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Ayad Akhtar's JUNK Announces Stars Joining Steven Pasquale at Lincoln Center Theater

Ayad Akhtar's JUNK Announces Stars Joining Steven Pasquale at Lincoln Center Theater

Lincoln Center Theater has announced that Ito Aghayere, Phillip James Brannon, Tony Carlin, Caroline Hewitt, Rick Holmes, Ted Koch, Teresa Avia Lim, Danny Mastrogiorgio, Nate Miller, Ethan Phillips, Matthew Rauch, Matthew Saldivar, Michael Siberry, Miriam Silverman, Joey Slotnick, and Henry Stram will join Steven Pasquale to comprise the cast of its upcoming production of Junk, a new play by Ayad Akhtar, directed by Doug Hughes, beginning previews Thursday, October 5 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater (150 West 65 Street). Opening night for Junk is Thursday, November 2.

It's 1985. Robert Merkin (to be played by Steven Pasquale), the resident genius of the upstart investment firm SackeR Lowell, has just landed on the cover of Time Magazine. Hailed as "America's Alchemist," his proclamation that "debt is an asset" has propelled him to dizzying heights. Zealously promoting his belief in the near-sacred infallibility of markets, he is trying to re-shape the world.

JUNK is the story of Merkin's assault on American capitalism's holy of holies, the "deal of the decade," his attempt to takeover an iconic American manufacturing company and, in the process, to change all the rules. What Merkin sets in motion is nothing less than a financial civil war, pitting magnates against workers, lawyers against journalists, and ultimately, pitting every one against themselves.

Set over thirty years ago, this is a play about how, while most of us weren't watching, money became the only thing of real value.

JUNK will have sets by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Ben Stanton, original music and sound by Mark Bennett, and projections by 59 Productions.

Ayad Akhtar returns to Lincoln Center Theater where his plays Disgraced and The Who & The What were produced by LCT3. Akhtar won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Disgraced and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play for Disgraced's subsequent Broadway production co-produced by The Araca Group and LCT. Akhtar was named the most produced playwright during the 2015-2016 season by American Theatre. His other plays include the Obie Award-winning The Invisible Hand, which was long-listed for the 2016 Evening Standard Theatre Award. Mr. Akhtar is also a novelist and author of American Dervish, published in over 20 languages worldwide. He is currently the Resident Playwright with Arena Stage at Washington, D.C.'s Mead Center for American Theater.

HUGHES directed the LCT productions of The City of Conversation and The House in Town. A Tony Award winner for his direction of Doubt, his other Broadway credits include The Father, Outside Mullingar, The Big Knife, An Enemy of the People, Born Yesterday,Oleanna, The Royal Family, A Man for All Seasons, Mauritius, Inherit the Wind, A Touch of the Poet, and Frozen (Tony Award nomination). In addition to the Tony Award, he has been awarded Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, Obie, and Callaway awards for his productions.

Lincoln Center Theater is currently producing J.T. Rogers Tony Award-winning Oslo, directed by Bartlett Sher, through July 16 in the Vivian Beaumont Theater; Pipeline, a new play by Dominique Morisseau, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz in the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater; and the LCT3 presentation of Third Rail Projects' newest immersive work Ghost Light in the Claire Tow Theater.

JUNK, produced by arrangement with The Araca Group, had its world premiere on July 26, 2016 at the La Jolla Playhouse (Christopher Ashley, Artistic Director & Michael S. Rosenberg, Managing Director).


Ito Aghayere LCT: debut. Off-Broadway: Familiar (Lucille Lortel nomination), The Liquid Plan, Pressing Matters, Three Days to See, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew. Regional: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Exit the King, Sweeney Todd. Film: Logan Lucky; Right Song, Wrong Chord. TV: "Blacklist," "Elementary," "Doubt," "BrainDead," "Unforgettable," "Master of None," "Orange is the New Black," "Falling Water," "The Knick." Education: MFA, Columbia University; BA, Duke University.

Phillip James Brannon LCT: The City of Conversation. Off-Broadway: The Antipodes, Tiny Beautiful Things, Toast, Nat Turner in Jerusalem, Belleville, Love and Information,We Are Proud to Present..., Bootycandy. Regional: productions at the Congo Square, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Kansas City Rep., Steppenwolf, The Wilma Theater, Woolly Mammoth. Film: Contagion, The Color of Bruises, Dog Jack. TV: "Law & Order: SVU."

Tony Carlin LCT: debut. Broadway includes Six Degrees of Separation, Sylvia, Fish in the Dark, All the Way, The Snow Geese, The Assembled Parties, The Other Place, Good People, Time Stands Still, The Best Man, Lend Me a Tenor, Spring Awakening, Mamma Mia!. Off-Broadway: The Trial of an American President, Stuff Happens, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Once in a Lifetime, Woman in Mind, Hannah...1993, Mass Appeal. Regional: Junk (La Jolla), Apples and Oranges, Rabbit Hole, Red Corners, Caucasian Chalk Circle (Arena Stage). Film: The Bourne Legacy, The Nutty Professor, Apollo 11, Crazy People, True Colors. TV includes "The Blacklist," "Seinfeld," "Zero Hour," "Chicago Hope."

