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Pioneer Theatre Company Presents the World Premiere of ASS

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The actors who were originally cast for the 2020 production are returning, as well as most of the design team.

Pioneer Theatre Company Presents the World Premiere of ASS

The world premiere of Ass, a comedy by successful playwright and screenwriter Ellen Simon, will finally open at Pioneer Theatre Company on October 22 and will run through November 6, 2021. Its original 2020 world premiere was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tickets for this production can be purchased by calling 801-581-6961 or by visiting pioneertheatre.org.

Ass, which began its life at PTC as a Play-by-Play reading in 2018, tells the story of a brilliant sculptor of world renown who is confronted by his son and his ninth wife as he deals with his own mortality. It is a witty and engaging look at a family who can't help but behave badly.

"Our audiences enjoyed the development of the script for Ass during its Play-by-Play reading. It was gratifying to watch this production come full circle with Ellen, which is also why it was so devastating to watch it get shut down before opening night in March 2020," said PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg who is also set to direct this production.

"We're thrilled to finally see this play take the stage and to witness our lifelong relationship, growing up together backstage in New York, coming around full circle as well."

Playwright Ellen Simon wrote the screenplays for One Fine Day and Moonlight and Valentino, and worked on the script for the successful box-office movie How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. Her plays have been performed as part of the Duke Broadway Preview series, at Stages Repertory Theatre, and at Pasadena Playhouse. She also wrote for the TV series "thirtysomething."

"It's destined that Karen and I would end up in theatre," said Simon. "We had a front row seat to our fathers' (Broadway producer Manny Azenberg and playwright Neil Simon) friendship and to their professional collaboration, influencing our careers in theatre. We're excited to continue this partnership as second-generation collaborators."

The actors who were originally cast for the 2020 production are returning, as well as most of the design team. A major set piece for Ass, a warehouse portal designed by scenic designer Jo Winiarski, has been sitting on the stage for the past 560 days since production shut down, and was even incorporated into PTC's 2021 season opener Ain't Misbehavin'.

Azenberg explained, "It was my desire to share with our audience what our theatre looked like over the 19 months they were not with us, that beautiful industrial portal was there waiting for our return, and so keeping it as part of the design was a gentle nod to the journey we all made."


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