AN ENTOMOLOGIST'S LOVE STORY Gets World Premiere 5/12San Francisco Playhouse (Artistic Director Bill English; Producing Director Susi Damilano) announced casting for the fifth show of its 2017-18 Mainstage Season-the world premiere of An Entomologist's Love Story, written by Melissa Ross. Giovanna Sardelli will direct.

Working at the Museum of Natural History has its ups and downs for entomologists Betty and Jeff. As they research the mating rituals of bugs, they find their own complicated relationships increasingly under the microscope. An Entomologist's Love Story is a comic, edgy and explicit look at love in our times.

When playwright Melissa Ross set out to write a science-based play as part of a Sloan Commission, she was intrigued by the field of entomology. "I'd read an article in a magazine about the mating rituals of insects," said Ross, "and thought it would be great to juxtapose that with the complicated mating rituals of thirty-something New Yorkers."

The cast of An Entomologist's Love Story will feature Jessica Lynn Carroll*, Lori Prince*, Will Springhorn, Jr*., and Lucas Near-Verbrugghe*

An Entomologist's Love Story is an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award recipient. And is made possible by the generosity of Executive Producers Scott Walecka & Martha Seaver and Betty Hoener, Producers Gary & Dana Shapiro, Cynthia and David Bogolub and Associate producers Steve & Karin Chase, Kate Miller, Andy Kerr & Nancy Thompson and Artistic Sponsors Elizabeth Werter, Henry Trevor, Fred Casperson, Christine Miller and Gary Glaser.

Melissa Ross (Playwright)'s plays include Thinner Than Water, You Are Here, Do Something Pretty, The Allies, Nice Girl, Of Good Stock, and An Entomologist's Love Story. Thinner Than Water and Nice Girl were both originally produced by LAByrinth Theater Company. Thinner Than Water is included in the anthology "New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2011" by Smith and Kraus. Of Good Stock received its world premiere at South Coast Repertory as a part of the Pacific Playwrights Festival, followed by a production at Manhattan Theater Club. A Life Extra Ordinary is currently a part of the 2015/2016 season at The Gift Theatre in Chicago. Melissa has had readings and workshops with The Amoralists, The Cherry Lane Theater, Colt Coeur, Dorset Theater Festival, Iama Theater Company, The Juilliard School, LAByrinth Theater Company, LCT3, Manhattan Theater Club, Montana Rep, New York Stage and Film, The New Group, South Coast Repertory, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and the TheatreWorks Palo Alto New Works Festival. She is currently working on commissions from South Coast Repertory and Manhattan Theater Club. Melissa is a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Program at The Juilliard School, a two-time winner of the Le Comte de Nouy Prize, and is a proud member of both the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages and LAByrinth Theater Company.

Giovanna Sardelli (Director) directed the world premieres of Dead Accounts by Theresa Rebeck at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Somewhere by Matthew Lopez and the West Coast premiere of his play The Whipping Man (NAACP nomination Best Director), both at The Old Globe Theatre; world premieres of Rajiv Joseph's plays The North Pool, TheatreWorks; and Animals Out of Paper (Joe A.. Callaway Award for Outstanding Director) and All This Intimacy, both at Second Stage Theatre; The Leopard and the Fox, AlterEgo Theatre Company; and Huck & Holden, Cherry Lane Theatre. New York premiere of Lynn Rosen's Apple Cove, Women's Project; world premieres of James McLindon's Salvation, Hudson Stage Company; Christopher Wall's Dreams of the Washer King, Playwrights Realm; Lila Rose Kaplan's Wildflower, Second Stage Theatre; Zoe Kazan's Absalom, Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival; and Adriana Sevan's Taking Flight, Center Theatre Group and others. Ms. Sardelli has developed plays with The Lark, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Sundance, The Playwrights' Center and the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center among others. She spent two seasons as Director of the Shakespeare Sedona Institute and two seasons as the Artistic Director of Studio Tisch.

Founded by Bill English and Susi Damilano in 2003, San Francisco Playhouse-now in its 15th season-has been described by the New York Times as "a company that stages some of the most consistently high-quality work around," and deemed "ever adventurous" by the Bay Area News Group. Located in the heart of the Union Square Theater District, San Francisco Playhouse is the city's premier Off-Broadway company, an intimate alternative to the larger more traditional Union Square theater fare. San Francisco Playhouse provides audiences the opportunity to experience professional theater with top-notch actors and world-class design in a setting where they are close to the action. the company has received multiple awards for overall productions, acting, and design, including the SF Weekly Best Theatre Award and the Bay Guardian's Best Off-Broadway Theatre Award. KQED/NPR recently described the company: "San Francisco Playhouse is one of the few theaters in the Bay Area that has a mission that actually shows up on stage. Artistic director Bill English's commitment to empathy as a guiding philosophical and aesthetic force is admirable and by living that mission, fascinating things happen onstage." San Francisco Playhouse is committed to providing a creative home and inspiring environment where actors, directors, writers, designers, and theater lovers converge to create and experience dramatic works that celebrate the human spirit.
*Actors appear courtesy of Actors' Equity Association

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