Patrick Murney, Eshan Bay & More to Star in Atlantic Theater Company's THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER

Atlantic Theater Company has announced complete casting for the American premiere production of award-winning British playwright Roy Williams' stage adaptation of Alan Sillitoe's beloved short story THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER, directed by Leah C. Gardiner.

THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER will feature Eshan Bay, Sheldon Best, Zainab Jah, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Patrick Murney, Joshua E. Nelson, Sydney Sainté, Raviv Ullman, Todd Weeks and Malik Yoba.

THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER will begin previews Wednesday, January 8; officially open Tuesday, January 21; and play a limited engagement through Sunday, February 9, 2014 Off Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company's Stage 2 (330 West 16th Street).

In this stage adaptation of Alan Sillitoe's classic short story, award-winning British playwright Roy Williams brings the young, defiant Colin Smith into the 21st century. Colin (Sheldon Best), with few prospects in life, finds himself in a prison school for criminal activity. He turns to long distance running as an escape, only to have the school exploit him for his talent, offering him a possible way out. Will he run his race for them, or for his independence?

Olivier Award nominated playwright Roy Williams' most recent play, Advice for the Young at Heart, was produced by Theatre Centre in London this past fall. His works include Category B, Angel House, Days of Significance, Joe Guy, There's Only One Wayne Matthews, Baby Girl, Absolute Beginners, Little Sweet Thing, Slow Time, Fallout, Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads, Local Boy, Souls, Lift Off, Starstruck, Josie's Boy, The No-Boys Cricket Club and the Olivier Award nominated play Sucker Punch, now being adapted into a feature film.

Leah C. Gardiner's New York theater credits include the Obie Award winning play Born Bad and the world premiere production of the Pulitzer Prize finalist play Bulrusher Off-Broadway. Her extensive regional credits include staging the American premiere of Roy Williams' Sucker Punch at Studio Theatre, the world premiere production of the Pulitzer Prize finalist play Blue Door at South Coast Repertory and the national tour of Wit.

Eshan Bay makes his Off-Broadway debut after first appearing onstage in Agnes Under the Big Top at the Long Wharf Theatre and recently on Netflix's House of Cards. Sheldon Best starred as Puck in Classical Theatre of Harlem's A Midsummer Night's Dream and on New York stages including 59E59 and Penguin Rep. Zainab Jah was awarded the San Francisco Bay Area Critics' Circle Outstanding Performance prize for her role in Ruined. Jasmine Cephas Jones makes her Atlantic Theater Company and Off-Broadway debut. Patrick Murney has appeared on stage in the Chicago production of White Noise and on television in HBO's "The Money." Joshua E. Nelson's stage credits include The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg at The Kennedy Center. Sydney Sainté makes her Off-Broadway debut after recently graduating from the Atlantic Acting School. Raviv Ullman has appeared Off Broadway in Russian Transport, in Dead End at The Ahmanson Theatre and in the national tour of The King and I. Atlantic ensemble member Todd Weeks has appeared in the company's productions of The Jammer, Bluebird, Keep Your Pantheon, Scarcity, The Voysey Inheritance, Romance, Sea of Tranquility, The Cider House Rules and Distant Fires. Malik Yoba is best known for his roles in the 1993 Disney film Cool Runnings and the hit television series "New York Undercover."

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