John Cariani's CUL-DE-SAC Comes to Studio Series

Portland Stage Affiliate Artists present a 'Studio Series Workshop Staged Reading' of John Cariani's cul-de-sac, Monday, July 31st at 7:30 pm, followed by an open discussion between the playwright, director and audience, Portland Stage Studio Theater, 25A Forest Avenue in Portland. Tickets are a $10 in advance, or $15 at the door.

Cariani's cul-de-sac is Directed by Sally Wood with Dramaturgy by Todd Backus, and features Lou Carbonneau*, Ian Carlsen*^, Abigail Killeen*^, Amy Roche, Dustin Tucker*^, and Marjolaine Whittlesey. *Member, Actor's Equity Association ^Member, Affiliate Artists

There's no keeping up with these Joneses...

Meet the Smiths The Johnsons and the Joneses. They live in a nice little cul-de-sac in a nice little suburb in a nice little state in a nice big country. And they're happy. Or-trying to be. The lengths to which they go to be happy-or at least seem, or feel happy-are hilarious and heartbreaking. From the writer of Almost, Maine, Last Gas, and LOVE/SICK, this not-quite-for-families comedy examines the American dream-and the nightmare it can become.

John is an award-winning actor and an accomplished playwright. As an actor, he has appeared on and Off Broadway, at regional theaters across the country, and in several films and television shows. His first break came when he was cast in the off-Broadway play It's My Party (And I'll Die if I want To), starring Joyce Van Patten and Academy Award Winner F. Murray Abraham. In 2004, he made his Broadway debut as Motel the tailor in the Broadway Revival of Fiddler on the Roof, starring Alfred Molina. His performance earned him an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Tony Award nomination. His stage work aside, John is probably best known for his work on television. From 2002-2007, he played CSU Tech Julian Beck on NBC's long-running drama Law & Order (1990). He also had recurring roles as Professor Otto Bahnoff in the final season of CBS' Numb3rs (2005) and as reporter Michael Falk on the IFC's The Onion News Network (2011). He has been fortunate to work in feature films with the likes of Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Edward Asner.

As a playwright, he is best known for his first play, Almost, Maine, which premiered at Portland Stage Company in 2004, opened Off Broadway in 2006, and is now featured in Smith and Kraus' "New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2006." Since its debut Off Broadway, Almost, Maine has become one of the most frequently produced plays in the United States, with over 2500 productions to date. It has also been translated into nearly twenty languages. His second play, cul-de-sac, was produced by Transport Group in 2006 and is still in development; his third play, Last Gas, premiered at Portland Stage Company in 2010, was produced by Geva Theatre Center in 2014, and is published by DPS; his play, LOVE/SICK, premiered at Portland Stage in the spring of 2013, was produced by Hartford TheaterWorks in 2014, and opened Off Broadway in the winter of 2015.

Originally from Presque Isle, Maine, John is a graduate of Amherst College. He lives in New York City.

Portland Stage is a hub of creative activity and energy that engages and contributes to the entire community. Located in the heart of the arts district on Forest Avenue, Portland Stage is known for its professional Mainstage Theater Productions, its creation of vital Education Programs, both in-schools and in-house, and for cultivating new voices in theater through its New Work Programs that foster experimentation and artistic risk. Visit to see the Season.

Portland Stage's Affiliate Artists are an artistic collective of local theater professionals who choose to devote themselves to this community. During each season, these actors, directors, and educators present and participate in a range of programs dedicated to exploring new theatrical works, bringing the written word to the stage, and welcoming the community into the theater.

The Portland Stage Studio Series Workshop program develops new plays in process with the playwright, and presents them as a staged reading in the Studio Theater before a live audience. Discussions between Playwright, Director and Audience immediately follow the performance. For more information and the full season of Mainstage Productions, New Work, and Education visit

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