Capitalism Onstage! Meet the Full Company of JUNK, Opening Tonight on Broadway
Lincoln Center Theater presents Junk, a new play by Ayad Akhtar, directed by Doug Hughes, opening tonight, November 2, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater (150 West 65 Street). Scroll down to learn more about the company, plus watch highlights from the show!
Junk stars Ito Aghayere, Phillip James Brannon, Tony Carlin, Demosthenes Chrysan, Jenelle Chu, Caroline Hewitt, Rick Holmes, Ted Koch, Ian Lassiter, Teresa Avia Lim, Adam Ludwig, Sean McIntyre, Nate Miller, Steven Pasquale, Ethan Phillips, Matthew Rauch, Matthew Saldivar, Charlie Semine, Michael Siberry, Miriam Silverman, Joey Slotnick, Henry Stram and Stephanie Umoh.
It's 1985. Robert Merkin (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 30 years ago, this is a play about how, while most of us weren't watching, money became the only thing of real value.
Ito Aghayere (Jacqueline Blount) - LCT and Broadway debut. Off-Broadway: Danai Gurira's Familiar (Lucille Lortel nomination; Playwrights Horizons; dir. Rebecca Taichman); The Liquid Plain (Signature); Three Days to See (New York Theatre Workshop); The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth (Classic Stage Company). Film: Logan Lucky (dir. Steven Soderbergh), Goldie. TV: "Instinct," "The Blacklist," "Elementary," "Doubt," "Master of None," "Braindead," "The Knick," "Orange Is the New Black," "Unforgettable," "Forever." Education: MFA, Columbia University; BA, Duke University.
Phillip James Brannon (Kevin Walsh) - LCT: The City of Conversation. Off- Broadway: The Antipodes (Signature); Tiny Beautiful Things, ToasT (The Public); Nat Turner in Jerusalem, Love and Information, Belleville (New York Theatre Workshop); Bootycandy (Obie Award; Playwrights Horizons); We Are Proud to Present... (Soho Rep). Regional includes A Confederacy of Dunces (IRNE nomination; Huntington Theatre); Bootycandy (The Wilma, Woolly Mammoth); The March, The Brother/Sister Plays (Steppenwolf); Richard III, Macbeth (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); The Ballad of Emmett Till, The Cook, Oedipus Complex (Goodman); and Titus Andronicus (Court Theatre). Film: Contagion. TV: "The Plug," "Law & Order: SVU," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." Education: BFA in Acting, DePaul University.
Tony Carlin (Kurt/Corrigan Wiley) - 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 and 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, The 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" and "Chicago Hope."
Demosthenes Chrysan (Ensemble) - LCT: Golden Boy. London: Blood and Gifts (National Theatre). Off-Broadway: Incident at Vichy, Queens Boulevard (the musical) (Signature); Urge for Going (The Public); Aftermath (New York Theatre Workshop). Regional: Zealot (South Coast Rep), Water by the Spoonful (Hartford Stage), Homebody/Kabul (Trinity Rep), Travesties (McCarter Theatre). Film: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, A Case of You. TV includes "Feed The Beast," "Sneaky Pete," "The Blacklist," "Gotham," "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," "Killing Kennedy," "Boardwalk Empire," "Damages," "Blue Bloods," "Louie," "30 Rock" and "The Fear" (Channel 4, United Kingdom).
Jenelle Chu (Ensemble) - LCT debut. New York Theater includes Stuff and Nonsense (52nd Street Project); Scorched: A Fiery New Musical (Araca Project); and Nectarine EP, #Serials@Flea, These Seven Sicknesses (The Flea). Other theater includes The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare & Co); Burying Barbie; and Peerless, Coriolanus, Don Juan, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Women Beware Women, This Flat Earth, Paradise Lost, In Arabia We'd All Be Kings (Yale School of Drama). TV: "Elementary," "Instinct." Education: BMus, University of Missouri, Kansas City; MFA, Yale School of Drama.
Caroline Hewitt (Charlene Stewart/Ghost Writer) - 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 and Barefoot in the Park. London: Lazarus (King's Cross Theatre). Film: Gosling, Dogpatch. Education: MFA, American Conservatory Theater.
Rick Holmes (Thomas Everson) - 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 includes Spamalot (The Hollywood Bowl); and The Visit, The Rivals (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Film: The Papers, Irreplaceable You, The Girl in the Park, The Stepford Wives, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Melinda and Melinda. TV: "Atlanta," "BrainDead," "The Punisher," "Modern Family," "Elementary," "The Good Wife," "The City," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Talk to Me."
Ted Koch (Mark O'Hare) - LCT debut. Broadway: Death of a Salesman, The Pillowman, Elling, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Off- Broadway: Acolyte, 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 Theatre Festival); Strange Interlude (Shakespeare Theatre); True West (Arena Stage). Film: Ratter, Englishman in New York, Cold Souls, Love to Leenya, Hannibal, Autumn in New York, Dinner Rush, Stranger. TV includes "The Get Down," "Blindspot," "The Path," "Person of Interest," "Elementary," "The Blacklist," "The West Wing," "Law & Order," "The Americans," "The Sopranos" and "Death of a Salesman" (Showtime).
