Jeffrey Bean Stars in Alley Theatre's THE FOREIGNER, Opening Tonight

THE FOREIGNER is the last play in the "Alley Theatre @ UH" season. Alley Resident Company member Jeffrey Bean returns to one of his signature roles as Charlie Baker. The show opens tonight, July 8, 2015.

"The Foreigner is one of the most popular comedies in the Alley's history" said Artistic Director Gregory Boyd. "We are fortunate to have Jeffrey Bean reprising the role of Charlie Baker in this this audience favorite and ending our season at the University of Houston."

In the thrillingly funny comedy, Alley Resident Company member Jeffrey Bean leads the cast of this comic gem, set in a remote fishing lodge, where socially awkward Charlie discovers intriguing and dangerous secrets under the guise of a foreigner who speaks no English.

The cast of The Foreigner features Jeffrey Bean as Charlie Baker, Elizabeth Bunch as Catherine Simms, Paul Hope as Sergeant "Froggy" Le Sueur, Chris Hutchison as Owen Musser, Annalee Jefferies as Betty Meeks, Jay Sullivan as Reverend David Marshall Lee and Jeremy Webb as Ellard Simms.

"I directed Jeffrey Bean in this role in 2003 and I am thrilled to get the chance to return to this play with Jeffrey once again leading the cast in one of his signature roles" said Director James Black.

The Foreigner includes scenic and lighting design by Kevin Rigdon with costume design by Janice Pytel, sound design by Rob Milburn And Michael Bodeen, Dialect Coach is Pamela Prather and Assistant Director Brandon Weinbrenner.

The Foreigner, by Larry Shue, directed by James Black, began performances on July 3, opens officially tonight, July 8, and runs through Sunday, August 9 at the University of Houston's Wortham Theatre.

The Alley Theatre is currently performing at the University of Houston's Wortham Theatre. One Man, Two Guvnors begins the Alley Theatre's Inaugural Season in the newly renovated theatre on October 2, 2015.

Tickets to The Foreigner start at $26. All tickets are available for purchase at alleytheatre.org, at the Alley Theatre Box Office 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.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:

Larry Shue (Playwright) A New Orleans native, actor/playwright Larry Shue began his career at the age of eight, performing with his sister in an act titled "The Dancing Shues." After graduating from college, Shue joined the Army as an entertainment specialist. It was during this time that he met John Dillon, then Artistic Director of the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, who encouraged Shue to begin writing plays. Shue's first playwriting endeavors were a musical adaptation of The Emperor's New Clothes and the one-act play Grandma Duck is Dead, based on his experience in the Army. In 1977, Shue became a member of the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. During his seven-year tenure there as an actor, director, and later as a playwright-in-residence, he wrote Wenceslas, Square, The Nerd and The Foreigner. When The Foreigner opened Off-Broadway in New York City in 1985, the play received an Obie Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and a citation from the American Theatre Critics for being one of the best new plays to originate in an American regional theatre (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre). Shue was adapting The Foreigner into a screenplay when he was killed in a plane crash in 1985, at the age of 39.

ABOUT THE CAST:

Jeffrey Bean (Charlie Baker) is in his 20th season as an Alley Company Artist and has appeared in over 100 Alley productions since 1989. Recently he has appeared in All My Sons as Dr.Jim Bayliss, As You Like It as Touchstone, A Christmas Carol as Ebenezer Scrooge, Dracula as Dr.Seward, The Old Friends as Albert Price, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike as Vanya, Communicating Doors as Reece, the World Premiere of Fool as King William, You Can't Take it With You as Mr. De Pinna, The Elephant Man as Frederick Treves, Clybourne Park as Russ/Dan, Death of a Salesman as Charley and November as Charles Smith. Previous Alley highlights include Amadeus as Salieri, Boeing-Boeing as Robert, The Farnsworth Invention as David Sarnoff, Cyrano de Bergerac as Cyrano, The Scene as Charlie, Doubt as Father Flynn, Subject to Fits as Prince Myshkin, Much Ado About Nothing as Benedick, The Pillowman as Michal, Twelfth Night as Feste, The Importance of Being Earnest as Algernon, Billy Bishop Goes to War as Billy Bishop, Gross Indecency as Oscar Wilde, The Foreigner as Charlie Baker and Stones in His Pockets as Charlie Conlon, et al. Broadway credits include Bells Are Ringing as Francis and Amadeus as Kappelmeister Bonno. Film and television credits include Clinger, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU and All My Children. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts and a Princess Grace Award winner. www.jeffreybean.com

