Stark Naked Theatre to Present THE GOD GAME Through 9/20

Stark Naked Theatre to Present THE GOD GAME Through 9/20

Following a critically-acclaimed third season, Stark Naked Theatre Company opens its fourth season on September 5th with the southwest regional premiere of The God Game, written by award-winning playwright Suzanne Bradbeer. Critics praised The God Game in its world premiere earlier this year, calling it "a superb new drama" and "the sort of new work that theatre fans long to see." And just in time for election season, Houston audiences will likewise be enthralled with Stark Naked's production of this exciting political drama. The God Game is a relevant and thought-provoking new play that deftly examines the role of faith on the national political stage. Running through September 20th at Stark Naked Theatre's STUDIO 101, The God Game is directed by Jennifer Dean and features perennial favorites Justin Doran, Philip Lehl, and Kim Tobin-Lehl in the lead roles.

Doran plays Tom Trevor, a United States senator and rising political star from Virginia. When a long-time family friend resurfaces and offers the opportunity of a lifetime, Tom faces a crisis of conviction while his marriage hangs precariously in the balance. The God Game-a compelling play about faith and politics, marriage and friendship, choices and consequences.

To provide audiences with the opportunity to further explore the highly relevant themes of The God Game, Stark Naked Theatre is proud to sponsor a corresponding art exhibition entitled Moral Ambiguity: Beyond Black & White. The exhibit, curated by local artist dianne k webb, features a range of media and marks Stark Naked's on-going collaboration with Houston's talented visual arts community. Moral Ambiguity: Beyond Black & White is available for viewing one hour in advance of each performance show time, with complimentary admission for The God Game ticket holders.

Stark Naked Theatre Company opens its fourth season with the southwest regional premiere of Suzanne Bradbeer's The God Game. Directed by Jennifer Dean, and featuring Justin Doran, Philip Lehl, and Kim Tobin-Lehl, The God Game previews on September 4th, opens on September 5th and runs through September 20, with performances held at Stark Naked's STUDIO 101, located at Spring Street Studios, 1824 Spring Street, Houston, Texas, 77007. Regular show times are as follows: Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 3:00 pm and a special "Pay What You Can" performance scheduled on September 15th at 7:30 pm. Individual tickets (priced at $25 for adults, $19 for seniors and $12 for students) as well as season tickets (value priced at $80 for a four play pass) are available for purchase at or by phone at 832.866.6514. To receive more information on Stark Naked Theatre Company's season, including exclusive ticket offers and advance notice of special events, please visit the theatre's website and register your email address.

Jennifer Dean (Director) is thrilled to be directing her first show with Stark Naked Theatre Company. Since moving to the area in 2000, Jennifer has worked extensively in the Houston theatre community as both an actor and as a director. Jennifer played Liubov in Main Street Theater's Coast Of Utopia: Voyage and the title role in Classical Theatre Company's production of Miss Julie. Other roles include: Mrs. Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank at A. D. Payers; Kristine in Dollhouse at Stages; I Am Barbie (She-ra) and Driftwood (Bernice) at Main Street Theater and Pride and Prejudice, Shadowlands, and The Importance of Being Earnest with A.D. Players. Plays directed by Jennifer include: the Houston premieres of The First Church of Texaco and Leaving Iowa and the classic farce Charley's Aunt (all with A. D. Players). Jennifer is also experienced in directing children/young adults; favorite youth productions include: Charlotte's Web and Miss Nelson Is Missing for A.D. Players Children's Theater. Jennifer feels honored and privileged to have the opportunity to work with Kim, Phillip and Justin as well as the amazing cast and crew of The God Game.

Suzanne Bradbeer (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright, librettist, dramaturg, and children's book author. The God Game, which recently received its world premiere in a co-production between Capital Repertory Theatre (Albany, NY) and Gulfshore Playhouse (Naples, FL), was a winner of the Ashland New Plays Festival and the Next Act New Play Summit at the Capital Repertory Theatre. Her play Confederates was nominated for the L. Arnold Weissberger Award, and it will be included in the LAByrinth Theater Company's 2014 Summer Intensive. Her play Full Bloom was short-listed for the Humana Festival and nominated for the Osborn New Play Award from the American Theatre Critics Association. Suzanne was the recipient of the 2012 BMI Foundation's Harrington Award for Creative Excellence. She has also received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Berrilla Kerr Foundation, and the Anna Sosenko Trust. Suzanne's other plays include: Shakespeare in Vegas (Playwrights Theater of New Jersey/Dreamcatcher Rep); Bethlehem, PA (City Theatre of Miami); Okoboji (Stageworks/Hudson, FAB/The Barrow Group); and Lone Star Grace (Theater Workshop of Nantucket). Suzanne was a contributing writer on Speakeasy (Joe's Pub at the Public Theater); the True Body Project (Brooklyn Museum); and is the librettist for the musicals Cocus and Doot (Vital Theatre Company) and Max and the Truffle Pig (NYMF). Currently, Suzanne is collaborating with Jay Alvarez on a new musical about his family's midnight escape from Cuba in the early 60's and she is starting a new play commission for Gulfshore Playhouse. Suzanne's residencies include: the New Harmony Project, Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Southern Writers' Project, the Dorset Theatre Festival, and New River Dramatists. Nominated by Theresa Rebeck, Suzanne was a Fellow of the Lark's Playwrights Workshop. Suzanne was also in residence at the Drilling Company for a workshop of her play Shakespeare in Vegas (directed by Giovanna Sardelli, and starring Karen Ziemba). Suzanne worked as a dramaturg for Arthur Miller and Jim Houghton on Signature Theatre Company's production of The American Clock. She also served as a playwriting mentor in Barrington Stage's Youth at Risk program and collaborated with Linda Ames Key and New York area high school students on Fringe High for the New York International Fringe Festival.

Justin Doran (Tom) has over 20 years of professional credits in theater, film, and television as an actor and director. Locally, he has worked as an actor with the Alley, HGO, Stages, and Main Street. This marks his first production at Stark Naked as an actor after directing their award-winning production of God of Carnage. As an educator, Justin has taught locally on the faculties of the University of Houston, Rice University, and the University of St. Thomas. He currently holds a teaching position at The Kinkaid School, sits on the boards of various theater companies, and serves as a private acting consultant. He is especially excited to be working with his good friends Philip and Kim on a piece that feeds his passion for developing new works. Justin is most proud of his co-productions (with his wife) named Ty, Caleigh, and Jackson.

Philip Lehl (Matt) is a Houston-based actor, director, and teacher. Co-Founder and co-Artistic Director of Stark Naked Theatre Company, Philip has appeared in the company's productions of The Winter's Tale, Faith Healer, Macbeth, Dinner With Friends and Debt Collectors. As a director, Philip's productions include: Body Awareness (at Stark Naked 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, Stark Naked 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 his extensive list of credits 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: 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 (Lisa) is co-Founder and co-Artistic Director of Stark Naked Theatre Company, and has appeared in the company's productions of Faith Healer, Macbeth, All Girls, God of Carnage, Body Awareness, Dinner with Friends, and Debt Collectors. A Houston native, Kim studied acting and directing at the University of Houston 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, Kim became an officer with 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 and most recently, the Barrow Group's production 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, 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:

* Stark Naked Theatre Company productions are funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

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