Photo Flash: First Look at Odyssey Theatre's WAITING FOR GRACE

By: Nov. 13, 2016
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What if true love never happens? Or worse... what if it does? Theatre Planners presents the world premiere of an award-winning comedy by Sharon Sharth. Waiting for Graceopens as a guest production at the Odyssey Theatre on November 12, directed by Lee Costello.

Grace has it all. Or does she? A successful New York actor, she's always put her career first. But now she's ready for marriage and a baby. Suddenly, the clock is ticking.

A fast-paced comedy, Waiting for Grace features characters that many women will relate to, although some may find Sharth's views controversial.

"Grace thinks she knows what her life should be, what she should want," explains Costello. "But she doesn't really know her own heart. We as women are presented with a labyrinth of emotion and expectation. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out which path is the right one for us as individuals."

"This is the story of a woman who doesn't fit into today's zeitgeist," Sharth says. "She didn't know she had waited too long, She wakes up one morning and thinks she wants to be married, and she puts all her energy into that. But is what she wants really what she needs?"

Sharth, who takes on the title role, is joined onstage by Pamela Dunlap (Pauline Francis on Madmen; HBO'sDoll and Em; HBO's Girls; premiere of A.R. Gurneys Love and Money at New York's Signature Theatre) and Lily Knight (LADCC and Stage Raw Award nominations for her role in Echo Theater Company's A Small Fire; Edna in Odyssey Theatre's LADDC Award-winning A Delicate Balance; Antaeus productions of The Crucible, Peace in Our Time and The Autumn Garden). The three were members together at New York's prestigious Circle Repertory Theatre Company. The male members of the ensemble include Todd Babcock (Gods and Monsters), Jeff LeBeau (member, Open Fist and Skylight Theatre companies) and Bob Telford (WTF, The Big Snake).

Waiting for Grace is the recipient of the Best New American Play Award from the Firehouse Theatre Project; the Collaboration Award from the New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts and Media; an Honorable Mention from the NYC New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest; and it was a semi-finalist at the Edward Albee Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, AK. A reading at the Road Theatre here in Los Angeles starred Gregory Harrison and Robert Pine. Other readings have featured Adam Arkin, Dick Van Patten, Brian Kerwin and Jay O. Sanders.
The creative team includes set designer Pete Hickock; lighting designer Donny Jackson; Sound Designer Dave Marling; and costume designer Michael Mullen. The production stage manager is Jennifer Palumbo, andRacquel Lehrman, Theatre Planners produces.

Sharon Sharth's other plays include Dates and Nuts (produced at New York's American Globe Theatre), Penelope Rex, Monumental Chaos, Hollywood Haven and LA Waves. Her play Truly, Truly was part of the Pacific Resident Theatre Reading Series. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, the Actor and Playwrights Units of The Actors Studio, PEN USA and the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative (LAFPI).Sharon has starred on and off-Broadway and in numerous film and television roles. As a member of New York's Circle Repertory Theatre Company, she played May in Sam Shepard's Fool For Love with Will Patton and went on to originate lead roles for playwrights Lanford Wilson, John Bishop, Caroline Kava and Aaron Sorkin. At other theaters, she originated roles for John Pielmeier, Shirley Lauro and Ray Bradbury, including in the world premiere stage adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. She has performed under the direction of Marshall W. Mason, Amy Saltz, Don Scardino, Julie Hebert, Steven Robman and Randal Myler, and starred in productions at Circle Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club, Geffen Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, San Diego's Old Globe, Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival, Yale Rep and the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, as well as touring internationally. She is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio. Nominated for best leading actress awards for both Woman In Mind by Alan Ayckbourn and for A Perfect Ganesh by Terrence McNally, Sharon just won an L.A. Scenie Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in the Rubicon Theatre production of See Rock City by Arlene Hutton. She was previously seen at the Odyssey with Jane Kaczmarek and Gregory Harrison in The Snake Can by Kathryn Graf. Films include starring roles in Doorman with Bradley Whitford, Eat and Run with Ron Silver and the independent horror short, Damon. Sharon is also an award-winning author for children and has written sixteen books for various publishers. She is the recipient of the Young Adult Fiction Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for "Wild Mind," a novel about teen suicide. She has been published in literary journals and has written many articles for aspiring writers, as well as being a regular speaker at schools, libraries and author fairs.

Lee Costello has directed numerous productions in New York and regionally. She is a member of both Ensemble Studio Theatre/New York and Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA. While living in New York, she was a member of the Circle Rep Lab as well as the Women's Project and Productions, and she was a teaching artist for the Lincoln Center Institute. Her New York credits include Extensions by Murray Schisgal and The Portable Dorothy Parkerat Ensemble Studio Theatre; Cowboy Girl at New York Theatre Workshop; Heads at La Mama; The Adventures of She-Man at the Westbank Theatre Bar; and Did I Vote For You?, an original play with music which received a special performance grant from the Franklin Furnace. Lee wrote and directed The NOW Show, a multimedia send-up of late night talk shows, which sold out for its entire run at Dixon Place. Lee's short play Hearts, Flowersand Jell-O was featured as part of the 10th anniversary of the 52nd Street Project at Lincoln Center. Lee now resides in Los Angeles where she has directed for Ensemble Studio TheatreLA, Theatre of Note, Highways, The Second City, Hollywood Fringe Festival, the Blank Theatre and REDCAT. Currently she is the executive director of Mob Rule, Incorporated, a non-profit community outreach project.

Performances of Waiting for Grace take place Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., Nov. 12 through Dec. 11 (dark Thursday, Nov. 24). There will be two preview performances on Thursday, Nov. 11 and Friday, Nov. 12, both at 8 p.m. All tickets are $35 (reserved seating) except opening night (Nov. 12), for which tickets are $50 and include a post-performance catered reception with the actors, and previews, which are $25. The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025. For reservations and information, call (323) 960-7788 or go to

Photo Credit: Ed Krieger


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