Classic Stage Company Presents Sarah Ruhl's ORLANDO, Opens 9/8

By: Aug. 04, 2010

Classic Stage Company presents the New York premiere of Sarah Ruhl's ORLANDO, adapted from the work of Virgina Woolf and directed by Rebecca Taichman. Performances begin September 8, 2010.

Classic Stage Company (CSC), under the leadership of Artistic Director Brian Kulick and Executive Director Jessica R. Jenen, will begin its 44th season with the New York premiere of ORLANDO, written by Pulitzer & Tony nominated playwright Sarah Ruhl (In the Next Room, Clean House), adapted from the work of Virginia Woolf, directed by Rebecca Taichman, with choreography by Annie-B Parson. ORLANDO will play a limited engagement at CSC (136 East 13th Street) from Wednesday, September 8 through Sunday, October 17. The official press opening is scheduled for Thursday, September 23 at 7pm.

Meet Virginia Woolf's Orlando, your typical Elizabethan Man: a favorite of the Queen, madly in love with a Russian Princess, fleeing an Archduchess and waking up one fine day in Constantinople to find he has become, of all things, a woman. She survives the 19th and 20th Centuries grappling with what it means to live fully in the present, in our own skin, in our own gender, and in our own time.

The cast of ORLANDO features Annika Boras (Sasha), Francesca Faridany (Orlando), Gibson Frazier (Marmaduke), David Greenspan (Queen Elizabeth), Tom Nelis (Sea Captain) and Howard Overshown (Othello). The creative team for ORLANDO includes set design by Allen Moyer, costumes by Anita Yavich, lighting by Christopher Akerlind, and Original Music & Sound Design By Christian Frederickson & Ryan Rumery.

ORLANDO will perform Tuesdays through Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $60 for weekday performances and $65 for weekends. For tickets and information, visit or call (866) 811-4111, or (212) 352-3101, or visit the CSC box office at 136 East 13th Street, Monday through Friday
12 pm to 6 pm.

Now in its 44th year as one of New York's most exciting theatres, Classic Stage Company is the award-winning Off-Broadway theatre committed to re-imagining the classical repertory for a contemporary American audience. Led by Artistic Director Brian Kulick and Executive Director Jessica R. Jenen, they recently presented David Ives' highly acclaimed Venus In Fur, directed by Walter Bobbie as well as Ostrovsky's The Forest, adapted by Kathleen Tolan, starring Dianne Wiest and John Douglas Thompson, and directed by Brian Kulick. In the previous season the company presented three sold-out acclaimed productions: Shakespeare's The Tempest, starring Mandy Patinkin; Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, starring Denis O'Hare, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard; and Anne Carson's An Oresteia. Recent productions: critically acclaimed sold-out runs of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, starring Dianne Wiest and Alan Cumming; the world premiere of David Ives' New Jerusalem, directed by Walter Bobbie; Hamlet, Richard II, and Richard III starring Michael Cumpsty and directed by Brian Kulick; and Zoe Caldwell in Yasmina Reza's A Spanish Play, directed by John Turturro.

CSC presents plays from the past that speak directly to the issues of today. As we return to works of the past, we endeavor to keep a clear eye on the future, particularly in terms of the next generation of artists and audiences. Founded in 1967, CSC has received wide recognition for its significant contributions to theatre as an art form through productions of classic plays, translations and adaptations and a long-standing commitment to the identification and nurturing of leading and emerging artists. Classic Stage's artists are the finest established and emerging theater practitioners working in this country. Highly respected and widely regarded as a major force in New York and American theatre, Classic Stage has been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards: Obies, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and the 1999 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work. Memberships to Classic Stage Company productions are available at various price levels, including the flexible MasterPass membership, which in addition to prime seats entitles members to participate in CSC special series, including their sold-out Open Rehearsal events. For more information on Classic Stage Company visit the theatre's website at


Sarah Ruhl (Playwright). Sarah Ruhl's plays include In The Next Room (or the vibrator play), Tony-nominated this year for Best Play; The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2005; Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004); Passion Play, a cycle (Pen American Award, Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center); Dead Man's Cell Phone (Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play); Melancholy Play; Demeter in the City (nine NAACP Image Award nominations); Eurydice; Orlando; and Late: a cowboy song. Her plays have premiered at Lincoln Center Theater, the Goodman Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Cornerstone Theater, Madison Repertory Theatre and the Piven Theatre Workshop, and have been produced across the country. Her plays have also been produced internationally and translated into Polish, Russian, Spanish, Norwegian, Korean, German and Arabic. Originally from Chicago, Ms. Ruhl received her MFA from Brown University, where she studied with PaulaVogel. In 2003, she was the recipient of the Helen Merrill Emerging Playwrights Award and the Whiting Writers' Award. She is a member of 13P and New Dramatists and won the MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. She is a recent recipient of the PEN Center Award for a mid-career playwright.

