ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK's Michael Harney Returns to His Theater Roots for THE AWFUL GRACE OF GOD in L.A.

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Michael Harney, star of the three-time SAG Award-winning Netflix hit drama series Orange Is The New Black as Inmate Counselor Sam Healy, returns to his theater roots as playwright of the evening of highly anticipated one-act plays right here in Los Angeles. Reuniting with critically acclaimed director Mark Kemble after starring in Kemble's moving drama film, Bad Hurt, Harney and Kemble assemble a prestigious production team and cast of exceptional actors to bring these plays to life.

Go The Distance Productions will present the World Premiere production of THE AWFUL GRACE OF GOD, an evening of six original one-act plays written by Michael Harney directed by Mark Kemble. The seasoned cast of 15 actors includes: Curtis Belz (To Protect And Serve), Oscar Best (The Last Face), Joseph Bongiovanni (Amercon), Marie Broderick (Frankie And Johnnie), Tim DeZarn (Halfway To Hell), Amelia Jackson-Gray (The Girl on the Roof), Rebecca Lidvan (Over The Hill), Daniel Litz (When We Were Friends), Marshall McCabe (Behind Closed Doors), Agatha Nowicki (The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle), Bechir Sylvain (Emergency Contact), Janine Venable (The Bostonians), Ilia Volok (Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), James Harvey Ward (True Blood) and Johnny Whitworth (Bad Hurt).

Michael Harney said, "THE AWFUL GRACE OF GOD is a true expression of my artistic life. I've written these plays to be open ended so that each person in the audience can arrive at their own place. Any art of great value is experienced; it inspires the person viewing it in a way that is personal and illuminating for them. I feel very fortunate to have my friend Mark Kemble at the helm of something that is so personal to me, my first series of plays."

Mark Kemble said, "With a strong cast and a team of exceptional designers on board, I expect this production will be very special. I am happy to be collaborating again with my friend and colleague, Michael Harney on this new adventure."

The production will be presented at The Other Space @ The Actors Company, 916A North Formosa Avenue (between Santa Monica Boulevard and Willoughby Avenue in the CAZT Complex), West Hollywood, CA 90046. Discounted Previews for $20.00 each will be presented on Friday and Saturday, April 21 and 22, 2017 at 8:00 p.m., and on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

The production will be presented for a Five-Week Run from April 28 (Opening Night) - May 28, 2017 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 7:00 p.m. Tickets during the Five-Week Run are $25.00 each for General Admission, $15.00 each for Students and Seniors, with ID (use code 005), $10.00 each for Military, with ID (use code 115) and $20.00 each for Groups of eight or more. For further information and to purchase tickets, please call the Box Office at 323-960-7784, or visit online at

There is limited free parking, on a first come, first served basis, surrounding the building the theatre is in. Parking is also available on the streets surrounding the theatre and in the nearby Target Mall located on Santa Monica Boulevard and LaBrea Avenue. Get social with playwright Michael Harney @MichaelHarney4 on Twitter and @MichaelHarney7 on Instagram.

About The One-Act Plays in THE AWFUL GRACE OF GOD:

Surrender is an exploration of a couple's search for meaning and the power of their love for each other after the passing of their child. The play looks into the potential interpenetrative nature between heaven and earth. The cast includes: Tim DeZarn as Dodge and Janine Venable as Ellen.

Through is a play about transformative suffering in adversity depicting one person's journey from bondage into freedom. The cast includes: Oscar Best as Zip.

Off explores the effect that violence has on two friends and how their personal experiences of our world's brutality influence their ability to cope with their respective lives. The cast includes: Curtis Belz as Joe and Bechir Sylvain as Stan.

The Long Walk Home is a story exposing powerlessness, loss and the courage of a family to continue on after unspeakable harm has been done while in the grip of addiction. The cast includes: James Harvey Ward as Joe, Tim DeZarn as John, Janine Venable as Ann, Rebecca Lidvan as Dee Dee, Daniel Litz as Charlie, Amelia Jackson-Gray as Kate and Joseph Bongiovanni as Tom.

Willy And Rose depicts two people's struggle to love each other and survive in a harsh world. The play explores desperation, aggression and fear expressed through their tragic love affair. The cast includes: Johnny Whitworth as Willy, Agatha Nowicki as Rose and Joseph Bongiovanni as Hitman.

