Jeffrey Bean, James Black and More Set for Alley Theatre's THE SEAFARER, 4/6-4/29

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Alley Theatre Artistic Director Gregory Boyd announces the cast and creative team for the Alley Theatre's production of the Conor McPherson's THE SEAFARER.  The Seafarer, by Conor McPherson and directed by Gregory Boyd, begins previews Friday April 6, opens Wednesday April 11 and runs through Sunday, April 29, 2012 on the Hubbard Stage.  Tickets start at $25 and 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.

It's Christmas Eve and Sharky has returned to Dublin to look after his irascible, ageing brother who's recently gone blind. Old drinking buddies Ivan and Nicky are holed up at the house too, hoping to play some cards. But with the arrival of a stranger from the distant past, the stakes are raised ever higher. In fact, Sharky may be playing for his very soul … Explicit language, adult situations.

The Seafarer features Alley Theatre Resident Acting Company members Jeffrey Bean as Ivan Curry, James Black as James "Sharky" Harkin, Chris Hutchison as Nicky Gilbin, John Tyson as Richard Harkin and Todd Waite as Mr. Lockhart.

Returning to the Alley are scenic designer Hugh Landwehr, costume designer Judith Dolan, lighting designer Rui Rita and sound designer Jill BC DuBoff. The dialect coach is Stephen Gabis with Assistant Director Elizabeth Bunch, Fight Director Brian Byrnes and Dramaturg Jacey Little.

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Jeffrey Bean (Ivan Curry) is in his 17th season as an Alley Company Member and has appeared in over 100 Alley productions since 1989. Recently he has appeared in The Seagull as Sorin, Ether Dome as Dr. Charles Jackson, Amadeus as Salieri, August: Osage County as Bill Fordham, Peter Pan as Smee, Boeing-Boeing as Robert and The 39 Steps as Man #2. Previous Alley highlights include The Farnsworth Invention as David Sarnoff, Mauritius as Philip, Cyrano de Bergerac as Cyrano, The Scene as Charlie, Doubt as Father Flynn, Subject to Fits as Prince Myshkin, Much Ado About Nothing as Benedick, Journey's End as 2nd Lieutenant Trotter, The Pillowman as Michal, Hapgood as Ridley, Twelfth Night as Feste, The Importance of Being Earnest as Algernon, Billy Bishop Goes to War asBilly Bishop, Gross Indecency as Oscar Wilde, Arms & the Man as Bluntschli, The Crucible as Deputy Gov. Danforth, The Foreigner as Charlie Baker and Stones in His Pockets as Charlie Conlon, et al. Broadway credits include Bells Are Ringing as Francis and Amadeus as Kappelmeister Bonno. Television credits include Law & Order; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and All My Children. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts and a Princess Grace Award winner.

James Black (James "Sharky" Harkin) is proud to be celebrating his 24th consecutive season at the Alley where as an actor and occasional director, he has been involved in over 100 productions. Recent appearances include The Seagull as Trigorin, Dividing the Estate as Lewis Gordon, Pygmalion as Colonel Pickering, Amadeus as Count Orsini-Rosenberg, August: Osage County as Steve Heidebrecht, Peter Pan as Captain Hook/Mr. Darling, St. Nicholas, Boeing-Boeing as Bernard, Harvey as Elwood P. Dowd, Mrs. Mannerly as Jeffrey, Our Town as Stage Manager, The Farnsworth Invention, Rock 'n' Roll as Max, The Man Who Came to Dinner as SheriDan Whiteside, A Christmas Carol as Mrs. Dilber/Jacob Marley, Cyrano de Bergerac as Le Bret, Othello as Iago, Arsenic and Old Lace as Jonathan Brewster, Treasure Island as Long John Silver, Hitchcock Blonde as Hitch, A Moon for the Misbegotten as James Tyrone Jr., Orson's Shadow as Olivier, Journey's End as Lieutenant Osborne, A Christmas Carol as Scrooge, The Crucible as Proctor, After the Fall as Quentin, Black Coffee as Hercule Poirot, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum as Marcus Lycus, Twelfth Night as Sir Toby Belch, Sherlock Holmes as Moriarty, Hamlet as Claudius, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as George, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest as McMurphy, How I Learned to Drive as Uncle Peck, A View From the Bridge as Eddie Carbone and Not About Nightingales as Butch O'Fallon, among others. He has also directed A Behanding in Spokane, Doubt, Death on the Nile, Glengarry Glen Ross, Deathtrap, Dial "M" for Murder, Our Lady of 121st Street, The Foreigner, Of Mice and Men and As Bees in Honey Drown. His film and television credits include Olympia, The Man with the Perfect Swing, Houston: The Legend of Texas, Fire and Rain, Challenger, Night Game and Killing in a Small Town. He received a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut and a Drama Desk nomination for Best Actor for Not About Nightingales, and a BackStage West Garland Award for his appearance as Eddie Carbone in the Alley's production of A View from the Bridge.

