Mark Blum, Debra Monk and More Join Jamie Brewer in Roundabout's AMY AND THE ORPHANS; Cast Complete!
Roundabout Theatre Company has announced the complete cast of the world-premiere production Amy and the Orphans, by Roundabout Underground alumna Lindsey Ferrentino (Ugly Lies the Bone), with direction by eight-time Tony Award nominee Scott Ellis (She Loves Me, On the Twentieth Century).
Joining the previously announced Jamie Brewer ("American Horror Story") as "Amy," are Vanessa Aspillaga as "Kathy," Mark Blum as "Jacob," Diane Davis as "Sarah," Josh McDermitt as "Bobby" and Debra Monk as "Maggie."
Amy and the Orphans is Ferrentino's Roundabout Underground commission. As part of Roundabout's commitment to foster the talent of emerging writers, each Underground playwright is commissioned to write a new play before their Underground play is produced.
Amy and the Orphans will begin preview performances Off-Broadway on February 1, 2018, and open officially on March 1, 2018 at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street). This will be a limited engagement through April 22, 2018.
Roundabout welcomes Jamie Brewer as she takes on the title role of "Amy," a woman with Down syndrome who helps her family deal with their father's death. Together, they careen down the Great American Long Island Expressway, navigating strip malls, traffic jams and some serious (and not-so-serious) family drama. An unexpected turn reveals the moment that changed their lives...and the fact that Amy may be the only one who knows her own mind.
Jamie Brewer made her television debut as Adelaide "Addie" Langdon in "American Horror Story: Murder House" and continued with the series in "American Horror Story: Coven" as Nan. In 2015, Brewer became the first woman with Down syndrome to walk at New York Fashion Week.
Roundabout is thrilled to welcome back Mark Blum and Debra Monk. Blum returns following his performance in the critically acclaimed hit production of Twelve Angry Men in 2004. Monk has appeared twice on Roundabout's stages, Company in 1995, and she received a Tony nomination for her role in Picnic in 1994.
Through Roundabout's New Play Initiative and staged readings, Ellis, Ferrentino and Brewer have been developing the play and the character together since 2015, ahead of the Off-Broadway premiere.
Playwright Lindsey Ferrentino returns to the Steinberg Center following Ugly Lies the Bone, her critically acclaimed New York debut as part of Roundabout Underground starring Mamie Gummer. Ugly Lies the Bone was produced by the National Theatre in London in February 2017 and is the recipient of The Laurents/Hatcher Foundation's Special Citation of Excellence and the Joseph Kesselring Prize.
Through the New Play Initiative, Roundabout proves its devotion to the development and production of new works by significant writers and artists. The Roundabout Underground program in particular, provides substantial artistic and financial resources to emerging playwrights to stage their debut productions in New York and on Roundabout's stages. In addition to producing their first play, writers receive a commission for a future play, showing a level of commitment to writers' careers and the future of theatre in New York that is unparalleled. The New Play Initiative has discovered and brought audiences some of the most important new voices in theatre and is dedicated to creating a diverse canon for the future of theatre. To learn more about Roundabout's commitment to the development of new work, visit New Play Initiative.
Roundabout's work with new and emerging playwrights and directors, as well as development of new work, is made possible by Katheryn Patterson and Tom Kempner.
