Adam Rapp's THE PURPLE LIGHTS OF JOPPA ILLINOIS Set for NewSCRipts Reading at South Coast Rep Today

A new work by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp looks at loss, regret and the tenacity of hope. The play, The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois, is featured in the next NewSCRipts reading at South Coast Repertory today, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and available through the Box Office at (714) 708-5555 or online at www.scr.org.

The story follows Ellis Shook, who lives alone in a small duplex apartment in Paducah, Kentucky, just across the Illinois border. He works nights buffing floors, keeps to himself-except for the occasional game of Monopoly or Yahtzee with his neighbor-and always remembers to take his medication. But when two teenage girls arrive at Ellis' doorstep one afternoon, their visit forces him to confront the tragic past that estranged him from those he loves.

Rapp is an Obie-award-winning playwright and director. He is the author of numerous plays, which include Nocturne (A.R.T., NYTheatre Workshop), Finer Noble Gases (26th Humana Festival, Rattlestick), Stone Cold Dead Serious (A.R.T.), Blackbird (The Bush), Essential Self-Defense (Playwrights Horizons), Kindness (Playwrights Horizons), The Metal Children (The Vineyard), The Hallway Trilogy (Rattlestick), The Edge of Our Bodies (36th Humana Festival), Dreams of Flying Dreams of Falling (The Atlantic), and Red Light Winter (Steppenwolf, Barrow Street Theatre), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He wrote and directed the feature films Winter Passing and Blackbird, which he adapted from his play. He directed and helped create Karen O's psycho opera, Stop the Virgens, which premiered at St. Ann's Warehouse, and went on to play Australia's Vivid Live Festival, where it sold out the Sydney Opera House. In 2006, his production of Finer Noble Gases garnered a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he received The List's Best Newcomer Prize. Other playwriting honors include The Helen Merrill Prize, the 2006 Princess Grace Statue, a Lucille Lortel Playwright's Fellowship, The Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Award.

SCR launched the NewSCRipts play reading series in 1985 to bring the audience into the process of creating new works with emerging and established playwrights. After each public reading, audience members engage in lively exchanges with the playwright and are active participants in the play's development by providing valuable feedback for the writer.

Past NewSCRipts readings include Donald Margulies' Collected Stories, Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain and Amy Freed's Freedomland, all of which went on to New York productions. Plays selected for the NewSCRipts series have earned six Pulitzer Prize nominations; Margaret Edson's Wit won the prize in 1999. In October, NewSCRipts featured the reading of an SCR commission by Rajiv Joseph titled MR. WOLF.

South Coast Repertory's NewSCRipts series is generously underwritten by Elaine J. Weinberg.

TICKETS to the NewSCRipts reading of The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois may be purchased online at www.scr.org, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or in person at the SCR box office. Tickets are $15, and include an audience discussion with the playwright and dramaturg.

LOCATION: South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off t he San Diego (405) Freeway in the Folino Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available off Anton Blvd. on Park Center Drive.

Current and Upcoming Productions: A Christmas Carol, through Dec. 26; Trudy and Max in Love, Jan. 5-26; The Light in the Piazza, Jan. 24-Feb. 23; James and the Giant Peach (Theatre for Young Audiences), Feb. 7-23; Reunion, March 9-30; Rest, March 28-April 27; TBA (world premiere), April 13-May 4; Pacific Playwrights Festival, April 25-27; Tartuffe, May 9-June 8; and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Odd Tales (Theatre for Young Audiences). More information is available online: www.scr.org.




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