Alley Theatre Announces Cast and Creative Team for Jon Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities
Alley Theatre Artistic Director Gregory Boyd announces the cast and creative team for Other Desert Cities. A riveting new play by Pulitzer Prize nominee and creator of TV's hit drama Brothers & Sisters, Jon Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities was named the Outstanding Play by the Outer Critics Circle and called "the best new play on Broadway" by The New York Times. Jackson Gay returns to direct this new production after helming the Alley Theatre's productions of August: Osage County, Red andIntelligence-Slave.
After a six-year absence, Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs to celebrate Christmas with her parents, brother and aunt. The warm desert air turns chilly when news of her upcoming memoir threatens to revive the most painful chapter of the family's history. The New York Daily News calls this dysfunctional family drama "a winner ... funny and fierce, invigorating and intelligent." Recommended for mature audiences.
Other Desert Cities features Resident Company Member Elizabeth Bunch as Brooke Wyeth. Returning to the Alley Theatre are Richard Bekins as Lyman Wyeth (Alley's The Common Pursuit in 1987) and Linda Thorson as Polly Wyeth (Alley's Black Coffee in 1979). Making their Alley Debut are Alex Hurt as Trip Wyeth and Audrie Neenan as Silda Grauman.
Other Desert Cities, by Jon Robin Baitz, directed by Jackson Gay, begins performances Friday, January 10 opens officially Wednesday, January 15, and runs through February 2, 2014 on the Hubbard Stage.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Jon Robin Baitz (Playwright) His plays include The Film Society; The Substance of Fire; The End of the Day; Three Hotels; A Fair Country, a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1996;Mizlansky/Zilinsky; Ten Unknowns; and The Paris Letter, as well as a version of Hedda Gabler, which ran on Broadway in 2001. He created Brothers & Sisters, the TV series which ran for five seasons until 2011. Other TV work includes PBS' version of Three Hotels, for which he won the Humanitas Award and episodes of The West Wing and Alias. He is the author of two screenplays, the film script for The Substance of Fire in 1996 and People I Know in 2002. He is a founding member of Naked Angels Theatre Company and on the faculties of the MFA programs at The New School for Drama and SUNY Stony Brook/ Southampton. His play Other Desert Cities won the Outer Critics Circle Award in 2011.
Richard Bekins (Lyman Wyeth) is very happy to be returning to the Alley Theatre after appearing 25 years ago in The Common Pursuit. His Broadway appearances includeHappy New Year, Tartuffe and Love! Valour! Compassion! Off-Broadway he has appeared in Somewhere Fun at Vineyard Theatre, The Normal Heart at Public Theater, The Maddening Truth with Keen Company, Patient A at Signature Theatre, among others. Some of the leading regional theatres he has worked at include Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn., Hartford Stage, Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Center Stage in Baltimore, Cleveland Play House, Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, ALLIANCE THEATRE in Atlanta, and of course, the Alley Theatre. His film appearances include roles in Young Adult, Limitless, Julie & Julia, United 93, Bleeding House, Brother to Brother, Gods and Generals, Feast of the Goat, Nor'Easter, How We Got Away With It, and others. Some of his television credits include The Blacklist, Elementary, Person of Interest, The Good Wife, Rescue Me, Damages, Army Wives, Law & Order, Law &Order: SVU, Law &Order: Criminal Intent, Another World and Mad Men.
