Asolo Rep Presents MANAGING MAXINE

Asolo Rep announces additional casting for award-winning Managing Maxine, Janece Shaffer's new play that takes a straight forward look at sex, love and life after 70. The cast features Howard Elfman as Louis, the role he originated last season in the world premiere of Managing Maxine at the ALLIANCE THEATRE in Atlanta.

Maxine is played by popular resident actress Sharon Spelman whoreturns to the Asolo Rep stage after a two year hiatus. Completing the ensemble of seven are Granville VanDusen, Mackenzie Kyle, Jud Williford, Bethany Weise, and Geraldine Librandi.The creative team for Managing Maxine includes Director Mark Rucker, Scenic Designer Timothy Macabee, Costume Designer Luke Aaron Brown, Lighting & Projection Designer Jesse Belsky, Sound Designer Kevin Kennedy, Wig & Hair Designer Michelle Hart, Stage Manager MarIan Wallace and Stage Management Intern Jessica Stopak. Having been widowed, the bold seventy-one year old Maxine Levine has decided to ask a handsome judge, Arthur, on a date.

This play explores the bitter and sweet sides of dating as a senior citizen: timeworn bodieswith energetic hearts, the mourning of lost spouses, and balancing between family needs and new found loves. With time nipping at Maxine's heels, she discovers how important it is to embrace life and love regardless ofage. This humorous and thought provoking play was inspired by the true story of a couple who lives part time inSarasota.

"Shaffer offers a cheerful portrayal of seniors and their sex lives - skyrockets literally take flight - and reveal that people are never too old for emotional growth and change.... Managing Maxine mines humor and pathos so successfully that it promises to be a surefire hit." - Creative Loafing, Atlanta Awards: 2009 Gene Gabriel Moore Playwright Award; 2008 Edgerton Foundation New American PlayAwards.

Managing Maxine performs in the Mertz Theatre from Friday, March 12, through April 18, 2010 in rotating repertory with days and times alternating. Previews are on Wednesday, March 10, and Thursday, March 11, at 8 p.m. Opening night is Friday, March 12, at 8 p.m., followed by Asolo Rep's mingle-with-the-stars champagne afterparty in the lobby (included in price of ticket to the show). Please consult the website at or call the box office at 941-351-8000 for more information.Single ticket prices range from $13 to $60.

For single tickets, please contact the box office at 941-351-8000 or toll-free at 800-361-8388, or go to the website at Subscriptions include a Flex-package or Season Subscription, $119 Play Pass or $35 Student/Youth Pass; forsubscriptions please call 941-351-9010 ext. 4812. Groups of 10+ save 20% off single ticket prices. 941-351-9010 ext. 6013 or email

Season sponsors include: CORPORATE MEDIA SEASON PRESENTER: COMCAST; CRYSTAL SOCIETY: Esther M. Mertz; Ulla R. Searing; Bob and Lee Peterson; MAJOR SEASON PRESENTERS: Florida State University & Florida State University Foundation; Virginia B. Toulmin; SEASON PRESENTERS: Designing Women Boutique; PRESENTERS: Asolo Repertory Theatre Guild, Co-Presidents, Richard Cheski and Barbara Maier; Warren and Margot Coville; Christine and John Currie; Joan Mendell; Jeanne and Bob Zabelle.

Show sponsors include: CO-PRESENTERS: Morton's Gourmet Market and Catering, and Scene Magazine.

CO-PRODUCERS: Howard and Diana Armbrust, Jim and Susan Buck, Kathy Cole in loving memory of TrentCole, Nate and Annie Esformes, Anne Garlington Comerica Wealth Management, Roz Goldberg and AlanBandler, Donald and Karen Grierson, Nona Macdonald Heaslip, George and Ronni Minnig, Jack and NanSchwemm, Mrs. Edie Winston in loving memory of Herb Winston.

Dramaturg's Notes (by Asolo Rep Literary Manager Lauryn E. Sasso) Love is easily one of the most complex elements of the human experience. It is also one of the most fascinating and vital. We each perceive love differently, and no two people define it in exactly the same way. We may fall in love many times in our lives, and if we are truly lucky, the ones we love will love us back. If we have extraordinarily good fortune, we may even find love more than once. But it's a tricky enough emotion to navigate at twenty-five - what happens when we stumble headlong into love's turbulent waters when we are in our seventies? Love after a "certain age" is something that we, as a culture, almost universally write off.

