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Matthew Arkin Heads Up George Street's SIGHT UNSEEN 1/20

George Street Playhouse begins 2009 with its production of Donald Marguiles' Sight Unseen. When first presented in 1992, the play won the OBIE Award for Best New American Play, was nominated for a Drama Desk, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. George Street Playhouse Artistic Director will helm the production, slated to run at the New Brunswick theatre January2020 - February 15, 2009. Matthew Arkin, last seen at GSP in their production of Theresa Rebeck's The Scene, leads an ensemble including Heidi Armbruster, Christopher Curry and Kathleen McNenny.

"My first season here, we presented Donald Margulies' Collected Stores with the great Uta Hagen," commented Mr. Saint. "I am so pleased to be able to produce another play by this gifted writer at the Playhouse. This profound piece is my favorite work by Donald Marguilies."

Individual tickets, priced $28-$64, as well as three-play and other packages are now available. To purchase seats, or for further information call the George Street Playhouse Box Office at 732-246-7717 or purchase online at George Street Playhouse is located at Nine Livingston Avenue, in the heart of New Brunswick's dining and entertainment district, and is easily acce ssible by car, bus or train.

The creative team for Sight Unseen includes set designer Michael Anania (Celadine, The Spitfire Grill at GSP), lighting and sound designer Christopher J. Bailey (sound design GSP's The Seafarer) and costume designer Mimi Maxmen (Broadway's The Rise of David Levitsky)

Sight Unseen is the story of Jonathan Waxman - a rock star of the modern art world. After a German critic questions his motives as a Jewish artist, he wrestles with an unexpected identity crisis. His search for himself leads him to the door of Patricia, his now-married ex-lover, and the subject of his first great painting ten years prior. Can she re-ignite the inner fire he has lost?

Donald Margulies (Playwright) was awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Dinner with Friends, which also won the Outer Critics, Lucille Lortel and Dramatists Guild/Hull-Warriner awards and was nominated for the Drama Desk award. His other plays include Two Days (Long Wharf Theatre); God of Vengeance (based on Sholem Asch's 1906 Yiddish classic; Williamstown Theatre Festival and A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle); Collected Stories (HB Studio/Lucille Lortel Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Repertory, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, L.A. Ovation Award, Drama Desk nominee, Dramatists Guild/Hull-Warriner finalist, Pulitzer Prize finalist); The Loman Family Picnic (MTC, Drama Desk nominee); What's Wrong with this Picture? (MTC, Jewish Rep, Brooks Atkinson Theatre); Found a Peanut (New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theatre); Broken Sleep; Three Plays (Williamstown Theatre Festival); July 7, 1994 (Actors Theatre of Louisville/Humana Festival); Pitching to the Star (West Bank Café). He received the 2000 Sidney Kingsley Award for outstanding achievement in the theatre by a playwright. Instructor, Yale University. Council member, Dramatists Guild of America.

David Saint (Director/ Artistic Director) Now in his eleventh season at George Street Playhouse, Artistic Director David Saint has directed twenty-five mainstage productions, most recently Jack Klugman and Paul Dooley in Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys; William Finn's landmark musical Falsettos, the film noir musical Gunmetal Blues, Inspecting Carol, the world premiere of Arthur Laurents' 2 Lives, The Last Five Years, Lend Me a Tenor, the world premiere of Charles Evered's Celadine starring Amy Irving and Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM!. Mr. Saint's time in New Brunswick has been marked by collaborations with such artists as Uta Hagen, A.R. Gurney, Arthur Laurents, George Grizzard, Chita Rivera, Eli Wallach , Frances Sternhagen, Anne Meara, Dan Lauria, Stephen Sondheim and Jack Klugman.

