Everyman Theatre Begins Rehearsals for Theresa Rebeck's THE UNDERSTUDY
Everyman Theatre began rehearsals today for the 2014/15 season opener, The Understudy. Theresa Rebeck's comedic look into the backstage world of show biz runs from August 27th through September 28th. The three-person cast features Everyman Resident Company Members Clinton Brandhagen, Danny Gavigan and Beth Hylton. Joseph W. Ritsch makes his Everyman directorial debut with the production.
"A masterpiece of comic clockwork" (Wall Street Journal) from the creator of TV's Smash, The Understudy places the backstage tension of a frantic rehearsal in the spotlight. Meet Harry, the "real" actor who's just a tad bitter about his lot in the theatrical world - you see, he's just the understudy. The grossly overpaid, action movie star he's working with doesn't understand the play. The charmingly lovesick stage manager happens to be his ex. And the backstage technician appears to be high - oh it's just another day in the glamorous life of being the one who didn't quite make the cut! Will they ever pull it together before showtime?
Resident Company Member Clinton Brandhagen will play the title role of "the understudy." Mr. Brandhagen last performed at Everyman in the 2013 production of The Glass Menagerie as Tom. Since then, he was also seen in Center Stage's winter production of Stones In His Pockets. In the past seasons, he has also been featured on the Everyman stage in The Beaux' Stratagem, August: Osage County and You Can't Take It With You. Mr. Brandhagen also appeared in the Broadway production of Master Class starring Tyne Daly. He has also performed regionally with theatres such as Theater J, Woolly Mammoth, Arena Stage, Ford's Theatre and Olney Theatre Center.
This will be Danny Gavigan's first production as an official member of Everyman's Resident Acting Company. Last season he was featured as Doc in the wildly popular Crimes of the Heart. In The Understudy, he will portray the role of Jake, the Hollywood movie star who has found his way onto the Broadway stage. Mr. Gavigan has also been seen on the Everyman stage as the dashing Archer in The Beaux's Stratagem. Mr. Gavigan has also performed at Center Stage (Snow Falling on Cedars, The Rivals). Regionally, he has also been seen at Round House Theatre, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Constellation Theatre and Rorschach Theatre.
Portraying lovesick stage manager Roxanne is Resident Company Member Beth Hylton. Ms. Hylton was also seen last season in Crimes of the Heart as eldest sister Lenny. She then appeared as Hollywood star Gloria Mitchell in the critically-acclaimed By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. Ms. Hylton was featured in Center Stage's Raisin Cycle in 2013 (Clybourne Park, Beaneatha's Place). Ms. Hylton has performed with the NYC International Fringe Fest. She has also been seen in productions at Woolly Mammoth, Delaware Theatre Company, Weston Playhouse, Public Theatre of Maine, Pittscburgh Irish and Classical Theatre and Gulfshore Playhouse, among others.
Joseph W. Ritsch will be making his Everyman directorial debut with the production. No stranger to Everyman, Mr. Ritsch has previously served as the choreographer and assistant director for The Beaux' Stratagem and You Can't Take It With You. Mr. Ritsch is the co-Artistic Director of Columbia's Rep Stage. He will be directing Venus in Fur and Sunset Baby for Rep Stage later this season. Mr. Ritsch is also a Founding Member of Iron Crow Theatre, where he has also directed productions of Love & Human Remains, I Want to be a Gay Icon, and Apartment 213. He served as Assistant Director for Center Stage's production of Show Falling on Cedars. He has also directed and choreographed several productions, including Rent, The Polar Truth and Spring Awakening, at Towson University.
Joining Mr. Ritsch on the artistic team will be Resident Scenic Designer Daniel Ettinger, Resident Lighting Designer Jay A. Herzog, Costume Designer Kathleen Geldard, Sound Designer Neil McFadden and Resident Fight Choreographer Lewis Shaw.
Due to the overwhelming success of the 2013/14 season, Everyman has expanded its productions for the upcoming season to include five weeks of performances. The Understudy runs from August 27th through September 28th, offering performances Wednesday through Sunday, with selected Tuesday evening and Wednesday matinee performances.
Tickets for The Understudy are now on sale and range in price from $10 to $60. Tickets may be purchased by calling 410.752.2208, visiting www.everymantheatre.org or in person at 315 W. Fayette Street.
Everyman Theatre is proud to partner with University of Maryland Medical Center as the Season Sponsor and WYPR 88.1-FM as the Season Media Sponsor.
Everyman Theatre is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to non-profit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
Everyman Theatre is a professional Equity theatre company celebrating the actor, with a resident company of artists from the Baltimore/DC area. Founded in 1990 by Vincent Lancisi, the theatre is dedicated to engaging the audience through a shared experience between actor and audience seeking connection and emotional truth in performance. Everyman is committed to presenting high quality plays that are affordable and accessible to everyone.