Elizabeth Bunch (Catherine Simms) has performed in over 50 productions at the Alley. Favorite roles include Ann Deever in All My Sons, Rosalind in As You Like It, Lucy in Dracula, Margaret in Good People, Joss in the World Premier of Fool by Theresa Rebeck, Brooke Wyeth in Other Desert Cities, Mrs. Kendal in The Elephant Man, Bev/Kathy in Clybourne Park, Desdemona in Othello, Eliza Dolittle in Pygmalion, August Osage County, Peter Pan, Boeing-Boeing, Harvey, 39 Steps, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Doubt, Steel Magnolias, Proof, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. New York and Regional Theater includes The Water Children with Playwrights Horizons, The Voice of the Turtle and Museum with The Keen Company, The Light Outside with Bat Theater Company, Little Foxes with The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, A Midsummer Night's Dream with The Guthrie Theater. She appeared in A Streetcar Named Desire, as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Viola in Twelfth Night, Isabella in Measure for Measure, Big Love, and Arcadia with the Breadloaf Acting Ensemble. Television includes Law and Order SVU. Elizabeth is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Paul Hope (Sergeant "Froggy" Le Sueur) is a native Houstonian and an Alley Company Artist, who has appeared on the Alley stages for 20 seasons in a wide range of roles, recently including Mr. Kirby in You Can't Take it With You, Edward Raynor in Black Coffee, Crumpet in The Santaland Diaries, William Crocker in The Farnsworth Invention, Beverly Carlton in The Man Who Came to Dinner, and Julian Farrar in The Unexpected Guest, among many others. His musical theatre roles include Rohna in Grand Hotel and Col. Lockert in Dodsworth, both at Casa Mañana in Fort Worth; and Beauregard in Mame, Bienstock in Sugar and M. Renaud in La Cage, all at Theater Under the Stars. He has also performed as Steve Baker in Showboat at Houston Grand Opera, and took over for John Lithgow as the narrator of Carnival of the Animals for Houston Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet. He is the Artistic Director for Bayou City Concert Musicals, which has presented concert stagings of Follies, Falsettos, A Little Night Music, She Loves Me, 70 Girls 70, Assassins, Fiorello, The Secret Garden, Pal Joey, On the Town, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Finian's Rainbow, One Touch of Venus,The Pajama Game, and New Girl in Town.

Chris Hutchison (Owen Musser) is in his eighth season as an Alley Company Artist. This is his 43rd Alley Theatre production since first appearing here as Hal in Proof in 2004. Other favorite roles include Orlando in As You Like It, George Deever in All My Sons, Michael in Good People, Mervyn in A Behanding in Spokane, and Padraic in The Lieutenant of Inishmore. Off-Broadway credits include Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon and revivals of The Second Man, Museum and The Hasty Heart with Obie award-winning Keen Company. Chris's solo show TRIP was selected for production by HERE Arts Center in SoHo. Regionally he has appeared at The Guthrie Theater, The Pasadena Playhouse, Baltimore's Center Stage, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Hartford TheaterWorks and Capital Repertory Theatre, as well as six summers as a member of the Acting ensemble at Bread Loaf in Vermont, where he most recently played Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. Film and television credits include Kill the Poor, Ed, Chappelle's Show, All My Children, Guiding Light and some Movies of the Week. Chris is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.

