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WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

Academy Award®-winner KEVIN KLINE was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He studied piano at Indiana University's School of Music before becoming a student at the Julliard School of Drama and a founding member of John Houseman's The Acting Company.

For four years he toured the States with The Acting Company, playing lead roles in the plays of Chekhov, Shakespeare, Sheridan, Gorky, Goldsmith, Congreve and Moliere, making his Broadway debut in "The Three Sisters" with that company in 1974. In 1978, he appeared on Broadway in the Hal Prince musical "On The Twentieth Century," for which he won a Drama Desk Award and the first of two Tony Awards.

Two years later, he starred as the Pirate King in Joseph Papp's re-working of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance." The show transferred to Broadway and brought further acclaim to Kline, who again picked up Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Actor in a Musical Comedy, as well as an Obie Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Actor.

The hit musical was soon brought to the screen with Kline in the lead, however the beginning of his career as a movie actor truly began when "The Pirates of Penzance" was in its Broadway run. The show brought Kline to the attention of director Alan J. Pakula, who cast him opposite Meryl Streep in "Sophie's Choice." His performance was nominated for Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards.

Since, Kline has starred in numerous films including "Cry Freedom," "A Fish Called Wanda," "Dave," Ang Lee's "The Ice Storm" (New York's Gotham Award for Achievement as an Actor), "Fierce Creatures" and "In & Out," which earned him a second Golden Globe nomination. For his manic Otto West in "A Fish Called Wanda," Kline won the 1988 Academy Award® as Best Supporting Actor. His long relationship with director Lawrence Kasdan began in 1983 with "The Big Chill" and continued with "Silverado," "I Love You To Death," "Grand Canyon" and "French Kiss." Kline stars with Will Smith and Kenneth Branagh in the upcoming film "The Wild, Wild West," directed by Barry Sonnenfeld.

An actor who loves the classics, Kline continues to act in theater during his busy film career. At the Circle in the Square on Broadway, Kline won rave reviews for his Captain Bluntschli in Shaw's "Arms and the Man," directed by fellow actor John Malkovich. Most recently, he starred in David Hare's adaptation of Chekhov's "Ivanov" at the Lincoln Center.

For the New York Shakespeare Festival, he has played "Richard III," "Henry V," the Duke in "Measure for Measure," Benedick in "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Hamlet" twice.

For his first "Hamlet," Kline won the Obie Award for Sustained Achievement in Theater. A recipient of the Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, his second production of "Hamlet," which he also directed in 1992, received five Drama Desk nominations, including two for Kline as director and lead actor. Kline, who served as associate producer for the New York Shakespeare Festival, went on to co-direct a highly-acclaimed, taped version of the production for the PBS "Great Performance" series.

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