Truvillion, Genet, And Gupton Join The Cast Of INKED BABY

Playwrights Horizons, under the leadership of Artistic Director Tim Sanford and Managing Director Leslie Marcus, has announced additional casting and complete details for the World Premiere of INKED BABY, a new play by 2007 Susan Smith Blackburn nominee Christina Anderson in her Off-Broadway playwriting debut.

Directed by Kate Whoriskey (Fabulation at Playwrights Horizons, the current Ruined at MTC), the production will begin previews on Thursday, March 5, 2009 with an Opening Night set for Monday, March 23 at 7PM. The limited engagement will run through Sunday, April 5 at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 West 42nd Street).

Joining the previously-announced Tony and Obie award winner LaChanze (The Color Purple, Dessa Rose, plus both Once on This Island and The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin at Playwrights Horizons), Obie Award winner Nikkole Salter (In the Continuum), 2-time Audelco Award nominee Angela Lewis (Hoodoo Love, Caligula) and Nana Mensah (365 Days/365 Plays), are "One Life to Live" cast member (NAACP Award nominee) and Audelco Award winner Tobias Truvillion (Best Actor in Musical for Sango with National Black Theatre), Michael Genet (Off-Broadway's A Soldier's Play and The Colored Museum, TBS' "Tyler Perry's House of Payne") and Damon Gupton (Off-Broadway's The Story, True History and Real Adventures and Treason).

Making her return to the stage for the first time since winning a 2006 Tony Award for her starring performance in The Color Purple, LaChanze has a long history with Playwrights Horizons. In 1990, she originated the leading role of Ti Moune in the musical Once on This Island at the theater company's Off-Broadway home before it transferred to Broadway. For her performance, she earned Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations and won a Theatre World Award. She also starred in the theater company's 2001 musical The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Drama Desk nomination). Her other theater credits include The Color Purple (Tony Award), Dessa Rose (Obie Award, Drama Desk nomination), Ragtime, Company and The Vagina Monologues.

In INKED BABY, stuck for money and unable to conceive, Gloria (LaChanze) enlists the aid of her sister (Angela Lewis) to make the child that she and her husband (Damon Gupton) can't. As they uneasily await the baby's arrival, a mysterious contamination spreads outside. But consumed by their own struggles, is anyone paying attention? In this imaginative, other-worldly new drama, one family fights to find its place in a neglected neighborhood.

The production will feature scenic design by Andromarche Chalfant, costume design by Kaye Voyce, lighting design by Jason Lyons and sound design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen. Production Stage Manager is Kasey Ostopchuck.

Playwrights Horizons' 2008/2009 Season is generously supported by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

Playwrights Horizons' production of INKED BABY has received generous support from The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, Time Warner Inc., The Carter Fund and the Tiger Baron Foundation. Playwrights Horizons is also supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. In addition, Playwrights Horizons receives major support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charina Endowment Fund and The Shubert Foundation.

The performance schedule for INKED BABY will be Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2 & 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2 & 7PM. Tickets are $50 and will go on sale to the general public today, Wednesday, February 4. Tickets may be purchased online via TicketCentral.com, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily), or in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues). Discounted subscriptions are still available for the remainder of the 2008/2009 Playwrights Horizons season.

A ticketing initiative created last season as part of the theater company's Arts Access program, LIVEforFIVE makes available $5 tickets for the first preview performance of each Playwrights Horizons production through a lottery via the company's website. The LIVEforFIVE lottery for INKED BABY will be for tickets to the first preview on Thursday, March 5 at 7:30 PM. Details for the lottery are as follows: beginning Wednesday, February 25 at 10 AM, theatergoers can enter the lottery by filling out an entry form at www.playwrightshorizons.org. Entries will be accepted until Monday, March 2 at 12 Noon. Winners of the lottery will be notified via email no later than 3PM on Monday, March 2 with instructions on how to book their $5 tickets. Unclaimed tickets will be offered via email starting at 12 Noon on Tuesday, March 3 on a first-come, first-served basis. One or two tickets may be purchased for $5 each. A total of 40 tickets will be available for Sharp shows via the lottery.

Reflecting Playwrights Horizons' ongoing commitment to making its productions more affordable to younger audiences, the theater company will offer HOTtix, $20 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before showtime to patrons aged 30 and under. Proof of age required. One ticket per person, per purchase. STUDENT RUSH, $15 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before curtain to full-time graduate and undergraduate students. One ticket per person, per purchase. Valid student ID required.

LIVEforFIVE, HOTtix and STUDENT RUSH are some of Playwrights Horizons' popular Arts Access initiatives, which allow the institution to reach out to those who may not be able to afford the cost of a full-price theater ticket. Playwrights Horizons is grateful to Goldman, Sachs & Co., lead sponsor of Arts Access at Playwrights Horizons. This program is also supported, in part, by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, McGraw-Hill Companies and the Elroy and Terry Krumholz Foundation.

Special Post-Performance Discussions with members of the cast and creative team will take place immediately after the following three performances: Friday evening, March 6 at 7:30 PM, Thursday evening, March 12 at 7:30 PM and Sunday matinee, March 22 at 2PM.

