Kennedy Center Announces Additional Casting for MASTER CLASS
The Kennedy Center today announced additional casting for Terrence McNally's Master Class. Joining the previously announced Tyne Daly as Maria Callas is Jeremy Cohen as Manny, Laquita Mitchell as Second Soprano (Sharon), Ta'u Pupu'a as Tenor (Tony), and Alexandra Silber as First Soprano (Sophie). Master Class will run March 25 - April 18, 2010 in the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater and will be directed by Stephen Wadsworth. The production is part of Terrence McNally's Nights at the Opera, a five-week event featuring three of Terrence McNally's plays performed concurrently on three Kennedy Center stages. The official press opening for Master Class will take place April 1, 2010 in the Eisenhower Theater.
Master Class is Terrence McNally's homage to Maria Callas, world-renowned American-born Greek soprano. Inspired by a series of master classes she conducted at Juilliard, the play depicts the opera diva as she retreats into recollections about the glories, triumphs, and tragedies of her own life and career.
Emmy and Tony Award® winning actress Tyne Daly is best known for her work on TV's "Cagney and Lacey" and her performance as Rose in the 1989 Gypsy Broadway revival. She was also Tony®-nominated for her most recent appearance on Broadway in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole. Her other New York theater appearances include The Butter and Egg Man (NY debut), Mystery School (OCC nomination), and The Seagull. Regional theater credits include She Loves Me, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Queen Of The Stardust Ballroom, Private Ear/Public Eye, Oliver, The Birthday Party, Three Sisters and Come Back Little Sheba (LA Drama Logue Award). Ms. Daly last appeared at the Kennedy Center in the pre-Broadway engagement of Gypsy in 1989.
A native of New York, Jeremy Cohen is thrilled to make his Kennedy Center debut in Master Class. Other credits include West Bank, UK (La Mama, E.T.C.), Maccabeat (NY Music Theatre Festival), Avenue X (Alliance Theatre), The Good War (Northlight Theatre), Fire on the Bayou (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre & Delaware Theatre Company), Grafton City Blues (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre), Sisters of Swing (Pennsylvania Centre Stage), and The Last Five Years (Syndicate Productions). His film credits include 3 Words About New York and Hell's Gate. He is the composer of The Bowery Boys (Marriott Theatre), a 2009 Chicago Jeff Award Nominee for "Best New Work" and is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Soprano Laquita Mitchell was last heard in summer 2009 in her San Francisco Opera debut in the role of Bess in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Also last season, Ms. Mitchell made her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Clara in Porgy and Bess and the Cio-Cio San cover in Madama Butterfly, under Sir Andrew Davis. Additionally, she took part in the world premiere of composer Steven Stucky's August 4, 1964 with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Her recent engagements include Musetta in La Bohème in a return to the Los Angeles Opera; Leonora in Il Trovatore with Nashville Opera; Clara in Porgy and Bess with the Opéra Comique in Paris and on tour in Caen and Granada, Spain; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Florentine Opera and Portland Opera; Micaëla in Carmen with New York City Opera and the former Opera Pacific; and Clara in Porgy and Bess with Los Angeles Opera and Washington National Opera. In concert, she sang Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Louisville Orchestra.
Tenor Ta'u Pupu'a was born on the South Pacific's Polynesian island of Tonga. He attended Weber State University on a football scholarship while pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree, during which time he was "discovered" by Bill Belichick and drafted to the NFL to the Cleveland Browns and on to the Baltimore Ravens. After sustaining an injury, he changed career direction to follow his first passion - opera. In the 2008-09 Mr. Pupu'a was accepted into the prestigious Juilliard Opera Center where he took part in their November Triple Bill under the baton of James Conlon. In February he sang major highlights of La Bohème and Madama Butterfly with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in conjunction with the Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia. In April he sang Dr. Caius in Juilliard Opera Center's spring production of Falstaff under the baton of Keri-Lynn Wilson and directed by Stephen Wadsworth. In the summer Mr. Pupu'a traveled to Tuscany, Italy to undertake an intensive language training course before participating in the George Solti /Kiri Te Kanawa Bel Canto Academy and the Cautauqua Music Institution in New York.
