COST OF LIVING to Make West Coast Premiere at Fountain Theatre

COST OF LIVING to Make West Coast Premiere at Fountain Theatre

Achingly human, and surprisingly funny! The Fountain Theatre presents the West Coast premiere ofCost of Living, the 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Martyna Majok. John Vreeke directs for an Oct. 20 opening, with performances continuing through Dec.16.

In Majok's gripping and unexpectedly joyful play, John (Tobias Forrest of Wisdom of the Crowd and Special Unit) is a rich, quick-witted grad student who has cerebral palsy. Ani (Katy Sullivan, reprising the role she originated at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club) is an hilariously foul-mouthed quadriplegic. The people who help them, Jess (Xochitl Romero of Majok's Queens at La Jolla Playhouse) and Eddie (Maurice G. Smith of Meet the Browns), have their own struggles to contend with.Cost of Living is a haunting, rigorously unsentimental play about the forces that bring people together and the realities of facing the world with physical disabilities.

"I'm very proud that the Fountain is producing the current Pulitzer Prize-winning drama," says artistic director Stephen Sachs. "It's a beautiful play that perfectly folds into our mission of diversity and inclusion. It provides us with the opportunity to bring actors with and without disabilities together, and allows us to reach out and serve a specific community. At the same time, its themes are profoundly universal, illuminating the human condition."

During the awards ceremony at Columbia University, Pulitzer Prize administrator Dana Canedy described Cost of Living as "an honest, original work that invites audiences to examine diverse perspectives of privilege and human connection through two pairs of mismatched individuals, a former trucker and his recently paralyzed ex-wife and an arrogant young man with cerebral palsy and his new caregiver."

Cost of Living premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, then transferred off-Broadway in a Manhattan Theatre Club production at City Center. In addition to the Pulitzer, the play garnered the Edgerton New Play Prize; the Jean Kennedy Smith Prize, John F. Kennedy Center; the Women's Invitational Prize, Ashland New Play Festival; the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding New Play; and was named one of the "Best Plays of 2017" by The New York Times.

The creative team for Cost of Living includes set designer Tom Buderwitz, lighting designerJohn Garofalo, sound designer Jeff Polunas, costume designer Shon LeBlanc and prop master/set dresser Terri Roberts. Eileen Grubba understudies the role of Ani. The production stage manager is Emily Lehrer. Stephen Sachs, Deborah Culver, Simon Levy and James Bennett produce for the Fountain Theatre. Executive producers are Susan Stockel andBarbara Herman.

Additional support has been provided by grants from the Vladimir and Araxia Buckhantz Foundation, the Peter Glenville Foundation and the National Arts and Disability Center at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Martyna Majok was born in Bytom, Poland, and grew up in New Jersey and Chicago. Martyna was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cost of Living (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club). Other plays include Sanctuary City (New York Theatre Workshop), Queens (LCT3/Lincoln Center, La Jolla Playhouse) and Ironbound (Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Round House, WP Theatre/Rattlestick, Geffen Playhouse and other theaters in America and abroad). Awards include the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding New Play; Dramatists Guild's Lanford Wilson Award; Lilly Awards' Stacey Mindich Prize; Greenfield Prize (first female recipient in drama); Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award; Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical at The Helen Hayes Awards; Ashland New Plays Festival Women's Invitational Prize; Kennedy Center's Jean Kennedy Smith Award; Marin Theatre's David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize; New York Theatre Workshop's 2050 Fellowship; Aurora Theatre's Global Age Project Prize; National New Play Network's Smith Prize for Political Playwriting; two Jane Chambers Feminist Playwriting Prizes; and the Merage Foundation Fellowship for the American Dream. She has been commissioned by The Public Theater; Lincoln Center; the Bush Theatre in London; Geffen Playhouse; La Jolla Playhouse; South Coast Rep and Manhattan Theatre Club, and her plays are published by Dramatists Play Service; Samuel French; TCG; and Smith & Kraus.

John Vreeke is a veteran stage director and company member at Woolly Mammoth in Washington D.C., where he has directed, among others, Rajiv Joseph's Gruesome Playground Injuries and Guards at the Taj, and will direct, in 2019, Joseph's Describe the Night; Lisa D'Amour's Detroit and Cherokee; Kris Diaz's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety, which received nine Helen Hayes nominations; Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul; and Sam Hunter's A Bright New Boise. He is a six-time Helen Hayes nominee for Best Director. John also directed Tony Kushner's epic play The Intelligent Homosexuals Guide to Socialism and Capitalism with a Key to the Scriptures for Theater J, and, for the Round House Theater, Nicky Silver's The Lyonsand Annie Baker's Uncle Vanya. He is a regular director at Metro Stage with award-winning shows such as Stoppard's Heroes, and he twice directed Stephen Adley Guirgis' The Last Days of Judas Iscariot for Forum Theater. Directing credits at other D.C. area theaters include: Washington Shakespeare Company, Everyman Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Source Festival, Charter Theatre, Theater Alliance, Kennedy Center TYA, Imagination Stage and the Helen Hayes Awards Ceremony. He started his professional work as a director decades ago with Nina Vance at The Alley Theatre. He has worked with Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Attic Theatre in L.A., Salt Lake Acting Company and First Stage in Milwaukee. He was the associate producer and casting associate for the CBS-TV series Northern Exposure.

The Fountain Theatre is one of the most successful intimate theaters in Los Angeles, providing a creative home for multi-ethnic theater and dance artists. The Fountain has won over 225 awards, and Fountain projects have been seen across the U.S. and internationally. Recent highlights include being honored for its acclaimed 25th Anniversary Season in 2015 by Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles City Council; the inclusion of the Fountain's Citizen: An American Lyric in Center Theatre Group's Block Party at the Kirk Douglas Theatre and again, this year, as the centerpiece of Our L.A. Voices at Grand Park; and an all-star reading of All The President's Menat Los Angeles City Hall. The Fountain's most recent productions, Arrival & Departure and The Chosen, each enjoyed months-long sold our runs and were named Los Angeles Times "Critic's Choice."

Cost of Living runs Oct. 20 through Dec. 16, with performances on Fridays at 8 p.m.;Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m.; and Mondays at 8 p.m. (no matinee performance on Saturday, Oct. 20; dark Monday, Oct. 22). Three preview performances take place on Wednesday, Oct. 17; Thursday, Oct. 18; and Friday, Oct. 19, all at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $25-$45; Pay-What-You-Want seating is available every Monday night in addition to regular seating (subject to availability). The Fountain Theatre is located at 5060 Fountain Avenue (at Normandie) in Los Angeles. Secure, on-site parking is available for $5. The Fountain Theatre is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. Patrons are invited to relax before and after the show at the Fountain's indoor/outdoor café. For reservations and information, call (323) 663-1525 or go to www.FountainTheatre.com.

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