Huntington Theatre Co Presents Sons of the Prophet, Closes 5/1

Huntington Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Sons of the Prophet by Stephen Karam (Speech & Debate, columbinus), directed by Peter DuBois (Trust, Becky Shaw). The cast of the irreverent and darkly comic story includes Kelsey Kurz (The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino) as elder brother Joseph, Dan McCabe (Donnie Darko, Saving Throw Versus Love) as younger brother Charles, and Tony Award winner Joanna Gleason (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Into the Woods) as Gloria, Charles' eccentric employer. The production will clsoe on May 1, 2011.

The DuBois-helmed production will play Off Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre Company next fall. The Huntington production is produced in association with the Roundabout, who commissioned the play from Karam after premiering his smash hit Speech & Debate in October 2007.

In Sons of the Prophet, Lebanese-American brothers Joseph and Charles Douaihy are young, gay, and having a hell of a year: A prank-gone-wrong in their small town of Nazareth, PA leads to the death of their father. Their uncle is losing it. Joseph is battling a mysterious ailment. His eccentric boss is pressuring him to write a memoir about his Maronite Catholic family's tenuous connection to Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet. And an ambitious and sexy reporter descends on the family in search of a story. All of this puts the brothers' once unbreakable sense of humor to the test. Stephen Karam, the playwright of the Facebook generation and author of the Off Broadway smash hit Speech & Debate, turns the Douaihy family's epic woes into brutally funny comedy.

Playwright Stephen Karam is the author of Speech & Debate, which was produced Off Broadway by Roundabout Theatre Company as the inaugural production of Roundabout Underground. Following an extended run in New York, Speech & Debate has received over 100 productions across the U.S. and Canada. Other plays include columbinus (New York Theatre Workshop), Girl on Girl (Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep), and Emma (a re-imagining of Jane Austen's novel), which will be performed this spring by the Professional Performing Arts High School in NYC. His work is published by Dramatists Play Service and Dramatic Publishing Company, and his freelance writing has appeared in The Advocate and on McSweeneys.net. Current projects include a film version of Speech & Debate and Dark Sisters, and original chamber opera with composer Nico Muhly (a co-production of Gotham Chamber Opera, Music-Theatre Group, and Opera Company of Philadelphia). A MacDowell Colony Fellow, Mr. Karam grew up in Scranton, PA (not far from where Sons of the Prophet is set) and received his B.A. from Brown University.

[Note: A production of columbinus mounted by a Lexington High School student who was censored by her principal will perform at the Huntington's Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA with generous support from the Huntington April 13-15, coinciding with the run of Sons of the Prophet].

Director Peter DuBois is the Artistic Director of the Huntington Theatre Company, where he has directed the world premiere of Bob Glaudini's Vengeance is the Lord's and David Grimm's The Miracle at Naples, Craig Lucas' Prelude to a Kiss, Gina Gionfriddo's Becky Shaw (which he recently directed at London's Almeida Theatre and previously directed Off Broadway at Second Stage Theatre and the world premiere at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville). He will next direct the world premiere of Zach Braff's All New People at Second Stage Theatre. Prior to arriving at the Huntington, he served for five years as associate producer and resident director at The Public Theater, preceded by five years as artistic director of the Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska. Last summer he directed the Off Broadway production of Paul Weitz's Trust starring Sutton Foster and Zach Braff at Second Stage Theatre. Prior to his work at Perseverance, Mr. DuBois lived and worked in the Czech Republic where he co-founded Asylum, a multi-national squat theatre in Prague.

"The depth of feeling in Stephen's writing is ravishing," says director Peter DuBois. "He has this incredible gift of ‘effing' the ineffable. His play is fresh, bracing, and alive. In it, he takes the mess of our lives and turns it into phenomenal comedy. I'm so happy that we're doing the premiere in Boston, whose audience will be incredibly receptive to this play, I think, as they already have been to Stephen's writing." The Lyric Stage Company's 2009 production of Speech & Debate was acclaimed by audience and critics and received the year's Elliot Norton Award for Best Production.

At Tuesday's first rehearsal and "Meet and Greet" with the company, Karam told those assembled, "It's unspeakably moving to be here with all of you. I couldn't be more excited to see this much talent in a room for something that starts from the most personAl Small space. I'm very excited to be at the Huntington for this journey."

THE CAST
The ensemble cast of Sons of the Prophet includes:
· Yusef Bulos (Fiddler on the Roof, Indians, Captain Brassbound's Conversion on Broadway) as Bill;
· Jonathan Louis Dent (Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 with Actors' Shakespeare Project, The Good Negro with Company One) as Vin;
· Joanna Gleason (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Into the Woods on Broadway, "The West Wing") as Gloria;
· Kelsey Kurz (The Merchant of Venice on Broadway) as Joseph;
· Lizbeth MacKay (All My Sons, The Price, Doubt on Broadway) as Mrs. McAndrew and ensemble;
· Dan McCabe (Donnie Darko at American Repertory Theater, Saving Throw Versus Love at FringeNYC) as Charles;
· Dee Nelson (All My Sons and A Christmas Carol at the Huntington) as Doctor Manor and ensemble;
· Charles Socarides (Awake and Sing! on Broadway, Trust, The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall Off Broadway) as Timothy.

PRODUCTION ARTISTS
The creative team for Sons of the Prophet includes Tony Award-nominated scenic designer Anna Louizos (In the Heights, High Fidelity, Avenue Q); costume designer Bobby Frederick Tilley II (The Shirley, VT Plays festival in Boston); lighting designer Japhy Weideman (Vengeance is the Lord's, Prelude to a Kiss for the Huntington); and sound designer M.L. Dogg (The Pee-Wee Herman Show, Trust). Production stage manager is Leslie Sears; assistant stage manager is Kathryn Most.

SPONSORS
The Huntington's Grand Patron is Boston University. The 2010-2011 Season Sponsor is J. David Wimberly. Sons of the Prophet co-sponsors are Carol G. Deane and Judi and Douglas Krupp.

CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR Stephen Karam
"Stephen Karam comes through as a writer whose voice is clear and laugh-out-loud funny." - New York Post

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON
The Huntington Theatre Company, in residence at Boston University, is Boston's largest professional theatre company. Led by Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington creates world-class productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.



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