Animus Theatre Company Announces Schedule and Final Casting For Beth Henley 12-Hour Reading Festival

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Animus Theatre Company (Jonathan Judge-Russo, Founding Artistic Director) in association with the Circle in the Square Professional Workshop, has announced the schedule and casting for its annual 12-Hour Reading Festival, which returns to Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre this Thursday, July 19, beginning at 11:00am. This year's festival, which will showcase the repertoire of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart), will feature company artists will include Haley Bond, Sara Canter, Jonathan Judge-Russo (A Rainy Day in New York, "Law & Order: SVU"), Trevor Kluckman, Alan Langdon, Brad Lemons, Amy Northup, Courtney Shaw and Karen Sours Albisua ("The Chi," "The Bridge").

The talented company artists will be joined by a myriad of guest artists* from stage and screen, including Nnamdi Asomugha (Hello My Name is Doris, Crown Heights), Juliet Brett (The Jacksonian, "Red Oaks"), Valorie Curry (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, "The Following"), Sami Gayle ("Blue Bloods," Candy Jar), Grace Gummer ("Mr. Robot," Frances Ha), Emmy Award-winner Carol Kane ("Taxi," "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"), Christine Lahti ("Chicago Hope," "The Blacklist"), Daniel London (Minority Report, "Manhattan"), Lauren Pritchard (Spring Awakening, "Stuck in the Middle"), Bill Pullman ("The Sinner," Torchwood"), Andrew Rothenberg ("The Walking Dead," Stranger Than Fiction), Wrenn Schmidt ("The Looming Tower," "Boardwalk Empire"), Paul Schneider ("Parks and Rec," Straight White Men), Cote de Pablo ("NCIS," The 33); Robert Funaro ("The Sopranos," "The Sinner"), Ahmed Best (Star Wars: Episode I, Episode II, Episode III), Michael Izquierdo ("Succession," The Wolf of Wall Street); Aaron Roman Weiner ("The Americans," The Post), Brian Wiles ("Billions," "Public Morals"), Todd Susman (The Taking of Pelham 123, "Orange is the New Black"), and Ephie Aardema (The Bridges of Madison County, Songbird). Additional casting includes Beth Applebaum, Chris Cornell, Kevin Cristaldi, Karen Eilbacher, Chris Hadgis, Jacqueline Jacobus, Adam Langdon, Terra Mackintosh, Emma Tracy Moore, Jessica Mosher, Adam Petherbridge, Jacey Powers, Leif Steinert and Peter Torgaard.

Directors will include Mark Armstrong, Gia-Rayne Harris, Noah Himmelstein, Alan Langdon, Brad Lemons, Jennifer Sandella and Arielle Sosland.
Below is the current roster of plays to be read during the festival and the current casting:

Ridiculous Fraud
11:00am - 12:30pm
Featuring Luke Wehner, Paul Schneider, Lauren Pritchard, Michael Izquierdo, Ahmed Best, Chris Cornell, Kevin Cristaldi, Jacey Powers and Jacqueline Jacobs
With direction by Mark Armstrong

Control Freaks
12:30 - 2:00pm
Featuring Terra Mackintosh, Cote de Pablo, Andy Rothenberg, Leif Steinert and Jessica Mother
With direction by Jennifer Sandella

Impossible Marriage
2:00 - 3:30pm
Featuring Adam Langdon, Haley Bond, Christine Lahti, Adam Petherbridge, Emma Tracy Moore, Peter Trojgaard, Robert Funaro and Chris Hadgis
With direction by Arielle Sosland

Crimes of the Heart
3:30 - 5:00pm
Featuring Sara Canter, Ephie Aardema, Aaron Roman Weiner, Grace Gummer, Sami Gayle, Brian Wiles and Jayson Kerr
With direction by Alan Langdon

The Debutante Ball
5:30 - 7:00pm
Featuring Carol Kane, Valorie Curry, Karen Sours Albisua, Karen Eilbacher, Todd Susman, Beth Applebaum, Trevor Kluckman and Chris Hadgis
With direction by Brad Lemons

Talk Back with Author Beth Henley
7:00 - 7:30pm

The Jacksonian
7:30pm - 9:00pm
Featuring Juliet Brett, Alan Langdon, Carol Kane, Bill Pullman, Jacqueline Jacobus and Jacey Powers
With direction by Gia-Rayne Harris

The Wake of Jamey Foster
9:00 - 11:00pm
Featuring Amy Northup, Jonathan Judge-RussoWrenn Schmidt, Nnamdi Asomugha, Christine Evangelista, Courtney Shaw, Daniel London and Leif Steinhart
With direction by Noah Himmelstein

All casting subject to change based on talent availability and schedule

This year's 12-Hour Reading Festival celebrating the work of Pulitzer Prize-winner Beth Henley, will take place at The Circle in the Square Theatre (located at 235 West 50th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue) beginning at 11:00am on Thursday, July 19. All day passes for the festival, available for a suggested donation of $30 each, are available for purchase online by visiting

Beth Henley was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Her plays have been produced internationally and translated into over ten languages. Crimes of the Heart (The Golden Theatre) and The Wake of Jamey Foster (Eugene O'Neill Theatre) were performed on Broadway. Off-Broadway productions include: The Miss Firecracker Contest, Am I Blue, The Lucky Spot, The Debutante Ball, Abundance, Impossible Marriage, and Family Week. Her play Ridiculous Fraud was produced at McCarter Theatre as well as South Coast Repertory Theatre. Ms. Henley's The Jacksonian premiered at the Geffen Theatre in January 2012 to great acclaim. Robert Falls directed and the cast included Ed Harris, Bill Pullman, Amy Madigan and Glenne Headly. It was performed Off-Broadway at The New Group.

Studio Theatre produced the world premiere of her play, LAUGH in 2015.

Ms. Henley's new play Lightening had a reading at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference, summer 2018.

Beth Henley was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play for Crimes of the Heart. Other awards include: American Theatre Wing 1998 Award for Distinguished Achievement in Playwriting Susan Smith Blackburn Finalist for Crime of the Heart and Ridiculous Fraud; Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award 2000; New York Stage and Film Honoree, 2007; ATHE Career Achievement Award, 2010: Honoree William Inge Festival, 2017. Ms. Henley has the honor of serving as Theatre Arts Presidential Professor at LMU, Los Angeles. She is a member of The Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Dramatist Guild and the Academy of Arts and Science.

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