Corbin Bleu, Colleen Zenk and Randy Brooks to Star in FAMILY SHOTS at The Human Race Theatre, 1/22-2/8

Corbin Bleu, Colleen Zenk and Randy Brooks to Star in FAMILY SHOTS at The Human Race Theatre, 1/22-2/8 Dayton's premier professional regional theatre continues its legacy of developing new works and its long-standing relationship with New York writer Michael Slade as it prepares for the first ever production of Slade's latest play, Family Shots, at downtown's The Loft Theatre. Charming family patriarch Sam Baker lies in a hospital bed, recovering from an apparent heart attack, but his wife, Marsha, won't stop making the crisis all about her -- much to the dismay of their son, Aaron. The young photographer wonders why his parents even stay together while he and his husband, Malcolm, deal with their own issues as newlyweds. Intimate, yet universal, Family Shots is a wildly funny and touching comedy about marriage -- its joys, challenges and responsibilities -- and what's worth fighting for. The production runs January 22 - February 8, 2015.

It is directed by The Human Race's producing artistic director, Kevin Moore who chose the script due to its timely subject matter. "In a time when the idea of marriage is being dissected, judged and re-defined," explains Moore, "Family Shots takes a loving and comical look at the institution that binds two people for better or worse."

"It feels particularly fitting to have this play premiere at The Human Race Theatre," states playwright Slade. "It is ultimately a piece about family and love, two words that describe the relationship The Race and I have developed over the years." The theatre company has also premiered Slade's Change and Under a Red Moon, and produced workshops of The Black Crook Project (later known as And the Curtain Rises) and Gingerbread Children. "I think of The Race as my artistic home," Slade continues. "It is the place where I feel unconditionally supported and nurtured as a playwright, and to which I always look forward to returning."

Slade is a long-time writer on daytime television dramas such as One Life to Live (which earned him an Emmy Award nomination), Another World, Passions and Days of Our Lives. For the premiere of Family Shots, he and Moore have enlisted a team of featured actors the playwright has come to know through his television work -- Corbin Bleu, Colleen Zenk and Randy Brooks. "I couldn't be more excited about the cast we've assembled," says Slade. "It's the kind of company a writer usually only dreams about, and one which brings to the play and to Dayton some amazing, high-profile actors. These are people whose work I so admire, and who audiences all over the country would recognize from their performances on Broadway, in movies and on television. Some of them are actors who don't often choose to go to small regional theatres. But in each case they fell in love with the play and decided they wanted to be a part of this production. I feel so blessed to have them on board, and honored by their love for and belief in the play." Moore continues that praise, "From the first rehearsal, I could tell this cast was so in tune -- they were family from day one."

Corbin Bleu stars as "Aaron." Audiences will recognize Mr. Bleu as "Chad Danforth" in Disney's High School Musical trilogy and recently as the runner-up on the 17th season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Mr. Bleu has appeared in the films Mystery Men, Galaxy Quest, Catch That Kid, Jump In!, Free Style, the short film I Owe My Life to Corbin Bleu, The Little Engine That Could, Scary or Die and the upcoming Shaker Pointe with Malcolm-Jamal Warner. His television credits include starring roles in Flight 29 Down, The Beautiful Life: TBL and One Life to Live, with guest appearances on ER, Hannah Montana, Malcolm & Eddie, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Phineas and Ferb, The Good Wife, Franklin & Bash, Blue Bloods and Psych. An accomplished singer and dancer, his Broadway credits include the musicals In the Heights as "Usnavi" and Godspell as "Jesus."

Colleen Zenk plays "Marsha." Ms. Zenk is perhaps best known as "Barbara Ryan" on As the World Turns, a three-time Daytime Emmy Award-nominated role she played for thirty-two years. She began her professional career as a musical theatre actress, co-starring in the 1981 Bye Bye Birdie Broadway sequel, Bring Back Birdie. She returned to the stage in the mid 2000s as "Dolly Levi" in Hello, Dolly! and as "Phyllis Stone" in Stephen Sondheim's Follies. An oral cancer survivor and a mother of six, Ms. Zenk has starred in a number of theatrical productions in recent years, including her one-woman shows, Colleen Zenk: Live and Still Sassy; Looped (as "Tallulah Bankhead"); and Off-Broadway's Odyssey -- The Epic Musical, Marrying George Clooney: Confessions from a Midlife Crisis and Mama and Her Boys. Her film credits include 1982's Annie, Woman on the Ledge, the short film "Libby" (Best Comedy Award nomination, LA Film Fest) and the upcoming Scout. She has been seen on such shows as CBS's Blue Bloods, the web series Thurston and Tainted Dreams, and will appear next season on Milgram and the Fastwalkers.

