Ruskin Group Theatre's A MEMORY OF TWO MONDAYS Closes
Arthur Miller's autobiographical play will be staged at the Ruskin Group Theatre for a limited time. The play elegantly, and hilariously at times, depicts the way a common experience can bond people together.
Miller says of the era - "There were two occasions when Americans lived through a common experience, not in the first world war or even the second, or in Korea, or even Vietnam, but in the Civil War and the Great Depression, that is when everybody was in the same boat...and perhaps we understood each other a little bit better then."
During a time of 25% unemployment, Arthur Miller's play conjures the dreams of a young man yearning for a college education and a life beyond the hopelessness of the 1930's Great Depression. Originally produced on Broadway in 1955, this piece draws from the playwright's own experiences, and focuses on several working class characters diligently earning a living in a Brooklyn automobile parts warehouse. The Broadway revival production was recognized with 9 Drama Desk Award nominations, a Tony, and Theatre World Award.
Arthur Miller (Playwright) is one of the most prominent figures is American Theater. His play Death of a Salesman was the first play to win a Tony Award, NY Drama Critics' Circle Award, and Pulitzer Prize. Miller was born in the Harlem area of New York in 1915, as the second of three children, to Polish-Jewish Immigrants Isidore and Augusta Miller. He worked menial jobs as a young man after his family lost nearly everything during the Great Depression and gained entrance as a student at the University of Michigan, where he first majored in journalism and worked as a night reporter for the student paper. During this time he wrote his first play No Villain, for which he won the Avery Hopwood Award. This inspired Miller to enroll in a playwriting seminar, which provided the encouragement he needed to consider a career as a playwright.
In addition to Miller's recognition as an accomplished writer, he gained celebrity when he married Marilyn Monroe, and again when he was called upon to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Throughout his lifetime his talent was celebrated often with achievements such as being a Kennedy Center Honoree and garnering both Tony and Emmy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, National Medal of Arts, The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, The Jerusalem Prize, Principe de Asturias Prize for Literature (the undisputed master of modern drama), and several more. His widely recognized works include nearly one hundred plays, screenplays, radio plays, and essays.
AMELIA MULKEY (Director) is a director in theater and film. She cut her teeth in filmmaking by working as a producing director's assistant for several television shows including Saving Grace, Army Wives, and Lie to Me. Since then, Amelia has produced and directed several short films including Unicorn Girl, which can be seen at the Other Venice Film Festival in October 2011. She graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Art History and Theatre from Loyola Marymount University. Amelia has since worked on several stage productions at San Francisco's New Conservatory Theatre, and has been tapped numerous times to direct Café Plays, the popular Ruskin Theatre event which sells out monthly. Other stage credits include When the Speak of Rita, Bash, The Laramie Project, 'Denty Crisis, and Lend Me a Tenor. Amelia is collaborating with the San Francisco Playwrights Foundation for the development of new works.
A MEMORY OF TWO MONDAYS opens Friday, June 10th and runs through July 25, 2011. (Gala preview on Saturday, June 4th). Performances are on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm (No show on Sunday, July 3rd). Ruskin Group Theatre is located at3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Tickets are $25 ($20 for students, seniors, and guild members) and can be purchased in advance by calling (310) 397-3244. For more information please visit www.ruskingrouptheatre.com. Free and convenient parking is available at the theater.
RUSKIN GROUP THEATRE has been making an impact on the Los Angeles theatre scene with an eclectic mix of thought provoking plays, garnering numerous 'recommendations' from local critics. Their 'Fostering Imagination' program sponsors foster kids in theatre & film classes that produce several original shows each year. The CAFÉ PLAYS, created by RGT are produced monthly and are the culmination of writers, actors, and directors who meet at 9am, where they are given a theme. They then write, produce, and perform a show by 7pm the same day. Recently celebrating their 7th anniversary, RGT supporters Ed Asner, Dylan McDermott, Chris Mulkey, Olivia d'Abo, and other industry celebrities joined to produce the Best of Café Plays (both shows sold out within hours). Anthony Hopkins and Anthony Franciosa were some of the first teachers at Ruskin School of Theatre.
JOHN RUSKIN (Artistic Director) helmed the critically acclaimed production of Strange Snow at RGT. His years of experience include studies at the Yale School of Drama, British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England, and the University of Colorado in Boulder. In New York, Ruskin joined the acting faculty of The Neighborhood Playhouse at the request of Sanford Meisner (who he then apprenticed with) before moving to Los Angeles where he founded his own school of acting and a professional theatre company. The company provides outreach programs to people in need with their "Healing Through the Arts" project.
Michael Myers (Producer/Managing Director) has produced more than 65 projects since 2002. He recently directed the world premiere of Digging Up Dad and the critically acclaimed production of Faithfulat RGT. Mike is a co-creator of the Ruskin Group Theatre's well attended CAFÉ PLAYS, the monthly offering of one-acts that are done in 10 ½ hours from conception to staging. He serves as vice-chair of the Santa Monica Arts Commission.
MIKE REILLY (Producer/Production Manager) serves as Production Manager for the Ruskin Group Theatre. Recently, he co-produced the Ruskin hit shows Faithful, and the world premiere of Jesse Boy. Mike has over 20 years of experience teaching and directing acting and theatre classes for high school and college students in the Los Angeles area New York, and at the Duke University Summer Program.
