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Paul Anthony Stewart Stars In CRIME AND PUNISHMENT 2/27-3/22

Emmy-nominated Paul Anthony Stewart stars as Raskolnikov in a gripping 90-minute adaptation of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment at The Cleveland Play House. In addition to numerous New York and regional theatre roles, Stewart, who was nominated for his recurring role on "Guiding Light," recently appeared on Broadway in the revivals of Fiddler on the Roof and Cyrano - The Musical. Performed with only three actors, the adaptation of Crime and Punishment by Marilyn Campbell and Cut Columbus is being helmed by the acclaimed director of the 2005 Play House production of I Am My Own Wife, Anders Cato. Crime and Punishment begins in the Drury Theatre at The Cleveland Play House on Friday, February 27 and runs through Sunday, March 22, 2009. Tickets are on sale now at The Cleveland Play House box office by calling 216.795.7000 ext 4 or online at Crime and Punishment is presented in promotional partnership with National City and Baker & Hostetler.

"A truly inspired and innovative piece of play-making that turns a great novel into a theatrical tour de force," declares Cleveland Play House Artistic Director Michael Bloom. "After his remarkable work on our production of I Am My Own Wife, I'm confident Anders Cato will bring an incisive theatricality to one of the singular stories of western literature."

Before "Law and Order," there was Crime and Punishment, a startlingly complex examination of man's capacity for cruelty and the redemptive power of goodness. In this electrifying 90-minute adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky's masterpiece audiences enter the tortured world of Raskolnikov, one of the most fascinating figures in all of literature. What has he done? Why has he done it? And of what are any of us capable? These haunting questions are intricately woven into a stark, bracing and stunningly theatrical production that takes the audience on a heart-racing journey into the mind of a criminal. A thrilling psychological drama, Dostoevsky's timeless classic receives a swift and intense dramatization in which just three actors portray the novel's key characters.

The New York Times calls this adaptation "remarkably absorbing... Crime and Punishment, in a feat that rivals the construction of the Hoover Dam, has been distilled into a taut 90-minute play by Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus [that] will banish any bad memories you might have of trying to struggle through Dostoevsky's book." The play's premiere earned Chicago's prestigious Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Adaptation and was acclaimed by the Chicago Sun-Times as "stunningly lean, taut, and emotionally searing."

One of the world's most influential authors, Fyodor Dostoevsky is also known for The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot, and Notes from the Underground. He was so popular in his native Russia that he was hailed as a prophet and a mystic in the 19th century. According to Virginia Woolf, "The novels of Dostoevsky are seething whirlpools, gyrating sandstorms, waterspouts which hiss and boil and suck us in. They are composed purely and wholly of the stuff of the soul. Against our wills we are drawn in, whirled round, blinded, suffocated, and at the same time filled with a giddy rapture. Out of Shakespeare there is no more exciting reading."

Patrick Husted (Porfiry) played Dr. Bob in the off Broadway premiere of Bill W. and Dr. Bob, about the two men who founded Alcoholics Anonymous during the Great Depression. Also in New York City he played Dr. Kelekian in the Pulitzer Prize winning play Wit, and worked with Arthur Miller on his remake of The American Clock. His regional theater credits of over 150 productions across the country include the central character in Arthur Miller's last play Resurrection Blues. Film credits include Tim Robbins' Cradle Will Rock with Bill Murray, Blow with Ray Liota, and Neil Jordan's film The Brave One with Jody Foster. He has guest starred in numerous episodic television shows, most recently in January on "Law and Order," and the television movie For One More Day with Michael Imperioli of "Sopranos" fame and Ellen Burstyn.

