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American Debut of LINDA Starts Rehearsals Today at Manhattan Theatre Club

Lynne Meadow (Artistic Director) and Barry Grove (Executive Producer) have announced full casting for Manhattan Theatre Club's American premiere of Linda, a new play by Penelope Skinner (The Ruins of Civilization at MTC, The Village Bike) directed by MTC's award-winning Artistic Director Lynne Meadow (The Assembled Parties, Wit).

The cast of Linda will feature Olivier Award winner Janie Dee (Alan Ayckbourn's Comic Potential at MTC, Hand To God in the West End) in the title role; Meghann Fahy (Next to Normal, Lost Girls at MCC) as Stevie; newcomer Molly Griggs (Carnegie Mellon University) as Amy; Jennifer Ikeda (Vietgone and Top Girls at MTC) as Alice; Maurice Jones (The Cherry Orchard at Roundabout, Troilus and Cressida at the Delacorte) as Luke; Donald Sage Mackay (stop.reset.at Signature Theatre, "Scrubs," "Modern Family") as Neil; Molly Ranson (Fish in the Dark, Bad Jews at Roundabout, Carrie at MCC) as Bridget; and John C. Vennema (The Freedom of The City at Irish Repertory Theatre, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," "Boardwalk Empire") as Dave.

Rehearsals for Linda are set to begin today, January 3. The limited engagement will now start previews Tuesday, February 7 ahead of a Tuesday, February 28 opening at MTC at New York City Center - Stage I (131 West 55th Street).

Linda Wilde (Janie Dee) has it all. She's an award-winning senior executive as well as a busy wife and mother. But when she pitches a revolutionary concept that could change the way the world looks at women of a certain age, she finds herself fighting for her own relevance as every part of her carefully considered life starts to show cracks. MTC is proud to present this timely, moving and fiercely funny new play by Penelope Skinner (last season's acclaimed The Ruins of Civilization) in the American premiere directed by MTC Artistic Director Lynne Meadow. The play was celebrated in London in its run at The Royal Court Theatre.

The creative team for Linda includes Walt Spangler (scenic design), Jennifer Von Mayrhauser (costume design), Jason Lyons (lighting design), Fitz Patton (sound design), and Ben Furey (dialect coach).

Lead support for Linda has been provided by MTC's Producing Fund Partner, Ned J. Lustbader.

Manhattan Theatre Club, under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, has become one of the country's most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over the past four and a half decades, MTC productions have earned numerous awards including six Pulitzer Prizes and 20 Tony Awards. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and two Off-Broadway theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). Renowned MTC productions include Heisenbergby Simon Stephens; The Father by Florian Zeller; Fool For Love by Sam Shepard; Airline Highway by Lisa D'Amour; Casa Valentina by Harvey Fierstein; Outside Mullingar and Doubt by John PatRick Stanley; The Commons of Pensacola by Amanda Peet; Murder Ballad by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash; Choir Boy by Tarell Alvin McCraney; The Assembled Parties by Richard Greenberg; Wit by Margaret Edson; Venus in Fur by David Ives; Good People and Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire; The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez; Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies; Ruined by Lynn Nottage; Proof by David Auburn; The Tale of the Allergist's Wife by Charles Busch; Love! Valour! Compassion! byTerrence McNally; The Piano Lesson by August Wilson; Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley; and Ain't Misbehavin', the Fats Waller musical. For more information on MTC, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Penelope Skinner (Playwright) won both of the UK's most promising playwriting prizes for her play The Village Bike which premiered at London's Royal Court Theatre and made its American debut at MCC Theater in 2014 in a critically-acclaimed production starring Greta Gerwig and directed by Sam Gold. Two of her plays received world premieres last season: The Ruins of Civilization at Manhattan Theatre Club and Linda at the Royal Court. Her other plays include Fred's Diner (Magic Theatre, ChichesterFestival Theatre), Eigengrau (Bush Theatre), and Fucked (Old Red Lion). She has written films for directors Kevin MacDonald and Susanne Bier and was a writer for several seasons on Channel 4's "Fresh Meat."

Lynne Meadow (Director/Artistic Director, Manhattan Theatre Club). As Artistic Director for over four decades, Lynne has overseen hundreds of productions and accepted every major award on behalf of the company, including 20 Tony Awards, 48 Obies and 33 Drama Desk Awards, as well as numerous Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards. Her directing credits include, most recently, Melissa Ross' Of Good Stock with Alicia Silverstone, Amanda Peet's The Commons of Pensacola with Sarah Jessica Parker and Blythe Danner, Richard Greenberg's Our Mother's Brief Affair with Linda Lavin and The Assembled Parties (Tony nomination) with Jessica Hecht and Judith Light, Margaret Edson's Wit (Tony nomination) with Cynthia Nixon, Donald Margulies' Collected Stories (Tony nomination) with Linda Lavin and Sarah Paulson, The Loman Family Picnic with Christine Baranski, Charles Busch's Our Leading Lady and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (Tony nomination) with Linda Lavin and Tony Roberts, David Greig's The American Pilot, Ron Hutchinson's Moonlight and Magnolias (MTC, ALLIANCE THEATRE), Leslie Ayvazian's Nine Armenians (Drama Desk nomination, Best Director), Alan Ayckbourn's Woman in Mind (Drama Desk nomination, Best Director) and A Small Family Business (Broadway), David Rudkin's Ashes (The Public, Obie Award), and New York premieres of plays by Marsha Norman, Simon Gray, Lee Blessing, Sybille Pearson and Israel Horowitz as well as productions for the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Spoleto Festival and the O'Neill Theatre Center. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and attended the Yale School of Drama. She has taught at a number of lauded university theatre programs including Yale, Fordham and NYU. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Mr. Abbott Award, Lucille Lortel and Lilly Award for Lifetime Achievement, Louis Auchincloss Prize, and is a 2013 Theatre Hall of Fame inductee.

