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CAST ANNOUNCED FOR GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE WEST COAST PREMIERE OF “WITCH”FEATURING EMMY NOMINEE AND GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER MAURA TIERNEY AS ELIZABETH SAWYERWRITTEN BY JEN SILVERMAN AND DIRECTED BY MARTI LYONSALSO FEATURING BRIAN GEORGE, RUY ISKANDAR, EVAN JONIGKEIT, VELLA LOVELL AND WILL VON VOGT PREVIEWS BEGIN AUGUST 20 - OPENING NIGHT IS AUGUST 29
LOS ANGELES (July 22, 2019) – Geffen Playhouse today announced the full cast for its West Coast premiere of Witch, written by Jen Silverman (The Roommate, Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties) and directed by Marti Lyons (How to Defend Yourself, Boticelli in the Fire). This marks the first Geffen production to launch the 2019/2020 season, the second season programmed by Artistic Director Matt Shakman.
The cast features Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner Maura Tierney (ER, The Affair) as Elizabeth Sawyer, as well as Brian George (Three Seasons, Stuff Happens) as Sir Arthur Banks, Ruy Iskandar (Macbeth, The Tempest) as Frank Thorney, Evan Jonigkeit (Sweetbitter, The Snow Geese) as Scratch, Vella Lovell (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Big Sick) as Winnifred and Will Von Vogt(Significant Other, Angels in America), who replaces previously announced Simon Helberg in the role of Cuddy Banks.
Previews for Witch begin Tuesday, August 20 in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at Geffen Playhouse. Opening night is Thursday, August 29.
In this fiendishly funny new play by Jen Silverman, inspired by The Witch of Edmonton by Rowley, Dekker and Ford, a charming devil arrives in the quiet village of Edmonton to bargain for the souls of its residents in exchange for their darkest wishes. Elizabeth should be the easiest to target, having been labeled a “witch” and cast out by the town, but her soul is not so readily bought. An inventive retelling of a Jacobean drama, this sharp, subversive fable debates how much our souls are worth when hope is hard to come by.Witch was commissioned by and premiered at Writers Theatre (Michael Halberstam, Artistic Director; Kathryn M. Lipuma, Executive Director).WITCH
Written by Jen Silverman
Inspired by The Witch of Edmonton by Rowley, Dekker and Ford
Directed by Marti LyonsPreviews: Tuesday, August 20 – Wednesday, August 28, 2019Opening Night: Thursday, August 29, 2019Closing Night: Sunday, September 29, 2019CASTBrian George as Sir Arthur BanksRuy Iskandar as Frank ThorneyEvan Jonigkeit as ScratchVella Lovell as WinnifredMaura Tierney as Elizabeth SawyerWill Von Vogt as Cuddy BanksPRODUCTION TEAM
Scenic Designer Dane Laffrey
Costume Designer Danae McQueen
Lighting Designer Keith Parham
Sound Designer Cricket S. Myers
Choreographer Jessica Lee Keller
Fight Choreographer Steve Rankin
Production Stage Manager Julie Ann Renfro
Casting Director Phyllis Schuringa, CSAPERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Monday No performance
Tuesday – Friday 8:00 p.m.
Saturday 3:00 and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.LOCATION
Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
10886 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets currently priced at $30.00 - $120.00. Available in person at the Geffen Playhouse box office, by phone at 310.208.5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org. Fees may apply.
Rush tickets for each day’s performance are made available to the general public 30 minutes before showtime at the box office. $35.00 General / $10.00 StudentCOLLEGE AUDIENCES
Through a variety of events and other opportunities, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes college students to experience the live storytelling presented on our stages. We are proud of our association with UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television, and open our doors to all college students throughout Los Angeles. More information is available at www.geffenplayhouse.org/college.ABOUT THE ARTISTSJen Silverman (Playwright)
Jen Silverman is a New York-based writer. Her work includes Witch (Writers Theatre), The Roommate (Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Steppenwolf), Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Southwark Playhouse, MCC Theater), Dangerous House (InterAct Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival) and The Moors (Yale Repertory Theatre, The Playwrights Realm). Jen is a member of New Dramatists, an affiliated artist with The Playwrights Center in Minneapolis and SPACE on Ryder Farm. She’s a two-time MacDowell Colony fellow, a recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, the Helen Merrill Award, an LMCC Fellowship, and the Yale Drama Series Award. She was the 2016-2017 Playwrights of New York (PoNY) Fellow at the Lark. Silverman has a two-book deal with Random House for a collection of interlinked stories (The Island Dwellers) and a novel. She also writes for TV and film, most recently on Netflix’s Tales of the City. Education: Brown, Iowa Playwrights Workshop, Juilliard. More info: www.jensilverman.comMarti Lyons (Director)