Ian Lassiter (Ensemble) - LCT: War Horse. Broadway: The Cherry Orchard (Roundabout). Off-Broadway: Pericles, An Octoroon (TFANA); Antony and Cleopatra (The Public, RSC); Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 (Kazino); Mission Drift (co-writer/performer; Connelly Theater, U.S.; National Theatre, London). Regional: Hamlet, Richard II (Old Globe); Oliver! (Arena Stage); The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare & Co.); An Iliad: Guerrillas at Troy (Continuum Company; Florence, Italy); Henry V (Two River Theater). Education: BA, Fordham University; MFA, NYU.
Teresa Avia Lim (Judy Chen) - LCT debut. Off-Broadway includes Taming of the Shrew, The Mobile Unit's Macbeth, NAATCO's Awake and Sing (The Public); The Moors (Playwrights Realm); Peerless; Water by the Spoonful; Edith Can Shoot Things; Hit Them; and Concerning Strange Devices From the Distant West. Other theater: Seminar, 4000 Miles. Film: Monster. TV: "Blue Bloods," "Limitless," "Unforgettable," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." Education: Yale School of Drama.
Adam Ludwig (Ensemble) - LCT debut. Off-Broadway: Good, Scenes From an Execution, Spatter Pattern, Crave, Somewhere in the Pacific (PTP/NYC); Jewtopia. Other theater includes Train to 2010 (Crossroads); Frost/Nixon (Portland Center Stage); Mary Stuart (Pittsburg Public); Much Ado About Nothing (Old Globe); The House of Blue Leaves (Berkeley Rep); Richard III, Peer Gynt, No for an Answer, Three Sisters (A.C.T.); and Love's Labour's Lost, Cymbeline (Shakespeare Santa Cruz). Film: Water Under the Bridge. TV: "Fringe," "Sex and the City," "Guiding Light," "As the World Turns," "One Life to Live."
SEAN MCINTYRE (Ensemble) - LCT debut. Off-Broadway: Job, These Seven Sicknesses, True Bible Tales, Starwatch, White Hot, She Kills Monsters, The Wundelsteipen (The Flea); Searchingfor Romeo (NYMF); High Plains (Richmond Shepard Theatre). Regional: JUNK, Go.Please.Go.,3 Women in 4 Chairs (La Jolla); Waitingfor Lefty (Ubuntu Theater Project). Film: A Dangerous Place, S'N'M The Sitcom. Education: MFA, University of California, San Diego; BA, James Madison University.
Nate Miller (Devon Atkins) - LCT debut. Off-Broadway: Ripcord, Of Good Stock (MTC); Love and Information (New York Theatre Workshop); Peter and the Starcatcher; Wyoming (Lesser America). Regional: Airness, The May Queen, Tiger Style, This Random World, True West, Romeo and Juliet, Curse of the Starving Class. Film: Another Kind. TV: "The Good Wife," "Us & Them." Education: The Juilliard School Drama Division (Group 39); BA, Marquette University.
Steven Pasquale (Robert Merkin) - 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 noms.), reasons to be pretty. Off-Broadway: Assassins (City Center Encores!), The Robber Bridegroom (Lortel Award), Carousel (Chicago Lyric Opera), The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide... (The Public), Far From Heaven (Playwrights Horizons), A Soldier's Play (Second Stage), Fat Pig (MCC), Beautiful Child (Vineyard Theatre). Film: Alien vs. Predator Requiem (Twentieth Century Fox), Aurora Borealis (Regent). TV: "Divorce" (upcoming, HBO), "Doubt" (CBS), "American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson" (FX), "Billions" (Showtime), "Bloodline" (Netflix), "The Good Wife" (CBS), "Do No Harm" (NBC), "Coma" (A&E), "Up All Night" (NBC), "Rescue Me" (FX), "Six Feet Under" (HBO).
Ethan Phillips (Murray Lefkowitz) - 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 Forum, Center Stage, Westport Country Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Geffen Playhouse, McCarter Theatre. Film includes Inside Llewyn Davis, Irrational Man, Purge 3, The Island, Bad Santa, Green Card Man Without a Face,Lean on Me and 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 (Israel Peterman) - LCT debut. Broadway: The Merchant of Venice, Prelude to a Kiss. Off-Broadway includes A Particle of Dread, Kin, The Winter's Tale, The Duchess of Malfi (Joseph A. Callaway Award), Still Life, The Revengers' Tragedy and Book of Days. Regional includes JUNK (La Jolla), title role in Macbeth (Hartford Stage; Connecticut Critics Circle Award), Williamstown Theatre Festival, Arena Stage and Shakespeare Theatre. Film includes The Wolf of Wall Street, Labor Day, Antidote, Premium Rush and No Reservations. TV includes "Banshee" (four seasons); "Blue Bloods," "Shades of Blue," "Believe," "Treme" (recurring); "Seven Seconds," "Law & Order: SVU," "Bull," "Elementary," "The Blacklist," "The Good Wife" and "Law & Order."