Janie Dee (Linda) is one of Britain's most celebrated actresses. She most recently played Cleopatra/Beatrice in Antony and Cleopatra and Much Ado About Nothing forShakespeare At The Bowl at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles and Barbican Theatre with BBC Symphony Orchestra. Other recent West End credits include Marjorie in HandTo God at the Vaudeville Theatre, Irina in The Seagull at Open Air, Regent's Park and Ah, Wilderness! at the Young Vic, Ruth in Blithe Spirit with Angela Lansbury, NSFW at Royal Court. She also played Dolly in Hello Dolly at Curve, Leicester. Janie is the winner of multiple awards including two Olivier Awards, the Evening Standard, Critics' Circle, Obie, Theatre World Best Newcomer and TMA Theatre Award. She has had long associations with Alan Ayckbourn, Harold Pinter, Michael Frayn and Sir Peter Hall and with Shakespeare's Globe and the RSC. On screen she has recently appeared in the feature film Dare To Be Wild which opened in cinemas 2016 and Channel 4's Crashing written by Phoebe Waller Bridge. She has also played opposite Colin Firth in Harold Pinter's Celebration on Channel 4, opposite Martin Shaw in P. D. James' Death In Holy Orders and The Murder Room and as Zac Efron's mother, Mrs. Samuels, in Me And Orson Welles. For radio she has recently recorded "Words And Music" for Radio 3 with Bill Paterson. Janie next stars as Phyllis in Follies at the National Theatre opposite Imelda Staunton. Janie made her New York debut at MTC in Comic Potential and is delighted to return for Linda.

Meghann Fahy (Stevie) started her acting career on stage, but she has since expanded far beyond the theatre to a robust career in film and television. In 2010 she made her Broadway debut as the replacement for Natalie Goodman in the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning musical Next to Normal. Around this time, Fahy landed her first television role terrorizing Llanview as Hannah O'Connor on ABC's "One Life to Live." From there, her career in film and television took off, and she has starred and recurred on such series as "The Jim Gaffigan Show," "The Good Wife," "Necessary Roughness," "Political Animals," "Chicago Fire," "Gossip Girl" and played the young Betty White in the HallMark Hall of Fame movie The Lost Valentine. Other feature credits include supporting roles in the independent features Burning Bodhi, Those People and License Plates. In between her busy TV and film schedule, she was seen off-Broadway in Lost Girls at the Lucille Lortel Theater directed by Jo Bonney, as well as starring as the titular character, Samantha Brown, in the Goodspeed musical production of The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown, a new musical by Brian Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan. Most recently, Fahy wrapped the lead role in a pilot for FreeForm from Universal Television called "ISSUES," and is in theaters opposite Jessica Chastain in the John Madden directed Miss Sloane.

MOLLY GRIGGS (Amy) recently made her Off-Broadway debut in Ultimate Beauty Bible (73 Productions). She is a 2016 graduate of the Carnegie Mellon University BFA Acting and Musical Theater program. Her work at CMU included Much Ado About Nothing, The Fully Monty, and Gertrude Stein Saints, which won Best Musical at the NYC Fringe Festival. She was also the recipient of the Helen Wayne Rauh Award for Outstanding Actor at CMU. She also tours universities with a one-woman show, Steubenville, which explores rape culture in the United States through the lens of the Steubenville, OH rape case. After graduation, she filmed a supporting role in David Fincher's new series Mindhunter for Netflix and participated in the Williamstown Theater Festival.

