Award-Winning Actors Co-Op Theatre Company Presents VIOLET 

Award-Winning Actors Co-Op Theatre Company Presents VIOLET 

Actors Co-op Theatre Company (Ovation Award-Winner 2017 Best Play, Intimate Theatre for 33 Variations) is proud to present the Tony nominated musical VIOLET, with music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Brian Crawley, based on the short story "The Ugliest Pilgrim" by Doris Betts, directed by Richard Israel, produced by Thomas Chavira. Violet opens Friday, May 11 at 8:00 pm, and will run through Sunday, June 17 at the Actors Co-op Crossley Theatre, 1760 N. Gower Street, 90028 (on the campus of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood) in Hollywood.

Beginning in 1964 North Carolina, Violet rides a bus through the segregated South, to a TV evangelist in Oklahoma. She is convinced he can heal her scar, which was the result of a traumatic childhood accident. Along the way, Violet meets two young soldiers who teach her about love, courage and the true meaning of beauty. Violet has more than wowed critics and audiences alike with its powerful story and powerhouse score by Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home and Caroline, or Change).

The 1997 Off-Broadway Production

In his review in The New York Times, of the Off-Broadway 1997 production, Ben Brantley said of the score, "... Ms. Tesori has a fine hand for harmonies and counterpoint..." The 1997 Off-Broadway production garnered the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, and an Obie Award (Special Citation - Music) for Jeanine Tesori. In addition, Violet was nominated for seven Drama Desk Awards and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical.

The 2014 Broadway Production

The 2014 Broadway version opened to unanimously excellent reviews. Charles Isherwood described it as "an enduringly rewarding musical. With its tangy flavors of country, gospel, blues and honky-tonk rock, it is also her warmest, most accessible score . . ." The 2014 Broadway production was nominated for four Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, three Drama Desk nominations including Best Revival of a Musical, and three Outer Critics Award nominations including Outstanding Revival of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway).

About the Creative Team

Brian Crawley (Book and Lyrics) is a playwright and screenwriter. He wrote the book and lyrics for A Little Princess (composer Andrew Lippa) which debuted at Theatreworks of Palo Alto in the summer of 2004. He also wrote the book and lyrics for Violet (composer Jeanine Tesori) which was mounted Off-Broadway by Playwrights Horizons in 1997, then remounted in a concert version in 2003 to help inaugurate their new theater. Other musicals he has written include Evangeline with Ted Dykstra, and Down There with composer Lewis Flinn. He appears in the documentary One Night Stand, in which he writes a short musical in 24 hours with composer Gabriel Kahane. For the libretto of Violet, Brian won the Kleban Award. Prior to the Playwrights Horizons production, and on its behalf, Violet was given the Richard Rodgers Musical Production Award and an AT&T OnStage Award. Afterwards, besides a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, Violet received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical over all the year's Broadway offerings (as did Paula Vogel's play How I Learned To Drive; the first time two off-Broadway pieces took these top awards in the Drama Critic Circle's history). Brian's plays have been developed or staged at Lincoln Center, New York Theater Workshop, the National Alliance of Musical Theatre, and the Eugene O'Neill summer theater conference. He majored in Theater Studies at Yale and has an MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Brian is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Jeanine Tesori (Music) won the Tony Award for Best Original Score with Lisa Kron for the musical Fun Home. She has also written Tony-nominated scores for Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center; Thoroughly Modern Millie (lyrics, Dick Scanlan); Caroline, or Change (lyrics, Tony Kushner); and Shrek The Musical (lyrics, David Lindsay-Abaire). The production of Caroline or Change at the National Theatre in London received the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Her 1997 Off-Broadway musical Violet (lyrics, Brian Crawley) opened on Broadway in 2014 and garnered four Tony nominations, including Best Musical Revival. Opera: A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass) and The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me (libretto, J. D. McClatchy, Kennedy Center). Music for plays: Mother Courage (dir. George C. Wolfe, with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline), John Guare's A Free Man of Color (Lincoln Center Theater, dir. George C. Wolfe), and Romeo and Juliet (Delacorte Gala). Film scores: Nights in Rodanthe, Every Day, and You're Not You. Ms. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild and was cited by the ASCAP as the first female composer to have two new musicals running concurrently on Broadway. She is the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center at New York City Center, and is a lecturer in music at Yale University. A world premiere opening to note is May 16, 2018: "The biggest opening in L.A. this spring is a work by two veterans that defies categorization-playwright David Henry Hwang and composer Jeanine Tesori's Soft Power, which blazes its own trail between musical and dramatic genres." opens at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

