Erika Amato, Tom Byrn and Mike Newman to Lead BIOGRAPHY at East Lynne Theater Company

The award-winning East Lynne Theater Company of Cape May, NJ has announced complete casting for S. N. Behrman's effervescent 1932 comedy, Biography.

The company is comprised of Erika Amato (Marion Froude), Tom Byrn (Leander Nolan), Veronique Hurley (Slade Kinnicott), Mark Edward Lang (Warwick Wilson), Mike Newman (Richard Kurt), Gayle Stahlhuth (Minnie), John Cameron Weber (Orrin Kinnicott), and R. Scott Williams (Melchior Feydak).

Biography will run Sept. 21 through Oct. 15 and will be performed four times a week, Wednesday through Saturday, at 8pm - with the exception of the week of Oct. 5th, when there will be no show on Wednesday the 5th and an added Sunday performance on Oct. 9th at 7:30pm. Tickets are on sale now at $32 (General Admission). There are discounts for seniors aged 62 and over ($27), students and military ($17), and children under 12 (FREE). Tickets may be purchased by calling 609-884-5898, emailing the theatre at eastlynneco@aol.com, or online at eastlynnetheatercompany.ticketleap.com/biography. Various packages and other discounts are also available - visit www.eastlynnetheater.org/tickets.html for details.

Richard Kurt asks internationally known portrait painter Marion Froude to write her autobiography for his magazine. At first she laughs off the idea, but it's Manhattan in 1932, during the Depression, and she can use the money. The prospect dismays a former lover, Leander Nolan from Tennessee who is running for United States Senate and is engaged to the daughter of one of Knoxville's wealthiest families. Nolan and his future father-in-law exercise their influence to try to kill the story.

Conversation in this entertaining comedy is sharp and witty, but beneath the polished surface is a satirical study of American morals and all the dogma that lies in the clash of differing points of views. Just in time for an election year!

When this scintillating play opened on Broadway in 1932, Brooks Atkinson, reviewer for The New York Times wrote, "S. N. Behrman can write comedies that shine with the truth of character."

ABOUT THE CAST/CREATIVES

Erika Amato (Marion Froude) is thrilled to be making her ELTC debut. Selected theatre credits include: National Tour: Flashdance - The Musical (Miss Wilde). Off-Broadway: Signs Of Life (Berta), The Sphinx Winx (Cleopatra). Off-Off-Bway: Waiting For Lefty (Edna), Triumph Of Love (Hesione). Regional: Into The Woods (Witch - BWW Award Nomination), Backwards In High Heels (Lela Rogers), A Funny Thing...Forum (Domina), Hairspray (Velma), Cinderella (Fairy Godmother), How To Succeed... (Miss Jones), White Christmas (Betty), Sleeping Beauty Wakes (Bad Fairy - LA Ovation Award Nomination), Anything Goes (Reno - ITL Award Nomination), The Bungler (Hyppolite), Nine (Luisa - OC Weekly Award Nomination), Sunday In The Park With George (Yvonne), The Sound Of Music (Maria - OC Register Best Actress), Macbeth (Witch, Porter). TV/Film credits include Quantum Leap, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Disney's Enchanted. Erika has also released 5 albums with her band, Velvet Chain. She is a Vassar College graduate (General Honors and Honors in Drama) and a proud member of AEA. www.erikaamato.com

Tom Byrn (Leander Nolan) played the title role in ELTC's Mr. Lincoln, his seventh ELTC production. Recent acting work has included Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike by Christopher Durang (Cider Mill Playhouse, NY); The Country Wife by William Wycherley (Franklin Stage Company, NY); and a reading of Last Flight of the Mercenary by Karen Howes (Tangent Theatre, NY). Also, he taught drama and English classes at a high school in Istanbul. He has acted at various theaters in the Philadelphia area, including, People's Light & Theatre, Interact, Lantern, and Act II Playhouse, and at various theaters in PA, NY, and Ohio. Tom is an Associate Member of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, in Bloomsburg, PA, where he spent eleven years as a full-time Ensemble Member, acting, directing, writing, and teaching. He is co-editor of the trade paperback Letters to the Editor (Simon & Schuster) and a member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab. He is a graduate of Vassar College. Member AEA.

