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Rosie Perez Joins David Hyde Pierce in MTC's CLOSE UP SPACE this Winter


The Manhattan Theatre Club has announced full casting for the upcoming world premiere of CLOSE UP SPACE by Molly Smith Metzler, directed by Leigh Silverman.

Joining the cast is Academy Award & Emmy Award nominee Rosie Perez (Fearless, The Ritz) as famous author "Vanessa Finn Adams." Completing the cast are Jessica DiGiovanni (Off-Broadway Debut) and Colby Minifie (The Pillowman, Landscape of the Body) as well as already announced Tony Award and four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce ("Frasier", Curtains) and Obie Award winner Michael Chernus (The Aliens, In The Wake).

The limited engagement will start previews Thursday, December 1 and open Monday, December 19 at MTC at New York City Center - Stage I (131 West 55th Street). Since January 2011, Mandy Greenfield (Artistic Producer) has taken the lead in programming and execution at MTC's Off-Broadway home.

Tony Award and four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce brings his signature wit back to the MTC stage as Paul Barrow, an obsessive book editor on a major deadline. With an assistant (Chernus) who's been camping in the office, a famous author (Perez) threatening to bail on him and an intern (DiGiovanni) who is no help at all, Paul's just about had it! But when his fiery daughter (Minifie) shows up and lambasts him in Russian, Paul faces a glaring personal error that can't be corrected with red ink. Leigh Silverman (Well, From Up Here, Chinglish) returns to MTC to direct this funny and poignant new play about how hard it can be to communicate... in any language.

The creative team for CLOSE UP SPACE includes: Todd Rosenthal (scenic design), Emily Rebholz (costume design), Matthew Frey (lighting design), and Jill BC Du Boff (sound design).

Special thanks to The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for supporting new American plays at Manhattan Theatre Club.

Development of CLOSE UP SPACE was supported by the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center during a residency at the National Playwrights Conference of 2010. Preston Whiteway, Executive Director. Wendy C. Goldberg, Artistic Director.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, MTC has become one of the country's most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over the past three decades, MTC productions have earned a total of 18 Tony Awards and six Pulitzer Prizes, an accomplishment unparalleled by a New York theatrical institution. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and an Off-Broadway theatre at New York City Center - Stage I (131 West 55th Street). Renowned MTC productions include Good People; The Whipping Man; Time Stands Still; The Royal Family; Ruined; The American Plan; Come Back, Little Sheba; Blackbird; Translations; Shining City; Rabbit Hole; Doubt; Proof; The Tale of the Allergist's Wife; Love! Valour! Compassion!; A Small Family Business; Sylvia; Putting It Together; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Crimes of the Heart; and Ain't Misbehavin.'

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Molly Smith METZLER (Playwright) is the author of Elemeno Pea, which recently premiered at the 2011 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre in Louisville. Next season, her play Close Up Space will premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club, starring David Hyde Pierce. Molly's plays - which include Training Wisteria and Carve - have been developed by Manhattan Theatre Club 7@7, Playwrights Horizons, The O'Neill Theater Center, Ars Nova, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Chautauqua Theater Company, Summer Play Festival (SPF), Cherry Lane Mentor Project, hotINK, London's Tristan Bates Theatre, Boston Playwrights' Theatre and the Kennedy Center, where she was the recipient of three KCACTF Awards (The Kennedy Center National Student Playwriting Award, The Mark Twain Comedy Award and The David Mark Cohen Award). Molly is a member of EST, the Ars Nova Play Group and Primary Stages Writing Group; she has been in residence at New River Dramatists, Montana Rep, Williamstown and Hedgebrook. Molly holds an MFA from Tisch and is a recent graduate of The Julliard School, where she was a two-time recipient of the LeComte du Nuoy Prize from Lincoln Center. She lives in Brooklyn Heights with her husband and their awesome Boston terrier.

Leigh Silverman (Director) Upcoming Broadway transfer of David Henry Hwang's Chinglish. Other Broadway: Lisa Kron's Well. Recent world premieres: Chinglish (Goodman Theatre; Jeff Nomination); In The Wake (Center Theatre Group/Berkeley Repertory Theatre and The Public Theatre; OBIE Award, Lortel Nomination); Go Back To Where You Are (Playwrights Horizons: OBIE Award); David Henry Hwang's Yellow Face (Center Theatre Group/The Public Theater); From Up Here (MTC; Drama Desk Nomination); Coraline (MCC/True Love); Beebo Brinker Chronicles (Hourglass Group/ 37 Arts); Creature (New Georges/P73); Hunting and Gathering (Primary Stages); Well (The Public Theater, The Huntington Theatre and ACT); The Retributionists (Playwrights Horizons); Blue Door (Playwrights Horizons and Seattle Repertory Theatre); Oedipus At Palm Springs (NYTW); also Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Second Stage Theatre). West End: Wit (Vaudeville Theatre).

