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TACT/The Actors Company Theatre Set for THE COCKTAIL PARTY


TACT/The Actors Company Theatre (Scott Alan Evans, Cynthia Harris and Simon Jones, Co-Artistic Directors), the critically-acclaimed company "dedicated to presenting neglected or rarely produced plays of literary merit," will conclude its 2009/10 season with The Cocktail Party, by T. S. Eliot.  Directed by TACT Co- Artistic Director Scott Alan Evans, performances begin at Theatre Row's Beckett Theatre (410West 42nd Street - between 9th & 10th Avenues) on Sunday, March 7th, 2010 at 3pm.   Opening night is Wednesday, March 17th at 7:30pm. Performances will continue through Sunday, April 10th. 

 The cast of The Cocktail Party includes TACT Company Members Mark Alhadeff, Cynthia Harris (TACT Co-Artistic Director), Simon Jones (TACT Co-Artistic Director), Jack Koenig and guest artists Jeremy Beck, Ben Beckley, Lauren English, Erika Rolfsrud and Celia Smith.
The creative team is comprised of Andrew Lieberman & Laura Jellinek (sets), DAVID TOSER (costumes), Aaron Copp (lights), Jill BC Du Boff & Daniel Kluger (sound), Joseph Trapanese (original music) and Lily Fairbanks (properties).  Meredith Dixon is Production Stage Manager.
In the brilliant, witty world of The Cocktail Party, T.S. Eliot's profound exploration of self-deception and redemption, Edward and Lavinia Chamberlayne are throwing a party at their fashionable London flat.  The guests arrive only to discover that their hostess is nowhere to be found and a rather strange man, who no one seems to know, acts right at home.  Ruthless, compassionate and funny, this "Cocktail Party" embodies the day-to-day struggles of domestic life while turning the classic 'drawing room comedy' on its head.
After its debut at the Edinburgh Festival in 1949 with Alec Guinness in the role of the unidentified guest, The Cocktail Party premiered on Broadway on January 21, 1950, at the Henry Miller's Theatre and ran for 409 performances. Produced by Gilbert Miller and directed by E. Martin Browne, the production starred Guinness as the mysterious stranger. It received the 1950 Tony Award for Best Play. The play also ran in London with Rex Harrison as the "uninvited guest." A revival opened on Broadway on October 7, 1968 at the Lyceum Theatre and ran for 44 performances. The Chamberlayne's were played by Brian Bedford and Frances Sternhagen. The production also featured Sydney Walker and Patricia Conolly. Guinness returned to the role of the "uninvited guest" at the Chichester Festival Theatre under his own direction in 1968, taking the production to London later in the year.
The Cocktail Party will have the following performance schedule: Monday, Wednesday - Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 2pm & 8pm; Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are $36.25 - $56.25 and are available 24/7 through Ticket Central or from 12noon - 8pm daily at 212-279-4200. They may also be obtained at the Theatre Row box office (410 West 42nd Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues) between 12pm and 8pm daily.
TACT/THE ACTORS COMPANY THEATRE's celebrated company of actors was drawn together in 1992 by a love of the literature of the theatre.  Since that time, they have grown to become a true ensemble: a group that has developed a common vocabulary and a technique based on their specific artistic vision and collective body of work.  TACT company members, whose cumulative experience includes scores of significant roles on and off Broadway, in the country's finest regional theatres and in many films and television shows, have received Emmy, Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards, in addition to several Tony nominations.
After presenting thirteen seasons of "in-concert" performances, the company took a leap forward with its 2006-07 season by presenting fully staged productions of David Storey's Home and The Sea by Edward Bond at The Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row. TACT became a resident company on Theatre Row with its 2007-08 season when they presented critically-acclaimed productions of The Runner Stumbles by Milan Stitt and The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, by Tennessee Williams, which The New York Times included in its "Top 10 Theatre Picks for 2008."   The company's productions of Alan Ayckbourn's Bedroom Farce and last season's Incident at Vichy by Arthur Miller and this season's The Late Christopher Bean by Sidney Howard, became instant hits and enjoyed extended runs.
T.S. Eliot (Playwright) was an American-born English poet, playwright, and literary critic, arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century. His first notable publication, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, begun in February 1910 and published in Chicago in June 1915, is regarded as a masterpiece of the modernist movement. It was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including Gerontion (1920), The Waste Land (1922), The Hollow Men (1925), Ash Wednesday (1930), Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939), and Four Quartets (1945). He is also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Cocktail Party (1949). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Order of Merit in 1948.
Scott Alan Evans (Director) is Co-Artistic and Executive Director of TACT (The Actors Company Theatre).  For seventeen years, Mr. Evans has led the company through steady growth, both artistically and financially and has directed over 60 of its productions. Among those the critically-acclaimed Off-Broadway productions of Home by David Storey, The Sea by Edward Bond, The Runner Stumbles by Milan Stitt and last season's Incident at Vichy by Arthur Miller. In May 2002, working closely with the Noel Coward Estate, Mr. Evans directed the world premiere Off-Broadway production of Noel Coward's Long Island Sound. Mr. Evans conceived, co-wrote and directed the world premiere production of The Triangle Factory Fire Project at the Clurman Theatre.  The New York Post called it "the theatre event of the season." Triangle has been published by the Dramatists Play Service and has gone on to see productions all over the country. He also wrote and directed the Off-Broadway musical of Goose! Beyond the Nursery which received three Outer Critic Circle Award nominations including Best Off-Broadway Production.  Outside of TACT, Mr. Evans has worked with many NYC companies, most recently directing a theater version of Handel's Seven Last Words with the Lincoln Center Chamber Society.