Alexandra Silber most recently completed a West End run and UK National Tour portraying Julie Jordan in Carousel at the Savoy Theatre (TMA Award - Best Actress) and reprised the role in January 2009 for Los Angeles' Reprise Theatre Company. She made her West End debut in 2005 playing Laura Fairlie in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Woman in White, followed by her portrayal of Hodel in The Sheffield Crucible's celebrated production of Fiddler on the Roof as well as its subsequent West End transfer. Regionally she has performed in The Balkans are Not Dead, godeatgod, San Diego (all for Tron Theatre, Glasgow). Her film and television work include 1408 and Law & Order. She trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.
Playwright Terrence McNally has received four Tony Awards®, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, the Lucille Lortel Award, the Hull-Warriner Award, and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He won an Emmy Award for his television film Andre's Mother in 1990. A year later, he returned to writing for the stage with Lips Together, Teeth Apart. In 1992, Mr. McNally collaborated with John Kander and Fred Ebb on the script for the 1993 Tony Award®-winning musical Kiss of the Spider Woman, as well as on the script for the musical The Rink. Additionally, in collaboration with Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, he wrote the book for the musical Ragtime for which he won the 1998 Tony Award® for Best Book of a Musical. His other plays include Love! Valour! Compassion! in 1994, Corpus Christi in 1997, and the play and screen adaptation of Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune.
Stephen Wadsworth's theater projects include Aeschylus' Oresteia trilogy (Berkeley Rep), a much-traveled trilogy of Marivaux plays in his own translations (originating at the McCarter in Princeton and published by Smith and Kraus), the world premieres of Anna Deavere Smith's Let Me Down Easy (Long Wharf) and Beth Henley's Impossible Marriage (Roundabout), a new version of Molière's Don Juan (Shakespeare Theatre, Seattle Rep, Old Globe), and the Aeschylus Agamemnon with Tyne Daly at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles. He has directed opera at La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera, among many other companies, including Seattle Opera, where his famous production of Wagner's Ring cycle played again this summer. He wrote the opera A Quiet Place with Leonard Bernstein (co-commissioned by the Kennedy Center, where he directed it 25 years ago).
The original production of Master Class premiered at the John Golden Theatre on November 5, 1995 and ran for 598 performances. The production won three Tony Awards® including Best Play, Best Actress in a Play, and Best Featured Actress in a Play. Prior to its run on Broadway, Master Class starring Zoe Caldwell and Audra MacDonald appeared at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater from September 14, 1995 - October 22, 1995.
Terrence McNally's Nights at the Opera is a five-week event featuring three of Terrence McNally's plays performed concurrently on three Kennedy Center stages. Master Class directed by Stephen Wadsworth will star Tyne Daly and run March 25 to April 18, 2010 in the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. The Lisbon Traviata directed by Christopher Ashley will run March 20 to April 11, 2010 in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Golden Age, a new play directed by Austin Pendleton, co-produced with Philadelphia Theatre Company and part of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, will run March 12 to April 4, 2010 in the Kennedy Center Family Theater. Two moderated discussions will take place in the Family Theater as part of the Kennedy Center's Explore the Arts Series. "In Conversation: Terrence McNally" takes place on March 15, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. and features the playwright in a discussion moderated by Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser. "Masters of McNally" takes place on March 22, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. and features actors Zoe Caldwell, Audra McDonald, and Richard Thomas in a moderated discussion.
Performances of Master Class will run March 25 - April 18, 2010 in the Eisenhower Theater. Tickets range from $25-$80 and are on sale at the Kennedy Center box office, by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600, or online. Patrons living outside the Washington metropolitan area may dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324 or visit our website at www.kennedy-center.org.
Theater at the Kennedy Center is presented with the generous support of
Stephen and Christine Schwarzman.