We gratefully acknowledge the Roundabout Leaders for New Works: Alec Baldwin, James Costa and John Archibald, Linda L. D'Onofrio, Peggy and Mark Ellis, Jodi Glucksman, Sylvia Golden, Hess Foundation, Inc., Judith and Douglas Krupp, K. Myers, Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, Laura S. Rodgers, Seedlings Foundation, Mary Solomon, Lauren and Danny Stein, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and Dr. Leonard Tow.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Vanessa Aspillaga (Kathy). Broadway: 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics with Jimmy Smits. Off- broadway and Regional: Daphne's Dive, Paradise Park (Signature Theatre); Domesticated, The Clean House (Lincoln Center Theater); underneathmybed (Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nominee, HOLA Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor Award; Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); Chasing Manet (Primary Stages); The Cataract (Women's Project); As You Like It (Public Theater New York Shakespeare Festival); Anna in the Tropics (McCarter Theatre); Two Sisters and a Piano (ALLIANCE THEATRE Company); Night of the Assassins (INTAR); Cutting Open Wings (LAByrinth); They Still Mambo in Havana (The Flea); Missionaries (Brooklyn Academy Of Music/LaMama ETC/New York Stage and Film); Voir Dire (Long Wharf/Arena Stage/ Seattle Repertory); A Park in our House (New York Theatre Workshop/ McCarter); The Lady from the Sea (Cleveland Play House). Film: Detours, Alex of Venice, Tio Papi, Gun Hill Road, Morning Glory, Love and Other Drugs, Petty Crimes, My Best Friend's Wife, Pyrite, Stringer, Mr. Wonderful. TV: "Falling Water," "Flesh and Bone," "The Jim Gaffigan Show," "Nurse Jackie," "Elementary," "The Good Wife," "Unforgettable," "Rubicon," "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order," "The Jury," "Deadline," "As the World Turns." She is a founding member of LAByrinth Theater Company and a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop.
Mark Blum (Jacob). As an actor, Mark appears in the Amazon series, "Mozart in the Jungle," as the first flutist in a NY-based symphony orchestra. He has appeared on Broadway in Richard Greenberg's The Assembled Parties, both Broadway revivals of Gore Vidal's The Best Man, Twelve Angry Men, The Graduate, A Thousand Clowns, Lost In Yonkers, My Thing of Love and The Merchant. Off-Broadway appearances include Rancho Vieijo, The Model Apartment, The Good Mother, Lonely I'm Not, We Live Here, Picked, After The Revolution, The Singing Forest, Mourning Becomes Electra, The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Waverly Gallery, Mizlanski Zilinski, Little Footsteps, It's Only A Play, Gus and Al (for which he was awarded an Obie), Key Exchange, Table Settings and Say Goodnight Gracie. is films include Blumenthal, I Don't Know How She Does It, Shattered Glass, Desperately Seeking Susan, Crocodile Dundee, The Presidio, Blind Date, Worth Winning, Lovesick and Miami Rhapsody. On TV, he has appeared in the HBO movie "Indictment: The McMartin Trial," the Showtime movie "The Defenders," the NBC mini-series "The Judge" and the CBS "Jesse Stone Mystery, Innocents Lost." He has been a regular on "Capital News" and "Sweet Surrender," and made guest appearances on, among others, "Elementary," "The Good Wife," "Damages," "Mercy," "Fringe," "The Sopranos," "The West Wing," "Law and Order," "Law and Order Criminal Intent," "Law and Order SVU," "CSI Miami," "NYPD Blue," "Frasier," "The Practice," "Judging Amy," "Roseanne," "Wings," "Miami Vice," and "St. Elsewhere." He has written several screenplays, rewritten several others, and has produced the independent films Search and Destroy and The Lowlife. He teaches at the HB Studio, and in the graduate training program at Brooklyn College. He has also taught at Manhattan School of Music, Manhattan Theater Club, Lincoln Center, Primary Stages, NYU Grad Acting, NYU Undergrad Acting, and Fordham University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MFA in Acting from the University of Minnesota.
