Photo Flash: Previews For Playwrights Horizons' OUR HOUSE Began 5/15
Previews are now underway at Playwrights Horizons (Tim Sanford, Artistic Director; Leslie Marcus, Managing Director) for the New York premiere of Our House, a new play by Pulitzer Prize finalist Theresa Rebeck (The Butterfly Collection and Bad Dates at Playwrights Horizons, Broadway's Mauritius, co-author of Omnium Gatherum). A scathing new comedy that shakes up Reality TV, Our House is the final production of the theater company's 2008/2009 Season.
Directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, plus The Credeaux Canvas and Baby Anger at Playwrights Horizons), the production began previews on Friday, May 15 with an Opening Night set for Tuesday, June 9 at 7PM. The limited engagement will run through Sunday, June 21 at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street).
The cast features Morena Baccarin (TV's "Firefly" and "Stargate SG-1"), Katie Kreisler (Psych at Playwrights Horizons, Gone Missing, "Medium"), Stephen Kunken (Rock ‘N Roll, Frost/Nixon and Proof on Broadway, Fabulation at Playwrights Horizons), Mandy Siegfried (Refuge at Playwrights Horizons, Blackbird, Stupid Kids), Jeremy Strong (Frank's Home at Playwrights Horizons, A Man for All Seasons on Broadway, Lortel nomination for New Jerusalem), Haynes Thigpen (Misalliance at Roundabout) and Obie Award winner Christopher Evan Welch (The Pain and the Itch at Playwrights Horizons, A Streetcar Named Desire at NYTW, The Marriage of Bette and Boo at Roundabout).
Are news and entertainment interchangeable? A cocksure TV bigshot (Christopher Evan Welch) faced with dwindling ratings installs America's favorite news anchor (Morena Baccarin) as host of a popular reality show. Meanwhile, in Middle America, a houseful of roommates bickers over high-stakes real-world conflicts: Merv (Jeremy Strong) doesn't clean the bathroom. Someone ate Alice's (Katie Kreisler) yogurt. And the rent is long past due. When reality collides with reality TV, we find ourselves front and center in a drama that holds the nation riveted. Our House is a deliciously scathing new comedy that takes on a media-obsessed culture intent on turning even the most sobering crisis into sexy entertainment.
The production will feature scenic design by Tony Award nominee Derek McLane, costume design by Tony Award winner Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner and sound design by Darron L West. Production Stage Manager is James FitzSimmons.
Playwrights Horizons' 2008/2009 Season is generously supported by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. Major support for Our House was provided by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.
Playwrights Horizons is supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. In addition, Playwrights Horizons receives major support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charina Endowment Fund, The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and Time Warner Inc.
The performance schedule for Our House will be Tuesdays through Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2:30 & 8PM and Sundays at 2:30 & 7:30 PM. There will be an additional Monday night performance on June 8 at 8PM. Tickets, $65, may be purchased online via TicketCentral.com, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily), or in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).
A ticketing initiative created last season as part of the theater company's Arts Access program, LIVEforFIVE makes available $5 tickets for the first preview performance of each Playwrights Horizons production through a lottery via the company's website. The LIVEforFIVE lottery for Our House will be for tickets to the first preview on Friday, May 15 at 8 PM. Details for the lottery are as follows: beginning Wednesday, May 6 at 10 AM, theatergoers can enter the lottery by filling out an entry form at www.playwrightshorizons.org. Entries will be accepted until Monday, May 11 at 12 Noon. Winners of the lottery will be notified via email no later than 3:00 PM on Monday, May 11 with instructions on how to book their $5 tickets. Unclaimed tickets will be offered via email starting at 12 Noon on Tuesday, May 12 on a first-come, first-served basis. One or two tickets may be purchased for $5 each. At least 50 tickets will be available for Mainstage shows via the lottery.
Reflecting Playwrights Horizons' ongoing commitment to making its productions more affordable to younger audiences, the theater company will offer HOTtix, $20 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before showtime to patrons aged 30 and under. Proof of age required. One ticket per person, per purchase. STUDENT RUSH, $15 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before curtain to full-time graduate and undergraduate students. One ticket per person, per purchase. Valid student ID required.
