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Photos: First Look at COST OF LIVING at Fountain Theatre

Achingly human, and surprisingly funny! TheFountain Theatre presents the West Coast premiere of Cost of Living, the 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Martyna Majok. John Vreeke directs for a Nov. 2 opening, with performances continuing through Dec.16.

In Majok's gripping and unexpectedly joyful play, John (Tobias Forrest of Wisdom of the Crowdand 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 (Felix Solis ofABC's Ten Days in the Valley; original cast of Our Lady of 121st Street, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, at LAByrinth and Union Square Theatre),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.

Photo Credit: Geoffrey Wade Photography

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