Certainly, most of the characters in today's popular television shows or films aren't given meaningful dialogue if they're over fifty, let alone meaningful romance. It isn't talked about, it isn't written about, it isn't celebrated. But it should be. And this play understands that. What I am struck by in Managing Maxine is playwright Janece Shaffer's willingness to address - with great frankness and fondness - an issue that is somewhat of an unspoken social taboo. She writes with great honesty and humor and depicts characters struggling with events that are both universally recognizable and exceedingly human. From coping with being recently widowed, to going on the first "first date" in decades, to dealing with the complicated reactions adult children have to their parents' love lives, Shaffer brings her flawed characters to life in an inimitably real way. They remind us that their issues are our issues, and that they are so much more true to life than the latest glossy starlet churned out by Hollywood. Maxine is a spirited, intelligent, fully-rounded character who flat out refuses to be handled, or "managed," and I believe that there is a little of her in all of us. We just have to let her out. Cast Bios (Alphabetical order)Howard Elfman* (Louis) Guest artist, first season. Mr. Elfman makes his Asolo Rep debut playing the role he originated last year in the world premiere of Managing Maxine at the ALLIANCE THEATRE in Atlanta. He also appeared in the original production of Bluish at The Alliance (also written by Janece Shaffer). Last year he played Henry Morgenthau in the Gablestage production of The Accomplices and was in Brooklyn Boy at the Olney Theatre Center, The Chosen at the Hippodrome State Theatre and Deathtrap at Maltz Jupiter Theatre.

A transplanted Chicagoan now based in Ft. Lauderdale, he has appeared in many top-rated theatres across the country. Favorite roles include Old Man in Fool For Love, Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler, Boolie in Driving Miss Daisy, Mr. Cobb in Cobb, Herman Lewis in Mixed Emotions, Flo Ziegfeld in Funny Girl and Henry Ford in Camping With Henry and Tom. Film and TV credits include HBO's Recount, Raw Deal, Rent A Cop, The Untouchables and Safe Harbor. Howard is a proud member of AEA, SAG and AFTRA, as well as Georgia's happy husband.

Mackenzie Kyle* - (Emme) Guest Artist, first season. Mackenzie Kyle is thrilled to make her Asolo Theatre debut. She has Chicago theatre credits that include: Hedda Gabler in Hedda Gabler (Raven Theatre) Amadeus (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Raven Theatre), Blithe Spirit (The Gift Theatre), The General from America (TimeLine Theatre), The Frogs (Pegasus Players), Madge in Picnic (The Illinois Theatre Center) The Little Dog Laughed (About Face Theatre), Girl, 20 (Serendipity Theatre), Othello (Shakespeare on the Green), The BFG (Chicago Theatre for Young Audiences), and Still Life with Iris (Vittum Theatre). She holds a B.F.A. in acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Geraldine Librandi* (Joanne) Guest artist, second season. Librandi is thrilled to be back on the Asolo Rep mainstage. Regional Theatre: Long Wharf Theatre, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Playhouse, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Triad Stage, Delaware Theatre Company, Asolo Theatre Festival, Dallas Theatre Center, Trinity Rep among others. Off-Broadway: The Crow Mill (The Cherry Pit), Caesar and Cleopatra (Harold Clurman), Sister Mary Ignasius (The Duplex) and Approaching Simone LaMaMa, E.T.C.). Television: The Sopranos (Patty Leotardo), Law and Order: C", All My Children and Against the Law. Film: Astoria and Mr. North. Awards: Obie Nomination (Approaching Simone), Best Actress Sarasota Press (The Clean House and Filumena), Best Actress nomination Sarasota Herald Tribune (Vincent in Brixton) and Oregon Critics Award: Best Actress (A View From The Bridge).

Sharon Spelman* - (Maxine) Associate Artist, fourteenth season. Sharon returns to Asolo Rep after a two yearhiatus. She was last seen in the 2006-2007 season as Lila in Expecting Isabel and as Mrs. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. Since 1996, Sharon has appeared in nearly forty productions with Asolo Rep in roles as diverse asJudith Bliss in Hay Fever and Mrs. Malaprop in The Rivals. In her long career Ms. Spelman has played majorroles in regional theatres across the country including Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie with theBanyan Theatre. She counts over sixty television guest-star appearances and dozens of national commercials, inaddition to her credits as a regular cast member on Search for Tomorrow, as well as on the sitcoms Angie and The Cop & The Kid. She and her husband, Stephen Johnson, have made Sarasota their home since 1998.