Matthew Saldivar (Raul Rivera) - LCT: Act One, Luther Billis in South Pacific (first national tour). Broadway: Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher, Honeymoon in Vegas, A Streetcar Named Desire, Grease, The Wedding Singer. Off-Broadway includes Hamlet (The Public; dir. Sam Gold), Hadestown (New York Theatre Workshop; dir. Rachel Chavkin), Daphne's Dive (Signature; dir. Thomas Kail), Important Hats of the 20th Century (MTC; dir. Moritz von Stuelpnagel), All in the Timing (Primary Stages; dir. John Rando), Atlantic Theater, NYSF, TFANA, LABrynth, Classic Stage Company and 52nd Street Project. Regional includes Guthrie Theater, Long Wharf, Mark Taper Forum, Shakespeare Theater D.C. and 5th Avenue-Seattle. Education: BA/MA, Middlebury College; MFA, NYU.
CHARLIE SEMINE (Giuseppi Addesso) - LCT debut. Theater: Yale Repertory Theatre, Chautauqua Theater Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, RADA. Film includes Aardvark, Friends and Romansand Mr. Popper's Penguins. TV includes "BrainDead," "Instinct," "Bull," "Flesh and Bone," "The Following," "Smash," "Mercy," "Limitless," "Blue Bloods," "Person of Interest," "The Good Wife," "A Gifted Man," "Damages" and "Law & Order." Education: Yale School of Drama.
Michael Siberry (Leo Tresler) - LCT: When the Rain Stops Falling, The Frogs, Onthe 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, The 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 (Amy Merkin) - LCT debut. Off-Broadway: Finks (Drama Desk nomination; EST); Tiny Beautiful Things, Hamlet (The Public); A Delicate Ship (Playwrights Realm); You Got Older (page73); Everything You Touch (Rattlestick); The Witch of Edmonton (Red Bull). Regional: Mary Jane, The Moors (Yale Repertory Theatre); The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window (Jeff nom.; Goodman); Measure for Measure, All's Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, The Dog in the Manger (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Peer Gynt (Guthrie Theatre); Awake and Sing! (Arena Stage). Film: Better Days Ahead. TV: "The Blacklist," "Elementary," "Pan Am," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." Education: BA and MFA, Brown University.
Joey Slotnick (Boris Pronsky) - LCT debut. Broadway: The Front Page, The Big Knife. Off-Broadway: Dying for It, Happy Hour, Offices, The New York Idea, Almost an Evening, The Altruists. Regional: Lookingglass Theatre Company (ensemble member), Goodman, Steppenwolf, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Bucks County, Bay Street. Film: Humor Me, The Cobbler, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, Hollow Man, Blast from the Past, Twister, Judas Kiss, Dinner and Driving, Since You've Been Gone, A League of Their Own. TV: "Blue Bloods," "The Good Wife," "Unforgettable," "Too Big to Fail," "Psych," "CSI," "The Offic ," "Nip Tuck," "Law & Order: SVU," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Boston Public," "Entourage," "Pirates of Silicon Valley," "Family Guy," "The Single Guy."
Henry Stram (Maximilien Cizik) - LCT debut. Broadway: The Elephant Man (also London West End), Inherit the Wind, The Crucible, Titanic. Off-Broadway includes The Hairy Ape (Park Avenue Armory), The School for Scandal (Red Bull), Posterity (Atlantic Theater), Fly by Night (Playwrights Horizons), Antony and Cleopatra (The Public, RSC), The Cradle Will Rock (City Center Encores! Off- Center) and Charles Ives Take Me Home (Rattlestick). Film: The World's Greatest Showman, Submission, Angelica, The Grey Zone, Cradle Will Rock. TV: "The Detour," "Smash," "The Americans," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." Education: Juilliard. Awards: Obie Award for Sustained Excellence.
Stephanie Umoh (Ensemble) - LCT: Falsettos. Broadway: Sarah in Ragtime (Theatre World Award). Other New York the- ater includes Falling for Eve, Jerry's Girls, The Show Goes On and Clyde n' Bonnie. Tour: Fiasco Theater's production of Into the Woods (Witch). Regional includes Sister Act (Marriott Theatre), Les Misérables (Casa Mañana Theatre), Luck Be a Lady (Asolo Rep), The Color Purple (Milwaukee Rep), Jesus Christ Superstar (Pittsburgh CLO), Aida (Drury Lane Theatre), Johnny Baseball (A.R.T.) and A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre). Film: Big Words. TV: "NYC 22." Education: BFA, The Boston Conservatory.