOC is open to non-traditional casting. The Summer Company will have both paid and intern performers; but all company members will have free access to their year-round acting workshop taught by members of the artistic committee, including producing artistic director John Walcutt. For more information and to request an audition appointment, contact For more details, visit

The Porters of Hellsgate are holding auditions for their upcoming production of Othello on January 17. Callbacks will take place on January 18. Charles Pasternak plays Iago after returning from New Jersey Shakespeare and his stint as Claudio. Thomas Bigley directs. Othello will open at The Whitmore Theatre on February 28 for a five week run. Submit electronically on Actors Access by 3:00 pm on January 15. All roles other than Iago are open and all ethnicities are encouraged to submit. For a complete breakdown of roles and to submit, visit For more about The Porters, go to

Auditions for the Shakespeare in the Vines 10th anniversary summer outdoor season will take place March 27 – 29. Productions include Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, and Twelfth Night as well as additional events. Visit to find out more information as it becomes available.

Review: The Porters of Hellsgate Weave a WINTER’S TALE

Porters - The Winter's Tale

Michael Mitchell Hoag and Thomas Bigley

The Winter’s Tale is not the easiest of Shakespeare’s plays to stage. It must believably present a story sharply divided into two parts set in two different countries with drastically contrasting tones, and pull off an ending that resolves them by way of magic or a well-concealed plot, based on whichever point of view the director takes. The violence of the first half of the play in Sicilia (winter) melts away in the pastoral beauty of Bohemia (spring) in the second, where the story continues sixteen years later before reuniting the past and present and absolving the sins of a repentant king.

In Sicilia, King Leontes (Thomas Bigley) has accused his pregnant wife Hermione (Kate O’Toole) of sleeping with his best friend, Polixenes (Evan Isaac Lipkin), King of Bohemia. The good queen is innocent but there is no reasoning with Leontes, who places her on trial and sets out to have his friend murdered and the child destroyed. His rashness results in the deaths of his firstborn son Mamillius (Sasha Pasternak), Hermione, and even his loyal servant, Antigonus (Sean Faye), who is mauled to death offstage following one of Shakespeare’s most famous stage directions, “Exit pursued by a bear.”  More

The Winter’s Tale is #19 for The Porters of Hellsgate

Porters of HellsgateThe Winter’s Tale marks the halfway point for The Porters of Hellsgate as the company continues toward its goal of producing all 38 of Shakespeare’s accepted plays. This 19th production will open at The Actors Forum Theatre in North Hollywood on October 18 and run through November 15. Fully embracing the fairy tale quality of Shakespeare’s story of jealousy and the redemptive power of love (and an infamous bear), this production will be staged quite literally between the pages of a book as The Porters set out to enchant even the most stone-hearted of theatergoers.

Associate artistic director Thomas Bigley will star as Leontes and this will also be resident artist Jesse James Thomas’ first outing as a director for The Porters. Thomas previously assistant directed The Merry Wives of Windsor in 2012. This production will also feature a bear.

October 18 – November 15, 2014
(No performance on Halloween night October 31)
The Actors Forum Theatre
10655 Magnolia Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Information line/voice mail (818) 325-2055
Tickets: $20 online; $25 at the door
Run time: approximately two hours with one intermission.

The Porters of Hellsgate Release a new HENRY V Promo

The Porters have released a new promo for their production of Henry V featuring Charles Pasternak delivering the famous “Once more unto the breach…” monologue. This is a terrific production and I highly recommend it. If you haven’t seen it – go!

Remaining performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm, with Sunday matinees at 2pm*, through Saturday, March 29, 2014, closing the extended seven week run. *The Sunday, March 16 performance will take place at 7pm; there is no performance on Sunday, March 23. Henry V runs approximately 2.5 hours with one intermission at The Whitmore Theatre, 11006 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601. Tickets are $20 and are available at

Review: Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Porters, in Henry V

Charles Pasternak as Henry V

Charles Pasternak as Henry V

If “all the youth of England are on fire,” as the first speech of Henry V’s Act II declares, then all the Porters of Hellsgate have carried the torch forward with guns blazing. Without a doubt, this is the Porters’ finest stage work to date and a testament to the kind of theatre magic that can be created out of thin air by the willing and able. Here in the confines of their black box space they conjure battles and formidable location changes (vasty fields of France anyone?) not normally able to be contained on any stage, let alone in an intimate theater like the Whitmore.

