Anne Gee Byrd Stars in THE SAVANNAH DISPUTATION Colony Theatre LA Premiere, 6/16-7/8

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The Colony Theatre presents the first production of its "Season of Premieres" with the Los Angeles Premiere of THE SAVANNAH DISPUTATION, written by EVan Smith and directed by award-winning Cameron Watson and will star three-time Los Angeles Drama Critics Award-winning actress Anne Gee Byrd. THE SAVANNAH DISPUTATION will preview on Wednesday, June 13; Thursday, June 14; and Friday, June 15 at 8:00pm and will open on Saturday, June 16 at 8:00pm and continue through Sunday, July 8 at The Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) adjacent to the Burbank Town Center.

When susceptible Catholic spinster Margaret politely admits perky Pentecostal evangelical Melissa into her home, her seemingly solid faith starts to waver – much to the chagrin of her feisty sister Mary. But who's the blasphemer and who's the believer? Before long, the God-fearing sisters have ambushed their steadfast "guest" with the aid of an unsuspecting, mild-mannered local priest, setting the scene for a hilarious smackdown of truly biblical proportions, as all of them discover the perils of using religion to bend others to your will.

Creative Team:

EVan Smith (Playwright) was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, where he is Writer in Residence at City Lights Theatre. His plays The Uneasy Chair and Psych were produced by Playwrights Horizons in New York City. The Uneasy Chair was revived by the Writers' Theatre in Chicago and also by 1812 Productions in Philadelphia, which produced the World Premiere of his Daughters of Genius. Servicemen was produced by The New Group in New York City and at New York Stage and Film at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie. The Savannah Disputation had its World Premiere at the Writers' Theatre in the Fall of 2007, followed by productions at Playwrights Horizons and numerous regional theatres. His TV pilot Debs was produced onstage in Los Angeles by Naked TV, a joint venture of Fox TV and Naked Angels. His plays have been published by the Grove Press, Dramatists Play Service, Inc., Smith & Kraus, Dell Books, and Playscripts.com. The recipient of a 2002 Whiting Award, he has a BA in English from Vassar College and an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama.

CAMERON WATSON (Director) most recently directed the critically-acclaimed revival of All My Sons at The Matrix Theatre Company for producer Joseph Stern (LA Drama Critics' Circle Award winner - Anne Gee Byrd - Best Actress, LA Weekly Award nomination - Best Revival) and I Never Sang for My Father starring Philip Baker Hall and Anne Gee Byrd (LA Drama Critics' Circle Award winner – Best Supporting Actress) at The New American Theatre. Other Colony Theatre shows include On Golden Pond starring Hal Linden and Christina Pickles, Grace & Glorie (four Ovation Award nominations including Best Production and winner Beth Grant - Best Actress), Educating Rita, and Trying starring Alan Mandell and Rebecca Mozo (eight Ovation nominations and winner Alan Mandell - Best Actor, LA Drama Critics' Circle Award winner – Best Actor, Garland Award for Best Director). He directed A Midsummer Night's Dream and the east coast premiere of Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and the American premiere of I Capture the Castle at the El Portal (six Ovation Award nominations.) Other directing credits include Horton Foote's TheHabitation of Dragons at the Actor's Co-Op and the unique one-woman show, Rolling with Laughter,which played Los Angeles, the Edinburgh Festival, and Her Majesty's Theatre in London's West End. Cameron wrote and directed the Miramax feature film Our Very Own, which stars Jason Ritter, Keith Carradine, Cheryl Hines, Faith Prince, Beth Grant, Autumn Reeser, Mary Badham and Allison Janney in an Independent Spirit Award-nominated performance.

Cast:

BONNIE BAILEY-REED (Margaret) is originally from Texas where she began her career at The Dallas Summer Musicals in a production of Cabaret, which led her to New York City. Shortly after that she was cast in two National Tours, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and They're Playing Our Song. While living in NYC, she studied acting with Carlin Glynn and appeared in The Night Hanks Williams Died at The Actors Studio directed by Pete Masterson. In L.A., she has appeared in award-winning roles including: Mrs. Brummett in the World Premiere of Arlene Hutton's Gulf View Drive (LA Weekly Award, Best Supporting Actress). Other LA roles include Lenora Tolliver in The Habitation of Dragons directed by Cameron Watson (Critic's Pick, LA Times), Kate in All My Sons (Best Actress, Maddy Award), Penny in You Can't Take It With You (Best Actress, Maddy Award). Most recently, Bonnie was seen in Bingo, The Winning Musical at The Cosmopolitan Cabaret in Sacramento, CA. On television, she was a Series Regular on ABC Family Channel's State of Grace and was a Guest Star on the "Son of the Defender" episode of Boston Legal. Other television credits include How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives, Days Of Our Lives, General Hospital (Recurring Role), Diagnosis Murder, and many television commercials.

