Henry Woronicz and Brian Ellingsen to Lead AN ILIAD at La Jolla Playhouse
La Jolla Playhouse has just announced casting for its upcoming production of An Iliad, a one-man adaptation of Homer's classic tale, adapted by Denis O'Hare (Tony Award-winning actor in Take Me Out) and Lisa Peterson (director of The Playhouse's Surf Report and Be Aggressive), based on a translation by Robert Fagles, directed by Lisa Peterson. A co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, An Iliad features Henry Woronicz as the "Poet," with Brian Ellingsen as the "Musician" and runs August 11 – September 9 in the Mandell Weiss Forum.
The Trojan War has never been more enthralling than in this visionary new adaptation of Homer's epic tale. Spinning the familiar saga of gods and goddesses, undying love and endless battles, An Iliad's stalwart storyteller takes audiences on a sweeping journey to the front lines of nearly every major war in history, in this riveting account of humanity's unshakeable attraction to violence, destruction and chaos.
Winner of the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show, An Iliad has been hailed by critics. "A brilliant and thrilling adaptation," raved the Philadelphia Enquirer; while The New York Times hailed it as "smartly conceived and impressively executed…an age-old story that resonates with tragic meaning today."
Tickets for An Iliad are available online at LaJollaPlayhouse.org or by calling The Playhouse Box Office at (858) 550-1010.
Henry Woronicz has appeared on Broadway in Julius Caesar with Denzel Washington. He has acted and directed regionally at American Conservatory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Players Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Delaware Theatre Company, The Shakespeare Theatre, CenterStage, Syracuse Stage, Arden Theatre Company, Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, Meadow Brook Theatre, Boston Shakespeare Company, as well as the Utah, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey and Alabama Shakespeare Festivals. His television credits include: Seinfeld, Ally McBeal, Cheers, Picket Fences, Third Rock from the Sun, Star Trek: Voyager and Law & Order. Mr. Woronicz served as Oregon Shakespeare Festival's resident actor/director from 1984 to 1991 and as its Artistic Director from 1991 to 1995. He was also Executive Producer of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival in 2008/2009. He is currently the Head of MFA Acting at Illinois State University.
Denis O'Hare won the Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for his performance as "Mason Marzac" in the hit Broadway play Take Me Out. Other Broadway productions include Assassins (Tony nomination), Sweet Charity and Inherit the Wind, among others. An Iliad is his first collaboration and his debut as a writer for theatre. He has written two screenplays, as well as short stories and poetry. While at Northwestern University pursuing an acting degree, he followed the poetry writing program for two years and studied poetry under Alan Shapiro, Mary Kinzie and Reginald Gibbons. He has appeared on Broadway and Off-Broadway numerous times, as well as in many regional theatres. He has appeared in many films, including Milk, Michael Clayton, Charlie Wilson's War, A Mighty Heart, Duplicity, An Englishman in New York, 21 Grams, Garden State and Eagle. His television work includes roles on Brothers and Sisters, CSI Miami, all of the Law & Order franchises and on the hit series True Blood, as the Vampire King "Russell Edgington."
Lisa Peterson has directed ten productions at La Jolla Playhouse, including the world premieres of Surf Report and Be Aggressive, both written by Annie Weisman, as well as Mother Courage and her Children, The Country, Wonderland, Valley Song, The Triumph of Love, The Good Person of Setzuan, Arms and the Man and Marisol. Her New York credits include: Shipwrecked, The Model Apartment (Primary Stages); End Days (EST); The Poor Itch, Tongue of a Bird, The Square (Public Theater); The Fourth Sister, The Batting Cage (Vineyard); Birdy, Chemistry of Change (WPP/Playwrights Horizons); Collected Stories (MTC); Tight Embrace (Intar); Sue?o (MCC); Bexley, OH, Slavs!, Traps, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (Obie Award), The Waves (NYTW); and The Scarlet letter (CSC). Her regional work includes productions at the Mark Taper Forum (Resident Director, 1995-2005), Seattle Rep, Berkley Rep, Intiman, South Coast Rep, CalShakes, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Guthrie Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Arena Stage, McCarter, Centerstage, Yale Rep, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf, The Huntington, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Philadelphia Theater Co., Sundance Theater Lab, O'Neill Playwrights Conference, Midwest Playlabs, NY Stage & Film. She also serves on the Executive Board of SDC.
The nationally acclaimed, Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is known for its tradition of creating the most exciting and adventurous new work in regional theatre. Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, The Playhouse is considered one of the most well-respected not-for-profit theatres in the country. Numerous Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, including the currently-running Memphis, Jersey Boys and Peter and the Starcatcher, as well as Big River, The Who's Tommy, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Walk in the Woods, Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Farnsworth Invention, 33 Variations and Bonnie & Clyde. Located on the UC San Diego campus, La Jolla Playhouse is made up of three primary performance spaces: the Mandell Weiss Theatre, the Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre, and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse, a state-of-the-Art Theatre complex which features the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre. La Jolla Playhouse is led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg.