Leslie Ayvazian's OUT OF THE CITY to Make NJ Premiere at Passage Theatre

Passage Theatre Company, Trenton's Barrymore Award-winning theatre company, under the leadership of Artistic Director June Ballinger and Managing Director Damion Parran, opens its 2016-2017 season with Leslie Ayvazian's comedy, Out of the City.

Directed by Murphy Davis, Out of the City features Leslie Ayvazian (Nine Armenians), June Ballinger (Pack of Lies), Ken Land (Promises, Promises), and Grant Shaud (TV's Murphy Brown).

Can one kiss change the whole picture? When two married couples in their 60s take a trip to celebrate a milestone birthday, they start pondering elusive romance and what comes next. This unorthodox romantic comedy, proving that rejuvenation can be found at any age, will run from October 27-November 13, 2016.

Passage Theatre has previously presented four of Leslie Ayvazian's plays: High Dive, Rosemary and I, Lovely Day and most recently Mention My Beauty as part of last season's Solo Flights Festival. This production reunites the cast of a one-night-only performance in 2015: Ms. Ayvazian, Passage's Artistic Director June Ballinger, Ken Land, and Grant Shaud.

"We're excited to have our Artistic Director June Ballinger perform on Passage's stage once again in this lighthearted production of Out of the City, alongside playwright and actress Leslie Ayvazian," says Damion Parran, Passage's Managing Director. "This pairing, coupled with performances from Ken Land and Grant Shaud, will surely inspire humor and thought in all who see this smart comedy."

Out of the City features scenic design by Susan DeConcini, lighting design by Paul Kilsdonk, costume design by Robin Shane, and sound design by Mike "Skippy" Antoniewicz. Abbey L. Bay is production stage manager.

Leslie Ayvazian (Carol/Playwright) is the author of 8 full-length plays and seven one-act plays, published variously by Samuel French and Dramatists Play Service. Some have been included in annual anthologies of best plays. Nine Armenians won the John Gassner/Outer Critics Circle Award for best new American play, The Roger L. Stevens Award, and second place for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Rosemary and I received an honorable mention from the Susan Smith Blackburn jury. Leslie has received commissions from the Manhattan Theatre Club, Windancer Productions and South Coast Repertory Theatre. Make Me, directed by Christian Parker, was produced in New York by the Atlantic Theatre Company. High Dive was produced at the Long Wharf Theatre and the Manhattan Class Company, directed by David Warren, and went on to be produced in Poland and Slovakia. Her short film Every Three Minutes starring Olympia Dukakis was produced by Showtime and won a Telly Award. Her play Deaf Day was produced as a short film in Syria by Rana Kaz Kaz, and was included in the 2012 Palm Springs International Short Film Festival. Her latest short film, The Favor, stars Olympia Dukakis, Margaret Colin, and John Pankow. Recently, she appeared in All the Days at the McCarter Theatre, directed by Emily Mann. Leslie is an Adjunct Associate Professor of dramaturgy at the Columbia University Graduate School of the Arts. Other credits as an actress include a recurring role on Law & Order: SVU and roles on Broadway in Lost in Yonkers and Naked Girl on the Appian Way.

June Ballinger (Jill) has worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, regional theatre and television, and has performed in many new works at theatres nationwide such as New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, Primary Stages, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Kennedy Center, was a founding ensemble member of the Magic Carpet Play Company in San Francisco was in the original Broadway cast of Pack of Lies starring RoseMary Harris.She is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC since 1993, a member of NY's The Actors Center, and Artistic Director of Trenton's Passage Theatre Company since 1997. She also teaches acting to young adults and senior members of the Greater Trenton community.
Ken Land (Dan) has appeared on Broadway in Promises, Promises, The Scarlet Pimpernel (all three versions), Victor/Victoria with Julie Andrews and Liza Minnelli and How The Grinch Stole Christmas at Madison Square Garden. Off-Broadway: The Gig (Manhattan Theatre Club), Orin Scrivello, D.D.S. in Little Shop of Horrors (Orpheum Theatre), and The Death of Von Richthofen as Witnessed from Earth (Public Theater). National Tours: Professor Callahan in Legally Blonde, Oscar in Sweet Charity (directed by Bob Fosse), The Secret Garden, Evita (directed by Harold Prince) and The Scarlet Pimpernel. Ken has starred at Regional Theatres across the country: The Old Globe, Goodspeed, Portland Center Stage, Matrix Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO, The MUNY, Merrimack Repertory, Indiana Repertory, and many others. Television: The Good Wife, Boston Legal, Six Feet Under, Law & Order(S), Malcolm in the Middle, Strong Medicine, Back to Me and You, Judging Amy, The District, Crossing Jordan, and Star Trek: Voyager.

Grant Shaud's (Matt) credits include: Merrimack Regional Theatre: Out of the City. Broadway: Relatively Speaking (Three plays by Woody Allen, Elaine May & Ethan Coen); Torch Song Trilogy (Harvey Fierstein). Off Broadway/New York: Writers Block (Woody Allen), Atlantic Theater Company; The Starry Messenger (Kenneth Lonergan), The New Group; Four Dogs and a Bone (John Patrick Shanley), Manhattan Theatre Club; After Ashley (Gia Gianfriddo), Vineyard Theatre; The Favor (Leslie Ayvazian), The Ensemble Studio Theatre. Regional: Laughing Wild, (Christopher Durang), Tiffany Theatre, Los Angeles; Out, Philadelphia Theatre Company. Film: The Distinguished Gentlemen. Television: Murphy Brown; series regular on: Oliver Beene, Fox; Madigan Men with Gabriel Byrne; From the Earth to the Moon, HBO; and various guest appearances. Education: member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre (NYC).

Performances at Passage Theatre are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 3pm during the first weekend of a run, and Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 3pm and 7:30pm, and Sunday at 3pm during the second and third weekends. Tickets are $20 - $33 ($38 Saturday night). Student, group and senior discounts available. To purchase tickets call (609) 392-0766, or visit www.passagetheatre.org. The Mill Hill Playhouse is located at 205 E. Front Street, at the corner of Montgomery Street in Trenton, NJ. Free guarded on-street parking.

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