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Tina Benko, Michael Esper and More Join MTC's TALES FROM RED VIENNA; Full Cast Announced!

Lynne Meadow (Artistic Director), Barry Grove (Executive Producer), and Mandy Greenfield (Artistic Producer) are pleased to announce complete casting for the upcoming world premiere production of Tales from Red Vienna, the new play by David Grimm (Measure for Pleasure), directed by Kate Whoriskey (Ruined at MTC).

Joining previously announced cast members Tony Award winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur) and Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Obie Award winner Kathleen Chalfant (Wit, Angels in America) will be Lucille Lortel nominee Tina Benko (Jackie, "Brotherhood"), Michael Esper (American Idiot, The Four of Us), Michael Goldsmith (Off-Broadway debut), and Lucas Hall (Beyond the Horizon, Othello).

TALES FROM RED VIENNA will begin previews Wednesday, February 26 and open Tuesday, March 18 at MTC at New York City Center - Stage I (131 West 55th Street). Tickets for this production are currently on sale through Sunday, April 27.

Tony Award winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur, Midnight in Paris) returns to MTC as Heléna, a woman who has lost her husband in World War I, and with him, her financial security. Struggling to maintain her way of life, she reluctantly turns to the oldest profession. Heléna manages to separate her secret life from her public persona - that is until she crosses paths with a man who has the power to expose and ruin her.

The creative team includes John Lee Beatty (scenic design), Anita Yavich (costume design), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design), Rob Milburn & Michael Bodeen (sound design) and Thomas Schall (fight direction).

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 19 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 two Off-Broadway theatres at New York City Center (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. Renowned MTC productions include The Assembled Parties; Venus in Fur; Master Class; 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.'

Tickets for Tales from Red Vienna are available by calling CityTix at 212-581-1212, online by visiting, or by visiting New York City Center box office (131 West 55th Street). All tickets are $95.


  • WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26 - SUNDAY, MARCH 2: Wednesday and Sunday at 7 PM, Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinee on Sunday at 2 PM. There will be six performances this first partial week, with no Saturday matinee.
  • MONDAY, MARCH 3 - SUNDAY, MARCH 9: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday at 7 PM; Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2PM.
  • MONDAY, MARCH 10 - SUNDAY, MARCH 16: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 PM; Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2PM.
  • MONDAY, MARCH 17 - SUNDAY, MARCH 23 (WEEK OF OPENING): Wednesday and Sunday at 7 PM, Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2PM. There are only seven performances on sale to the general public this week with the Tuesday, March 18 opening performance curtain time to be announced.
  • MONDAY, MARCH 24 - SUNDAY, MARCH 30: Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2PM.
  • MONDAY, MARCH 31 - SUNDAY, APRIL 6: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 PM, Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM. There will only be seven performances on sale to the general public this week.
  • MONDAY, APRIL 7 - SUNDAY, APRIL 27: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 PM, Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 PM.


David Grimm (Playwright) is an award-winning Brooklyn-based playwright and screenwriter. Most recently, he wrote and adapted the dialogue for Matthew Barney's upcoming art film, River of Fundament. Plays include: Measure for Pleasure (Public Theatre, Bug 'n Bub Award, GLAAD Award nomination); The Miracle at Naples (Huntington, Best New Play IRNE Award), Steve & Idi (Rattlestick); Chick (Hartford Stage); The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue (Hartford Stage); Kit Marlowe (Public Theatre, GLAAD Award nomination); Sheridan, or Schooled in Scandal (La Jolla); Enough Rope (Williamstown; starring Elaine Stritch); and Susanna Centlivre's The Gaming Table (for which he wrote additional material, Folger Library Theatre). Shorter works include the song cycle Boxes, Buckets, & Bags (music by Peter Golub; Liederabend @ The Kitchen); Divinity du Styx (24 Hour plays); Brooklyn Evening (One Minute Play Festival); A La Recherche du Frank Perdue (Red Bull Verse Play Festival); and others. Grimm is the recipient of an NEA/TCG ResidenCy Grant and has received commissions from Roundabout Theatre Company, Huntington Theatre Company, City Theatre Company, The Public Theater, and Hartford Stage. He has developed work at the Sundance Theater Lab, Old Vic New Voices, and NY Stage & Film. He is a member of the Writer's Guild, the Dramatists Guild, the PEN American Center, and is an alum of New Dramatists. David holds an MFA from NYU, a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and has lectured in Playwriting at the Yale School of Drama, Brown University, Columbia University, and NYU. Grimm's plays are published by Dramatists Play Service.

