Sharon Leal, Angela Lin, Brandon Scott and More to Star in Pasadena Playhouse's STOP KISS This Fall

The Pasadena Playhouse announces the cast of STOP KISS, the second production of its 2014-2015 Season. Written by Diana Son and directed by Pasadena Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Seema Sueko, STOP KISS stars Sharon Leal (Bill Condon's Dreamgirls, Fox's "Boston Public," and Lionsgate's Addicted), Angela Lin (Broadway's Chinglish), John Sloan (Fox's "Happy Hour"), Brandon Scott (ABC's "Grey's Anatomy"), Amanda Carlin (Liar Liar), and Jeff De Serrano (A&E's "Longmire"). The production is performed November 4 - 30, 2014 with the official press night on Wednesday, November 9, 2014.

Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse says, "I am thrilled that Seema is making her PLAYHOUSE directorial debut with this provocative and still timely play. I feel certain that she and her sterling cast will strongly deliver this stimulating experience with theatrical verve and great power."

STOP KISS Director Seema Sueko says "STOP KISS is a play that succeeds on the talent of the actors -- their abilities to capture the nuance and comedy of a growing attraction, the complexity of the aftermath of a trauma, and the joy of discovering one's voice. We have, in this cast, deeply talented actors who have what it takes to bounce Diana Son's text through the roof. I'm honored to work with them."

STOP KISS marks The Playhouse directorial debut of Seema Sueko, who joined The Playhouse staff in January 2014. Originally produced Off-Broadway at The Public Theater, with a cast including Sandra Oh and Jessica Hecht, this critically acclaimed play received the GLAAD Media Award for Best New York Production. STOP KISS tells the story of Sara and Callie, who are walking through New York City's West Village late at night when they share their first kiss. This leads to a vicious attack by an angry bystander, in which Sara is horribly injured. Throughout STOP KISS, relationships are explored, formed, and even ended. Diana Son elaborates on the depths of human emotion and compassion.

The cast of STOP KISS includes Sharon Leal as Sara, Angela Lin as Callie, John Sloan as George, Amanda Carlin as Mrs. Winsley/Nurse, Brandon Scott as Peter and Jeff de Serrano as Detective Cole.

STOP KISS will play November 4, 2014 through November 30 with the official press opening on November 9. The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Tickets, priced from $45.00 to $75.00, plus premium seats at $125.00, are available online at PasadenaPlayhouse.org; by calling The Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529; or visiting The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, Tuesday - Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. during non-performance dates. On performance dates the Box Office is open Tuesday - Saturday from 1:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. on Sunday.

BIOGRAPHIES

Seema Sueko (Director) joined The Pasadena Playhouse staff in January 2014 as Associate Artistic Director. For the past nine years, she served as the Executive Artistic Director of Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, a community focused, socially conscious Equity theatre company she cofounded in San Diego. In addition to directing at Mo`olelo, Seema developed Mo`olelo's greening initiative and consensus organizing methodologies. She led the company to its selection as the inaugural Resident Theatre Company at La Jolla Playhouse and to awards from the American Theatre Wing, the National Endowment for the Arts, Actors' Equity Association, and the N.A.A.C.P. San Diego Branch, among others. Other directing and acting credits include The Old Globe, Yale Repertory Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, and Native Voices at The Autry, among others. She was the recipient of the inaugural Leadership U[niversity] grant from Theatre Communications Group/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which took her to Arena Stage in 2013 as a Visiting Artistic Associate in mentorship with Molly Smith. She holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago.

Diana Son (Playwright) is the author of the plays Stop Kiss, Satellites, BOY, R.A.W. ('Cause I'm a Woman) and others. Stop Kiss and Satellites premiered at the Public Theater in NYC. Stop Kiss won the GLAAD Media Award for Best New York Production and Ms. Son won the Berilla Kerr Award for playwriting, the NEA/TCG Residency grant at the Mark Taper Forum and a Brooks Atkinson Fellowship at the Royal National Theatre in London. Her works have been produced at La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Woolly Mammoth and others. Son has also written several short stories and her works of fiction have been published in such magazines as Asian Pacific American Journal. Son also belongs to a number of organizations, including the Dramatists Guild of America, Women in Theatre and the Writers Guild of America, East. In addition, she is an alumna of New Dramatists. Diana Son is also a television producer and writer, with credits including "Law and Order: Criminal Intent," "Southland," "Blue Bloods" and "The West Wing."

Sharon Leal (Sara) began singing at an early age and later discovered her passion for acting while attending performing arts high school. Her professional career began in regional theater productions of Ain't Misbehavin', Into the Woods, and Little Shop of Horrors. Soon thereafter, Leal moved to New York and landed major roles on Broadway in Miss Saigon and Rent. Leal went on to star in the original musical, Bright Lights Big City, at the New York Theater Workshop, and was also featured on the production's soundtrack. While in New York, she staged cabarets and continued to hone her skills when she produced an original production of Stormy Weather at the Manhattan Theatre Club, in which she starred as the legendary Lena Horne. From the New York stage, Sharon easily transitioned into television and film. Her television credits include a series regular role on CW's "Hellcats" and four seasons on David E. Kelley's hit FOX drama, "Boston Public." Her guest starring roles include episodes of "Suits", "Perception", "Person Of Interest" and "CSI: Miami." She also had recurring roles on NBC's "Grimm", and ABC's "Private Practice" as Sonya, the love interest to Taye Diggs' character. In 2006, Sharon received international attention as a co-star of the Golden Globe Award-winning blockbuster film, Dreamgirls, opposite Beyonce Knowles, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy. She portrayed Michelle Morris, the singer that replaced Effie White (played by Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson) in the female trio, The Dreams. In Dreamgirls, Sharon showcased her remarkable vocal skills and was heard on the popular movie soundtrack.

Quickly named one of Entertainment Weekly's "Breakout Stars", Sharon soared into the stratosphere as the star of two highly successful ensemble films; the #1 box office hit, Why Did I Get Married?, with Tyler Perry, Janet Jackson and Jill Scott, and the popular holiday feature, This Christmas, alongside Idris Elba, Regina King and Chris Brown. Her performance in the latter project won her the 2008 Asian Excellence Award for Outstanding Film Actress. Sharon starred with Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac in the 2008 musical feature film, Soul Men. In 2010, she reprised her role in the highly-anticipated sequel, Why Did I Get Married Too? which grossed over $60 million at the domestic box office. Her independent film credits include Woman thou Art loosed:On the 7th Day opposite Blair Underwood, Carry Me Home opposite Academy Award Winner Cuba Gooding Jr and William Sadler, and a smash hit at 2013's Toronto Film Festival titled 1982. Up next, she stars in Addicted, the highly-anticipated film for Lionsgate where Sharon steps into a risky role as a sex addict.

Angela Lin (Callie) has appeared in the Broadway productions of David Henry Hwang's Chinglish, Top Girls, and Coram Boy. Off-Broadway, Angela Lin has appeared in Takarazuka!!! at Clubbed Thumb, Crane Story at The Playwrights Realm, and Jordan Harrison's Futura at National Asian American Theater Co, among others. Regionally, she has appeared in Chinglish at The Goodman, American Hwangap at The Magic Theatre, and Donald Margulies' Shipwrecked! at Long Wharf Theatre, among others. Her television credits include "Two and a Half Men," "Grey's Anatomy," "Blue Bloods," and "The Good Wife."

Photo by Frankie Batista



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