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Austin Pendleton to be Honored at Classic Stage Co's Benefit Gala, 5/23

Classic Stage Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Brian Kulick and Executive Director Jessica R. Jenen, will honor legendary actor, director and CSC veteran Austin Pendleton at this year's annual benefit gala Monday, May 23 at Bridgewaters at South Street Seaport. The honorary chairs for the event are Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, whom Pendleton directed in CSC's acclaimed productions of Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:45, followed by dinner, live auction and a special musical performance by Tony Award-winner Michael Cerveris. 

Now in its 44th year as one of New York's most exciting theatres, CLASSIC STAGE COMPANY is the award-winning Off-Broadway theatre committed to re-imagining the classical repertory for a contemporary American audience. Led by Artistic Director Brian Kulick and Executive Director Jessica R. Jenen, the company this season presented the sold-out, highly-acclaimed production of Chekhov's Three Sisters, featuring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Josh Hamilton, Jessica Hecht, Juliet Rylance and Peter Sarsgaard, directed by Austin Pendleton. The company recently presented David Ives' highly acclaimed Venus In Fur, directed by Walter Bobbie as well as Ostrovsky's The Forest, adapted by Kathleen Tolan, starring Dianne Wiest and John Douglas Thompson, and directed by Brian Kulick. In the previous season they presented three sold-out acclaimed productions: Shakespeare's The Tempest, starring Mandy Patinkin; Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, starring Denis O'Hare, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard; and Anne Carson's An Oresteia. Recent productions: critically acclaimed sold-out runs of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, starring Dianne Wiest and Alan Cumming; the world premiere of David Ives' New Jerusalem, directed by Walter Bobbie; Hamlet, Richard II, and Richard III starring Michael Cumpsty and directed by Brian Kulick; and Zoe Caldwell in Yasmina Reza's A Spanish Play, directed by John Turturro. CSC is currently presenting David Ives' new comedy The School for Lies, from Moliere's The Misanthrope, directed by Tony Award-winner Walter Bobbie and featuring Mamie Gummer, Hamish Linklater, Alison Fraser and Jenn Gambatese.

CSC presents plays from the past that speak directly to the issues of today. As we return to works of the past, we endeavor to keep a clear eye on the future, particularly in terms of the next generation of artists and audiences. Founded in 1967, CSC has received wide recognition for its significant contributions to theatre as an art form through productions of classic plays, translations and adaptations and a long-standing commitment to the identification and nurturing of leading and emerging artists. Classic Stage's artists are the finest established and emerging theater practitioners working in this country. Highly respected and widely regarded as a major force in New York and American theatre, Classic Stage has been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards: Obies, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and the 1999 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.

AUSTIN PENDLETON most recently directed the acclaimed, sold-out production of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters at CSC featuring a stellar cast including Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Jessica Hecht, Josh Hamilton and Marin Ireland. In 2009, Pendleton directed Uncle Vanya at CSC, which featured many of the same actors from this season's Three Sisters. Additional recent directing credits include Vieux Carré at the Pearl Theatre, Fifty Words, produced by the Manhattan Class Company and Lillian Yuralia, by Barbara Eda-Young produced at La MaMa. On Broadway, he has directed Spoils of War, John Gabriel Borkman, The Runner Stumbles, Shelter and The Little Foxes, for which he received a Tony nomination. As an actor, recent appearances include Romulus Linney's Love Drunk, Bruce Robinson's Another Vermeer (Abingdon Theatre); Wendy Kesselman's musical The Black Monk; and Mother Courage (w/ Meryl Streep) and Romeo and Juliet (w/ Lauren Ambrose) at the Public Theatre in Central Park. For many years he has apprenticed, acted and directed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, is a member of the Ensemble at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, where he has also acted and directed extensively, and teaches acting at HB Studio. He has appeared in over 100 movies and on television, where he was most recently seen in episodes of "Life on Mars" and "Cupid." Earlier TV work includes many appearances on "Homicide," "Oz," and "Law and Order." He has written three plays: Orson's Shadow, Uncle Bob and Booth, all of them published, and produced internationally and in New York.

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