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Goodman Theatre Announces Casting for THE LONG RED ROAD

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Rehearsals begin today for Goodman Theatre's world-premiere production of The Long Red Road by Brett C. Leonard, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, February 13 - March 14, 2010 in the Goodman's Owen Theatre. London's acclaimed stage and screen actor Tom Hardy (pictured at left, bio appears below) makes his U.S. and Chicago theater debut in the complex central role of Sam-a character the playwright penned specifically with Hardy in mind-whose hard-drinking does little to quell the devastating memories of a past that haunts him. Joining Hardy in The Long Red Road's cast of six are Marcos Akiaten (The Legend of Hell's Gate); Greta Honold (The Wild Duck at Court Theatre); Chris McGarry (National Tour of Doubt, Salome on Broadway, with Al Pacino); Fiona Robert (High School Musical 2 at Circle Theatre) and Katy Sullivan (a former Goodman intern). Hardy appears with the permission of Actors' Equity Association, which the Goodman gratefully acknowledges for its assistance with this production. Support of new work development is provided by Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

"Philip and I are extremely excited about premiering this play at the Goodman, about the terrific cast and design team and especially thrilled and thankful that Equity has enabled Tom to make his Chicago and U.S. stage debut," said Playwright Brett C. Leonard, "a passionately engaged writer with a poetic soul, a gift for bristling dialogue, a pitch-black comic sensibility and an almost Orwellian view of the world" (Chicago Sun-Times). "He's a brilliant actor, one of the best there is. I sat down to write this play with him in mind. I'm happy it all worked out."

Adds Philip Seymour Hoffman, who makes his Chicago directorial debut with The Long Red Road, "To be in Chicago directing Brett Leonard's heartbreaking play under the guidance of Bob Falls is beyond exciting and daunting and wonderful. I'm grateful everyone at the Goodman made it possible for Tom to jump the pond and be with us. Chris, and Greta and Fiona and Marcos and Katy-all incredibly gifted actors-round out a cast that this play deserves and demands."

Tom Hardy's London stage credits include Blood and In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings at The Royal Court Theatre and New Hampstead Theatre, for which he received the London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer and a nomination for The Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer. Other stage credits include The Man of Mode (National Theatre), Festen (Almeida) and Roger and Vanessa (Latchmere). Film and television credits include the roles of Heathcliff and Bill Sykes in the Masterpiece Classic retellings of Wuthering Heights and Oliver Twist, Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla, The Take, The Virgin Queen, Layer Cake, Thick as Thieves, Blackhawk Down, Band of Brothers, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Colditz, Gideon's Daughter, Sucker Punch, Minotaur, Star Trek: Nemesis, Cape Wrath and his BAFTA Best Actor-nominated titular performance in Stuart: A Life Backwards. His highly acclaimed performance as Charlie Bronson in Nicolas Winding Refn's Bronson won him Best Actor honors at this year's British Independent Film Awards, as well as a London Critics' Circle nomination for British Actor of the Year. Hardy is Co-Artistic Director (with Brett C. Leonard and Kelly Marcel) of the newly formed Bad Dog Theatre Company in London.

Hardy's impressive list of upcoming films includes starring roles in Warrior with Nick Nolte (January 22, 2010); Christopher Nolan's Inception opposite Leonardo DiCaprio (July 16, 2010); and George Miller's latest addition to the Mad Max franchise, Fury Road, opposite Charlize Theron (2011).

Leonard first encountered Hardy in 2004 at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Almost immediately, the two began to forge a number of artistic partnerships-including staged readings, full productions, a theater company, as well as an upcoming film for Lionsgate, The Other. Leonard's collaboration with Hoffman stemmed from their association with New York's famed LAByrinth Theater Company. The Long Red Road was initially developed through LAByrinth's "Summer Intensive," which brings artists together in a rural setting to develop new plays.

The Long Red Road is a raw and provocative new play about how one person's anguish can tear a family apart. Sam attempts to drink away his past and exorcise his demons on an Indian reservation in South Dakota, where he has been trying to forget his role in a tragic accident with his family. When a visitor from his past arrives on the reservation, Sam is forced to face his guilt-and take a harrowing look at the man he has become.

About the Artists

Marcos Akiaten (Clifton) recently appeared in the feature film The Legend of Hell's Gate. Other film credits include Callous, and Flint Creek: The War of 1812. Television credits include a guest role on Danny DeVito's sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and an episode of 10 Items or Less on TBS. In May 2009, he appeared as Masassoit, the lead role in episode 1 of the acclaimed PBS/American Experience miniseries, We Shall Remain.

Tom Hardy (Sam) See bio above.

Greta Honold (Annie) makes her Goodman debut. Chicago credits include The Wild Duck at Court Theatre; The Thugs at Profiles Theatre; Hana's Suitcase at Chicago Children's Theatre; Sketchbook 6 and 7 at Collaboraction; Twilight Orchard at Redmoon Theater; Great Expectations and Eurydice at Piven Theatre Workshop; Stories on Stage with WBEZ; No Place Like Home and Maria Arndt at Steppenwolf Theatre Company; and Hitting for the Cycle at Famous Door Theatre Company.

