Hutchinson, Rainey, et al. Lead WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST at Alley Theatre, Now thru 6/12

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Alley-Theatre-Announces-Cast-and-Creative-Team-for-Theresa-Rebecks-What-Were-Up-Against-20010101

Alley Theatre Artistic Director Gregory Boyd previously announced the cast and creative team for the Alley Theatre's new production of Theresa Rebeck's WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST, part of the Alley Theatre's New Play Initiative. WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST runs on the Alley Theatre's Neuhaus Stage tonight, May 11 through June 12, 2012.

Theresa Rebeck returns to the Alley after the hugely successful Mauritius, Bad Dates,  and The Scene with her latest black comedy, "probing how sexism remains well entrenched in the work-place, not least when pitting women against each other in a boys' club atmosphere" (Variety).

Pulitzer Prize nominee Theresa Rebeck is the creator of the NBC drama SMASH, her play Seminar recently premiered on Broadway and The Scene, which the Alley Theatre produced in 2007, has been turned into a feature film titled Seducing Charlie Barker.

Scott Schwartz (the Alley's Mauritius, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing) returns to direct.

What We're Up Against features Alley Theatre Acting Company members Chris Hutchison as Weber and David Rainey as Ben.

What We're Up Against also features Nancy Lemenager as Janice, David Andrew Macdonald as Stu, and Julia Motyka as Eliza. All three actors are making their Alley Theatre debut.

What We're Up Against will feature scenic and lighting design by Kevin Rigdon (Alley's The Seagull, The Monster at the Door, August: Osage County)  with costume design by Alejo Vietti (Alley's The Seagull, Pygmalion, August: Osage County)  and sound design is by Josh Schmidt (Alley's Pygmalion,   HarveyThe Farnsworth Invention).

What We're Up Against, by Theresa Rebeck and directed by Scott Schwartz, begins previews Friday, May 11, opens Wednesday, May 16 and runs through Sunday, June 10, 2012 on the Neuhaus Stage.

Theresa Rebeck is a widely produced playwright. New York productions include Seminar, The Understudy, Mauritius, The Scene, The Water's Edge, Bad Dates, The Butterfly Collection, Spike Heels, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann, View of the Dome and Omnium Gatherum (co-written, Pulitzer finalist). Publications include her "Collected Plays Volume I" (volumes II and III, fall 2007), "Free Fire Zone" (fall 2007), all with Smith & Kraus, and two novels, "Three Girls and Their Brother" and "Twelve Rooms with a View," with Random House/Shaye Areheart Books.

Produced feature films include Harriet the Spy, Gossip, and the independent features Sunday on the Rocks and Seducing Charlie Barker (adapted from her play The Scene). Awards include the Writer's Guild of America Award for Episodic Drama and a Peabody Award for her work on NYPD Blue. She has also won The National Theatre Conference Award, the William Inge New Voices Playwriting Award, the PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award, an Alex Award and a Lilly Award. She is the creator of the NBC drama, SMASH.

Ms. Rebeck is a Contributing Editor to the Harvard Review and an Associate Artist of the Roundabout Theatre Company. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Lark and she is the Treasurer of the Dramatist Guild. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Jess and two children, Cooper and Cleo.

Chris Hutchison(Weber)is in his sixth season as an Alley Company Artist. He returns having spent this past summer playing Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire with the Breadloaf Ensemble in Vermont. This is his 28th Alley Theatre production since first appearing here as Hal in Proof in 2004. Other favorite roles include Medvedenko in The Seagull, Mervyn in A Behanding in Spokane, Bruno Clemens in Intelligence-Slave, Dennis in Mauritius, Padraic in The Lieutenant of Inishmore, and Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird.Off-Broadway credits include EST Marathon and revivals of The Second Man, Museum and The Hasty Heart with Obie Award-winning Keen Co. Chris's solo show TRIP was selected for production by HERE Arts Center in SoHo. Regionally he has appeared at the Guthrie Theater, Pasadena Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Milwaukee Rep, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Hartford TheatreWorks, and Capital Rep, among others. Film and television: Kill the Poor, Ed, Chappelle's Show, All My Children, Guiding Light and some Movies of the Week. He holds a MFA from the University of Washington. 