For ten years, Mr. Evans was the Artistic Director of the American Musicals Project (AMP) at The New-York Historical Society. AMP, an academic program which Mr. Evans helped devise and craft,  uses great American musicals to help NYC public middle school teachers teach social studies and English. Each spring for the past ten years, as part of AMP's public outreach, he created and directed a concert series celebrating great musical theatre writers. This series, presented at the New-York Historical Society, featured some of Broadway's top performers. 
He is member of SDC and the Dramatist Guild.
Cynthia Harris (Julia Schuttlethwaite) TACT: Co-Artistic Director, Founding Member. 39 productions with the company. Most recently, the critically acclaimed production of Alan Ayckbourn's comedy Bedroom Farce at the Beckett Theatre.   Other New York Theatre: HOME; Long Island Sound; Bad Habits; Company; Any Wednesday; Natural Affection; Romance Language; Second Avenue Rag; Cloud Nine; Jules Feiffer's Hold Me; The Beauty Part; White House Murder Case; Mystery Play; America Hurrah and The Serpent (member of the Open Theatre); Merry Wives of Windsor (NYSF); "Selected Shorts" at Symphony Space; Food for Thought Lunchtime Theatre. Regional: of The Injured Party (by Richard Greenberg, World Premier, South Coast Rep); Light Up the Sky (Williamstown); Shadow Box (Premiere - originating the role of Beverly - Mark Taper Forum); Too Much Johnson; My Mother Said I Never Should (NY Stage & Film); Scenes from American Life. Film: I Do & I Don't; The Distinguished Gentleman; Reuben, Reuben; Mannequin on the Move; Three Men and a Baby; Up the Sandbox; Isadora. Television: Rescue Me; Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman; Now and Again; Mad About You (5 seasons); Law & Order; Edward and Mrs. Simpson (BAFTA nominee for Best Actress); LA Law; Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story; Ask Me Again (PBS); Harrison - Cry of the City; Passion (adapted from Edith Warton's The Reef); the film version of An American Daughter by Wendy Wasserstein.

Simon Jones (The Uninvited Guest) TACT: Co-Artistic Director. 30 productions with the company, most recently: Waters of the Moon.  Broadway: Blithe Spirit; Waiting in the Wings; Ring Round the Moon; The Herbal Bed; The School for Scandal; Private Lives; The Real Inspector Hound/Hamlet; Getting Married; Benefactors; The Real Thing; and The 39 Steps (Voice only). Off-Broadway: Home; Long Island Sound; Passion Play; You Never Can Tell; Privates on Parade; Woman in Mind; etc. Musicals-in-Concert: Many, including: The Girl Who Came to Supper; Darling of the Day; Betting on Bertie; Anything Goes; Call Me Madam; Magdalena. Regional: At Williamstown: Quartermaine's Terms; Where's Charlie?; The Royal Family. At the Guthrie: The Home Place; Shadowlands. Also My Fair Lady (for Michigan Opera, McCarter, etc.); Hapgood (L.A.); Aren't We All? (National Tour). Radio: including: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (multiple series), and Sexton Blake, Detective series - both for the BBC. Television: Brideshead Revisited; The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; and others: from Cambridge Spies to Oz; from Cosby Mysteries to Blackadder.  Film: The Thomas Crown Affair; The Devil's Own; 12 Monkeys; Miracle on 34th Street; American Friends; Brazil; Club Paradise; Monty Python's Meaning of Life; Privates on Parade; etc. Also an award-winning audio book narrator...
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