Annalee Jefferies (Betty Meeks) was last seen in The Old Friends by Horton Foote at the Alley where she spent 20 years as a resident company member (1986-2007). Some of her favorite roles were in A Streetcar Named Desire, Angels in America, Bad Dates, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Hedda Gabler, Danton's Death, Orpheus Descending, and Moon for the Misbegotten. She was in the nine hour trilogy of Horton Foot's Orphan's Home Cycle in NY, directed by Michael Wilson, which won the Drama Desk and Tony awards for Theatrical Event of the Season of 2010. She played Violet in Suddenly Last Summer at Westport Country Playhouse, Hannah in Night of the Iguana at Hartford Stage, Amanda in The Glass Menagerie at Kansas City Rep, which was among the Wall Street Journal's best 10 productions of 2009. She toured England in John Barton's ten hour epic Tantalus, directed by Sir Peter Hall. She did 3 years as a resident company member at the Arena Stage from 1978 to 1981. Film credits include Hellion at Sundance and SXSW, Arlo and Julie at SXSW, The Sideways Light, The Girl at Sundance, Monsters, Violets Are Blue, and No Mercy. Television creds include Dallas in 2013 and PBS American Experience War of The Worlds in 2013. She trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London. She currently lives on a farm in Brenham Texas.

Jay Sullivan (Reverend David Marshall Lee) is in his third season as an Alley Company Artist Alley appearances include All My Sons, As You Like It, Dracula, The Old Friends, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Freud's Last Session, You Can't Take it With You, The Hollow, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, The Elephant Man, A Few Good Men, Clybourne Park, A Christmas Carol, Death of a Salesman, Black Coffee, Red, Peter Pan, Our Town and Eurydice. Before joining the Alley's Resident Acting Company Jay recently made his Broadway debut in Jerusalem. Other theatre credits include Durango at The Public Theater and Long Wharf Theatre; DogSeesGod at Soho Repertory Theater; Orestes: A Tragic Romp at Folger Theatre and Two River Theater Company; Afternight Seating at Abingdon Theatre Company; and The Bilbao Effect at The Center for Architecture, as well as The History Boys and Rock 'n' Roll at The Studio Theatre; Much Ado About Nothing for As Written Productions; and Romeo and Juliet at Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Film and television credits include The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU and The Unidentified. Jay is a graduate of Florida State University.

Jeremy Webb (Ellard Simms) is thrilled to return to The Alley where he appeared in A Few Good Men, Fool and Dracula. Other Houston credits include Sir Robin in Spamalot at Theatre Under The Stars. New York credits include The Glorious Ones at Lincoln Center Theater, Original Cast Recording, The Baltimore Waltz at Signature Theatre Company, Tabletop at Working Theater which received a Drama Desk Award, Photograph 51 at The Ensemble Studio Theatre, BFF at Women's Project Theater and workshops of The Royal Family of Broadway, Dance of the Vampires, Yeast Nation, Kander and Ebb's The Visit with The Actor's Fund. Regional credits include Buyer and Cellar at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Apple Family Plays at Studio Theatre which received a Helen Hayes Nomination, Williamstown Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre Center, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, New York Stage and Film, The Old Globe, The Kennedy Center, Long Wharf Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, the Huntington Theatre Company and The Hangar Theatre. His film and television credits include Love Walked In, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and over 100 episodes as Thomas on The Guiding Light. Radio credits include Next Fall on NPR/ LA Theatreworks. Mr. Webb received his training from The Drama School at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Upcoming projects include Regular Singing, part of Richard Nelson's The Apple Family Plays at Studio Theatre.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM:

Kevin Rigdon (Scenic & Lighting Design) is an Associate Director for Design for the Alley Theatre. For the Alley, he has created scenic, lighting and costume designs for more than 80 productions, including As You Like It, Good People, November, What We're Up Against, The Seagull, The Monster at the Door, August: Osage County, A Behanding in Spokane, St. Nicholas, Intelligence-Slave, Mrs. Mannerly, Our Town, The Crucifer of Blood, Mauritius, Secret Order, The Unexpected Guest, Underneath the Lintel, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Scene, Death on the Nile, The Clean House, Subject to Fits, Orson's Shadow, The Pillowman, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Crucible, After the Fall, Life X 3, Topdog/Underdog, Proof, The Greeks, Twelfth Night, In the Jungle of Cities, among many others. He has designed the Broadway productions of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, The Old Neighborhood, Buried Child, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Song of Jacob Zulu, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Grapes of Wrath, Our Town, Speed-the-Plow, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Caretaker, and Ghetto. His Off-Broadway credits include Oleanna, Distant Fire, Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, Orphans, Balm in Gilead, And a Nightingale Sang..., Edmond, and True West. His designs have been seen in the London productions of Waiting for Godot, You Never Can Tell, American Buffalo, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Speed-the-Plow, The Grapes of Wrath, and Orphans. He has designed more than 110 productions for Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, and has designed for organizations including The Peter Hall Company, The Kennedy Center, American Repertory Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, The Center Theatre Group, The Festival of Sydney, and The Cameri Theatre of Tel-Aviv, among others. He is the recipient of two Tony Award nominations, two American Theatre Wing Design awards, and seven Joseph Jefferson awards among many others. Kevin is the Moores Professor of Theatre and head of graduate design at the University of Houston.

