Mercedes Ruehl to star in McCarter Theatre's THE HOW AND THE WHY, Closes 2/13


McCarter Theatre (Emily Mann, Artistic Director; Timothy J. Shields, Managing Director) is pleased to announce that Academy Award, Tony and Obie Award winner Mercedes Ruehl will star in the two-character world premiere of Sarah Treem's The How and The Why. Directed by Emily Mann, the cast will also feature New Jersey native Bess Rous. The production runs through February 13.

Mercedes Ruehl is the recipient of the McCarter Theatre Sallie B. Goodman Prize, a one-of-a-kind prize in the American theater to reward distinguished artists choosing to create in the not-for-profit theater. The Prize, established in Sallie's memory by her husband Jerry Goodman, is designed to attract and involve the world's finest directors, performers, choreographers, and writers in the work of McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ.

Evolution and emotion collide in Sarah Treem's thought-provoking and sharp new play about science, family, and survival of the fittest. On the eve of a prestigious conference, an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with an established leader in the field. This intimate and keenly perceptive play explores the difficult choices women of every generation face.

Mercedes Ruehl is an Academy Award-winning stage and film actress. She received a Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Helen Hayes awards for her role in Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers. Her other Broadway credits include The American Plan; The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Outer Critics Circle Award, Tony nomination); The Rose Tattoo; Shadowbox (Tony nomination); and I'm Not Rappaport. Off-Broadway includes The Occupant; Woman Before a Glass (Obie Award);Other People's Money (Clarence Derwent Award); The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award); Coming of Age in Soho; The Vagina Monologues; and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Guthrie Theatre. Previously at McCarter, she played Masha in the 1983 production of The Three Sisters. On film, Ms. Ruehl first came to prominence in Jonathan Demme's Married to the Mob. She earned an Academy Award, Golden Globe, L.A. and Chicago Film Critics Society awards for her role in The Fisher King opposite Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams. Her other film credits include The Warriors, Big, Last Action Hero, What's Cooking, For Rosanna, The Minus Man. Numerous television credits: HBO's Indictment: The McMartin Trial and Gia, Hallmark's The Lost Child, Court T.V.'s Guilt by Association, Showtime's North Shore Fish, CBS's Loving Leah, Lifetime's television film A Girl Like Me. Most recently, Ms. Ruehl completed an acclaimed run in The Old Vic Theatre's revival of Neil Simon's The Prisoner of Second Avenue, opposite Jeff Goldblum, on London's West End.

Bess Rous has appeared Off-Broadway in From Riverdale to Riverhead at Studio Dante, and Open House at The New York International Fringe Festival and The Lion Theatre at Theatre Row. Her film and television credits include What Just Happened, The Hungry Ghosts Law & Order: SVU, Mad Men (Recurring), Gossip Girl (Recurring), Law & Order (Seasons 15 and 20), Army Wives, New Amsterdam, Third Watch, Damage Control and Loving Leah (CBS/Hallmark). At the age of 15, the Short Hills, NJ native moved away from her parents to train as an ice dancer at the prestigious Ice Skating Science Development in Newark, Delaware and was a competitive ice dancer for 14 years. She later pursued her acting career and is a graduate of The Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and The London Academy of Theatre.

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