Nancy Lemenager(Janice) is making her Alley Theatre debut. She starred on Broadway as Velma in Chicago, Brenda in Twyla Tharp's Movin'Out and Penny in Never Gonna Dance. Also on Broadway, Kiss Me Kate, Dream, How to succeed… and Guys and Dolls. Other NY credits include New House Under Construction at 59E59 ST., The Curious Distance…(EST), Unrequited at The Public Theater, Connecticut Yankee at City Center, and John Patrick Shanley's Italian American Reconciliation. Regional credits include Sense and Sensibility at Actors Theater of Louisville, Romeo and Juliet at Virginia Stage Company, Tom Sawyer at Hartford Stage, Smart Cookie at The Alliance, The Studio at South Coast Rep., She Loves Me at Arena Stage for which she received a Helen Hayes Nomination and Curtains at Walnut Street. Her Carnegie Hall debut was in 2004 with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops. Television credits include The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie, 30 Rock, Law &Order, Law &Order: Criminal Intent and Law &Order: SVU. Nancy also teaches at the Shakespeare Lab at The Public Theater and is a proud member of The Actors Center.  

David Andrew Macdonald (Stu) is making his Alley Theatre debut. He has appeared on Broadway in Mamma Mia!, Coram Boy, and Two Shakespearean Actors, in the national tour of An Inspector Calls (Jeff Award nomination/Chicago) and Off-Broadway in The Green Heart and A Night and Her Stars with Manhattan Theatre Club. His regional credits include The Great Gatsby at Arizona Theatre Company; The Rocky Horror Show at The Old Globe; My Wonderful Day at Wilma Theater; Happy Now? at Yale Repertory Theatre; Noises Off and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Hartford Stage; A Seagull in the Hamptons at McCarter Theatre Center; A Christmas Carol, Julius Caesar, Arms and the Man, The Importance of Being Earnest and Henry IV, Part I at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; I Hate Hamlet and A Christmas Carol at Actors Theatre of Louisville; Hay Fever at Intiman Theatre; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Cambridge Theatre Company; and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Manitoba Theatre Centre. His television credits include Sex and the City, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Another World and 10 years on Guiding Light. Mr. Macdonald is a graduate of The Juilliard School. davidandrewmacdonald.com

Julia Motyka (Eliza) is making her Alley Theatre debut. She has appeared Off-Broadway in the world premieres of We Got Issues, exec. prod. Eve Ensler and Jane Fonda; and Mario Fratti's Obama 44 at LaMaMa E.T.C.; as Maggie in The Last Starfighter: The Musical; and in The Golden Ladder. Some other notable New York reading and workshop credits include work for Roundabout, Primary Stages, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Directors Company, and Mabou Mines, among numerous others. Favorite regional credits include Ariel in The Tempest at Pioneer Theatre Company, Rachel in Reckless for which she received a Westword Award at Denver Center Theatre Company, Lena Lingard in Scott Schwartz's adaptation of Willa Cather's My Antonia (L.A. Weekly Award nomination, for the Rubicon Theatre/PRT), Helena in All's Well That Ends Well at Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Ramona in the West Coast premiere of David Grimm's The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue  at TheatreWorks CA, Miranda/Ariel in The Tempest at San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Silvia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona for which received a Dean Goodman Choice Award and a BATCC Award, and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet both for Marin Shakespeare Company. Film credits include Crosseye, The Kindergarten Shuffle, and In the Family.

David Rainey (Ben) is in his 12th season as an Alley Company Artist. Recent roles include Mrs. Dilber/Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol, Rogers in And Then There Were None, Giuseppe Bonno in Amadeus, Noodler/Cookson in Peter Pan, Constable Warren in Our Town, Harlan Honn/Lennox in The Farnsworth Invention, Sterling in Mauritius, Nasty Interesting Man/Lord of the Underworld in Eurydice, Cuigy in Cyrano de Bergerac, the title role in Othello, Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Steward in Death on the Nile, Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird, Paryfon Rogozhin in Subject to Fits, Master Jacques in The Miser, Ariel in The Pillowman, Giles Cory in The Crucible, David Keaton in The Exonerated, Lincoln in Topdog/Underdog (Best Actor by the Houston Press, Best Actor Nominations by the Jeff Awards in Chicago and Black Theatre Alliance Awards in Chicago), Lenny in Of Mice and Men and Donald in You Can't Take It With You. He has performed with The National Actors Theatre, Joseph Papp Public Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Acting Company, New York Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Rep with Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Hartford Stage Company, Dallas Theatre Center, Guthrie Theatre, Crossroads Theatre Company, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, among others. Film and television credits include Cosby, Law & Order, Vengeance Unlimited, As the World Turns, One Life to Live, Lowball, North Starr, Hell Swarm, Starforce, Multifacial, and The 'M' Word. He holds degrees from Eastern New Mexico University and Juilliard, where he received the Drama Division's highest honor, the Michel and Suria Saint-Denis Prize. He is Artistic Director of The Landing Theatre Company; is on the drama faculty of the University of Houston-Downtown; and also teach professional acting classes.

