Shakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for ‘Will on the Hill…or Won’t They?’
Members of Congress, journalists and other notable Washingtonians took to the virtual stage on Monday night for the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s (STC) annual “Will on the Hill” performance.
Every year, lawmakers, media personalities and actors put on their costumes and poke fun at the political scene to raise money for the D.C. theater’s arts education programs. STC took the 2020 fundraiser online amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s performance, “Will on the Hill…or Won’t They?” — written by Nat Cassidy and directed by Samantha Wyer Bello — poked fun at the struggles of conducting a meeting through video call — as if in-person meetings on the Hill weren’t already tough.
The play followed two fictional senators’ aides: Ronny, played by Gregory Woodell, and Jessica, played by Felicia Curry, who are forced to hide their romantic relationship because they come from different political parties. While their senators, played by Faye Butler and Holly Twyford, bickered about a “Meet the Press” appearance that went wrong, the director attempts to manage another performance without avail.
The virtual show also included lawmakers and actors reciting monologues from various Shakespearean plays.
D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) recited snippets from “Henry V,” while Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) performed part of “Julius Caesar.”
The Hill was a media sponsor for the event, in which Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack and Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons read lines from “Romeo and Juliet” and “King Lear,” respectively.
Among the lawmakers who also showed their online acting chops: Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Suzzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Donna Shalala (D-Fla.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.), as well as Sen. Angus King (I-Maine).
Other cast members included United Kingdom Ambassador Karen Pierce, British politician Ian Liddell-Grainger, Marla Allard, the host of public television’s “Relative Speaking,” President of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist, “Ugly Betty” actor and recent STC Hamlet Michael Urie, STC Executive Director Chris Jennings, “Clash of the Titans” actor Harry Hamlin, STC affiliated artist Franchelle Stewart Dorn, Broadway actor Andre De Shields, “Rent” actress Tracie Thoms and actors Stacy Keach, Floyd King, Finn Wittrock and Kelley Curran.