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Casting Announced for New David Marshall Grant Play PEN

Playwrights Horizons (Tim Sanford, Artistic Director; Leslie Marcus, Managing Director) has announced complete details for the fifth production of its 2005/2006 35th Anniversary Season, the World Premiere of PEN, a new play by David Marshall Grant. David is the author of the plays Snakebit and Current Events and is also a two-time Tony-nominated performer whose Broadway credits include the original production of Angels in America.

Directed by Will Frears (Omnium Gatherum, Terrorism), PEN will begin previews on Thursday, March 23 with an official opening on Sunday, April 2 at 7PM. Performances will continue through Sunday, April 16 at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 West 42nd Street).

Joining the previously-announced Tony Award-nominated and Obie-winning actress J. Smith-Cameron (Our Country's Good, As Bees in Honey Drown, Fuddy Meers) will be Dan McCabe (The Dear Boy at Second Stage Uptown) and Obie winner Reed Birney (The Butterfly Collection at Playwrights Horizons, the recent Bug)

In PEN, confined to a wheelchair, a controlling mother (Ms. Smith-Cameron) holds tightly to her son (Mr. McCabe) by influencing his enrollment in a nearby college, while her ex-husband (Mr. Birney) tries to spring the boy loose. Backed into a corner, the young man makes a choice that unleashes a series of mysterious events, forcing a broken family to confront its unresolved wounds. PEN is a sly, perceptive new play about finding love, losing control, and making the ultimate sacrifice.

The production will feature scenic design by Robin Vest, costume design by Jenny Mannis, lighting design by Matthew Richards and sound design by Obadiah Eaves. The Production Stage Manager will be Carmen I. Abrazado.

PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS, under the leadership of Artistic Director Tim Sanford and Managing Director Leslie Marcus, is a writer's theater dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American playwrights, composers and lyricists, and to the production of their new work. In its 35 years, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of more than 350 writers and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Notable productions include four Pulitzer Prize winners: Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles, Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George, as well as Lynn Nottage's Fabulation (2005 Obie Award for Playwriting), Craig Lucas's Small Tragedy (2004 Obie Award, Best American Play), Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero, Kirsten Childs's The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey's James Joyce's The Dead, William Finn's March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, Christopher Durang's Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You and Betty's Summer Vacation, Richard Nelson's Goodnight Children Everywhere and Franny's Way, Jon Robin Baitz's The Substance of Fire, Scott McPherson's Marvin's Room, A.R. Gurney's Later Life, Adam Guettel and Tina Landau's Floyd Collins and Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet.

Playwrights Horizons' production of PEN has received generous support from The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation. Playwrights Horizons is also supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Council, the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. In addition, Playwrights Horizons receives major support from Ford Motor Company Fund, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and Time Warner Inc.

The performance schedule for PEN will be Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2:00 & 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 & 7:00 PM. Tickets are $45 and will go on sale to the general public on Monday, February 27.

PAY WHAT YOU CAN NIGHT for PEN will be the first preview on Thursday, March 23 at 7:30 PM, with tickets being offered through a lottery system. Names will be taken at the Ticket Central box office (416 West 42nd Street) in person on the day of the performance between 2PM and 6:30 PM. A drawing will take place at 6:30 PM. Participants must be present with ID at the time names are drawn in order to be eligible for the lottery. Two tickets per person, cash-only, subject to availability.

Reflecting PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS' ongoing commitment to making its productions more affordable to younger audiences, the theater company will offer HOTtix, $20 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before showtime to patrons aged 30 and under. Proof of age required. One ticket per person, per purchase. Student Rush, $15 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before curtain to full-time graduate and undergraduate students. One ticket per person, per purchase. Valid student ID required.

Both PAY WHAT YOU CAN NIGHT and HOTtix, popular Playwrights Horizons initiatives made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund, allow the theater company to reach out to those who may not be able to afford the cost of a full-price theater ticket.

For ticket information to all PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS productions, call TICKET CENTRAL at (212) 279-4200, Noon to 8 pm daily, or purchase online at the Playwrights Horizons website at www.playwrightshorizons.org

BIOGRAPHIES

David Marshall Grant's (Playwright) first play, Snakebit, was nominated for Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. He also wrote Current Events for Manhattan Theatre Club. As a performer, he has starred on Broadway in Bent, The Survivor, Angels in America (Drama Desk and Tony nominations) and The Three Sisters. Other New York credits include Sganerelle at The Public, James Lapine's Table Settings, Aaron Sorkin's Making Movies and The Tempest in Central Park. Mr. Grant's regional credits include the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference, Williamstown Theatre Festival, New York Stage and Film, La Jolla, Long Wharf and the Mark Taper Forum. Film and television credits include The Rock, Air America, "And the Band Played On," "Citizen Cohn," "thirtysomething," "Labor of Love," and "Nothing Sacred."

Will Frears (Director) recently directed Terrorism at The New Group. He directed the premiere of Theresa Rebeck's and Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros' Omnium Gatherum at the 2003 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, which later moved Off-Broadway to The Variety Arts. He has worked in New York at The Atlantic Studio and The Harold Clurman Theatre. Regional theaters include Williamstown Theatre Festival, Stamford Center for the Arts, Steppenwolf and the Shawnee Theater of Greene County. He holds an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama, where he also served as Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret (1999-2000 season). He also worked as the assistant to the director on the motion picture Auto Focus. He is currently directing a new production of The Pillowman at George Street Playhouse, and upcoming projects include The Water's Edge for Second Stage.

J. Smith-Cameron (Helen) has appeared on Broadway in Tartuffe, Our Country's Good (Tony Award nomination), Lend Me a Tenor (Outer Critics Circle Award, Best Ensemble), Crimes of the Heart and After the Night and the Music. She's previously appeared at Playwrights Horizons in Little Egypt and On the Bum, and her additional Off-Broadway credits include Sarah, Sarah; God of Hell; Fuddy Meers; As Bees in Honey Drown (Obie Award); Blue Window and The Naked Truth (Drama Desk nomination). Feature film work includes Kenneth Lonergan's You Can Count on Me and the upcoming Margaret, Frank Oz's In & Out, Ismail Merchant's The Proprietor, Sydney Pollack's Sabrina and Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite.

Dan McCabe (Matt). Stage appearances include The Dear Boy (Second Stage Uptown), A & J Rule the Universe (Barrow Group), Donna Morelli (New York Stage & Film), Kimberly Akimbo (Hartford Theatreworks) and The Dead Eye Boy (Cincinnati Playhouse). Film and television credits include The Namesake, Bittersweet Place, Coming Down the Mountain, Showtime's "Brighter Days" and episodes of "Law & Order" and "Hope & Faith."

Reed Birney (Jerry) made his New York debut at Playwrights Horizons in 1976 in Gemini. He also appeared at Playwrights in Herself As Lust (1982), An Imaginary Life (1994) and The Butterfly Collection (2000). Other New York appearances include Bug (Obie Award, Barrow Street Theatre); Loose Knit, The Family of Mann (Second Stage); The Common Pursuit (Promenade); Volunteer Man (Rattlestick); Bedfellows (Bat Theatre); Minor Demons, The Exact Center of the Universe (Century Center). Regional: The Lisbon Traviata (Seattle Rep), world premiere of Neil Simon's Hotel Suite (Walnut Street), Black Forest (Long Wharf), Theater District (Steppenwolf).

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