PTC presents World Premiere of /i/ by Jeff Talbott

PTC presents World Premiere of /i/ by Jeff Talbott

Pioneer Theatre Company presents the World Premiere of i by Jeff Talbott. The new play was featured in our 2016-2017 Play-by-Play new play reading season and will take the main stage Friday, Feb. 16 through Saturday, March 3, 2018.

Sarah has had a rough time, but things are looking up. She has a new doctor and she's met a nice guy named Jake - but is Jake a nice guy? And what did that doctor do?

i is a mysterious love story about the threads that bind us together, set a few days after tomorrow.

"Having the opportunity to produce the World Premiere of a new play is one of the most exciting things we do at Pioneer Theatre," said PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg. "By supporting not only the development of new American plays, but giving those plays a full production, we are part of the future of theatre in America. It is a tremendous honor, a tremendous challenge, and a responsibility we take very seriously."

"When I read i, I knew instantly that it was a play I wanted to bring to our stage and share with our audiences."

Equity actors COLLEEN BAUM, Todd Gearhart, Kathleen McElfresh and NAFEESA MONROEcomprise the cast.

Kathleen McElfresh plays Sarah Cooper in her PTC premiere. In New York, she has appeared on Broadway in Present Laughter and Off-Broadway in productions of Taking Care of Baby, Greek Holiday, The Frugal Repast and Jester's Dead. She has also performed regionally for theatres like Studio Theatre, Hartford Stage and The Old Globe, and in television and film.

Todd Gearhart returns to PTC to play Jake Bellamy after reading the part last year and playing C.K. Dexter Haven in the 2013 main stage production of The Philadelphia Story. Based in New York, he has performed on Broadway in Bye, Bye Birdie and at other New York theatres such asLincoln Center Theater, Cherry Lane and Manhattan Theatre Club. He has also worked regionally and in television and film.

COLLEEN BAUM plays Virginia Cooper and returns after reading the part last year. Baum has appeared in numerous PTC productions, including last season's Oliver!, as well as Much Ado About Nothing, Our Town, The Heiress, Lost in Yonkers and You Can't Take It With You. Other Salt Lake credits include work with The Sting & Honey Company, Caine Lyric Repertory Company, Plan-B Theatre Company and Salt Lake Acting Company.

Nafeesa Monroe makes her PTC debut as Beth Denton and others. Elsewhere in the country, she has appeared in Romeo and Juliet, The Wedding Gift, To Kill a Mockingbird, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Mother Courage and Love's Labour's Lost. She is also a poet and has been seen on HBO's "Def Poetry."

Playwright Jeff Talbott has worked with PTC as an actor and playwright. Previous to last season's reading of i, his play A Public Education was read as part of the 2013-2014 Play-by-Play season and he appeared on stage in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Odd Couple and Doubt. As a playwright, his plays have been produced off-Broadway at theatres like MCC Theater and TACT and have been workshopped with theatres across the country. He writes musicals with composer Will Van Dyke, and they are currently working on a musical commissioned by Grove Entertainment and Barbara Whitman Productions called The Circle.

Pioneer Theatre Company Artistic Director Karen Azenberg directs this production. Azenberg is in her sixth year as Artistic Director and directed the regional premiere of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to open the 2017-2018 season. Last season, she directed Sting's The Last Ship, Oliver!, Women in Jeopardy! and Chess. Originally from New York, Azenberg's work there includes Lyrics and Lyricists (92nd St. Y), Blocks (a collaboration with Jonathan Larson), Prom Queens Unchained and choreography for Richard Greenberg's The Dazzle (Roundabout).

Paul Tate DePoo III returns as scenic designer after designing One Man, Two Guvnors. His other credits include Sweeney Todd, Lady Day, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Bengal Tiger, Follies and Anything Goes as a Broadway associate designer, as well as numerous regional credits. He is a member of Lincoln Center's Directors Lab and United Scenic Artists, and was titled Live Design Magazine's "Designer to Watch."

Gregory Gale designed costumes for PTC productions of The Last Ship and Cowgirls. His work has received multiple Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations, and his credits include Cyrano de Bergerac, Rock of Ages, Urinetown and La Rondine. Upcoming, he will design for the film Blinded by Ed and the World Premiere of An American Soldier.

JAX MESSENGER is the production's lighting designer and has lit for numerous companies, including The Philadelphia Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Bard Summerscape, The Washington Ballet and The San Francisco Opera.

Will Van Dyke composes original music for i. Currently the music supervisor for Pretty Woman: The Musical on Broadway, Van Dyke recently served as the music director of Kinky Boots. He has worked with Talbott on a number of projects, including Imagine Henry, Wintersong, Seven Broken Hearts and the upcoming The Circle.

Hair and makeup design is by PTC Resident Hair and Makeup Designer AMANDA FRENCH; sound design is by PTC Resident Sound Designer KATE WECKER.

Photo: L-R: Nafeesa Monroe (Beth Denton and others), Kathleen McElfresh (Sarah Cooper), Todd Gearhart (Jake Bellamy) and Colleen Baum (Virginia Cooper)

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