Michael Chernus (Steve). Off-Broadway: In the Wake (Lortel nomination), The Aliens, Hunting and Gathering, The Poor Itch, Rag and Bone, American Sligo, Mr. Marmalade, Essential Self-Defense, Finer Noble Gases, Living Room in Africa. Regional: Romeo and Juliet (Guthrie), The Mistakes Madeline Made (Yale Rep.), Create Fate (Williamstown), Jump/Cut (Woolly Mammoth). Film: The Messenger, Lovely By Surprise, Love and Other Drugs, Higher Ground, Jack and Diane, Feed the Fish, NoNAMES, Coach, The Rebound, Winter Passing, and the upcoming Men In Black 3. TV: "Mercy," "Bored to Death," "Damages." Training: Juilliard.
JESSICA DIGIOVANNI (Bailey) makes her Off-Broadway debut in Close Up Space, which she also appeared in at The O'Neill Theatre Center (2010) and MTC's 7@7 reading (2009). Theater credits: Training Wisteria by Molly Smith Metzler (Cherry Lane Theatre), Fool for Love (Under St. Marks), Marion Bridge (Director's Co. dir: Laila Robins), and more. Film & TV: The Sitter, "What Would You Do?", "Celebrity Ghost Stories". Jessica can also be seen (and heard) in multiple commercials playing on both coasts. Training: Fordham College at Lincoln Center, Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT) and LAMDA. She lives in New York City.
Colby Minifie (Harper) Broadway: The Pillowman. Off-Broadway: Landscape of the Body (Signature), The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (Transport Group), The Shaker Chair (EST, dir Ulu Grosbard). Film: Camilla Dickinson, Beware the Gonzo, The Greatest, The Winning Season, and Turban Waves. TV: "Law and Order", "Eden", and "Domestic Bliss". Colby is a sophomore at the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College.

Rosie Perez (Vanessa Finn Adams) An Academy Award-nominated actress and Emmy Award-nominated choreographer, Rosie Perez continues to shine in her varied roles in front of the camera, as well as behind it. On the big screen, Perez has starred in comedic and dramatic roles with both ease and acclaim, including Fearless (which garnered her a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination), Human Nature, Riding in Cars with Boys, Do the Right Thing, Night on Earth, White Men Can't Jump, Untamed Heart, It Could Happen to You, A Brother's Kiss, King of the Jungle, Somebody to Love, The 24-Hour Woman, Pineapple Express, and The Take. Her performance in Lackawanna Blues earned her a 2006 NAACP Image Award Nomination for "Outstanding Actress in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special."

Perez made her Broadway debut in the hit revival of Terence McNally's Frankie & Johnnie in the Clair de Lune, and went on to star in Craig Lucas' Reckless in Fall 2004. She recently received rave reviews for her performance in The Ritz on Broadway.

Perez also received critical acclaim for her directorial debut, Yo Soy Boricua Pa'Que Tu Lo Sepas! - a documentary which celebrates Puerto Rican pride. The documentary premiered at the Miami International Film Festival and was featured at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. It was the highest attended film at Tribeca.

As a producer, Perez's credits include The 24-Hour Woman, HBO's Rosie Perez Presents Society's Ride, and Subway Stories.

Throughout her career, Perez has been a vocal activist for a number of causes, especially those related to AIDS and inner-city youth. She is the head of the Artistic Board for the Union Arts Partnership (formerly known as Working Playground), an arts education organization that brings dance, theater, film, poetry and fine arts to students in Harlem, the Bronx and the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Perez also served as the National Spokesperson for Comite Noviembre Puerto Rican Heritage and was honored in New York during Puerto Rican and Hispanic Heritage Month. She joins the Women for Peace & Justice in Vieques, Puerto Rico in demanding the removal of the US Navy from Vieques and the end of the Navy's use of that island as a test bombing site.

David Hyde Pierce (Paul Barrow) Emmy and Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce made his professional and Broadway debut in 1982 as the waiter in Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy. He went on to create roles in the off-Broadway productions of Mark O'Donnell's That's it Folks!, Richard Greenberg's The Author's Voice and The Maderati, Harry Kondoleon's Zero Positive and Jules Feiffer's Elliot Loves, before returning to Broadway in Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles.

In 2005 he originated the role of Sir Robin in the Broadway production of Monty Python's Spamalot, written by Eric Idle, with music by Idle and John Du Prez. For his performance, Pierce was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.

In 2007 he won the Tony Award and earned another Drama Desk Award nomination for his role as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi in the Musical Comedy Curtains, before going on to appear in the Manhattan Theatre Club revival of the 1930's comedy Accent on Youth, and most recently, in the acclaimed London and Broadway production of David Hirson's La Bete with Mark Rylance and Joanna Lumley, directed by Matthew Warchus.

In addition to his work in new plays, Mr. Pierce also appeared in Hamlet and Much Ado at Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival Holiday and Camille at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Candida at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, The Seagull, Tartuffe, Cyrano, and Midsummer's Night's Dream at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, and Peter Brook's production of The Cherry Orchard in New York, Moscow, Leningrad, and Tokyo. In Los Angeles, he appeared in Terrence McNally's It's Only a Play at the Doolittle Theatre and in the Geffen Playhouse production of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks with Uta Hagen.

Mr. Pierce's film credits include Bright Lights, Big City, Crossing Delancey, Little Man Tate, Sleepless in Seattle, Wolf, Nixon, Isn't She Great, Wet, Hot, American Summer, Full Frontal, Down With Love, A Bug's Life, Osmosis Jones, Treasure Planet, and the Sundance Film Festival Selection The Perfect Host, which will be released by Magnolia Pictures in 2011.

His television credits include a short but happy stint on Norman Lear's political satire "The Powers That Be," and a long but happy stint on "Frasier," for which he earned four Emmy Awards and the American Comedy, Television Critics, Viewers for Quality Television and Screen Actors Guild Awards. He most recently joined the New York Philharmonic and an array of Broadway stars including Bernadette Peters, Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone, as host of Sondheim! The Birthday Concert, which premiered as part of PBS' Great Performances series.

He teamed with Victoria Clark and Rob Fisher in Night and Day, a Cole Porter Evening, for Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Ravinia Festival, and with Michael Feinstein in his Holiday Celebration at Mr. Feinstein's club at the Regency.

Mr. Pierce has been an Alzheimer's Association National Board Member since 1999. As a board member and national spokesperson, he works with the Association in its mission to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. In 2010 he was awarded the Tony Awards' Isabelle Stevenson Award for his work with the Association.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos

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