Veronique Hurley (Slade Kinnicott) is thrilled to be a part of East Lynne's production of Biography. This summer she played Olivia in The Glass Eye's production of Twelfth Night. Other New York Credits include: Women are Crazy Because Men are A**holes (Cherry Lane Theatre), As You Like It (The Glass Eye), Hunting and Gathering (The Glass Eye), One Eye Gone (Vacant Lot Theatre), Pilgrims of the Night (Night Wind Productions), Antarctica, Where it is Very, Very Warm, (Blow Out Theatre Company), Regional Credits Include: Noises Off, To Kill A Mockingbird, Christmas Carol, (The Hartford Stage Company) Moon Over Buffalo, Romantic Fools, (Cape May Stage), and Around the World in 80 Days, (Playhouse on Park). won best ensemble, Broadwayworld.com, Veronique would like to dedicate all performances to her mother.

Mark Edward Lang (Warwick Wilson)) Favorite roles include Captain Scott in Terra Nova and Jack in The Importance of Being Earnest (Hilton Head Playhouse), The Actor in ELTC's The Guardsman, seven roles in the Irish comedy Stones in his Pockets (Open Stage of Harrisburg), Kosti in Welcome Home Marian Anderson (Off-Broadway and tour); and ELTC's Zorro, Christopher Bean, The Poe Mysteries, Dulcy, Butter and Egg Man, Why Marry?, The New York Idea, Voice of the City, The Dictator (2001), Four by Four and You and I (Best Actor Jacoby Award, 2007). He's performed Shakespeare, Moliere, and new works in NYC and on tour; as well as theater workshops and directing (including ELTC's Anna Christie). He co-starred with his wife, Alison J. Murphy in his new play Lunt and Fontanne: The Celestials of Broadway in May 2015 in New York City. It has been selected to be part of the NY International Fringe Festival in August 2016. (luntandfontanne.com). Member AEA and SAG-AFTRA.

Mike Newman (Richard Kurt) is delighted to be making his ELTC debut! Regional credits include The Groundling at The Theatre Project, Peter and the Starcatcher and the world premiere of The Almost True and Truly Remarkable Adventures of Israel Potter, American Patriot (as Israel Potter!) at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, Mornings of April and May at Connecticut Free Shakespeare, and Much Ado About Nothing at White Plains PAC. Recent NY credits include Macbeth with Old Hat Theatre Co. and Life is a Dream with Eager Risk Theatre Co. He is a graduate of Tufts University with a BA in Economics.

John Cameron Weber (Orin Kinnicott) appeared in Within the Law here two seasons ago. He has also trod the ELTC boards in Legend of Sleepy Hollow, It Pays to Advertise, The World of Dorothy Parker, He and She, The Dictator, and The Butter and Egg Man. And it's good to be back! He has acted in commercials, soaps, and various regional theaters and in National (Damn Yankees, 1776) and European (West Side Story, Guy and Dolls) tours. Favorite roles include Abel Frake (State Fair), Inspector Hubbard (Dial M for Murder) and a Gangster (Kiss Me Kate). He also enjoyed sinking on the Titanic several times. Member AEA.

R. Scott Williams (Melchior Feydak) is pleased to be making his ELTC debut! He is a New York based actor with experience in both musicals and plays, in classical and contemporary works. Recent appearances include The Fantasticks (Cider Mill Playhouse, NY), Witness for the Prosecution (Olney Theatre Center), and She Stoops to Conquer (Hudson Warehouse, NYC). Other NYC appearances include Taming of the Shrew, Three Musketeers, King Lear(twice!), Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Julius Caesar. Scott has appeared in 46 states thanks to two national tours and has given hundreds of performances of Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center in DC. He spent five seasons with Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre (Big River, Brigadoon, Bye Bye Birdie, Once Upon a Mattress, A Funny Thing...Forum) and has appeared at numerous regional theaters throughout the country including Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre Co., Globe Playhouse, and Pioneer Theatre Lab. Film/TV appearances include Veep, The Wire, The West Wing, A Modest Suggestion, and John Waters's Pecker. Member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.

