Maria Dizzia, Will Pullen to Headline Amanda Peet's New Play Reading Tonight at MCC Theater

Maria Dizzia, Will Pullen to Headline Amanda Peet's New Play Reading Tonight at MCC Theater

MCC Theater today announced the complete cast and creative team for Amanda Peet's Our Very Own Carlin McCullough, the first of the 2017 PlayLabs readings, which will be held tonight, September 11th, at 7pm at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street).

Written by MCC alum Amanda Peet and directed by Tyne Rafaeli, the cast of Our Very Own Carlin McCullough will include MCC Theater alumni Stefania LaVie Owen, Will Pullen, and Tony Award nominee Maria Dizzia; as well as Maurice Jones and Mckayla Twiggs.

Carlin McCullough is a tennis prodigy with the chance for greatness, but the adults in her life can't agree on what it takes to succeed in the intense world of competitive tennis. While her long-time coach and troubled mother grapple with their own pasts and failed ambitions, a dramatic encounter forces Carlin to come to terms with her past and face her future head on.

The PlayLabs reading series invites audiences to engage directly with playwrights as they develop new works for the theater. Each reading includes a post-show reception with wine and snacks, offering a chance to discuss the work and mingle with the playwrights, actors, MCC leadership, and other audience members.

As previously announced, the 2017 PlayLabs reading series will also include El Huracàn by Charise Castro Smith (September 25), Happiness and Joe by 2017-18 Tow Playwright-in-Residence Jocelyn Bioh (October 2), and Dear by MCC Theater Youth Company alum Lily Houghton (October 16). Full casting will be announced shortly. All readings are at 7pm at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street). Tickets on-sale now are $15, and include a post-reading reception with the artists and MCC leadership. For tickets and more info, visit www.mcctheater.org.

Past PlayLabs playwrights include MCC's Playwright-in-Residence Neil LaBute, Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis, Tony winning Dear Evan Hansen book writer Steven Levenson, Pulitzer Prize finalist Anthony Rapp, and MCC mainstage alums John Pollono (Small Engine Repair and Lost Girls) and Stephen Belber (Don't Go Gentle), among others.

In addition to the PlayLabs series, the 2017-18 MCC Theater Season includes the NYC premiere of Charm (currently running until October 8, 2017), a play by Chicago-based, Jefferson Award-winning playwright Philip Dawkins and directed by Helen Hayes Award winner and 2017 Lucille Lortel Award nominee Will Davis; School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play (November 2 - December 10, 2017) by 2017-2018 Tow Playwright-in-Residence Jocelyn Bioh and directed by 2017 Tony® Winner Rebecca Taichman, developed last year at MCC's PlayLab series; Relevance(February 1 - March 11, 2018) by JC Lee and directed by Tony nominee Liesl Tommy; Transfers (April 5 - May 13, 2018) by MCC Youth Company Playwriting Lab Director Lucy Thurber and directed by Jackson Gay; and the world premiere of MCC Playwright-in-Residence Neil LaBute's new play, Reasons to be Pretty Happy (August 16 - September 23, 2018), to be directed by MCC alum Leigh Silverman.

MCC Theater broke ground on its first permanent home- a two-theater complex on West 52nd Street and 10th Avenue-on March 22, 2016. Set to open in 2018, the space will unite MCC's diverse roster of programs under one roof for the first time in the company's three-decade history. The new facility will also allow MCC to expand its programming and establish it as a cultural anchor within the Clinton neighborhood. The $35 million project is funded by a public-private partnership between the Theater and the City of New York, which has contributed $25.7 million to the project. The campaign has raised $30 million to-date.

MCC Theater's playwright development program, PlayLabs, helps foster the MCC artistic community by providing writers intensive dramaturgical support, as well as the opportunity to work alongside professional directors and actors to engage public audiences in the development of new work. The PlayLabs reading series incorporates informal post-show gatherings for conversation between artists and audiences that enliven and stimulate the often solitary and insular writing and development process. Plays developed as part of PlayLabs have gone on to full productions at MCC, as well as at other nonprofit theaters in New York and overseas, adding vibrant new works to the contemporary theatrical canon.

