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JANE KACZMAREK SHARESIN MOTHER WORDS WITH AMY PIETZ,SAIDAH ARRIKA EKULONA AND JAMES LECESNEWest Coast Premiere of Theatrical Anthology Opens in theAudrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse on February 23, 2011Pieces Written by Leslie Ayvazian, David Cale, Jessica Goldberg, Beth Henley,Lameece Issaq, Claire LaZebnik, Lisa Loomer, Michele Lowe, Marco Pennette, LisaRamirez, Theresa Rebeck, Luanne Rice, Annie Weisman and Cheryl L. WestLOS ANGELES, January 31 2011 - In Mother Words, an audacious collection of stories by some of theater's mosttalented contemporary playwrights, makes its West Coast debut with award-winning actors Jane Kaczmarek, AmyPietz, Saidah Arrika Ekulona and James Lecesne. Conceived by Susan Rose and Joan Stein and helmed byacclaimed director Lisa Peterson, this hilarious night of theater includes works by Pulitzer Prize winner BethHenley, Pulitzer Prize nominee Lisa Loomer, two-time Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award finalist Michele Lowe,Peabody Award winner Theresa Rebeck, best-selling author Luanne Rice, as well as Leslie Ayvazian, DavidCale, Jessica Goldberg, Lameece Isaaq, Claire LaZebnik, Marco Pennette, Lisa Ramirez, Annie Weisman andCheryl L. West. These playwrights combined stories give voice to mothers and children of all ages, races and evensexes - resulting in an eye-opening, poignant and irresistible evening, which opens in the Audrey Skirball KenisTheater at the Geffen Playhouse on February 23, 2011.
With an emphasis on storytelling, In Mother Words comes alive with a rotating cast of four actors, script in hands,who guide the audience through an evening enhanced by multi-media and movement. Actors Saidah ArrikaEkulona, who was critically acclaimed for originating the role of Mama Nadi in Ruined in Chicago and off-Broadway,and James Lecesne, who created the award-winning one man show Word of Mouth as well as the Academy Awardwinning short Trevor, will star in the entire three month run of In Mother Words through May 1, 2011. The other twoactors will perform in four-week rotations; cast changes will be on March 16 and April 30. Broadway actress andEmmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek, best known for her seven-year stint on the television show Malcolm in theMiddle, and Amy Pietz, best known for her longtime role on Caroline in the City, will appear in the first cast of InMother Words through March 15. The opening will be on February 23 with post-show festivities held at Napa ValleyGrille with Chef Joseph Gillard preparing regional specialties complete with wine poured by Malibu Family Wines anda specialty drink courtesy of Krol Vodka.
In Mother Words had two workshops in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater in 2008 before it opened with the titleMotherhood Out Loud at Bay Street Theatre in the Hamptons in the summer of 2009; last fall the play had its officialworld premiere at Hartford Stage. The Geffen Playhouse production, which is the West Coast premiere of theproject, has been reworked slightly and will be the first version opening with the title In Mother Words.IN MOTHER WORDSConceived by Susan Rose & Joan SteinWritten by Leslie Ayvazian, David Cale, Jessica Goldberg, Beth Henley, Lameece Issaq, Claire LaZebnik, LisaLoomer, Michele Lowe, Marco Pennette, Lisa Ramirez, Theresa Rebeck, Luanne Rice, Annie Weisman & CherylL. WestDirected by Lisa PetersonPreviews: February 15 - February 22, 2011Opening: February 23, 2011Cast Change: March 16, 2011Cast Change: April 13, 2011Closing: May 1, 2011Ticket InfoTicket prices for preview performances are $57 and range from $67 to $77 for the regular run. Tickets are on salenow on www.geffenplayhouse.org, by calling (310) 208-5454 or in-person at the Geffen Playhouse box office.Production CreditsSet Designer Rachel HauckCostume Designer David WoolardLighting Designer Christopher KuhlSound Designer Jill DuBoffProjection Designer Jan HartleyAnimations Emily HubleyProduction Stage Manager Young JiCast (Feb 15 - March 15)Saidah Arrika EkulonaJane KaczmarekJames LecesneAmy PietzBiographiesSAIDAH ARRIKA EKULONASaidah Arrika Ekulona originated the role of Mama Nadi in Ruined at the Goodman Theatre and ManhattanTheatre Club (OBIE Award, Lucille Lortel Award, JEFF Award, Drama Desk Citation). BROADWAY: Well. OFFBROADWAY:Ruined (MTC); Othello; Unconditional; 365 Days, 365 Plays; Well; The Square; Romeo and Juliet(Public Theatre/NYSF); Anon (Atlantic Theater Company); The Thugs (Soho Rep); Fabulation (PlaywrightsHorizons); A Streetcar Named Desire (NYTW) FILM: That's What She Said; Righteous Kill; The Taking of Pelham123; Two Lovers; The Rebound; Uncertainty; The Royal Tenenbaums; Happy Accidents. TV: Law and Order SVU;Royal Pains; Mercy; The Sopranos; Queens Supreme; Sex & The City; Hope & Faith; Law & Order. Training: MFA-University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre.JANE KACZMAREKKaczmarek has appeared on Broadway in Lost in Yonkers and in plays at the Manhattan Theatre Club, ThePublic, Second Stage, Long Wharf, New York Stage and Film, and the Berkshire and Williamstown TheatreFestivals. In LA, she recently appeared in Autumn Garden at Antaeus Theatre, and has appeared inKindertransport (Ovation Award - Best Actress), Dinner With Friends, and Raised in