LIVEforFIVE, HOTtix and STUDENT RUSH are some of Playwrights Horizons' popular Arts Access initiatives, which allow the institution to reach out to those who may not be able to afford the cost of a full-price theater ticket. Playwrights Horizons is grateful to The Bank of American Charitable Foundation, lead sponsor of Arts Access at Playwrights Horizons. This program is also supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, McGraw-Hill Companies and the Elroy and Terry Krumholz Foundation.
A special open captioned performance of Our House for theatergoers who are deaf and hard of hearing will be held on Sunday, May 31 at 2:30 PM. Funding for this program is provided, in part, by the Theodore H. Barth Foundation and the Theatre Development Fund's TAP Plus program in cooperation with the New York State Council on the Arts.
How to order tickets for the open captioned performance:
Online: log on to www.playwrightshorizons.org
Phone: call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily) via Relay Service (800) 421-1220
TTY: call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 (noon-8pm daily) via Relay Service (800) 662-1220
By fax: a printable order form may be found online at www.playwrightshorizons.org/tickets.html
In addition, special Post-Performance Discussions with members of the cast and creative team will take place immediately after the following three performances: Wednesday evening, May 20 at 8PM, Wednesday evening, May 27 at 8PM and Sunday matinee, June 7 at 2:30 PM.
For subscription and ticket information to all Playwrights Horizons productions,
call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200, Noon to 8PM daily, or purchase online at the Playwrights Horizons website at www.playwrightshorizons.org.
Theresa Rebeck's (Playwright) plays previously seen at Playwrights Horizons are The Butterfly Collection in 2000 and Bad Dates in 2003. Past New York productions of her work include Mauritius at the Biltmore Theatre in a Manhattan Theatre Club Production (2007 IRNE Award for Best New Play and the Elliot Norton Award for the original run at The Huntington in Boston); The Scene, The Water's Edge, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann (National Theatre Conference Award) and Spike Heels at Second Stage; and View of the Dome at New York Theatre Workshop. Omnium Gatherum (co-written, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2003) was featured at the Humana Festival, and had a commercial run at the Variety Arts Theatre. In television, her many writing/producing credits include "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" and "NYPD Blue" (Mystery Writer's of America's Edgar Award, Writer's Guild of America Award, Hispanic Images Imagen Award, Peabody Award). Last year saw the release of her novel Three Girls and Their Brother (ALA's Alex Award), which will be released in paperback on April 21. Her new play The Understudy had its world premiere last August at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Our House was originally produced at the Denver Center Theatre.
Michael Mayer (Director) returns to Playwrights Horizons where he previously directed Baby Anger (1997), The Credeaux Canvas (2001) and productions as part of four Young Playwrights Festival (1990-1993). He won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Spring Awakening. Other Broadway: 'night, Mother; After the Fall; Thoroughly Modern Millie (Drama Desk Award and Tony nomination); An Almost Holy Picture; Uncle Vanya; You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Tony nomination); The Lion in Winter; Side Man (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards); A View From the Bridge (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and Tony nomination); Triumph of Love. Other Off-Broadway credits include Round About, Stupid Kids, Antigone in New York, View of the Dome, Missing Persons, Hundreds of Hats. National tour: Angels in America (Jefferson, Carbonell awards). West End: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Side Man. Film: A Home at the End of the World, Flicka.
Morena Baccarin (Jennifer) is known to Science Fiction fans as Adria from the television series "Stargate SG-1" (SciFi Channel), as well as the series' concluding film Stargate: Ark of Truth. Other TV series work includes Nurse Jessica on "Heartland" (TNT), Maya on "The O.C." (FOX) and Inarra on "Firefly" (FOX). Theater: Blood Wedding (Guthrie Theater), Dutchman (Here Theater). She trained at the Juilliard School, where her credits included Love's Labours Lost, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Seagull. Film: Serenity.
