Legacy of Light Marks Send-off Play at 8500 Euclid Avenue

Legacy of Light Marks Send-off Play at 8500 Euclid Avenue

Legacy of Light, a new play by Karen Zacarías, anchors the sixth annual FusionFest of new work and completes the Cleveland Play House's 84-year run at 8500 Euclid Avenue. The Drury Theatre, in use since 1927, will be the stage for Legacy of Light, the final production of the 2010-11 Season at Cleveland Play House before the move to its new home in a transformed Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare this fall. Directed by Bart DeLorenzo (Around the World in 80 Days), this ingenious and sweet time-traveling comedy contrasts two female scientists in their forties. Legacy of Light begins in the Drury Theatre at Cleveland Play House on Friday, April 8 and runs through Sunday, May 1, 2011. Tickets are available for this and all FusionFest events at Cleveland Play House box office by calling 216.795.7000 ext 4 or online at www.clevelandplayhouse.com. Legacy of Light is presented with support from Cleveland Clinic, MedCity Media, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and the Ohio Arts Council.

"'A play about change and legacy is a great way to complete our run at 8500 Euclid Avenue and look to the future," says CPH Artistic Director Michael Bloom. "And this is a smart and delightful new comedy to anchor FusionFest."

ABOUT THE PLAY AND PLAYWRIGHT
Legacy of Light is an empowering, heart warming and humorous look at the challenges facing women as they strive to lead lives that are emotionally, intellectually and spiritually fulfilling. The play travels through time and space following 18th century French countess Emilie du Châtelet, whose mathematical research in collaboration with Voltaire is paving the way for Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and a modern day astrophysicist on the verge of making a major breakthrough on planet formation. Though separated by 260 years, these women face the same challenges as they contemplate childbirth and how children will affect their career trajectories. With savvy, grace and fierce intelligence they make daring choices which will determine their lasting legacy.

Legacy of Light won a 2010 Steinberg Citation from the American Theatre Critics Association for being one of the year's best new plays. Karen Zacarías is a playwright-in-residence at Arena Stage, teaches playwriting at Georgetown University and is the founding artistic director of Washington D.C.'s Young Playwrights' Theatre. Zacarías explains that she comes by her interest in the major themes and central characters of Legacy of Light quite naturally, saying that "my family is composed of artists and scientists. These subjects were normal dinner table conversation. And I've wanted to be a writer since I was six years old." While writing her 2005 children's play Einstein Is a Dummy, Zacarías came across Emilie du Châtelet in a footnote and became interested in her life and career, especially Emilie's optimism in difficult circumstances: "Emilie chooses to see the world in a positive light." Zacarías also knew that she wanted to write her new play "from the perspective of two women struggling with the challenges surrounding child rearing."

LEGACY OF LIGHT Cast:
Michelle Duffy (Olivia/Wet Nurse) makes her first professional appearance in Ohio since becoming a Kent State University alumna (not counting Cedar Point!). She recently appeared at Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in the world premiere of Alan Menken's musical Leap of Faith and has been fortunate to play in great theatres all along the west coast including Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, American Conservatory Theatre and Berkeley Rep. She's received LA's Ovation, Backstage Garland and Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle awards for her work in Can-Can, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Sunday in the Park with George, among others. Before becoming a California girl, she worked extensively in and around Chicago, including world premieres at Goodman Theatre; the title role in Hedda Gabler, Northlight Theatre; and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Milwaukee Rep. Television includes The Closer, House M.D., Desperate Housewives and six national commercials. She is a proud member of Actors Equity, SAG and AFTRA.

Cerris Morgan-Moyer (Emilie du Châtelet) recently played Sue Lawson in Mike Leigh's Abigail's Party at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles. Other LA theatre credits include Beth Henley's Sisters of the Winter Madrigal, Harold Pinter's Old Times, Nick Darke's The Body and Jane Chambers' Last Summer at Bluefish Cove. In New York, Morgan-Moyer worked with Gorilla Repertory and Faux Real Theatre Company among others: New York credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, Faust, Fun Box Times Square, The Naked Show and Where I'm Headed. Morgan-Moyer's film credits include Appaloosa, Beatrice, Rule of Three, Galaxy Hunter, Wall/Paper and Mister 49. Her voice was recently featured in Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol and Rob Marshall's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. She trained at Central School of Speech and Drama in London, is co-director of London based Lock & Loru Productions, Ltd. and creative director of the LA hub of transatlantic workshop community LoNyLa, www.lonyla.com.