Scott Schwartz(Director) returns to the Alley having directed MauritiusMuch Ado About NothingOthelloWait Until Dark and The Underpants. He directed the Broadway productions of Golda's Balcony and Jane Eyre, co-directed with John Caird. His Off-Broadway work includes Bat Boy: The Musical which received Lucille Lortel and OCC Awards, Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical, Drama Desk Award nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical; tick, tick…BOOM! Which received an OCC for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical and a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Director of a Musical; Rooms: A Rock RomanceThe Foreigner starring Matthew Broderick at Roundabout Theatre Company; Kafka's The Castle which received an OCC nomination for Outstanding Director of a Play; Miss Julie and No Way to Treat a Lady. He also directed Golda's Balcony on tour, in London, in Los Angeles at the Wadsworth Theatre and in San Francisco at American Conservatory Theater. He directed the World Premiere of Séance on a Wet Afternoon at Opera Santa Barbara and subsequently at New York City Opera. Other recent credits include A Room With A View at The Old Globe, Arsenic and Old Lace starring Tovah Feldshuh and Betty Buckley at Dallas Theater Center, Othello and Much Ado About Nothing at Alley TheatreMy Fairytale at PCPA, Reckless at The Denver Center for the Performing Arts and a re-envisioning of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Paper Mill Playhouse, Theatre Under The Stars, Theatre on the Square and North Shore Music Theatre which received a 2008 IRNE Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical. Regional theaters include the Alliance, Arizona Theatre Company, Asolo Rep, Berkshire Theater Festival, Cleveland Playhouse, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center, Geva, La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Prince Theater, Pasadena Playhouse, Rubicon, San Jose Rep, Signature Theater, TheatreWorks, Virginia Stage Company and others. For radio broadcast, Schwartz directed the Grammy-nominated recording of "The Prisoner of Second Avenue," starring Richard Dreyfus and Marsha Mason for L.A. TheatreWorks. Schwartz is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, an Associate Artist at the Alley Theatre and a graduate of Harvard University.

Kevin Rigdon (Scenic & Lighting Design) is an Associate Director for Design for the Alley Theatre. For the Alley, he has created scenic, lighting and costume designs for more than 50 productions, including The Seagull, The Monster at the Door, August: Osage County, A Behanding in Spokane, St. Nicholas, Intelligence-Slave, Mrs. Mannerly, Our Town, The Crucifer of Blood, Mauritius, Secret Order, The Unexpected Guest, Underneath the Lintel, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Scene, Death on the Nile, The Clean House, Subject to Fits, Orson's Shadow, The Pillowman, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Crucible, After the Fall, Life X 3,Topdog/Underdog, Proof, The Greeks, Twelfth Night, In the Jungle of Cities, among manyothers. He has designed the Broadwayproductions of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, The Old Neighborhood, Buried Child, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Song of Jacob Zulu, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Grapes of Wrath, Our Town, Speed-the-Plow, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Caretaker, and Ghetto. His Off-Broadway credits include Oleanna, Distant Fire, Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, Orphans, Balm in Gilead, And a Nightingale Sang…, Edmond, and True West. His designs have been seen in the London productions of Waiting for Godot, You Never Can Tell, American Buffalo, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Speed-the-Plow, The Grapes of Wrath, and Orphans. He has designed more than 110 productions for Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, and has designed for organizations including The Peter Hall Company, The Kennedy Center, American Repertory Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, The Center Theatre Group, The Festival of Sydney, and The Cameri Theatre of Tel-Aviv, among others. He is the recipient of two Tony Award nominations, two American Theatre Wing Design awards, and seven Joseph Jefferson awards among many others. Kevin is the head of graduate design at the University of Houston.

Alejo Vietti (Costume Design) recently designed the Alley Theatre productions of The Seagull, Pygmalion, August: Osage County, The 39 Steps, Our Town, Rock 'n' Roll, Mauritius, Eurydice and Cyrano de Bergerac. Other Alley Theatre productions include The Unexpected Guest, Othello, The Scene, Death on the Nile, Tryst for the 60th anniversary season in the Neuhaus Stage, A Christmas Carol and Bad Dates. New York credits include Stephen Schwartz' Séance on a Wet Afternoon at NYC Opera, Secrets of the Trade, MTC's Nightingale and MCC's Grace both starring Lynn Redgrave, Manipulation, Rooms, William Finn's Make Me a Song, Tryst, Roulette, The Last Sunday in June, 16 Wounded, 2 X Tennessee, The Wau Wau Sisters, Servicemen directed by Sean Mathias, Waiting for Godot, Love's Labour's Lost, Measure for Measure and Othello among others. Regional credits include Arena Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Barrington Stage Company, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Play House, Colorado Ballet, Columbia University, Florida Stage, Ford's Theatre Washington D.C., Goodspeed Opera, Guthrie Theatre, Hartford Stage, Longwharf Theatre, Minnesota Opera, New York Stage and Film, Northlight TheatreOld Globe Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Rockland Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Saint Louis Repertory Theatre, Signature Theatre Washington, Theatreworks Hartford, Westport Country Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival. International: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Donetsk Opera in the Ukraine. Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Gold Unit 07/09. He is the recipient of the 2010 TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award. 

