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Ari Graynor and More Sign on for Anna Jordan's YEN at MCC Theater; Cast Complete!

MCC Theater announced today that stage and screen stars Ari Graynor, Stefania LaVie Owen and Justice Smith will join the previously announced Lucas Hedges in the American premiere of Yen, Anna Jordan's Bruntwood Prize-winning play, directed by MCC alum Trip Cullman. Casting is now complete.

YEN begins performances on January 12, 2017 ahead of a January 30 opening night. It is currently scheduled through February 19, 2017 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street). Tickets go on sale to the general public today.

Ari Graynor's previous stage credits include the Broadway productions The Little Dog Laughed; Woody Allen's Honeymoon Hotel in Relatively Speaking; The Performers; and Brooklyn Boy, as well as the off-Broadway productions American Hero, Trust and Dog Sees God. She stars in the upcoming showtime series I'm Dying Up Here and the upcoming film The Masterpiece. Her extensive screen credits include Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist; The Sitter; For a Good Time, Call..., Celeste and Jesse and Convicton. TV credits include "Bad Teacher" and "The Sopranos" among others. Stefania LaVie Owen is best known for her starring role as Dorrit Bradshaw on CW's "The Carrie Diaries" and can currently be seen as Nicole Chance on the Hulu series "Chance" opposite Hugh Laurie and Diane Farr. Her screen credits in the 2015 holiday-fantasy hit Krampus; Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, her feature film debut; opposite Katie Holmes in the indie drama All We Had. Justice Smith currently stars on the Netflix series "The Get Down" created by Baz Luhrmann. In 2015 he co-starred in the FOX 2000 feature film Paper Towns opposite Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff.

The trio joins the previously announced Lucas Hedges, whose performance in Kenneth Lonergan's new film Manchester by the Sea recently garnered him the award for 'Breakthrough Performance' from the National Board of Review as well as a Gotham Award nomination for 'Breakthrough Actor' and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for 'Best Supporting Male'. He will next be seen in Greta Gerwig's directorial debut, Lady Bird; as well as Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri opposite Frances McDormand and Peter Dinklage. His previous film credits include Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel, plusLabor Day with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, and NBC's event series "The Slap". Yen marks his professional stage debut.

In Yen, Bobbie (Smith) and Hench (Hedges) are home alone. Days are filled by streaming porn, playing video games, watching the world go by. Their mom (Graynor) rarely visits these days, and it's chaos when she does. But when animal-loving neighbor Jenny (Owen) takes an interest in their dog Taliban, the boys discover a world far beyond what they know. Yen explores a childhood lived without boundaries.

YEN, which marks the American debut of playwright Anna Jordan, joins recent MCC productions The Pride and The Nether which also had American Premieres at MCC after debuting with World Premieres at the Royal Court in London. Director Trip Cullman returns to MCC following his OBIE-winning work on Punk Rock and most recently Halley Feiffer's A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gynecologic Oncology Unit At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York City.

MCC Theater broke ground on its first permanent home- a two-theater complex on West 52nd Street and 10th Avenue-on March 22, 2016. 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, with $30 million raised to-date.

MCC 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 ten plays by Playwright-in-Residence Neil LaBute, including Fat Pig; reasons to be pretty, a 2009 Tony nominee for Best Play; Reasons to Be Happy; and All The Ways To Say I Love You . 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.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride



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