Jennifer Ikeda (Alice). Jenny is delighted to be in the cast of Linda at MTC, where she was just seen in critical and audience favorite Vietgone, as well as James MacDonald's acclaimed revival of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls. Recent theatre credits: the world premiere of JUNK by Ayad Akhtar, directed by Doug Hughes, at La Jolla Playhouse; Revolt.She Said.Revolt Again. at Soho Rep; Charles Frances Chan Jr's Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery with NAATCO; and Macbeth with The Public Theater's Mobile Shakespeare Unit. Other NY credits include: Seascape (LCT); Love and Information (NYTW); Ping Pong, Titus Andronicus, The Bacchae, Two Noble Kinsmen, As You Like It (Public); Marie Antoinette (Soho Rep); Hamlet, Oliver Twist (TFANA); Takarazuka!!! (Clubbed Thumb). Film/TV credits include: Killing Hasselhoff (upcoming, opposite Ken Jeong and David Hasselhoff), SWING (Interpretations 2.0 winner), Advantageous (Sundance 2015 Special Jury Prize), People We Meet, Lefty Loosey ,Righty Tighty, Incoming, "Elementary," "Blindspot," "Madam Secretary," "Happyish," "Person of Interest," "Smash" (recurring). Additionally, Jenny has been seen in David Michalek's Portraits in Dramatic Time for the Lincoln Center Festival, heard on NPR's "Selected Shorts," and has recorded dozens of audiobooks (2x Audie Award Winner), including the All Soul's Trilogy, soon to be adapted for the BBC. BFA, Juilliard. @ikedamame

Maurice Jones (Luke). Broadway: The Cherry Orchard, Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar. Off Broadway: Troilus & Cressida, Pretty Hunger (Public Theater); Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout). Regional: As You Like It, Ruined, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Taming of the Shrew (Denver Center); Butler (Barrington Stage); Julius Caesar(Folger Shakespeare Library); Lives of Reason (Two River Theater); The Learned Ladies (STNJ); Richard III, Charley's Aunt, Fahrenheit 451, Topdog/Underdog, Nicholas Nickleby, Our Town (National Theatre Conservatory). Television: "30 Rock," "Conviction." Film: Winter's Tale, "And So It Goes, Romeo & Juliet. National Theatre Conservatory, MFA.

Donald Sage Mackay (Neil). Based in Los Angeles and New York, Donald Sage Mackay most recently rehearsed and toured in Ireland to Theatre Royal in Waterford and the Lyric Theatre in Belfast in the iconic role of "James Tyrone, Jr." before returning to the U.S. with the Irish cast of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon For The Misbegotten. Last fall he played the title role in Penelope Skinner's U.S. premiere of Fred's Diner at the Magic Theatre in SF and in the off-Broadway world premiere of stop.reset. at the Signature Theatre. Don's work at regional theatres throughout the U.S. includes: La Jolla Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Playhouse, Old Globe, Mark Taper Forum/Ahmanson, and multiple seasons at Utah Shakespeare. He has an extensive guest star resume on television, most recently on "Modern Family," "Masters of Sex," "Elementary" and "Blue Bloods," past recurring roles on "Scrubs," "The Practice" and "Providence," as well as previous guest stars on iconic shows such as "Law & Order: SVU," "The Good Wife," "NCIS," "Mad Men," "House," "The West Wing," "Criminal Minds," "The Shield," "Frasier," "Star Trek Enterprise," "According to Jim," "ER," "The Amazing Mrs. Novak" pilot for Warner Bros., and many others. Film credits include Transformers 2 directed by Michael Bay, Seven Pounds with Will Smith and Play The Game. Don received his MFA from UC San Diego/La Jolla, studied at the Moscow Art Theatre and is currently the Co-Artistic Director of the Aspen Fringe Festival, a non-profit theatre company based in Aspen, Colorado.

MOLLY RANSON (Bridget) recently appeared on Broadway in Larry David's Fish in the Dark. She made her Broadway debut in the Tony-winning production of August: Osage County, which she subsequently performed at the National Theatre in London (Olivier Award nomination for Best Company Performance) and the Sydney Theatre Company in Australia. She also appeared on Broadway in the Tony-nominated Jerusalem, opposite Mark Rylance. Off-Broadway credits include Roundabout's production of Bad Jews for which she was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award, the title role in MCC's production of Carrie for which she earned Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, and Drama League Award nominations, and in the Playwrights Horizons/Vineyard Theatre production of The Burnt Part Boys. Recent TV and film credits include Love on the Run and Louis C.K.'s "Horace and Pete."

John C. Vennema (Dave) played Tom in the Off-Broadway and Broadway premieres of The Ride Down Mt. Morgan by Arthur Miller. He has also been seen on Broadway in The Royal Family, Otherwise Engaged, The Elephant Man, and Racing Demon, directed by Richard Eyre. He played Larry Hastings in the Encores revival of Bells Are Ringing. Originally from Houston, Texas, John graduated from Princeton and trained at LAMDA. He toured Ireland and England in the Druid Theater production of Cripple of Inishmaan, which subsequently transferred to the Atlantic Theater, and won a Drama Desk award for Best Ensemble. At MTC he has been seen in House and Garden, In Celebration, Joined At The Head, No End Of Blame, Statements After An Arrest Under The Immorality Act, and Scenes From Soweto. He played Brutus in Julius Caesar, Ford in Merry Wives Of Windsor, and Warwick in Saint Joan at The Guthrie in Minneapolis. On film John has had principal roles in Love Comes Lately, The Producers, Marci X (on the set of which he was lucky enough to meet his wife, Alexandra Neil), The Cat's Meow, City Hall, Subway Stories, Sabrina, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Kiss Of Death, Basketball Diaries, and Separate But Equal. On television, he has recently had recurring roles on "Boardwalk Empire," "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," and "House Of Cards."



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