Gayle Stahlhuth (Director/Minnie) has performed off-Broadway (Manhattan Theatre Club, etc.) in national tours (Cabaret, Fiddler, etc.), regional theater (Gateway Playhouse in Long Island, etc.), television (various soaps, etc.), radio (jingles and Voice of America), and on the Chautauqua Circuit. Since becoming ELTC's Artistic Director in 1999, she has produced 85 different plays/musicals (some returned for another season), including 20 world premieres and 10 NJ premieres, and directed over half of them. Her adaptations for ELTC include Tales by Twain, that also ran at Surflight Theatre; Spoon River, based on the famous Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, and The Ransom of Red Chief based on O.Henry's classic tale. She's been awarded commissions from The National Portrait Gallery, the Missouri and Illinois Humanities Councils, and grants from the NJ Humanities Council, the NYS Council on the Arts, and the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for the Arts. For several years she was a judge for the Emmy Awards in the field of broadcasting. She is an Active Member of the Dramatists Guild, SAG-AFTRA, and AEA.

S. N. (Samuel Nathaniel) Behrman (1893-1973) was raised in a tenement in Worcester, MA, the youngest of three sons raised by Lithuanian immigrants. He befriended a friend of one of his brothers, Daniel Asher, who introduced Behrman to theater and encouraged him to write. After attending Clark College for two years, he transferred to Harvard to study drama with George Pierce Baker. After earning his B.A. degree in 1916, he moved to New York City where his brothers worked as accountants. They supported him financially while he attended Columbia. After earning his M.A. degree in 1918, Behrman was offered a teaching position at the University of Minnesota, but turned it down, choosing to remain in New York to establish himself as a writer.

Even before graduating, his stories and criticism appeared in such magazines as "The Seven Arts," "The Liberator," "The New Republic" and "The Smart Set." He wrote reviews for The New York Times, where he worked briefly. During the early 1920s, he co-wrote several plays, none of which achieved much success, but he did meet Harold Freedman, head of the theater department of Brandt & Brandt Literary Agency, and worked for a time as the press agent for Broadway producer JEd Harris.

In 1927, the Theatre Guild produced his comedy, The Second Man starring Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. After a six-month run, the play toured the United States and was later staged in London with Noël Coward.

Other hits followed: Serena Blandish (1928) with Ruth Gordon; Brief Moment (1931) with Alexander Woollcott playing a small role; Biography (1932) and End of Summer (1936) both starring Ina Claire; and No Time for Comedy (1939) with Katherine Cornell and Laurence Olivier. In 1938, with fellow dramatists Maxwell Anderson, Sidney Howard, Elmer Rice and Robert E. Sherwood, he helped to create the producing organization, The Playwrights' Company.

On June 20, 1936, Behrman married to Elza Heifetz Stone, the recently divorced sister of violinist Jascha Heifetz.

During the 1930s and '40s, Behrman spent time in Hollywood writing and/or collaborating on numerous screenplays, including Anna Karenina (1935) and Waterloo Bridge (1940). He also wrote letters on behalf of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, helping them to seek entry into the United States.

Later plays include I Know My Love (1949); Fanny (1954), an adaptation of several Marcel Pagnol stories, co-written with Joshua Logan; The Cold Wind and the Warm (1958); and But For Whom Charlie (1964).

Meanwhile, Behrman continued to write short stories, essays, and criticism, and numerous biographical sketches for "The New Yorker," many of which were later published as books. He was inducted into the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1943); received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from Clark University (1949); elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1959); and appointed to the Board of Trustees of Clark University (1962).

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