Granville Van Dusen* (Arthur) Guest artist, first season. Van Dusen is a forty year veteran of stage, screen, and television. He began his career during "the Glory Days" at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis where he spent five seasons, and was blessed to have worked with Sir Tyrone Guthrie himself. Recently, Granville has made thechoice to move away from television and film and re-commit to his first love: the theater. He was last seen at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura in A Delicate Balance with Susan Clark and Bonnie Franklin. In L.A. he appeared in Darwin in Malibu at the Falcon Theatre for which he earned an ovation award nomination. In 2005 he starredwith Len Cariou in the Manitoba Theatre Company's production of The Dresser. He appeared in Golf with Alan Shepard with Jack Klugman and Charles Durning and in Lewis Black's One Slight Hitch with Michael Learned at the Falcon Theatre in L.A. He played Scar in The Lion King in Los Angeles' historic Pantages Theatre, and performed at the Matrix Theatre in Waiting for Godot, The Homecoming, Dangerous Corner, Habeas Corpusand in Honour with Susan Sullivan. He appeared in San Diego at The Old Globe Theatre in Private Lives. Hiscritically acclaimed one man show The Memoirs of Abraham Lincoln continues to tour nation-wide and he haswon Dramalogue Awards for Otherwise Engaged and for Undiscovered Country at the Mark Taper Forum. He has starred in over 200 TV shows, and has narrated close to a thousand TV and radio commercials, as well as voicing the role of Race Bannon in the cartoon classic Jonny Quest.

Bethany Weise (Ivy) - First season, third-year conservatory student. Conservatory credits include: Mrs. Boker inInfancy, Francesca in The Rivers Under the Earth, and Big Jane in Three Postcards. Conservatory Late Nightcredits include Beline in The Imaginary Invalid, Woman in Trash Anthem, and Prospero, The Tempest. Favorite credits include Circe in The Odyssey, Bridget in Translations, Holly in Anton in Show Business, and Jeannie in Fat Pig at the Banyan Theatre Company. Bethany is a graduate of Bradley University and native of Illinois. She would like to thank her family for their never ending support and love, as well as her wonderful donors BeverlyKoski and the late Robert Koski.

Jud Williford* (Larry) Guest artist, first season. As a core company member at the American ConservatoryTheater (San Francisco) Jud appeared in several shows. Highlights include: The Imaginary Invalid, Curse of theStarving Class, Happy End, The Government Inspector and War Music. Other regional credits include shows at The California Shakespeare Theater, San Jose Rep, Peoples Light Theater, Chautauqua Theater, Aurora Theaterand Z Space. Creative Team BiosMichael Donald Edwards (Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director; Director, The Life of Galileo and The Last Five Years) is in his fourth season as producing artistic director of Asolo Repertory Theatre. He was previously the associate artistic director for Syracuse Stage and served as artistic director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz for six years. A Garland Award and Drama Logue Award winning director, Mr. Edwards has directed at Indiana Repertory Theatre; Geva Theatre; Syracuse Stage; The Shakespeare Theatre; San Jose Rep; Opera San Jose; the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; The Old Globe in San Diego; Virginia Stage Company; the Virginia Opera; the State Theatre of South Australia; Opera Australia; Victoria State Opera; and the Metropolitan Opera. In previous seasons, Mr. Edwards has directed The Smell of the Kill, Amadeus, Nobody Don't Like Yogi, Darwin in Malibu, A Tale of Two Cities, Equus, The Winter's Tale, and Perfect Mendacity for Asolo Rep. This year he is directing The Life of Galileo, The Last Five Years, and pieces in the Asolo Rep: Unplugged festival of new plays.

Mark Rucker Director (Managing Maxine), third season, directed Murderers last season. Previous Asolo Rep credits include: The Constant Wife and Catherine Sheehy's Pride and Prejudice. Recent credits include Rough Crossing (Yale Rep), Twelfth Night (California Shakespeare Theatre) and Midsummer Night's Dream (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). An associate artist at South Coast Repertory Theater (California), he has directed over 20 productions there including world premieres by Richard Greenberg, Christopher Shinn, Annie Weisman and Culture Clash; and for Arena Stage, the world premiere of Anna Deveare Smith's House Arrest. Other theaters include: La Jolla Playhouse, Yale Rep, ACT in San Francisco, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Old Globe, Intiman Playhouse, Ford's Theater, Utah Shakespearean Festival, George Street Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and The Acting Company. His fi lm Die Mommie Die! also won a Sundance Film Festival jury prize.