Caroline Hewitt LCT: debut. Broadway: The Front Page. Off-Broadway: Tamburlaine, Lazarus, Good Results Are Difficult. Regional includes The City of Conversation (Arena Stage), Warrior Class, Three Sisters, Twelfth Night, The Rivals, The Winter's Tale, Arcadia, The Great Gatsby, Blithe Spirit, Barefoot in the Park. London: Lazarus (King's Cross Theatre). Film: Gosling, Dogpatch. Education: MFA, American Conservatory Theater.

Rick Holmes LCT: Hapgood. Broadway: Matilda, The Visit, Peter and the Starcatcher, Spamalot, The Pillowman, Cabaret, Major Barbara, The Government Inspector, The Deep Blue Sea, Timon of Athens, Saint Joan. National Tour: Angels in America. Off-Broadway: The Lives of the Saints, The Threepenny Opera, Distracted, Peter and the Starcatcher, Stop Kiss, Dog Opera, Othello, Richard III. Regional: Spamalot (The Hollywood Bowl); The Visit, June Moon, Tonight at 8:30, The Rivals (Williamstown). Film: The Papers, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Melinda and Melinda. TV: "The Punisher," "Modern Family," "Elementary," "The Good Wife," "The City," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

Ted Koch LCT: debut. Broadway: Death of a Salesman, The Pillowman, Elling, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Off-Broadway: The Gravedigger's Lullaby, Abundance, Boy, Donnybrook, Meshugah. National Tours: Frost/Nixon, Death of a Salesman. Regional: A Christmas Story (Paper Mill); The Seagull (Huntington Theatre); The Front Page, Sweet Bird of Youth(Williamstown); Fiddler on the Roof; Guys and Dolls; As You Like It. Film: Ratter, Englishman in New York, Cold Souls, Griffin and Phoenix, A Crime, Hannibal, Autumn in New York, Dinner Rush, Stranger. TV includes "The Get Down," "Guiding Light," "Elementary," "The Blacklist," "The West Wing," "Law & Order," "The Americans," "The Sopranos," "Death of a Salesman" (Showtime).

Teresa Avia Lim LCT: debut. Off-Broadway: The Moors, Taming of the Shrew (The Public), Peerless, Even Maybe Tammy. Regional: productions at The Long Wharf, Denver Center, Hartford Stage, Berkeley Rep., The Humana Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre, Yale Rep. Film: Monster, Take Me With You, Dispatched. TV: "Blue Bloods," "Limitless," "Unforgettable," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

Danny Mastrogiorgio LCT: Golden Boy, Stunning (LCT3), Contact. Broadway: The Front Page, Lucky Guy, Rocky, Wait Until Dark. Off-Broadway includes The Antipodes, The Tempest, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Wintertime, Refuge. Regional: The Taming of the Shrew (Old Globe, Denver Center), Carter's Way, Rocket to the Moon, Gompers, Death of a Salesman, December, Italian-American Reconciliation. Film includes The Mend, The Cobbler, One for the Money, Enchanted, The Producers, Friends and Family, Dead Broke. TV includes "The Affair," "Billions," "The Good Wife," "Elementary," "Blue Bloods," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "The Book of Daniel," "The Sopranos." Education: The Juilliard School.

Nate Miller LCT: debut. Off-Broadway: Of Good Stock (MTC), Love and Information, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Fish Bowl, Keep Your Baggage, Busted. Regional: Tiger Style!, The May Queen, This Random World, True West, Romeo and Juliet, Curse of the Starving Class. The Juilliard School includes The Threepenny Opera, Othello, Love's Labour's Lost, Uncle Vanya, Romeo and Juliet, The Crucible. Film: Another Kind. TV: "The Good Wife," "Us & Them." Education: The Juilliard School Drama Division; BA, Marquette University.

Steven Pasquale LCT: A Man of No Importance (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), Spinning Into Butter. Broadway: The Bridges of Madison County(Drama League, Drama Desk nominations), reasons to be pretty. Off-Broadway: Assassins (City Center's Encores! Off Center series), The Robber Bridegroom (Lortel Award), Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party, Far From Heaven, The Spitfire Grill, The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures, A Soldier's Play, Fat Pig, Beautiful Child. Opera: Carousel (Chicago Lyric Opera). Film: Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, Aurora Borealis, Jonathan's Segal's The Last Run. TV: "Divorce" (upcoming), "Rescue Me," "American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson," "Six Feet Under," "Billions," "Do No Harm," "Up All Night," "The Good Wife," "Bloodline," "Coma," "Marry Me," Sofia Coppola's "Platinum." Debut solo album: Somethin' Like Love (PS Classics, 2009).

