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Cast Announced for West Coast Premiere of THE NIGHT ALIVE



(Los Angeles – December 15, 2014) The Geffen Playhouse announces the cast for its West Coast premiere production of Conor McPherson’s The Night Alive, helmed by Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Randall Arney. This production will feature Paul Vincent O’Connor (August: Osage County at the National Theatre, London), Fiona O’Shaughnessy (Utopia), Dan Donohue (The Lion King on Broadway), Denis Arndt (Basic Instinct), and Peter O’Meara (Band of Brothers).

Previews for The Night Alive begin on February 3, the press opening will be on February 11 and the production runs through March 15, 2015.

Tommy owes more than he earns. When he is unexpectedly compelled to help Aimee, a young woman with much harder luck than his own, the taste of turmoil he suffers becomes a full-blown meal. With his trademark humor and humanity, three-time Tony Award nominee Conor McPherson makes Phoenix Park, Dublin a place where anyone can rise from the ashes.

Director Arney said, “People are hungry for a good story. And this is an incredibly human and exhilarating story. And nobody tells a story like Conor McPherson. Conor has a real skill at capturing the loneliness of this character. Tommy, whose marriage is on the rocks, finds himself on a bit of a sidetrack. His light is almost out, but he’s about to get another go at life. He doesn’t know what he’s unleashing in bringing a new girl into his home at the beginning of the play.”

“In our day and age of social media, of sitting alone in our rooms typing on a computer, the ability to come sit in the dark with an audience of strangers while we tell you a story – you can feel the person next to you having an experience—that communal experience in the theater is more important than ever.”

McPherson burst onto the international theater scene with The Weir, winning the 1997 London Critics Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright, and then winning the Olivier Award for Best Play in 1999.

He has been nominated twice for the Tony Award® for Best Play – The Shining City in 2006 and The Seafarer in 2008 and as director of the latter. The New York Times’ Ben Brantley has praised McPherson as, “Quite possibly the finest playwright of his generation,” and The Night Alive as, “Transcendent… something bright and beautiful pulses in the shadows of this extraordinary new play. McPherson has a singular gift for making the ordinary glow with an extra dimension, like a gentle phosphorescence waiting to be coaxed into radiance.” David Rooney in The Hollywood Reporter said, “This is a captivating play rich in tenderness.” And The Wall Street Journal calls it, “A stunner! So fresh and full of vital poetry that you’ll cling to every word.”

In addition to the opening night, the run of The Night Alive will feature over a dozen pre-show and post-show Signature Series events. Ranging from the cerebral to the celebratory these include TGIF at the Geffen, Talk Back Tuesdays (Audience Q+A with artists), Lounge Fridays, Girls Night Out and Wine Down Sundays. Thanks to the support of Geffen Playhouse partners and sponsors, all elements of Signature Series evenings are complimentary as part of the ticket price. Signature Series events include:

· Talk Back Tuesdays give theater lovers a chance for a deeper conversation to discuss plot, character, themes or any other questions directly with the artists. Talk Back Tuesdays include a complimentary Keurig beverage before the show and a post-show Q+A.

· Happy hour Lounge Fridays turns the Geffen Playhouse into a haven to help fast-paced Angelenos ease into their weekend and unwind at this cultural happy hour. Complimentary sparkling joins other enticing refreshments starting at 7:00 pm.

· Wine Down Sundays provides the perfect pairing – pre-performance wine sampling poured from Consilience Wines, the Santa Ynez Valley home of Mediterranean grape varieties with a California style and classic sounds of Southern California courtesy of 100.3 The Sound spinning vinyl with world class theater.

· Geared towards ladies, with enticements for guys, Girls Night Out at the Geffen is the ultimate night out in LA. For this after-party, the stunning and long-awaited coffee table book, '100% Simply Perfect Photographs’ from artist and author, Toula Mavridou-Messer will be featured. No Girls Night Out would be complete without eclectic jams from DJ Mike, signature Deep Eddy vodka cocktails, delectable buffets, delicious Malibu Family Wines, the always popular Girls Night Out photo booth, a Keurig coffee and tea bar plus a Pixi Beauty take-away gift.

· TGIF at the Geffen takes place on Friday of preview week and is the ideal cultural meet up and hot-spot on the west side. Enjoy classic to contemporary tunes from DJ Mike pre-show on the Simms Courtyard patio plus drink specials at the concessions bar.