LETHIA NALL (Sonia) was last seen in Macbeth at Stonington Opera House. She recently originated the character of Hope in "Stuck," a pilot for Abderian Productions and portrayed a WWII French prostitute turned spy in Jumping Blind, Gayfest, New York City. Off Broadway credits include As You Like It, The Public Theater and Come to Leave, The Women's Project. New York City favorite projects include singing with The Howard Fishman Quartet in We are Destroyed, Joe's Pub/The Public Theater; Tom Stoppard's Indian Ink, Alter Ego; The Eliots, Centerstage; Dutchman, American Theatre of Actors; Michael John Garces' Last Call, world premiere, Prospect Theater; Pulling the Lever, New York Innovative Theatre Award, Rising Circle; The Taming of The Shrew, Nevada Shakespeare in the Park; Antarctica, Samuel French Play Festival; Pleaching the Coffin Sisters, Ensemble Studio Theatre. Television credits are "Rescue Me," "Law & Order," "All My Children," and "Nick at Nite."

Paul Anthony Stewart (Raskolnikov) appeared on Broadway as Perchik in the recent revival of Fiddler on the Roof and Christian in Cyrano - The Musical. Other New York credits include She Can't Believe She Said That, The Man Who Would Be King, City Of Dreams, Playing With Fire, Until Day Breaks, Rivalry of Dolls, and White Water. Favorite regional credits include Changes Of Heart, Mark Taper Forum; Quills, Geffen Playhouse; the Los Angeles premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's Hello Again; Pera Palas, Long Wharf Theatre; The Game of Love and Chance, Huntington Theatre; How It Was Done in Odessa, Walnut Street Theatre; and the American premiere of Stephen Schwartz's Children of Eden, Mill Mountain Theatre. Television appearances include "Guiding Light," Emmy Nomination; "Damages," "Law & Order," "Dream On," "The Hunger," The Inheritance (Hallmark Movie), "First Time Out," and "Loving." Films include The Appearance of Things, Somewhere in the City, Duty Dating, and Shadows and Fog.

Anders Cato (Director) is excited to return to The Cleveland Play House where he directed the 2005-2006 season production of I Am My Own Wife, starring Mark Nelson. The production was later presented at Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami and George Street Playhouse in New Jersey. Mr. Cato recently directed Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession at the Alley Theatre and Conor McPherson's The Seafarer at George Street Playhouse. Other directing credits include War, and Craig Lucas's adaptation of Miss Julie at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in New York; Texts for Nothing at The Royal Court Theatre in London and the Magic Theater in San Francisco; When the World Was Green at American Repertory Theater and Moscow Art Theatre; Blood Orange at Cherry Lane Theatre; A Dream Play at Westbeth Theatre; The War in Heaven at La Jolla Playhouse; All My Sons, Tango Palace, and In Berlin at 7 Stages; Doubt and Souvenir at George Street Playhouse; and Gross Indecency and Dirty Blonde at Theatre in the Square. At Berkshire Theatre Festival he directed Texts for Nothing (with Joseph Chaikin), Miss Julie, Talley's Folly, Heartbreak House, The Misanthrope, The Father, American Buffalo, The Night of the Iguana, Via Dolorosa, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Candida, and Waiting for Godot.

MARILYN CAMPBELL (co-Adaptor) is a published playwright and award winning actress; she is also producer, co-founder, and artistic associate of Writers' Theatre. Her co-adaptation with Curt Columbus of Crime and Punishment won Chicago's 2003 Joseph Jefferson Award, Best New Adaptation and was subsequently published by Dramatic Publishing. Since its publication Crime and Punishment has enjoyed numerous productions across the country including the following: Arden Theatre Company; Round House Theatre; Orlando Shakespeare Festival where it won Top Pick at the 2005 Harriett Lake Festival of New Plays; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; 59E59th Street Theatre in New York City; and in 2009, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Indiana Rep, and Intiman Theatre among others. Ms. Campbell's other full length plays include the award winning My Own Stranger, a co-adaptation based on the writings of Pulitzer Prize winning poet Anne Sexton; The Beats, based on the writings of the 1950's beat poets (which starred David Cromer as Allen Ginsberg); and The Gospel According to Mark Twain, a co-adaptation based on the later writings of Mark Twain, which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, Scotland. Ms. Campbell is currently writing a new play, commissioned by Writers' Theatre and based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, titled The Monster's Lullaby. She is also co-authoring and performing in an original comedic work with her daughter Maria Merrin entitled Mixing It Up.

