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Amber Tamblyn and Norbert Leo Butz Join Paul Rudd in REASONS TO BE PRETTY HAPPY Reading at MCC Theater

Amber Tamblyn and Norbert Leo Butz Join Paul Rudd in REASONS TO BE PRETTY HAPPY Reading at MCC Theater MCC Theater has added more star wattage to its benefit reading of a new Neil LaBute play, Reasons to be Pretty Happy: previously announced headliner Paul Rudd will now be joined by Emmy nominee Amber Tamblyn, two-time Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz and NYC stage veteran Jennifer Mudge for this one-night-only world premiere developmental reading on Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 7:30PM at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Butz and Mudge return to MCC following critically acclaimed turns in Fifty Words (2008) and Don't Go Gentle (2012), respectively.

This reading will benefit MCC's artistic and educational programs. For more info, visit

Reasons to be Pretty Happy in the final play of MCC Playwright-in- Residence Neil LaBute's acclaimed 'Reasons' trilogy with also includes Reasons to be Happy and Reasons to be Pretty, the latter of which transferred to Broadway and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. Additionally, LaBute's newest completed work, All The Ways To Say I Love You, will kick off MCC's upcoming 30th Anniversary Season on September 6 in a production starring multi-Tony and Emmy Award winner Judith Light in a solo performance directed by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman.

Set on the night of their 20th anniversary high school reunion, Reasons to be Pretty Happy follows Greg (Rudd) and Steph (Tamblyn) as they revisit their home town after having moved to New York. Kent (Butz) and Carly (Mudge) are suspicious of their reasons for returning and the four friends dance (sometimes literally) through a series of encounters at their school gym as they try to rekindle old friendships, struggle with their futures (together and separately) and reveal secrets to one another that might have been better left buried beneath a pile of yearbooks. The play is a funny, sad, silly and sobering look at friendships and loves that have weathered and lasted for a long, long time--some even past their due dates.

Tickets are limited and currently on sale for the benefit reading. Prices range from $100 for show-only tickets or $250/$350 for preferred/premium seating plus access to a special post-show reception with LaBute, the cast, and MCC leadership. For tickets, visit or call (212) 352-3101.

"As a leading voice in contemporary theater who has premiered 10 full length plays and a number of other short works under our auspices, Neil LaBute exemplifies the strong and enduring relationships that MCC fosters with artists," said Co-Artistic Director Robert LuPone, speaking on behalf of the company's artistic leadership. "Our work together over the years and on the 'Reasons' trilogy in particular has been incredibly exciting and rewarding. We are so proud to present his new work at this point in its life in a reading that advances our long and fruitful history of collaboration with this important and singular artist."

"I'm pleased to have the world premiere reading of my latest play at MCC, a place that has supported my work for nearly fifteen years," said Neil LaBute. "Having led master classes for students in the Theater's Youth Company, I'm so proud this reading will support MCC's vital work nurturing the next generation of theater talent through its education and playwright development programs."

MCC Theater broke ground on its first permanent home on March 22 of this year. Set to open in 2018, the space will unite MCC's diverse roster of programs under one roof for the first time in the company's three-decade history. The new facility will also allow MCC to expand its programming and establish it as a cultural anchor within the Clinton neighborhood. The $35 million project is funded by a public-private partnership between the Theater and the City of New York. The campaign has raised $30.5 million to-date.

MCC Theater's playwright development program, PlayLabs, helps foster the next generation of playwrights by providing writers intensive dramaturgical support early in their careers, as well as the opportunity to work alongside professional directors and actors to engage public audiences in the development of new work. The PlayLabs reading series incorporates informal post-show gatherings for conversation between artists and audiences that enliven and stimulate the often solitary and insular writing and development process. Plays developed as part of PlayLabs have gone on to full productions at MCC, as well as at other nonprofit theaters in New York and overseas, adding vibrant new works to the contemporary theatrical cannon.

The company's education initiatives serve more than 1,200 public school students throughout New York each year through a mix of programs for students and teachers inside and outside the classroom. Employing the tools of theater alongside traditional academic and career-readiness, the programs empower young people to find and express their own voices, and become engaged citizens throughout and beyond their academic careers. Dedicated mentors provide students with support as they explore acting, writing, directing, and theater production alongside professionals in the field, and provide college- and career-readiness opportunities to complement the theater-focused initiatives.

The centerpiece of the institution's education programs is the MCC Theater Youth Company, the first free, after-school company of its kind associated with a professional theater. Since its founding in 2001 as an eight-member ensemble, the Youth Company has grown to serve more than 100 students each year and now includes a flagship Youth Company and satellite groups developed in partnership with schools in Washington Heights and Brooklyn.

MCC Theater, which just celebrated the groundbreaking of its first-ever permanent home, a two-theater complex on West 52nd Street and 10th Avenue-recently announced its 30th Anniversary Season, which will bring together frequent MCC collaborators alongside artists new to the family for a three-play-and-a-musical season, running September 2016 through June 2017. Anchored by four mainstage premieres, the Theater will also continue its PlayLabs series and education initiatives throughout the season. This year's PlayLabs programming will be announced at a later date. All productions will be performed at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street).

The season will include the world premiere of MCC Playwright-in-Residence Neil LaBute's new play, All The Ways To Say I Love You, a solo piece that will star multi-Tony and Emmy Award winner Judith Light and directed by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman; the NYC playwriting and stage acting debut of Emmy-nominated "Friends" star Matthew Perry who wrote and will star in his play The End of Longing, directed by Lindsay Posner, following its hit London run; the American premiere of Anna Jordan's Bruntwood Prize-winning play YEN directed by Obie winner Trip Cullman, the latest play to make its American premiere at MCC after making its world premiere at the Royal Court following The Pride and The Nether; and what will mark MCC's third musical ever, Ride the Cyclone, direct from its hit run at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The musical features book, music and lyrics by Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell and direction by Rachel Rockwell. Dates and details can be found online at

MCC Theater is one of New York's leading nonprofit Off-Broadway companies, driven by a mission to provoke conversations that have never happened and otherwise never would. Founded in 1986 as a collective of artists leading peer-based classes to support their own development as actors, writers and directors, the tenets of collaboration, education, and community are at the core of MCC Theater's programming. One of the only theaters in the country led continuously by its founders, Artistic Directors Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, and William Cantler, MCC fulfills its mission through the production of world, American, and New York premiere plays and musicals that challenge artists and audiences to confront contemporary personal and social issues, and robust playwright development and education initiatives that foster the next generation of theater artists and students.

Plays and musicals developed by the company have gone on to stagings around the globe. Notable productions over the course of the company's 30-year history include Robert Askins' Hand to God, nominated for five Tony Awards and transferred to London's West End; Sharr White's The Other Place, starring Laurie Metcalf; The Submission by Jeff Talbot, winner of the inaugural Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for new American plays; Bryony Lavery's Frozen, a 2004 Tony nominee for Best play and winner for Brian F. O'Byrne's performance; Wit by Margaret Edson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1999; the classic cult musical Carrie, which has gone on to international productions since the Theater's extensive redevelopment work and staging in 2012, the first in more than two decades; and eight plays by Playwright-in-Residence Neil LaBute, including Fat Pig; Reasons to Be Pretty, a 2009 Tony nominee for Best Play; and reasons to be happy. Blake West joined the company in 2006 as Executive Director. MCC will open its first permanent home in 2018 in Manhattan's Clinton neighborhood, unifying the company's activities under one roof for the first time and expanding its producing, artist development, and education programming. The Theater is currently in the midst of a $35 million campaign to support its expansion and growing artistic operations, with $30 million raised to-date.

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