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MFA Graduate Ensemble Debut

Posted February 14, 2014 in Press Releases

GRADUATE ENSEMBLE DEBUTS IN

Too True to be Good
MFA Class of 2016 Romps in Shaw’s Curious Comedy

March 5 – 15, 2014

Calendar Editors, See Fact Sheet for Performance Schedule


CLEVELAND, OH (February 14, 2014) The Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House MFA (CWRU/MFA) Acting Program will present Too True to be Good in the Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre (“The Helen”) at PlayhouseSquare for 10 performances only, March 5-15, 2014. Written by George Bernard Shaw and directed by CWRU/MFA Associate Director Donald Carrier, this biting comedy marks the ensemble debut of the MFA Class of 2016.


"Too True to be Good is a play of ideas written at a time in Shaw's life where he was experimenting with form and content,” says Carrier. “I have always loved this unique play and am thrilled that our new class of 2016 has the opportunity of exploring it. Shaw demands passion, imaginative agility and conviction which this group has already displayed."


ABOUT THE PLAY

Too True to be Good begs the question, “What would happen if you got everything you always wanted?” Miss Mopply is a rich invalid, constantly confined to bed by an over-protective mother. When two burglars attempt to steal her prized necklace, Miss Mopply sees an opportunity to escape her bedroom prison and the “flapdoodle” life of the respectable and wealthy. She joins up with the robbers, and the trio goes on the lam to the far reaches of the British Empire. They settle in for a life of leisure at a beachfront outpost of the British army, but what happens when the thrill of being a criminal wears off? And can they really leave the past behind them?

This “Political Extravaganza,” as subtitled by Shaw, offers a provocative and perhaps ironic hypothesis: Rather than sympathizing exclusively with the working classes, we should instead be showing some kind feelings toward the rich who, despite their wealth, have achieved very little happiness.



TOO TRUE TO BE GOOD Cast

NICK BARBATO (The Doctor/Private Meek) hails from Syracuse, New York, where heattended Le Moyne College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a theatrearts minor.

JEREMIAH CLAPP (Colonel/Tallboys) is a native of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, where he has appeared in Farragut North (Steven), Twelfth Night (Malvolio), Henry V (Chorus) and Back of the Throat(Bartlett).

ALEC HYNES (Popsy) graduated from Cornell College with a Bachelor of Special Studies in Theatre, Religions and Performance Studies. He has worked regionally in Iowa with Riverside Theatre, and with Working Group Theatre.

MEGAN KING (Mrs. Mopply) graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith last June with her Bachelor of Arts in theatre performance. She also holds an Associate of Fine Arts from Arkansas State University Beebe.

JAY BEN MARKSON (The Microbe/The Father) graduated from Dartmouth College with aBachelor of Arts in theatre and creative writing. Markson is also the associate artistic director and an ensemble member of MaineStage Shakespeare.

RICKIE McDOWELL (Sergeant Fielding) is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in theatre arts. McDowell has a passion for all aspects of film, ranging from acting to producing.

KATHRYN METZGER (Sweetie) received her Bachelor of Arts in theater arts and English from CWRU. She recently appeared as Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew at Island Stage Left.

KATIE O. SOLOMON (Miss Mopply) graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science from Towson University’s theatre program with a concentration in performance. She is a proud founding member of Baltimore’s Stillpointe Theatre Initiative.



TOO TRUE TO BE GOOD Creative Team

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW (Playwright) was an acclaimed dramatist, critic and social reformer who was born in Dublin where he grew up in an atmosphere of genteel poverty. He attended four schools and was tutored by a clerical uncle, but left his formal schooling behind him at the age of 15. He developed a wide knowledge of music, art and literature under the influence of his mother, a singer and vocal music teacher, and as a result of his visits to the National Gallery of Ireland.

Shaw’s plays first attained popularity in London through a famous repertory experiment at the Royal Court Theatre from 1904 to 1907. Among his plays presented there were the premieres of John Bull’s Other Island (1904), Man and Superman (1905), Major Barbara(1905) and The Doctor’s Dilemma (1906). Pygmalion, by far Shaw’s most popular work, was first performed in 1913. During World War I, Shaw’s anti-war pamphlets and speeches made him very unpopular as a public figure. In Heartbreak House (performed 1920) he exposed the spiritual bankruptcy of the generation responsible for the carnage. Next cameBack to Methuselah (1922) and Saint Joan (1923), acclaim for which led to his receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature for 1925. Shaw continued to write plays and essays until his death in 1950 at the age of 94.

