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ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, JOHN WALCUTT, WILL RETURN TO THE SOC STAGE AS KING CLAUDIUS IN HAMLET!

Artistic Director, John Walcutt, will return to the SOC stage in the summer of 2016 as King Claudius in HAMLET

Artistic Director, John Walcutt, will return to the SOC stage in the summer of 2016 as King Claudius in Hamlet!  Walcutt will join the previously announced David Denman (The Office, Parenthood, and 13 Hours: Raid on Benghazi), who will play the title role, in what is shaping up to be another sensational SOC Season.

In early 2014, John became Producing Artistic Director of SOC, as well as Founding Director of The Acting Conservatory at Orange County School of The Arts.  But his ties to The Amphitheatre go back much further than that!  Before he launched a stellar career as an actor on stage and screen, John made his professional debut here at The Amphitheatre in a 1982 production of Twelfth Night, as Fabian. He was thrilled to be a paid acting intern, making $200 for the entire summer. Shortly afterward, he joined Actors Equity when he was cast as a lead in South Coast Repertory Theatre's The Diviners, after director Martin Benson saw him in Twelfth Night.  This career-launching opportunity fueled his passion for creating the new professional internship program at SOC, which had disappeared over the years.

John went on to become a successful professional actor with a long theatrical career which included multiple seasons at The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum and South Coast Repertory.  John returned often to SOC over the years, most notably as a critically-acclaimed Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet (1994), joining David Denman in Julius Caesar (2011), Malvolio in Twelfth Night (2013), as the title roles in Richard III (2012) and Macbeth (2013), and most recently as Willum ("What kind of a night is this, anyway?") in an unforgettable comedy turn in The Tavern (2014). 

As John's film and TV career ascended with nearly 200 projects including Titanic, Mulan, Little Miss Sunshine, and recurring series roles on the hit TV shows Ghost Whisperer, Jag, Sliders, Crash, and Lost, he never lost his love for performing at The Amphitheatre, and his desire to give something back to this community. He is thrilled to be joining his old pal David Denman onstage again, and taking his first shot at the role of Claudius... having previously played Hamlet three times and Laertes once.

DAVID DENMAN IS COMING HOME FOR HAMLET

David Denman to play Hamlet at SOC in 2016

David Denman is a homegrown talent who has reached the pinnacle of success in Hollywood while never forgetting his roots in Shakespeare and Orange County. A graduate of Fountain Valley High School before attending the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and receiving his B.F.A. from the famed Juilliard School in N.Y.C., he is an active SOC Board Member who has graced our Amphitheater stage many times, as Henry V, Brutus, Petruchio. Now, even as his starring roles in Michael Bay's upcoming real-life action thriller 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi and Cinemax's upcoming series Outcast (from Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead) are taking him to new heights of fame, he is coming home to anchor the most ambitious project of our Summerfest era, the most famous play in the world, Hamlet.

Many people remember Denman’s big screen debut as the deaf tight end in the Warner Bros. football comedy The Replacements. Denman’s other feature credits include The Gift, written and directed by, and starring Joel Edgerton along with Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall, as well as Jason Reitman’s Men, Women, & Children, Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, After Earth, directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Will Smith, Shutter, Smart People, Disney’s Out Cold, the Tim Burton Oscar-nominated feature Big Fish, When a Stranger Calls, Let Go, Fanboys, Fair Game, The Nines, Take, and The Singing Detective

On television, David most recently recurred on NBC’S critically-acclaimed series Parenthood, and guest starred on the last season of the hit AMC series Mad Men, and the second season of HBO’s True Detective. Well-known for his role as ‘Roy’ on the Emmy Award-winning hit NBC series The Office, he also starred in the FOX series Traffic Light. Other TV credits include portraying ‘Tony’, ‘Jane’s’ love interest on Drop Dead Diva, and ‘Skip’ on Angel. Additionally, Denman has been seen in the NBC Miniseries The 60's, as well as in the TV film The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story and A Vow to Cherish. His numerous guest star credits include How to Get Away With Murder, Two and a Half Men, Grey's Anatomy and Brothers and Sisters, among many others.

Playing the melancholy Dane has been a lifelong ambition for David, and we couldn't be prouder that he'll be doing it here on our stage in 2016.