Phoenix Theatre Stages SEX WITH STRANGERS This Spring

Phoenix Theatre Stages SEX WITH STRANGERS This Spring

Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis announces Sex with Strangers, opening tonight, February 16, 2017 on the Frank and Katrina Basile Stage. This production runs through April 9, 2017, with Bill Simmons serving as director.

How far will you go to get what you want? Olivia, a talented but underappreciated mid-career writer, is unexpectedly trapped overnight in a secluded, snowed-in B&B with Ethan, an attractive and wildly successful young blogger. Her latest novel is an unsung masterpiece; his blog is being made into a movie. She is anonymous; he has half a million Twitter followers. But opposites soon attract - passionately - as each realize they want more of what the other has. Sex with Strangers is an honest and witty look at how love and work mix - or don't.

The cast of Sex with Strangers features real-life couple Angela R. Plank as Olivia and Brandon Alstott as Ethan.

Bill Simmons returns to the Phoenix Theatre as director for the sixth time with Sex with Strangers. His previous directing credits include 4000 Miles, Miles & Ellie, Typhoid Mary, Acid Dolphin Experiment, and Static. He recently directed Wisdom Tooth Theatre Project's The Merry Wives of Windsor. In addition to acting and directing, he recently began teaching his second two-year Sanford Meisner Acting Technique class at the Phoenix Theatre.

For 34 years, Bryan Fonseca has served as the Producing Director of the Phoenix Theatre. He previously worked in Indianapolis as the Producing Director of the Broad Ripple Playhouse and the assistant to the Producing Director at the Civic Theatre of Indianapolis. He was a founder and first Artistic Director of The Company Players in his hometown of Gary, Indiana. Bryan has directed for the MFA Playwrights Workshop at the Kennedy Center, The Human Race Theatre, Indiana University, Ball State University, and the Civic Theatre of Indianapolis. Over the years, he has transferred six Phoenix shows to Chicago. Bryan has received an Achievement and Service award from the Indiana Theatre Association, two Artist Fellowship awards from the Indiana State Arts Commission and two Creative Renewal Fellowships from the Arts Council of Indianapolis/Lilly Endowment. He is the first recipient of the Transformational Impact Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, with the generous funding support of Lilly Endowment Inc. In addition to his work at the Phoenix, he is an adjunct professor at IUPUI and lectures frequently at Butler University and the University of Indianapolis. He has served on the board of the National New Play Network and developed and served as the first president of the League of Indianapolis Theaters.

Laura Eason is the author of twenty plays, original work and adaptation, a musical book writer and screenwriter. Selected productions include Sex with Strangers (Second Stage, NYC; Signature Theatre, DC; Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago; Sydney Theatre, AU; published by Overlook Press); The Undeniable Sound of Right Now (Rattlestick Theatre and Women's Project Theatre, NYC; Rising Phoenix Rep, NYC); The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Hartford Stage, CT; New Victory, NYC; People's Light, PA; Actor's Theatre, KY; KC Rep; St. Louis Rep; Denver Center, published by DPS), and Around the World in 80 Days (New Vic and Royal Exchange, UK; Lookingglass Theatre; Baltimore Centerstage; published by Broadway Play Publishing). She wrote the book for the musicals Days Like Today, music and lyrics by Alan Schmuckler (Writers Theatre, Chicago) and Summerland, music by Jenny Giering, lyrics by Sean Barry (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre commission). Additional plays include: The Vast In-Between (Denver Center commission, also developed by the Vineyard, NYC), Remarkable Invisible (Ambassador Theatre Group commission), Every Reason to Hope and Believe (Repertory of St. Louis commission), 40 Days (NEA grant, developed by New York Theatre Workshop and Lookingglass Theatre Company), Plainfield Ace (developed by Two River Theatre, NJ and Atlantic Theatre Company, NYC) and an adaptation of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates (Arden Theatre commission), among others. As a screenwriter, Laura wrote on season two and three of the Emmy-winning Netflix show HOUSE OF CARDS. She is an Ensemble Member and former Artistic Director of Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre (2011 Regional Tony Award). In New York, she is a member of Rising Phoenix Rep, New Georges, and a Women's Project Playwright's Lab alumna. More information available at lauraeason.com or @LeasonNYC on twitter.

Actor Brandon Alstott is thrilled to return to the Phoenix stage in Sex with Strangers! Previous Phoenix credits include Lieutenant Kelly (Butler), Rock'n'Roll Boyfriend (American Idiot), and George (Spring Awakening). This past fall he was ecstatic to play the legendary Johnny Cash in Million Dollar Quartet at Actor's Theatre of Indiana. He would like to thank his family, Angela, Bill, and all his friends for all the love and support.

Actress Angela R. Plank is proud to return to the Basile Stage for Phoenix Theatre's production of Sex with Strangers. She was last seen at the Phoenix in the U.S. regional premiere of the Broadway hit Hand to God, where she shared the stage with several wonderful actors and one demonic, foul-mouthed puppet. Other favorite Phoenix credits include Mrs. Daldry in The Vibrator Play, Steph in Reasons to be Pretty, and Lisa in Nicky Silver's The Lyons. Many thanks to Bill for not making her get too naked in this show, and to Brandon for being the best partner anywhere-onstage and off.

Tickets for Sex with Strangers are on sale now. Tickets are $27.00 per person on Thursdays, and Sundays, $33.00 per person on Fridays and Saturdays, and $20.00 for anyone 21 & under. During CheapSeats Weekend, March 16-19, all tickets are $20. Tickets for Sex with Strangers may be purchased by calling the box office at 317-635-7529 or visiting phoenixtheatre.org. Curtain times for the production are: Thursdays at 7 pm, Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm.

The Phoenix Theatre is Indiana's only professional contemporary theatre, and has presented productions to challenge and entertain the Indianapolis community for over 33 years. An Equity house, the Phoenix presents the Midwest and Indiana premieres of many popular Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, and has presented approximately 100 world premieres. The Phoenix operates the 130-seat proscenium Livia and Steve Russell Stage as well as the 75-seat cabaret-style black box Frank and Katrina Basile Stage. Both venues are housed along with administrative offices in a renovated 1907 church in downtown Indianapolis' historic Chatham Arch neighborhood, part of the Mass Ave Arts and Culture District. The Phoenix Theatre is a founding member of the National New Play Network and the League of Indianapolis Theatres, and is supported by the Indiana Arts Commission, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as local corporate and foundation funders and more than 400 individual donors.

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