Janice Pytel (Costume Design) Previous at Alley Theatre credits include Good People, Clybourne Park and The Farnsworth Invention. Broadway credits include 33 Variations and I Am My Own Wife. Regional credits include Steppenwolf Theatre, 13 productions since 1997, Milwaukee Rep, Goodman Theater, Geffen Playhouse, Alliance Theatre, Centerstage, Center Theatre Group, Kansas City Rep, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Madison Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage and Indiana Rep. Recent credits include The Low Down Dirty Blues at Milwaukee Rep; Bad Jews at Theater Wit, Rest at Victory Gardens Theatre and the world premier of The Qualms by Bruce Norris at Steppenwolf Theatre. She is a member of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble in Chicago, and serves on their literary committee.

Rob Milburn & Michael Bodeen (Sound Design) Broadway credits include music composition and sound for No Man's Land and Waiting for Godot, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Miracle Worker, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Speed of Darkness; music for My Thing of Love; and sound for Larry David's Fish in the Dark, This Is Our Youth, Of Mice and Men, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Superior Donuts, reasons to be pretty, A Year with Frog and Toad, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Hollywood Arms, King Hedley II, Buried Child, The Song of Jacob Zulu and The Grapes of Wrath. Off Broadway credits include music and sound for Sticks and Bones, Checkers, Inked Baby, After Ashley, Boy Gets Girl, Red, Space, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci and Marvin's Room; sound for The Spoils, Tales of Red Vienna, Brundibar, The Pain and the Itch and Jitney; and music direction and sound for Eyes for Consuela and Ruined. Recent original music and sound credits at Houston's Alley Theatre include As You Like It, Good People, Fool, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, The Seagull, Peter Pan or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up, Cyrano de Bergerac, Hamlet and The Invention of Love and sound design for All My Sons, Dracula, You Can't Take It With You and Rock 'n' Roll. They have created music and sound at many of America's resident theatres, often with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, the Comedy Theatre in London's West End, The Barbican Center, the National Theatre of Great Britain, the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv, the Subaru Acting Company in Japan and festivals in Toronto, Dublin, Galway, Perth and Sydney. www.milbomusic.com

Pamela Prather (Dialect Coach) Productions at the Alley Theatre include Dracula, Good People, Communicating Doors, Venus in Fur, You Can't Take It With You, The Hollow, The Elephant Man, Death of A Salesman, Black Coffee, Noises Off, Boeing-Boeing, The Gershwins' An American in Paris, Othello and The Lieutenant of Inishmore. She has also coached productions for Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, Primary Stages in NYC, Bay Street Theatre in NY, Underwood Theatre in NYC, The Play Company in NYC, The Edge Theatre Company in NYC, New York Classical Theatre, St. Ann's Warehouse, Dance Theatre Workshop in NYC and Hampton's Shakespeare Festival. Pamela has been on faculty at Yale School of Drama, NYU and UCLA and is currently an Assistant Professor of Theatre at SUNY Purchase College. She received her MFA in Acting from UCLA and is certified in Fitzmaurice Voicework, Laughter Yoga and Prana Yoga. www.pamelaprather.com

Brandon Weinbrenner (Assistant Director) is pleased to be working on his thirteenth show at the Alley as Assistant Director, having previously worked on All My Sons, As You Like It, Dracula the Original Vampire Play, Fool, Other Desert Cities, The Elephant Man, A Few Good Men, among others. Brandon made his Alley Theatre directing debut with David Ives' Venus in Fur last season. Most recently, he directed Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss at Stark Naked Theatre Co. Past theatrical credits include serving as the Bret C. Harte Directing Fellow at Berkeley Rep, producing the 2013 Out of the Loop Fringe Festival in his hometown of Dallas, Texas, and acting in productions at the Guthrie Theater, The Children's Theatre Co., Illusion Theater, WaterTower Theatre, and Undermain Theatre. Brandon is a graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Acting Training Program.