For Signature Series dates associated with the run of The Night Alive, visit www.geffenplayhouse.org/NightAliveEvents. Tickets currenlty range from $39 – $79 and can be purchased in-person, online at www.geffenplayhouse.org or by phone at 310.208.5454. Fees apply.

The Night Alive
Written by Conor McPherson
Directed by Randall Arney
Previews: Tuesday, February 3 – Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Opening Night: Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Closing Night: Sunday, March 15, 2015

Denis Arndt as Maurice
Dan Donohue as Doc
Paul Vincent O’Connor as Tommy
Peter O’Meara as Kenneth
Fiona O’Shaughnessy as Aimee

Scenic Design: Takeshi Kata
Costume Design: David Kay Mickelsen
Lighting Design: Daniel Ionazzi
Sound Designer & Composer: Richard Woodbury
Casting Director: Phyllis Schuringa, CSA

Monday No performance
Tuesday – Friday 8:00pm
Saturday 3:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Ticket prices are currently $39 - $79 are and are available in-person at the Geffen Playhouse box office, via phone at 310.208.5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org. Fees may apply.

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


Conor McPherson (Playwright)
Conor McPherson was born in Dublin in 1971. His plays include Rum & Vodka (Fly by Night Theatre Company, Dublin), The Good Thief (Dublin Theatre Festival; Stewart Parker Award), This Lime Tree Bower (Fly by Night Theatre Company, Dublin/Bush Theatre; Meyer-Whitworth Award), St Nicholas (Bush Theatre/Primary Stages, New York), The Weir (Royal Court/Duke of York’s/Walter Kerr Theater, New York; Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle, George Devine Awards), Dublin Carol (Royal Court/Atlantic Theater, New York), Port Authority (Ambassadors Theatre/Gate Theatre, Dublin/Atlantic Theater, New York), Shining City (Royal Court/Gate Theatre, Dublin/Manhattan Theater Club, New York; Tony Award nomination for Best Play), The Seafarer (National Theatre/Abbey Theatre, Dublin/Booth Theater, New York; Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard, Tony Award nominations for Best Play) and The Veil (National Theatre). Theatre adaptations include Daphne du Maurier’s The Birds (Gate Theatre, Dublin/Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis), August Strindberg’s The Dance of Death (Donmar at Trafalgar Studios) and The Night Alive (Donmar Warehouse/Atlantic Theatre). Work for the cinema includes I Went Down, Saltwater, Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, The Actors, and The Eclipse. Forthcoming screen work includes an adaptation of John Banville’s Elegy for April for the BBC to be broadcast this year.
Awards for his screenwriting include three Best Screenplay Awards from the Irish Film and Television Academy, Spanish Cinema Writers Circle Best Screenplay Award, The CICAE Award for Best Film Berlin Film Festival, Jury Prize San Sebastian Film Festival and The Méliès d’Argent Award for Best European Film.

Randall Arney (Director)
Randall Arney has been a theater professional for over 30 years and has served as Artistic Director of the Geffen Playhouse since 1999. In addition to his artistic programming and oversight at the Geffen, Arney has helmed more than 10 productions for the theater, most recently Reasons to Be Pretty, Slowgirl, American Buffalo, Superior Donuts, The Female of the Species, The Seafarer, Speed-the-Plow and All My Sons. Arney is an ensemble member and former Artistic Director of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre where his directing credits include: Slowgirl, The Seafarer, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Death and the Maiden, Curse of the Starving Class, Killers and The Geography of Luck, among others. Arney also directed Steppenwolf’s world premiere of Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile, as well as the subsequent national and international acclaimed productions. Mr. Arney’s acting credits with Steppenwolf include Born Yesterday, Ghost in the Machine, The Homecoming, Frank’s Wild Years, You Can’t Take it with You, Fool for Love, True West, Balm in Gilead and Coyote Ugly. As the Artistic Director for Steppenwolf from 1987 to 1995, he oversaw the creation of a new state-of-the-art theater which is Steppenwolf’s current home. 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 has an MFA degree in Acting from Illinois State University and has taught master classes and workshops at UCLA, Steppenwolf, around the U.S. and in Tokyo.