Following INKED BABY, the Playwrights Horizons 2008/2009 Season will conclude with the New York premiere of OUR HOUSE, a new play by Pulitzer Prize finalist Theresa Rebeck, directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer, starting previews May 15.
For subscription and ticket information to all Playwrights Horizons productions, call TICKET CENTRAL at (212) 279-4200, Noon to 8 pm daily, or purchase online at the Playwrights Horizons website at
www.playwrightshorizons.org

Christina Anderson (Playwright) was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. Her work has appeared at Ars Nova, Mark Taper Forum, The Coterie Theater, Rites and Reason, The Public Theater, Horizon Theater, and the Playwrights' Center. Awards and honors include Susan Smith Blackburn nomination (2007), Lorraine Hansberry Award (American College Theater Festival 2004), Van Lier Playwriting Fellowship (New Dramatists 2005-06), Wasserstein Prize nomination (Dramatists Guild 2006), and Lucy Lortel Fellowship (Brown University 2007). American Theater magazine selected Christina as one of fifteen up-and-coming artists "whose work will be transforming America's stages for decades to come."

Kate Whoriskey (Director) last worked at Playwrights Horizons in 2004, directing the world premiere of Lynn Nottage's Fabulation. Earlier this year she directed Oroonoko for Theatre for a New Audience and previously directed The Piano Teacher at The Vineyard. Her extensive Regional credits include the world premiere of Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel (Center Stage), the world premiere of Drowning Crow (Goodman Theatre), The Clean House (South Coast Rep), Heartbreak House and The Rose Tattoo (The Goodman), Macbeth (California Shakespeare Festival), The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (co-directed with Des McAnuff, La Jolla), Desire Under the Elms (Perseverance Theatre), Stop Kiss (Geva), The Crucible (NYU), Hedda Gabler (Oregon Shakespeare Festival) and Orpheus Descending (South Coast Rep), as well as The Lady from the Sea and The Chairs (both at Intiman). This season, she's also represented by Lynn Nottage's Ruined, which is currently playing at Manhattan Theatre Club.

LaChanze (Gloria) has a long history with Playwrights Horizons, having previously starred in the musicals Once on This Island (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations, Theatre World Award) and The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Drama Desk nomination). She won a Tony Award as Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance as Celie in The Color Purple. Her other Broadway credits include Ragtime, Company and Uptown...It's Hot! And her other Off-Broadway work includes Dessa Rose (Obie Award, Drama Desk nomination) and The Vagina Monologues. Film and Television credits include Confessions of a Shopaholic, Disney's Hercules, Leap of Faith, the CBS movie "Lucy," "Law & Order: SVU," "Sex and the City," "New York Undercover" and "The Cosby Show."
Michael Genet (Dr. Marion). Broadway credits include Lestat, A Few Good Men and Hamlet. His Off-Broadway work includes Northeast Local (Lincoln Center), A Soldiers Play (Second Stage) and The Colored Museum (The Public), and he has extensive Regional credits. He co-wrote and starred in the film She Hate Me, directed by Spike Lee. Other Film and Television credits include 25th Hour, Booty Call, Stranger Among Us, "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" (TBS), "Journey's End," "Law & Order" and "Hallelujah" (American Playhouse), which he also co-wrote.

Damon Gupton (Greer) has appeared Off-Broadway in The Story (The Public), True History and Real Adventures (Vineyard) and Treason (Perry Street). Regional work includes the title role in Othello (Heart of America Shakespeare), An American Daughter (Arena Stage) and Carter's Way (KC Repertory). Damon is also an award-winning conductor who has conducted orchestras across the country. Film and TV credits include Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Unfaithful, Charles Foster on the NBC series "Deadline," "Law & Order" and "Third Watch."

Angela Lewis (Lena). New York credits include Unconditional, Sam's Coming (Public), Sand (Women's Project), Hoodoo Love (Cherry Lane Theatre), Retrospect for Life (NYTW) and Killa Dilla (Players Theater). She's been nominated for two Audelco Awards as leading actress for Hoodoo Love and for choreographing Caligula for Classical Theatre of Harlem. She starred in History of the World at Crossroads Theatre.

Nana Mensah (Medical Assistant). Theater credits include 365 Days/365 Plays (The Public), Seating Arrangements (The Flea), Mother Courage and Her Children (NYSF), The Tempest (Public Theater Shakespeare Lab), The Grapes of Wrath (London) and Loose Knit (Actors Center).

Nikkole Salter (Ky) co-wrote and starred in In the Continuum, which had its Off-Broadway premiere at Primary Stages prior to moving to a commercial Off-Broadway run. It has since toured the U.S. and played engagements around the world. For her work on the play she earned Obie and Outer Critics Circle awards and a Helen Hayes nomination. Her many fellowships and residencies include Ojai Playwrights Conference, the McCarter Theatre and the Marian Seldes-Garson Kanin Fellowship. Her film and television credits include Pride & Glory, "The Unit," "Moesha" and hosting "L.A. Kids."

Tobias Truvillion (Odlum) joined the cast of "One Life to Live" in 2006 as sly businessman Vincent Jones, a role that has since earned him an NAACP Award nomination for Actor in a Daytime Drama Series. On stage, he won an Audelco Award as Best Actor in a Musical for the National Black Theatre production of Sango. Other stage credits include The Missing Face (New Federal Theatre), Standing Outside of the Dance (Harlem Theatre) and House on Fire (Theatre for the New City). Film and TV credits include The Tested, Brookyln's Finest, Blackout, Delirious, Hitch, "Passions," "Law & Order: SVU," "Third Watch" and ESPN's "Playmakers." A well-known runway and print model, he is the leading spokesperson for Enyce Clothing Line.

 



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