Kate Whoriskey (Director). Broadway: The Miracle Worker Off-Broadway: How I Learned to Drive at Second Stage, Ruined at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Piano Teacher at the Vineyard Theatre, Oroonoko at Theatre for A New Audience, the world premiere of Fabulation and Inked Baby at Playwrights Horizons, and Massacre by Jose Rivera at the LAByrinth Theatre Company (of which she is a member). Internationally, she directed Magdalena at the Chatelet theatre in Paris and Teatro Muicipal in Sao Paolo. Regionally, she directed Ruined, Vigils, Heartbreak House, The Rose Tattoo, and Drowning Crow for The Goodman, The Tempest at Shakespeare Theatre, the world premiere of Intimate Apparel, The Piano Teacher, Life is a Dream, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antigone, and The Clean House at South Coast Repertory, and Master Builder at The American Repertory Theatre. Nominated for a Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel for her work on Ruined, she has also directed at the Huntington, the Geffen, Baltimore Center Stage, Perseverance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Sundance Theatre Lab, the Fisher Center and the Eugene O'Neill Center. A graduate of NYU and the ART Institute at Harvard, she is currently a visiting lecturer at Princeton University.

Nina Arianda (Heléna) made her debut in the 2010 off-Broadway production of Venus in Fur shortly after graduating from NYU's Tisch graduate acting program. Following her performance which garnered the attention of the New York theater community, Arianda obtained roles in Woody Allen's Oscar-winning film Midnight in Paris, Tom McCarthy's Win Win, and Vera Farmiga's Higher Ground. Venus in Fur opened on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2011 where Arianda's performance went on to become the most critically acclaimed of the 2011-2012 season resulting in her winning the 2012 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. This recognition followed her 2011 nomination for her Broadway debut performance as 'Billie Dawn' in Born Yesterday. In addition to the Tony Award, Arianda has been honored with a number of accolades for her work in the theater including recognition from The Drama League, an Outer Critics Circle Award, the Actors' Equity Association Clarence Derwent Award, the Theater World Award and the Clive Barnes Award. She was named 2011 Stage Star of the Year by New York Magazine and topped Forbes Magazine's 2011 Top 30 Under 30 list in entertainment. She was also honored by Marie Claire Magazine with their 2012 Women on Top Award for top performer. In 2011, Arianda appeared in Universal's Tower Heist starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. In addition, she has appeared on NBC's "30 Rock," CBS's "The Good Wife" and can be seen in the upcoming films The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby starring Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, Lucky Them starring Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church, and Oliver Platt and Rob the Mob with Michael Pitt, Andy Garcia, and Ray Romano.

Tina Benko (Mutzi Von Fessendorf) recently won the St. Clair Bayfield award for her performance as Titania in Julie Taymor's A Midsummer Night's Dream at TFANA. She played the title roles in Elfriede Jelinek's play Jackie (Lucille Lortel nomination) directed by Tea Alagic at the Women's Project, and Toni Morrison's play Desdemona directed by Peter Sellars at the Barbican/Berlin/Paris. Other theatre credits include Katori Hall's Whaddabloodclot!!! at Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Little Foxes and Restoration at New York Theatre Workshop, Marie and Bruce at The New Group, Ten High at EST, Rough Sketch at 59East 59, and Post Mortem at The Flea. TV and Film credits include Admission, Contest, That Awkward Moment, The Avengers, Photo-Op, "Law and Order"(s), "Ugly Betty," "Unforgettable," "Royal Pains," and "Brotherhood."