About Actors Co-op Production, Cast and Design Team

Richard Israel (Director) is returning to the Actors Co-op where he has directed Our Town, The Baker's Wife and 110 In The Shade (LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award Winner for Outstanding Musical in an Intimate Venue), among others. Most recently, Richard was the Theatrical Coordinator for the multiple Emmy-award winning HBO series Big Little Lies, directing all of the Avenue Q sequences in the series. Regional theatre credits include West Side Story, Rent and Floyd Collins (LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards for Direction and Outstanding Musical in a Large Venue) for McCoy-Rigby Entertainment; Kiss Me Kate and Once Upon A Mattress for Cabrillo Music Theatre; the multiple Ovation award-nominated Having It All for the Laguna Playhouse; and Meet Me In St. Louis for MTW. Intimate theatre productions include Bronies The Musical, The Burnt Part Boys, The Full Monty, Avenue Q, Gypsy, Assassins, Big The Musical and the world premiere of Anita Bryant Died For Your Sins. As a resident director for the Musical Theatre Guild, he has directed Women On The Verge, Do I Hear A Waltz, Road Show, High Fidelity and many others. Richard is currently working on the original Jeff Marx/Fat Mike musical Home Street Home, and is preparing to direct the west coast premiere of Victor/Victoria for Reprise 2.0. He is the recipient of the LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Career Achievement in Directing, and is a proud member of SDC.

Thomas Chavira (Producer) earned his BFA from Abilene Christian University
and MFA from the University of Southern California. Film credits include: Beneath Us (Due for release in 2018). TV: Shameless. At the Co-op as producer: 33 Variations (L.A. Ovation Award Winner for Best Play - Intimate Theatre), Around the World In 80 Days, Dancing at Lughnasa.

Taylor Stephenson (Musical Director) is a music director, composer, actor, and teacher based in Long Beach. He graduated from UCI with a degree in drama where he studied voice and conducting from his mentor, Dr. Gary Busby. He is thrilled to be back at Actors Co-op after musically directing last season's Lucky Stiff. Past productions include: Next To Normal, Dogfight, Bonnie And Clyde, She Loves Me, and many others. In 2013, he won the L.A. Ovation Award for Best Musical Direction for his work on Triassic Parq. He is a founding member of the acapella group Nothing Diminished.

About the Cast

Actors Co-op Theatre Company's production of VIOLET features the talents of Claire Adams (Violet), John Allsopp (Father), Jahmaul Bakare (Flick), Lori Berg (Old Lady/Hotel Hooker), Benai Boyd (Lulu Buffington/Almeta (Landlady), Patrick Cheek (Virgil/Ensemble Patrick), Matthew Podeyn (Billy Dean/Ensemble), Emuna Rajkumar (Ensemble), Kevin Shewey (Preacher), Lauren Thompson (Musical Hall Singer/Ensemble), Morgan West (Monty), and Lily Zager (Young Vi).

About the Production and Design Team

The Production and Design Team includes Julie Hall (Choreographer), Nicholas Acciani (Scenic Design), Lisa D. Katz (Lighting Design), Cameron Combe (Sound Design), Samantha Ramirez (Property Design), Klint Flowers (Hair/Makeup Design), Wendell C. Carmichael (Costume Design), Derek R. Copenhaver (Stage Manager), Jaime Mills (Assistant Stage Manager) and Selah Victor (Production Manager).

About Show Times and Tickets: VIOLET runs May 11 - June 17, 2018. Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm. Additional Saturday matinees May 19 and May 26 at 2:30 pm. Tickets prices: Adults $34.00. Seniors (60+): $30.00. Students with ID: $25.00. Student Rush Tickets with ID one ticket per customer: $17 Cash Only, available at the Box Office window for select Friday performances 45 minutes prior to curtain. To buy tickets or make reservations please visit www.ActorsCo-op.org or call (323) 462-8460. For more about Student Rush Tickets or Group Rates call (323) 462-8460. Actors Co-op Crossley Theater, 1760 N. Gower St. 90028 (on the campus of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood) in Hollywood 90028.

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