Hartford Stage Opens 2011 with Snow Falling on Cedars, Closes 2/13


Snow Falling on Cedars, the acclaimed best-selling novel by David Guterson, comes to life this winter at Hartford Stage in a fresh adaptation by Kevin McKeon. Former Hartford Stage Associate Artistic Director Jeremy B. Cohen returns to direct the East Coast premiere of the play. The production closes at the Tony Award-winning theatre February 13.

The haunting drama Snow Falling on Cedars takes place nearly a decade after World War II. The isolated Puget Sound's white and Japanese-American communities have lived in quiet but uneasy peace, even through the dark days of internment camps and widespread anti-Japanese war hysteria. When Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with murder and it comes to light that his wife's spurnEd White lover Ishmael holds the information that could set him free, the island's secret prejudices, jealousies and ancient grievances threaten to boil over. Assisting Production Sponsor for Snow Falling on Cedars is LexisNexis. Additional support is provided by the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

The cast of Snow Falling on Cedars includes twelve talented actors, many playing multiple roles and most making their Hartford Stage debuts. Kimiye Corwin, Dashiell Eaves, and Brian Tee play the central love triangle of Hatsue Imada, Ishmael Chambers, and Kabuo Miyamoto. Corwin trained as a dancer and has numerous Off-Broadway and regional credits. Eaves had been seen on Broadway in A Behanding in Spokane, Coram Boy, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, James Joyce's The Dead, 1776, and The Sound of Music. Tee is best known for his starring role as DK, the Drift King, in the action-thriller The Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift and as a series regular playing EMT Eddie Choi on Crash, a TV series based on the Academy Award winning film.

Also in the company are Sean Cullen (Alvin Hooks and others). Cullen's Broadway credits include South Pacific, Coram Boy, and James Joyce's the Dead. Bill Doyle plays Art Moran and others; he has numerous regional, film, and TV credits. TEd Koch playsCarl Heine, Sr. and others. He has appeared on Broadway in Elling,The Pillowman, Death of a Salesman, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Kate Levy plays several roles, including Mrs. Chambers. She has worked extensively in New York and regional theatre. Tom Mardirosian plays Nels Gudmundsson. He has been seen on Broadway in Wonderful Town, Happy End, The Magic Show, Cuba and His Teddy Bear and My Favorite Year. Ron Nakahara (The Merchant of Venice at Hartford Stage) plays Hisao Imada, among others; he has extensive New York, regional, and television credits. Mia Tagano plays Fujiko Imada and Mrs. Nitta; she works frequently in New York and around the country. Mark David Watson plays Carl Heine, Jr. and others and Alexandra Hoffman Beechko (A Christmas Carol) plays Susan Marie Heine.

Snow Falling on Cedars is adapted from David Guterson's best-selling novel by Kevin McKeon. A long-time company member of Book-It Repertory Theatre, Mr. McKeon has worked with the Seattle company in several capacities: as adapter, director, and actor.His production work includes Breathing Lessons (Adapter/Director), A Tale of Two Cities (Co-Adapter with Jane Jones), Plainsong (Adapter), and The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (Adapter). In 2007, he directed his adaptation of Snow Falling on Cedars in its world premiereat Book-It; it was the recipient of two Seattle Times Footlight Awards and was also a nominee for that year's ATCA/Steinberg Best New Play Award. The adaptation was produced last season at Portland Center Stage, directed by Chris Coleman, and will be produced later this season at Centerstage in Baltimore and Theatreworks in Palo Alto, CA.

Snow Falling on Cedars is directed by Jeremy B. Cohen. Currently Producing Artistic Director of the Playwrights' Center, Cohen served as the Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Play Development at Hartford Stage from 2003 to 2010. His directing credits here include Tom Sawyer, Mistakes Were Made, The Scene (with George Street Playhouse), Mahalia: A Gospel Musical, I Am My Own Wife, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Bad Dates and A Christmas Carol. Other regional theatre credits include: the U.S. premiere of Kwame Kwei-Armah's Let There Be Love with Avery Brooks (Centerstage), the world premiere of Smart Cookie (Alliance), The Scene, Bad Dates, and Trip to Bountiful (Alley Theatre); and Theresa Rebecks's The Novelist (DTF). As Founding Artistic Director of Naked Eye Theatre Company, Cohen developed/directed 20 plays, including world premieres of Jamie Pachino's Waving Goodbye (Steppenwolf) and Timothy Mason's Cannibals; Midwest premieres of Adam Rapp's Nocturne and Naomi Wallace's One Flea Spare (Goodman). He is the recipient of numerous awards and nominations for his productions, including Joseph Jefferson, Helen Hayes and After Dark. Cohen has been a Director and part of the Directing Faculty at the O'Neill Playwright's Conference/National Theatre Institute, and recipient of both an NEA/TCG Directors Fellowship and a Northwestern University award for his play 12 Volt Heart.

Snow Falling on Cedarsfeatures scenic design by Takeshi Kata (Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune); costumes by Jess Goldstein (over 20 productions at Hartford Stage, from Damn Yankees to The Night of the Iguana); lighting by Joel Moritz (Hartford Stage debut); and original music and sound design by Broken Chord Collective (Gee's Bend, Tom Sawyer). Charles LaPointe (Tom Sawyer, Gee's Bend, Noises Off, A Midsummer Night's Dream) designed the wigs and Tommy Rapley (Tom Sawyer)is the movement director.

Tickets for Snow Falling on Cedars are $23 to $66. A limited number of $10 "Ten Spot" tickets are also available for all performances, making Hartford Stage among the most affordable entertainment options in Connecticut. Discounts are available for groups of ten or more by calling 860-520-7244. What a Rush! half-price tickets to Snow Falling on Cedars may be purchased, subject to availability, beginning two hours before each performance in person at the box office only. Patrons must request What a Rush! tickets at the time of purchase to receive this discount. Tickets for children and students are $10 off the full price when purchased in advance. Students of Capital Community College may purchase one $10 ticket to Snow Falling on Cedars upon presentation of their student ID at the Hartford Stage box office. All discount programs are subject to availability and cannot combined with other offers. Hartford Stage has wheelchair accessible seating, assistive listening devices and other amenities. For more information, please call the Hartford Stage box office. Hartford Stage is located at 50 Church Street in downtown Hartford with parking located in the MAT Garage, directly adjacent to the theatre. The theatre is accessible from I-84 and I-91.

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