The company's education initiatives serve more than 1,200 public school students throughout New York each year through a mix of programs for students and teachers inside and outside the classroom. Employing the tools of theater alongside traditional academic and career-readiness, the programs empower young people to find and express their own voices, and become engaged citizens throughout and beyond their academic careers. Dedicated mentors provide students with support as they explore acting, writing, directing, and theater production alongside professionals in the field, and provide college- and career-readiness opportunities to complement the theater-focused initiatives.

The centerpiece of the institution's education programs is the MCC Theater Youth Company, the first free, after-school company of its kind associated with a professional theater. Since its founding in 2001 as an eight-member ensemble, the Youth Company has grown to serve more than 100 students each year and now includes a flagship Youth Company and satellite groups developed in partnership with schools in Washington Heights and Brooklyn.

MCC Theater is one of New York's leading nonprofit Off-Broadway companies, driven by a mission to provoke conversations that have never happened and otherwise never would. Founded in 1986 as a collective of artists leading peer-based classes to support their own development as actors, writers and directors, the tenets of collaboration, education, and community are at the core of MCC Theater's programming. One of the only theaters in the country led continuously by its founders, Artistic Directors Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, and William Cantler, MCC fulfills its mission through the production of world, American, and New York premiere plays and musicals that challenge artists and audiences to confront contemporary personal and social issues, and robust playwright development and education initiatives that foster the next generation of theater artists and students.

MCC Theater's celebrated productions include Penelope Skinner's The Village Bike; Robert Askins' Hand to God; John Pollono's Small Engine Repair; Paul Downs Colaizzo's Really Really; Sharr White's The Other Place (Broadway transfer); a fully reimagined version of the legendary musical Carrie; Jeff Talbott's The Submission (Laurents/Hatcher Award); Michael Weller's Fifty Words; Alexi Kaye Campbell's The Pride; Bryony Lavery's Frozen (Broadway transfer; four 2004 Tony Award nominations including Best Play, Tony Award for Best Featured Actor); Tim Blake Nelson's The Grey Zone; Rebecca Gilman's The Glory of Living (2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist); Margaret Edson's Wit (1999 Pulitzer Prize); and ten plays by Playwright-in-Residence Neil LaBute, including Reasons to Be Happy, reasons to be pretty (Broadway transfer, three 2009 Tony® Award nominations, including Best Play), Some Girl(s), Fat Pig, The Mercy Seat, and most recently All The Ways To Say I Love You. Many plays developed and produced by MCC have gone on to productions throughout the country and around the world.

Blake West joined the company in 2006 as Executive Director. MCC will open its first permanent home in 2018 in Manhattan's Clinton neighborhood, unifying the company's activities under one roof for the first time and expanding its producing, artist development, and education programming. The theater is currently in the midst of a $35 million campaign to support its expansion and growing artistic operations, with $30 million raised to-date.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Amanda Peet (Playwright) is an actress and playwright who most recently starred in the IFC series "Brockmire". Before that she could be seen in the HBO series "Togetherness" created by the Duplass Brothers, as well as the movies Please Give, The Whole Nine Yards, Igby Goes Down, Something's Gotta Give, Changing Lanes, and Syriana. Her professional playwriting debut Commons of Pensacola ran at MTC starring Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Tyne Rafaeli (Director) was born in London and trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Columbia University. She has directed new plays, classics and musicals in London and the US. Her work has been seen at: Classic Stage Company, The Atlantic Theatre, Roundabout, The Geffen Playhouse, Two River Theatre, New York Stage & Film, PlayMaker's Rep, Goodspeed, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Great Lakes Theatre, American Players Theatre, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Juilliard, The O'Neill Playwright's Conference and PlayPenn, amongst others. Tyne is a 2016-2018 Time Warner Directing Fellow at the Women's Project Theatre and was awarded the 2013-14 SDCF Sir John Gielgud Fellowship for Classical Direction. She has previously served as Associate Director to Bartlett Sher on multiple Broadway and West End productions. Upcoming projects include: Measure for Measure at the California Shakespeare Theatre and the West Coast premiere of Martyna Majok's Ironbound at the Geffen Playhouse.