Chris McGarry (Bob) starred opposite Cherry Jones in the national Broadway tour of Doubt. He has appeared on Broadway in Doubt and Salome. Off-Broadway credits include Defiance and Where's My Money? at Manhattan Theatre Club, Flesh and Blood at New York Theatre Workshop, Dirty Story and In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings at LAByrinth Theater Company and Force Continuum at Atlantic Theater Company. Television credits include The Sopranos, Unthinkable, 24, Lie to Me, The Unit, Monk, Boston Legal, Cold Case and Medium, among others. He is a member of LAByrinth Theater Company and The Actors Studio.

Fiona Robert (Tasha) makes her Goodman debut. Her recent Chicago credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream and High School Musical 2 at Circle Theatre. She also appeared in numerous productions at The Chicago Academy for the Arts High School including The Book of Liz as Sister Butterworth, A Christmas Carol and Message in Blue.

Katy Sullivan (Sandra) makes her debut onstage at the Goodman, where she previously worked as assistant director for The Music of the Spheres with Chuck Smith and as the casting intern in 2003. Chicago credits include Lady Windermere's Fan at Northlight Theatre. Regional credits include Picasso at the Lapin Agile at Timber Lake Playhouse and Cabaret at Theatre Tuscaloosa.

Playwright Brett C. Leonard's plays have been produced in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, London, Toronto, Berlin and Sydney. His play Unconditional was directed by MarK Wing-Davey in its world-premiere production by LAByrinth Theater Company at New York's Public Theater. Unconditional was also produced in Toronto by Column 13 Theatre Company and is published in Smith and Kraus' New Playwrights: The Best Plays of 2008. His play Guinea Pig Solo had its world premiere as a LAByrinth/Public co-production, and was later produced at Chicago's Collaboraction, where it was named Chicago Tribune's "Top 10 of 2005" and "most visceral show of the year." In 2007 Guinea Pig Solo was presented as part of the Berlin Arts Festival's 50th Anniversary at the House of World Culture. Roger and Vanessa has been produced at Latchmere Theatre 503 in London, The Actors' Gang in Los Angeles and Tap Gallery in Sydney. Scotch and Water was produced by New Company in London, where it received the Critics' Choice in Time Out London. His short plays include Bobo an' Spyder..., directed by Bob Glaudini, at The Production Company in New York, Beauty and Light produced at Chicago's Sketchbook 2005 and Interrogation produced at Sketchbook 2006. Leonard is the recipient of the 2008 Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award. He has been a member of New York's LAByrinth Theater Company since 2003 and is Co-Artistic Director (with Tom Hardy and Kelly Marcel) of London's Bad Dog Theatre Company. He is also a member of Israel Horovitz's Playwrights Lab. His plays Guinea Pig Solo, Unconditional, Roger and Vanessa and Scotch and Water will be published in February 2010 by Broadway Play Publishing. His past and upcoming film and television projects include Unconditional (Cooper's Town Productions and Overture Films), The Other (Lionsgate, co-written with Tom Hardy), Hung (HBO) and Jailbait (Belladonna/Kindred/Warner Brothers).

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Director) The Long Red Road marks the first time Hoffman will direct in Chicago. His other theatrical directing credits include the world premieres of The Little Flower of East Orange, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Our Lady of 121st Street, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train and In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings, all written by Stephen Adly Guirgis and produced by LAByrinth. Additionally, Hoffman directed Rebecca Gilman's The Glory of Living at MCC Theater. He traveled to Australia to direct Andrew Upton's Riflemind at the famed Sydney Theater Company and also mounted the play later in London.

As an actor, Hoffman's theater credits include Jack Goes Boating (The Public Theater), Long Day's Journey Into Night (Broadway), The Seagull (The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival), True West (Broadway), Defying Gravity (American Place Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (directed by Peter Sellars), Shopping and F*cking (New York Theatre Workshop) and The Author's Voice (Drama Department).

Hoffman will next be seen in the film version of Jack Goes Boating, based on the LAByrinth Theater Company production of the same name. The actor reprises his role of Jack while also stepping behind the camera to make his feature directorial debut. Recent film credits include Pirate Radio, Synecdoche, NY, Doubt, The Savages, Charlie Wilson's War, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and Capote, which Hoffman executive produced through his company, Cooper's Town Productions. Additional film credits are Mission Impossible: III, Along Came Polly, Cold Mountain, The Party's Over, Owning Mahowny, 25th Hour, Red Dragon, Punch-Drunk Love, Love Liza, Almost Famous, State and Main, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Magnolia, Flawless, Patch Adams, Happiness, The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights, Twister, Nobody's Fool, Scent of a Woman and HBO's Empire Falls.

Tickets to The Long Red Road are currently on sale at GoodmanTheatre.org, at the box office (170 North Dearborn) or by phone at 312.443.3800. Mezztix are half-price mezzanine tickets available at 12 noon at the box office, and at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX) day of performance; Mezztix are not available by telephone. 10Tix are $10 mezzanine tickets for students available at 12 noon at the box office, and at 10am online on the day of performance; 10Tix are not available by telephone. Valid student I.D. must be presented when picking up the tickets. Limit four per student with I.D. All tickets are subject to availability and handling fees apply. Discounted Group Tickets for ten persons or more are available at 312.443.3820.


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