Casting Set for Route 66 Theatre's 'A FUNNY THING HAPPENED...'

Casting Set for Route 66 Theatre's 'A FUNNY THING HAPPENED...' Route 66 Theatre company has announced the cast and design team for the second show of its ninth season, the Chicago premiere of Halley Feiffer's dark comedy A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT SLOAN-KETTERING MEMORIAL CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY, directed by Keira Fromm, playing August 24 - September 23, 2017 at the The Den Theatre's new Bookspan Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. The press opening is Tuesday, August 29 at 7:30 pm.

A FUNNY THING... will feature Carmen Roman, Judy Steele, Stef Tovar and Mary Williamson.

A foul-mouthed twenty-something comedienne and a middle-aged man embroiled in a nasty divorce are brought together unexpectedly when their cancer-stricken mothers become roommates in the hospital. Together, this unlikely duo must negotiate some of life's biggest challenges... while making some of the world's most inappropriate jokes. Can these two very lost people learn to laugh through their pain and lean on each other when all they really want to do is run away?

Director Keira Fromm comments, "A Funny Thing... is a play about the ways we use humor as both a balm and a barrier to protect us from the litany of life's discomforts. I'm drawn to plays about the ways in which we cope with life. When those plays involve surviving spiky family relationships, I'm all in. Halley Feiffer is no-holds-barred when it comes to showing extremely flawed individuals at their messiest. She's also completely fearless when it comes to exposing the raw spots that result from the friction of our most fragile family relationships. This play is unbelievably funny one moment and moving in the most throat-grabbing of ways the next. I can't wait to dig in."

Artistic Director Stef Tovar adds, "This play was a hit in New York last summer and the Geffen Theatre in LA just announced it for their 2018 season, so for a theater company our size to grab the Chicago premiere is huge for us...we're so grateful to Halley for trusting us with her incredible script and this dynamite group of ladies is going to kill it. I can't wait to get started."

The design team for FUNNY THING... includes: Courtney O'Neill (scenic design), Mieka Van der Ploeg (costume design), Becca Jeffords (lighting design), Christopher Kriz (sound design) and Catherine Allen (production manager).

IF YOU GO:

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT SLOAN-KETTERING MEMORIAL CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY

Playwright: Halley Feiffer

Director: Keira Fromm

Cast: Carmen Roman (Marcie), Judy Steele (Geena), Stef Tovar (Don) and Mary Williamson (Karla).

Location: The Den Theatre's Bookspan Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Thursday, August 24 at 7:30 pm, Friday, August 25 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, August 26 at 3 pm & 7:30 pm and Sunday, August 26 at 3 pm

Press Opening: Tuesday, August 29 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Thursday, August 31 - Saturday, September 23, 2017

Curtain Times: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm & 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm

Tickets: Previews: $25 adults. Regular run: $35 adults; $20 students. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Halley Feiffer (Playwright) is a writer and actress. Full-length plays include I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic Theater Company, dir. Trip Cullman; OCC Nom. John Gassner Playwriting Award) A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City (MCC Theater, dir. Trip Cullman) and How To Make Friends And Then Kill Them (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, dir. Kip Fagan). Her plays have been developed by Second Stage, New York Theatre Workshop, the O'Neill and elsewhere; they are published by Dramatists Play Service and Overlook Press. Her work has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theater Festival and three times by Manhattan Theater Club. She teaches Playwriting at NYU.

Ms. Feiffer's acting credits include the Broadway revival of The Front Page (dir. Jack O'Brien) and The House of Blue Leaves (dir. David Cromer; Theater World Award), Tigers Be Still (Roundabout, dir. Sam Gold; Drama League Nom.), HBO's Bored to Death and the films The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding (dir. Noah Baumbach) and He's Way More Famous than You (dir. Michael Urie), which she also co-wrote. She currently writes for the upcoming Starz series The One Percent (co-created by Alejandro Iñárritu), the upcoming Showtime series Purity (based on the novel by Jonathan Franzen) and is developing two original television projects with Scott Rudin Productions.

Keira Fromm (Director) is a Jeff Award-nominated director, a casting director and a teacher based out of Chicago. Favorite recent directing credits include: the Chicago premiere of The Columnist (with American Blues Theatre); How the World Began (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble,) A Kid Like Jake (About Face Theatre,) Luce (Next Theatre,) Charles Ives Take Me Home (Strawdog,) The How and the Why (TimeLine Theatre,) Broadsword (Gift Theatre) and Fallow (Steep Theatre). Keira is an Artistic Associate with About Face Theatre. She received her MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University and is a proud member of SDC. She is a frequent guest director at DePaul as well as the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Upcoming directing projects for Keira include the Chicago premiere of Bright Half Life with About Face in the spring 2017.

Route 66 Theatre Company introduces, develops, produces, and exports new work for the stage. The road begins with our new play development process and reaches west, where our World and Chicago Premiere shows are given an advocate for further regional productions along the road less traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles. Since the company's founding, Route 66 has produced 10 productions, 2 in two cities including an Off-Broadway premiere, been nominated for ten Jeff Awards and won two. Route 66 is now a resident company of The Den Theatre. Visit www.route66theatre.org for more information.

Route 66 is Stef Tovar, Founder and Artistic Director; Rachel Wendte, Managing Director; Alana Parvey-Zalas, Business Manager; Matthew Bonaccorso, Company Manager and Kelly Parker, Casting Director.

Route 66 Theatre Company Artistic Associates: Brian Sidney-Bembridge, Audrey Billings, Johnny Clark, Brandon Dahlquist, Raymond Fox, Damon Kiely, Ron Klier, Jenni Lamb, Tyler Meredith, John Mohrlein, Kelly Parker, Geoff Rice, Emily Rohm, Tricia Small, Jeremy Sonkin, Alex Stage, Nancy Staiger, Erica Stephan, Bethany Thomas, Rita Vreeland, Steven Wilson, Rachel Wendte and Emily Woods.

Route 66 Theatre Company Board of Directors: Jennifer Baumann, President; Deborah Haimes, Vice-President of Communications; Nicholas Stone, Treasurer; Molly Crabtree, Secretary; Elizabeth Derrico, David and Monica Byrd, Lee Dickson, James Frenzel, Laurie Hamilton, Tammy Rosenszweig, Pat Turnbull and Robert Veasey.

Pictured: The cast of Route 66 Theatre Company's Chicago premiere of A FUNNY THING... (left to right) Carmen Roman, Judy Steele, Stef Tovar and Mary Williamson.

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