Curt Columbus (co-Adaptor) joined Trinity Rep as artistic director in January, 2006. He directed his own translation of Cherry Orchard for Trinity, as well as productions of The Receptionist, A Christmas Carol, Memory House, and Blithe Spirit. Last season saw the premiere of his play with music Paris by Night and Trinity's 2008-2009 season opened with his re-imagining of Sophocles' Antigone entitled The House of Antigone. Mr. Columbus was associate artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre Company from 2000-2005, where world premieres of his translations of Cherry Orchard and Uncle Vanya were presented. Other Steppenwolf credits include translating Maria Arndt and directing The House of Lily, Division Street: America, and Our Town. He was also artistic director of Chicago Park District's Theatre on the Lake and an artistic associate at Victory Gardens Theatre from 1990-2006. His adaptation with Marilyn Campbell of Crime and Punishment, first presented by Writers' Theatre, earned a Joseph Jefferson Award, Best New Adaptation. His play The Dreams of Antigone, written with the Trinity Rep resident acting company, will be published by Broadway Play Publishing. His translations of Anton Chekhov's plays have been published by Ivan R. Dee, including a volume of translations called Chekhov: The Four Major Plays. From that collection, Seagull premiered at Writers' Theatre and Three Sisters, honored with a Joseph Jefferson Citation, premiered at Strawdog Theatre.

The design team for Crime and Punishment includes Lee Savage (Scenic Designer), Olivera Gajic (Costume Design), Jeff Davis (Lighting Designer), James C. Swonger (Sound Design), and Jesse Freedman (Assistant Director). The Cleveland Play House's Production Staff is responsible for the sets, costumes, lighting, props, furniture, scenic painting, sound, special effects and/or wigs used in this production.

· First Friday Tasting Series - Friday, February 27, 2009 - Mingle with other theatre fans and enjoy drink tastings and complimentary hors d'oeuvres starting at 6:30pm in our lobbies. Specially priced preview tickets include this pre-show reception and admittance to the play.
· Pre-show discussions - Join us 45 minutes before every performance for a lively discussion with a member of the cast or creative team.
· Playbacks - Wednesday, March 11 and Sunday, March 15, 2009 - Join actors from the cast for these post-play discussions moderated by a member of the artistic staff.
· Student Matinees occur at 10:30am on Friday, March 6 and Tuesday, March 17, 2009. Tickets are $10 each, and teacher tickets are complimentary. For details, call (216) 795-7000, ext. 149 or e-mail

Tickets for Crime and Punishment range from $42 to $64, with discounts available for groups of ten or more, for senior citizens aged 60 and over, and for military reservists and their families. Tickets are $10 for all students under the age of 25. A limited number of $10 rush tickets go on sale 90 minutes before curtain and remain on sale until 30 minutes before curtain, based on availability. The Cleveland Play House is located at 85th and Euclid Ave. next door to the Cleveland Clinic near University Circle.

Founded in 1915, The Cleveland Play House is the first permanently established professional theatre in the United States. More than 12 million people have attended over 1,300 productions at The Play House - including more than 130 American and/or World Premieres. Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Bloom and Managing Director Kevin Moore, The Cleveland Play House is an artist-driven theatre that serves the Greater Cleveland community by holding true to its mission: To produce plays of the highest professional standards that inspire, stimulate, and entertain our diverse audiences, to conduct training and educational programs that enhance the quality of life for those we serve and help to insure the future of theatre.

The Cleveland Play House is funded through the generosity of Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and The Ohio Arts Council helps to fund The Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

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