Chris Hutchison (Nicky Giblin) is in his sixth season as an Alley Company Member. 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.

John Tyson (Richard Harkin) has appeared in a wide variety of roles in his 13 seasons at the Alley Theatre. Recent credits include Alfred Doolittle in Pygmalion, The Storyteller in Peter Pan, Mr. Paravicini in The Mousetrap, Professor Metz/ Banjo in The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Librarian in Underneath the Lintel, Dr. Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace, and Tupolski in The Pillowman. Notable performances include Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night,Boris Kolenkhov in You Can't Take It With You, AEH in The Invention of Love, both Dromios in The Comedy of Errors and Henry Carr in Travesties. Before coming to the Alley Theatre, Mr. Tyson worked at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Stagewest and Playmakers Repertory Company. At the Alley he directed The Woman in Black and his own play, Act Of Passion. He recently directed The Good Thief at the Mosaic Theatre. He has also written an adaptation of Christmas Carol and, with Santry Rush, written the musical Happy Ending.

Todd Waite (Mr. Lockhart) is in his 11th season as an Alley Company Member. He has appeared in over 60 productions including The Seagull as Eugene Dorn, four seasons of the one-man Christmas show, The Santaland Diaries as Crumpet, Pygmalion as Henry Higgins, The Crucifer of Blood as Sherlock Holmes, Rock 'n' Roll as Jan, Mrs. Warren's Profession as Sir George Crofts, The Goat or Who is Sylvia? as Martin, Arsenic and Old Lace as Mortimer Brewster, Hapgood as Kerner, Deathtrap as Sydney, Art as Ivan, Stones in His Pockets as Jake, The Devil's Disciple as Burgoyne, The Mousetrap as Christopher Wren, Intelligence-Slave as Hermann Pister, And Then There Were None as Philip Lombard, The 39 Steps as Richard Hannay, Our Town as Mr. Webb, and August: Osage County as Sheriff Deon Gilbeau. Previously, Mr. Waite spent six seasons with the renowned Shaw Festival, played Enjolras in the Canadian premiere of Les Miserables, and has guest-starred on all major U.S. and Canadian networks. Awards include Best Actor nomination for the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship for his performance in the world premiere of The Coronation Voyage and the Critic's Choice Award for Intimate Exchanges at Dallas Theater Center. He has directed several Canadian premieres and was the resident director for Cirque du Soleil's "O" in Las Vegas. Mr. Waite is an adjunct professor for the University of Houston's Graduate Program in Theatre Education, and BFA Theatre Program. His private students attend HSPVA, Stage Door, Interlochen, Juilliard, DePaul, Yale, The Royal Scottish Academy and The Stella Adler School.

Conor McPherson (Playwright) was born in Dublin in 1971. He attended the University College in Dublin, where he began to write and direct. His plays include Rum & Vodka, The Good Thief, This Lime Tree Bower, St. Nicholas, The Weir which won an Olivier Award for Best Play, Dublin Carol, Port Authority, Shining City which received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play, and The Seafarer. His film work includes I Went Down, Saltwater, Samuel Beckett's Endgame, and The Actors. Other awards include the George Devine Award; Critics' Circle Award; Evening Standard Award; Meyer Whitworth Award; Stewart Parker Award; two Irish Film & Television Academy Best Screenplay Awards; CICAE Best Film Award, Berlin Film Festival for Saltwater; Best Film and Best Screenplay Awards, and the San Sebastian Film Festival for I Went Down.