Ethan Phillips. LCT: My Favorite Year. Broadway: All the Way, November. Off-Broadway: By the Water; Taking Care of Baby; Golden Age; Modigliani; Lips Together, Teeth Apart (Lortel Award); Measure for Measure; Eccentricities of a Nightingale. Regional: productions at A.R.T., Bard SummerScape, Pasadena Playhouse, Old Globe, Seattle Rep., Mark Taper, Center Stage, Westport Country Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Geffen Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Alaska Rep. Film includes Inside Llewyn Davis, Irrational Man, Purge 3, Miles, The Island, Bad Santa, Green Card, Man Without a Face, Lean On Me, Glory. TV: Neelix in "Star Trek Voyager," Pete in "Benson," Keith in "Girls," "VEEP," "The Good Wife," "Bones," "Criminal Minds," "Boston Legal," "Arrested Development." Education: MFA, Cornell.

Matthew Rauch LCT: debut. Broadway: The Merchant of Venice, Prelude to a Kiss, Proposals. Off-Broadway includes A Particle of Dread, Book of Days, Kin, The Winter's Tale, The Merchant of Venice, The Duchess of Malfi (Joseph A. Callaway Award: Outstanding Male Performance in a Classical Play), Expats, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Regional includes Junk (La Jolla), Hartford Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre, Long Wharf. Film: The Tale, The Wolf of Wall Street, My First Miracle, Antidote, Labor Day, Girls Against Boys, Premium Rush, Order of Redemption, No Reservations. TV: "Banshee," "The Blacklist," "Shades of Blue," "Blue Bloods," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Elementary," "The Good Wife."

Matthew Saldivar LCT: Act One, South Pacific (First National Tour). Broadway: Honeymoon in Vegas, Peter and the Starcatcher, A Streetcar Named Desire, Grease, The Wedding Singer. Off-Broadway includes Daphne's Divine, Important Hats of the 20th Century, The Cradle Will Rock, Julius Caesar, Timon of Athens, The Alchemist. Regional: Guthrie Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, NY Stage and Film, Long Wharf. Film includes Custody, Savages, Tony and Tina's Wedding, Acts of Worship. TV: "Elementary," "I Shudder," "Law & Order." Education: MFA, NYU Tisch School of the Arts; BA/MA, Middlebury College.

Michael Siberry LCT: When the Rain Stops Falling, The Frogs, On the Levee (LCT3). Broadway: An Enemy of the People, Man and Boy, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Spamalot, Chicago, The Sound of Music, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby. Off-Broadway: Death Takes a Holiday, King Arthur. Regional: Proof, Uncle Vanya, Candida (McCarter Theatre). London: House and Garden, The Cherry Orchard, Private Lives, As You Like It, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, All's Well That Ends Well, Journey's End. TV: "Boardwalk Empire," "House of Cards," "Law & Order: SVU," "The Beast," "Victoria and Albert," "Silent Witness," "The Grand," "Wokenwell."

Miriam Silverman LCT: debut. Off-Broadway: Finks (Drama Desk nomination), Tiny Beautiful Things, Hamlet, A Delicate Ship, The Witch of Edmonton, Bone Portraits. Regional: The Moors (Yale Rep.); The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window (Goodman Theatre); Peer Gynt; Suddenly, Last Summer. Film: Elementary, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Better Days Ahead. TV: "Pan Am," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." Education: MFA, Brown/Trinity Rep.

SLOTNICK LCT: debut. Broadway: The Front Page. Off-Broadway: Dying For It, The Big Knife, Happy Hour, New York Idea, Offices, The Altruists. Regional: Steppenwolf Theater, Goodman Theatre, Looking Glass Theater, Williamston Theatre Festival, Bay Street Theatre Festival. Film: Humor Me, The Cobbler, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Dictator, Brief Interview With Hideous Men, Hollow Man, Judas Kiss, Twister, A League of Their Own. TV includes "Blue Bloods," "The Good Wife," "Unforgettable," "CSI," "The Office," "Medium," "Law & Order: SVU," "Entourage," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Nip/Tuck," "Boston Public," "Pirates of Silicon Valley," "Too Big to Fail (HBO)."

Henry Stram LCT: debut. Broadway: The Elephant Man (also West End), Inherit the Wind, The Crucible, Titanic. Off-Broadway: productions at the Park Avenue Armory, Atlantic Theater, Playwrights Horizons, City Center's Encores! Off Center series, Signature Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Red Bull Theater, The Public, Vineyard Theatre, Theatre for a New Audience. Film: The Greatest Showman, Blue Angel, Angelica, The Grey Zone, Cradle Will Rock, Angela. TV: "Mozart in the Jungle," "Smash," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "The Americans."

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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