McCarter Closes 2018-2019 Theater Series With David Hare's SKYLIGHT, Directed By Emily Mann
On a bitterly cold London evening, schoolteacher Kyra Hollis (Mahira Kakkar) receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant (Greg Wood), a successful and charismatic restaurateur. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship with food and wine, only to find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires.
David Hare's Skylight has been celebrated as a searing story of past loves, ever-present politics, and future hopes. Winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play and an Olivier Award for Best Play, Skylight was originally produced at the National Theatre in 1995, before transferring to runs on the West End and Broadway. It has been hailed critically, being called "luminously beautiful and wildly truthful." by The New York Post.
About the production, Director Emily Mann said "Writer to writer, I greatly admire David's crystalline writing. Though I knew David quite well in the 1980s, I have never before directed one of his plays. Skylight is a love story that simultaneously asks tough questions about the politics of the day. Always managing to keep the love story in the foreground and the politics deeply imbedded in the on-stage tension between the lovers, David Hare created his finest play."
The cast for Skylight features the return of Mahira Kakkar (McCarter's productions of Christopher Durang's Miss Witherspoon and Rachel Bonds' Five Mile Lake), and Greg Wood (Ebenezer Scrooge in McCarter's A Christmas Carol); and welcomes the McCarter debut of Zane Pais (Dead Poets Society at Classic Stage Company).The design team for Skylight includes scenic design by Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt, whose incredible work has been showcased on McCarter stages previously with Murder on the Orient Express, Turning Off the Morning News, and Stones In His Pockets. He is joined by costume designer Montana Levi Blanco (Fabulation and In the Blood for Signature Theatre), lighting designer Jason Lyons (numerous Broadway credits including Hand to God and On the Town), sound designer and composer Pornchanok (Nok) Kanchanabanca (many regional credits including Cymbeline at Yale Rep.), and wig designer Carissa Thorlakson (McCarter's recent production of Ken Ludwig's The Gods of Comedy). Casting for this production of Skylight is provided by Caparelliotis Casting. About Playwright David Hare
David Hare has been called "one of the great post-war British playwrights." First co-founding Portable Theatre Company and Joint Stock Theatre Group, he served as Resident Dramatist at London's Royal Court Theatre and Resident Dramatist at the Nottingham Playhouse. His first play, Slag, was performed at Hampstead Theatre Club in 1970. Subsequent works include Knuckle, Fanshen, Plenty, Pravda: A Fleet Street Comedy, The Secret Rapture, Skylight, Amy's View, and The Judas Kiss. He has been Associate Director of the National Theatre since 1984, and was knighted in 1998. About Director Emily Mann
Emily Mann is in her 29th season as Artistic Director and Resident Playwright. Her nearly 50 McCarter directing credits include productions by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Ibsen, and Williams and the recent world premieres of Turning Off the Morning News; Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express; Baby Doll; Five Mile Lake; The Convert; The How and the Why; Miss Witherspoon; and Me, Myself & I. Broadway: A Streetcar Named Desire, Anna in the Tropics, Execution of Justice, Having Our Say. Her plays: Having Our Say, adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth; Execution of Justice; Still Life; Annulla, An Autobiography; Greensboro (A Requiem); Meshugah; Mrs. Packard, and Hoodwinked (a Primer on Radical Islamism). Her new play Gloria: A Life about the legacy of Gloria Steinem has just finished its run off-Broadway at The Daryl Roth Theater Adaptations: Baby Doll, Scenes from a Marriage, Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, A Seagull in the Hamptons, The House of Bernarda Alba, Antigone. Currently in development: The Pianist. Awards include: Peabody, Hull Warriner, NAACP, Obie's, Guggenheim; Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations; a Princeton University Honorary Doctorate of Arts; a Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwrights' Award; and the Margo Jones Award given to a "citizen-of-the-theater who has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to the encouragement of The Living Theater everywhere." Cast and Creative Team Bios
Mahira Kakkar (Kyra Hollis) Selected theater: Five Mike Lake and Miss Witherspoon with Emily Mann at McCarter; Arturo Ui (CSC); Henry VI (NAATCO); The Winter's Tale (TFANA); Monsoon Wedding with Mira Nair; Vanya, Sonia...with Christopher Durang; Clive with Ethan Hawke. Film/TV: Hank and Asha (Slamdance favorite, Best actress Napa Film Festival, Best actress Wild Rose Film Festival), Hechki, New Amsterdam, Orange is the New Black, Bite Me, Friends From College, Law & Order, Louie, Odd Mom Out, Blacklist, Blue Bloods, The Big C. Training: Juilliard. Member of EST and The Actors Center. Website: mahirakakkar.comZane Pais (Edward Sergeant) was born and raised in the East Village in New York City. His NYC theater credits include Mercury Fur at The New Group and Dead Poets Society at Classic Stage Company. He was recently on an episode of HBO's Room 104, directed by Lila Neugebauer. Film: Minyan (upcoming), Margot at the Wedding. Greg Wood (Tom Sergeant) is absolutely thrilled to be working with Emily Mann on this production. Recent credits include Mr. Shears in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime at the Walnut St. Theatre, Charlie in The Bridges of Madison County for the Philadelphia Theatre Co., Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol here at McCarter, Da in Once with the Arden Theatre Co., and Malvolio in Twelfth Night at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. Film and television credits include, The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Happening, The Lovely Bones, Soul Harvest, The Killing of Emmett Young, A Gentlemen's Game, How To Get Away With Murder, Law & Order, Ed, Hack, and Homicide. Beowulf Boritt (Set Design) McCarter: Murder On The Orient Express, Turning Off The Morning News, Stones In His Pockets. Broadway: Act One (Tony Award), The Scottsboro Boys (Tony Nomination), Therese Raquin (Tony Nomination), Come From Away, Be More Chill, The New One, Bernhardt/Hamlet, Meteor Shower, A Bronx Tale, Prince of Broadway, Hand To God, Grace, Sondheim On Sondheim, ...Spelling Bee , LoveMusik, Rock Of Ages, Chaplin, Bronx Bombers, The Two and Only. Broadway Revivals: On The Town, Sunday in the Park... Off-Broadway: 100 shows including The Last Five Years, 20th Century Blues, and Miss Julie. He has designed for The NYC Ballet and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and around the world in England, Russia, China, Australia, and Japan. 2007 OBIE Award for sustained excellence.Montana Levi Blanco (Costume Design) McCarter Premiere. Off-Broadway: Daddy (New Group); He Brought Her Heart Back In a Box (TFANA, Obie); The Death of the Last Black Man; Fabulation and In The Blood (Signature Theatre); Fairview and Is God Is (Soho Rep); The House That Will Not Sstand, Red Speedo, and Nat Turner in Jerusalem (NYTW); Pipeline (Lincoln Center); Ghost Light and War (LCT3); Eddie & Dave (Atlantic); The Last Match (Roundabout); O, Earth (Foundry). Training: Oberlin College & Conservatory of Music, Brown University, and the Yale School of Drama. montanaleviblanco.com Jason Lyons (Lighting Design) Broadway: Hand to God, On the Town, Bronx Bombers, Let It Be, Bring It On: The Musical, Rock of Ages, The Threepenny Opera, Barefoot in the Park, and Good Vibrations. Recent: Clueless, The Musical (The New Group); Mamma Mia (TUTS); Sugar In Our Wounds (MTC); The Honeymooners (Papermill); Romy & Michele's High School Reunion (5th Ave); Born For This (Arena Stage); Kings, Dry Powder, Barbecue (The Public Theatre); Familiar, Robin Hood, Red Velvet, Macbeth, and Love Labors Lost (The Old Globe). Awards: Jeff, Helen Hayes, and Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Lighting Design jasonlyonsdesign.com Pornchanok (Nok) Kanchanabanca (Sound Design and Composition) is a Thai artist, sound designer, musician, and composer. Recent productions include Cymbeline (Yale Rep), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Steppenwolf), As you Like it (OSF), Be Here Now (Cincinnati Playhouse) Frontières sans Frontières (The Bushwick Starr). Nok has worked with theatre companies across the United States including Lincoln Center, Rattlestick, Montana Shakespeare in the Park, Geva Theatre, and Milwaukee Repertory Theater, among many others. She has also collaborated with performing groups and theatre companies in Thailand including B-Floor Theatre, Babymime, Crescent Moon, and Democrazy Theatre Studio since 2008. Nok graduated from the Yale School of Drama and is a member of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA). www.wishnok-music.com Carissa Thorlakson (Wig Design) is a New Jersey-based wig and makeup designer. She has recently designed Grand Hotel and Little Rock off-Broadway. She is currently in her fifth season with McCarter, where her design work includes Ken Ludwig's The Gods of Comedy, A Christmas Carol (2013-2018), Simpatico, The Mousetrap, and All the Days. She has designed for Temple University, Olney Theatre Center, the University of Delaware Resident Ensemble Players, The Princeton Festival, American Repertory Ballet, and the NewArts group in Newtown, CN. She has served as a wig and makeup artist at Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, The Kennedy Center, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, and Round House Theatre. Carissa also designs and builds custom wigs and facial hair for Cosplay and film and teaches classes in wigs and makeup. You can find her at CThorwigs.com and @wigician. About McCarter Theatre Center
McCarter Theatre Center Under the leadership of award-winning playwright and Artistic Director Emily Mann, Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, and Special Programming Director William W. Lockwood, McCarter's mission is to create world-class theater and present the finest artists for the engagement, education, and entertainment of the community. Winner of the 1994 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, world premieres include Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2013 Tony - Best Play); Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays; Emily Mann's Having Our Say; and Danai Gurira's The Convert. McCarter brings artists from around the world to Princeton, New Jersey including Ahmad Jamal, Rhiannon Giddens, and more. Education and outreach efforts serve tens of thousands through student matinees, in-school residencies, and adult classes. More at mccarter.org.