Arquette & Bening Open THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES at Geffen Playhouse, 2/9

Arquette & Bening Open THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES at Geffen Playhouse, 2/9

Annette Bening, who plays the famed feminist in playwright Joanna Murray-Smith's comedy The Female of the Species, will be sharing the Geffen Playhouse stage with a diverse group of acclaimed actors: David Arquette (Scream, Never Been Kissed), Tony Award nominee Mireille Enos (Big Love, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf on Broadway), Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie), Julian Sands (A Room with a View, Boxing Helena) and Josh Stamberg (Drop Dead Diva). The production is helmed by Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Randall Arney and begins in previews on February 2 with an official opening night of Wednesday, February 10, 2010.

Three-time Academy Award nominee Annette Bening (Being Julia, American Beauty, The Grifters) returns to the Geffen Playhouse as Margot Mason - feminist theorist and author of such influential works as "Madame Ovary" and "The Complete Insignificance of Male Sexuality." Loosely inspired by a real-life incident, The Female of the Species begins with Margot at her country home attempting to pen her next masterpiece in the peace and quiet. Problem is, nothing's coming. Nothing, that is, except for Molly (Merritt Wever), a former student who is intent on taking Margot hostage as punishment for her mixed message ideology. Enter Margot's overlooked daughter (Mireille Enos), her simplistic son-in-law (David Arquette), her longtime publisher (Julian Sands) and a disgruntled cab driver (Josh Stamberg) ... and all of a sudden a simple kidnapping turns into a battle over who can throw the first punch and get the last word.

"The characters in this play function like the instruments in a good piece of jazz - just as one melody settles in, another element is introduced that changes the dynamic entirely," said director Randall Arney. "These spectacular actors, many of whom are new to LA theater audiences, promise to bring a freshness to Joanna's fantastic ensemble comedy."

The Female of the Species had its world premiere at the Melbourne Theatre Company in 2006, which was followed by a production on London's West End in 2008. The Geffen Playhouse production marks the American premiere of Murray-Smith's farce.

Written by Joanna Murray-Smith
Directed by Randall Arney
Previews: Tuesday, February 2 - Tuesday, February 9
Opening Night: Wednesday, February 10
Closing Night: Sunday, March 14
David Arquette Bryan
Annette Bening Margot
Mireille Enos Tess
Julian Sands Theo
Josh Stamberg Frank
Merritt Wever Molly
Production Credits
Set Designer Takeshi Kata
Costume Designer David Mickelson
Lighting Designer Daniel Ionazzi
Composer / Sound Designer Richard Woodbury
Production Stage Manager James T. McDermott
Performance Schedule
Monday No performances
Tuesday - Friday 8:00pm
Saturday 3:00pm; 8:00pm
Sunday 2:00pm; 7:00pm

Ticket prices range from $35 - $55 for preview performances and from $65 - $85 for the regular run. Tickets are on sale now at the Geffen Playhouse box office, online at, via credit card phone order at (310) 208-5454, at all Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

Randall Arney (Director) is known to Geffen audiences for his direction of Speed the Plow by David Mamet; All My Sons by Arthur Miller, Richard Greenberg's Take Me Out, Stephen Jeffreys' I Just Stopped by to See the Man, Rebecca Gilman's Boy Gets Girl, David Rambo's God's Man in Texas and Conor McPherson's The Weir and The Seafarer. He is an ensemble member and former Artistic Director of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, where he directed The Seafarer; I Just Stopped by to See the Man; The Beauty Queen of Leenane; Death and the Maiden; Curse of the Starving Class; Bang; A Walk in the Woods; Killers and The Geography of Luck. In addition, he directed the world premiere of Picasso at the Lapin Agile at Steppenwolf, as well as the subsequent Los Angeles (Westwood Playhouse, Drama-Logue Critics' Award), Off-Broadway, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Tokyo productions. In Chicago, he oversaw the design, creation and completion of a new state-of-the-Art Theatre with a mainstage and studio. Broadway transfers under his leadership include The Rise and Fall of Little Voice; The Song of Jacob Zulu (six Tony Award nominations); and The Grapes of Wrath (1990 Tony Award, Best Play). Mr. Arney's acting credits with Steppenwolf include Born Yesterday (opposite Glenne Headly); Ghost in the Machine; The Homecoming; Frank's Wild Years (with Tom Waits, directed by Gary Sinise); You Can't Take it With You; Fool for Love; True West (directed by Gary Sinise); and Balm in Gilead and Coyote Ugly (both directed by John Malkovich). On film he has appeared in Normal and Weapons of Mass Distraction (HBO); Mystery, Alaska; The Out-of-Towners; Chain Reaction; The Color of Money and Miles from Home. Mr. Arney has an MFA degree in Acting and has taught acting and directing at Columbia College in Chicago and Illinois State University. He has also held master classes and workshops at Steppenwolf, around the U.S., and in Tokyo.

