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Dark & Stormy Productions Launches 2015 Season With EXTREMITIES Tonight

Dark & Stormy Productions today announces the producers, venue, and partners for its upcoming production of Extremities by William Mastrosimone. Previously, Dark & Stormy has presented Outside Providence by Edward Allan Baker, Speed-the-Plow by David Mamet, The Receptionist by Adam Bock, The Drunken City by Adam Bock, and The Hothouse by Harold Pinter. Extremities will be the first production of Dark & Stormy's 2015 season.

Frances Wilkinson (Producer, The Mount Curve Company) is a Minneapolis and New York based theater producer. Ms. Wilkinson formed The Mount Curve Company in 2008 to invest in theatrical work including The Kushner Celebration, Edgardo Mine, God of Carnage, My Fair Lady (Guthrie Theater), In Darfur, Why Torture is Wrong (The Public Theater), Passing Strange (Broadway), Five Fingers of Funk (Children's Theatre Company), Detroit (Steppenwolf Theater Company), Hair (London's West End). In addition, she was an underwriter for the TPT documentary, Slavery By another Name, that aired on PBS in 2013 and The Public Theater/Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Antony and Cleopatra in 2014. She has produced Tarell McCraney's award winning trilogy, The Brother Sister Plays, at the Guthrie Theater from 2011 - 2014. She was a presenter for Gideon Irving's, new home show, Living Here, in collaboration with the Foundry Theater in New York, April 2015. Ms. Wilkinson has served on the Boards of Directors of The Guthrie Theater, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Independent Feature Project, and WATCH. She currently serves on The Walker Art Center's Producing Council for Performing Arts, The Film Society of MSP, and is a Trustee of The Public Theater in New York. Ms. Wilkinson is delighted to be part of the producing team on Extremities by Dark & Stormy Productions in 2015.

Jennifer Melin Miller (Producer, North Star Theatricals) is a business development consultant and theater investor and producer in Minneapolis and New York. She formed North Star Theatricals to invest in and produce commercial Broadway theater productions in New York City, where she is currently an investor in the Tony Award- winning play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Ms. Miller has been a producer on Tribes and The Cocktail Hour at The Guthrie Theater, where she also serves on the Board of Directors. In addition, Ms. Miller currently serves on the nonprofit boards of AchieveMpls, Mission Animal Hospital and the Temple Israel Foundation. Ms. Miller is thrilled to be part of the producing team on Extremities by Dark & Stormy Productions.

Artspace's (Partner) mission is, "to create, foster, and preserve affordable space for artists and arts organizations." Established in 1979, Artspace owns and operates both residential and non-residential properties in more than 20 states across the nation, providing affordable, real property to low- and moderate-income artists to further the growth of the artistic community. Based in the Twin Cities, Artspace has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, and Washington DC, impacting artists on both a local and national level. The Grain Belt Warehouse is owned and operated by Artspace in partnership with the artists who maintain studios in the building.

Emily Bridges* (Patricia) makes her Twin Cities main-stage debut in Dark & Stormy's production of Extremities. Off-Broadway credits include: Bram Stoker's Dracula (Lucy Seward); Happy Hour. Los Angeles credits include: The Blank Theatre (The Gin Dialogues), Theatre West (Our Town, Let's Face it!, Behind Big Bucks, Something for the Boys), Storybook Theatre (Aladdin and His Lamp, The Princess and the Frog), WestFest (The Wall), Chestnuts (Gaslight), The Theatricum Botanicum (The School for Scandal), The Secret Rose Theatre, and others. Film/Television credits include: Grooming (2014 Cannes Film Festival, short), "Masters of Sex," (#103, Supporting, Showtime), 1000 to 1, Purple Mind, Voyage of the Unicorn, The Uninvited (CBS). Web Series credits include: Theater People, Overdrawn, The Reel Housewives of Theatre West. Voice Over Animated Feature Film credits include: The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Oscar Nominated, 2015; leading role), From Up On Poppy Hill. Bridges co-authored the play Acting: The First Six Lessons with her father, actor Beau Bridges, and performed in its debut production at Theatre West in Los Angeles. Bridges can currently be seen onscreen in the leading role of Linda Basili in Patrick Coyle's feature film, The Public Domain.

Tracey Maloney* (Terry) returns to Dark & Stormy in Extremities after making her debut as Linda in The Drunken City. Maloney has appeared at the Guthrie Theater in Tribes, The Heidi Chronicles, Othello, God of Carnage, Circle Mirror Transformation, Peer Gynt, The Glass Menagerie, Pride & Prejudice, A Christmas Carol (multiple productions), Death of a Salesman (Guthrie Theater and Dublin International Theater Festival), and others. Maloney has also appeared with the Illusion Theater, Ten Thousand Things Theater, Children's Theatre Company, Pillsbury House Theatre, Jungle Theater, Park Square Theatre, Workhaus Collective, The Playwrights' Center, Eye of the Storm, Hidden Theatre, and Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others. Film/Television credits include: Cedar Rapids, Justice, Best Man Down, How to Kill a Mockingbird, The Straight Story, the web series Theater People, among others, and hundreds of voiceover spots. Maloney is the cofounder of Thirst Theater, and was named "Best Actress" by City Pages in 2007.

