Paul Gross to Head Cast of World Premiere of ARE YOU THERE, MCPHEE? at McCarter

By: Apr. 12, 2012

Paul Gross, one of Canada's acclaimed actors, will lead the cast of Are You There, McPhee? a world premiere by John Guare at McCarter Theatre Center. Directed by Sam Buntrock, the production will run from May 4 through June 3, 2012. (Opening Night: Friday, May 11.)

Joining Mr. Gross in the cast of Are You There, McPhee? will include Gideon Banner, John Behlmann, Jeremy Bobb, Molly Camp, Patrick Carroll, Alicia Goranson, Jenn Lyon, Danny Mastrogiorgio, and Lusia Strus.

The design team is David Farley (set and costumes), Ken Billington (lighting), Jill BC Du Boff (sound), Justin Ellington (composer), Lisa Shriver (movement director and puppet consultant). The production stage manager is Cheryl Mintz with Marcy Victoria Reed as assistant stage manager.

In this new play by John Guare, a playwright is inexorably sucked into the tangle of the lives of a pair of abandoned children. An old Nantucket house, the secret of a long-dead children's book author, a group of amateur actors, a career opportunity, and a mysterious stranger collide in this whirlwind of a play. Funny and intense, McPhee moves fast and surprises with a subtle emotional touch. A McCarter Theatre Center commission.

Among his many honors, John Guare received the Obie, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and Tony nominations for House of Blue Leaves and Six Degrees of Separation, which also won the Olivier Award for Best Play. He also wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Louis Malle's Atlantic City. Mr. Guare won a Tony for his libretto to the musical Two Gentlemen of Verona and was nominated for his libretto to Sweet Smell of Success. His adaptation of His Girl Friday premiered to great acclaim at London's National Theater. In 2003, he won the PEN/Laura Pels Master Dramatist Award, the 2004 Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2005, an Obie Award for sustained excellence. He is a council member of the Dramatists Guild and co-editor of The Lincoln Center Theater Review.

Paul Gross is internationally known for his role as Constable Benton Fraser on the multi-award-winning drama Due South and received two Gemini Awards (Canada's Emmy) for his portrayal of Geoffrey Tenant in the critically acclaimed series Slings & Arrows. He wrote, directed, and starred in the feature films Passchendaele and Men with Brooms, two of the highest grossing Canadian films and winner of a combined six Genie Awards (Canada's Oscar) including Best Picture. He recently starred on TV's Eastwick, based on the movie The Witches of Eastwick. On stage, Gross has received the Dora Awards for Romeo and Juliet and Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Toward the Somme. Most recently, he was seen on Broadway opposite Kim Cattrall in Private Lives. In the fall, he will be directing and starring in Hyena Road, an Afghan war story to be shot in Kabul and Jordan.

Gideon Banner has been seen in The Four of Us at Manhattan Theatre Club and The Old Globe, Blue Man Group in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Brazil, Big Bill at Lincoln Center Williamstown, The Small at Clubbed Thumb, and others.

John Behlmann appeared in the Broadway production of Journey's End, which won a Tony Award for Best Revival. His off-Broadway credits include The 39 Steps at New World Stages, Wild Animals You Should Know at MCC Theater, and Ghosts at Pearl Theater. His film credits include Revolutionary Road, Pretty Bird. TV: The Good Wife, 3 Lbs., All My Children, Guiding Light. John is also a trained trapeze artist and Co-Artistic Director of the NYC aerial theater company Fight or Flight. He is also the national spokesman for Dairy Queen.

Jeremy Bobb was seen on Broadway in Is He Dead? and Translations. Off-Broadway credits include Richard III with Sam Mendes' Bridge Project, Cactus Flower; Shipwrecked…! at Primary Stages. Finian's Rainbow for Encores!, and others. He won a 2010 Barrymore Award for Best Actor in Becky Shaw at the Wilma Theater, and was seen on tour in The Laramie Plays with Tectonic Theatre Project. His film/TV credits include You Don't Know Jack, Boy Wonder, August, Law & Order, and Law & Order: SVU.

Molly Camp returns to McCarter following her performance in Crimes of the Heart. Her regional credits include The Lieutenant of Inishmore Berkeley Rep and Syracuse Stage, Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing, which was written and directed by James Lapine. Her other credits include The Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and New York Theatre Workshop. TV/Film The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Gossip Girl, and All My Children.

Patrick Carroll was seen on Broadway in the Manhattan Theatre Club's world premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People, directed by Daniel Sullivan. Other credits: Titus Andronicus at The Public, and A Maze, directed by Sam Buntrock, for New York Stage and Film. Patrick earned his BFA from Rutgers.