Gregory Boyd (Director) During his tenure the Alley has risen in national and international prominence, winning the Special Tony Award and experiencing record growth in its Houston audiences, while also transferring its productions to major European Festivals (including two in one season at the Venice Biennale), Broadway and on tour to 40 American cities. Boyd's addition of artistic associates has enhanced the Alley's visibility and reputation worldwide; while his commitment to maintaining a resident company of actors has made the Alley unique among American theatre companies. At the Alley, Mr. Boyd has produced over 100 new productions of the widest ranging repertoire in the country. His Alley premieres have been nominated for eight Tony Awards – among them the premieres of Not About Nightingales by Tennessee Williams (Alley, London, Broadway), Jekyll & Hyde, (Alley, National Tour, Broadway), The Civil War (which he also co-authored). New Alley productions have included: Shakespeare's Roman Plays (with Vanessa and Corin Redgrave); Robert Wilson's productions of Hamlet, When We Dead Awaken and Danton's Death (with Richard Thomas); Ellen Burstyn in O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night and Tony Kushner's Angels in America Parts 1 & 2 (both directed by Michael Wilson), premieres by Keith Reddin (Synergy); Eve Ensler (Lemonade); and Alley Artistic Associates Edward Albee (The Play About the Baby), Horton Foote (The Carpetbagger's Children), Ken Ludwig (The Gershwins' An American in Paris, Leading Ladies) and Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde, Wonderland, and Boyd's collaborator on The Civil War, a musical theatre production that premiered at the Alley before going onto Broadway and two national tours). In addition, Boyd directed the recordings of "The Civil War" and "Jekyll & Hyde" for Atlantic Records. At the Alley, he has appeared as an actor in Danton's Death (Tom Paine) and Cyrano de Bergerac (Cyrano) and directed over 40 productions including: Rock 'n' Roll, Eurydice, Cyrano de Bergerac, Treasure Island, Subject to Fits, Hitchcock Blonde, Hapgood, The Pillowman, Jekyll & Hyde, Three Sisters, In the Jungle of Cities, After the Fall, The Greeks, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Macbeth, As You Like It,and A Midsummer Night's Dream. This season, he will direct The Seagull, Noises Off, and The Seafarer. His recent directing projects outside the Alley have included Our Town at Hartford Stage (HAl Holbrook), Coward's Design for Living at Williamstown (Marisa Tomei, Campbell Scott, Steven Weber), Stoppard's Travesties at Long Wharf (Sam Waterston, Tom Hewitt) and the premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan's Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Boyd has served as Panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Massachusetts Council for the Arts. He has taught on the faculties of Carnegie-Mellon, Williams College, the University of Houston, and the University of North Carolina, where he headed the Professional Theatre Training Program. He was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is a Distinguished Alumnus, and at Carnegie-Mellon.

Hugh Landwehr (Scenic Design) has designed scenery throughout the U.S. At the Alley he designed scenery for Peter Pan, Harvey, Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps, Rock 'n' Roll, Eurydice, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Cyrano de Bergerac, Arsenic and Old Lace, Doubt, Witness for the Prosecution, Journey's End, Steel Magnolias, Death of a Salesman, The Front Page, Hedda Gabler, Noises Off!, A View from the Bridge and Hay Fever. His workon Broadway has included productionsof Frozen, Bus Stop, All My Sons, and A View from the Bridge. Off-Broadway, hehas designed Last Easter, Scattergood, Filumena, The Baby Dance, The Entertainer and Candide, among others. Hehas had long and productive relationshipswith many regional theatres includingCenter Stage in Baltimore, Denver CenterTheatre Co., The Shakespeare Theatre inWashington D.C., Kansas City Rep., SouthCoast Rep., Cincinnati Playhouse in thePark, the Guthrie Theater, Seattle Repertory,and A.C.T. in Seattle. During summers hehas designed at the Williamstown TheatreFestival, the Berkshire Theatre Festivaland The Westport Country Playhouse. He ispresently a member of the faculty of NYU'sTisch School of the Arts and has taught atUniversity of Wisconsin (Madison), TheNorth Carolina School of the Arts andWilliams College. He has twice been therecipient of NEA grants as an AssociateArtist. Other awards include MurphyAward in Design, administered by LongWharf Theatre, and the 2003 Helen HayesAward for Outstanding Set Design. He waseducated at Yale College.

