MARY BETH FISHER, KATHRYN JOOSTEN
AND A HOST OF L.A. THEATER VETS JOIN
GARY COLE AND EDI GATHEGI
IN SUPERIOR DONUTS
Full Cast Announced for Geffen Playhouse Production of
Tracy Letts’ Tony Nominated Play Directed by Randall Arney
LOS ANGELES, April 20, 2011 — Gary Cole and Edi Gathegi lead the cast of Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts at the Geffen Playhouse. Cole and Gathegi are joined by a formidable ensemble cast who take on the eclectic personalities of the Chicago neighborhood in which the play is set. The full cast includes Mary Beth Fisher, whose stage credits include Extremitiesand Boy Gets Girl, Kathryn Joosten, best known for her characters on television’s Desperate Housewives andThe West Wing as well as Brian Abraham, Ron Bottitta, Paul Dillon, Damon Gupton and Matt McTighe. For complete cast biographies, please view the following pages.
Cole, a Steppenwolf ensemble member who is well-recognized from cult comedy classics such as Office Space as well as his recurring role on HBO’s Entourage, plays Arthur Przybyszewski, the proprietor of Superior Donuts, a sweets shop that has been a community hub for decades – and both the neglected storefront and its rundown owner are evidence to that. But things change when Franco, a young fast-talking dreamer played by Edi Gathegi – widely recognized by “TwiHards” around the globe as ‘Vampire Laurent’ in the Twilight saga – bounds into the shop, and the writing is on the wall that things are going to change, maybe even for the better. Helmed by Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Randall Arney, Letts’ provocative new comedy weaves a heart-warming and humorous tale of unlikely friendships in one of Chicago’s most diverse neighborhoods.
Superior Donuts had its world premiere in 2008 at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre before moving to New York, and the Geffen Playhouse production marks the play’s Los Angeles premiere. While Arney and Letts are both ensemble members of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, this is the first time a work by Letts, most well-known for his lauded drama August: Osage County, has been performed at the Geffen Playhouse.
Special events during the run of Superior
Donuts include the theater’s special Signature Series options for no
additional cost. These evenings include an intellectual,
thought-provoking post show Q&A at Talk Back Tuesdays; a scintillating,
one-of-a kind after-party at Girls Night Out; a cultural happy hour with Lounge
Fridays and complimentary wine tastings during Wine Down Sundays.
For more information, please view www.geffenplayhouse.org/sigseriesdonuts.
Written by Tracy Letts
Directed by Randall Arney
Preview Performances: Tuesday, May 31 – Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Opening Night: Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Closing Night: Sunday, July 10, 2011
Brian Abraham Kiril Ivakin
Ron Bottitta Max Tarasov
Gary Cole Arthur Przybyszewski
Paul Dillon Luther Flynn
Mary Beth Fisher Officer Randy Osteen
Edi Gathegi Franco Wicks
Damon Gupton Officer James Bailey
Kathryn Joosten Lady Boyle
Matt McTighe Kevin Magee
Set Designer John Arnone
Costume Designer Laura Bauer
Lighting Designer Daniel Ionazzi
Sound Designer Richard Woodbury
Production Stage Manager Mary Michele Miner
Monday No performances
Tuesday – Friday 8:00pm
Saturday 3:00pm; 8:00pm
Sunday 2:00pm; 7:00pm
Ticket prices range from $37 - $57 for preview performances and from $47 - $77 for the regular run. Tickets are
on sale now in-person at the Geffen Playhouse box office, via phone at 310-208-5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org.