Christopher RichARD (Composer) created music for film, stage, and records. His current band, The Deadly Syndrome is signed to the record label Dim Mak Records. Their debut album, The Ortolan, was released worldwide in 2007 and produced by Nico Aglietti and Airin Older of the band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. The Ortolan received favorable reviews from the Los Angeles Times, AllMusic, The Tripwire, Pitchfork Media, and French rock magazine Les InRockuptibles. Prior to the album's release, the band toured in California with Oh No! Oh My! and Let's Go Sailing. They also toured with Hot Hot Heat, whose front man Steve Bays cited their sound as one of his new favorites in an interview with Rolling Stone. In 2009 The Deadly Syndrome opened for Silversun Pickups at The Glass House in Pomona, California, as well as Lykke LiThe Wiltern in Los Angeles, California. In November 2009 the band played several shows across the Southwest with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
The band's second LP, titled Nolens Volens. was released to favorable reviews in 2010. The album was engineered and produced by band member Michael Hughes and mixing duties were shared by Kennie Takahashi. Their song "I Hope I Become a Ghost" can be heard on the World's Greatest Dad soundtrack (which stars Robin Williams).
GREGORY G. GILES (Raymond) has recently been recognized in Los Angeles for roles in noted productions such as Opus at the Fountain Theatre (Ovation, Garland, LADCC, LA Weekly-awards), and the critically acclaimed Tales from Hollywood at the Odyssey. Gregory has extensive stage credits at regional theaters, including the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. With over 100 stage credits, his favorite roles include leads in Oedipus, Hamlet, Custer, The Rainmaker, The Diviners, Henry IV, Pt. 1, the Lisbon Traviata, Sight Unseen, and Mizlansky/Zilinsky. Recognized in countless commercials and corporate videos, Greg has also co-starred on TV's ER, Cold Case, Gilmore Girls, and Boomtown.
Julia McIlvaine (Patricia) was seen in Henry VIII at The Public Theater's NYSF, Pride's Crossing at Lincoln Center, and Marsha Norman's Trudy Blue at the Manhattan Theatre Company. On screen, she has appeared in the pilot seasons of Normal, Ohio (Fox), Danny (CBS), Judging Amy (CBS) and three TV Movies for Hallmark. Julia has voiced "June" for 4 seasons of the Nickelodeon hit Kablam! Most recently she played "Sue" in Arthur Miller's All My Sons at Ruskin, and Duenna in Ruskin's critically acclaimed production of Cyrano. She can be heard on the WB's new animated series MAD!
Richard Leighton (Gus) has numerous New York and regional stage credits which include creating original roles in works by such playwrights as Ray Bradbury, Dennis McIntyre, James McLure, Terrence McNally, Don Nigro, John O'Hara, and Ronald Ribman. In Los Angeles, he has appeared in two world premieres and the Peter Schaffer reworking of Amadeus with the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Recent film appearances include the title role in Brown (dir. Chris Groban), The President in Red Ace Cola Project (dir. Susan Metzger), Charles in Two Nights (dir. Oriol Bernat), Bruce in Boychik (dir. Benji White), Frank in the newly-released AFI feature On The Outside (dir. Brad Tucker) and the lead role in Thorns (dir. Neil Thompson) for FOX. He has a starring role in the new "webisode" series Ana and The Funeral, due 2011. Richard started his stage career at age three-as the baby in the opera Madame Butterfly-and has gone non-stop since then (with the exception of a 4-year hiatus as a Vietnam-era Air Force paramedic).
LYNN WANLASS (Agnes) is best known for her television roles on shows including Big Love (Sue Sue) and Drew Carey (Mimi's sister, Gigi). She has guest starred on Six Feet Under (The Skillet Killer), ER, NYPD Blue, as well her starring role in the a MOW Murder She Wrote: (The Celtic Riddle). Her best known films include Rumor Has It, Primary Colors, and Gia. Sue trained and appeared on stage at The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. Previously she was a theatre major at UCLA.
LANE COMPTON (Bert) has been cast in three feature films since recently moving to Los Angeles. On television, he has co-starred on Cold Case, and last year appeared on stage for an eight month run in Hello Out There by William Saroyan. Lane is an actor/writer/musician and creates songs for his band "The Compton Kids."
JOHN WICKERSHAM (Larry) recently appeared on NCIS as ICE agent Thomas Sherman. Selected credits include The Hitman, Guilty or Innocent, Playas Ball, True Rights, and From Earth to the Moon (Mini-Series).
JEISON AZALI (Frank) appeared in Ruskin's world premiere production of Come Sundown, and in Lobby Hero. Regionally, he participated in the Collision FestivAl West and was seen in English Only, and Mexico City:1968 at The Nakano Theatre. Although at home on the stage, he is passionate about film and can be seen in Caution to The Wind and Fire Line.
HAMILTON MATTHEWS (Mechanic and Understudy for Bert) is an accomplished singer and studied vocal performance at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. He recently finished work in a production of Dark Side of the Moon with the Next Stage Theatre.
CONOR WALSHE (Tom Kelly) has attracted the attention of independent film lovers and industry professionals with his performance in the award-winning short film Blood and Water, which screened at the 2010 Hollywood Film Festival. His portrayal of the tragic and misled Patrick Ryan won him a nomination for Best Performance at the 2010 Action On Film International Film Festival. On stage, he was seen in the role of Grant in Corporate at the Metro Arts Sue Benner Theatre in Brisbane, Australia; Ricky Roma in GlenGarry Glenn Ross; and Blight in Asylum - all performed at the The Actor's Workshop Theatre in Brisbane.
NICK CIMILUCA (Ken) just wrapped his first feature film as Sam in Monday. Stage credits include Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird, Cliff in Cabaret, Sunny in Sea Change, and Danny in Letters from Mosul. Award nominations include Best Actor (Marin Fringe) for his performance in Letters from Mosul and Best Ensemble (LA Weekly) for Sea Change.
LOLA KELLY (Patricia-Alternate) has a BA in Theatre from LMU and an MA in Performance from RADA/King's College London. She is a member of the "Everybody Nose Clown Troupe" and a proud Ruskin Group Theatre member.