Captivity (LA Drama CriticsAward - Featured Performance) at South Coast Repertory. Kaczmarek starred for seven years in the EmmyAward winning TV series Malcolm in the Middle (Emmy Award nominations, Golden Globe Award nominations,SAG Award nominations, American Comedy Award - Funniest Female Performer - TV Series, TCA Award -Individual Achievement in Comedy, AFI Actor of the Year Award - Female - Series). Other TV credits include:Raising the Bar, The Simpsons, Felicity, Party of Five and Frasier. Her film credits include: Pleasantville, Vice Versa,DOA, Falling in Love, and Uncommon Valor.JAMES LECESNETheater: His one-man play Word of Mouth was presented Off-Broadway by Mike Nichols & Elaine May and directed byEve Ensler (NY Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Solo Performance). Word ofMouth went on to be performed in Los Angeles (LA Weekly Theater Award), at the HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen,and in many cities throughout the U.S. Other theater credits include: One Man Band, directed by JackHofsiss; Cloud 9, directed by Tommy Tune; Extraordinary Measures, written & directed by Eve Ensler; and the 30thanniversary production of Boys in the Band, directed by Ken Elliot; I Am My Own Wife, The Mystery of IrmaVep (Hartford Stage Co). Film & Television: Sex & The City, Home for the Holidays, BroadwayDamage and Motherhood. Other: He wrote the short film Trevor, which received an Academy Award for Best LiveAction Short and he is co-founder of The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending suicide amongLGBT & Questioning youth. James has published two young adult novels, Absolute Brightness and Virgin Territory;and he wrote The Road Home; Stories of Children of War, which was presented at the International Peace Initiative atThe Hague, adapted Armistead Maupin's Further Tales of the City for Showtime (Emmy Nomination) and wrote one ofthe final episodes of Will & Grace.AMY PIETZTheater credits include Love, Loss and What I Wore at the Geffen Playhouse, A Dead Man's Apartment at The Met,The Boswell Sisters at The Old Globe Theatre, Christmas In Naples at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Lobby Heroat the Odyssey Theatre (nominated for an Ovation award), Fiorello and Company (Ovation award nomination for BestFeatured Actress in a Musical) at Reprise, 18 radio plays for L.A. Theatre Works and The Play's The Thing on NPR. In2001, Amy produced a musical adaptation of the movie, Xanadu, at the Gascon Center Theatre. The show went on toBroadway to win Tony nominations, and tour nationally. Amy has been a series regular on the shows Aliens InAmerica, Caroline In The City (nominated for SAG Award, Best Actress in a Comedy), Rodney, The Weber Show, andMuscle. Some notable guest star appearances include The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Closer, Trust Me,Bones, Burn Notice, Law and Order: SVU, ER, CSI, Ally McBeal, The Drew Carey Show, and The Division. Amy's filmcredits include Rudy, Jingle All The Way, Dysenchanted, Jell-Ohh Lady (which she also produced) and The Whole TenYards.LISA PETERSON (Director)New York: The Model Apartment by Donald Margulies (Primary Stages); Slavs! by Tony Kushner, Traps and LightShining in Buckinghamshire by Caryl Churchill (Obie Award for Direction), The Waves adapt. from Virginia Woolf (twoDrama Desk nominations), all at New York Theatre Workshop; The Scarlet Letter adapt. by Phylis Nagy (CSC, worldpremiere). Regional: Collected Stories by Donald Margulies (South Coast Rep, world premiere, DramaLogue Award);Ikebana by Alice Tuan (East West Players, world premiere, DramaLogue Award); The Batting Cage by JoanAckermann, July 7, 1994 by Donald Margulies, Tough Choices for the New Century by Jane Anderson, Slavs! by TonyKushner, Trip's Cinch by Phylis Nagy (Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival, world premieres); Good Person ofSetzuan adapt. by Tony Kushner, Triumph of Love adapt. by James Magruder, Arms and the Man by G.B. Shaw, TheSwan by Elizabeth Egloff (La Jolla Playhouse); A Moon for the Misbegotten by O'Neill, My Children! My Africa! by AtholFugard, Slavs! by Kushner (Baltimore Center Stage); Fefu and Her Friends by Irene Fornes (Yale Rep); Reckless byCraig Lucas (Hartford Stage). New Play Development: Sundance, The Playwrights' Center, New Dramatists, YoungPlaywrights' Festival, Taper New Works Festival, Audrey SkirballKenis, New York Stage and Film, Royal CourtLondon.ABOUT THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSEThe Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for itsintimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works andmusicals, the Geffen Playhouse continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named inhonor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, thecompany is helmed by Producing Director and President of the Board Gilbert (Gil) Cates, Artistic Director RandallArney, Managing Director Ken Novice and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, theGeffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education andoutreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information,please visit geffenplayhouse.org.LISTING EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse10886 Le Conte AvenueLos Angeles, California 90024Box office: 310-208-5454www.geffenplayhouse.org