Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' APPROPRIATE to Play Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival, 3/5-4/7
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by BWW News Desk
Artistic Director Les Waters and Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein have announced the world premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Appropriate, directed by Gary Griffin, appearing as part of the 37th Humana Festival of New American Plays. Appropriate begins previews on March 5, opens March 7 and runs through April 7.
When the Lafayettes descend upon a crumbling Arkansan plantation to liquidate their dead patriarch's estate, his three adult children collide over clutter, debt, and a contentious family history. But after a disturbing discovery surfaces among their father's possessions, the reunion takes a turn for the explosive, unleashing a series of crackling surprises and confrontations. A play about the trouble with inheritance, memory loss, and the art of repression.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkinsis a Brooklyn-based playwright and dramaturg. His play Neighbors was developed and produced at The Public Theater's LAB, with subsequent productions at The Matrix Theatre Company, Company One in Boston and Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis. His other work has been seen at The Vineyard Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, PS122, Soho Rep, Theater Bielefeld in Bielefeld, Germany and The National Theatre in London. His playwriting awards include the Princess Grace Award, the Paula Vogel Award and the Helen Merrill Award. Jacobs-Jenkins was recently named a resident playwright at The Signature Theatre.
Gary Griffin is Associate Artistic Director of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and is making his Actors Theatre debut. He has directed at McCarter Theatre, Old Globe, Alliance and Hartford Stage, and his Broadway credits include The Color Purple and The Apple Tree.
The cast includes JorDan Baker (Antoinette "Toni" Lafayette) who is making her Humana Festival debut and whose Broadway credits include Suddenly,Last Summer. David Rosenblatt (Rhys Thurston) is also making his debut in this year's Humana Festival and his recent New York credits include Bekah Brunstetter's Miss Lilly Gets Boned and Boo Killebrew's The Play About My Dad. Larry Bull (Beauregarde "Bo" Lafayette) is returning to Actors Theatre where he recently performed in A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story and The Mystery of Irma Vep. Amy Lynn Stewart (Rachael Lafayette-Kremer) has appeared in several regional theater and Off-Broadway productions including Fallen Angels, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Emilie's Voltaire. Lilli Stein (Cassidy "Cassie" Lafayette-Kramer) is making her regional theater debut. Her New York theater credits include Territories and Lovesong of the Electric Bear. Gabe Weible (Ainsley Lafayette-Kramer) is returning to Actors after playing Randy in all four productions of A Christmas Story. Reese Madigan (François "Franz/Frank" Lafayette) has appeared in regional theater and his Broadway credits include Abe Lincoln in Illinois and Holiday. Natalie Kuhn (Trisha Rayner) has appeared in regional theater and off-broadway as well as co-starring in Person of Interest on CBS.
The production team includes Antje Ellermann (Scenic Designer) who recently designed Long Day's Journey Into Night at Actors Theatre of Louisville and Connie Furr-Soloman (Costume Designer) who has designed more than 300 productions including Maple and Vine, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, At The Vanishing Point, After Ashley, How We Got On, Eat your Heart Out, Macbeth and Greater Tuna at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Matt Frey(Lighting Designer) is returning to Actors after working on Long Day's Journey Into Night. Bray Poor (Sound Designer) is returning to Actors Theatre after serving as sound designer for the 2003 and 2004 Humana Festivals. Also returning is Philip Allgeier (Media Designer) whose most recent Actors credits include Romeo and Juliet, The Hour of Feeling and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity.
This year's Humana Festival of New American Plays showcases six full-length plays: The Delling Shore by Sam Marks; Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins; Cry Old Kingdom by Jeff Augustin; Gnit by Will Eno; O Guru Guru Guru, or why I don't want to go to yoga class with you by Mallery Avidon; Sleep Rock Thy Brain, a play by Rinne Groff, Lucas Hnath and Anne Washburn commissioned by Actors Theatre and featuring the Acting Apprentice Company; and an evening of three ten-minute plays by Jonathan Josephson, Sarah Ruhl and Emily Schwend.
Actors Theatre celebrates the 37th Humana Festival with underwriter the Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Humana, Inc. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Single tickets and festival packages are now available. For more information or reservations call (502) 584-1205 or 1-800-4-ATL-TIX, or visit Actors Theatre's website at ActorsTheatre.org.
Humana Festival Locals Passes are available to Louisville area residents for only $75. The Locals Pass enables you to see five festival productions. Humana Pass holders receive 5 Extra Seat Passes for The Delling Shore, Cry Old Kingdom, Appropriate, Gnit, and the Ten-Minute Plays. Humana Pass holders also receive 50% off any additional tickets to the festival, priority placement in the Extra Seat Pass Line and 2 additional vouchers good for any public panel discussion.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a Brooklyn-based playwright and dramaturg. His work has been seen at The Public Theater, The Vineyard Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, PS122, Soho Rep, Mixed Blood Theatre, The Matrix Theatre, Theater Bielefeld in Bielefeld, Germany and The National Theatre in London, and he is working on commissions from Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 and Yale Repertory Theatre. He is a former New York Theatre Workshop Playwriting Fellow, and an alumnus of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and The Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group. His honors include a Princess Grace Award, a Paula Vogel Award, a Helen Merrill Award, the Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellowship, and a fellowship in playwriting from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He was recently named a resident playwright at The Signature Theatre.