Katie Kreisler (Alice) previously appeared at Playwrights Horizons in Psych. Broadway: Noises Off (u/s Poppy). Other Off-Broadway: Gone Missing, I'm in Love with Your Wife. Film: Children of Invention, Full Grown Men, Approaching Union Square. Television: "Medium," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "Without a Trace," "Girlfriends," "Law & Order."
Stephen Kunken (Stu) last appeared at Playwrights Horizons in Fabulation. Broadway: Rock ‘n' Roll (Frederick), Frost/Nixon (Jim Reston; Outer Critics Circle, Drama League nominations), Festen (Lars), Proof (Hal). Other Off-Broadway: A Very Common Procedure (Drama League nomination), Journals of Mihail Sebastian. Regional: Mister Roberts (Kennedy Center). Film: Taking Woodstock, All Good Things, Bamboozled (dir. Spike Lee). Television: "Gossip Girl," "Guiding Light," "New Amsterdam," "Law & Order," "The Sopranos."
Mandy Siegfried (Grigsby) previously appeared at Playwrights Horizons in Refuge. Broadway: Noises Off. Other Off-Broadway: The Scariest (45 Bleecker), Frame 312 (Atlantic), The Mineola Twins (Roundabout, Outer Critics Circle nomination), Stupid Kids (WPA, Century Theatre, dir. Michael Mayer), Adam Rapp's Blackbird (Edge). Film: School of Rock, Two Weeks Notice, The Out of Towners, Polly. Television: "Bones," "Eli Stone," "Grey's Anatomy," "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."
Jeremy Strong (Merv) last appeared at Playwrights Horizons in Frank's Home. Broadway: A Man for All Seasons (Roundabout). Other Off-Broadway: New Jerusalem (Classic Stage Company; 2008 Lucille Lortel Award nomination), Defiance (Manhattan Theater Club). Williamstown: The Dwarfs, White People. Film: The Happening (dir., M. Night Shyamalan), Humboldt County.
Haynes Thigpen (Vince). Theater: Suicide Squeeze (Utility Players), Misalliance (Roundabout), In the Boom Boom Room and Taming of the Shrew (Group 23). Film: Terror Firmer. Television: "Dance Till Dawn," "Loving," "Law & Order." Juilliard School Graduate.
Christopher Evan Welch (Wes) previously appeared at Playwrights Horizons in The Pain and the Itch. He won an Obie Award for his performance as Mitch in the NYTW production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Broadway: Festen, The Crucible, London Assurance. Additional Off-Broadway: The Marriage of Bette and Boo, A Skull in Connemara, Scapin (Roundabout); Romance, Writer's Block (Atlantic); Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Measure for Measure (NYSF). Extensive regional. Film: the narrator in Vicky Christina Barcelona, The Interpreter, The Stepford Wives, War of the Worlds, Campbell Scott's Hamlet, Chinese Coffee.
Playwrights Horizons, under the leadership of Artistic Director Tim Sanford and Managing Director Leslie Marcus, is a writer's theater dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American Playwrights, composers and lyricists, and to the production of their new work. In its 38 years, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of more than 375 writers and has received numerous awards and honors, most recently being honored with a special 2008 Drama Desk Award for "ongoing support to generations of theater artists and undiminished commitment to producing new work." Notable productions include four Pulitzer Prize winners: Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles (1989 Tony Award, Best Play), Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George, as well as Craig Lucas' PRAYER FOR MY Enemy and Small Tragedy (2004 Obie Award, Best American Play), Adam Rapp's Kindness, Michael Friedman, John Dempsey and Rinne Groff's Saved, Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone, Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens (3 2007 Tony Awards), Bruce Norris's The Pain and the Itch, Lynn Nottage's Fabulation (2005 Obie Award for Playwriting), Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero, Kirsten Childs's The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey's James Joyce's The Dead, William Finn's March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, Richard Nelson's Goodnight Children Everywhere and Franny's Way, Jon Robin Baitz's The Substance of Fire, Scott McPherson's Marvin's Room, A.R. Gurney's Later Life, Adam Guettel and Tina Landau's Floyd Collins and Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet.
Photos by Joan Marcus