2nd Stage Names its 'Stark:' Saana Lathan Joins Block, Olivo in BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK This Season

Second Stage Theatre (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director) has announced that Tony Award nominee and NCAAP Image Award winner SANAA LATHAN will play the title role of Vera Stark in Lynn Nottage's new play, BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK. This world premiere comedy will also feature the previously announced STEPHANIE J. BLOCK, DANIEL BREAKER, KIMBERLY HÉBERT GREGORY, KEVIN ISOLA and Tony Award-winner KAREN OLIVO. Directed by Jo Bonney, BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK is Ms. Nottage's first play to be produced in New York since she won the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined in 2009.

The production will begin preview performances on April 6, 2011 and officially open on May 9, 2011. For subscription or ticket information, please call the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422 or visit the company's website, www.2ST.com.

SANAA LATHAN (Vera Stark) recently starred as Maggie the Cat in the West End revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Her previous theatre credits include: Beneatha Younger in A Raisin In The Sun with Sean Combs (Tony Award Nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress); Isabella in Measure For Measure opposite Billy Crudup at The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park; Emily Webb in Our Town at South Coast Repertory; Por'knockers at The Vineyard Theater; A Movie Star Has To Star In Black and White at the Public Theater; and Viola in Twelfth Night at Yale Repertory Theater. Her film credits include the upcoming Steven Soderbergh film Contagion, opposite Matt Damon and Kate Winslet, opening in October, Wonderful World opposite Matthew Broderick, The Family That Preys with Tyler Perry, Something New (NAACP Image Award Nomination), Alien vs. Predator, Out Of Time opposite Denzel Washington, Brown Sugar (NAACP Image Award Nomination), Love and Basketball (BET Award, NAACP Image Award), and The Best Man (NAACP Image Award Nomination). Her television credits include: "The Cleveland Show," "A Raisin in the Sun," "Nip/Tuck" (NAACP Image Award Nomination), and HBO's Disappearing Acts.

In a new comedy from the Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright of Ruined, Lynn Nottage draws upon the screwball films of the 1930's to take a funny and irreverent look at racial stereotypes in Hollywood. BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK is a seventy year journey through the life of Vera Stark (Lathan), a headstrong African-American maid and budding actress, and her tangled relationship with her boss, a white Hollywood star (Stephanie J. Block) desperately grasping to hold on to her career. When circumstances collide and both women land roles in the same Southern epic, the story behind the cameras leaves Vera with a surprising and controversial legacy scholars will debate for years to come.

BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK will feature scenic design by Neil Patel, lighting design by David Weiner, costume design by ESosa and original music & sound design by John Gromada.

BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK will be performed through May 22 on the following schedule: Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday - Saturday at 8pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm.

The following exceptions will be made to the regular performance schedule:

Wednesday, April 6 - no 2pm performance
Sunday, April 10 - 2pm and 7pm performances
Wednesday, April 13 - no 2pm performance
Sunday, April 17 - 2pm and 7pm performances
Monday, May 9 - 6:30pm performance (opening night)
Tuesday, May 10 - no performance

All evening performances Tuesday - Friday the week of May 2nd will begin at 7pm.

Tickets are $75 and may be purchased by phoning 212-246-4422 or 800-766-6048 or online at www.2ST.com.

$30 UNDER 30 YOUTH ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE - patrons age 30 and under may purchase a limited number of specially-priced $30 tickets in advance. Proof of age must be shown at the box office.

A limited number of student rush tickets are $18 and are available one hour prior to curtain.

Group tickets are available by phoning 212-246-4422. Box-office hours are Monday, 10:00am - 6:00pm, Tuesday 10:00am - 7:00pm, Wednesday through Saturday, 10:00am to 8:00pm, and Sunday, 10:00am to 3:00pm.


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