Need explores the pure force of love and how that love transcends all boundaries when discovered. The cast includes: Marie Broderick as Tara, Ilia Volok as Francis (5/28, 29, 30, May 5, 6, 7, 12, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 2017) and Marshall McCabe as Francis (April 21, 22, 23, May 13, 14, 2017).

The production team for the World Premiere production of THE AWFUL GRACE OF GOD includes: Michael Harney, Playwright and Executive Producer; Mark Kemble (of West Hollywood) Director; Brian Foyster (of Los Angeles) Producer; Joel Daavid (of Los Angeles) Set Designer; Andrew Schmedake (of Los Angeles) Lighting Designer; Ed Zajac (of Los Angeles) Sound Designer; Fritz Davis (of Los Angeles) Projection Designer; Thomas Zoeschg (of Los Angeles) Stage Manager; Jennifer Abel (of Los Angeles) Publicist for Michael Harney at PMK*BNC; Kaho Koinuma (of Pacific Palisades) Graphic Designer; Bruce Nehlsen (of Pasadena) House Manager; Ed Krieger (of La Crescenta) Production Photographer and Steve Moyer Public Relations (of Los Angeles) Show Publicist.


Michael Harney (Playwright of THE AWFUL GRACE OF GOD) is an American actor of film, television and theater currently starring on the three-time Screen Actors Guild Award-winning Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black as Inmate Counselor Sam Healy. Previous to this award-winning role, Harney frequently essayed tough men with deeply complicated interior lives in such acclaimed series as NYPD Blue (ABC 1993-2005), Deadwood (HBO 2005-2006) and Weeds (Showtime 2005-2012). Harney's ability to tap into the emotional and spiritual elements of his characters was the result of substantial training and work on the New York Theater scene, as well as his early career path as a social worker and prison reform advocate. Harney also has over 60 Guest Star credits including turns on Law And Order, Bull, Cold Case, The Practice, Boston Public, ER, Crossing Jordan and The Fugitive, among others.

Prior to Harney's prominent television career, he starred in numerous blockbuster films such as Erin Brockovich and Ocean's Thirteen. Last year, Harney returned to his film roots in the moving independent drama, Bad Hurt, produced by Sons of Anarchy star Theo Rossi which had its World Premiere at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, and theatrical run in major US cities earlier this year. Set in 1999, Bad Hurt chronicles Ed Kendall's (Harney) struggle with PTSD as a proud war veteran and father to sons (Theo Rossi and Johnny Whitworth) and mentally ill adult daughter (Iris Gilad) and husband to (Karen Allen), and the challenges each of them face during the constant pursuit of maintaining a normal family dynamic. Harney also starred in the independent drama Soy Nero which was selected to be in competition at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival.

Born in the Bronx, New York, Harney went on to intensive study with legendary acting teachers William Esper and Phil Gushee, both of whom studied and taught with Sanford Meisner for many years at The Neighborhood Playhouse School Of The Theater. After studying acting for seven years he went on to run The Michael Harney Acting Studio in New York City for eight years. During his time in New York City Harney acted in and/or directed over 100 plays and one-acts and starred in On The Waterfront on Broadway playing the role of Charlie Molloy.

Mark Kemble (of West Hollywood) (Director of THE AWFUL GRACE OF GOD) is an award-winning writer/director from Providence, Rhode Island. He has written and directed over 20 stage productions in Providence, Los Angeles and New York. Mark Kemble co-wrote, with Jamieson Stern, and directed the feature film, Bad Hurt, which garnered top reviews from national publications when it world premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015. Bad Hurt received distribution and opened in major cities, including New York and Los Angeles on February 12, 2016. Bad Hurt is currently available on Netflix.

Mark Kemble and Tom Musca (Stand And Deliver, Tortilla Soup) co-wrote and produced the HBO film, Race with Cliff Robertson, C.C.H. Pounder and Paul Rodriguez, which was nominated for the Imagen Award. Another collaboration, Flight of Fancy, starred Dean Cain and Miguel Sandoval and won Best Family Feature at the 2000 Hollywood Film Festival.

