BCAP/BPT's UNCLE JACK to Open Next Week

The Boston Center for American Performance (BCAP) and Boston Playwrights' Theatre (BPT) co-production of Michael Hammond's comedy Uncle Jack opens next week. Running from February 12 to March 1 at the Boston University Theatre's Lane-Comley Studio 210, the newest play from Boston University's New Play Initiative is directed by the playwright.

The Uncle Jack cast features a list of local luminaries including Boston University alumnus Will Lyman [recently in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner at the Huntington Theatre Company and at BPT last season in Steven Barkhimer's Windowmen], Nancy E. Carroll [recent credits include the Huntington Theatre Company's The Seagull and HBO's Olive Kitteridge] and John Kooi [who last appeared at BPT in Jaclyn Villano's The Company We Keep]. Maria DeCotis, Michael Kaye, Madeleine Lambert and Tim Spears complete the cast.

In this modern-day retelling of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, Uncle Jack, his niece Sonya, and his British brother-in-law Derek struggle to save their small summer theatre company in the Berkshires...and the company's looming demise causes old wounds to bleed afresh.

Playwright Hammond is a member of the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre faculty, and Uncle Jack is his first full-length play.

BCAP/BPT will host the following special events during the run of Uncle Jack:

· A post-show conversation with playwright/director Michael Hammond and the cast of Uncle Jack following the 2 p.m. performance on Feb. 15.

· Adaptation and New Work, Feb. 20: Boston University Assistant Professor of English Minou Arjomand will join BCAP Artistic Director Jim Petosa, BPT Artistic Director Kate Snodgrass and Uncle Jack playwright/director Michael Hammond for a discussion about the unique challenges of approaching and adapting existing works.

Performances run at Boston University Theatre, Lane-Comley Studio 210, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. Tickets: $30 general admission | $25 seniors and groups of 10+ | $15 with BU College of Fine Arts Membership | $10 students | Free with BU ID, at the door, subject to availability. Tickets: Call 617.933.8600 or visit www.bu.edu/cfa/bcap. Press night: Saturday, February 14th (8 p.m.)

ABOUT BOSTON CENTER FOR AMERICAN PERFORMANCE - The Boston Center for American Performance serves as the professional production extension of the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre. Expanding the definition of the College as an "artistic home," BCAP is designed to foster significant interaction between members of the professional performing arts world and the College. BCAP employs professional artists to collaborate directly with student artists in a way that encourages intergenerational learning not only through the forging of strong teacher/student relationships, but through the creation of artistic collaborations between artists of differing levels of experience. It is the College's conviction that such collaborations will have a profound impact on its educational mission, become a significant source of inspiration for the creation of new work and/or new approaches to existing work, and provide the College with a professional extension of its expanding and diverse aesthetic. www.bu.edu/cfa/bcap

ABOUT BOSTON PLAYWRIGHTS' THEATRE - Founded in 1981 at Boston University by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, Boston Playwrights' Theatre (BPT) is an award-winning professional theatre dedicated to new works. At the heart of BPT's mission is the production of new plays by alumni of its M.F.A. Playwriting Program, the latter in collaboration with Boston University's renowned School of Theatre. The program's award-winning alumni have been produced in regional and New York houses, as well as in London's West End. BPT's productions have been honored with numerous regional and Boston awards, including 12 IRNE Awards for Best New Script and six Boston Critics' Association Elliot Norton Awards. www.BostonPlaywrights.org

ABOUT THE BOSTON UNIVERSITY NEW PLAY INITIATIVE - The BU New Play Initiative (NPI) expresses the Boston University College of Fine Arts' commitment to the School of Theatre's participation in the development of new work. This special initiative provides playwrights, directors, designers, and actors with a variety of developmental options to support the collaborative creation of new work for the theatre. Students, faculty, alumni, and guest artists are given the opportunity to utilize the creativity of the rehearsal room to develop their plays, which are then presented through workshop productions. The life of these new plays doesn't end on the BU stages. Many New Play Initiative productions are often later fully produced by member companies of our Professional Theatre Initiative, including the School of Theatre's professional extension -- Boston Center for American Performance. www.bu.edu/cfa/npi

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT/DIRECTOR - MICHAEL HAMMOND has had a number of his ten-minute plays produced in the Boston Theater Marathon, but this is his first production of one of his full-length plays. Anywhere. He is currently a member of the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre faculty, having taught at Shakespeare & Company for many years, and also at M.I.T. and Emerson College. As an actor, he appeared recently as Dr. John Faustus in Portland Stage Company's Wittenberg. Other acting credits in Boston include the Huntington Theatre Company's productions of Circle Mirror Transformation and Prelude to a Kiss. Broadway credits include Exit the King, Big Bill, Long Day's Journey Into Night, M. Butterfly, and Search and Destroy. He also performed extensively during his many seasons at Shakespeare & Company. Directing credits include the Boston University College of Fine Arts' Fringe Festival production of Sam Shepard's Back Bog Beast Bait; the BU New Play Initiative production of Ben Ducoff's new play, The Whitmores; Holiday Memories at New Rep; Shakespeare & Company's productions of Antony and Cleopatra, The Vienna Project, and A Tanglewood Tale; and A Girl's War (selected by The Boston Globe for Ten Best Theatre Productions of the Year) and Scenes from a Bordello at Boston Playwrights' Theatre. He is a board member for the Animus Theatre Company in New York City.