Rebecca Taichman (Director). Off-Broadway: Theresa Rebeck's The Scene, starring Tony Shalhoub and Patricia Heaton (Second Stage); Menopausal Gentleman (Obie Award). Regional: Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew (The Shakespeare Theatre); premiere of David Adjmi's The Evildoers (Yale Rep; Sundance Theater Lab); premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone (Woolly Mammoth, Helen Hayes nomination); premiere of Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius (The Huntington, IRNE and Elliot Norton Awards); premiere of The Scene (Humana); Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House (Woolly Mammoth, 2006 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Resident Play); Elise Thoron's Green Violin, starring Raul Esparza (2003 Barrymore for Outstanding Direction), among others. Yale School of Drama graduate.

Annie-B Parson (Choreographer) founded Big Dance Theater in 1991 with Paul Lazar and Molly Hickok. Big Dance Theater has presented work at CSC, including An Oresteia, Don Juan Comes Back from the War, Simple Heart, and Antigone (by Mac Wellman). The Company has toured nationally and internationally, and has received an Obie Award in 2000, a Bessie Award in 2002, and the first ever Creativity Award from Jacobs Pillow in 2007. Their most recent Big Dance is Comme Toujours Here I Stand. Most recently, Ms. Parson created dances for David Byrne for his world tour; she directed and choreographed for the string quartet ETHEL at the Winter Garden, and made a new work for the dance company The Othershore at Baryshnikov Arts Center. Ms. Parson received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007. Her choreography was named Best Ten choreographies 2008 by Dance Magazine.

Anita Yavich (Costume Design). Regional: Being Alive (Philadelphia Theatre Company), Peach Blossom Fan (Walt Disney Concert Center) Snow in June (American Repertory Theatre). Broadway: Anna in the Tropics. New York: New Jerusalem, Venus in Fur (Classic Stage Company); Iphigenia 2.0 (Signature Theatre); The Wooden Breeks (MCC Theater); Measure For Pleasure, Kit Marlowe, The Winter's Tale, Civil Sex, Pericles (The Public Theatre); Orphan of Chao (Lincoln Center Theater); Coriolanus, Svejk (Theatre for a New Audience). Other credits: Dance: Caravansari, Orfeo (Ballet Hispanico); Peel (David Parsons Dance). Awards: 2006 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Design.

Allen Moyer (Set Design) has designed sets for numerous theater, opera, and ballet productions. His Broadway credits include Thurgood, Little Dog Laughed, The Constant Wife, and Twelve Angry Men. His set design for the Off-Broadway production of Grey Gardens was nominated for a Drama Desk Award, and his sets for the Broadway run were nominated for a Tony Award. Other Off-Broadway productions include Well, Lobby Hero, and This Is Our Youth.

Christopher Akerlind (Lighting Design). Broadway: Top Girls; 110 in the Shade (Tony nomination); Shining City; Well; Awake and Sing! (Tony nomination); Rabbit Hole; A Touch of the Poet; In My Life; The Light in the Piazza (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics awards); Reckless; The Tale of the Allergist's Wife; Seven Guitars (Tony nomination); Philadelphia, Here I Come!; The Piano Lesson, among others. Recent: Kafenion (Athens Festival), Garden of Earthly Delights (Minetta Lane), Orpheus X (Edinburgh and Hong Kong festivals), Kaos (NYTW). Recipient, Obie for Sustained Excellence.

Annika Boras (Sasha) returns to Classic Stage having played Elektra two seasons ago in An Oresteia (Drama League nomination). Her recent stage work includes Ernest In Love (Irish Rep.); Chair (Theatre for a New Audience); The Importance of Being Earnest, Annie in The Miracle Worker (Paper Mill Playhouse) and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (American Repertory Theater). Television includes "Lights Out" (recurring), "Rescue Me," "Ugly Betty," "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order," "CSI: NY." Annika is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and NYU, Steinhart.