Elizabeth Bunch (Brooke) has appeared in more than 40 productions at the Alley Theatre since 2002 and recently served as Assistant Director for The Seafarer andAmadeus. Performances include Gay Wellington in You Can't Take it With You, Henrietta Angkatell in The Hollow, Christiane de LaBegassier in Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, Mrs. Kendal in The Elephant Man, Bev/Kathy in Clybourne Park, Clarice Bernstein in November, Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, Karen in August: Osage County, Wendy in Peter Pan, Boeing-Boeing, Harvey, The 39 Steps, Our Town, Mauritius, Cyrano de Bergerac, Othello, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Scene,Doubt, Treasure Island, Steel Magnolias, Proof and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? New York theatre credits include The Voice of the Turtle produced by The Keen Company and The Mint Theater Company; The Water Children at Playwrights Horizons; Museum with The Keen Company; The Light Outside with Bat Theater Company; and New World Rhapsody, The Motel Plays, and The Hospital Plays at HB Playwrights Foundation. Other theatre includes Little Foxes at The Denver Center for the Performing Arts; A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Guthrie Theater; Goosebumps, a national tour produced by FELD Entertainment; Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, Viola in Twelfth Night, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Isabella in Measure for Measure, Big Love, and Arcadia with Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble. Television appearances include Law & Order: SVU. Elizabeth is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Alex Hurt (Trip Wyeth) Broadway credits include Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Off-Broadway credits include Simon in Caucasian Chalk Circle at Classic Stage Company, Posthumous in Unrequited at The Public Theater: Shakespeare Lab. Regional credits include Mervyn in A Behanding in Spokane at San Francisco Playhouse; Foster in No Man's Land and Harry Nash in Who Am I This Time? At Artists Repertory Theatre; Jack in Traps at The Wilma Theater, Geoffrey in The Lion in Winter, and Cassio in Othello at Hedgerow. Film credits include Young H2O in The River Why. He has an MFA from NYU Tisch Graduate Acting.
Audrie Neenan (Silda Grauman) In the past year, Ms. Neenan has performed quite literally from coast-to-coast as Detective Miss Tweed in Something's Afoot at Goodspeed Opera House, East Haddam, Conn., to Parthy Anne Hawks in Showboat at Music Circus, Sacramento, Calif., and now as Silda at the Alley Theatre in Houston. You may have also seen her perform on Broadway in Sister Act as the Original Sister Lazarus, Oklahoma! As Aunt Eller, The Odd Couple female version as Florence Unger, Picnic andCurse of an Aching Heart with Faye Dunaway and Director Gerald Gutierrez. Off-Broadway and regional credits include Christopher Durang's Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them at The Public Theater with Director Nicholas Martin and Playwrights Horizons in NYC. Other credits include Seattle Repertory Theatre, ALLIANCE THEATRE, McCarter Theatre Center, Yale Repertory Theatre and Music Theatre of Wichita. Chicago credits include The Second City Resident Company; Shakespeare Festivals with Mantegna, Macy, and Mamet, Goodman Theatre, Wisdom Bridge, Body Politic Theatre, and Apollo Theater where she received a Jeff Award for Tintypes. Film credits include Sister Raymond in Doubt, The Departed, Ghost Town, Sudden Impact, Funny Farm, Somewhere in Time, Hear No Evil and See No Evil. TV credits include Judge Lois Preston on Law & Order: SVU, Doctor, Doctor, Not Necessarily the News, Gossip Girl, Friends and Johnny Carson's guest.
Linda Thorson (Polly Wyeth) returns to the Alley after over three decades. Since then, she has divided her time between the U.K., Canada, and the U.S. She was Tara King in the cult British TV series, The Avengers, in the 1960s and could recently be seen in the nighttime soap, Emmerdale, in the U.K. There she was also seen on the BBC in Silent Witness, The Oresteia, Caucasian Chalk Circle and in the West End in The Countess, The Constant Wife, No Sex Please, We're British, Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, the musical Gigi and Putting it Together on U.S. TV. Linda played Gull Ocett in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and was on the soap,One Life to Live. Recently Linda guest starred in the Lifetime Movie, Committed, along with Flashpoint, Law &Order, and Saving