An ardent advocate for new work, Mr. Saint created the Next Stage Festival of New Plays at George Street where the recent Broadway hit and Tony Award-winner Proof by David Auburn was developed before moving on to Manhattan Theatre Club and Broadway, becoming the longest-running play in two decades and the most produced play in the nation during the 2002-03 season. Another success story emerging from the Festival is The Spitfire Grill, which won the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award for New American Musicals and was produced under Mr. Saint's direction at Playwrights Horizons in New York, winning Drama Desk, Drama-League and Outer Critics Circle award nominations, before becoming one of the most produced plays in the nation during the 2004-05 season, generating more than 100 productions across the country.

Mr. Saint has directed on Broadway, Off Broadway, and at most of the leading regional theatres around the country. Recent credits include serving as Associate Director to the legendary Arthur Laurents on the 50th Anniversary Broadway revival of West Side Story, A.R. Gurney's new play The Fourth Wall at Primary Stages, starring Sandy Duncan, as well as the world premiere of Mark St. Germain's The God Committee at Barrington Stage. Other regional credits include Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, McCarter Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Paper Mill Playhouse, Bay Street Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, and Seattle Repertory Theatre, where he served as Associate Artistic Director to Daniel Sullivan, directing many productions including the West Coast premiere of Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter. Other productions include two Anne Meara plays: After-Play, in New York and Los Angeles, and Down the Garden Paths, which began at George Street and moved to New York; the national tour of The Cocktail Hour, with Fritz Weaver and Elizabeth Wilson; Fame: The Musical; The Fourth Wall, with Betty Buckley and George Segal; Fourplay, with Elaine May and Gene Saks; Sons and Fathers, with Holly Hunter; and the West Coast premiere of Lend Me A Tenor, as well as world premieres by such authors as Jonathan Larson, Peter Parnell, Jonathan Marc Sherman, Aaron Sorkin, and others. Mr. Saint was recently a panelist for the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative for the Pew Charitable Trust, has taught at Bennington College, and directed the short film Celebrity. He is the recipient of the Alan Schneider Award, Helen Hayes Award, Los Angeles Drama Critics Award, and several Drama-Logue Awards.

Matthew Arkin was seen last season at GSP in Theresa Rebeck's The Scene. His Broadway credits include Losing Louie, Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys, with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, and he made his Broadway debut as Lucas in Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor, a role he continued on national tour. Other New York credits include Gabe in Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize winning Dinner with Friends (Drama Desk nomination, Drama League Honoree), Uncle Raul in A.R.Gurney's Indian Blood, Ben Hecht in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Moonlight and Magnolias, Mike in Richard Dresser's Rounding Third, Charles Busch's Off-Broadway comedy hit You Should Be So Lucky and Barbara Dana's War in Paramus at the Abingdon Theatre Company. Regional Theater: Around the World in 80 Days at the Cape Playhouse, Rounding Third at Chicago's Northlight Theatre, Talley's Folly at The Bay Street Theatre, Guys and Dolls at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theater, Sheer Boredom at The George Street Playhouse, A Thousand Clowns at American Stage Company, Lost in Yonkers and Little Footsteps, both at Pennsylvania Stage Company, Two Rooms and True West, both at Hartford Theaterworks,20East Coast Art's Theater's Self Defense, The Hartman Theater Company's Joan of Lorraine, and Sight Unseen at the Hermosa Beach Civic Theater. Film credits include hit indie Second Best, and the upcoming indies Raising Flagg, The Curse, and Bittersweet Place, as well as Margot at the Wedding, Death to Smoochy, Liar, Liar, North, An Unmarried Woman, and Chu Chu and the Philly Flash. Matthew appeared in recurring roles as Dr. Thompkins on the hit FX drama Rescue Me and as Legal Aid Attorney Paul Bernard on A&E's 100 Centre Street. Other television credits include the PBS pilot Copshop, Third Watch, Hack, The Education of Max Bickford, Ed, Law & Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, The Street, Simple Justice for PBS, Law & Order - SVU, Kojak, The Defection of Simas Kudirka and All My Children.

