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Rep Stage Ends Run of Eric Overmyer's 'On the Verge or The Geography of Yearning' 5/2

Rep Stage, the professional Equity theatre in residence at Howard Community College (HCC), will end its production of Eric Overmyer's "On the Verge or The Geography of Yearning" on May 2nd. Mel Gussow, in his New York Times review of "On the Verge..." wrote, "Blending Tom Stoppard's limber linguistics with the historic overview of a Thornton Wilder, Mr. Overmyer takes his audience on a mirthful safari that leads from darkest Africa to Terra Incognita, spinning into time travel."

Throughout the 2009-10 season, The Rep Stage Film Series, presented by HCC's Film Program, will offer free screenings in the Smith Theatre to complement the themes of the plays appearing onstage.  

Rep Stage Dramaturg Dr. Lisa Wilde adds, "Overmyer suggests that even as the unexplored possibilities of the geographical world seems to be dwindling, the world of the imagination, especially as expressed in language and theater, remains boundless, elastic and largely unfathomed. Few contemporary American plays engage the possibility for theatrical spectacle and wonder as this one does."

Eric Overmyer's (playwright) works include "Native Speech," "In a Pig's Valise," "In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe," "Mi Familia Tropicano" and "The Heliotrope Bouquet." He has published poems in "The Paris Review," "Shankpainter," "Shaman," and "Native Dancer." He is the recipient of the Le Comte de Nouy Award for playwriting, a McKnight Fellowship and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. A former artistic associate of Baltimore's Center Stage, Overmyer is a member of New Dramatists and the former Literary Manager of Playwrights Horizons. In addition to "The Wire," he has written and produced numerous TV shows, including "St. Elsewhere," "Homicide: Life on the Street," "Law & Order," and "New Amsterdam." Overmyer's new HBO series with co-creator David Simon, "Treme," about musicians in post-Katrina New Orleans, debuts next month.
Jackson Phippin (director) served as the associate artistic director at Center Stage in Baltimore from 1979 - 1985 as well as managing a freelance career. He was a member of Herbert Blau's experimental company, Kraken, from 1975 -1979. In addition to the world premieres of Eric Overmeyer's "On the Verge..." and Grace McKeaney's "Lash Looks," Phippin's Center Stage directing credits include Samuel Beckett's "Rockabye," a cutting from the novel "Molloy," Robin Baitz's "The Film Society," his own adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House," and "Savages" by Christopher Hampton in collaboration with Julie Taymor. His freelance career has taken him all over the country, including Hartford Stage, Berkley Repertory Theatre and the Huntington Stage Company. In 1988, Phippin was chosen by the Arts America Program and The Shanghai People's Art Theatre to direct for the EuGene O'Neill Festival in The People's Republic of China. He was the first American to be chosen to direct in Shanghai. Phippin served as the director of the M.F.A. Acting Program and co-director of the M.F.A. Directing Program while teaching at The Catholic University of America. At Rep Stage he has directed "Fool for Love," "T-Bone and Weasel" and "The Italian Lesson."

"On the Verge or The Geography of Yearning" cast includes:

Duane Boutté (Grover et al.) is returning to the work of Eric Overmyer in his Rep Stage debut having performed opposite Delroy Lindo in the 1993 New York premiere of Overmyer's "The Heliotrope Bouquet." Boutté appeared on Broadway in "Carousel" and "Parade" and Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons, Public Theater ("Civil Sex" with Michael Stebbins), Vineyard Theatre and The Acting Company. He has performed at over 20 regional theatres including premieres by Terrence McNally and Charles Randolph Wright. His D.C./Baltimore appearances include Center Stage, Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Boutté starred in the films "Stonewall" and "Brother to Brother," recently directed for Algonquin Productions, and composed music for productions in New York and California.

Tiffany Fillmore (Alex) is making her Rep Stage debut. Additional regional credits include The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Journeymen Theater, Theater J, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, The Folger Shakespeare Library, African Continuum Theater Company and Imagination Stage. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Penn State University.

Leigh Jameson (Mary) has appeared regionally at The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington Shakespeare Company, Studio Theatre 2ndStage, Round House Theatre and the Wayside Theatre.

Natasha Staley (Fanny) has appeared in Rep Stage's productions of "A Lie of the Mind" and "Mrs. Warren's Profession." Other credits include Stage Door Acting Ensemble of NY, Inc., Asolo Rep and Banyan Theater (FL) and the Fireside Theatre (WI). Staley received her MFA from FSU/Asolo Conservatory.

"On the Verge or The Geography of Yearning" design team includes:

Dan Covey (lighting design) has created designs for many Rep Stage productions, including "Hysteria," "In the Heart of America," "Mrs. Warren's Profession," and "Bach at Leipzig." Other regional credits include Ford's Theatre, Theater Alliance, Signature Theatre, Theater J, Olney Theatre Center, Folger Theatre, Round House Theatre, Studio Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. He is the recipient of a Helen Hayes Award.

Liza Davies (properties design) returns to Rep Stage after designing David Davalos' "Wittenberg." Additional regional credits include Everyman Theatre, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Center Stage and the Baltimore Opera Company.

BettyAnn Leeseberg-Lange's (dialect coach) Rep Stage credits include "The Glass Menagerie," "A Dickens of a Carol," "Hysteria," In the Heart of America," "Mrs. Warren's Profession," and many more. Other regional credits include The Shakespeare Theatre, Studio Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Everyman Theatre, The Repertory Theatre Of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre, St. Louis' New Theatre and Chicago's Court Theatre. Television and film credits include "Step Up Two: The Streets," and HBO's "The Wire." Leeseberg-Lange is a founding member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association.

Chas Marsh (sound design) is a musician, independent filmmaker and Helen Hayes Award nominated sound designer. His Rep Stage credits include "A Lie of the Mind," "Wittenberg," "Hysteria" and "The Glass Menagerie." He is resident sound designer for Everyman Theatre, and his designs have also been heard at Ford's Theatre and Pittsburgh Public Theatre.

Richard Montgomery (set designer), with "On the Verge...," marks the sixth collaboration with director Jackson Phippin. Two of Montgomery's Rep Stage designs ("The Dazzle" and "The Violet Hour") were nominated for Helen Hayes Awards. His designs have graced American stages from American Repertory Theatre to Toby's Dinner Theatre. International design credits include The Old Vic Theatre and The Royal Court Theatre. His designs have been seen on PBS and BBC programs. Montgomery's first job in theatre was making props for Sir Tyrone Guthrie.

Denise Umland's (costume design) Rep Stage design credits include "Tintypes" and "Pageant." Umland has also designed for Round House Theatre and has worked as costume shop manager at Round House Theatre, Olney Theatre Center and McDaniel College.

About Rep Stage
Rep Stage, a professional Equity theatre in residence at Howard Community College, is in its 17th season. The company is a member of both League of Washington Theatres and Baltimore Theatre Alliance. Performances are made possible by Howard County Arts Council, Howard County Government, and Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the state of Maryland and National Endowment for the Arts, as well as through generous individual contributions. Howard Bank is the Rep Stage 2009-10 season partner.

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