Thesp joins trans-Atlantic theater company

Stephen Dillane will head the ensemble for year two of the Bridge Project, the joint legit venture from Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Prods., the Old Vic under artistic director Kevin Spacey and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Dillane originally was slated to participate in the inaugural Bridge season in 2008 but was forced to withdraw for personal reasons, delaying the launch until earlier this year. The multiyear co-production program bowed in January in New York with “The Cherry Orchard” and “The Winter’s Tale.”

The second Bridge season offers a Shakespeare double bill, opening with “As You Like It,” playing Jan. 12-March 13 at BAM, followed by “The Tempest” from Feb. 14 to March 13. Mendes again will direct both plays.

The trans-Atlantic company mixes British and American actors in two large-scale productions of classics each year, and follow their Brooklyn engagements with international stops in Asia and Europe, capped by a London season at the Old Vic in June.

Dillane will play Prospero in “The Tempest” and Jaques in “As You Like It.” Joining him in the lineup are Michelle Beck, Christian Camargo, Ron Cephas Jones, Juliet Rylance and Thomas Sadowski, who scored a Tony nom this year for Neil LaBute’s “Reasons to Be Pretty.”

Also featured in the ensemble are Ashlie Atkinson, Jenni Barber, Edward Bennett, Alvin Epstein, Jonathan Fried, Richard Hansell, Aaron Krohn, Anthony O’Donnell, Michael Thomas and Ross Waiton. Design team for the productions includes Tom Piper (sets), Catherine Zuber (costumes), Paul Pyant (lighting), Mark Bennett (music), Simon Baker (sound) and Josh Prince (choreography).

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