Heidi Armbruster is pleased to return to George Street where she was last seen as Marga in the premiere of Wendy Kessleman's "The Last Bridge." Recent New York Credits include Hillary with New Georges, Sea of Tranquility with The Atlantic, The Fifth Column and Susan and God with The Mint and Keen Company's revival of Tea and Sympathy (Drama League Nomination). Heidi played Daisy in the premiere of The Great Gatsby at The Guthrie and Seattle Rep. Regionally she has also worked with American Conservatory Theater (Goodman Choice Award for The Glass Menagerie), Baltimore Center Stage, Actors Theater of Louisville, The Folger Shakespeare Library, Barrington Stage Company, Cal Shakes and Great River Shakes. TV and Film Credits include Michael Clayton, Revolutionary Road, The Northern Kingdom, and Law & Order.

Before moving to California, Christopher Curry did a number of plays in New York - among his favorites - the Broadway productions of All My Sons (with Richard Kiley) and the Crucifer of Blood (at the Ahmanson as well), and the off-Broadway original productions of The Foreigner, Kennedy at Colonus, Strange Snow, Life Class, The Promise, and When you Comin' Back, Red Ryder (to name but a few). He has worked in regional theaters all over - i.e.the Long Wharf, Seattle Rep, Buffalo Studio Arena, Geva, Pittsburgh Public (where he worked with director David Saint). In Los Angeles he was in the West Coast premiere of Other People's Money (with Kevin Conway), and most recently with the Circus Theatricals Co. where he played Malvolio in Twelfth Night, and the lead in Shem Bitterman's which also enjoyed a recent move (and brief run in the run-up to the presidential elections) to the 45th Street Playhouse in NY.
He has guest-starred in dozens of television shows, the more recent examples being: Huff, Without a Trace, Strong Medicine, Crossing Jordan, West Wing, NYPD Blue). He has also been featured in more than twenty movies, some of his favorites having been Clint Eastwood's Flags of our Fathers, Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers, Home Alone Three, Matt Dillon's City of Ghosts, and the cult classic C.H.U.D. He lives in Venice, California with his wife Mary Portser.

Kathleen McNenny was most recently seen off-Broadway in Mind Game at the SoHo Playhouse directed by Ken Russell and starring Keith Carradine. Other selected credits include: Broadway: Coram Boy, The Constant Wife, After the Fall, A Few Good Men. Off- Broadwa y: Three Travelers, Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, The Winter's Tale. Regional: Moon for the Misbegotten (McCarter), Richard III (New Jersey Shakespeare Festival), The Good German (Westport Country Playhouse/ CT critics nomination Best Actress), Twelfth Night, As You Like It (Long Wharf), Candida Yale Rep. Skin of Our Teeth (Cal Shakespeare), Human Events (George Street Playhouse), Othello (Philadelphia Drama Guild), The Importance of Being Earnest (Huntington Theater), My Children, My Africa (Baltimore Center Stage). TV: New Amsterdam, Law & Order, original, CI and SVU, Third Watch. Pennsylvania Miners Story MOW, numerous failed pilots. FILMS: Music and Lyrics, School of Rock, Life with Mikey, It could Happen to You. Kathleen is a graduate of The Juilliard School.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an art istic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Managing Director Todd Schmidt was appointed in October 2007. Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway including Anne Meara's Down the Garden Paths, the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill and the Broadway hit and Tony® and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP's Touring Theatre features five issue-oriented productions that tour to more than 250 schools in the tri-state area, and are seen by more than 75,000 students annually.

George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Continental Airlines is the official airline of Geo rge Street Playhouse. George Street Playhouse is grateful for the generous support of their print media sponsor, The Star Ledger.

Sight Unseen
By Donald Marguilies
Directed by David Saint

With Matthew Arkin, Heidi Armbruster, Christopher Curry and Kathleen McNenny

January 20 - February 15, 2009

George Street Playhouse • 9 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick
Box Office: 732-246-7717 •

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