Randy Brooks plays "Sam." Mr. Brooks is an actor, writer and director known for the films Reservoir Dogs, 8 Million Ways to Die, and the daytime television dramas Generations, The Young and the Restless and Another World. His career began on the stage with a featured role in the Los Angeles cast of Hair. He studied in Los Angeles at the Lee Strasberg Institute, under Mr. Strasberg himself, and under Glen Cannon at the University of Hawaii. His television credits include recurring appearances on The West Wing and on Judging Amy; Nash Bridges; Murder, She Wrote; Tour of Duty; Hill Street Blues and Renegades. His additional film roles include Colors (1988), Forbidden Love (1982), House of Grace (2006) and Don't Touch If You Ain't Prayed (2005). Mr. Brooks has appeared in stage productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Leonard Bernstein's Mass and By George.

Joining them onstage are fellow cast members Adam Halpin (Broadway's Glory Days and Dogfight Off-Broadway, the Broadway tour of Rent and The Last Five Years at Long Wharf Theatre) as "Malcolm," Arash Mokhtar (Rhinoceros and Closer in New York City, HBO's Veep and CBS' Elementary and Person of Interest) as "Dr. Patel" and Annie Pesch (The Human Race's Mame and the Midwest premiere of The Kite Runner at Actors Theatre of Louisville/Cleveland Play House) as "Joyce."

The Human Race Theatre Company's production of Family Shots is sponsored by PNC, Richard and Marni Flagel, Larry S. Glicker -- Glickler Funeral Home, Mrs. Wallace E. Johnson, Heidelberg Distributing Company, Maureen Lynch and Richard Lapedes, Miami Valley Fair Housing Center and The City of Dayton Human Relations Council, with additional support from Marcia Muller and Scot Anderson and Beth and Alan Schaeffer.

Tickets for the preview performance of Family Shots on January 22 start at $30 for adults, $27 for seniors and $15 for students. For all performances January 23 - February 8, single ticket prices start at $35 for adults, $32 for seniors and $17.50 for students. Prices vary depending on the day of the week and seating location. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. The Human Race is offering a pair of discount ticket opportunities. Side-area seats are available at all performances for $25 each, on sale two weeks prior to performance. The Sunday, January 25 7:00 p.m. performance is "Sawbuck Sunday", when any available seat can be purchased in person for just $10 at The Loft Theatre box office two hours prior to the show. Discounts are subject to availability and some restrictions apply. Family Shots is also part of The Human Race's Loft Series 3-play subscription packages.

All performances are at the Metropolitan Art Center's Loft Theatre, located at 126 North Main Street in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Show times for Family Shots are 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Performances on Sunday and Tuesday evenings begin at 7:00 p.m. and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday matinees.

Tickets and performance information on Family Shots are available at www.humanracetheatre.org or by calling Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630, and at the Schuster Center box office.

The Human Race Theatre Company was founded in 1986 and moved into the Metropolitan Arts Center in 1991, taking up residence at the 212-seat Loft Theatre. In addition to the Eichelberger Loft Season, The Human Race produces for the Victoria Theatre's Broadway Series, the Musical Theatre Workshop series, and special event programming. The Human Race, under the direction of Producing Artistic Director Kevin Moore, also maintains education and outreach programs for children, teens and adults, as well as artist residencies in area schools, The Muse Machine In-School Tour, and summer youth programs. Human Race organizational support is provided by Culture Works, the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District, the Shubert Foundation, the Erma R. Catterton Trust Fund, the Jesse & Caryl Philips Foundation Fund for the Development of New Works, the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council, which helped fund this organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The 2014-2015 season sponsor is the Jack W. and Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation of the Dayton Foundation, with additional support from Jim and Enid Goubeaux, the Sam Levin Foundation, Premier Health and Morris Home Furnishings.

Pictured: Playwright Michael Slade, Corbin Bleu, Adam Halpin, Arash Mokhtar, Annie Pesch, Randy Brooks and Colleen Zenk. Photo by Scott J. Kimmins.




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