Maria Dizzia (Cyn). New York credits include: If I Forget, The Layover, Belleville (2013 Drama Desk Nomination), Uncle Vanya, Cradle and All, In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play), (2010 Tony Award nomination); The Hallway Trilogy, and more. Maria portrayed Polly on two seasons of Netflix's "Orange is the New Black". Other film and television credits include: While We're Young, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Margin Call, Rachel Getting Married, "Horace and Pete," "Royal Pains," "The Newsroom", "The Good Wife", "Master of None", "Louie", "Fringe", and "Law & Order". Upcoming she will be seen in New Line's film Going in Style and Netflix's "13 Reasons Why". Maria received her MFA from the University of California, San Diego.

Maurice Jones (Bertram). Broadway: The Cherry Orchard, Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar. Off Broadway: Linda (Manhattan Theatre Club);Troilus & Cressida, Pretty Hunger (Public Theater); Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout). Regional: The Model American, A Legendary Romance (Williamstown); As You Like It, Ruined, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Taming of the Shrew, (Denver Center);Butler (Barrington Stage); Julius Caesar (Folger Shakespeare Library); Lives of Reason (Two River Theater) The Learned Ladies (STNJ); Richard III, Charley's Aunt, Fahrenheit 451, Topdog/Underdog, Nicholas Nickleby, Our Town (National Theatre Conservatory). Television: "30 Rock," "Conviction." Film: Winter's Tale, And So It Goes, Romeo & Juliet. National Theatre Conservatory, MFA.

Stefania LaVie Owen (Carlin). Last seen at MCC Theater in YEN. She is best known for her starring role as Dorrit Bradshaw on CW's "The Carrie Diaries" and can currently be seen as Nicole Chance on the Hulu series "Chance" opposite Hugh Laurie and Diane Farr. Her screen credits include the 2015 holiday-fantasy hit Krampus; Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, her feature film debut; opposite Katie Holmes in the indie drama All We Had.

Will Pullen (Jay) recently wrapped the Pulitzer-prize winning production of Lynn Nottage's Sweat for director Kate Whoriskey in his Broadway debut. Last summer he was seen in the Williamstown Theatre Festival's productions of Tennessee Williams' Rose Tattoo, opposite Maria Tomei and Christopher Abbott and Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter. He was most recently seen recurring in FX's spy drama, "The Americans," opposite Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys and can be seen in the Andrew Neel film, Goat, which premiered at last year's Sundance Film Festival. Past TV credits include: "The Good Wife," "Elementary" and filmed Jenji Kohan's HBO pilot "The Devil You Know", directed by Gus Van Sant. Past theater: Scarcity (Rattlestick), Marie Antoinette (Soho Rep), Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra (Playwright's Horizons), The Wayside Motor Inn (Signature Theater), and Punk Rock (MCC). Will received The Clarence Derwent Award for his performance inSweat. Will was nominated for the prestigious Clive Barnes Award, honoring the most promising young actors, for his work in The Wayside Motor Inn, and was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for his role in Punk Rock.

Mckayla Twiggs (Carlin at 10). Mckayla, 12, is currently in the cast of Broadway's Anastasia. Other BROADWAY credits: Les Miserables Revival (Little Cosette) and Once (Ivanka). TV: "Orange is the New Black" (guest). Upcoming "Black Mirror" (guest). Film: Winter's Tale (Little Willa), 37, Murder of Kitty Genovese. Readings of Anastasia, and Playwrights Horizons' Iowa. Various voiceovers and commercials. Very happy to be part of this cast!

Pictured: Maria Dizzia. Photo by Jessica Fallon Gordon.


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