Judith Dolan (Costume Design) hasdesigned costumes for several productionsfor director Harold Prince including Candide (Tony Award). Another collaboration withMr. Prince, the musical The Petrified Prince,earned her the Lucille Lortelle Award and a1995 Drama Desk nomination. Her othertheatrical credits include costumes for The Miser at American Repertory Theater, The Magic Flute at Cleveland Orchestra, Idomeneo at Wolf Trap Opera Company andthe original Broadway production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. At the Alley Theatre, her work has includedproductions by William Shakespeare,Martin McDonough and American works all directed by Gregory Boyd. Her designshave been seen in numerous internationalcompanies including The Abbey Theatre,Clwyd Theatr Cymru, The Old Vic, and theIasi National Theatre in Romania where sherecently designed The Misanthrope. Venuesin the U.S. include The Kennedy Center,Brooklyn Academy Of Music, TheShakespeare Theatre Company, GoodmanTheatre, Mark Taper Forum, Hartford Stage,New York City Opera and Houston GrandOpera. Her recent Broadway work includesthe musicals Parade and LoveMusik, which receivedOuterCritics Circle and Drama Desk Awardnominations. Judith Dolan is a professorand Head of Design at UC San Diego'sDepartment of Theatre and Dance.

Rui Rita (Lighting Design) has designed Alley productions for the past 16 years. His recent Alley credits include Dividing the Estate, Pygmalion, The 39 Steps, Sherlock Holmes and the Crucifer of Blood, Eurydice, A Christmas Carol, Cyrano de Bergerac, To Kill a Mockingbird, Wait Until Dark, Black Comedy, Sherlock Holmes, The Trip to Bountiful, The Invention of Love, The Carpetbagger's Children and Dinner with Friends, among others. On Broadway his designs include Present Laughter, Dividing the Estate, Old Acquaintance, Enchanted April and The Price. His Off-Broadway credits include the premieres of Horton Foote's The Orphan's Home Cycle for Signature Theatre, Big Bill, The Carpetbagger's Children, Far East, and Ancestral Voices; all for Lincoln Center Theatre, Moonlight and Magnolias for Manhattan Theatre Club, Endpapers, and Dinner with Friends both at Variety Arts Theatre, Dividing the Estate and The Day Emily Married at Primary Stages, as well as productions of The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore recently at Roundabout Theatre, Crimes of the Heart at Second Stage and Antony and Cleopatra at New York Shakespeare Festival. He has also designed productions at numerous regional theatres including The American Conservatory Theatre, CenterStage, Ford's Theatre, Hartford Stage, Huntington Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Old Globe Theatre, Vancouver Opera, Westport Playhouse and The Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Jill BC DuBoff (Sound Design) Recent Alley Theatre credits include The Monster at the Door, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Othello, and Much Ado About Nothing. Her Broadway credits include Other Desert Cities, Wit, Good People, The Constant Wife, The Good Body, and Bill Maher: Victory… Off-Broadway credits includes Lincoln Center, Atlantic, MTC, MCC, Playwrights Horizons, Public, Vineyard, Second Stage, NYTW, WP, New Georges, Flea, Cherry Lane, Signature, Clubbed Thumb, Culture Project, Actor's Playhouse, New Group, Promenade, Urban Stages, Houseman, Fairbanks, Soho Rep, and Adobe. Regional credits include Minneapolis Children's Theatre, Bay Street, La Jolla Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, Westport Country Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Portland Stage, Long Wharf, Kennedy Center, NYS&F, South Coast Rep, Humana, Williamstown, Berkshire Theatre, ATF. Her film credits include We Pedal Uphill, television credits include Comedy Central and NBC and her Radio credits include Studio 360 and WNYC News. Awards include the 2011 Obie for Sustained Excellence, Ruth Morley Design Award as well as Drama Desk and Henry Hewes nominations. She is an adjunct Professor at Sarah Lawrence College.

