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Cast Announced for Geffen Playhouse World Premiere of "Mysterious Circumstances"





LOS ANGELES (May 16, 2019) – Geffen Playhouse today announced the full cast for its world premiere production Mysterious Circumstances, written by Michael Mitnick (Drama Desk Award nominee for Fly by Night, The Siegel) and directed by Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Matt Shakman. This marks the first Geffen production Shakman will direct since joining the Los Angeles theater as its artistic director in 2017.

The cast features Emmy Award nominee Alan Tudyk (Spamalot, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Richard Lancelyn Green and Sherlock Holmes, as well as Hugo Armstrong (God of Carnage, Bleed Rail) as The American and others, Austin Durant (War Horse, You Can’t Take It With You) as Conan Doyle and others, Leo Marks (Hamlet, The Hothouse) as Smith and others, Ramiz Monsef (Guards at the Taj, Archduke) as Watson and others and Helen Sadler (Photograph 51, One Man, Two Guv’nors) as Touie and others.

Previews for Mysterious Circumstances begin Tuesday, June 11 in the Gil Cates Theater at Geffen Playhouse. Opening night is Wednesday, June 19.

Based on a true story, Richard Lancelyn Green, the world's foremost scholar on Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is found dead in his London apartment. With multiple suspects and competing motives, Green's death raises questions that may be answered only by Holmes himself.

Inspired by The New Yorker article “Mysterious Circumstances: The Strange Death of a Sherlock Holmes Fanatic” by David Grann (The Lost City of Z, Killers of the Flower Moon), this world premiere play by Michael Mitnick is an ode to literature's most cerebral detective and a meditation on the line between love and obsession.

This play was commissioned as part of Geffen Playhouse's New Play Development Program thanks to the generosity of The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

Major support for this world premiere production provided by the Edgerton Foundation New Play Production Fund.

Recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.


Written by Michael Mitnick
Inspired by The New Yorker article “Mysterious Circumstances: The Strange Death of a Sherlock Holmes Fanatic” by David Grann
Directed by Matt Shakman

Previews: Tuesday, June 11 – Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Opening Night: Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Closing Night: Sunday, July 14, 2019

Hugo Armstrong as The American and others
Austin Durant as Conan Doyle and others
Leo Marks as Smith and others
Ramiz Monsef as Watson and others
Helen Sadler as Touie and others
Alan Tudyk as Richard Lancelyn Green and Sherlock Holmes

Set Designer Brett J. Banakis
Costume Designer E.B. Brooks
Lighting Designer Elizabeth Harper
Original Music and Sound Design by Jonathan Snipes
Projection Designer Kaitlyn Pietras
Projection Designer Jason H. Thompson
Illusion Designer Francis Menotti
Illusion Designer David Kwong
Dramaturg Amy Levinson
Production Stage Manager Brooke Baldwin
Assistant Stage Manager Lizzie Thompson
Casting Director Phyllis Schuringa, CSA

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.

Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
10886 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024

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 Student

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.


Michael Mitnick (Playwright)
Michael Mitnick’s plays include Sex Lives of Our Parents directed by Davis McCallum (Second Stage Theater), The Siegel directed by Casey Stangl (South Coast Repertory), Ed, Downloaded directed by Sam Buntrock (Denver Center for the Performing Arts) and Spacebar: A Broadway Play by Kyle Sugarman directed by Maggie Burrows (The Wild Project). He cowrote the musical Fly by Night directed by Carolyn Cantor (Drama Desk-nominated for Best Musical, Playwrights Horizons). His songs have been sung at Lincoln Center, The Guggenheim, Joe’s Pub, 54 Below and on HBO. Films include The Giver directed by Phillip Noyce, The Staggering Girl directed by Luca Guadagnino and The Current War directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. Upcoming: Scotland, PA at Roundabout Theatre Company this fall. M.F.A. in Playwriting from The Yale School of Drama. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh.

David Grann (Author of The New Yorker article “Mysterious Circumstances: The Strange Death of a Sherlock Holmes Fanatic”)
David Grann is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine. He is the author of The Lost City of Z and a National Book Award finalist for Killers of the Flower Moon, both of which were chosen as one of the best books of their respective years by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other publications. He is also the author of The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession and Old Man and the Gun: And Other Tales of True Crime. Several of his stories, including The Lost City of Z and Old Man and the Gun, have been adapted into major motion pictures. And his work has garnered several honors for outstanding nonfiction, including a George Polk Award, an Edgar Award, and a Spur Award.

Matt Shakman (Director)
Matt Shakman has directed three acclaimed productions for the Geffen Playhouse: the West Coast premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, the world premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher’s new adaptation of Wait Until Dark and Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews. Matt founded and was the artistic director of the Black Dahlia Theatre in Los Angeles, which was named “one of a dozen young American companies you need to know” by American Theatre magazine and “Best Small Theatre” by Los Angeles magazine. Matt is also well-regarded for his achievements in television and film. He is a director & producer for FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and has directed episodes of Game of Thrones (DGA nomination), Mad Men, Fargo, Good Wife and Succession. He recently helmed the pilot episode for Hulu’s The Great starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, airing in 2020.