Hope. Her films include The Other Sister,Sweet Liberty, Half Past Dead, The Greek Tycoon. Broadway credits include Noises Off, Steaming, Getting Married, Zoya's Apartment and City of Angels. She's had leading roles in August: Osage County for the Everyman Theatre in Baltimore; The Importance of Being Earnest for the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis; and toured Canada in the one-woman play Shirley Valentine. Linda has a one-woman show called What Comes to Mind, and is, at this time, producing a new play entitled The Goodnight Bird, a Governor General's Award for Literature winner by Canada's Colleen Murphy. Training includes Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Awards include a BAFTA Award in the U.K., Broadway Drama Desk Award for Noises Off and Theatre World Award for Steaming.ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM
Jackson Gay (Director) Upcoming productions include These Paper Bullets adapted by Rolin Jones from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing with songs by Billie Joe Armstrong at Yale Repertory Theatre. Recent credits include the new musical Arlington by Victor Lodato with music by Polly Pen at San Francisco's Magic Theatre; New play workshop with Sheila Callaghan at Yale Repertory Theatre; Lucy Thurber's Where We're Born at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; Slainte by John Gallagher Jr. at New York Stage & Film; Bess Wohl's Barcelona at People's Light & Theatre Company; Allison Moore's Collapse at Women's Project Theater; Rolin Jones' The Jammer at the Atlantic, where she also directEd Jones' The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and Lucy Thurber's Scarcity; 3C by David Adjmi at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; As You Like It with Chautauqua Theater Company; A Little Journey with Mint Theater Company, which received a 2012 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Play; August: Osage County, Red and Kenneth Lin's Intelligence-Slave at Alley Theatre; and The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, which received aBest Production Connecticut Critic's Award at Yale Repertory Theatre. Jackson teaches directing at Columbia University. She has an MFA in Directing from the Yale School of Drama. Jackson is from Sugar Land, Texas. Takeshi Kata (Scenic Design) returns to the Alley having previously designed Venus in Fur, A Few Good Men, Red, The Farnsworth Invention, Subject to Fits, The Clean House and Orson's Shadow. New York credits include Adding Machine, Orson's Shadow at Barrow Street Theatre, Storefront Church, Through a Glass Darkly, Port Authority,Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow at Atlantic Theater Company, Outside People at Vineyard Theatre, Doris to Darlene at Playwrights Horizons and Gone Missing at The Civilians. Regionally Kata has worked at American Players Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Dallas Theater Center, Ford's Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Goodman Theatre, Hartford Stage, Kirk Douglas Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Nashville Opera, The Old Globe, Skylight Opera Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Yale Repertory Theatre. Kata has won an Obie Award and has been nominated for Drama Desk, Ovation and Barrymore Awards. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California, School of Dramatic Arts.
Jessica Ford (Costume Design) is pleased to be returning to the Alley Theatre, having designed costumes for Red in 2012. Recent productions with Jackson Gay include the World Premieres of Kenneth Lin's Fallow and Bess Wohl's Barcelona at The People's Light & Theatre Company. She has worked frequently at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn., where she designed the World Premiere of Athol Fugard's Coming Home, along with It's a Wonderful Life, The Fantastiks, A Doll's House, The Price, and sets for The Santaland Diaries. Regional credits include South Coast Repertory, Arena Stage, The Folger Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Yale Repertory Theatre, Barrington Stage Company and Actors Theatre of Louisville. In New York, she has worked with Atlantic Theater Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Ars Nova, The Play Company, Page 73, Second Stage Theatre, and The Public Theater. Jessica received her MFA from Yale School of Drama and was a recipient of the 2007-9 NEA/TCG fellowship for designers. She is currently the Visiting Artist in Residence at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.