Marti Lyons is a Chicago-based director whose most current work includes directing How to Defend Yourself by Lily Padilla for the 2019 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. She also recently directed Witch by Jen Silverman (Writers Theatre); Botticelli in the Fire by Jordan Tannahill (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company); The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe and Kings by Sarah Burgess (Studio Theater); Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (The Court Theatre); Native Gardens by Karen Zacarias (Victory Gardens Theatre); The Mystery of Love and Sex by Bathsheba Doran (Writers Theatre); Wit (The Hypocrites); and The City of Conversation by Anthony Giardina (Northlight Theatre Company). Lyons directed Wondrous Strange by Meg Miroshnik, Martyna Majok, Jen Silverman and Jiehae Park (2016 Humana Festival) and Title and Deed by Will Eno (Lookingglass Theatre Company). Other projects include Laura Marks’ Bethany, Marks’ Mine and Will Nedved’s Body and Blood (The Gift Theatre); Catherine Treischmann’s Hot Georgia Sunday and Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar (Haven Theatre); The Play About My Dad by Boo Killebrew (Raven Theatre); Mai Dang Lao by David Jacobi, 9 Circles by Bill Cain and Maria/Stuart by Jason Grote. She is an ensemble member at The Gift Theatre, an Artistic Associate with Sideshow Theatre and a proud member of SDC.Brian George (Sir Arthur Banks)
Theater: Three Seasons (Bear Theater Company, Toronto); Awake and Sing (Toronto Arts Productions); Second City, Toronto; A Perfect Wedding by Charles Mee; Vicuña by Robin Baitz (Kirk Douglas Theater); Stuff Happens (Mark Taper Forum); Vicuña (Mosaic Theater Company of DC). Television: Star Trek (Deep Space Nine and Voyager); Seinfeld; Grey’s Anatomy; The Orville; The Expanse; New Girl; Elementary; The Big Bang Theory; I Feel Bad. Film: Ghost World; Keeping the Faith; Horrible Bosses; Shades of Ray.Ruy Iskandar (Frank Thorney)
Film/TV: Benders (IFC), Sneaky Pete (Amazon Studios), The Blacklist (ABC), Gotham (FOX), The Rookie (ABC). Broadway: Macbeth (Lincoln Center). Off-Broadway: The Tempest (LA Philharmonic),Dance and the Railroad (Signature Theatre); Measure for Measure (Public Theater); The Hunters (Cherry Lane Theater); Purim Play (Classic Stage Co.); You for Me for You (Ma-Yi Theater); Hamlet, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, The Storm, Hot l Baltimore (NYU). Regional: The World of Extreme Happiness (Goodman Theatre); American Night: Ballad of Juan José (Denver Center Theatre); Twelfth Night, King Lear (Pennsylvania Shakespeare).Evan Jonigkeit (Scratch)
Evan Jonigkeit stars in the Plan B/Starz half-hour drama series Sweetbitter, now in its second season. He returns to the stage after last appearing in The Snow Geese, directed by Daniel Sullivan for Manhattan Theatre Club on Broadway, and Really Really, directed by David Cromer for MCC Theater. Evan was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor in Rob Ruggiero’s production of High, his Broadway debut. Evan’s numerous film and television appearances include Broad City, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Frontier, Girls, Easy, Sweetbitter, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and Tallulah. He will be next seen in the feature film The Night House opposite Rebecca Hall.Vella Lovell (Winnifred)
Vella Lovell is best known for her starring role as sarcastic voice of reason, Heather Davis, on four seasons of the critically acclaimed series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. In addition to the CW series, the actress currently lends her voice to the popular reboot of the 80’s cartoon series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power streaming now on Netflix. Additional television credits include HBO’s Girlsand TV Land’s Younger. Lovell can also be seen in the Academy Award-nominated film The Big Sick, The Christmas Chronicles and The Speed of Life. Theater: Significant Other at Geffen Playhouse, Amy Herzog’s Mary Jane at Yale Repertory Theatre, The Bacchae at The Delacorte Theater, Kaspar Hauser at The Flea Theater, Streetcar Named Desire at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and The Juilliard School.Maura Tierney (Elizabeth Sawyer)
Golden Globe winning actress Maura Tierney stars on the Golden Globe winning Showtime series The Affair. She is also known for her Emmy nominated role on the top-rated NBC series ER of which she starred for 8 seasons. She made her Broadway debut in 2013 starring in Nora Ephron's Lucky guy alongside Tom Hanks. Tierney recently starred in Beautiful Boy opposite Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, and has upcoming Scott Z. Burns’ Torture Report, which premiered to critical acclaim at Sundance. Some other feature credits include Baby Mama, Semi-Pro, Diggers, Welcome to Mooseport, Instinct and Nature Calls. In 2006, she starred in the Off-Broadway production of Neil LaBute's Some Girl(s). Additionally, she starred in Nicky Silver’s Three Changes and the Wooster Group’s North Atlantic. Tierney starred in Yasmina Reza’s award-winning God of Carnage at the prestigious Gate Theater in Dublin; and most recently starred in the Wooster Group production A Town Hall Affair.Will Von Vogt (Cuddy Banks)
Will Von Vogt is thrilled to be returning to the Geffen Playhouse after previously starring as Jordan Berman in Significant Other. Favorite credits include Prior in Angels in America, Shen Te/Shui Ta in Brecht’s Good Person of Szechwan, Rudy in Bent and NBC’s Chicago Fire. Thanks and appreciation to his team at Vanguard Management Group. To learn more, check out www.willvonvogt.com.OPENING NIGHT SPONSORS
Audi of America
City National Bank
KindABOUT GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
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 second productions, the not-for-profit organization 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 was founded by Gilbert Cates and is currently helmed by Executive Director Gil Cates, Jr., Artistic Director Matt Shakman and Board Chair Howard Tenenbaum. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains extensive education and community engagement programs, designed to involve underserved young people and the community at large in the arts. www.geffenplayhouse.org
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