Alicia Goranson has appeared off-Broadway in Love, Loss, and What I Wore at The Westside, The Poor Itch at The Public, The Fourth Sister at The Vineyard, An Adult Evening Of Shel Silverstein at The Atlantic, Good Thing at The New Group, Cat's Paw at Soho Rep, as well as Lydie Breeze, The Trestle At Pope Lick Creek at New York Theatre Workshop, and Defying Gravity at American Place Theatre. She has been seen in The Guys opposite Jeremy Piven at the Lakeshore Theatre in Chicago, King Lear at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and Iphigenia and Other Daughters at Portland Stage Company. Her film credits include The Extra Man, Love, Ludlow, Boys Don't Cry, and How To Make An American Quilt. TV: Damages, Fringe, Law & Order: SVU, Sex and The City. Alicia originated the role of Becky Conner in the hit sitcom, Roseanne.

Jenn Lyon was seen on Broadway in The Coast of Utopia at Lincoln Center Theater. Her off-Broadway credits include Twelfth Night at St. Clements Theatre, Only 10 Minutes to Buffalo at Lincoln Center Institute, and in productions at South Coast Rep, Studio Arena Theatre, Wilma Theater, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Film/TV: All My Children, Army Wives, Louie, and currently playing Lindsey Salazar in season 3 of Justified.

Danny Mastrogiorgio was seen in the McCarter Theatre production of Wintertime. His Broadway credits include Wait Until Dark, Contact, A Steady Rain, and off-Broadway in Burning at The New Group, The Hallway Trilogy Rattlestick Theater, 10 High at EST, Roadkill Confidential at Clubbed Thumb, and others. He has also appeared in productions at Denver Center, Long Wharf, City Theater Pittsburgh, The Old Globe, St Louis Rep, KC Rep. TV: Prime Suspect, Person of Interest, White Collar, The Unusuals, numerous Law & Order's, The Sopranos, The Last Don Parts I and II, Third Watch, Spin City, and various soaps. Film: One For The Money, Fighting, Beware The Gonzo, Backseat, Sleepers, Enchanted, The Producers (The Musical), Blackbird, Dead Broke.

Lusia Strus was most recently seen in Sam Buntrock's production of Travesties at McCarter. She was seen in the Broadway productions of ENRON and Elling. Her other stage credits include The Retributionists at Playwrights Horizons, Henry IV at Chicago Shakespeare/Royal Shakespeare Company, Big Love at Goodman/BAM, Hysteria, Our Town, Whispering City, It Ain't No Fairy Tale all for Steppenwolf, and she is a member of The Neo Futurists in Chicago/New York. Her film credits include Gus Van Sant's Restless, Stir of Echoes, 50 First Dates, Miss Congeniality 2, and The Secret. Television: Modern Family, two seasons on Nickelodeon's Ned's Declassified, and the award-winning web series, Jack in a Box.

Sam Buntrock is resident director for McCarter's 2011-12 season. His McCarter production include Tom Stoppard's Travesties and Take Flight (with book by John Weidman, music by David Shire and lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr.) Other credits: Sunday in the Park With George (Broadway, West End, Menier, and 5th Avenue Seattle; five Olivier Awards including Outstanding Musical Production, Olivier nomination for Best Director, nine Tony nominations including Best Director, and a Drama Desk nomination for Best Director), Much Ado About Nothing at Two River Theatre Company, A Maze at New York Stage & Film, Cradle and All at Manhattan Theatre Club, Cradle to Rave (UK National Tour), God Collar (Edinburgh, UK National Tour, and West End), the current European tour of The Rocky Horror Show (since 2008), the first London revival of Assassins, Get a Life, and Help Yourself (both Edinburgh and UK tour). He has also worked as an animation director on numerous projects, including the feature film Stuart, A Life Backwards for Neal Street Productions, HBO, and the BBC.


Tickets for Are You There, McPhee? start as low as $20 and can be purchased online at, by phone at (609) 258-2787, or in person at 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540.

Performances are Thursday at 7:30pm; Friday and Saturday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 3:00pm, Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Additional performances will be held on Tuesdays May 8 and May 15 at 7:30pm, and Sundays May 20 and May 27 at 7:30pm.

Get the Inside Story: A free 20 minute pre-show talk led by a member of McCarter's artistic staff, will take place 45 minutes before each and every performance of Are You There, McPhee? Come get a sneak peek into how the play was developed and intriguing tidbits about the production process.

McCarter is committed to making live theater available and affordable to all members of our community. Public Rush makes unsold tickets available for half-price on the day of selected performances, and is not available in all seating locations.

Pay-What-You-Can performances will be offered on Tuesdays May 8, 15 and 29 at 7:30pm, plus Sunday, May 27 at 7:30pm. Tickets are subject to availability and must be purchased at the McCarter box office or at the door an hour prior to curtain. McCarter Theatre is located at 91 University Place, Princeton.

McCarter Theatre Center is easily accessible by car via US Route 1, Interstate 95/295, and NJ Route 206. Or take the train to McCarter: New Jersey Transit serves Princeton Junction via the Northeast Corridor Line. Then it's a ride of four minutes on New Jersey Transit's "Dinky" train to Princeton Station–McCarter is directly across the street at 91 University Place.