Long Wharf Theatre will present the world premiere of Laura Jacqmin's new play January Joiner: A Weight Loss Horror Comedy from January 9 through February 10, 2013 on Stage II.

The press opening will take place Wednesday, January 16 at 7:30 p.m. Seating is limited, so please RSVP as soon as possible.

"Laura is a writer of tremendous gifts who I've been following for some time now," said Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein. "We are delighted to introduce her and offer this world premiere to our community."

The production will be directed by Associate Artistic Director Eric Ting. The cast includes Ashlie Atkinson (Terry), Anthony Bowden (Brian), Tonya Glanz (April), Meredith Holzman (Myrtle), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Not-Terry), and Daniel Stewart Sherman (Darnell.)

The creative team is comprised of Narelle Sissons (sets), Oana Botez (costumes), Stephen Strawbridge (lights), Leah Gelpe (sound), and Matthew Melchiorre (stage manager.)

Eat less. Exercise more. Make healthy choices. Ignore the bloodthirsty vending machine when it speaks to you. The clientele of a high-end weight loss spa in sunny Florida try to live these mantras daily. But at what cost? In this modern age, when we are barraged with rail thin models in magazines, "miracle" cleanses and fad diets, January Joiner asks, why can¹t we just be happy with ourselves? Alternately hilarious, moving and chilling, this new comedy by Laura Jacqmin, one of the country¹s most exciting emerging playwrights, shows us that what appears in the mirror isn¹t always what it seems.

"At its heart it is a play about two sisters growing apart, about becoming so different that they don't recognize each other," Ting said.

Inspired to write the play by events in her family life, Jacqmin blends elements of horror and comedy in an effort to depict the struggles of real people dealing with change, in both themselves and their loved ones. "The play grapples with the American obsession with size, and what our bodies say about us," Jacqmin said. "If what's outside is the only thing that counts, do our insides really matter? What happens to us when the people who are closest to us change?"

Jacqmin, a Yale University graduate, received her MFA from Ohio University. Her play Two Lakes, Two Rivers was workshopped at the 2012 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. Other plays include Ski Dubai, Look, We Are Breathing, and Dental Society Midwinter Meeting. Her work has been produced and developed by Atlantic Theater Company, Old Vic New Voices, Roundabout Underground, Vineyard Theatre, Ars Nova, Cape Cod Theatre Project, Second Stage Theatre, among others.

Ashlie Atkinson (Terry) won a Theatre World Award for originating the role of Helen in Neil La Bute's Fat Pig (MCC). Her other theatre credits include her Broadway debut in The Ritz (Roundabout), The Butcher of Baraboo (NY: Second Stage), Making Marilyn and The Particulars (NY: Bridge Theatre Company), The Book Club Play (Arena Stage), and As You Like It and The Tempest as a member of Sam Mendes's world-touring Bridge Project. TV and film credits include "Rescue Me," "Louie," "Inside Man," "Compliance," "Boardwalk Empire," "30 Rock," The Invention of Lying, Eat Pray Love, Bored to Death, All Good Things, My Best Day, all three "Law & Order" series (SVU, Criminal Intent, and "the mothership", Law & Order), and the upcoming films Side Effects (directed by Steven Soderbergh) and Wolf of Wall Street (directed by Martin Scorsese).

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