Jamie Brewer (Amy) grew up loving all forms of the arts, especially movies and theatre productions. Jamie started acting in a theatre group when she was in junior high school. She has been in theatre groups and theatre productions ever since and recently received her Musical Theater Certificate studying theatre arts in college while working towards her Bachelors of Fine Arts with a theatre emphasis. Jamie was mainstreamed (fully inclusive) in the Southern California and Texas public school system from Kindergarten thru High School. She took a theatre class (College for Kids) at the local college during Junior High School and performed in Godspell and Dr. Doolittle. Jamie was also involved with her High School Drama Club. After graduating she joined a fully inclusive theatre group named Dionysus and became involved with the local Fort Bend Arc Chapter. At the age of 18, Jamie became the youngest President of the Arc Fort Bend Chapter. She held this office for three years, while performing in That's What Friends Are For..., Yada, Yada, Yada, That's What I'm Sayin' and Return to Love Is A Disability. When 19, she was appointed to the State of Texas Arc Board. Jamie was 1 of 17 people to represent all individuals with a handicap for the entire state of Texas and served for four years on this board. While being on the Texas Arc Board, Jamie was elected to the Executive Board as Treasurer and served for three years. While being on both of these boards, Jamie was asked to serve on the Governmental Affairs Committee for the State of Texas where she was the only person with a disability and served for two years. The Committee spoke and advocated for the disabled at the Texas State Capitol with state lawmakers to change the state's wording to "intellectually disabled." Jamie was continually involved with the theatre group during this time and performed in Hanu-Rama-Kwanza-Mas and HAIKU playing the dramatic lead. Jamie became a resident troupe member of Dionysus and performed in many original musicals and plays including Violet and You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, as Sally. She also had the honor of being in the touring theatre portion of the group where they performed at schools, churches and the Houston Children's Museum for the Arts and Accessibility campaign. Jamie was lucky enough to get cast for two consecutive years in a Public Service Announcement that aired on NBC, ABC and CBS for the "Super Bowl of Caring Houston Food Drive," a campaign for food banks. Her family moved back to Southern California and it is there where she started attending a local college with an emphasis on theatre arts. Jamie continues develop her acting from all types of mediums. Jamie has also attended classes at The Groundlings and The Ruskin School of Acting, Meisner Technique.Through the affiliation of the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, Jamie was fortunate to get an audition, then cast for "American Horror Story: Murder House" playing Adelaide. She also appeared in the final season of "SouthLand." Jamie returned to Season 3 of "American Horror Story: Coven" playing Nan as well as season 4, "Freakshow" opposite Neil Patrick Harris. Jamie is the ambassador for Changing the Face of Beauty. She was also the first person with Down syndrome to walk New York Fashion Week in Carrie Hammer's show. She plans to work in this exciting industry for a very long time, while continuing to be an advocate and role model for people with disabilities in all aspects of her life.
Diane Davis (Sarah) was recently seen in The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window at Goodman Theatre. In Chicago, she was recently seen in The Qualms at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Broadway credits include Golden Boy, Festen and Old Acquaintance. Off-Broadway credits include Nice Girl (LAByrinth Theater Company), The Model Apartment (Primary Stages, Lucille Lortel Award and Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Play), Regrets Only (Manhattan Theater Club) and The Young Left (Cherry Lane Theatre. Her regional credits include Abigail/1702 (Pittsburgh City Theater), All My Sons (Huntington Theatre Company), Dying City (Hartford Stage), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Center Theatre Group) and Mother of Invention (Williamstown Theater Festival). Television credits include "Person of Interest," "Blue Bloods," "Power," "Michael and Michael Have Issues," "The Beautiful Life," "Fringe," "Without a Trace," "Law & Order" and "Filthy Gorgeous." Ms. Davis received her MFA from New York University and BA from Northwestern University.