David Arquette (Bryan): Most recently seen in Hamlet 2, Arquette was discovered at Sundance in 1997 for his role in Johns. Other film credits include: the Scream trilogy, Eight Legged Freaks, The Grey Zone, Stealing Sinatra, Never Been Kissed, Dream with Fishes, Never Die Alone, and The Darwin Awards. In January 2003, Arquette formed the Production Company, Coquette Productions, with his wife, Courteney Cox. Through their company, Arquette wrote and
produced his directorial debut, The Tripper and recently released The Butters in Love, for which he served as executive producer and director. Also under the Coquette banner, Arquette produced the FX drama, Dirt and is currently the executive producer of Cougar Town. Last year, along with his friends Ben Harper and David Bedwell, Arquette launched the clothing line Propr.

Annette Bening (Margot): is returning to the Geffen Playhouse after previously appearing in Hedda Gabbler directed by Dan Sullivan. Bening was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in Coastal Disturbances, and other Los Angeles theater credits include: The Cherry Orchard (Mark Taper), Talking Heads (Tiffany Theater), and most recently Medea (UCLA Live). Film credits include: American Beauty (Academy Award nomination), The Grifters (Academy Award Nomination), Running with Scissors, Being Julia (Academy Award Nomination), Richard III, The American President, Postcards from The Edge and The Siege.

Mireille Enos (Tess): Born to an American father and French mother, Enos was raised in Houston where she attended schools for the dramatic arts, and then was invited to join a two-month project at the Classic Stage Company in New York City. In 2005, Enos won the role of Honey in the Broadway revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Tony Award nomination). Enos made the jump from Broadway to Hollywood starring as twins, Kathy & Jodean Marquet in the critically-acclaimed HBO hit Big Love. Other TV credits include Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Medium, CSI: Miami, Sex and the City and Without a Trace.

Julian Sands (Theo): First known in the United States for his romantic turn in the beautiful period piece A Room with a View, England's Julian Sands is currently winning a new audience, starring as the heart-crushing uber-villain on the Emmy Award winning television show 24. On stage, Sands was recently seen in Los Angeles as British Prime Minister Tony Blair in David Hare's Stuff Happens at the Mark Taper Forum. Sands' film credits include: The Killing Fields, Boxing Helena, Naked Lunch, Timecode and Leaving Las Vegas. Television credits include: Lipstick Jungle, Bolllywood Hero, Beyond Sherwood, Castle and Smallville.

Joanna Murray-Smith (Playwright), while predominantly a playwright, has also worked as screenwriter, novelist, librettist and newspaper columnist. Her plays, which include Honour, Rapture, Bombshells, Nightfall, Redemption, Love Child and Flame, have been produced around the world. Honour has been produced in over two dozen countries, including productions in New York, Australia and New Zealand, in Korea, Portugal, Mexico, Turkey, Brazil, Malaysia and at the National Theatre in London and most recently on the West End. Honour was first read at the New York Stage and Film Festival in 1995 by Meryl Streep, Sam Waterson and Kyra Sedgwick. Both Honour and Rapture won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Best Play. Joanna has also published three novels Truce, Judgment Rock and Sunnyside.

Josh Stamberg (Frank): Last season, Josh appeared with Cynthia Nixon in Distracted at New York's Roundabout Theater. Josh spent much of his early career working in the theater. He co-developed and co-starred in the play, Tape, with Stephen Belber and Dominic Fumusa, which had productions in New York, Los Angeles and London. On television, Josh recently finished the first season of Lifetime's new hit series Drop Dead Diva. He also has had recurring roles on Six Feet Under, Studio 60 on The Sunset Strip, Monk and Over There. Guest starring roles include appearances on dramas such as Lie to Me, Brothers and Sisters, Grey's Anatomy and House and in comedies Sex and the City and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Film work includes Legion, Fracture, Must Love Dogs, A Lot Like Love and Drifting Elegant.

Merritt Wever (Molly): Merritt Wever can currently be seen starring in Showtime Network's hit series "Nurse Jackie." Her theatre appearances include Sam & Lucy, Bad Girls, Smashing, Cave Dweller, Roulette, Cape Cod Souvenirs, To Gilian on her 37th Birthday, Running on Earth, Here We Are, and Children of the Flames. Wever's upcoming film roles include Greenberg, opposite Ben Stiller and Jennifer Jason Leigh and The Missing Person, co-starring Amy Ryan and Michael Shannon. Other film credits include Righteous Kill, Into the Wild, Michael Clayton, Neal Cassady, Twelve & Holding, A Hole in One, Season of Youth, Bringing Rain, Signs, Series 7 The Contenders, The Adventures of Sebastian Cole, Arresting Gena, and Tough (Best Actor Award, First Run Film Festival). Television credits include Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Conviction, ¼ Life, NCIS, The Wire, Blue River and Something the Lord Made.
The Female of Species Cast Announcement 4/4

The Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and musicals, the Geffen Playhouse continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company is helmed by Producing Director and President of the Board Gilbert Cates, Artistic Director Randall Arney, Managing Director Ken Novice and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, please visit

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