Paul Whitaker (Lighting Design) Alley Theatre credits include Red and Moon for the Misbegotten. New York credits include The Public Theater, MCC Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, The Play Company, Ma-Yi Theater Company, The LAByrinth Theater Company, Intar Theatre, The Mint Theater Company and others. Regional credits include The Guthrie Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory, the Long Wharf Theatre, Alley Theatre, The Huntington Theatre Company, The Children's Theatre Company, Center Stage, A Contemporary Theatre, Hartford Stage, Dallas Theater Center, George Street Playhouse, Two River Theater and others. He has a BA from Macalester College and an MFA from Yale School of Drama. Paul has taught at Cal Poly Pomona and Amherst College and is currently a Lighting Designer/Theatre Consultant for Schuler Shook. www.paulwhitakerdesigns.comBroken Chord (Sound Design) is Daniel Baker and Aaron Meicht. New York credits include Atlantic Theater Company, Cherry Lane Theatre, The Incubator Arts Project, Juilliard, Keen Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Primary Stages, The Public Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, Second Stage Theatre, Signature Theatre and Women's Project Theater. Regional credits include Arena Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Hartford Stage, Huntington Theatre Company, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Yale Repertory Theatre. www.brokenchordcollective.com
ABOUT THE Alley Theatre
The Alley Theatre is a nationally recognized Theatre Company based in Houston, Texas. The Alley was founded in 1947 and is one of the few US companies with a commitment to resident artists. Under the direction of Artistic Director Gregory Boyd and Managing Director Dean R. Gladden, the Alley creates a wide-ranging repertoire of innovative productions of classics, neglected modern plays, and new works in its 11 production season. The Alley has brought its productions to Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, 40 American cities, to Berlin, Paris, and St. Petersburg, as well as to major European festivals (including two in one season at the Venice Biennale). A recipient of the Special Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the Alley has premiered plays by Edward Albee, Horton Foote, Robert Wilson, Rajiv Joseph. Kenneth Lin, Eve Ensler, Keith Reddin, and Herbert Siguenza, as well as creating the premieres of the musicals Jekyll & Hyde, The Civil War, and Wonderland. Other notable collaborations include The Roman Plays (with Vanessa Redgrave), Hydriotaphia (by Tony Kushner), and Danton's Death. The Alley's productions are built and rehearsed in the Alley Theatre Center for Theatre Production - a 75,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the theatres themselves and are performed on the 824-seat Hubbard Stage and the 310-seat Neuhaus Stage. The Alley continues to provide its audiences with thought-provoking, diverse and transformative theatre. alleytheatre.org
Other Desert Cities is generously sponsored by Lead Sponsor Cameron International Corporation and Supporting Sponsor KPMG LLP. The Alley Theatre is supported by the 2013-2014 season sponsor United Airlines, the official airline of the Alley Theatre. TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets to Other Desert Cities start at $26. All tickets to Other Desert Cities are available for purchase at alleytheatre.org, at the Alley Theatre Box Office, 615 Texas Avenue, or by calling 713.220.5700. Groups of 10 or more can receive special concierge services and select discounts by calling 713.220.5700 and asking for the group sales department. CAPTIONED AND AUDIO DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE
Sunday, January 12, 2:30 p.m.
The Alley Theatre offers access services for our deaf or hard of hearing and sight-impaired patrons. Audio Description is provided for each Hubbard Stage production and Open Captioning is offered for every Hubbard Stage and Neuhaus Stage production. To ensure that your seats will accommodate your needs, please call the box office713.220.5700 when ordering tickets to this performance. Discounted tickets are available for groups of 10 or more. SHELTERING ARMS $10 TIX
Saturday, January 11
The Alley Theatre continues its efforts to make the theatre affordable to patrons. Partnering with other social non-profit organizations, the Alley seeks to generate in-kind donations and reward patrons with $10 Tix for select performances. The $10 Tix are available in person only on Saturday, January 11, and are limited to two tickets per person. With your donation, you can purchase two $10 tickets for Sunday, January 12 at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 14 at 7:30 p.m. or Thursday, January 16 at 7:30 p.m. Donate and purchase in person at the Box Office (615 Texas Ave.) on Saturday, January 11 only. Limited availability. The requested donation for Other Desert Cities isnew/unused blankets. INTERACT
Thursday, January 16, 6:00 p.m.
Grab your group and join us for InterACT, the Alley Theatre's newest pre-show mixer for groups of 10 or more. Interact and network with members of other theatre-loving groups while enjoying music, complimentary cocktails and appetizers provided by Frankie B. Mandola's Catering and Damian's Cucina Italiana. This pre-curtain event is FREE with a group purchase of 10 or more tickets to the 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 16 performance of Other Desert Cities. Group Leaders can contact the Group Sales Department at 713.315.3346 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about group rates, seat availability, easy payment options and flexible payment due dates. The Group Sales Department is open from 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.