Gary Griffin is making his Actors Theatre debut. As Associate Artistic Director of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre: Sunday in the Park with George, Follies, As You Like it, Private Lives, Amadeus. Also work at McCarter Theatre, Old Globe, Alliance, Hartford Stage. Broadway: The Color Purple and The Apple Tree. Off-Broadway: City Center Encores; Saved, Playwrights Horizons; Beautiful Thing, Cherry Lane. London: Pacific Overtures, Donmar Warehouse (Olivier Award, Outstanding Musical Production). Lyric Opera Chicago: The Merry Widow, The Mikado. Stratford Festival of Canada: West Side Story, Evita, Camelot. Awards: Nine Joseph Jefferson Awards for Direction.
JorDan Baker (Antoinette "Toni" Lafayette-Appropriate) is making her Humana Festival debut. Regional Theatre: The Normal Heart (National Tour/A.C.T.), Ten Chimneys (Cleveland Play House) The Philadelphia Story (Royal Exchange, England), Death of a Salesman (The Old Globe, dir. Pam McKinnon) and Merry Wives of Windsor (Daiken Matthews, Jane Carr, directed by Roger Rees). Broadway: Suddenly, Last Summer (opposite Elizabeth Ashley/ Theatre World Award, Best Debut). Off-Broadway: Three Tall Women (original New York cast). Film: Another Earth(Sundance Alfred P. Sloan Award), The Out of Towners (Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn), City Hall (Al Pacino, John Cusack) and Love Potion #9 (Sandra Bullock). Television: New Adventures of Old Christine, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Deception, Person of Interest and Blue Bloods. Additional Credits: Baker received her B.A. from Smith College and her M.F.A. from Rutgers University.
David Rosenblatt (Rhys Thurston-Appropriate) is thrilled to be making his debut at Actors Theatre in this year's Humana Festival. Recent New York credits include Bekah Brunstetter's Miss Lilly Gets Boned and Boo Killebrew's The Play About My Dad. Rosenblatt also starred in Mac Roger's Advance Man (New York Innovative Theatre Award) and Blast Radius. Regional Theatre: The Goatwoman of Corvis County (Shakespeare & Company) and The Duchess of Malfi (Actors' Shakespeare Project). Additional Credits: Rosenblatt can be seen in Tom Scharpling's music video for The New Pornographers and heard in his band, Old Nude. He received his training from Boston University and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Larry Bull (Beauregarde "Bo" Lafayette-Appropriate) returns to Actors Theatre, where he's performed in A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story and The Mystery of Irma Vep. Regional Theatre: Much Ado About Nothing and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival; The Fantasticks at Virginia Stage; On Golden Pond,The Music Man and Shear Madness at Geva Theatre; Twelfth Night at The Shakespeare Theatre Company; The Trip to Bountiful and A Christmas Carol at The Denver Center Theatre Company; Amphitryon at Huntington Theatre; The Music Man at Trinity Repertory Company; Dracula at Cincinnati Playhouse and Repertory Theatre of St Louis; The Count of Monte Cristo at Alabama Shakespeare Festival; and Our Town and Tartuffe at Utah Shakespearean Festival. Broadway: The Coast of Utopia at Lincoln Center. Off-Off Broadway: Kenneth-What is the Frequency? with 78th St Theatre Lab, part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Additional Credits: Bull received Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Award for his performance in Of Mice and Men.
Amy Lynn Stewart (Rachael Lafayette-Kramer-Appropriate) Regional Theatre: Fallen Angels (Dorset Theatre Festival); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (English Theatre of Frankfurt); Fiction (Florida Studio Theatre); Intimate Apparel (Two River Theater Company, Indiana Repertory Theatre and Syracuse Stage); Hazard County (Actor's Express); Beauty (La Jolla Playhouse) and Arcadia, Electra, Richard III, Henry V and Picasso at the Lapin Agile (The Warehouse Theatre). Off-Broadway: Emilie's Voltaire. Film: Sisterhood of Night, Caffeinism, Mama, Throttle, Jesus Maria and There Will be Peace When You are Done. Television: First World Problem (web series). Other Theatre: Viral (New York International Fringe Festival); Rattlers (Flux Theatre Ensemble) and The Obstruction Plays (Slant Theatre Project). Additional Credits: Stewart participated in The Public Theater's Shakespeare Lab and holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego.
