British, Broadway, television and film actor Linda Thorson to play leading roles in The Taming of the Shrew and Blithe Spirit at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

May 5th, 2016Press Release from Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Center Valley, PA — Critically-acclaimed British actor Linda Thorson will play Baptista and Madame Arcati in Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s productions of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit, respectively, which play in repertory on the Main Stage July 13 to August 7.


Thorson’s notable credits include stage, television and film on both sides of the Atlantic. On Broadway, her credits include City of Angels, Zoya’s Apartment and Noises Off, which earned her a Drama Desk Award.


She can be seen in dramatic films, such as Straight Into Darkness, Half Past Dead and Curtains, and comedies such as Touch of Pink and The Other Sister. Her television career kicked off when she replaced Diana Rigg on ITV London’s The Avengers with the leading role Tara King, and her decades-long career includes leads in NBC’s Marblehead Manor, CBS’s Emily of New Moon, and Showtime’s Hooplife, among many others.


A self-professed servant of the theatre, Thorson has returned to the stage most recently as Violet in August Osage County, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, and Helen in Exit/Entrance Off-Broadway. The DC Metro Theatre Arts raved of her performance in August Osage County: “Thorson brings a rich reality to the production and truly makes this production Broadway quality.”


At PSF, in addition to bringing to life the whimsical mayhem of Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit, Thorson will portray Baptista in …Shrew, a wealthy merchant besieged with suitors for one of her daughters. The role is traditionally played by a man, but “Linda Thorson’s artistry and craft epitomize mastery. These happen to be too very funny plays, but she can do quite literally anything, as proven throughout her illustrious career,” says Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy. “She had us in stitches in both roles. Acting in multiple productions in repertory demands range, fortitude, and skill. Linda has it all.”

A sample of Thorson’s work is here.

The Taming of the Shrew performances are:
Preview Wednesday, July 13th, 8pm
Preview Thursday, July 14th, 8pm
Opening Friday, July 15th, 8pm
Tuesday, July 19th, 7pm
Wednesday, July 20th, 8pm
Sunday, July 24th, 2pm
Wednesday, July 27th, 8pm
Friday, July 29th, 8pm
Saturday, July 30th, 2pm
Sunday, July 31st, 2pm
Tuesday, August 2nd, 7pm
Thursday, August 4th, 8pm
Saturday, August 6th, 8pm
Sunday, August 7th, 7:30pm

Blithe Spirit performances are:
Preview, Thursday, July 21st, 8pm
Preview, Friday, July 22nd, 8pm
Opening, Saturday, July 23rd, 8pm
Sunday, July 24th, 7:30pm
Tuesday, July 26th, 7pm
Thursday, July 28th, 8pm
Saturday, July 30th, 8pm
Sunday, July 31st, 7:30pm
Wednesday, August 3rd, 8pm
Friday, August 5th, 8pm
Saturday, August 6th, 2pm [An audio described performance for patrons who are visually impaired. Patrons use headsets to hear the audio description.]
Sunday, August 7th, 2pm

Single tickets start at $25 and are available online at and by calling 610-282-WILL (9455). Discounts are available for subscribers, youth, and military.

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, the Shakespeare Theatre Association, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, and Discover Lehigh Valley. The Taming of the Shrew is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Kathleen Kund Nolan and Timothy E. Nolan are serving as season sponsors for the third time in the Festival’s 25-year history. Associate season sponsors are the Harry C. Trexler Trust, Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, Dr. James and Penny Pantano and the Szarko Family. The season media sponsor is The Morning Call.

Production sponsors for The Taming of the Shrew and Blithe Spirit are DeSales University and Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects, respectively.

The season schedule is:

Main Stage Theatre

     West Side Story • June 15 – July 3
The Taming of the Shrew • July 13 – August 7
Blithe Spirit • July 21 – August 7
Shakespeare for Kids • July 27 – August 6

Schubert Theatre

Julius Caesar • June 22 – July 17

Love’s Labour’s Lost • July 27 – August 7

The Little Mermaid • June 3 – August 6 

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