Jesse Eisenberg's THE REVISIONIST Makes West Coast Debut Tonight at The Wallis

By: Apr. 01, 2016
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In its first production following a hit Off-Broadway run, Jesse Eisenberg's THE REVISIONIST receives its West Coast debut at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in a new production directed by Robin Larsen. Leading the cast is Tony Award-winning star of August: Osage County Deanna Dunagan, Seamus Mulcahy and Ilia Volok. Opening Night is tonight, April 1, in the Lovelace Studio Theater.

THE REVISIONIST, Eisenberg's second full-length play, is a dramatic exploration of obsession, secrets, and the complexities of family. Young author David (Mulcahy) travels to Poland to help overcome his crippling case of writer's block. Although seeking solace, his elderly second cousin Maria (Dunagan) welcomes him with an overwhelming need to connect to her American relatives. As their relationship develops, she reveals details about her postwar past that test their ideas of what it means to be a family.

"It is a great pleasure to present the West Coast premiere of Jesse Eisenberg's terrific play here at The Wallis," said Paul Crewes, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts' new Artistic Director who takes the reins full time in April 2016. "Under the direction of Robin Larsen and this excellent cast, I know this new production we are creating is going to be very special."

"It's a very personal play for me, and it could not be in better hands with director Robin Larsen, actors Seamus Mulcahy and Ilia Volok, and one of my all-time favorite actresses, Deanna Dunagan," said THE REVISIONIST author Jesse Eisenberg.

Overdue in delivering revisions of his new novel and distracted by city life, David plops himself in a cramped apartment in Szczecin, Poland, the home of a distant cousin named Maria. She is a complicated and indomitable figure -- a Holocaust survivor who maintains a kind of shrine in her home to her far-off American relatives, many of whom she has met only once or twice. It's a clash of cultures and generations as their divergent agendas, combined with cultural and culinary differences, lead to a spiky, combative relationship that ultimately questions their ideas of family.

THE REVISIONIST is the second play by the award-winning actor and regular The New Yorker contributor Jesse Eisenberg. The play had its world premiere at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York in spring 2013, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Vanessa Redgrave and directed by Kip Fagan.

The creative team includes: Tom Buderwitz (Scenic Design), Jocelyn Hublau Parker (Costume Designer), Leigh Allen (Lighting Designer), John Zalewski (Sound Design), Beth Lipari (Casting Director), Elle Aghabala (Production Stage Manager,), Sam Sonenshine (Assistant Director), Christopher Breyer (Dramaturg), Deborah Hartwell (Costume Supervisor) and William Gunther (Properties Supervisor).

For tickets and more information about The Wallis, visit

Deanna Dunagan (Maria) won a Tony Award for Best Actress for the Steppenwolf production of August: Osage County, which traveled from Chicago to Broadway, the National Theatre in London and Sydney, Australia. For that performance, she also received Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Theatre World awards, as well as London Evening Standard and Olivier Nominations. She made her Los Angeles debut recording the play for L.A. Theatre Works in 2014. For stage work in Chicago where she makes her home, she has been awarded a Sarah Siddons Chicago Leading Lady Award, as well as three Joseph Jefferson Awards and three After Dark Awards for roles as diverse as Claire in A Delicate Balance, Abby in Desire Under The Elms, Aunt Julia in James Joyce's The Dead, and Margaret in I Never Sang For My Father. Her best known film role is Nana in the recent M. Night Shyamalan movie The Visit. Television credits include "The Strain," "House of Cards," and "Law and Order."

Seamus Mulcahy (David) recently appeared as Ernie Jacobs in "Elementary" on CBS. Off-Broadway credit: Our Town directed by David Cromer. Regional credits: Prior in Angelsin America: Millennium Approaches andPerestroika, (Kansas City Rep) Above the Fold with Taraji P. Henson (The Pasadena Playhouse), Rabbit Hole (La Mirada Theater) The Alchemist,Tovarich, King Lear, Henry V, Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey), Romeo and Juliet (Yale Repertory Theater), Master Harold and the Boys (Delaware Theatre Company), Diary ofAnne Frank (Paper Mill Playhouse), The Seagull, Antony & Cleopatra,Henry VI, A Thought in Three Parts (Yale School of Drama). Film credits: One Fall, Killing Lincoln with Tom Hanks. MFA The Yale School of Drama - The Wilsons.

Ilia Volok (Zenon) is a graduate of Moscow Art Theatre School and Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio. LA Theater: Who Killed ComradeRabbit? (Blank Theater), Vivien (Actor's Circle), Just a Song at Twilight (Write Act Repertory) Cat's Paw (Actor's Studio), Cassat & Degas (The Hudson), Destiny's Calling (Stella Adler), Ferdinand by Vaclav Havel and Fakov in America, which he co-wrote & co-produced. His one-man show Diary of A Madman won the 2013 LA Weekly Theater Award for Best Solo Performance. Select Films: Air Force One, Oliver Stone's U-Turn,Indiana Jones 4, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Soloist,Pawn Sacrifice, Water for Elephants, Mission Impossible 4, Abduction,GI JOE 2, The Immigrant. Recent television includes "The Americans," "NCIS," "NCIS: New Orleans," "Hawaii 5.0," "Two Broke Girls," "Clipped," and recurring roles on the Michael Bay series "The Last Ship" and "Scandal." Represented by Endorse Management Group.