Cast Announced for Resonance Ensemble's R.U.R. and THE TRUTH QUOTIENT, Jan-Feb 2013


Resonance Ensemble has announced the cast for their 10th anniversary season "Connecting Circuits" featuring two shows in rep, a classic play and new play with resonating themes. This season includes the classic 1920 play R.U.R. by Karel ?apek, adapted by Lee Eric Shackleford, directed by Valentina Fratti in rep with THE TRUTH QUOTIENT, by award-winning playwright Richard Manley, directed By Eric Parness. The season will run from January 9 - February 2, 2013 at Theatre Row's Beckett Theatre (410 West 42 Street). Tickets are $19.25 (includes a $1.25 facilities fee) and can be purchased through Telecharge by calling (212) 239-6200 or at

R.U.R. by Karel ?apek, adapted by Lee Eric Shackleford, directed by Valentina Fratti
Begins performances Wednesday, January 9 at 2PM; Opens Sunday, January 13 through February 2, 2013.

Karel ?apek's classic R.U.R. originated the word "robot," and for nearly a hundred years, the play has been considered a classic, translated into every major language on the face of the planet. The plot is centered on a factory that makes artificial beings used in the service of humans. While at first these "robots" seem content with their function as domestic servants, a hostile rebellion soon arises that threatens the very existence of the human race. Lee Eric Shackleford's adaptation brings the play's characters, language, and themes into a modern vernacular while remaining as faithful as possible to ?apek's intentions and vision. R.U.R. was first seen in NYC in 1922 where it ran on Broadway for 184 performances and featured Spencer Tracy and Pat O'Brien as robots in their Broadway debuts. It has rarely been produced in New York since.

The R.U.R cast includes: Kevin Bernard (B'way: Billy Elliot, Curtains Oklahoma!, Thoroughly Modern Millie); Mac Brydon ( TV: "Lipstick Jungle" Stage: Order, Macbeth); Christine Bullen (The Jazz Singer, The Ventriloquist Circle. Film: The Conservatory); Tyler Caffall (Merchant of Venice); Chris Ceraso (Film: Coach of the Year. TV: "Law & Order". Resonance Ensemble's Master Builder); Matt W. Cody (Both Your Houses, RINO, Film: Blood Slaughter Massacre); Jane Cortney (House of Mirth, Twelfth Night); Charlotte Hampden (Saturn's Children, Irish Ghost Stories, Booth); Meg Heus ("The Big C," "Ugly Betty"); Brad Makarowski (Both Your Houses, Film: Me You & the Road); Sean Philips (Accept "Except" LGBT NY); Corey Tazmania (Oliver Twist, Housewives of Mannheim); James Ware (Resonance Ensemble's The Cherry Orchard).

THE TRUTH QUOTIENT, by Richard Manley, directed by Eric Parness. Begins performances Wednesday, January 9 at 8PM; Opens Sunday, January 13 through February 2, 2013.

THE TRUTH QUOTIENT takes place a few years from now, in a foreseeable future, when overcoming loneliness and feeling loved are no less of a challenge, but technology offers more solutions to those who can afford them. David is a wealthy entrepreneur who, despite great business successes, feels something is missing in his life. To ameliorate this nagging emptiness, he turns to a new company called Nureál, which promises real companionship from artificial beings. THE TRUTH QUOTIENT has already received significant attention and accolades, winning the Ashland New Play Festival, and being named a finalist for the STAGE International Script Competition, Reverie Productions' Next Generation Playwriting Contest, the Woodward/Newman Award, and the Dayton Playhouse FutureFest.

THE TRUTH QUOTIENT cast includes: Jarel Davidow (Taking a Chance on America – The Bela Lugosi Immigration Story. Of Mice and Men Film: Fillmore Lights, New Detroit); Angelina Fiordellisi (B'way: Zorba. TV: "Thunder Alley"); Meredith Howard (TV: "I Married a Mobster" Stage: RINO); Mark Peters (Sheba, Amahl and the Night Visitors); Shaun Bennet Wilson (Advance Man, Shakespeare's Slave Film: Pieces of Cake); Maxwell Zener (Film: Jim. Stage: The Importance of Being Earnest, Strange Bedfellows).

Designers for the productions include: Jen Varbalow (Scenic Design), Sidney Shannon (Costume Design/The Truth Quotient), Brooke Cohen (Costume Design/R.U.R.), Pamela Kupper (Lighting Design), Nick Moore (Composer/Sound Design), Jennifer Murphy (Props Master), Dan Renkin (Fight Director/R.U.R.), Dustin Canez (Assistant Director/R.U.R.) Claire Kiechel (Dramaturg/R.U.R.),Joe Doran and Philip W. Sandstrom (Production Managers), Sean McCain (Stage Manager/The Truth Quotient), Emily Goforth (Stage Manager/R.U.R.).

Performances schedule: Tuesday at 7PM; Wednesday – Friday at 8PM; Saturday at 2PM & 8PM;
Sunday at 2PM & 7PM (see below for specific shows). Tickets are $19.25 (includes a $1.25 facilities fee) and can be purchased at Telecharge by phone 212.239.6200 or by visiting For more information about Resonance Ensemble, visit


KAREL ?APEK (playwright, R.U.R.) was a Czech novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and essayist born in 1890. ?apek's earliest works of fiction are the short stories "The Luminous Depths," "The Garden of Krakonoš," and "Money and Other Stories." Other later work, such as The Absolute at Large, An Atomic Phantasy and The War with the Newts follow in the tradition of R.U.R. and demonstrate the dangers of technological advances. Other plays by ?apek include The Fateful Game of Love, The Insect Play, Power and Glory, and The Mother. ?apek died of pneumonia in 1938.