Clancy O'Connor (Saint-Lambert/Lewis) has performed in New York, including Macbeth at Shakespeare in the Park, the world premiere of Craig Lucas' musical The Listener at Juilliard, and the recent livestream-broadcast workshop of The Idealist at The Times Center. Regional credits include Just So Stories and Alice in Wonderland at Berkshire Theatre Festival. Favorite roles at his alma mater Juilliard were Edward II in Edward II, Billy Bibbit in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, and John Rosmer in Rosmersholm. O'Connor has appeared on television in, among others, Law and Order: Criminal Intent and in the role of Edward Rutledge in the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning John Adams (HBO; Tom Hooper, director).

Amelia Pedlow (Millie/Pauline) will appear later this spring in The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. Previous regional theatre credits include The Diary of Anne Frank at Virginia Stage Company and The Glass Menagerie, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Death of a Salesman, and Sick at Chautauqua Theater Company. Pedlow is a recent graduate of the Juilliard School Drama Division where her favorite credits include Savage in Limbo, Othello, Broken Eggs, and The Seagull. She recently made her television debut on The Good Wife.

Lenny Von Dohlen (Voltaire) acted in such New York theatre productions as Desire Under the Elms at Roundabout Theatre Company, Cloud Nine at Lucille Lortel, The Maderati at Playwright's Horizon, Asian Shade at WPA, and Vanishing Act at The Ensemble Studio Theatre. Selected West Coast theatre work follows: Light and Camino Real, Boston Court, Dead Man's Cell Phone (directed by Bart DeLorenzo) at South Coast Repertory, Theater District at Black Dahlia, The Blue Room at Pasadena Playhouse, and Lulu at La Jolla. Regional appearances include Doubt at Indiana Repertory Theatre and The Velvet Rut at the O'Neill. Von Dohlen's acting work in films includes Tender Mercies, Teeth, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Home Alone 3, Jennifer 8, Leaving Normal, Tollbooth, Entertaining Angels, One Good Turn, Bird of Prey, Electric Dreams and title role Billy Galvin. His dozens of television appearances include Psyche, TwinPeaks, CSI: Miami, The Pretender, Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, thirtysomething, The Red Dwarf, and Eudora Welty's The Ponder Heart.

Paul Michael Valley (Peter/Monsieur du Châtelet) appeared on Broadway in the role of Thomas Jefferson in 1776 (Tony Nomination, Best Revival), as Sergius in Arms and the Man, and as Oliver in Hurrah at Last. Regional credits include The Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Old Globe, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Nashville's Mockingbird Theatre, and Firehouse Theatre Project. Film and television includes Grownups, On Music Row, Law and Order: SVU, Ed, Third Watch, Guiding Light, and One Life to Live. He is perhaps best known for his six-year portrayal of Ryan Harrison on NBC's Another World. Valley has been on the faculty of Queen's College New York and Virginia Commonwealth University, and he teaches courses in Voice and Speech, Acting for Film and Television, and Audition Technique. Training includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from American University, his Master of Fine Arts in Voice and Speech from Virginia Commonwealth University, and The Juilliard School.

LEGACY OF LIGHT Creative Team:
Karen Zacarías (Playwright) Legacy of Light won a 2010 Steinberg Citation from the American Theatre Critics Association for being one of the year's best new plays. Other award winning plays include Zacarías' adaptation of Ferdinand the Bull, which was produced by Cleveland Play House as part of the Theatre for Children Series in 2007; Mariela in the Desert; The Book Club Play; The Sins of Sor Juana; the adaptation of the best-selling book How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents; and children's musicals Looking for Roberto Clemente, Einstein is a Dummy, Jane of the Jungle, Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans and Frida Libre. Her plays have been produced at The Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, La Jolla Playhouse, ALLIANCE THEATRE, Round House Theatre, Imagination Stage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Arden and many more. Other national awards include National Francesca Primus Prize for Outstanding Emerging writer, Mariela in the Desert; New Voices Award; National Latino Play Award; ATT/TCG First Stages Award; Finalist Susan S. Blackburn Award; and a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, Sins of Sor Juana. She has commissions from South Coast Repertory, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and Arena Stage. Karen Zacarías is the playwright-in-residence at Arena Stage and teaches playwriting at Georgetown University. She lives in Washington DC with her husband and three young children.

