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Theater 48 Premieres FINDING THE BURNETT HEART at Hollywood's Lillian Theatre, 4/19-5/27

Gina Stoj, co-founder of Theater 48 (a non-profit corporation dedicated to presenting theater that matters -, makes her producing debut with the stage play, Finding the Burnett Heart by Paul Elliot, to premiere in Hollywood at The Lillian Theatre, April 19-May 27.

This powerful new work by Paul Elliott centers around 16-year-old Tyler Burnett who inadvertently comes out to his extremely old school, hardcore grandfather. Only after some major drama, the two find common ground and grow to accept and, miraculously, even love each other. Tyler's isn't the only family secret that's exposed and each character is transformed by the revelations. The play is extremely funny and rivetingly dramatic. It will make you laugh, cry and gasp.

Often hilarious and always gut-wrenchingly honest, it’s not just a play. It has a message that needs to be shared – one of hope inspired by Tyler’s journey and ultimate ability to stand up for himself. It offers a much-needed contrast to the bullying, depression and suicide many LGBT teens experience.

Finding the Burnett Heart is a very personal story for Paul. The idea for writing it came about when his father, at age seventy-eight, came to stay a couple of weeks with Paul’s family after the death of his mother, who had been the real glue that held their extended family together, and Paul’s young daughter got into a screaming match with grandpa.

For a more info regarding the play, please visit

Meet the cast.

James Handy has performed at many regional theatres including Hartford Stage, The Guthrie, Cinncinati Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, The Olney and The Westport Playhouse in plays such as A Moon for The Misbegotten, Death of a Salesman, Guys and Dolls, That Championship Season, Mister Roberts, Translations, Company, Dracula, and Juno and the Paycock, to name a few. Some of his off-Broadway credits include All My Sons, Kerouac, Full Moon, Ice Bridge, Home is The Hero and The Shadow of a Gunman.

Film credits: The Verdict, Bird, Burglar, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Arachnophobia, The Rocketeer, K-9, Gang-related, Guarding Tess, Jumanji, Unbreakable, 15 Minutes and Ash Wednesday. TV Credits: recurring roles on NYPD Blues, Profiler, Undercover, Breaking News, Melrose Place, Alias and The West Wing, plus many TV Movies. James recently has guest starred on Criminal Minds, Raising the Bar, Castle, and The Young and The Restless. L.A. theatre credits: The Speed OF Darkness, Faithful, Te Tavern, Book of Says, Cairo, Sympathetic Magic, Waiting for Lefty and U.S. premiere of David Hare's Stuff Happens.

Joel Johnstone's  recent theatre credits include Bitter Sweet, Everybody Say Cheese (Falcon Theatre), Rules of The Universe, Lanford Wilsons A Sense of Place (NYC Premiere), Fall Forward (Rising Phoenix Rep.), Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night (London). BA in theatre from Fordham University and BADA, both Oxford and London. Recent TV and film credits: Spinning Into Butter, Criminal Minds, Urban Gothic (UK/Bravo), and Magritte Moment. He also just completed writing, directing and starring in his own short film, The Pilgrim & The Private Eye.

Colleen McGramm is a veteran of television, film and theatre and a true chameleon. She loves the challenge of morphing from character to character.  She earned her Screen Actors Guild card right out of high school by landing a guest spot on Dallas while it was filming in Texas, her home state, and she was hooked.  Colleen soon moved to Hollywood to pursue her love of acting and storytelling.  She dove into acting classes, got an agent and landed a recurring role on Days Of Our Lives and has been acting ever since.  Her most recent television credits include recurring roles on Justified, E.R., Desperate Housewives, Without a Trace, South of Nowhere, Entourage, Judging Amy and Boston Public.  Films have included, Paved with Good Intentions, Christmas with the Kranks and The Church Feather.  Theatre roles in the Los Angeles area: To Kill A Mockingbird, Jakes Women, The Shadow Box, The Traveling Lady, Grace and Glorie and Women of Manhattan.  When Colleen is not acting, she is busy with her family and home full or critters.  She also owns and operates The Missing Piece Theater in Burbank. 

Jeff L. Williams grew up on a tobacco farm in Kentucky, played football for the University of Kentucky and practiced law as a trial attorney.  Since deciding to give up all that easy stuff (compared to acting), he has studied with Uta Hagen, Piero Dusa and Howard Fine (current).  Jeff L has appeared in several independent features and made multiple television appearances including Criminal Minds, Desperate Housewives, The Mentalist Seduced & Betrayed (MOW), All My Children, Days of Our Lives, General Hospital and Sunset Beach.  He is thrilled to be working with Colleen McGrann and James Handy again and very proud to be a member of the Burnett Heart family.

About the playwright - Paul Elliott is a respected television and screen writer with scripts optioned and/or produced by CBS, Francis Ford Coppola, MM&D, ABA, Robert Aldrich Prod., Buzz Kulick, Isom/Cox , Taft//sun Classics and O. Atlas Enterprises. He has also written, produced and/or directed over sixty syndicated and network shows as well as writing/ producing/ and directing live entertainment spectaculars for theme parks like Disneyland, Disney World, EuroDisney, AstroWorld, Boblo Island and Sanrio Puroland in Japan.

Gaining a reputation for extravagant productions, it proved a natural step into corporate productions and multi-million dollar press launches for companies like HP, Microsoft, MCA/Universal, Disney and Buena Vista and huge week long events for companies like Shaklee, Merle Norman, MONY, AXA Financial, AMD, Countrywide, United Airlines, Cookie Lee, Baxter Healthcare, Toshiba, FreeLife, RadioShack and Neutrogena.

Writing for the stage has always been Pauls first love and he has successfully had hundreds of productions of plays like Legacy and Perspective published by Samuel French and Ledge, Ledger and the Legend, Mind Games, and The Door published by Dramatic Publishing. This year his Mind Games Anthology just came off the presses.

Pauls comedy Exit Laughing just completed its test run with the Reunion Theater Group outside of Seattle, also to rave reviews. His musical Dula is scheduled to be premiered in 2012 at Northwestern University.

Finding the Burnett Heart just completed its West Coast Premiere in Burbank after its World Premiere at the historic Detroit Repertory Theatre.

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