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Raven Theatre Sets THE OLD FRIENDS Cast

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Michael Menendian, Producing Artistic Director of Raven Theatre, has announced casting for The Old Friends by Horton Foote. Raven's production will be the play's second since its World Premiere staging in fall 2013 by New York's Signature Theatre Company. That production was subsequently remounted in 2014 at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. The Raven production will run on the company's East Stage from January 27 to March 26, 2016 under Menendian's direction.

Appearing as Sibyl will be Lori Myers, who was last seen as Katie in Samsara at Victory Gardens, Ali in The Commons of Pensacola at Northlight Theatre, and in herJeff award-winning role as Maggie in Griffin Theatre's 2014 Men Should Weep. Sibyl's old flame Howard Ratliff will be played by Will Casey, who was Jeff-nominated for his role as Nightingale in Raven's 2014 Vieux Carré by Tennessee Williams. Jeff Award-winning Raven co-founder and co-artistic director JoAnn Montemurro, whose many roles at Raven include her recent turns as Kate Keller inAll My Sons and her Jeff-nominated portrayal of Mrs. Wire in Vieux Carré will play Gertrude, the insanely rich widow who competes with Sibyl for Howard's affections.

Judy Lea Steele, seen most recently in City Lit's A Crime in the Neighborhood will play Julia Price, a middle-aged woman seeking to prolong her youth by pursuing a much younger man. Andy Monson, who has appeared in Steppenwolf's The Book Thief and The March will be the younger man, Tom Underwood.

marssie* Mencotti will return to the Raven stage where she played the matriarch in Foote's Dividing the Estate. In The Old Friends, she'll play Mamie Borden, mother to Julia and mother-in-law of Sibyl. Julia's husband Albert will be Ron Quade, veteran of 16 Raven productions including last season's Beast on the Moon. Aneisa Hicks and Kayla Pulley will appear as domestics Catherine and Hattie.

Foote, who died in 2009, was the author of nearly 100 plays, teleplays and screenplays; including The Trip to Bountiful, Tender Mercies and To Kill a Mockingbird. With Raven's production of The Old Friends, Horton Foote will become the first playwright in Raven's 33-year history to be represented in three successive seasons. The company's first Foote play was The Trip to Bountiful in fall of 2013, and their second was the Chicago premiere of Dividing the Estate, which played at Raven from January through March of 2015.

Foote originally wrote a draft of The Old Friends in the mid-1960s. It was given a workshop production in 1982 and a reading by Signature in 2002, but wasn't fully staged until Signature's World Premiere production in September 2013. Warmly received by New York critics and audiences, that production directed by Michael Wilson was remounted at the Alley in Houston, Texas in August 2014, with Betty Buckley, Hallie Foote and Veanne Cox repeating their roles as Mamie, Sibyl and Julia.

Two American masters to be represented at Raven Theatre this winter.

The Old Friends will be one of two lesser-known plays by American masters to be staged at Raven in Winter 2016. William Inge's A Loss of Roses, which has been infrequently produced since its Broadway premiere in 1959, will begin previews on February 17 and open on Raven's West Stage on February 22. The two plays will be performed concurrently at Raven for six weeks - with The Old Friends running on Raven's East Stage through March 26, 2016 while A Loss of Roses plays on Raven's West Stage through April 2, 2016. Casting for A Loss of Roses, to be directed by Raven Associate Artistic Director Cody Estle, will be announced shortly.


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