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Denver Center Theater Announces Casting For New Play Summit

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The Denver Center Theatre Company has announced casting for the 2009 Colorado New Play Summit readings, which includes top talent from Denver and across the country. The Summit, which will gather theatre enthusiasts and industry professionals in Denver February 12-14, will feature the reading of a new adaptation of the classic musical THE UNSINKABLE Molly Brown and readings of four new plays - EVENTIDE, WHEN TANG MET LAIKA, TAKE ME TO THE RIVER and FLOODED. For more information on these shows, please visit www.denvercenter.org.

The reading cast of THE UNSINKABLE Molly Brown includes Kerry O'Malley (Irving Berlin's White Christmas on Broadway) in the title role, Tony Award nominee Marc Kudisch (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as JJ Brown, William Parry as Horace Tabor and Linda Mugelston as Polly Pry. THE UNSINKABLE Molly Brown, a sparkling new adaptation about the irrepressible heroine, features music and lyrics by Meredith Willson (The Music Man), a book by Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie), and is based on the original book by Richard Morris. Other cast members include Chad Callaghan, Paula Chase, Susan Derry, Kevin Earley, Ali Ewoldt, Jeremy Jordan, Kevin Ligon, Omar Lopez-Cepero, Brandi Chavone Massey, Orville Mendoza, Richard Roland, Matthew Shepard, Jennifer Smith and Kevin Worley. The reading is directed by Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall (Grease, The Pajama Game) and will take place in the Space Theatre Friday, February 13 at 3pm and Saturday, February 14 at 3pm.

EVENTIDE, a companion piece to last year's Plainsong, is written by Eric Schmiedl (Plainsong), is based on the novel by Kent Haruf, and is a commission of the Denver Center Theatre Company. The reading cast of EVENTIDE includes Philip Pleasants, Mike Hartman, John Hutton and Kathleen McCall reprising their roles from DCTC's 2008 production of Plainsong. The cast also includes Reema Zaman, Drew Cortese, Stephen Weitz, Leslie O'Carroll, Ashlee Baldwin, Jack Lilley, Jenna Panther, David Ivers, Jeanne Paulsen, Tom Walsh, Christy Overndorf, Rebecca Martin, Charlotte Booker, Douglas Bynum, Geoffrey Kent, Robert Jason Jackson and Kelli Crump. The reading will be directed by Kent Thompson. Readings will take place in the Jones Theatre Friday, February 13 at 11am and Saturday, February 14 at 10am.

WHEN TANG MET LAIKA, a play highlighting the American and Russian collaboration in building the International Space Station, will feature Ian Merrill Peakes, Nisi Sturgis, Megan Byrne, Randy Moore, Matt Mueller, Sean Lyons, Sean Arbuckle and Dawn Scott in the reading cast. WHEN TANG MET LAIKA is written by Rogelio Martinez and was commissioned by the Denver Center Theatre Company and Magic Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation New Science & Technology Plays Initiative. The reading will be directed by Terry Nolen and will take place in the Ricketson Theatre on Friday, February 13 at 3pm and Saturday, February 14 at 10am.

TAKE ME TO THE RIVER, a farm drama taking place in the American great plains which highlights the political and environmental implications of water rights, will be read on Friday, February 13 at 11am and Saturday, February 14 at 3pm in the Ricketson Theatre. The cast includes Sam Gregory, Scott MacLean, Piter Marek, David Manis, Marcus Waterman, Laith Nakli, Nasser Faris, Kurt Rhoads, Shauna Miles, Gabriella Cavallero, Jeanine Serralles, Kathy Brady, Rachel Fowler, Kelly McAndrew, Christopher Mazza and Joseph Yeargin. The reading will be directed by Lisa Peterson. TAKE ME TO THE RIVER is written by Constance Congdon and was commissioned by the Denver Center Theatre Company and Magic Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation New Science & Technology Plays Initiative.

The cast for FLOODED, a mythic drama about a star TV meteorologist who becomes engulfed in extreme climate events, will include Max Schwartz, David Furr, Romi Dias, Larry Bull, Tom Coiner, Angela Paton and John DiAntonio. FLOODED is written by Julie Marie Myatt and is a commission of the Denver Center Theatre Company. The reading, which will be directed by Laurie Woolery, will take place in the Jones Theatre Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14 at 7:30pm.

The 2009 Colorado New Play Summit will also include a panel of four leaders from some of the country's leading new play development centers discussing "What's New for New Plays?" Topics will include the future of new play development, the relationship between new play development and production, and trends in contemporary playwrighting. The panelists are Todd London of New Dramatists, John Clinton Eisner of the Lark Play Development Center, Polly Carl of the Playwrights' Center and Janice Paran of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program. Denver Center Artistic Director Kent Thompson will moderate.

The Denver Center is continuing to create one of America's most ambitious new play commissioning programs - developing new works to be featured at future Colorado New Play Summits and eventually in full productions at the Denver Center and other national stages. With additional funding from the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Denver Center Theatre Company currently has commissioned new works from playwrights Jose Cruz Gonzalez - author of September Shoes and this season's Denver Center world premiere of Sunsets and Margaritas; Jason Grote - author of the 2007 Summit's critically-acclaimed world premiere 1001; Steven Cole Hughes - company member and author of Slabtown and cowboyily, Octavio Solis - author of the 2008 Summit world premiere Lydia, produced at four theatres this season and published in the December issue of American Theatre; and Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder - author of Gee's Bend and winner of the 2007 ATCA M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an emerging playwright.

 


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