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Ari Graynor, Jerry O'Connell & More to Lead Bess Wohl's AMERICAN HERO at Second Stage Theatre; Performances Begin 5/12

Ari Graynor, Jerry O'Connell & More to Lead Bess Wohl's AMERICAN HERO at Second Stage Theatre; Performances Begin 5/12

Second Stage Theatre (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director) kicks off the 2014 Uptown Series with the New York premiere of AMERICAN HERO, written by Bess Wohl and directed by Leigh Silverman. AMERICAN HERO will feature ARI GRAYNOR (2ST Trust), DAOUD HEIDAMI (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), JERRY O'CONNELL (Seminar) and ERIN WILHELMI (The Great God Pan). Previews begin Monday, May 12th and opening night is Thursday, May 22nd.

AMERICAN HERO is presented at Second Stage Theatre's uptown home, the McGinn/Cazale Theatre on Broadway at 76th Street. Single tickets for AMERICAN HERO are $25 and can be purchased by calling the Second Stage Theatre Box Office at 212-246-4422 or online at

At a toasted subs franchise in the local mall, three up and coming "sandwich artists" -- a teenager, a single mom, and a downsized refugee from corporate banking -- are perfecting the mustard to cheese ratio according to the company manual. But when their shot at the American dream is interrupted by a series of strange events, they become unlikely allies in a post-recession world. AMERICAN HERO is a supersized dark comedy about life, liberty and the pursuit of sandwiches.

This production of AMERICAN HERO features scenic design by Dane Laffrey, costumes by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Jen Schriever, and sound design by Jill BC Du Boff.

ARI GRAYNOR can be seen as the lead in the upcoming CBS comedy, "Bad Teacher," which will premiere on April 24th. She appeared in the 2002 inaugural season of Second Stage Theatre Uptown in Hunt Holman's Spanish Girl, as well as Second Stage's Broadway production of Douglas Carter Beane's The Little Dog Laughed, as well as her off-Broadway performance in Paul Weitz's Trust. Graynor's numerous other theater credits include Woody Allen's Relatively Speaking, David West Reade's The Performers, and her Broadway debut in Donald Margulies' Brooklyn Boy, as well as her off-Broadway performance in Bert V Royal's Dog Sees God. Her film credits include For A Good Time Call, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Holy Rollers, Youth In Revolt, Conviction, Whip It!, An American Crime and her film debut, Mystic River, among others. Graynor's additional television credits include roles on "The Sopranos" and "Fringe."

DAOUD HEIDAMI has appeared in the following films and TV shows: You Don't Mess With the Zohan, Sex and the City 2, Safe, The Hyperglot, Syriana, "Blacklist," and "Law and Order." He made his Broadway debut in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and performed Off-Broadway in Titus Andronicus (Public Theater), Aftermath (New York Theatre Workshop), Masked (DR2), I am Nobody's Lunch (P.S. 122 and 59E59 Theatres). Regionally he has worked at the Shakespeare Theatre, DC; The La Jolla Playhouse; Denver Center Theatre Company; and Seattle Repertory Theatre.

JERRY O'CONNELL made his Broadway debut in 2011 in Theresa Rebeck's Seminar opposite Alan Rickman. He began his acting career at the age of 11 when he co-starred as Vern Tessio in Rob Reiner's classic, Stand By Me. Following this film, he took a break from acting and didn't return to it full-time until he completed his BFA at New York University. Upon graduating he returned to feature film work, receiving critical acclaim for his role as Quarterback Frank Cushman in Jerry Maguire, opposite Tom Cruise. He was most recently seen in the big screen follow-up to the cult hit television hit Veronica Mars opposite Kristen Bell. His other feature film credits include: Piranha 3-D; Obsessed opposite Beyonce Knowles; Yours, Mine and Ours; Man About Town with Ben Affleck; the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced comedy Kangaroo Jack; Tomcats; Scream 2; Can't Hardly Wait; and Mission to Mars. In 2004, O'Connell sold his screenplay, First Daughter, to New Regency Films. He served as an Executive Producer for the film which starred Katie Holmes and was directed by Forrest Whitaker. On the small screen, O'Connell starred on NBC's hit drama "Crossing Jordan" for six seasons as Detective Woody Hoyt, a character which crossed-over to NBC's "Las Vegas." His other television credits include starring in "Sliders," "What the Deaf Man Heard," the miniseries "The '60s" and "The Defenders" with Jim Belushi.

ERIN WILHELMI has appeared off-Broadway in The Great God Pan at Playwrights Horizons and in Core Values at Ars Nova. Her film credits includes The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Disconnect, The English Teacher and her TV credits include "The Knick," "Taxi Brookyn" and "Gossip Girl."

BESS WOHL's plays have been produced or developed at theatres around the country, including The Williamstown Theatre Festival, People's Light and Theatre Company, Center Theatre Group, The Contemporary American Theater Festival, The Pioneer Theatre, Hartford Stage BrandNew Festival, The Pittsburgh Public Theater, The Northlight Theater, TheaterWorks New Works Fesitval, The Geffen Playhouse, The Vineyard Arts Project, Ojai Playwright's Conference, the Cape Cod Theatre Project and the New York International Fringe Festival (award for Best Overall Production). Her work has been supported by a MacDowell Fellowship, PlayPenn, and the Sewanee Writer's Conference. She is a member of the Ars Nova Play Group and The Civilians, and has been the recipient of new play commissions from Manhattan Theatre Club and Center Theatre Group.

LEIGH SILVERMAN returns to Second Stage Theatre where she directed Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. Her Broadway credits include Chinglish, Well, and Violet. Off-Broadway credits include Kung Fu (Signature Theatre); The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence (Playwrights Horizons); The Call (Playwrights Horizons); The Madrid (MTC); Golden Child (Signature Theatre); No Place to Go (Public Theater; Two River Theatre); In the Wake (Center Theatre Group/Berkeley Rep and Public Theater, Obie Award, Lortel nomination); Go Back to Where You Are (Playwrights Horizons, Obie Award); From Up Here (MTC, Drama Desk nomination); Yellow Face (Center Theatre Group/Public Theater); Coraline (MCC/True Love); Blue Door (Playwrights Horizons); Well (Public Theater; Huntington Theatre; ACT). Recent regional: American Hero (WTF); Chinglish (Goodman Theater, Jeff nomination; West Coast/Hong Kong tour).

AMERICAN HERO will be performed from Monday, May 12, 2014 through Sunday, June 8, 2014 on the following schedule: Tuesday - Saturday at 7:30pm - Saturday at 2:00pm, and Sunday at 3:00pm. There will be no performance on Wednesday, May 14th.

American Hero is part of a four-play package available for $150 including The Substance of Fire by Jon Robin Baitz and directed by Trip Cullman, Sex With Strangers by Laura Eason and directed by David Schwimmer, and Mala Hierba by Tanya Saracho and directed by Jerry Ruiz. Packages may be purchased by phoning 212 246-4422 or online at

Tickets are $25 and may be purchased by phoning 212-246-4422 or online at

$10 Student Rush tickets are available one hour prior to curtain based on availability.

Group tickets are available at a discount 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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