Stew, Parisse, Ikeda and Others To Join SPF Festival

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 The Summer Play Festival announces casting for the eagerly anticipated Summer Play Festival (SPF) now celebrating its fifth season in New York. Casts include Annie Golden, former lead singer for "The Shirts" who has appeared in the movie HAIR; Marin Hinkle from CBS' TWO AND A HALF MEN; Annie Parisse from NBC's LAW & ORDER; Jenny Ikeda from MTC's acclaimed production of TOP GIRLS; and Dan Lauria from the long running series THE WONDER YEARS. Singer, songwriter and Tony Award winning Stew from the musical PASSING STRANGE will also be writing new music for one of the plays.

The 2008 Festival will feature seven new plays and one new musical:

The Black Suits music and lyrics by Joe Iconis, book by Joe Iconis and Robert Maddock directed by John Simpkins; With the prospect of a dead-end life looming, this rock musical follows a group of Long Island teens in their struggle to make something of their band and of themselves.  As they perform to escape, the music can't drown out what is imminent, and they face decisions that will shape the rest of their lives.  The cast includes: Nick Blaemire (Cry Baby, Glory Days), Sarah Glendening (Good Vibrations), Annie Golden (The Full Monty, Hair, "The Shirts"), Krysta Rodriguez (In The Heights, A Chorus Line), Lance Rubin (The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks), Jason Tam (A Chorus Line, "One Life to Live"), and Jason Williams (The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks).
 
Esther Demsack by Billy Finnegan directed by Stafford Arima; Esther Demsack finds herself accidentally employed as young Everette Brewster's governess. In this over-the-top comedy Everette tries desperately to turn her into his own Auntie Mame. While moving through their world of showtunes and movie stars, Esther digs deeper to find the dark secret haunting Everette and the entire Brewster family.  The cast includes: Elzbieta Czyzewska (Hedda Gabler), Noah Galvin (Les Miserables national tour), Marin Hinkle (Two and a Half Men), Claudia Shear (Dirty Blonde, The Smell of the Kill).
 
Future Me by Stephen Brown directed by Joanna Settle; One irreparable mistake propels Peter from successful lawyer to prison inmate as his world gets turned upside down. In this powerful drama, Peter wrestles with his personal desires and societal taboos, as he copes with his choices and tries to re-build relationships.  New music by Stew (Passing Strange).  The cast includes: Aaron Lohr (Newsies, Rent), Michael Braun (The Breach, Seattle Rep), Chris McCann (Paradise Park), Chris McKinney (Medea), Nancy McNulty (Armed and Naked in America), and Linda Powell (The Overwhelming).

Green Girl by Sarah Hammond directed by Wendy McClellan; A magic gift entwines the fates of two sets of sisters living over a hundred years apart. Each girl must endure the trials of growing up, but only one can master the gift inherited from her ancestors.  A provocative, mystical drama where sisterhood is tested and time stands still.  The cast includes: Campion Hall (Iowa New Play Festival), Erik Jensen (Spain), Julie Jesneck (Mr. Marmelade), Keira Keeley (The Thugs), Will Rogers (From Up Here, 100 Saints You Should Know), and Jessica Wortham (The Ruby Sunrise).
 
Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom by Jennifer Haley directed by Kerry Whighan; Welcome to everyday suburbia where teens become completely obsessed with an unusual video game.  As they advance to each new level, the lines between reality and virtual reality blur.  In this sci-fi thriller, only those with a true 'killer' instinct survive.  The cast includes: David AaRon Baker (Dead Man's Cell Phone, A Raisin in the Sun), Reyna DeCorucy (Asbury Park), Brian Gerard Murray (Stretch), and Sally Wheeler ("Two of a Kind").

Tell Out My Soul by Jacquelyn Honess-Martin directed by Evan Cabnet; The ultimate test of their relationship transpires when Thomas and his daughter Ruth have a young student with an unusual story enter their lives. Challenged by their own views on religion in a world of suffering, Ruth and her father seek understanding in this timely examination of identity and truth.  The cast includes: Cynthia Darlow (Old Acquaintance), Sherman Howard (Inherit the Wind), Jenny Ikeda (Top Girls), Laura Leigh (The Greeks, Juilliard), and Annie Parisse (Law & Order, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days).

The Ones That Flutter by Sylvia Reed directed by Stephen Brackett; Roddy learned early in life that he was capable of completing tasks that others could not.  Now retired, and with the fate of his family's home resting in his hands, this evocative drama follows Roddy as he grapples with the ghosts of his past, and seeks peace in a world where the morality of his job defines him.  The cast includes: Chris Chalk (The Overwhelming), Struan Erlenborn (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Julia Gibson (Uncle Vanya), Dan Lauria ("The Wonder Years"), and Danielle Skraastad (The Receptionist).

Tio Pepe by Matthew Lopez directed by Caitlin Moon; Dreaming of a life as Broadway gypsies, the Candelarias refuse to vacate their Manhattan apartment scheduled for demolition. Music, dance, and the golden years of the Broadway musical all take center stage in this touching and funny play about the strength of family in the face of impending disaster.  The cast includes: Vaniek Echeverria (The Ruby Sunrise), Nathaniel Mendez (Life & Death of Jimmy Katz), April Ortiz (Father of the Bride), Benita Robledo (Linnea).

Tickets are $10 and available through www.spfnyc.com, 212-967-7555 or The Public Theatre Box Office (425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan, on Sunday and Monday from 1PM-6PM and Tuesday through Saturday from 1PM-7:30PM).

Under founder Arielle Tepper Madover (a producer of such shows as Broadway's Frost Nixon, Monty Python's SPAMALOT, The Pillowman, A Raisin in the Sun, and Freak), the non-profit organization The Living Room for Artists, Inc./Summer Play Festival provides emerging writers, directors, designers and producers an opportunity to work on their material and their craft in a protected environment, guided by established professionals at no cost to them.

Photos by Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.

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