DONALD CARRIER (Director) has appeared at Cleveland Play House in Yentl; In the Next Room, or the vibrator play; Ten Chimneys; Noises Off; and Lincolnesque. Selected directing credits include The Misanthrope for the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program, The Crucible, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Twelfth Night, Habeas Corpus and Oh! What a Lovely War. Carrier will be directing Seminar at the Beck Center for the Arts this spring. Regional acting credits include The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear andThe Tempest, The Old Globe; Twelfth Night and Hamlet, Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival; A Christmas Carol, Great Lakes Theater; Shining City, Studio Theatre; Noises Off, Maltz Jupiter Theatre; The Duchess of Malfi and Richard III, The Shakespeare Theatre;Arcadia, Wilma Theater; Gross Indecency, Huntington and Intiman theatres; Shakespeare in Hollywood, TheatreWorks; and The School for Scandal, Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Highlights of nine Stratford Festival seasons include As You Like It, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night. At the Shaw Festival, he appeared in Candida, Arms and the Man and Too True to Be Good. Television/film: Guns, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Passion of Ayn Rand and Dead byMonday. Carrier is the associate director of the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program.


The design team for Too True to be Good includes Jill Davis (Scenic Design), Esther M. Haberlen (Costume Design), Michael Boll (Lighting Design), James C. Swonger (Sound Design), Beth McGee (Vocal Coach), Cathy Albers (Acting Coach), Therese Anderberg (Dialect Coach), and Ron Wilson (Fight Choreographer). Also on the team: Stage Manager Kaitlin Kelly and Production Assistants Meghan Cvetic and Melissa Freilich.


For a complete cast and creative team bios, go online at http://clevelandplayhouse.com/shows/2013/too-true-to-be-good



ABOUT THE CWRU/CPH MFA PROGRAM

Since 1996, Cleveland Play House has partnered with Case Western Reserve University to offer a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting. In 2003, it became a conservatory program completely housed at Cleveland Play House. Every two years, the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program accepts a class of eight actors into its three-year program. All three years are spent in residency at Cleveland Play House, providing students with unique access to its new downtown Cleveland state-of-the-art facilities and the professional expertise of its staff. Program graduates include Rich Sommer (Mad Men, Harvey), Elizabeth A. Davis (Once – Tony Award Nomination, The 39 Steps), Tom Degnan (The Good Wife), and Andrew Gorell (The Lion King).



ABOUT CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE

Founded in 1915, Cleveland Play House is America’s first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, Cleveland Play House has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. It has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,300 CPH productions. Today, Cleveland Play House looks toward its centennial while performing in three state-of-the art venues at PlayhouseSquare in downtown Cleveland.

www.clevelandplayhouse.com

Cleveland Play House is funded through the generosity of Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and The Ohio Arts Council helps to fund Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.



###



FACT SHEET

WHAT: Too True to be Good

Written by: George Bernard Shaw

Directed by: Donald Carrier

Performed by: The Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program Class of 2016


SYNOPSIS: Miss Mopply is a rich invalid, constantly confined to bed by an over-protective mother. When two burglars attempt to steal her prized necklace, Miss Mopply sees an opportunity to escape her bedroom prison and the “flapdoodle” life of the respectable and wealthy. She joins up with the robbers, and the trio goes on the lam to the far reaches of the British Empire. They settle in for a life of leisure at a beachfront outpost of the British army, but what happens when the thrill of being a criminal wears off? And can they really leave the past behind them?


WHERE: Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre (“The Helen”)

PlayhouseSquare, 1407 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio


WHEN: Opening Night: Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Final Performance: Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Wednesday - Saturday Evenings 7:30 pm

Saturday Matinees 3:00 pm


SPECIAL EVENTS

Pre-show Conversations – 45 minutes before every production. These interactive half-hour conversations pull back the curtain early to let you connect with the people, themes, ideas and creative choices that go into the production, in an engaging and relaxed setting.

Post-show Discussions Friday, 3/7; Friday, 3/14 - A chance to interact with the cast, creative team, local experts and fellow playgoers in a lively and wide-ranging discussion of the production and the questions it raises.


PRICES

Single tickets are on sale now; prices range from $7.50 to $15. Tickets are $7.50 for currently enrolled students under age 25 with valid ID. For single tickets, please call 216-241-6000 or go online at clevelandplayhouse.com. Groups of 10+ call 216-400-7027 or email cwheeler@clevelandplayhouse.com.

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