Lilli Stein (Cassidy "Cassie" Lafayette-Kramer-Appropriate) is making her regional theater debut with Actors Theater of Louisville. Other Theatre Credits Include: Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, The Honest Whore and Thomas Bradshaw's world premiere of Job (The Flea Theater); Territories and Lovesong of the Electric Bear (The Potomac Theater Project, New York City); and Major Barbara, Howard Barker's Victory, and After Mrs. Rochester (Middlebury College). Additional Credits: Stein received her B.A. in theatre, mathematics and Russian from Middlebury College.
Gabe Weible (Ainsley Lafayette-Kramer-Appropriate) is thrilled to be returning to Actors Theatre, having played Randy in all four productions of A Christmas Story. Weible is in the fourth grade at Brandeis Elementary. His hobbies include playing soccer and football, and listening to music. His dream is to play in the NFL.
Reese Madigan (François "Franz/Frank" Lafayette-Appropriate) Regional Theatre: Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Arena Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, CENTERSTAGE, The Shakespeare Theatre, Bay Street Theatre, San Jose Repertory, Indiana Repertory, Shakespeare on the Sound, NextAct Theatre and Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Broadway: Abe Lincoln in Illinois; Holiday. Off-Broadway: Henry IV 1&2, Richard II, Richard III, Troilus and Cressida (New York Shakespeare Festival), Night and Her Stars (Manhattan Theatre Club), Adult Entertainment (Variety Arts Theatre) and The Appearance of Impropriety (Judith Anderson Theatre). Film: American Shaolin. Television: Elementary; Canterbury's Law; Prison Break. Additional Credits: Madigan is an Associate Artist at Milwaukee Repertory Theater and received his training at SUNY Purchase.
Natalie Kuhn (Trisha Rayner-Appropriate) is thrilled to join Actors Theater for the first time. Regional Theatre: Sound in the Throat, Three Guys and a Brenda and Current Things (Williamstown Theater Festival); and The Underpants (Penobscot Theater). Off-Broadway: The Last Seder (Theater Three); and Poetic License(59E59). Film: Ride Rise Roar (David Byrne Concert Tour Documentary), Going Local, Change of Plans and Amateurs. Television: Person of Interest, The Colbert Report, Law & Order: CI and Are We There Yet? Additional Credits: Stop The Virgens (St. Ann's Warehouse, Sydney Opera House), Everything That Happens (David Byrne Concert Tour), Specific Ocean(People Get Ready at NYLA), Man Is Man (HERE Arts Center), Sine Wave Goodbye (Ontological) and Johnny Applef^$!r (The Ohio).
The Humana Festival is an internationally acclaimed event that has introduced more than 400 plays into the American and interNational Theatre's general repertoire, including three Pulitzer Prize winners-The Gin Game by D. L. Coburn, Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley and Dinner with Friends by Donald Margulies-as well as Rinne Groff's The Ruby Sunrise, Jane Martin's Anton in Show Business, Charles L. Mee's Big Love, Theresa Rebeck's The Scene, Gina Gionfriddo's After Ashley and Becky Shaw, UNIVERSES' Ameriville, Jordan Harrison's Maple and Vine, Stephen Belber's Tape and The Civilians' This Beautiful City. Over 380 Humana Festival plays have been published in anthologies and individual acting editions, making Actors Theatre a visible and vital force in the development of new plays.
The Humana Festival is the premier event of its kind in the nation, drawing audiences of nearly 40,000 last year. For the past 36 years, hundreds of the industry's most distinguished leaders, producers, critics and admirers have descended upon Louisville for a month-long celebration of new writing for the stage. The Festival culminates in two industry weekends which bring together a collection of amazing new plays with one-of-a-kind panels, cocktail parties, discussions and networking events. It is the perfect opportunity to see new work, make new connections and support the creation of new American theatre.
Now in its 49th season, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the State Theatre of Kentucky, has emerged as one of America's most consistently innovative professional theatre companies. For more than 30 years, it has been a major force in revitalizing American playwriting. Its annual Humana Festival of New American Plays is recognized as the premier event of its kind and draws producers, journalists, critics, playwrights and theatre lovers from around the world for a marathon of new works. More than 380 plays from Actors Theatre have been published, making them available to producers and readers, and creating a significant addition to the nation's dramatic literature. Actors Theatre's programming includes a broad range of classical and contemporary work, presenting more than 500 performances each season. The company performs annually to nearly 200,000 people and is the recipient of the most prestigious awards bestowed on a regional theatre: a special Tony Award for Distinguished Achievement, the James N. Vaughan Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement and Contribution to the Development of Professional Theatre, and the Margo Jones Award for the Encouragement of New Plays. Actors Theatre's international appearances include performances in 29 cities in 15 foreign countries. Currently, there are 40 books of plays and criticism from Actors Theatre in publication and circulation.