BRIAN ABRAHAM (Kiril Ivakin)
Brian Abraham was most recently seen in Superior Donuts at the San Diego Repertory Theatre where he played the role of Kiril Ivakin, and he is honored to reprise the role at the Geffen Playhouse. He has worked at many theaters throughout Southern California and New York City, including the San Diego Repertory Theatre, Moonlight Amphitheater, The Intrepid Shakespeare Company, New Village Arts and many others. His favorite roles include Jacques in As You Like It, Pisanio inCymbeline, The Prince of Morocco in Merchant Of Venice, Khalil in Back of The Throat and Freddy the bartender in Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Brian's television credits include The Shield, As the World Turns, Drake and Josh and Deadline. Brian has a BFA. in acting from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
RANDALL ARNEY (Director)Randall Arney is known to Geffen audiences for his direction of The Female of the Species by Joanna Murray-Smith; Speed the Plow by David Mamet; All My Sons by Arthur Miller, Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out, Stephen Jeffreys’ I Just Stopped by to See the Man, Rebecca Gilman’s Boy Gets Girl, David Rambo’s God’s Man in Texas and Conor McPherson’s The Weir and The Seafarer. He is an ensemble member and former Artistic Director of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, where he directed The Seafarer;I Just Stopped by to See the Man; The Beauty Queen of Leenane; Death and the Maiden; Curse of the Starving Class; Bang; A Walk in the Woods; Killers and The Geography of Luck. In addition, he directed the world premiere of Picasso at the Lapin Agile at Steppenwolf, as well as the subsequent Los Angeles (Westwood Playhouse, Drama-Logue Critics’ Award), Off-Broadway, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Tokyo productions. In Chicago, he oversaw the design, creation and completion of a new state-of-the-art theatre with a mainstage and studio. Broadway transfers under his leadership include The Rise and Fall of Little Voice; The Song of Jacob Zulu (six Tony Award nominations); and The Grapes of Wrath (1990 Tony Award, Best Play). Mr. Arney’s acting credits with Steppenwolf include Born Yesterday (opposite Glenne Headly); Ghost in the Machine; The Homecoming; Frank’s Wild Years (with Tom Waits, directed by Gary Sinise); You Can’t Take it With You; Fool for Love; True West (directed by Gary Sinise); and Balm in Gilead and Coyote Ugly (both directed by John Malkovich). On film he has appeared in Normal and Weapons of Mass Distraction (HBO); Mystery, Alaska;The Out-of-Towners; Chain Reaction; The Color of Money andMiles from Home. Mr. Arney has an MFA degree in Acting and has taught acting and directing at Columbia College in Chicago and Illinois State University. He has also held master classes and workshops at Steppenwolf, around the U.S., and in Tokyo.
RON BOTTITTA (Max Tarasov)
Ron Bottitta recently completed a six month critically-acclaimed run of Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited at L.A.’s Rogue Machine Theatre. Other local credits include The Arsonists at The Odyssey, and Razorback, also at Rogue Machine, where he is a company member. Upcoming film credits include this summer’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin. Past films include The Social Network, Hereafter,Going the Distance, A Christmas Carol, Chekhov and Maria, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Hard Corps, and In Good Company. Ron has been on TV portraying lots of heroic losers, but is most recognized by geeks in the street for portraying ”Crazy Lennie” in Lost. He is the host of Rogue Machine’s ongoing spoken-word series: “Rant and Rave.” Ron received his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, his M.F.A. from N.Y.U., and is a pilot and motorcyclist.
GARY COLE (Arthur Przybyszewski)
Best known for his film roles in classic cult comedies such as Office Space, Pineapple Express, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Gary Cole is a veteran of both the screen and the stage. As an ensemble member of Steppenwolf Theater Company, Cole’s theater credits include August: Osage County, Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Speed the Plow, American Buffalo, Flyovers and Balm in Gilead. Additional film credits include: American Pastime, Breach, The Ring 2, Crazy in Love, Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!, I Spy, One Hour Photo, The Gift,A Simple Plan, Kiss the Sky, The Brady Bunch Movie and Clint Eastwood’s In the Line of Fire. Television credits include: Midnight Caller, American Gothic, The West Wing, Arrested Development,Desperate Housewives, Chuck, The Cleaner, Entourage,Numb3rs, The Good Wife and The Good Guys.
PAUL DILLON (Luther Flynn)
Born and raised in Joliet, Illinois, Paul was busy on Chicago stages before moving to Los Angeles in 1994. He originated the roles of the Cabbie in Will Kern's Hellcab at The Famous Door Theatre, and the titular Killer Joe in the world premiere of Tracy Letts' play at the Next Lab in Evanston. In 1999, he first reprised Killer Joe off-Broadway at The Soho Playhouse, and then in the Ovation award-winning, West Coast premiere production at The Gardener Stages. He also played the Cabbie in 1995's LA Weekly award-winning production of Hellcab at the Tamarind Theatre. Recently Paul appeared in Threepenny Opera at the Odyssey, Rantoul and Dieby Mark Roberts and The Event by John Clancy. He understudied and occasionally performed the role of the Tiger in CTG’s Taper production of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. Paul also works in film and television; notable appearances include: The Pretender, Austin Powers , Fight Club, The Shield,and the upcoming On the Road.
MARY BETH FISHER (Officer Randy Osteen)
Mary Beth Fisher most recently appeared in the Chicago premiere of God of Carnage at the Goodman Theatre. Other Chicago credits include: The Seagull, Rock ‘n’ Roll,The Clean House, Dinner With Friends, Heartbreak House, Spinning into Butter(Goodman Theatre); Dead Man’s Cell Phone,The Dresser, The Memory of Water (Steppenwolf); Three Tall Women, The Year of Magical Thinking (Joseph Jefferson Award), The Wild Duck, What Butler Saw, Arcadia, Travesties (Court); The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare); The Laramie Project: Epilogue,The Little Dog Laughed (About/Face). NY credits include: Frank’s Home(Playwrights Horizons); Boy Gets Girl(Drama League Honoree, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominations), The Radical Mystique and By The Sea... (Manhattan Theatre Club); The Night of the Iguana (Roundabout): Extremities (Westside Arts). TV/Film: Chicago Code, State of Romance, Without a Trace, Numb3rs, Prison Break, NYPD Blue, Profiler, Early Edition, Formosa Betrayed, Dragonfly, and Trauma. Ms. Fisher received the 2010 Chicago's Leading Lady Award from the Sarah Siddons Society and was named "Best Actress" in Chicago Magazine's "Best of Chicago" issue (Aug/2010). She is a Lunt-Fontanne Fellow.