Stephen Gabis (Dialect Coach) returns to the Alley having previously worked on The 39 Steps, Rock 'n' Roll and Journey's End. Current and recent Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include Once, Magic/Bird, Tribes, Look Back In Anger, Man and Boy, Bluebird, Through a Glass Darkly, Lombardi, Lend Me a Tenor, Kin, The Shags, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, Jersey Boys, A View from the Bridge, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Memphis, Guys and Dolls, Shrek The Musical, The 39 Steps, The Farnsworth Invention, 110 in the Shade, Coram Boy, Butley, Legally Blonde, Heartbreak House, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Jersey Boys, The Voysey Inheritance, Frozen, Stuff Happens, and Doubt.Film and television credits include Boardwalk Empire, Prime Suspect, Salt, Across the Universe, Bernard and Doris, Dark Matter, The Notorious Bettie Page, The Savages, Boys Don't Cry.

Elizabeth Bunch (AssistantDirector) has appeared in more than 30productions at the Alley Theatre since 2002 andrecently served as Assistant Director for Amadeus. Favorite performances includeEliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, Karen in August: Osage County, Wendy in Peter Pan, Emily in Our Town, Boeing-Boeing, The 39 Steps, Mauritius, Othello, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Scene, Doubt, Proof and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Elizabeth isa graduate of New York University's TischSchool of the Arts.

Brian Byrnes (Fight Director) has staged fights and movement for over 60 Alley productions including Ether Dome, August: Osage County, Peter Pan or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up, Intelligence-Slave, Cyrano de Bergerac, Othello, The Pillowman, Deathtrap, Twelfth Night, Sherlock Holmes, Hamlet, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Of Mice and Men, A Flea in Her Ear, As Bees in Honey Drown, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Comedy of Errors, Zoo Story, Travesties, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Noises Off!, and others. His credentials include Fight Director and Certified Teacher via the Society of American Fight Directors. Brian has also been honored with the title of SAFD Fight Master for his outstanding contributions to the art form and to the SAFD. Other fight direction includes New York theaters, regional theaters, opera companies, Shakespeare festivals, American Players Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Houston Grand Opera, Stages Repertory Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Houston Ballet, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Catastrophic Theatre, Nova Arts Project, and "motion capture" for animation companies in the U.S. and Sweden. Brian is a proud member of AEA and acting work includes the Alley Theatre, Stages Repertory Theatre, regional theatres and Shakespeare festivals. He also works as a director and has written several plays that have been professionally produced. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance.

Jacey Little (Dramaturg) is the Literary Associate for the Alley Theatre. This season she was the Assistant Director and Dramaturg for The Seagull. Before joining the Alley, Jacey worked as a freelance dramaturg for the Houston Shakespeare Festival, The Landing Theatre Company, and Mildred's Umbrella Theatre Company. She came to the Alley as an ECE Intern in 2008 and returned as a Dramaturgy Fellow in 2010. Jacey received her BFA from the University of Oklahoma and is currently completing her MA thesis at the University of Houston.

The Seafarer is generously sponsored by Supporting Sponsors Bank of Texas and Porter Hedges LLP. The Alley Theatre is supported by the 2011-2012 season sponsor United Airlines, the official airline of the Alley Theatre.

Tickets to The Seafarer start at $25. All tickets to The Seafarer 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.

The Alley Theatre offers access services for our deaf or hard of hearing and sight-impaired patrons on Saturday, April 7 at 2:30pm. Audio Description is provided for each Hubbard Stage production and Open Captioning is offered for every Hubbard Stage and Neuhaus Stage production. 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.

The Alley Theatre continues its efforts to make the theatre affordable to patrons. Partnering with other social non-profit organizations, the Alley seeks to generate in-kind donations and reward patrons with $10 Tix for select performances. The $10 Tix are available in person only on Saturday, April 7 and are limited to two tickets per person. With a donation, patrons can purchase two $10 tickets for Saturday, April 7 at 2:30 p.m. Donate and purchase in person at the box office (615 Texas Ave.) on Saturday, April 7 only. Limited availability. The partner organization for The Seafarer is The Beacon and the donated item is new, unused disposable razors.

Members of the cast return to the stage following the performance on Tuesday, April 17 at 7:30pm to take questions from the audience. TalkBacks are led by a member of the Alley Artistic Staff.

Houston's premiere theatre group for gay and lesbian theatre fans and their friends celebrates the Alley Theatre's production of The Seafarer. This pre-curtain event is complimentary with your ticket to the Thursday, April 19, 7:30 p.m. performance The Seafarer. To buy a ticket, required for this event, use the promo code: ACTOUT. Purchase online at www.alleytheatre.org or call the box office at 713.220.5700.

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