JOSH McDERMITT (Bobby). Good humored, multi-faceted, and tenacious are all words that could describe Josh McDermitt. As a well-known name in the comedy scene, Josh is showcasing not only his skill in comedy, but in dramatic roles as well. Josh is currently a Series Regular on AMC's record breaking hit "The Walking Dead" playing the role of 'Dr. Eugene Porter.' The drama, developed by Frank Darabont, is based off the comic book series of the same name and follows a group of survivors finding their way through a post-apocalyptic world dominated by zombies. Josh also recurred on the final season of Matthew Weiner's "Mad Men" (also AMC) on which he had a dramatically different role. On film, Josh recently starred in two independent features, both of which received critical acclaim on the festival circuit. Middle Man is a dark comedy written and directed by Ned Crowley. Life In Color is a romantic comedy written and directed by Katherine Emmer. Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Josh was raised in an eclectic family, full of life and practical jokesters. While some kids grow up playing at the park, taking a ride in a boat at the lake, or riding ATV's, Josh's family had a hot air balloon, which not only entrained their family but most of the neighborhood as well. By sixteen years old Josh was a licensed pilot so he could fly the balloon- something his family still has today. Josh never had aspirations to be in the entertainment business; growing up he wanted to be a police officer or detective. Yet he fell into the radio industry at an early age, working at the local radio station at fourteen years old, where he began to discover his voice creating characters. Josh attended Grand Canyon University where he majored in Marketing and Public Relations, while he continued to work in radio. After college and after working at the radio station for over ten years, Josh wanted to try his hand in stand up comedy. He had friends who were performing regularly at The Tempe Improv, and he thought, why not give it a shot. He quickly became addicted to being in front of an audience, telling jokes about his crazy, creative family and life experiences. Within two years of doing shows around town, he auditioned for NBC's "Last Comic Standing" and made it to the semi-finals. As one of the 50 comics picked nationwide, the show put him on the map in the comedy world and he decided to go on the road full time. Josh toured with some of the best, opening for Joe Rogan, Louis CK, and Dave Attell. However deep down, his aspirations to branch outside of the comedy circuit grew stronger, and he knew he needed to move to Los Angeles to pursue work in film and television. While auditioning for TV roles, Josh did stand up comedy on the side to pay the bills. In 2011, Josh landed a series regular role on TV Land's "Retired at 35." For two seasons he starred as 'Brandon,' pool man and best friend to 'Dave,' a man who decides to quit the corporate rate race in New York City and retire in Florida at age 35. The series also presented Josh with the opportunity to work with some of the greats in acting, Oscar Nominee George Segal, and Emmy Award Winner Jessica Walter. After 20 episodes of "Retired at 35," Josh landed his next acting gig, a role on the hit AMC series "The Walking Dead." When not working, Josh is a writer and is working on pitching and developing several projects. He has a love for charity and actively supports several organizations, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, and various foundations that support Pancreatic Cancer Research. In his down time you can catch Josh playing basketball, fishing, golfing, and cooking. He is also a self- proclaimed mixologist, and loves to try and mix all kinds of drinks. Josh currently lives in Los Angeles.
Debra Monk (Maggie). Broadway: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Curtains (Drama Desk Award, Tony nomination); Chicago; Reckless; Thou Shalt Not; Ah, Wilderness!; Steel Pier (Tony nomination); Company; Picnic (Tony nomination); Redwood Curtain (Tony Award); Nick and Nora; and Pump Boys and Dinettes (Co-Author, Tony Nomination). Off-Broadway: Assassins; Love, Loss, and What I Wore; Show People; The Seagull; The Time of the Cuckoo (Obie Award); Death-Defying Acts; Three Hotels; and Oil City Symphony (Co-author, Drama Desk Award). Regional: Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing (Signature Theatre), Visiting Edna (World Premiere, Steppenwolf). Film: Demolition, This is Where I Leave You, The Savages, Center Stage, Devil's Advocate, Bridges of Madison County; Jeffrey; Fearless; and Reckless. TV: "Sneaky Pete," "NCIS: New Orleans," "Mozart in the Jungle," "Grey's Anatomy," "Damages," "Girls," "Madam Secretary," "Difficult People," "Blindspot," "Glee," "Desperate Housewives," "NYPD Blue" (Emmy Award).