Timothy R. Mackabee Scenic Designer (Managing Maxine) Regional: Rough Crossing (Yale Rep), The Story (Philadelphia Theater Co.), Rent, No Child... (Weston Playhouse), Curse of the Starving Class (University of Rochester.) Dance: Doug Varone's Alchemy (Joyce); Raw; Beyond The Red (National Tour) and Seed all for Cedar Lake Dance. New York credits include: Mel & El: Show & Tell (Ars Nova), Trout Stanley (Culture Project), Gorilla Man (P.S. 122); Those Who Can, Do (Clubbed Thumb) Associate/Assistant designer on Broadway for Fela!; Cymbeline; Heartbreak House; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; The Color Purple; Ring of Fire; ‘night,Mother; Frozen; Losing Louie; Wonderful Town and Little Women. Television: The Today Show and Football Night in America. Film: Margot at the Wedding. BFA: North Carolina School of the Arts MFA: Yale School of Drama,

Luke Brown Costume Designer, (Managing Maxine) This is Luke's first season with Asolo Rep. Regional credits include Rough Crossing (Yale Repertory Theater), Tom Jones (Theater at Monmouth), I Have Loved Strangers (Williamstown). Design/assistant credits in TV and fi lm include The Pretender's Dance (Vesto Productions), We Shall Remain: After the Mayfl ower (PBS/WGBH Boston), The Women (Picturehouse), Normal Adolescent Behavior (Junction Films). Education: Yale School of Drama.

Jesse Belsky (LIGHTING DESIGNER) Recent designs include Out of The Blue with Archipelago Theater, Women of Troy at La Mamma Annex, Lydia and Rough Crossing at the Yale Repertory Theater, A Little Night Music at White Plains Performing Arts Center, and Beyond The Mirror with Bond St. Theater at the San Francisco International Arts Festival. Recent work in the dance world includes pieces by David Dorfman and Monica Bill Barnes at Connecticut College. Other NYC projects include Plane Crazy (New York Musical Theatre Festival); Dear Maudie (78th St. Theater Lab); and Clocks & Whistles (Origin Theater Company). His work with THE BEST has been seen at numerous venues around New York City and in Brisbane, Australia. MFA Yale School of Drama

Kevin Kennedy Sound Designer (Managing Maxine) is pleased to return to Asolo Rep for this season's production of Managing Maxine. Kevin has designed, engineered, recorded and composed for numerous artists and shows including Darwin in Malibu and Lady at Asolo Rep; Phantom of the Opera, Ghetto, On the Razzle, Webb's City, The Hellbound Heart, Batboy, Hector and Greshika, many cabaret shows at The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center's Jaeb Theatre, and numerous local and professional acts. Kevin has also toured as Sound Engineer with the 1st National Tours of Mamma Mia, The Wizard of Oz, Martin Guerre and Ralph Lemon's Geography Tour. Kevin is currently the house sound engineer at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater and the sound engineer for the Alan Parsons Live Project.

Michelle Hart Hair/Wig Design (all shows) a licensed cosmetologist and certifi ed professional make-up artist, is in her ninth season with Asolo Rep and designs for both Asolo Rep and FSU/ Asolo Conservatory shows. Other credits: Sarasota Ballet: Last Call, Rake's Progress; Florida Studio Theatre: Ruthless the Musical and Lady With All the Answers; West Coast Black Theatre Troupe: One Mo' Time; four seasons with Banyan Theater, and Open Stage Theatre: Ideal Husband, Dorian Gray and Rumors (where she won the Opius Award for Best Hair). She has also done hair and make-up for Joan Rivers, Doris Roberts, Martin Short, Jane Russell, Arlene Dahl and for the music video "Second Chance" by Shinedown. She wants to express her gratitude and great respect to all involved in every aspect of theatre.

MarIan Wallace* Stage Manager (Contact, Hearts, Managing Maxine) is retiring as productions stage manager, a job she has held for 41 years, at the end of the 09-10 season. It's been a great run and it's time to let someone else share in the fun. Marian and her husband, Brad Wallace (Associate Artist), celebrated their 44th anniversary in September 2009. Along the way they've purchased the same home twice, driven one Dodge van for thirty years and raised three wonderful daughters.

Asolo Repertory Theatre is Florida's premier professional theatre and one of the most important cultural forces in the Southeastern United States. Asolo Rep crafts the highest quality productions of classical, contemporary andnewly commissioned work all performed in the rarest form of rotating repertory. Featuring an accomplishedresident company - complemented by distinguished guest artists - Asolo Rep offers audiences a unique anddynamic theatre experience. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards andManaging Director Linda DiGabriele, this world-class institution has taken bold steps toward the future, building landmark partnerships and collaborations which will add to its success for generations to come.Learn more about Asolo Rep, the season and this production at

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