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4th Wall Theatre Company Presents First Annual Up Close Cocktails Benefit

4th Wall Theatre Company (formerly Stark Naked Theatre Company) is excited to announce its First Annual Up Close Cocktails Benefit, hosted by Trish Rigdon, Chair of Media Arts at The Art Institute of Houston. The Up Close Cocktails Benefit is Wednesday, November 9th from 6-8pm. We're transforming our theatre at Spring Street Studios, for an elegant cocktail night celebrating 4th Wall's bright future and the awesome generosity of our patrons. Patrons will enjoy live music and beer provided by Karbach Brewery, wine from Nice Winery, hor d'oeuvres provided by Shade Restaurant and valet parking service available. Join us to meet new friends and reconnect with old friends while making a difference in the lives of Houston performing artists. Your participation will make a big difference at this first must-attend event.

Individual tickets are a $50 donation, and all proceeds from this year's Up Close Cocktails Benefit will go towards our efforts to pay artists a living wage and our mission of producing cutting-edge, live theater and extraordinary performances in Houston.

Head to www.4thwalltheatreco.com/UpClose for tickets or to make a donation.

4th Wall Theatre Company (formerly Stark Naked Theatre) is in its 6th season in the Houston theater community. Kim Tobin-Lehl and Philip Lehl, the founders and Artistic Directors, are two of Houston's most critically acclaimed artists and nationally recognized talents as well. What they bring to Houston at 4th Wall is the highest caliber of performing arts training and expertise that you'll find anywhere in the nation. On November 9th, 2016 at Spring Street Studios, at their award winning intimate theatre, we hope you'll come along and meet 4th Wall's dynamic duo. Have a beer or wine and light bites (provided by Shade Restaurant), and mingle with Houston's top performing artists. Meet members of our philanthropic community who have come out to support this amazing theatre company that is dedicated to paying artists a living wage and producing cutting Edge Theater of the highest quality right here in Houston. The experience you have at 4th Wall Theatre is always up close and personal, and the performances are extraordinary.

Come get Up Close and Personal on November 9th, 2016 and help Kim & Philip keep producing Extraordinary performances in Houston and support Houston artists!

Join the host committee at donation levels between $500 - $5000, or buy individual tickets at $50 each. All information for donations and tickets is available at: www.4thwalltheatreco.com/UpClose

Up Close Cocktails Benefit, November 9th, 2016, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Valet Parking provided, music, drinks and hor d'oeuvres. Please rsvp by website. Or, call Zac Kelty at 832-786-1849

Trish Rigdon (Host) is currently the Institutional Program Chair of Media Arts for Art Institute Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Previously she served as the Executive Director of Houston Cinema Arts Society from 2010-2016 where she produced the acclaimed Houston Cinema Arts Festival (HCAF) the only film festival in the U.S. focused on films and new media about the visual, performing and literary arts. While with HCAS she initiated its free program for middle school and high school students, Film Festival Field Trip that has successfully served over 3,000 students.

Ms. Rigdon has 16 years of experience as an Associate Producer, Director, Lighting Designer, and Costume designer working in commercial and nonprofit arenas of theatre regionally and internationally. She has worked in various capacities on Broadway, West End, London, National US tours, UK tours, Off-Broadway, and Regional Theaters. Prior to joining Houston Cinema Arts Society she served for four consecutive seasons as the Associate Producer/Director for the Peter Hall Company Season with Theatre Royal Bath, under the acclaimed director Sir Peter Hall founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her work with Sir Peter included West End transfers, UK tours, and US tours. She was also the Director of Theatre for Rice University from fall 2003 - 2007 where she previously served as Associate Director 2000 - 2002.

Ms. Rigdon is a member of the Advisory Board of Mildred's Umbrella Theatre Company, Arts Advocacy Committee hosted by Houston Arts Alliance, United Scenic Artist, Local 829, Texas Motion Picture Alliance, Southwest Alternate Media Project, and Women in Film & Television Houston where she served as Vice President of Education 2008 - 2011. Ms. Rigdon holds a BA in Fine Arts from University of Saint Thomas and an MFA in Theatre from University of Houston.