Josh Schmidt (Sound Design) is thrilled to return to the Alley Theatre where previously he composed and designed music and sound for Pygmalion,   HarveyThe Farnsworth InventionMauritiusEurydice and The Clean House. Broadway credits include House of Blue Leaves and Brighton Beach Memoirs. Off-Broadway credits include Adding Machine at Minetta Lane Theatre which received four Lortel Awards including Best Musical, two Outer Critics Awards including Best Musical Off-Broadway, four Obies, nine Drama Desk Nominations and one Drama League Nomination; Whida Peru at 59E59; A Minister's Wife (NYC Premiere), When The Rain Stops Falling at Lincoln Center; Fifty Words at MCC TheaterCrime and Punishment at 59E59, among others. Regional work at venues across the country including Stratford Festival (Ontario, Canada); Steppenwolf, Writers Theatre In Glencoe (Associate Artist), Next Theatre, Northlight Theatre, ATC, and Seanachai Theatre Company, and many others (Chicago); Kennedy Center and Ford's Theatre (Washington D.C.); University of Rochester, Bard College (NY); Seattle Repertory Theatre (WA), Arizona Theatre Company (AZ); South Coast Repertory (CA); Kansas City Rep (MO); American Players Theatre (Spring Green); Madison Rep and UW-Madison (Madison), Milwaukee Rep, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Renaissance Theaterworks, and dozens of others (Milwaukee). As a recitalist of new music, he has performed at Kunstverein Genthiner 11 and Rumänisches Kulturinstitut in Berlin, Germany; Barrow Street Theatre (NYC); University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; University of Mississippi-Oxford; and throughout his home state of Wisconsin. He is a recipient of the 2003-2005 NEA/TCG Career Development Program Award and was named one of nine emerging designers in Entertainment/Design Magazine in 2004. He has received three Jeff Awards, one After Dark Award, and multiple nominations for his composition/sound design work in Chicago. In addition, his work was part of the sound design exhibition at the 2007 Prague Quadrennial, and he is a 2012 Sundance/UCross Alumni. www.fortytwofootgrandmusic.com/

The Alley Theatre's New Play Initiative facilitates the creative collaboration between playwrights, directors, actors, designers, and dramaturgs during all stages of a new play's development. Central to this Initiative are readings, workshops, commissions, Affinity Series Symposiums and residencies. Previous premieres developed through this Initiative include: Elizabeth Egloff's Ether Dome, 2011; Herbert Siguenza's A Weekend With Pablo Picasso, 2011; Rajiv Joseph's Monster at the Door, 2011 and Gruesome Playground Injuries, 2009; Jack Murphy, Gregory Boyd, and Frank Wildhorn's Wonderland, 2010;  and Kenneth Lin's Intelligence-Slave, 2010. This is the primary focal point and purpose of the entire New Play Initiative at the Alley Theatre – for the artists and audience to come together within the imagination of a living, working playwright and to help create a first production that will launch the new work to become what we all believe it will be – a play destined to become a classic for the future.

What We're Up Against is generously sponsored by Neuhaus Stage Season Sponsor Randall H. Jamail. The Alley Theatre is supported by the 2011-2012 season sponsor United Airlines, the official airline of the Alley Theatre.

Tickets to What We're Up Against start at $25.  All tickets to What We're Up Against are available for purchase at www.alleytheatre.org, at the Alley Theatre Box Office, 615 Texas Avenue, or by calling 713.220.5700. Groups of 10 or more can receive special concierge services and select discounts by calling 713.220.5700 and asking for the group sales department.

Saturday, May 12, 2:30 p.m.
The Alley Theatre is pleased to offer open captioning for many of our productions throughout the season. To ensure that your seats will accommodate your needs, please call the box office 713.220.5700 when ordering tickets to this performance.  Discounted tickets are available for groups of 10 or more.

Tuesday, May 22, 7:30 p.m.
Members of the cast return to the stage following the performance to take questions from the audience. TalkBacks are led by a member of the Alley Artistic Staff.

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