Sara Marsh* (Marjorie) returns to Dark & Stormy in Extremities after appearing in The Hothouse (Miss Cutts), The Drunken City (Marnie), The Receptionist (Lorraine Taylor), Speed-the-Plow (Karen), and Outside Providence (Debbie; Sandra), as well as the staged readings of The Thugs (Daphne) and The Drunken City (Marnie). Marsh has also appeared in productions and staged readings with Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Old Log Theater, Pillsbury House Theatre, Jungle Theater, Thirst Theater, Gremlin Theatre, Theatre L'Homme Dieu, The Playwrights' Center, The Phoenix Theatre, and Day In, Day Out Productions, among others. Film/Television credits include: the leading role of Lucy in New Line Cinema's feature film Sugar & Spice, Best Man Down, Rosie (2014 Cannes Film Festival, Short), How to Kill a Mockingbird, the web series Theater People, among others, and hundreds of voiceover spots. She can next be seen onstage in a production for the 2015 Fringe Festival for Mainly Me Productions. Marsh can currently be seen onscreen in the leading role of Lana Boulet in Patrick Coyle's feature film, The Public Domain.

James Rodriguez (Raul) makes his debut with Dark & Stormy Productions in Extremities. Rodriguez has been seen at theaters all over the Twin Cities, including Theatre Latte Da (Cabaret, Evita), Park Square Theatre (Of Mice and Men, Ragtime), Frank Theatre (Three Penny Opera, Cabaret), Yellow Tree Theatre (The Rainmaker), Mixed Blood Theatre (The Pajama Game), Workhaus Collective (The Mill), Girl Friday Productions (Camino Real), Theatre Pro Rata (The Woodsman, Waiting for Godot), Pillsbury House Theatre, and others. Film/Television credits include: the web series Theater People. Rodriguez can next be seen at The Children's Theatre Company in Peter Pan.

Mel Day directs Extremities for Dark & Stormy after assistant directing The Hothouse, The Drunken City, and The Receptionist. Day has directed for such companies as Pillsbury House Theatre, Theatre Unbound, 20% Theatre Company, Gadfly Theatre, Freshwater Theatre, The Phoenix Theatre, Box Wine Theater, and her own company, Day In, Day Out Productions (under which she produced and directed boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, named one of the top five shows of the 2014 Fringe Festival by City Pages). She has also served as an assistant director at the Guthrie Theater (My Fair Lady, An Iliad, Skiing on Broken Glass), Mixed Blood Theatre Company, and Pillsbury House Theatre, among others. Day received her B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota in 2011.

The Extremities creative team also includes: Jared Ziegler (Stage Manager), Mary Shabatura (Lighting Designer; Dark & Stormy credits include: Outside Providence, Speed-the-Plow, The Receptionist, The Drunken City, The Hothouse), Lisa Jones (Costume Designer; Dark & Stormy credits include: The Drunken City, The Hothouse), Sarah Holmberg (Props Designer; Dark & Stormy Credits include: Outside Providence - as Stage Manager) Annie Enneking (Fight Choreographer), and Jeremy Ellarby (Production Assistant and Assistant Lighting Designer; Dark & Stormy credits include: Outside Providence, Speed-the-Plow, The Receptionist, The Drunken City, The Hothouse).

*Member, Actors' Equity Association

ABOUT DARK & STORMY PRODUCTIONS - Founded in February 2012 by Artistic Director Sara Marsh, Dark & Stormy Productions seeks to enrich the community by providing artistically excellent, relevant, and thought-provoking professional productions that engage and inspire both the audience and the artist. Dark & Stormy's mission and goals are three-fold: foster new theatergoers; sustain current audiences by offering them the opportunity to see excellent, unconventional, immediate, relevant, exciting productions using the top talent in the Twin Cities; and support the rich community of professional artists in the Twin Cities by providing collaborative, engaging, unique, artistically challenging opportunities in between productions and projects at larger theaters.

Dark & Stormy's first production, Outside Providence (2012), was celebrated by audiences and artists, and drew in theatergoers of all ages with its unconventional performance venue and unusual, intimate staging. In January of 2013, Dark & Stormy became an Actors' Equity Association Small Professional Theater (SPT), and began its first Equity season with David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow. The production, directed by Benjamin McGovern† and featuring actors Bill McCallum*, Kris L. Nelson*, and Sara Marsh*, was a hit with audiences and critics, and named one of the Top Ten Productions of 2013 by Rohan Preston of the Star Tribune.