Anne Gee Byrd (Mary) was last seen in All My Sons at the Matrix Theatre for which she won a Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Actress. Other recent stage work includes Breadcrumbs at Theatre 150 in Ojai preceded by I Never Sang For My Father with The New American Theatre Company (LA Drama Critics' Circle Award, Best Supporting Actress) and The Autumn Garden with the Antaeus Company. Prior to that she was in the award-winning production of Four Places at the Rogue Machine playing Peggy for which she received the Drama Critics' Circle award for Best Actress. She is known to LA theatre goers for appearances at the Mark Taper Forum, the Geffen Playhouse, the Pasadena Playhouse, L.A. Theatre Works, the Odyssey, the Andak Stage Co., and the Antaeus Theatre Company. She has worked in many of the major repertory theatres across the country including South Coast Repertory, The Old Globe in San Diego, Seattle Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, The American Shakespeare Festival in Connecticut, the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, the McCarter in Princeton, etc. She has also had a long television and film career most recently Law and Order L.A., The Mentalist, Medium, Southland and Monk. She was named Best Leading Actress by the LA Weekly for her performance as Mother Courage with the Antaeus Company.

JosH Clark (Father Murphy) is making his Colony debut with The Savannah Disputation. Most recently in Los Angeles he played the owner of The Shy Gazelle, the bar at the center of Noel Coward's Peace In Our Time, in the acclaimed production at the Antaeus Theatre Company. Broadway: Execution of Justice, the March Hare inEva Le Gallienne's production of Alice in Wonderland, and The Man Who Came To Dinner at theCircle in the Square. Off Broadway: Three US premieres at the Manhattan Theatre Club, including The Rear Column by Simon Gray. The New York premiere of Mr. Gray's Molly at the Hudson Guild, The Browning Version at the Roundabout, The Old Glory at American Place Theatre. Regional: iWitness at The Mark Taper Forum, where he also stood by for Martin Sheen in The Subject Was Roses. Various plays at the Long Wharf Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Seattle Rep, Walnut Street Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Biloxi Blues and Of Mice and Men at The Pasadena Playhouse, among others. As an Antaeus company member, Josh has also performed in Mother Courage, Tonight at 8:30, and The Autumn Garden. Film: Faster, Big, Ragtime, Little Nikita, Inherit the Wind, Kent State, George Washington (mini-series). Recent TV: Hallelujah, Desperate Housewives, Law and Order Los Angeles, Pretty Little Liars (recurring), Supah Ninjas, All My Children (recurring), Lincoln Heights, Heroes (recurring), Dirt, Women's Murder Club, Criminal Minds, Numb3rs, 24, and among past favorites are his eight episodes as Lt. Cary in Star Trek Voyager.

Rebecca Mozo (Melissa) With the Colony: Educating Rita, Trying (Ovation Award Nomination). South Coast Repertory: Doubt, a parable, The Heiress, Emilie, A Wrinkle on Time, and In the Next Room, or the vibrator play. Center Theatre Group: Anya in The Cherry Orchard opposite Annette Bening and Alfred Molina. Antaeus Theatre: Pera Palas, Cousin Bette, King Lear, and Peace in our Time. A Noise within: Ghosts. El Portal/Hollywood Food Chain: I Capture the Castle (Ovation Award nomination, American Premiere) Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey: I Capture the Castle (East Coast Premiere), A Midsummer Nights Dream. TV/Film: Medium, Cold Case, The Young and the Restless, Zerophilia, Headless Horseman, The Waterhole, and most recently Repatriate opposite John Glover. Rebecca is also the narrator for The Vampire Diaries audio book series. BFA from Rutgers University and studied at Shakespeare's Globe in London. She is a proud member of Actors' Equity and Antaeus Theatre Company.

THE SAVANNAH DISPUTATION has assembled an award-winning design team. The Scenic Design is by Stephen Gifford (LA WEEKLY Award - Lady). The Lighting Design is by Jared A. Sayeg (Ovation Award Nomination – Trying). The Costume Design is by Kate Bergh (Reprise! – Cabaret). The Sound Design is by ReBecca Kessin (Garland Award Nomination – Kiss of the Spiderwoman). Props design and set dressing is by Colony Theatre resident designers MacAndMe.

THE SAVANNAH DISPUTATION will open on Saturday, June 16 at 8:00pm and continue through Sunday, July 8.

Performances for THE SAVANNAH DISPUTATION are Thursdays & Fridays at 8:00pm; Saturdays at 3:00pm & 8:00pm; and Sundays at 2:00pm. Ticket prices range from $20.00 - $42.00 (student, senior, and group discounts are available). THE SAVANNAH DISPUTATION will preview on Wednesday, June 13; Thursday, June 14; and Friday, June 15 at 8:00pm at The Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) adjacent to the Burbank Town Center Mall.

Opening night performance with reception - all tickets $50.00. There are question-and-answer talkbacks after the performances on Friday, June 22 and Thursday, July 5. For tickets, call the Colony Theatre Box Office at 818/558-7000 ext. 15 or online at www.ColonyTheatre.Org.

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