Shakespeare knew that and gave his actors a solution in the form of his Chorus; a one-man narrator who entreats the audience to engage their imaginations and envision the scenes he and the other characters will set before them. In The Porters’ version it is Leon Russom who functions in this go-to capacity. Russom handles the task with aplomb, clearly translating for the audience what has just transpired and what is about to take place with a calm familiarity that makes the audience come to him, and more importantly, understand him. To do that with any audience is an accomplishment but when an actor can hold the attention of a school group of thirty students in this kind of small space, it is a laudable.  More

The Porters of Hellsgate present HENRY V Starring Charles Pasternak

Henry V Porters

The Porters of Hellsgate take on Shakespeare’s most famous play about war upon their unworthy scaffold: The Whitmore Theatre. Embracing The Chorus’ initial warning as to the inadequacies of his company’s resources to “bring forth so great an object”, this Henry V will be brought forward with the grittiness and edge the Porters have become known for. Within this “wooden O” both cast and audience will be taken in to the unapologetically theatrical journey of King Henry’s invasion and conquest of France.  More

The Porters of Hellsgate Plummet the Depths of Timon of Athens

Porters - Timon

Thomas Bigley as Timon. Photos by Greg Eidant Photography

“How this lord is followed!” exclaims a Painter in reference to Timon of Athens early in Act I of the play that bears his name. Director Charles Pasternak interprets the line quite literally by having his throng of greedy hangers-on trail behind Timon as he moves about the stage, billowing en masse like a bridal gown’s train that sweeps and glides with every turn. The repetition of the exaggerated movement comically drives home its ridiculousness and leaves no doubt that in this Shakespeare play, the fools are everywhere.  More

The Porters of Hellsgate Present Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens Porters

Following their highly successful production of King Lear starring Larry Cedar, the Porters of Hellsgate will present a contemporary treatment of Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens, directed by Charles Pasternak and starring Thomas Bigley. It will be the first staging in Los Angeles of this oft-overlooked tragedy in 15 years. It is the story of Lord Timon, a generous pillar of society, whose patronage has helped to build the wealth and security of his country and friends. When financial disaster strikes, he looks to those same friends for aid, only to find none. Embittered by this rejection, he abandons society, forswearing it and mankind forever.

Shakespeare’s play addresses the brutal truths of money’s corruptive power; of the monetization of human relationships; of debt and deceit; of usury and usage. It is the story of a man brought low by his own blindness to the selfishness of mankind. He comes to realize the folly of his unchecked generosity and trust, but only after those that received it have turned their backs on him.

Timon of Athens opens Friday, May 3rd, at 8pm, presented at The Actors Forum Theatre, 10655 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA, 91601. The production will run Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm, with Sunday matinees at 2pm, through Sunday, June 2nd. Timon will run under 2 ½ hours, including the 15 minute intermission. Click Here for online reservations or call (818) 325-2055.

Audition Update: The Porters – Timon of Athens, CityShakes – As You Like It

The Porters of Hellsgate: Timon of Athens
The Porters of Hellsgate are accepting submissions for auditions for Timon of Athens to be held Saturday, March 23 and Monday, March 25, directed by Charles Pasternak. The company will employ gender-blind and color-blind casting; males and females (ages 18 – 60) will be read for all roles. Please visit and read up on the play, plot and characters, and in your submission, list characters interested in, or ‘open’ if available for any character in the show. The role of Timon of Athens will be played by Thomas Bigley. Rehearsals begin March 25 and performances run May 3 – June 9 at The Actors’ Forum Theatre. AEA 99-Seat plan. Submit electronically through Actors Access.

CityShakes: As You Like It
CityShakes co-founders Brooke Bishop and Allison Volk, along with several other company members, will hold workshop-style auditions this weekend for their upcoming production of As You Like It. The auditions will include a meet & greet, warm up, and then cold reading. Please also prepare one comedic Shakespeare monologue. Auditions are Saturday, March 23, 12-5pm, and Sunday, March 24, 12-5pm in Rustic Canyon Park, Santa Monica. Rehearsals are Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun, May 12-June 8 and performances are Saturdays & Sundays, June 9-July 7. Director Brooke Bishop’s adaptation of As You Like It will be shorter, snappier, and contemporary. The event will be one part Shakespeare play, one part circus, and one part bluegrass barbecue. Think Water for Elephants meets O Brother, Where Art Thou. Auditions, most rehearsals, and performances will be outdoors so if you’re down to have a blast – working with Shakespeare’s words, playing in the sun, and sharing your talent with audiences, please submit your headshot and resume to For a complete breakdown of roles, go to

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