In 1995, Kemble's World Premiere play about the Hollywood Blacklist, the multi-award-winning show Names played to sold-out audiences in Los Angeles. Kemble also directed the production. Names was a Critics Choice in every major newspaper, and was named one of the Top Plays of 1995, by NPR. In the spring of 1997, Kemble directed his play, Names Off-Broadway, starring Tovuh Feldshuh, prompting notable New York critic, Clive Barnes to call Names "a better play than Odets' The Big Knife."

Other favorite produced plays include, Bad Hurt On Cedar Street, (Four Ovation Award nominations), Humans From Earth, Special Delivery, A Comfortable Truth, and In A Family Way, written while Mark Kemble was a member of the Mark Taper Forum Playwrights Lab. Mark Kemble is Artist-in-Residence at The Actors Studio West.

Brian Foyster (of Los Angeles) (Producer of THE AWFUL GRACE OF GOD) Credits include: For The Actors Studio: The Lost Plays of Tennessee Williams, (Two LA Weekly Theater Awards), Speed The Plow, Women of Manhattan, Sex, Sex, Sex, Sex and Sex, and The Motherf#cker With The Hat. Other Los Angeles productions include: A Separate Peace, Lemon Durang Pie and The Glass Menagerie. New York Credits include: Orphans, Sister Mary & The Actor's Nightmare, The Ruffian On The Stair, The Strongbox, Boys' Life, The Miser, Family Descent, Mass Appeal and Waiting For Lefty.

Curtis Belz (of Sherman Oaks) (Joe in Off) has been seen in the films To Protect and Serve, 2 Headed Shark Attack and Eating Lila. His theater roles include: Danny in Danny And The Deep Blue Sea, Macbeth in Macbeth, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar and Poe in Nightfall With Edgar Allan Poe. He studies at The Actors Studio West.

Oscar Best (of Malibu) (Zip in Through) has appeared in the films The Last Face, Selling Isobel, Sympathy For Delicious, Dark Hearts and Murder 101. He has been seen on television in (Mis)Adventure, The Mindy Project, The Mentalist and America's Most Wanted. In October 2014 Best was awarded NAACP Best Actor Award in a lead production in Los Angeles. Theater credits include roles in: Henry V, Victor Vitoria, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Wild Party and The Last Othello. He became an active member of The Actors Studio in 2014.

Joseph Bongiovanni (of Tarzana) (Tom in The Long Walk Home and Hitman in Willy and Rose) has been seen in the films Amercon, Carbon And Copper, Deceased & Co., The Man Who Was Tuesday, Champagne and P.R.I.S.M. Theater credits include; Thicker Than Water and Moonchildren. He was accepted as an observer at The Actors Studio in 2016.

Marie Broderick (of Studio City) (Tara in Need) has appeared in theatrical productions as: Frankie in Frankie And Johnnie, Irina in Three Sisters, Viki in In The Boom Boom Room and Woman in Two Birds And A Stone. Film credits include roles in Sisters, Indentation, Vice II and Hey! You've Got My Billfold! She has also been a Principle Dancer for The Three Yells.

Tim DeZarn (of Culver City) (Dodge in Surrender and John in The Long Walk Home) won Best Supporting Actor from the Action on Film International Film Festival, USA in 2013 for his performance in Halfway To Hell. Other film roles include: Inspector Bird in Fight Club, Philip Watson in Spider-Man, Mordecai in The Cabin In The Woods and Police Sergeant in Live Free Or Die Hard. He has appeared as a Guest Star on the television shows Mad Men, Grey's Anatomy, NCIS: New Orleans, Son of Anarchy, Six Feet Under, Seinfeld, ER, Mad About You and Southland. Theater credits include: Moby Dick Rehearsed, Streamers and Times Up.

Amelia Jackson-Gray (of Larchmont) (Kate in The Long Walk Home) is an English actress who won Best Supporting Actress Awards from the Action on Film International Film Festival, USA for the films The Girl On The Roof and Point Mugu. Other film credits include: Becky in The Campaign, Princess Alora Vanir in Dragon and Stacy in Crush(ed). She has appeared on the television shows, Law & Order: LA, The Mentalist and Entourage. Theater credits include: Twelfth Night and Cat Among The Pigeons. A recurring announcer for E! Entertainment's Style Network, she has voiced national campaigns for Coca Cola, Barbie and Nintendo, and she owns her own Production Company,

Rebecca Lidvan (of Echo Park) (Dee Dee in The Long Walk Home) was born and raised in France and moved to Los Angeles in 2009 to pursue an acting career. In 2011 she graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Her latest project was the webseries Over The Hill. She is an observer at The Actors Studio.