EDI GATHEGI (Franco Wicks)Joining the ensemble cast of 2008’s theatrical box-office phenomenon, Twilightwas a game-changer in the career of Kenya-born, Edi Gathegi. He then went on to reprise his role of vampire ‘Laurent’ in 2009’s sequel, New Moon.
Gathegi has two feature films slated for release this year: the literary adaptation, Atlas Shrugged: Part I out theatrically April 15th and the highly anticipated X-Men: First Class opening wide June 3rd. Notable film credits
include:Gone Baby Gone, Death Sentence, Crank and My Bloody Valentine 3D. Television credits include: House, CSI, CSI: Miami, Veronica Mars and ABC’s Life on Mars. His theater resume includes but is not limited to regional stage-work on productions of Twelfth Night, A Maiden’s Prayer (Santa Barbara Independent Award), A Raisin in the Sun,Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cyrano and Two Trains Running at the prestigious Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Gathegi graduated from NYU’s famed MFA program.
DAMON GUPTON (Officer James Bailey)
Stage: Inked Baby, The Story, Meg’s New Friend, An American Daughter, True History and Real Adventures, Treason, Othello and Eric Simonson’s Carter’s Way. Mr. Gupton received an AUDELCO nomination for his work in the premiere of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Clybourne Park. TV : Law & Order CI, Deadline, Conviction, The Unusuals, Hack, Third Watch, Strange Brew and Peter Berg’s Prime Suspect. Film: Unfaithful, The Loretta Claiborne Story, Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, and The Last Airbender. Mr. Gupton is a graduate of the Juilliard School Drama Division and the University of Michigan School of Music. As an orchestra conductor, appearances include the Cleveland Orchestra, The Detroit Symphony, The Baltimore Symphony, The Houston Symphony, The Kansas City Symphony, The Orchestra of St. Luke's, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo.
KATHRYN JOOSTEN (Lady Boyle)
The three time Emmy nominated Kathryn Joosten is currently starring as Mrs. McClusky on Desperate Housewives. In 2005 and 2008, Joosten won an Emmy for her portrayal of the crotchety, gossipy neighbor. In addition to her nominations, she recently was re-elected to the Board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Joosten was nominated three times for a SAG Award (Desperate Housewives). Adding to her mantle, Joosten’s passionate work on behalf of lung cancer earned her a proclamation from the City of Los Angeles. Joosten herself is a long time lung cancer survivor. Prior to joining the Desperate Housewives cast, she was best known as Mrs. Landingham on the critically acclaimed and Emmy Award winning NBC drama, The West Wing. Other TV credits include:Dharma and Greg, Monk, Joan of Arcadia, Las Vegas,The Closer, My Name Is Earl, Grey’s Anatomy, Ally McBeal, and Scrubs. Movies include Bedtime Stories,Wedding Crashers and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeekquel.
TRACY LETTS (Playwright)
A Steppenwolf ensemble member, Tracy Letts has appeared onstage in The Glass Menagerie, Glengarry Glen Ross, Homebody/Kabul and as the title role in The Dresser. As a playwright, Tracy’s work includes Killer Joe, Bug and Man From Nebraska, which was named a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. His play August: Osage County was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2008 Tony Award for Best Play. Tracy was also named as one of Time’s “Best of 2003.”
MATT MCTIGHE (Kevin Magee)
Matt McTighe is a company member of the award winning Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice, where he has played Tom in The Time of Your Life (LADCC nomination for “Best Revival”) and Hal in Proof. Previous theater credits include being a company member of the Tony Award winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Richard III, Henry VI p.2&3, Romeo & Juliet, Richard II, Dr. Faustus, Napoli Millionaria!, The Visit, among others. He was the KCACTF regional winner and national finalist at the Kennedy Center 2002 Irene Ryans. Television credits include Guest Stars or recurring on Friday Night Lights, Grey’s Anatomy, The Closer, 24, CSI: NY, CSI: Miami, Bones, Men of a Certain Age, Trust Me, Medium, Criminal Minds, among others. Recent film includes the Oren Moverman directed Rampart starring Woody Harrelson. He is also the author of Hella a Novel just released by Two Harbors Press.
ABOUT THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
The Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and musicals, the Geffen Playhouse continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company is helmed by Producing Director and President of the Board Gilbert Cates, Artistic Director Randall Arney, Managing Director Ken Novice and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, please visit geffenplayhouse.org.