Denis Arndt (Maurice)
Recently played Prospero in Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Tempest. At OSF: title roles in King Lear, Titus Andronicus, Brand, The Father, and Coriolanus as well as Kurt in The Dance of Death, Burgoyne in The Devil’s Disciple, James Tyrone Jr. in A Moon for the Misbegotten, Jamie Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey into Night, Jack Rover in Wild Oats, Iago in Othello, Archie Rice in The Entertainer. New York theater: Soapy Smith in The Ballad of Soapy Smith, Richard II (The Public Theatre). Regional theatres include Seattle Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Alley Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, The Studio Theatre, Artists Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Intiman Theatre, Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre. TV/Film: Basic Instinct, Distant Thunder, Metro, Dolphin Tale 2, Bandidas, Sniper 3, Anacondas, S.W.A.T., Undisputed, How To Make An American Quilt, Firebeetle, Serious Money, Grey’s Anatomy, Supernatural, Boston Legal, 24,The Practice, CSI.

Dan Donohue (Doc)
Dan has been a fixture at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival since 1994, performing in over 30 productions in such roles as Hamlet, Mercutio, Caliban, Iago, Henry V, Dvornichek (Rough Crossing), and, most recently, Richard III. Broadway: Scar in The Lion King. Other credits include Radiance (Geffen Playhouse), The Triumph of Love (Long Wharf Theatre), The Game of Love and Chance (Seattle Repertory Theatre), Servant of Two Masters (Intiman Theatre), Vincent in the world premiere of Inventing Van Gogh (Arizona Theatre Company), and roles at Portland Center Stage, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and elsewhere. Dan was an inaugural recipient of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship and a 2012 Grammy Award Nominee (Best Spoken Word - HAMLET). TV/Film credits include Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Mentalist, Shameless, Return to Zero, Water & Power, and The Closer. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

Paul Vincent O’Connor (Tommy)
Paul has worked extensively in theater, film, and television. He was a 16-year member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has worked at Berkeley Rep, The Aurora Theatre, California Shakespeare Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, The San Diego Old Globe as well as the Ahmanson, Kirk Douglas, Odyssey, and VS. Theatres. He is most happy to return to the Geffen Playhouse where he has appeared in two other Conor McPherson plays, The Weir and The Seafarer. Paul has also done two international tours, Druid Theatre of Galway's production of The Cripple of Inishmaan and Steppenwolf Theatre's production of August: Osage County. He has appeared in many films including Seabiscuit, Inherit the Wind, The Duchess and the Dirwater Fox, Purpose and Octupus II: River of Fear. Television appearances include West Wing, 24, JAG, X-Files and many others. In January he will be appearing as Judge Keyes in the Amazon Prime series Bosch.

Peter O’Meara (Kenneth)
A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Peter began performing at the Lyric Theatre Belfast before joining the Abbey Theatre Dublin. He went on to the National Theatre London and the Royal Shakespeare Company, notably opening in Stratford-upon- Avon as Edmund in the Yukio Ninagawa production of King Lear opposite Sir Nigel Hawthorne. His work on the HBO series Band of Brothers introduced Peter to American audiences. He recently starred in Irish drama Love/Hate and will next be seen opposite Aidan Gillen in the political mini-series Charlie. This marks Peter's debut at the Geffen Playhouse, one of his favorite theatre venues. Theater includes The Taming of the Shrew; She Stoops to Conquer; How Many Miles to Babylon?; The Colleen Bawn; The Rivals; Swan Song; Juno and the Paycock; Philadelphia, Here I Come! (EMA Best Actor Nominee). TV/Film includes Aristocrats, Peacemakers, CSI: NY, Alias, Without A Trace, Two Ceasefires and a Wedding, My Boy Jack, He's Just Not That Into You, Traders.

Fiona O’Shaughnessy (Aimee)
For The Gate Theatre, Dublin, Fiona played the title role in Oscar Wilde's Salome and has performed leading roles in the works of many other playwrights including Charles Dickens, Noel Coward, Tennessee Williams and George Bernard Shaw. For Ireland's National Theatre, she performed in The Shaughraun, which transferred to London's West End. Other theater includes the works of Sarah Kane, Fernando Arrabal, Martin Crimp and a season of Ibsen. Fiona recently starred as “Jessica Hyde” in the award-winning Utopia for Channel 4 in the UK, which received the Best Drama Series honor at this year’s International Emmy Awards. She next will be seen starring in the CBS miniseries The Dovekeepers and as Nina in the Blaine Brothers’ hotly-anticipated black comedy Nina Forever.

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 second productions, 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 was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by Artistic Director Randall Arney, Managing Director Ken Novice, Chief Development Officer Regina Miller and Co-Chairs of the Board Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson Hollander. 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 www.geffenplayhouse.org.

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