Kathleen Chalfant (Edda Schmidt). Broadway: Angels in America (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), Racing Demon, Dance With Me. Off-Broadway: Wit (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Connecticut Critics Circle, and Obie Awards), Miss Ovington & Dr. Dubois, Somewhere Fun, Red Dog Howls, Painting Churches, Family Week, Vita & Virginia, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Spalding Grey: Stories Left to Tell, Bloomer Girl, Nine Armenians (Drama Desk nomination), Far Away, Twelve Dreams, Henry V. Other NY Credits: The Vagina Monologues, True History and Real Adventures, Phaedra in Delirium, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Endgame, The Party, Sister Mary Ignatius..., The Investigation of the Murder in El Salvador. London & Los Angeles: Wit (Ovation Award), Red Dog Howls. Select Regional Theatre: Guthrie, Yale Rep, Long Wharf, Yale Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Hartford Stage, Mark Taper Forum, ATL, Sundance Lab. Film: Isn't it Delicious?, R.I.P.D., The Bath, In Bed With Ulysses, Lillian, Duplicity, The People Speak, Lackawanna Blues, Perfect Stranger, The Last New Yorker, Second Guessing Grandma, Dark Water, Kinsey, Laramie Project, Random Hearts, A Price Below Rubies, Murder and Murder. Select Television: Recurring on "The Americans," "House of Cards," "Rescue Me," "The Book of Daniel," "The Guardian," "Jo," "Law and Order" and "One Life to Live"; also "Elementary," "Mercy," "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight" (HBO), "Benjamin Franklin," "Lackawanna Blues" (HBO), "Georgia O'Keeffe" (Lifetime), "Voices from the White House" (PBS), "A Death in the Family" (PBS), "Storm of the Century". Awards: 1996 OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence, 2004 Lortel Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. She has received the Drama League and Sidney Kingsley Awards for her body of work.

Michael Esper (Bela Hoyos). Michael Esper's Broadway credits include the Tony nominated production of Nicky Silver's The Lyons, the Tony Award Winning musical, American Idiot, as well as Roundabout Theatre Company's critically acclaimed production of A Man for All Seasons opposite Frank Langella. Additional noteworthy New York theatre credits include: Assistance (Playwrights Horizons), The Agony and the Agony, the original Off-Broadway production of The Lyons (Vineyard Theatre), As You Like It (The Public Theater), Big Bill (Lincoln Center Theater), Crazy Mary (Playwrights Horizons), Manic Flight Reaction (Playwrights Horizons), The Four of Us (Manhattan Theatre Club), subUrbia (Second Stage Theatre), and Tony Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures (The Public Theatre). In regional theatre, notable credits include an original role in Tony Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures (The Guthrie Theatre), Long Day's Journey Into Night (The Druid Theatre Company & the Dublin Theatre Festival), and Edward Albee's Me, Myself, and I (The McCarter Theatre Center). Recent work in feature film includes Runner, Runner for director Brad Furman- starring alongside Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha, and -soon to be released- Animal Rescue. Michael has also appeared in All Good Things, Watching TV with the Red Chinese, A Beautiful Mind, both Crazy Love and Bittersweet Place for director Alexandra Brodsky, Loggerheads, Light and the Sufferer, American Gun, and Dying is Easy. Notable work in television includes a recurring role on the upcoming season of the hit Showtime series "Nurse Jackie," a series regular role on "Do No Harm," and guest star roles on "Person of Interest," "The Good Wife," "Law & Order," and "Bunker Hill" (TNT- pilot). Michael Esper is a recipient of the Clarence Derwent Award from Actors' Equity. He also received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Long Day's Journey Into Night from the Irish Times.

Michael GoldSMITH (Rudy Zuckermaier). Tales from Red Vienna is Michael's Off-Broadway debut. Regional: title role in Romeo and Juliet (Folger Theatre); Now or Later (Huntington Theatre). London credits: Clybourne Park (Royal Court and West End); Six Degrees of Separation (The Old Vic); Brooklyn (Cock Tavern); The Shape of Things (Courtyard Theatre). Off-Off-Broadway: Final Analysis (June Havoc Theatre, winner of Outstanding Lead Actor at Midtown International Festival). Film: Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances. Television: "Doctor Who." Several plays for BBC Radio. Member of the Actors Center Workshop Company. Training: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Interlochen.

Lucas Hall (Karl Hupka). Off-Broadway: The Merchant of Venice, Othello, All's Well That Ends Well (Theatre for a New Audience), Beyond the Horizon (Irish Rep), Edward II (Red Bull), The Hasty Heart (Keen Company). Regional work includes productions at The Old Globe, The Goodman, La Jolla Playhouse, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Westport Country Playhouse, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, D.C., Pittsburgh Public, and others. Film and television includes The Love Letter, Late Summer, "Elementary," and "the soaps". Training: North Carolina School of the Arts, under Gerald Freedman.

For more, go to Follow MTC on Twitter: @MTC_NYC or on Facebook.

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