LEE ERIC SHACKLEFORD (adapter, R.U.R.) is a writer for stage, screen, and radio with more than 150 produced scripts to his credit. He is an Assistant Professor and Resident Playwright for the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he also writes scripts for the university's popular "Bookends" series, which tours Alabama presenting stage adaptations of classic works such as Tom Sawyer and The Thousand and One Nights. Television writing credits include penning stories for "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and scripts for the Sci-Fi Channel. He was also Head Writer of the radio soap opera "Bodylove" and its sequel "Keeping Up with the Walkers." Other stage plays include Holmes & Watson (which was produced off-Broadway with Lee in the role of Sherlock Holmes), mayfliesfast, and various one-acts.

RICHARD MANLEY (playwright, The Truth Quotient) After two decades of success as a copywriter and advertising executive, Richard Manley started a second career writing stage plays, which he has been doing full time for the past five years. Pulling from many years' worth of personal journals, he rediscovered his passion for the sound of the language and its potential to entertain and provoke and inspire. When he returned to the States from a sabbatical in Paris six years ago, he sold his business and structured a lifestyle that would allow him to write stage plays full-time. His plays (and awards) include: The Truth Quotient (Winner of the John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award and the Ashland New Play Festival); Life is Mostly Straws (Winner of the Pillars Playwriting Prize, Todd McNerney National Playwriting Award, and the Long Beach Playhouse New Works Festival); Quietus (part of the 2011 TRU Play Reading Series and finalist for the Reva Shiner Playwriting Contest); An Ignorant Man (Winner of the W. Keith Hedrick Award and Brevard New Play Competition,), Even the Wee Waves (Winner of the Oglebay Institute's Towngate Prize); as well as award-winning one-act plays including Thank Emily, Witlacks, Apparently Not, and Chew Toy Research.

Eric Parness (director, The Truth Quotient) is the Artistic Director of Resonance Ensemble, where he has directed productions of Sophocles' Antigone, Maxim Gorky's The Lower Depths, Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, Ibsen's The Master Builder, and the world premieres of Strange Bedfellows by Bruce Cohen, La Tempestad by Larry Loebell, The Mail Order Bride by Charles L. Mee, Sherlock Solo by Victor Cahn, What Happened Then by Michael Feingold, 23 Knives by Christopher Boal, and Shakespeare's Slave by Steven Fechter. Other New York directing credits include Rachel Reiner Productions' Embraceable Me, Jean Cocteau Repertory's Crazy for the Dog, Oberon Theatre Ensemble's The Winter's Tale, Of Mice and Men, Measure for Measure, and The Starship Astrov, Hypothetical Theatre Company's Kryptonite City, and Boomerang Theatre Company's Blood Wedding. He has directed regional theatre for the Blumenthal Center in Charlotte, NC, Curtain Call Theatre in Latham, NY, and The Home Made Theater in Saratoga Springs, NY, as well as educational theatre for Marist College, Stern College and Brandeis University. Eric is a graduate of Brandeis University, a Directing MFA Candidate at Brooklyn College (2014) and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater's Directors Lab..

Valentina Fratti (director, R.U.R.) most recently directed the NY reading of They Promised Her the Moon by Laurel Ollstein featuring John Cullum, Jenn Colella, Randy Graff, and Reed Birney. Last Spring she directed Alberto Bassetti's American premiere of Two Brothers at Theatre for the New City. She has directed the award winning solo musical Howling Hilda starring Mary Testa, Anne Berlin & Andrew Bleckner. With Berlin and Bleckner The Pigeon Boys at NYMF; with Berlin and Andy Cohen The Green Manifesto (FringeNYC) Pocket Change, Love Stinks (SPF at The Public); Mark William's The Other Day at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity; Ginna Carter's Traffic School with Elaine Stritch. Jeff Daniels' Apartment 3A. Other credits include: Young Playwrights Festivals (2003, 2004 and 2006) at the Cherry Lane Alternative and the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Playwrights Horizons. At the Miranda Theater Co, which she co founded and where served as Artistic Director for 12 years, she directed The Book of Wren, Innocent Thoughts, Prostitutki and Near Normal. Writing credits include The Male Appetite, Unearthed, and Shooting Medea. Valentina works with Jane Harmon Associates, independent producer. She was the associate producer of the Broadway production of Alfred Uhry's The Last Night of Ballyhoo, (TONY Award, Best Play) and is on faculty at The New School for Drama.

RESONANCE ENSEMBLE's (Producer) goal is to weave a thread between the theatre's past, present, and future. We explore how classic plays by writers such as Euripides, Shakespeare, Molière, Chekhov, and Williams remain relevant and vibrant across countless eras and cultures, and endeavor to create new work in their spirit. By learning from and paying tribute to history's master dramatists, we strive to craft new theatre that is just as timeless and universal. To accomplish this goal, we invite the playwright to join the director in the exploration and interpretation of classic plays. We challenge writers to study their predecessors in order to create new work that resonates today. We are not interested in direct adaptations, but rather innovative new work that evolves from preexisting material. The process culminates with a production of the new play in repertory with the classic that inspired it.

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