LEVELING UP Comes to the Thompson Shelterhouse, 2/9-3/10

LEVELING UP Comes to the Thompson Shelterhouse, 2/9-3/10

The fuzzy line between reality and virtual reality is explored in the world- premiere production of LEVELING UP by Deborah Zoe Laufer. This thought-provoking and often humorous play begins previews in The Playhouse's Thompson Shelterhouse Theatre Feb. 9 and continues through March 10.

LEVELING UP follows the story of four 20-somethings who struggle to transition from college to a "real" life that is rarely spent outside the glare of the video game monitors in their Las Vegas basement. What they find is a world of grown-up relationships that require levels of intimacy far beyond the social shield of technology. When one member of the circle is recruited by the NSA to pilot remote missiles, he's ill-equipped to handle the moral ambiguities raised.

According to Playhouse Artistic Director Blake Robison, "LEVELING UP is a play about friendship, about growing up, about facing life's important challenges. Gaming is the context, but everyone can relate to the hurdles faced by the young people in this play."
The cast of LEVELING UP includes Ali Rose Dachis as Jeannie, Bobby Moreno as Chuck, Sean Mellot as Ian and Ben Morrow as Zander. All four actors are making their Playhouse debut.

Ms. Laufer's play End Days was awarded The American Theatre Critics Association's Steinberg Citation and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grant. It has received more than 40 productions, including in Germany and Russia, is listed in the Burns Mantle The Best Plays Theater Yearbook as one of the best regional plays of 2008 and is published in The Best Plays of 2008 (Smith and Kraus). End Days was developed at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference.

Sirens premiered at The Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival in February 2010. Out of Sterno received its world premiere at Portland Stage in Maine in 2009 with a grant from The Edgerton Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Ms. Laufer is currently adapting both plays into musicals. Her play The Last Schwartz enjoyed a six-month run at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles, and was published in Women Playwrights, the Best Plays of 2003. Fortune premiered at Marin Theatre Company.

Wendy C. Goldberg, who directed Durango and Doubt at The Playhouse, will helm the production. She is artistic director of the Tony Award-winning National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. A workshop of LEVELING UP was developed and directed by Goldberg at the O'Neill Center during a residency at the National Playwrights Conference of 2011.

For more info visit: www.cincyplay.com

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