Ken Barnett, Susan Bott & More to Star in AND BABY MAKES SEVEN at New Ohio Theater, 3/11-4/12
New Ohio Theatre Artistic Director Robert Lyons in association with Purpleman Theater have announced casting for Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel's And Baby Makes Seven. Marc Stuart Weitz will direct ensemble including Ken Barnett (Wonderful Town, Julie Taymor's The Green Bird) as Peter, Susan Bott (Julie Kramer's The Best of Everything) as Ruth and Constance Zaytoun (Moby Pomerance's Broken Hands) as Anna. And Baby Makes Seven is an uproarious and timely comedy that has not been seen professionally in New York in 20 years. Performances will take place March 11-April 12 at the New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher Street, between Washington and Greenwich Streets). Critics are welcome as of March 19 for an opening of March 23.
Vogel's And Baby Makes Seven follows the story of Anna and Ruth, a lesbian couple, who enlist their gay friend Peter to help them create a family. But are any of them ready for parenthood? Tensions rise as the three adults prepare for the imminent arrival of their baby-meanwhile matters are made all the more challenging by the persistence of the three imaginary children who already live with them. The lines between fantasy and reality, child and adult, love and madness crisscross through this hysterically funny and deeply touching play about what it means to be a family.Performances of And Baby Makes Seven will take place Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays at 7pm and Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm with a special Saturday matinee on April 12 at 3pm and an ASL interpreted performance on March 25 at 7:00pm. Tickets, priced from $30-35, are available for purchase by visiting newohiotheatre.org or calling 888.596.1027. Group and student tickets will be offered in advance. $15 student rush tickets will be available 30 minutes prior to curtain, cash-only, 2 tickets per ID. Post-show conversations will take place on Wednesdays and will explore themes of the play and Vogel's career: the work of "Paula's children" (the many writers she has taught and mentored); directors explore imaginary children: Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to And Baby Makes Seven; the evolving legal and political landscape for LGBTQ parents; Paula Vogel's construction and imagination of families; and a look at the past and future of LGBTQ life in NYC. Participants include: Gabriel Blau, Adam Bock, Marvin Carlson, Lisa Haas, Pam Mackinnon, Lynn Nottage, Sarah Ruhl, David Savran, Stephanie Schroeder, and Alisa Solomon. Visit hatethebaby.com to learn more. Vogel, whose plays include The Baltimore Waltz (OBIE Award) and How I Learned to Drive (Pulitzer Prize), reflected on the wildly theatrical characters she created in 1984: "I think it will be interesting to see my (imaginary) boys in the 21st century," said Vogel. "I wrote this play in the 20th century, when I still had the energy to envision a sexual utopia. Now we have dogs..." "Paula imagined this particular non-conventional family a generation ago amidst a very different cultural landscape," said Weitz. "Today, 'modern families' are becoming more visible on television, in movies, and on-stage-And Baby Makes Seven was on the bleeding edge of that cultural wave. Decades ago, some audiences were so shocked by two lesbian characters kissing onstage and the unusual make-up of this family that they, perhaps, were unable to focus on the larger story. For me And Baby Makes Seven is really about the question, 'What do I need to sacrifice to be ready to be a parent?' That's a question many people wrestle with, and Paula explores it in a way that is funny, edgy, and very honest. I'm so grateful that Paula has allowed us to reintroduce this story to New York audiences after a 20 year absence." The creative team includes Brett J. Banakis (Sets), Sydney Maresca (Costumes), Bradley King (Lights), Ien DeNio (Sound), Lauren Madden (Properties Master), Chris Batstone (Production Manager), Joseph Heaton (Production Stage Manager), Jordan Schildcrout (Dramaturg), and Nicole Golden (Associate Producer). Produced by New Ohio Theatre in association with Purpleman Theater.Ken Barnett (Peter) has appeared on Broadway in Wonderful Town directed by Kathleen Marshall and in Julie Taymor's The Green Bird. His Off Broadway credits include February House at the Public, Manon/Sandra, La Ronde, Debbie Does Dallas, A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden, and The Whore of Sheridan Square. Regionally, he has played leading roles in plays and musicals at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Old Globe, Hartford Stage, Geffen Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, the O'Neill, Long Wharf, Delaware Theatre Company, Prince Music Theatre, the Guthrie, and Paper Mill Playhouse. Film work includes Admission, People Like Us, Friends with Kids, Ira and Abby, and Puccini for Beginners; and for television: "Mad Men," "In Plain Sight," "Grey's Anatomy," "Entourage," "How I Met Your Mother," "Monk," and many commercials. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he has received two Connecticut Critics Circle Acting Awards and a Best Actor Award from NY Fringe Festival. Susan Bott (Ruth) was last heard Off Broadway in Julie Kramer's "The Best of Everything" (New York Times Critic's Pick) and also in Amy Wilson's "Mother Load," voicing multiple character roles. Bott has performed in dozens of Comedy Clubs with Obie award-winning New George's sketch group "Kinda Personal" and her own comedy duo "STEVE." She has studied and performed at Upright Citizens Brigade with the likes of Amy Pohler, Seth Morris and Lennon Parham. Bott is known for her television commercials and voice overs. You may have fast forwarded through her best work as Beth, the "dance cleaning" Swiffer lady or the Progresso "soup can talker" or that mom in pajamas who forgot Jack's cereal, to name a few, (BFA in action!).
Constance Zaytoun (Anna) performed in the world premiere of Moby Pomerance's Broken Hands. Other New York credits include Why We Have a Body, Seen by the Dog, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, The Piano Men, and Sex Lives of the Superheroes. She has also appeared as the face of several medications, specializing in schizophrenia with negative affect, and was type-cast as a robot woman in The Stepford Wives. With Purpleman Constance has produced the works of Carson Kreitzer, Deb Margolin, and Moby Pomerance. A graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, New York University, and CUNY Graduate Center, Constance has taught acting and theatre classes at NYU, Brooklyn College, Purchase College, and currently at Marymount Manhattan. She has written numerous publications, and with Marc Stuart Weitz, Constance co-authored the introduction, "What is a Good Play? Thoughts Across Centuries," for The Playwright's Workout, eds. Michael Bigelow Dixon and Liz Engelman (Smith & Kraus, 2009). She is certified in Fitzmaurice Voicework.