Matthew Arkin, Steve Rattazzi and Danton Stone to Star in Men of Clay

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The Theatre Outlet presents the world-premiere of MEN OF CLAY, a comedy written and directed by Jeff Cohen (founder of the award-winning Worth Street Theater Company). Matthew Arkin and Obie Award winner Steve Ratazzi join the previously announced Danton Stone in a cast that also includes Daniel Ahearn, Victor Barbella and Gabrielle Maisels. MEN OF CLAY begins performances Off-Broadway at the June Havoc Theatre, 312 West 36th St. (at 8th Ave), on Thursday, March 30, 2006. The official opening is Sunday, April 2.

A semi-autobiographical comedy by acclaimed playwright/director Jeff Cohen, MEN OF CLAY is a personal story about his father set in early 1970s Baltimore. MEN OF CLAY captures summers on the red clay tennis courts of Druid Hill Park, and the camaraderie between the "men of clay" - Squeaky Cohn and his buddies Ira Farber, Danny Dickler and Nate Askin – along with the era's Jewish culture and racial tensions and the men's penny-pinching schemes and their stubborn resistance to change.

In 2005, a staged reading of MEN OF CLAY was presented in Baltimore at Creative Alliance, and it was subsequently selected as "The Best New Play of 2005" by The Baltimore City Paper.

The cast of MEN OF CLAY features Daniel Ahearn as Nate Askin, Matthew Arkin as Arnold Dickler, Victor Barbella as Danny Dickler, Gabrielle Maisels as Rochelle "Rocky" Gorelick, Steve Rattazzi as Ira Farber and Danton Stone as Stan "Squeaky" Cohn.

MEN OF CLAY has scenic design by Lauren Helpern, costume design by Kim Gill and lighting design by Graham Kindred.

MEN OF CLAY begins performances on Thursday, March 30. The limited engagement is scheduled to run through Sunday, April 23. The performance schedule is Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 & 8 PM and Sunday at 5 PM.

Tickets to MEN OF CLAY are $18 for all preview performances. For tickets and information, call Smarttix at (212) 868-4444 or online at www.smarttix.com.

BIOGRAPHIES

Jeff Cohen (Playwright/Director) is the founder and former artistic director of the award-winning Worth Street Theater Company, whose productions, including celebrated revivals of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart and Tennessee Williams' Small Craft Warnings, the premieres of Tristine Skyler's The Moonlight Room and Christopher Shinn's Four, and the internationally acclaimed response to 9/11, The Tribeca Playhouse Stage-Door Canteen, have been named to the annual Ten Best lists of The New York Times, The New York Post and The Boston Globe and have garnered such honors as the Drama Desk Award, the GLAAD Media Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama League Award, the Obie Award and the Lucille Lortel Award. He has helped launch the careers of such highly touted young playwrights as Mr. Shinn and Ms. Skyler, and such actors as Laura Linney, Michael Ealy (Barbershop, "Sleeper Cell"), Laura Breckenridge ("Related") and Kathryn Hahn ("Crossing Jordan"). Mr. Cohen recently founded The Dog Run Repertory Theatre which is making its Off-Broadway debut as associate producer of Men of Clay.

Daniel Ahearn (Nate Askin). Stage Credits include: Now That's What I Call a Storm (The Edge Theater); The Mystery of Attraction by Marlene Meyer, produced and directed by Jeff Cohen; Mrs. Feuerstein by Murray Mednick, As You Like It and Flight (Ensemble Studio Theater); The D Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore and Cries From The Cockpit (HB Studio Theater); The Photographic Moment and Men Without Wives (The Workshop at the Neighborhood Playhouse); Free Fall, Bertrano or Hats Don't Lie, Better Days, Hollywood Scheherezade, The Joy Solution, and Making Book (all at Primary Stages); Brontosaurus Rex; Miss Julie; Billy Liar; Ernest in Love; A Walk in the Moonlight; Maldoror; Woyzeck and Measure for Measure. Regional: Long Wharf Theater (Curtis in Reclaimed), Denver Center Theatre (Horace in The Little Foxes), Walnut Street Theater (Jerome in Henceforward…), The Guthrie Theater (File in The Rainmaker), Syracuse Stage and Pittsburgh Public Theater (The Dining Room), Crossroads Theater (Morris in The Bloodknot), Richmond Museum Theater and Virginia Stage (Doc in Crimes of the Heart), The Wood Theater (Sylvia, Abundance and Private Eyes), The Arena Stage in Washington, DC in a variety of roles in 22 productions including Mother Courage starring Viveca Lindfors, King Lear, and the World Premiere of Pueblo. On film: has appeared most recently in The Orphan King and The Laramie Project. Other television appearances include "The Sopranos" and "Law & Order" and numerous daytime dramas. Mr. Ahearn is also a published novelist.

