Midtown Direct Rep Announces Cast for ‘Evanston: A Rare Comedy’ Jan. 10

by The Village Green
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The following is from Midtown Direct Rep:

Midtown Direct Rep (MDR) continues its 2015-16 Theater in the Loft series at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) with a staged reading of Evanston: A Rare Comedy, written by Michael Yates Crowley. This reading, directed by Michael Rau, will be performed for one night only on Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 7 p.m. at SOPAC (One Sopac Way, South Orange, NJ, 07079). The reading is $15 and open to the public. Tickets can be purchased at www.sopacnow.org or by calling 973-313-ARTS (2787). For direct link to purchase tickets, please Click Here.

MDR is offering a special discount for Village Green readers: purchase tickets by January 1, 2016 using the code MDREarlybird and get $5 OFF each ticket (online or at the box office)

Stephanie Kurtzuba

Stephanie Kurtzuba

The cast will feature: Stephanie Kurtzuba (The Wolf of Wall Street, Broadway’s Billy Elliot, Mary Poppins), Nathan Darrow (Netflix’s House of Cards), Kate Dawson (A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden, Over The Moon-The Broadway Lullaby Project), Erin Maguire (Til Divorce Do Us Part: The Musical), and guest artist Matthew Helm. Additional casting to be announced.

About the play
Evanston: A Rare Comedy begins with the disappearance of a teenage girl in deepest suburbia and ends when a meeting of the local Women’s Book Club goes horribly awry. In between, a housewife dreams of Mexico, an economics professor has an affair with a check-out clerk at Whole Foods, and the financial crisis rages on. Inspired by the words of Psalm 137 and the best-seller “Eat, Pray, Love,” Evanston: A Rare Comedy takes a look at Middle America and asks: how can we sing a song of joy in this strange land?

About playwright Michael Yates Crowley
Michael Yates Crowley is a Brooklyn-based playwright and performer whose work has been produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Berlin, Edinburgh, and elsewhere. His plays include Song of a Convalescent Ayn Rand Giving Thanks to the Godhead (premiering at A.R.T. in Oct. 2015); temping (53rd New York Film Festival/Convergence); Evanston: A Rare Comedy (2013 O’Neill NPC selection, 2015 Alliance/Kendeda Finalist); The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias (UMASS New Play Lab 2015); and The Ted Haggard Monologues (published by S. Fischer Verlag; filmed by HBO). In New York, his work has been seen at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub/The Public Theater, Signature Theatre, Rattlestick, 59E59 Theaters, PS 122, the Bushwick Starr, and Ars Nova. He is a Writing Fellow at The Playwrights Realm, a NYFA Playwriting fellow, a past member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwrights Program at Juilliard. Together with the director Michael Rau, he founded the theater company Wolf 359.

About Theater in the Loft
Midtown Direct Rep’s Theater in the Loft is a series of readings of new plays and musicals in development presented on Sunday evenings in the Loft at South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC). With a cash bar and lively post-show discussions with the cast and creative team, Theater in the Loft readings foster a fun and collaborative environment to be a part of the development of vital new works. Many of the shows presented through Theater in the Loft have gone on to major productions off-Broadway, in regional theaters, and beyond. The series focuses on scripts that reflect the complexities of a uniquely diverse community that can be cast significantly from the MDR ensemble.

About Midtown Direct Rep
Midtown Direct Rep (MDR) is a professional, ensemble-based theater company in residence at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) in South Orange, NJ. The company includes over 100 working Broadway actors and theater professionals who call South Orange and Maplewood home. Midtown Direct Rep is dedicated to developing and presenting new plays and musicals through its Theater in the Loft series, focusing on work that reflects our uniquely diverse community. Midtown Direct Rep is also the local presenter of the hugely successful annual event Listen to Your Mother: North Jersey, which showcases local writers and performers each year around Mother’s Day.

Company members include two-time Tony Award-winner Norbert Leo Butz, Tony Award-winner Michele Pawk, Tony Award-nominees Stephanie J. Block, Megan Lawrence, and Christiane Noll, plus Sebastian Arcelus, Joel de la Fuente, Bradley Dean, and many others. Guest actors have included James McDonald, Michelle Hurst, Geoffrey Arend, and Academy Award®-winner Olympia Dukakis. Recent projects include work by John Walch, Y York, Jack Canfora, Peter Flaherty, Jeremy Desmon, Chad Hardin, James Hindman, Chisa Hutchison, David Johnson, Kara Lee Korthron, David Myers, Sandy Rustin, Douglas J. Cohen, Zoe Samuel, and others. The Company is led by Managing Director Aliza Wassner, Artistic Producer Steven Tabakin, Literary Manager Marni Raab, and Artistic Advisor Sandy Rustin. For more information, visit https://www.middirrep.org.

This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.

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