Hugo Armstrong (The American and others)
Hugo Armstrong has been a part of productions at Mark Taper Forum, Sacred Fools Theatre Company, Theatre of Note, The Kennedy Center, Ahmanson Theatre, LA Theatre Works, South Coast Rep, Kirk Douglas Theatre, RedCat, Walt Disney Concert Hall and here at the Geffen Playhouse. Recent television work includes Room 104, For The People, Into The Dark, Fear The Walking Dead and the upcoming Netflix series Messiah. Movie productions include Lucky with Harry Dean Stanton; Jim Byrkit’s Coherance; Roman J. Israel, Esq. with Denzel Washington; Daniel Martinico’s OK, Good; as well as the upcoming Horse Latitudes; Cuck; Dark Cloud; Graceand WE LOVE YOU DRAGO!, starring the indomitable Drago Sumonja. Hugo is a CalArts grad.

Austin Durant (Conan Doyle and others)
Broadway: Macbeth; War Horse; You Can't Take It With You. Public Theater: Much Ado About Nothing; A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Classic Stage Company: Nathan The Wise. LCT3: War. Yale Repertory Theatre: Assassins; Hamlet; Death of a Salesman; Passion Play; American Night. The Old Globe: Anna Christie; Comedy of Errors. Intiman Theatre: A Doctor In Spite of Himself. The Prototype Festival 2019: The Infinite Hotel. Berkshire Theatre Group: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; The Illusion; Oklahoma! Television: Search Party, Succession, The Good Fight, Elementary, Nurse Jackie, Person of Interest. B.A. Temple University. M.F.A. Yale School of Drama.

Leo Marks (Smith and others)
Leo Marks has performed at leading theaters including the Cleveland Playhouse, A.C.T.’s The Strand, Houston’s Alley Theatre, San Diego’s Old Globe, South Coast Repertory, Shakespeare Theatre Company in D.C., Berkeley Repertory, Seattle Repertory, Actors Theater of Louisville, Pasadena Playhouse, Ahmanson Theatre, Kirk Douglas Theater, Intiman Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Theatre at Boston Court, and as Hamlet in Jessica Kubzansky’s acclaimed production. He’s a company member of L.A.’s Antaeus Theatre Company and a founding member of New York’s Elevator Repair Service. Awards and nominations include an Obie for Heather Woodbury’s Tale of 2 Cities: An American Joyride on Multiple Tracks, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “Performer of the Year,” and an Ovation nomination for Lead Actor in a Play in Harold Pinter’s The Hothouse last year at Antaeus. Television/film includes the season finale of The Last Tycoon on Amazon and the lead in The Maestro, a period feature film set in 1940s Los Angeles.

Ramiz Monsef (Watson and others)
Ramiz is honored to be returning to the Geffen Playhouse where he previously appeared in Guards at the Taj, which won the Ovation Award for Best Production. Locally, he has also appeared in Archduke (Mark Taper Forum) and Vicuña (Kirk Douglas Theatre). He co-wrote the hit musical The Unfortunates, which ran at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and at A.C.T. in San Francisco. He also co-wrote The Many Deaths of Nathan Stubblefield, which was a part of the 2015 Humana Festival. In New York, he has appeared at Second Stage Theatre (Eurydice), The Culture Project (Betrayed) and New York Theatre Workshop (Alan Ball’s All That I Will Ever Be). He also appeared in regional theaters throughout the country including Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, A.C.T., Seattle Repertory, Kansas City Repertory Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre Company, and was a company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for seven seasons. He is appearing in the upcoming film Synchronic, as well as the shows NCIS, Law & Order, SEAL Team, SWAT, Training Day and Modern Family.

Helen Sadler (Touie and others)
Helen Sadler recently appeared in Photograph 51 at South Coast Repertory, playing “Dr. Rosalind Franklin.” Other credits include One Man, Two Guv’nors, a co-production with Berkeley Rep, and The Whale (South Coast Repertory); The Night Alive and Tribes (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Blood Wedding (Lookingglass Theatre Company); Daniel Deronda (L.A. Theatre Works); Cymbeline (A Noise Within); Sense and Sensibility (Actors Theatre of Louisville and Northlight Theatre); The Maids (Writers Theatre); Blasted (A Red Orchid Theatre); Buried Child and A Taste of Honey (Shattered Globe Theatre); War (Chicago Irish Theatre). Television/film: “Sonnie” in Love, Death and Robots: Sonnie’s Edge (Netflix); Criminal Minds; NCIS; Revenge; True Blood; Thrill Ride; Too Late; Contagion. Voice: “Jyn Erso” inS tar Wars: Forces of Destiny (LucasFilm) and “Rey” in Lego Star Wars: Rey Strikes Back (Disney XD), and multiple video games.

Alan Tudyk (Richard Lancelyn Green and Sherlock Holmes)
Alan Tudyk could be seen on Broadway in Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Prelude to a Kiss; as Lancelot in Spamalot with the entire original cast, save one, the guy previously playing Lancelot; and Epic Proportions with Kristin Chenoweth. Off-Broadway credits include: David Lindsay-Abaire’s Wonder of the World, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Misalliance and Bunny Bunny. Alan’s film credits include K-2SO in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Death at a Funeral, 3:10 to Yuma, Knocked Up, A Knight’s Tale and DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story. Alan won an Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production for his work as King Candy in Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, and has voiced roles in Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Moana and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Television: Firefly, Suburgatory, Powerless and Con Man. After death, Alan will be survived by his loving wife Charissa and two of his three dogs.

Audi of America
City National Bank
KIND Snacks

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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Zenon Dmytryk
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