Forrest McClendon, Stephanie Berry & More Set for Center Stage's WILD WITH HAPPY, Begin. 5/28
Center Stage announces casting this week for the exciting new comedy Wild with Happy by Colman Domingo. This heartwarming adventure through love and loss begins May 28, and runs through June 29, under the direction of Jeremy B. Cohen.
Leading the cast is Forrest McClendon as the grief-stricken Gil, a young man dealing with both heartbreak and his mother's death. Mr. McClendon has appeared in numerous regional productions, and was a Tony Award nominee for his role in The Scottsboro Boys, opposite playwright Colman Domingo.
"I am beyond thrilled to hand over the reins of the role of Gil to my dear friend, colleague, partner in crime (and my right arm in The Scottsboro Boys), Forrest McClendon," says playwright Colman Domingo, who played Gil in the original Off Broadway production at The Public Theater. "In the hands of Jeremy B. Cohen and this dream cast, I am interested in sitting back and seeing what new ideas spring to life and how this talented group will soar above the crazy, madcap challenges of this play."
"I am delighted to bring someone of playwright Colman Domingo's stature to Center Stage," says Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah. "We loved this heartwarming comedy when we saw it with Colman at The Public. He is an incredible talent, as both a performer and as a writer, and I'm excited for our audiences to see his work brought to life."
Playing Gil's outrageous Aunt Glo (as well as the spirit of his recently passed mother), is Stephanie Berry. Previously seen at Center Stage in 2012's production of Gleam, Ms. Berry's many credits include Broadway and regional productions, as well as her AUDELCO-Award-winning one-woman show, The Shaneequa Chronicles: The Making of a Black Woman in New York.
Making their Center Stage debuts are James Ijames as sensitive funeral director Terry and Chivas Michael as Gil's riotous best friend Mo-both on hand to help Gil deal with his grief through love and laughter. Mr. Ijames has appeared in numerous regional productions, and is the recipient of two Barrymore Awards for his work at Arden Theatre and Wilma Theatre. Mr. Michael has appeared Off Broadway at Classic Stage Company, Lincoln Center, and the Public, as well as regionally.
Center Stage audiences will know director Jeremy B. Cohen's name, as he was previously at the Theater directing the U.S. premiere of Kwame Kwei-Armah's Let There Be Love with Avery Brooks in 2009. He is the Producing Artistic Director of the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, and previously served as the Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Play Development at Hartford Stage from 2003 to 2010. Cohen is also the Founding Artistic Director of Naked Eye Theatre Company in Chicago.
Wild with Happy begins previews on Wednesday, May 28. The show opens officially on Wednesday, June 4, and closes June 29. Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased by calling 410.332.0033, or visiting www.centerstage.org.
Center Stage is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), 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 nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges, and universities for arts activities. Funding for the MSAC is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Center Stage's 2013-14 Season is made possible by Season 51 presenting sponsor M&T Bank. Maryland Public Television is a Media Partner for Center Stage's 2013-14 Season.