Bart DeLorenzo (Director) directed Cleveland Play House's 2009 production of Around the World in 80 Days. DeLorenzo is the founding Artistic Director of the Evidence Room in Los Angeles where he has directed many plays over the last 16 years including local and world premieres by Charles Mee, David Greenspan, Kelly Stuart, Philip K. Dick, Gordon Dahlquist, Martin Crimp, David Edgar, Naomi Wallace, and Edward Bond, as well as his own adaptation of Dickens' Hard Times, Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, and Schiller's Don Carlos, among many others. His recent freelance work includes King Lear for The Antaeus Company, the world premieres of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Doctor Cerberus and Donald Margulies' Shipwrecked! An Entertainment at South Coast Repertory (later revived at Geffen Playhouse), Charles Mee's bobrauschenbergamerica for TheSpyAnts at Inside the Ford, Adam Bock's The Receptionist and Caryl Churchill's A Number at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, the world premieres of Justin Tanner's Voice Lessons at Zephyr Theatre and Michael Sargent's The Projectionist at Kirk Douglas Theatre/Center Theatre Group, Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone at South Coast Repertory, Racine's Britannicus at Cal Rep, CTG's kick-off premiere event of Suzan-Lori Parks' 365 Days/365 Plays at the Los Angeles Music Center plaza and on the steps of Walt Disney Hall, and the world premiere of Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress at Geffen. He has received five LA Weekly awards for Direction and Production and three Backstage Garlands for Production, Adaptation and Local Hero Director.
The design team for Legacy of Light includes Takeshi Kata (Scenic Design), David Kay Mickelsen (Costume Design), Matthew Richards (Lighting Design), James C. Swonger (Sound Design) and Tiffany Goff (Music Arranger). Fight choreography by Ron Wilson, stage manager Lisa J. Snodgrass, dramaturg Cyrus O. Taylor.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Legacy of Light range from $46 to $66, with discounts available for groups of ten or more, for senior citizens aged 60 and over, and for military reservists and their families. Tickets are $10 for all students under the age of 25. Based on availability, a limited number of $10 rush tickets go on sale 90 minutes before curtain and remain on sale until 30 minutes before curtain. Cleveland Play House is located at 85th and Euclid Ave. next door to the Cleveland Clinic near University Circle.

 

NOTES TO EDITOR: News Points
· It is continually important to empower the young women of Northeast Ohio with strong female role models. Legacy of Light can inspire young audiences to find their passions in math, science, history and to pursue them to the fullest.
· Actress Michelle Duffy got her BFA in Musical Theatre at Kent State University. Her first professional performing job was in America Sings at Cedar Point.
· Lenny Von Dohlen's film debut was in the Academy Award-winning Tender Mercies. Since then he has played leading roles in many major films and television shows including Leaving Normal, Home Alone 3, and Twin Peaks.
· Bart DeLorenzo directed Cleveland Play House's 2009 production of Around the World in 80 Days, and Takeshi Kata was the set designer.
· Paul Michael Valley is perhaps best known for his six-year portrayal of Ryan Harrison on NBC's daytime serial Another World.
· Actor Clancy O'Connor worked with Oscar-winning director of The King's Speech, Tom Hooper, on the HBO mini-series John Adams, which Hooper also helmed.
· The voice of actress Cerris Morgan-Moyer will be heard in this summer's blockbuster movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.


Founded in 1915, Cleveland Play House is America's first professional regional theatre. More than 12 million people have attended over 1,300 productions at Cleveland Play House - including more than 130 American and/or World Premieres. Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Bloom and Managing Director Kevin Moore, Cleveland Play House is an artist-driven theatre that serves the community by holding true to its mission: To inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards.

Cleveland Play House receives public support with local tax dollars from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, to preserve and enrich our region's artistic and cultural heritage; and from The Ohio Arts Council, helping to fund Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

 

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