AUSTIN, Starring Thomas G. Waites & James McCaffrey, Opens Tonight at Theatre Row

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The Off-Broadway premiere of Elda Cusick's new play, Austin, will open tonight, August 4th, at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues). Ed Setrakian directs a cast that stars Thomas G. Waites ("OZ"), James McCaffrey ("Rescue Me"), Rochelle Boström, AJ Cedeño, and Michaela Waites. Austin will play a limited run through September 10th only.

Performances. which are at The Lion Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenues), are Wednesday through Friday evenings at 8pm; Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm; and Sunday matinees at 3pm. Tickets are $59.50 and may be purchased by visiting or calling 212/239-6200. The performance runs 90 minutes without an intermission.

In Austin, two brothers discover what the hell of Hell's Kitchen really is. Austin, a recovering alcoholic, wants his family back. He lives in his childhood room in the family brownstone filled with ruthless memories and sad ghosts along with his younger brother in Hell's Kitchen. Their world quickly turns upside down with the arrival of a young counselor from Austin's rehab, who comes to help Austin create a garden in the neglected back yard.

Thomas G. Waites plays Austin Cassidy. His film and TV credits include Pity The Poor Soldier, The Warriors, ...And Justice for All, The Thing (1982), "All My Children," "Kojak," "Miami Vice," "The Equalizer." Theatre credits include: On The Yard, Richard III opposite Al Pacino, Forty Deuce, American Buffalo, Teaneck Tanzi (a musical where Tom sang with Deborah Harry of Blondie fame), Clifford Odets's Paradise Lost with Geraldine Page and Awake and Sing, and Search and Destroy. He opened TGW Acting Studio in 2000 and his school continues to thrive today. He has coached such actors as Alfred Molina, Vinnie Pastore, Vinessa Shaw, Tim Guinee, Oliver Hudson and Jamie Harris, among many others. TGW Acting Studio was named the top school to study acting in NYC by Backstage in 2015. Tom directs and produces Off-Off Broadway plays at his studio. Upon returning to NY, he directed the Off-Broadway hit, Six Goumbas and a Wannabe. Since returning to NYC he has landed guest roles in "Law and Order" (4 times), "Law and Order Criminal Intent" (twice) and starred on the soap opera "One Life to Live" as Decker. Waites played Henry Stanton on "Oz" for 4 seasons. Tom directed Joe Montegna and Frances Fisher in the short film Pandora's Box for which he won Best Director in the Atlantic City Film Festival.

James McCaffrey plays Martin Cassidy. He is best known as Cousin Jimmy Keefe in the FX SeriesRescue Me, Revenge (ABC), Viper (NBC), as Mac Swift in the Dick Wolf series Swift Justice and as the voice of Max Payne in the video game series. Films credits include The Truth About Cats and Dogs, American Splendor, andCompliance. Theatre credits include The Florentine, Lovers and Madmen, Gross Points, The Basket Weaver, and In Ten Cities at The Workhouse Theatre where he was a co-founder and partner. James is also a member of the Actor's Studio (since 1987). James can be seen in the upcoming film Blind with Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore.

Rochelle Boström (who plays Petra Fairchild-Cassidy) studied theatre at the prestigious Mason Gross School of the Arts and after graduation, joined the Workhouse Theatre Company in Tribeca, NY where she contributed to several productions including the critically acclaimed In Ten Cities. TV acting credits include Law and Order: SVU and Damages, opposite Dylan Baker and Glenn Close. Film credits include Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, The Adderall Diaries and the upcoming thriller, Bloodletting. Rochelle is the Jury Chairwoman for the Nordic International Film Festival held in NYC.

AJ Cedeño's (Andy Valdez) Off-Broadway credits include Incident At Vichy (Signature Theatre). NY Theatre: Strawberry & Chocolate (US Premiere), The Radiant (Red Fern Theatre), March Madness (Abingdon Theatre). Regional Theatre credits include A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre - 2 Seasons), Inherit the Wind, Huck Finn,Emma, Angels in America (Cleveland Playhouse); Shakespeare's R&J (Edinburgh Fringe, Scotland; International Shakespeare Festival, Germany). TV: "Z"/recurring, "Royal Pains"/recurring, "I Shudder" (pilot), "Manhattan Love Story," "Members Only" (pilot), "The Good Wife," "Elementary," "Smash," "One Life To Live." Film roles include Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List, Someone Else.

Michaela Waites (who plays Pandora Cassidy) received a BA in English Literature from New York University in 2015 and has studied acting at TGW Acting Studio ever since she can remember. She currently lives in Manhattan where she works at The Smile, writes freelance, and justifies the rest as research for a forthcoming novel.

Playwright Elda Cusick, a native New Yorker, is a painter and writer from a long line of theatre folk. Her great grandfather Joseph Frankau was an actor, and her grandmother, Aline Bernstein, was an acclaimed costume and set designer on and off Broadway. Austin was developed in the Writers Bloc, a group of which Edla Cusick is a founding member; at the Playwrights and Directors Unit of The Actors Studio, and at New Jersey Rep in Long Branch, NJ. Her other plays are Midnight Lunch (about Mrs. Bernstein's liaison with the writer Thomas Wolfe); Put Down (a divorce, a great apartment, a sudden death); and Bergen County Breakdown (a family copes with disintegrating circumstances). All were developed at The Actors Studio PDU and the Writers Bloc. Austin is her first full production. A graduate of Bryn Mawr, Ms. Cusick studied painting with Daniel Dickerson at the Arts Students League, where she is a lifetime member. She is married, with two grown children, and lives with her husband in Hell's Kitchen.

Director Ed Setrakian has a long career as an Off-Broadway and regional theatre director. For two years he was the recipient of Ford and Rockefeller Grants as director of the La Mama Ensemble. Among the experimental plays directed there are Stimulation and Having Fun in the Bathroom by Leonard Melfi. Homo and the Queen of Greece by Rochelle Owens, Myth or Maybe Meth, the musical MacDougal Street and others. Off-Broadway he directed Easy Money starring Danny Aiello, My Father's House starring Henderson Forsythe, the musical Madam Bovary, There/This/Move, The Wound of Love and others. He directed several productions at The Actors Studio including The Memoirs of Pontius Pilate and Exceptional People in Formal Attire. Among his regional credits are the musicals Molly's Dream, by Irene Mara Fornes and Finian's Rainbow. He wrote and directed the documentary The Growth of our Children. He is a lifetime acting member of The Actors Studio and longtime member of the Studio's playwright and director's unit. Currently he moderates the directors/playwrights workshop for The Actors Studio MFA program at Pace University.

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Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

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