To close its inaugural Equity season, Dark & Stormy produced The Receptionist by Adam Bock, directed by Benjamin McGovern† and featuring Sally Wingert* in the title role, with Sara Marsh*, Bill McCallum*, and Harry Waters Jr.* The Receptionist played to a remarkable 98% capacity and nearly sold out its entire run, and was named one of the Top Ten Productions of 2013 by City Pages theater critic Ed Huyck.

To open its second season, Dark & Stormy followed the success of The Receptionist with another Adam Bock play: The Drunken City, directed by Bill McCallum* and featuring Paul de Cordova*, Tracey Maloney*, Sara Marsh*, Benjamin McGovern†, Kris L. Nelson*, and Adelin Phelps. The show was again a hit with audiences and critics, performing well above projections and receiving rave reviews. The Drunken City was named a top production of the first half of 2014 by both Graydon Royce and Rohan Preston of the Star Tribune.

Dark & Stormy Advisory Board Member and frequent stage manager, Katie Hawkinson*, says, "Dark & Stormy's work is adventurous from start to finish. I love the whole process of building a show from the ground up - from choosing the script to finding the right actors to exploring a fresh performance space and presenting the finished product to an enthusiastic crowd. It is a highly collaborative and creative experience, and one that is truly unique to our theater community."

To close its second Equity season, Dark & Stormy produced the regional premiere of Harold Pinter's The Hothouse, again in partnership with Artspace. It was an adventurous and ground-breaking production, staged in the Grain Belt Bottling House atrium; the actors wore body mics and the audience members were each given an individual headset and ADA receiver, allowing director Benjamin McGovern to use the entire 7,000 square foot space as a playing area for the actors.

The Hothouse cast included: Robert Dorfman*, Mark Benninghofen*, Sara Marsh*, John Catron*, Bill McCallum*, and Bruce Bohne*. The production sold far beyond projections, playing to 100% capacity, and the run was extended by one week due to demand. The Hothouse received rave reviews across the board from critics and audiences alike, and was the largest and most successful production Dark & Stormy has mounted to date. The Hothouse was named a Top Production of 2014 by City Pages theater critic Ed Huyck.

ABOUT EXTREMITIES - Extremities was written in 1978 after playwright William Mastrosimone encountered a victim of rape, "Mary," who told him the story of how she'd been victimized and the ensuing legal action. Mary reported her attacker, but he was wrongly acquitted at trial, and afterward, in the courtroom, he'd threatened her, saying, "If you think that was bad, wait until next time." Mary lived the rest of her life in constant fear. Mastrosimone sat down in his anger and wrote Extremities in one night. It came out of him, he says, "like an overdue baby."

Chilling, thrilling, and thought-provoking, Extremities is a dynamic, contemporary, relevant play about power; who has it, who doesn't, who wants it, how you get it, how you keep it, what you do with it once you have it, how easy it is to lose it. And, when the cards are stacked against you, how far will you go to get it back?

Of producing Extremities, Artistic Director Sara Marsh says, "Extremities is unquestionably a thriller. But at its core, Extremities is a play about power. Each character has, loses, and gains power back in this play in some way or another - through violence, words, cunning, charm, suggestion, guilt, shame... Written in 1978, Extremities is a play about assuming control through social and sexual power. How have those issues changed in the last 35 years? As much as we think? As we hope? As we want to believe?

"It's a compelling case within a beautifully written, thrill-ride of play, and I wonder if Mr. Mastrosimone had any idea how relevant these issues would still be in 2015. That's what compelled me to produce this, especially right now - the pressure of obtaining and keeping social and sexual power, for both men and women, and the extreme measures they take to get it, from college campuses to mainstream society. I'm thrilled to be partnering with Artspace for the third time to bring this important, exciting play to audiences, and I'm honored that Frances Wilkinson and Jennifer Melin Miller, two of the most well-respected and prolific producers in the Twin Cities and New York City, agree that there couldn't be a better time for this conversation, or a better play to spark the discussion of it."

Extremities by William Mastrosimone, running August 27, 2015 - September 19, 2015, begins Dark & Stormy Productions' third season. Tickets for Extremities are currently available for purchase online at www.darkstormy.org or by calling 612.401.4506. Tickets are $25, with discounts for patrons under the age of 30. All shows are 7:30pm at the Artspace Grain Belt Warehouse: 77 13th Ave. NE, Studio 202, Minneapolis, MN 55413.

Photo Credit: Heidi Bohnenkamp; Design Credit: Kevin Cannon.


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