Francesca Faridany (Orlando) appeared on Broadway in the productions of The 39 Steps and The Homecoming. Off-Broadway: The Stronger, with Marthe Keller. Regionally, she performed the title role in her adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler's Fräulein Else (Sundance Theatre Lab, Berkeley Rep., La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf, McCarter). Additional credits include: As You Like It (Rosalind; Shakespeare Theatre Co., Old Globe); Agamemnon (Getty Villa) opposite Tyne Daly; Japes (Bay Street); Don Juan (McCarter, Seattle Rep., Old Globe, Shakespeare Theatre Co.); Much Ado About Nothing (Beatrice; Berkeley Rep.); Design for Living (McCarter); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Titania; Huntington Theatre). Film/TV: Conceiving Ada, "ER," "Deadline," "Law & Order," "L&O: SVU."

Gibson Frazier (Marmaduke)) has performed Off-Broadway in Telephone (Cherry Lane Theatre), God's Ear (Vineyard), The Internationalist (Vineyard), Heddatron (Les Freres Corbusier) and Eat the Taste (Barrow Street Theatre). Regional credits include: Quiver & Twitch (NY Stage & Film), Gone Missing (The Civilians), Rough Crossing (Coconut Grove Playhouse). He co-wrote, produced and starred in the film Man of the Century, which won the Audience Award at the Slamdance Film Festival in 1999 and was later cited by the National Board of Review for Excellence in Independent Filmmaking. Film/TV: Yellow (also writer/director), The Illusion, The Bliss Virus, "Law & Order" (also SVU & Criminal Intent); "Ed," "Titus." Gibson is an Associate Artist of The Civilians and Clubbed Thumb.

David Greenspan (Queen Elizabeth) is a New York-based actor and playwright. Credits include The Metal Children (Vineyard), Rescue Me (Ma-Yi), The Royal Family (MTC), Coraline (MCC), Cornbury (Theatre Askew), Beebo Brinker Chronicles (Hourglass), The Wax (Playwrights Horizons), Saved or Destroyed (Rattlestick), Lipstick Traces (Foundry), High Life and Second-hand Smoke (Primary Stages) and Richard Foreman's Benita Canova. He has received two performance Obies: one for Terrence McNally's Some Men (Second Stage) and Goethe's Faust (Target Margin), another for The Boys in the Band. His plays include Jack, Principia, The Home Show Pieces and 2 Samuel 11, Etc. (Home), Dead Mother (Public), She Stoops to Comedy (Playwrights Horizons, Obie), The Argument (Target Margin, Obie), The Myopia (Foundry), and Coraline (in collaboration with Stephin Merritt). Guggenheim, Lortel fellowships, Alpert Award and an Obie for Sustained Acheivement.

Tom Nelis (Sea Captain). Broadway: Enron, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, Aida. Off-Broadway: Iphigenia 2.0, Hot 'n' Throbbing (Signature Theatre Co.); The Seven (New York Theatre Workshop); Score, The Medium (Obie Award; NYTW/SITI Co.); Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (Minetta Lane Theatre); Road Show, Henry VI, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice, Henry IV: Part 1 & 2, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (Public Theater); Hot Mouth (MTC); Doris to Darlene (Playwrights Horizons). Additional NY credits: Lilith (City Opera), Laurie Anderson's Songs and Stories from Moby Dick (BAM, world tour), Pearls for Pigs (Ontological-Hysteric Theater, world tour). Regional: Wintertime (La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre); The Sisters Rosensweig (Old Globe); Compleat Female Stage Beauty (Philadelphia Theatre Co.);

Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Macbeth (La Jolla Playhouse). Founding member of SITI Co. Education: MFA, University of California, San Diego.

Howard W. Overshown (Othello). New York: Julius Caesar w/ Denzel Washington, YellowMan -MTC, Blue- Roundabout, Beauty On The Vine-Epic Theatre Company, Never The Sinner-John Houseman Theatre. Regional: Radio Golf-Milwaukee Rep, Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick)- Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Death of a Salesman w/ Charles Dutton-Yale Rep, Passion Play The Cycle-Arena Stage, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead-Center Stage, ART-Two River Theatre, Hamlet (Horatio)-Shakespeare & Company. Film/TV: 13 (NYR), Pride and Glory, Body of Lies, Dead Canaries, Kings, Law & Order, SVU, Criminal Intent, Guiding Light, All My children, New Amsterdam, Conviction.

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