Matthew Arkin (Arnold Dickler) has appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys, with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, and he made his Broadway debut as Lucas in Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor, a role he continued on national tour. Other New York credits include Gabe in Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize winning Dinner with Friends (Drama Desk nomination, Drama League Honoree), Ben Hecht in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Moonlight and Magnolias, Mike in Richard Dresser's Rounding Third, Charles Busch's Off-Broadway comedy hit You Should Be So Lucky, Barbara Dana's War in Paramus at the Abingdon Theatre Company, OY!, The King of Carpets and The Roadblock. Regional Theater: Around the World in 80 Days at the Cape Playhouse, Rounding Third at Chicago's Northlight Theatre, Talley's Folly at The Bay Street Theatre, Guys and Dolls at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theater, Sheer Boredom at The George Street Playhouse, A Thousand Clowns at American Stage Company, Lost in Yonkers and Little Footsteps, both at Pennsylvania Stage Company, Two Rooms and True West, both at Hartford Theaterworks, East Coast Art's Theater's Self Defense, The Hartman Theater Company's Joan of Lorraine, and Sight Unseen at the Hermosa Beach Civic Theater. Film credits include hit indie Second Best, and the upcoming indies Raising Flagg, The Curse, and Bittersweet Place, as well as Death to Smoochy; Liar, Liar; North; An Unmarried Woman and Chu Chu and the Philly Flash. Matthew appeared in recurring roles as Dr. Thompkins on the hit FX drama "Rescue Me" and as Legal Aid Attorney Paul Bernard on A&E's "100 Centre Street." Other television credits include the PBS pilot "Copshop," "Third Watch," "Hack," "The Education of Max Bickford," "Ed," "Law and Order," "Law and Order: Criminal Intent," "The Street," "Simple Justice" for PBS, "Law and Order - SVU," "Kojak," "The Defection of Simas Kudirka" and "All My Children."

Victor Barbella (Danny Dickler). Off-Broadway and NY credits include Primary Stages, Samuel Beckett, Greenwich Street Theatre, Miranda Theatre, and NYC Fringe Festival in Suicide - Anyone?, Pictures in the Smoke, Women of Manhattan, Scream With Laughter, Pick Up Six. London credits include the title role in Anatol at the Lyric Theatre, The Misanthrope at Hammersmith Studio, and The Country Wife at October Gallery. Regional: McCarter Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Oldcastle Theatre, Fleetwood Stage, and Stamford Theatre Works in Indians, Beirut, A View From the Bridge, The Country Girl, Side Man, Three Days of Rain. TV/Film: "Law & Order," ABC's "Loving," and several independent films: Sharkskin, Raising Heroes , Imbroglio, You Are Such a Blindfold. He is also an educator-trainer with the Roundabout Theatre Company, Plays for Living, and I.D.E.A.S.

Gabrielle Maisels (Rochelle "Rocky" Gorelick) originated the role of Rocky in 2005 at the staged reading of Men of Clay at Baltimore's Creative Alliance. In New York, she performs regularly in Third Man Production's Barhoppers Series at 55 Bar on Christopher Street and with Théâtre Ouf!, a French-and-English-speaking physical theatre ensemble. Also in New York: Vagina Monologues at Chashama.

Steve Rattazzi (Ira Farber) won a 2003 Obie Award for performance in Painted Snake in a Painted Chair at LaMama. He is a member of the Obie-Award winning Target Margin Theatre where his credits include The Seagull and Rinne Groff's The Five Hysterical Girls Theorem, and was in the Obie-Award winning Terese Raquin directed by David Esbjornson. Additional Off Broadway credits include The Talking Band, The Alchemist and Christmas at the Ivanov's at Classic Stage Company, The Fourth Sister and Strictly Dishonorable at The Vineyard, Henry V and Venus with the New York Shakespeare Festival, Victor for Arden Party at the Ohio Theatre and, most recently, Oliver Cadiot's A.W.O.L. at 59 E. 59. Mr. Rattazzi is the voice of Dr. Orpheus in the irreverent animated series "The Venture Brothers."

Danton Stone (Squeaky Cohn). Broadway credits include the 2001 revival of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Danton was a member of the Drama Desk Award-winning ensemble of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company's acclaimed landmark 1985 revival of Landford Wilson's Balm In Gilead. His extensive film and television credits include Eight Men Out, Palindromes, "Roseanne" (as Jerry Bowman), "Oz," "Thirtysomething" (as Brad Steadman), and "My So Called Life" (as Neil Chase).

Lauren Helpern (Set Design) was part of the Obie Award-winning design team of Bug. She has worked extensively with Mr. Cohen, designing his productions of Isn't It Romantic, Tartuffe, and Christopher Shinn's Four both at the Tribeca Playhouse and Manhattan Theatre Club. Other credits include the Broadway production of Voices In The Dark, and Off Broadway productions of Three Seconds In The Key, Underneath The Lintel and None of the Above for which she was nominated for the 2003 ATW Hewes Award. She also won the 2000 Eddy Award for Blue Man Group/Live at Luxor.

Kim Gill (Costume Design) was part of the Obie Award-winning design team of Bug. She has worked extensively with Mr. Cohen, designing his productions of The Moonlight Room at Tribeca Playhouse and Theatre Row and Happy Days at Classic Stage Company. She received a 1999 FringeNYC Excellence Award and has worked extensively Off-Broadway and in regional theatre.

Graham Kindred (Lighting Design). Off-Broadway credits include Orgasms: The Play, Picon Pie and Roman Nights.

The Theatre Outlet (Producer) is one of Pennsylvania's premiere non-profit theatres, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director John Moletress.

The Theatre Outlet is making its Off-Broadway producing debut with Men of Clay.



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