Kathleen Widdoes Joins Cast Of Epic's Benefit Event: AS THE EPIC TURNS 4/17, 18

By: Apr. 09, 2009
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It was announced that soap star Kathleen Widdoes joins the previously announced cast of the Epic Theatre Ensemble (Zak Berkman, Melissa Friedman, Ron Russell, Executive Directors) two-night benefit event: As The Epic Turns, to support its esteemed after-school "Shakespeare Bridge Project" programs. Under the direction of Zak Berkman, the 90-minute evening features two-time Emmy Award Winner, Martha Byrne, along with Paolo Seganti, and Tamara Tunie in a series of staged readings with special material written by Christopher Durang, John Guare, Judy Tate, Zak Berkman, plus the exclusive New York premiere of Paul Leyden's film Bye Bye Sally featuring Malin Ackerman, followed by a reception with the cast and Epic Theater Ensemble artists. Two performances are scheduled for 8:00 p.m. on Friday, April 17th and Saturday, April 18th at The Peter Jay Sharpe Theater (416 West 42nd Street).

Tickets are priced at $75 with Premium Seats available at $100 and may be purchased online through Ticket Central at www.ticketcentral.com , by phone at (212) 279-4200, or at the Box Office (416 West 42nd Street). Please visit the Epic Theater Ensemble website at www.epictheaterensemble.org for additional information.

Martha Byrne, Paolo Seganti, Tamara Tunie and Kathleen Widdoes all starred together on the CBS TV Daytime Serial, As The World Turns. This duet of reunion performances coincides with the weekend of the annual As The World Turns fan luncheon. At the event, Epic Theater will present an exclusive premiere of Paul Leyden's film Bye Bye Sally featuring Malin Ackerman which is about a suicidal woman who meets a hit man and discovers a reason to live. Leyden also appeared on As The World Turns.

Epic Theater Ensemble believes that plays are ideally suited for helping students explore the connection between politics and their personal lives. Their education programs use theater to foster empathy, create civic dialogue, and empower student voices in their communities and beyond. During in depth residencies in English and History classrooms in New York City Public Schools, Epic Theater works with teachers to guide students in the exploration of the relationship between individuals and their society. Working with Epic Teaching Artists, students write and perform theatre productions that inspire and awaken civic engagement.

Epic Theatre Ensemble's esteemed After-School "Bridge Projects" bring together a company of professional actors, playwrights, directors, and designers with a select group of students from the company's in-school programs to collaborate on an adaptation of a classic play (Greeks, Shakespeare, Moliere, Ibsen, etc.). The resulting script infuses student writing with the original text and is rehearsed and performed at an Off-Broadway venue.


In sharing his excitement about the "Bridges Project," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "Your program has been a strong source of support for many students and I thank you for your tremendous efforts. It is always a pleasure to unite with people and organizations that are committed to improving the quality of life for our City's youth and to enhancing the arts community."


Epic Theater Ensemble is the recipient of OBIE, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics, and OTTO Awards. The artist-run company was founded by Zak Berkman, Melissa Friedman, Teri Lamm, Ron Russell and James Wallert. Additional Producing Artists are Will Pomerantz, Godfrey L. Simmons Jr. and Sarah Winkler.


Epic's first official day of operations was September 11, 2001. Rather than be deterred by world events, Epic's Founders were galvanized to work even harder to create a company that embraces theatre and theatre-artists as unique instruments for empowering diverse voices, fostering public dialogue, and inspiring social change. The artists who participate in Epic's Off-Broadway Season are also part of the company's nationally acclaimed Arts-In-Education residencies that are presented in public high schools and community centers in New York, New Jersey, and New England.


Epic's past productions include Nilaja Sun's No Child..., which Epic commissioned, developed and premiered before its commercial transfer and national tour, as well as premieres of Palace of the End by Judith Thompson (Epic Commission, 2008 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Winner), A Hard Heart by Howard Barker (featuring Kathleen Chalfant), Beauty on the Vine by Zak Berkman (featuring Olivia Wilde), Hannah and Martin by Kate Fodor (featuring David Strathairn), Einstein's Gift by Vern Thiessen (featuring Aasif Mandvi and Shawn Elliott), Habitat by Judith Thompson (featuring Rebecca Schull) and revivals of GB Shaw's Widowers' Houses (featuring Peter Jay Fernandez, Rachael Holmes, & Jacob Ming-Trent), Little Eyolf by Henrik Ibsen and Time and the Conways by J.B. Priestley. Epic's annual Sunshine Series Readings Festival shining light on new political playwriting has nurtured and presented work by numerous socially-minded writers including Bathsheba Doran, Marcus Gardley, Jeanne Sakata, Nilaja Sun, Judy Tate, Vern Thiessen, Judith Thompson, Daniel Voll, Patricia Wettig, and David Zellnik. In June 2008, Epic's New Play Wing was in residence at The Orchard Project developing a number of projects including Lear de Bessonet/Todd Almond's OLIVER!

Throughout Epic's 8 Seasons the company has deepened the connection between its Off-Broadway and School Communities and Programs through "Bridge Projects" such as their annual Shakespeare Bridge Productions and First Time Voter Celebrations. In addition, the company established Epic NEXT, an apprentice company comprised of former students from our in-school residencies.

Epic Theatre Ensemble is a Member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, as well as ART/NY.