Philip Lehl (Co-Artistic Director) is a Houston-based actor, director, and teacher. Co-Founder and co-Artistic Director of 4th Wall Theatre Company, Philip has appeared in the company's productions of True West, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Stage Kiss, The God Game, The Winter's Tale, Faith Healer, Macbeth, Dinner With Friends and Debt Collectors. As a director, Philip's productions include: Body Awareness (at 4th Wall Theatre), Almost, Maine and Reckless?(with Brave Dog Theatre),?Art?(at Generations),?Ferdinand the Bull?(at Stages Repertory Theatre),?On the Town?(co-director, Bayou City Concert Musicals) and Debt Collectors?(co-director, 4th Wall Theatre Company). On Broadway, Philip's acting credits include roles in Blood Brothers and The Kentucky Cycle, the Off-Broadway production of Hundreds of Hats as well as the first National Tour of Titanic, the Musical. Since arriving in Texas in 2001, Philip has been a mainstay of the Houston theatre scene, and he was most recently seen in the Alley Theatre's production of The Nether. Philip's extensive list of credits also includes: Oh, the Humanity,?Yankee Tavern, I Am My Own Wife, Mr. Marmalade, Lady, Souvenir, Amy's View, The Pavilion, and Dirty Blonde with Stages Repertory Theatre; over thirty productions (and former resident company member) with the Alley Theatre, including: Clybourne Park, The Pillowman, The Farnsworth Invention, Eurydice, The Crucible, The Exonerated, Our Lady of 121st Street, The Mousetrap, Hamlet and The Invention of Love; Main Street Theatre's Arcadia; as well as King John, Romeo and Juliet, Love's Labours Lost, Julius Caesar, and Cymbeline with the Houston Shakespeare Festival.

As a current member of the Classical Theatre Company's resident Acting Company, Philip has appeared in productions of Ghosts, The Tempest, Uncle Vanya, and The Merchant of Venice. With Theatre-Under-The-Stars (TUTS), Philip has appeared in A Wonderful Life, The Sound of Music, and one memorable performance as Henry Higgins in?My Fair Lady. Other productions include:?12 Angry Men with AD Players; Our Town, Bat Boy, and Spring Awakening with Generations; Turn of the Screw at Unity Theatre, as well as several productions with the Bayou City Concert Musicals (BCCM), including: ?On the Town, Fiorello, Assassins, and She Loves Me. Philip has worked with numerous regional theatres throughout the country, including: St. Louis Repertory, Cleveland Play House, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Portland Stage Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The New Harmony Theatre and Weston Playhouse. Film and Television credits include Tripwire, The Nanny, Martial Law and Hollywood Off-Ramp. Philip graduated from the Drama Division of the Juilliard School and Drake University, and trained with the National Theatre Institute as well as the Moscow Art Theatre School.

Kim Tobin-Lehl (Co-Artistic Director) is co-Founder and co-Artistic Director of 4th Wall Theatre Company. In addition to directing credits in both NYC and L.A., Kim has directed the following productions for 4th Wall Theatre/Stark Naked Theatre: True West, Small Mouth Sounds, Ho Ho Humbug 2.0, A Midsummer Night's Dream and A Winter's Tale. Kim has acted in the company's productions of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Small Mouth Sounds, Stage Kiss, Ho Ho Humbug, The God Game, Faith Healer, Macbeth, All Girls, God of Carnage, Body Awareness, Dinner with Friends, Debt Collectors and Reckless & Almost, Maine when Brave Dog Players. A Houston native, Kim has a BA in acting and directing from the University of Houston (including training with Jose' Quintero, Edward Albee & Sidney Berger) and, in addition to appearing in numerous regional productions, she won the "Actress Excellence" award at the Texas College Play Festival for her portrayal of Sarah in Children of a Lesser God.

After relocating to New York she trained with/at a number of elite teachers and conservatories, including: Stella Adler & The Stella Adler Conservatory, Gene Frankel, Circle in The Square, The Shakespeare Lab at The Public Theatre and Seth Barrish & Lee Brock at The Barrow Group. In New York, Kim was an officer for the New Mercury Theatre Company, where (among other roles), she produced and starred (as Sally) in the 1995 revival of Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind. Kim later became the Artistic Director of the Blue Sphere East theatre company (the New York sister company to the acclaimed Blue Sphere ALLIANCE THEATRE company based in Los Angeles). Her favorite off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway credits include: Talk to Me Like the Rain..., A Streetcar Named Desire, The Fifth of July, Fool for Love, Savage in Limbo, The Smell of the Crowd, Bed, Bawd & Beyond, Impassioned Embraces (Emotional Recall), Ctrl, Alt, Delete and Trust, the Barrow Group's production of Short Stuff Two, and their production of her original one-woman show, Inside Out.

Kim spent over three years in Los Angeles studying with SAndy Marshall and Larry Moss, and highlights of her LA theatre productions include: the world premiere of Children of Shame, The Interrogation, Masseur, Baby with the Bathwater, Check to Check, and The Foreigner. Kim's film credits include roles in The Big Lebowski, The Alarmist, Ash, and Sex Maniac, as well as the television series Sunset Beach. In addition to her extensive body of work, Kim is a highly sought-after acting teacher, and her studio (based on the teaching principles of Meisner, Adler and The Barrow Group) offers an array of courses (from beginner to advanced levels) in acting technique, improvisation, script analysis and scene study. More details about Kim's background and her current class offerings can be found at her studio website: www.kimtobinactingstudio.com.


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