James Black (Director) is proud to be celebrating his 29th consecutive season at the Alley Theatre where, as an actor and occasional director, he has been involved in over 100 productions. Recent appearances include All My Sons as Joe Keller, As You Like It as Jacques, Dracula as Van Helsing, Communicating Doors as Julian, Freud's Last Session as Sigmund Freud, You Can't Take It With You as Martin Vanderhof, The Hollow as Sir Henry Angkatell, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club as Mr. Richards/Mycroft Holmes, The Elephant Man as Man/Conductor/Snork, A Few Good Men as Capt. Matthew A. Markinson, Black Coffee as Hercule Poirot, Noises Off as Lloyd Dallas, The Seafarer as James "Sharky" Harkin, The Seagull as Trigorin, Dividing the Estate as Lewis Gordon, Pygmalion as Colonel Pickering, Amadeus as Count Orsini-Rosenberg, August: Osage County as Steve Heidebrecht, Peter Pan as Captain Hook/Mr. Darling, St. Nicholas, Boeing-Boeing as Bernard, Harvey as Elwood P. Dowd, Mrs. Mannerly as Jeffrey, and Our Town as Stage Manager, among others. He has also directed Good People, Clybourne Park, A Behanding in Spokane, Doubt, Death on the Nile, Glengarry Glen Ross, Deathtrap, Dial "M" for Murder, Our Lady of 121st Street, The Foreigner, Of Mice and Men and As Bees in Honey Drown. His film and television credits include Olympia, The Man with the Perfect Swing, Houston: The Legend of Texas, Fire and Rain, Challenger, Night Game, and Killing in a Small Town. He received a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut and a Drama Desk nomination for Best Actor for Not About Nightingales and a BackStage West Garland Award for his appearance as Eddie Carbone in the Alley's production of A View from the Bridge.

The Alley Theatre produces 400 performances annually, more than all other performing arts organizations in the Theater District combined. The Alley has attracted over 8 million people to Houston's Theater District since 1968 and has a $34.5 million annual economic impact on the City of Houston ("Arts & Economic Prosperity III: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts & Culture Organizations and their Audiences in the City of Houston," Americans for the Arts, 2005.)

The Alley Theatre, one of America's leading not-for-profit theatres, is a nationally recognized performing arts company focused on collaborating with resident actors, visiting artists, directors, designers, dramaturgs, and authors to cultivate the new voices, new work, and new artists of the American theatre. A staff of 177 is under the direction of Artistic Director Gregory Boyd and Managing Director Dean R. Gladden. The Alley has also brought its productions to 40 American cities, and to Berlin, Paris, St. Petersburg and New York's Lincoln Center, as well as to major European festivals (including two in one season at the Venice Biennale) and Broadway. A recipient of the Special Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the Alley creates a wide-ranging repertoire and innovative productions of classics, neglected modern plays, and premieres, as well as new works developed through the Alley's new play initiative. During the 2014 - 2015 season the Alley Theatre will be performing at the University of Houston's Wortham Theatre as the Alley's downtown home is being renovated. For more information go to www.alleytheatre.org/uh.

The Wortham Theatre is located just off Cullen Boulevard on UH's main campus inside the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts building (also called building 507 on a UH campus map), which also houses the UH School of Theatre & Dance. Free designated parking for Alley patrons will be actively monitored and patrolled by campus security for all performances and is located at campus entrance 16 off Cullen Boulevard, just across the street from the theatre building. The best address to use for online maps and directions to the UH theatre is 4116 Elgin, Houston TX 77004.

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