Daniel Litz (of Los Angeles) (Charlie in The Long Walk Home) has appeared in the films No Such Thing, When We Were Friends and Between A Rock. He has seen on Spike TV in Tattoo Nightmares. Theater credits include: Butch in Leading Ladies, Frankie in My Big Gay Italian Wedding, Harry in It's A Wonderful Life and Sergeant Towers in See How They Run.

Marshall McCabe (of Santa Monica) (Francis in Need, April 21, 22, 23, May 13, 14, 2017) has appeared in the films Behind Closed Doors, Secrets of Suspense and Yellow. He has been seen on the television show Pacific Blue. Theater credits include roles in: A Letter From Ethel Kennedy, Sex, Sex, Sex, Sex and Sex, Up And Bedlam, Cheese, You Can Count On Me, Six Degrees of Separation, Romeo and Juliet and Picnic. McCabe is a member of The Actors Studio NY/LA and Annoyance Theatre in Chicago.

Agatha Nowicki (of Eagle Rock) (Rose in Willy and Rose) has appeared in the films The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, When Strangers Meet and Bittersweet Lies. She has been seen on television on True Tales of Terror, Girls Club, The Disciple and The Candlelight Murders.

Bechir Sylvain (of Sherman Oaks) (Stan in Off) has appeared in the films Life After Beth (2014 Sundance Film Festival), Emergency Contact (2015 Sundance Film Festival), Know Thy Enemy, Godzilla, Call Me King and Bahama Hustle. Television credits include appearances on Make It Happen (2011 NBC Universal Short Cuts Festival Audience Award Winner and LA Webfest Best Comedy Series), Fuller House, Family Time and The Thundermans. Theater credits include: A Raisin in the Sun, King Hedley II, Six Degrees of Separation, Top Dog/Under Dog, Intimate Apparel and Romeo and Juliet.

Janine Venable (of Culver City) (Ellen in Surrender and Ann in The Long Walk Home) has appeared in the films Autopsy, I Love You, Don't' Touch Me!, Adultolescence, The Bostonians and String Theory. Television credits include: The X-Files, General Hospital, Crossing Jordan, Night Stand, The Bold & The Beautiful and Orphaned. Theater credits include appearances in Tennessee Williams: A Celebration, Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Women of the 405 and Tell Tale Poe (National Tour). She is also a Certified Pilates Instructor.

Ilia Volok (of Los Angeles) (Francis in Need, 5/28, 29, 30, May 5, 6, 7, 12, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 2017) has appeared in the films: Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Curious Cast of Benjamin Button, Air Force One, Hunter Killer, GI Joe 2, Volcano and Hail Caesar. Television credits include: Criminal Minds, NCIS, GLEE, State of Affairs, Days of Our Lives, King of Queens, Six Feet Under, ER, NYPD Blue and JAG. Theater credits include: Diary of a Madman, Ferdinand, Brewmaster, Fakov in America and Cassett & Degas. Volok is a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio.

James Harvey Ward (of Park LaBrea) (Joe in The Long Walk Home) has been seen on television as: Felton Norris on True Blood, Harley on Rosewood, Cutler in Point of Honor, John Lee on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Michael on Low Winter Sun, Lucas Beck on 10,000 Days, and Madden on Saints & Sinners.

Johnny Whitworth (of Los Angeles) (Willy in Willy and Rose) has appeared in the films: Bad Hurt written and directed by Mark Kemble, Limitless, 3:10 To Yuma, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Gamer, The Rainmaker and Empire Records. He has been on television as: Ruggedly Handsome Man on Blindspot, Cage Wallace on The 100 and Detective Jake Berkeley on CSI: Miami. Early in his career he appeared in a reoccurring role on the television show, Party of Five. In 2017 Whitworth became a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio.

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