NANCY E. CARROLL (Clare) has appeared in Other Desert Cities, The Savannah Disputations, The Women, Company, and A Man Of No Importance (Speakeasy Stage). She spent a season touring with the Druid Theatre of Galway appearing as Mammy in The Cripple of Inishmaan (US/Ireland) and the Old Woman in Big Maggie (Ireland). Her other credits include: Broadway: Present Laughter; Off-Broadway: Balancing Act; Regional: The Seagull, Rapture Blister Burn, Good People, Luck of the Irish, Prelude to a Kiss, Brendan, She Loves Me, The Rose Tattoo, Dead End (Huntington Theatre); Our Town, She Loves Me (Williamstown); Trad (Tir Na); 4000 Miles, North Shore Fish, Breath of Life, Doubt, Happy Days, My Old Lady, Collected Stories (Gloucester Stage); The Year of Magical Thinking, The Glass Menagerie (Lyric Stage); The Clean House, Frozen, Sweeney Todd, Kindertransport (New Repertory Theatre); Bailegangaire (Súgán Theatre); Homebody/Kabul (Boston Theatre Works); Humble Boy, Hamlet, The Winter's Tale (Publick Theatre); Auntie and Me (Merrimack Repertory); The Pain & The Itch (Company One); Buried Child, The Unexpected Man (Nora Theatre). She received Elliot Norton Awards for Miss Erickson in Present Laughter, the Woman in Brendan, and Mommo in Bailegangaire. Recent TV/Film credits include HBO's Olive Kitteridge and Spotlight for Dreamworks.

MARIA DeCOTIS (Sonya) is a senior earning her B.F.A. in Acting at Boston University. She is honored to share the stage with the cast of Uncle Jack. She recently studied and worked with Commedia dell'Arte professionals in Italy. She is the captain of Boston University School of Theatre's improv group, a ukulele singer-songwriter, playwright, and Lindy Hopper. Recent credits include Clov from Endgame, Greta from Metamorphosis, Electra from Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Mother from Machinal, and Guard from Exit the King. She is grateful for her family's unyielding support and to Michael Hammond for giving her this inspiring and challenging opportunity.

MICHAEL KAYE (Wolfe) is thrilled to be a part of this inaugural production of Uncle Jack. Some of Michael's regional theatre credits include appearances at the Huntington Theatre Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Olney Theatre Center, Lyric Stage, New Repertory Theatre, Boston Playwrights' Theatre, and Boston Center for American Performance. Michael is Assistant Professor of Acting at the Boston University School of Theatre, where he received both a B.F.A. and M.F.A. in Acting and Theatre Education, respectively.

JOHN KOOI (Jack) previously appeared in The Company We Keep at Boston Playwrights' Theatre. Other area credits include the IRNE Award winning Operation Epsilon (Nora Theatre Company); Rancho Mirage (New Repertory Theatre); A Moon for the Misbegotten, Dinah Was, and As You Like It (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); and Hamlet (The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company). Among his New York credits are Othello, Twelfth Night, and Romeo and Juliet. Regionally, John has appeared in Clybourne Park (New Century Theatre); The Glass Menagerie and The Woman In Black (Shadowland Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (The Cleveland Orchestra); and Much Ado About Nothing (Pasadena Shakespeare Company). His film and television work includes The Minister's Wife and Labor Day.

MADELEINE LAMBERT (Elena) The Gamm Theatre: Una, Blackbird and Anne Boleyn, Anne Boleyn; Trinity Repertory Company: Shelby, Steel Magnolias and Belle, A Christmas Carol; Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater/Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival: Maggie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Manbites Dog Theater Company: The Pilot, Grounded, Mary Swanson, Middletown, and Nora/Tessa, At The Vanishing Point. TV: Chicago PD. Workshops/Readings: Huntington Theatre Company, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, LAByrinth Theatre Company. Other: M.F.A. in Acting, Brown University/Trinity Repertory; B.A. in Theater Studies and English, Duke University. Graduate of The School at Steppenwolf. Audiobook Narrator for Blackstone Audio and Tantor Audio.

WILL LYMAN (Derek) Local Stage: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Windowmen, Operation Epsilon, Long Day's Journey Into Night, All My Sons, Exits and Entrances, The Oil Thief, Nicholas Nickleby, King of the Jews, Prospero, Brutus, and Claudius. Upcoming: Ulysses on Bottles, King Lear. Off-Broadway: Passion of Dracula, Grinding Machine, The Novelist, The Dwarfs. Television: Commander-in-Chief, Threat Matrix, Hull High, Crossbow, American Meltdown, Our Fathers, soaps. Film: Little Children, A Perfect Murder, The Siege, Mystic River, Welcome to the Dollhouse, What Doesn't Kill You. Narrator: Frontline, NOVA, American Experience, etc. Awards: Norton Outstanding Achievement, Norton Sustained Excellence, IRNE, Howard Keel, Best of Boston, Imaginaire.

TIM SPEARS (Tug) Boston Area credits include: The Elephant Man, Amadeus, Mister Roberts (New Repertory Theatre); Clybourne Park (Speakeasy Stage Company); Monster, House (IRNE Nomination), Good, and A Question of Mercy (Boston Center for American Performance); and The Devil's Teacup (Boston Playwrights' Theatre). In New York he performed in A Question of Mercy (Potomac Theatre Project) and JUMP! and Realism (The Exchange). Mr. Spears earned his B.F.A. at Boston University School of Theatre where is currently working on his M.F.A. in Directing.

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