Lindsey Ferrentino (Playwright) is a New York-based playwright originally from Florida. Lindsey's critically acclaimed Ugly Lies the Bone premiered at Roundabout Theatre Company in the Underground, was produced on the Main Stage at The National Theatre in London (Lyttleton Stage), and has been produced at theaters across the country. Lindsey's full length plays include Ugly Lies the Bone, Amy and the Orphans, Kokomo, Moonlight on the Bayou, Magic Man and Paradise Bar and Grill. They have been developed at Atlantic Theater Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, MCC, The O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Premiere Stages, Florida Studio Theater, The Great Plains Theater Conference, 3LD Art and Technology Center, Manhattan Repertory Theater, and The Marilyn Monroe Theater in New York. Her work has been seen regionally at The Kennedy Center in DC, The Alliance Theater in Georgia, The Blank Theater in LA, and The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Ferrentino is a recipient of the Edward Albee Playwriting Fellowship and Residency as well as Blue Ridge Playwriting Fellowship. Her short stories have been published in New York Magazine and Aaduna Literary Magazine. She is the recipient of the National Art Club's Kesserling Prize, Laurents/Hatcher Citation of Excellence, ASCAP Cole Porter Playwriting Prize, Holland New Voices Playwriting Award, Paul Newman Drama Award, made the 2015 Kilroys List, finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn, nominated for the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award, and is the only two time finalist for the Kendeda Playwriting Prize. Lindsey is currently under commission for new plays from: Roundabout Theatre Company, The Public, The Tricycle, The Geffen, South Coast Repertory, The National Theatre, and a television series for Big Beach Films/TV. She holds a BFA from New York University and two MFA's in playwriting from Hunter College and the Yale School of Drama.
Scott Ellis (Director). Broadway: She Loves Me (Tony Award nomination, Outer Critics Circle nomination), You Can't Take It With You (Tony Award nomination, Outer Critics Circle nomination), On the Twentieth Century (Outer Critics Circle nomination), The Elephant Man (Outer Critics Circle nomination), The Mystery Of Edwin Drood (Tony nomination), Harvey, Curtains (Tony nomination), The Little Dog Laughed (Lortel nomination), Twelve Angry Men (Tony nomination), The Man Who Had All The Luck, The Rainmaker, 1776 (Drama Desk, Tony nomination), Company, Steel Pier (Tony nomination), She Loves Me (Tony nomination), Picnic, A Month In The Country. Off-Broadway: Dada Wolf, Papa Hot (LCT), Tom Durin, Gruesome Playground Inuries, Streamers, Good Boys And True, The Waverly Gallery, Flora, The Red Menace (DD nom), and The World Goes 'Round (Drama Desk Award). TV:"Weeds" (EP), "30 Rock" (Emmy nomination, Best Director), "Modern Family," HBO's "Divorce." Associate Artistic Director, Roundabout Theatre Company. Upcoming TV: "A Christmas Story Live!" on FOX.
The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre opened in March 2004 with an acclaimed premiere of Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel starring Viola Davis, directed by Dan Sullivan. In the ten years since that landmark production, the center has expanded beyond the Laura Pels Theatre to include the Black Box Theatre and now a new education center. The Steinberg Center continues to reflect Roundabout's commitment to produce new works by established and emerging writers as well as revivals of classic plays. This state-of-the-art off-Broadway theatre and education complex is made possible by a major gift from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The Trust was created in 1986 by Harold Steinberg to promote and advance American Theatre as a vital part of our culture by supporting playwrights, encouraging the development and production of new work, and providing financial assistance to not-for-profit theatre companies across the country. Since its inception, the Trust has awarded over $70 million to more than 125 theatre organizations.
Roundabout Theatre Company is committed to producing the highest quality theatre with the finest artists, sharing stories that endure, and providing accessibility to all audiences. A not-for-profit company, Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the production of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate and engage all audiences.
Roundabout Theatre Company presents a variety of plays, musicals, and new works on its five stages, each of which is specifically designed to enhance the needs of Roundabout's mission. Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design, is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics. Roundabout's Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions. The Stephen Sondheim Theatre offers a state of the art LEED certified Broadway theatre in which to stage major large-scale musical revivals. Together these distinctive homes serve to enhance Roundabout's work on each of its stages.
Roundabout's season in 2017-2018 includes Time and the Conways by J. B. Priestley, directed by Rebecca Taichman; John Lithgow: Stories by Heart, by John Lithgow, directed by Daniel Sullivan; and Tom Stoppard's Travesties, directed by Patrick Marber.
Roundabout's new off-Broadway season dedicated to new work at the Harold & Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre in 2017-2018 includes The Last Match, by Anna Ziegler, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch; Amy and the Orphans, by Lindsey Ferrentino, directed by Scott Ellis; Skintight, by Joshua Harmon, directed by Daniel Aukin.