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New City Stage presents 'NIGHT MOTHER, Closes 7/3


New City Stage Company concludes their fifth season with the Philadelphia professional premier of Marsha Norman's heartbreaking socio-tragedy ‘Night Mother. This penetrating and poignant play will close July 3, 2011. Performances will be held at the Second Stage of the Adrienne Theater on 2030 Sansom Street. Tickets cost $18 - $24. Subscription and single ticket information is available at and by calling 215-563-7500.

This season which we've christened No Way Out deals with a deeply important topic, suicide amongst women. The odd and hilariously skewed view of Christopher Durang's Miss Witherspoon was followed by the even darker comedic sensibility of Philadelphia's own Nicky Silver in Pterodactyls. And now our season concludes with Marsha Norman's powerful and uncompromising ‘Night Mother.

Written in 1981, it is Marsha Norman's fifth play and was first produced for the stage in 1983. Among the many honors bestowed on the piece were the Pulitzer Prize and the Susan Smith Blackburn Award.

Lauded for its emotional honesty and realistic dialogue, ‘Night Mother charts the final desperate hour of a mother daughter relationship so consumed with emptiness and ennui that one of them can no longer tolerate living. The play's unflinching lack of sentimentality is what drew New City Stage artistic director Ginger Dayle to choosing this moving and highly intelligent piece to end the season.

"The data that inspired our season actually pinpointed unusually high suicide rates among Caucasian women in the city of Philadelphia. But when the time came to cast this play it seemed wrong to be exclusive when there was so much anecdotal evidence that the economic, social and familial issues at the heart of this matter affect so many women in this city, " according to Dayle. A recent survey also revealed that nearly 30 percent of New City's audience base is African-American, and the company decided that this audience needed to be served by us. "We began thinking very seriously about non-traditional casting and found great enthusiasm in the theatre community," says Dayle.

However, finding the right chemistry in an artistic team that could approach the material with sensitivity and fortitude was not an easy task. Bringing these harrowing moments to life requires a pair of actresses capable of penetrating introspection, genuine warmth and shattering emotionalism. New City is pleased to announce our talented and acclaimed cast.
Starring as daughter Jessie is Wendy Staton, one of the most exciting talents to come on to the Philadelphia scene in recent years. She blew the roof off the building with her unforgettable portrayal of Jesus Christ in this season's holiday hit Miss Witherspoon. Wendy was also in the 2010 Fringe hit Between Trains with Gas and Electric Arts, and heard in Swim Pony's Survive.

As mother Thelma we are thrilled to welcome Cathy Simpson to join us for her New City Stage debut. Her career spans decades and includes award-winning performances in St. Louis as well as here in Philadelphia. She is a Kevin Kline Award and Barrymore Award-winning actress. A long-time company member of the People's Light and Theatre Company in Malvern PA, she can currently be seen in their regional debut of Horton Foote's Dividing the Estate.

Directing the piece is REV Theatre Artistic Director Rosey Hay. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the task and has directed everything from Lanford Wilson to Shakespeare, both here and abroad. Rosey will also be directing Frank McGuinness' Carthaginians for her company at this year's Philly Fringe Festival, in addition to her duties as a faculty member at the University of the Arts.

About New City Stage Company
New City Stage Company is dedicated to presenting high quality professional theatre that engages audiences on a variety of levels; not only entertaining them but also encouraging awareness of issues relevant to the community. We draw our season from contemporary and classical works, with a special focus on including Philadelphia premiers from playwrights whose work and stories are not normally found in the region.

‘Night Mother
Written by Marsha Norman, Directed by Rosey Hay
Previews: June 9 and 10, 2011
Opening Night: Saturday, June 11, 2011
Special Industry Night performance: Monday, June 27, 2011
Closing performance: Sunday, July 3, 2011

Jessie Cates Wendy Staton
Thelma Cates Cathy Simpson*
*Denotes member of Actors' Equity Association.

Technical Crew
Sound Design Mike Kilduff
Lighting Design Matt Sharp
Set Design Cory Palmer
Costume & Prop Design Amy Chmielewski
Set Construction Jay Wojarnowski
Stage Management Anne Ketcham
Production Manager Russ Widdall
Lead Producer Ginger Dayle

Special Performances
Opening Night Reception
Saturday, June 11, 2011, Reception starts at 7 PM, Performance at 8 PM
Enjoy wine & hors d' oeuvres and party with the cast after the show.

Industry Night Performance
Monday, June 27, 2011, a great chance to mix and mingle with some of the actors and artists who make it all come alive. Industry night serves to make the show available to theatre professionals otherwise engaged in different shows throughout the city most other evenings.
New City Stage Company thanks its 2010-11 season corporate partners at Oh! Shea's Irish Pub, Marathon Grill, Qdoba, Plage Tahiti, and Symmetry Dance Wellness.

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