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Graduate Ensemble Makes Headlines in "The Philadelphia Story"

Posted February 17, 2015 in Press Releases

GRADUATE ENSEMBLE MAKES HEADLINES IN The Philadelphia Story

MFA Class of 2016 Delivers Classic Romantic Comedy

EXTRA PERFORMANCE ADDED

February 25 – March 7, 2015

Calendar Editors, See Fact Sheet for Performance Schedule

CLEVELAND, OH (February 17, 2015) By audience demand, Cleveland Play House has added an extra performance of The Philadelphia Story. This special Sunday matinee performance will take place on March 1 at 3pm.

Following November’s sold-out run of The Three Sisters, The Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House (CWRU/CPH) MFA Acting Program will present The Philadelphia Story in the Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre (“The Helen”) at Playhouse Square for 11 performances only, February 25 – March 7, 2015. Written by Philip Barry and directed by Jerrold Scott, this sparkling American comedy of manners closes the season for the MFA Class of 2016.

"I think The Philadelphia Story is one of those plays that finds the perfect balance between style and substance,” said Scott. “It's clearly a comedy about the posh and privileged, but underneath the banter and elegance is a story that highlights the struggle between virtue and forgiveness. Philip Barry cleverly challenges our preconceptions while making us laugh, and I think that's always a perfect combination."

ABOUT THE PLAY

On the eve of heiress Tracy Lord's second marriage, a steady stream of visitors — including her ex-husband and the paparazzi — create a most unwelcome guest list. With manners running high — and expectations low — the big question is whether Tracy will make it to the altar at all. In our era of tabloid journalism and growing class-consciousness, Philip Barry's classic romantic comedy is as potent and incisive as ever. The Philadelphia Story is a fascinating peek into the mixed-up lives of the rich and famous who seemingly "have it all."

THE PHILADELPHIA STORY Cast

MFA Class of 2016

NICK BARBATO (Seth Lord) has previously appeared in the CWRU/CPH productions of The Three Sisters (Andrei) and Too True to Be Good (The Doctor/Private Meek). He also recently appeared at CPH as Leo Hubbard in The Little Foxes.

JEREMIAH CLAPP (Macaulay Connor) has previously appeared in the CWRU/CPH productions of The Three Sisters (Vershinin) and Too True to Be Good (Colonel Tallboys). He also performed as an understudy in CPH’s Clybourne Park last spring.

ALEC HYNES (C. K. Dexter Haven) has previously appeared in the CWRU/CPH productions of The Three Sisters (Baron Tuzenbach) and Too True to Be Good (Popsy).

MEGAN KING (Dinah Lord) has previously appeared in the CWRU/CPH productions of The Three Sisters (Masha) and Too True to Be Good (Mrs. Mopply). She also recently appeared at CPH as Alexandra Giddens in The Little Foxes.

JAY BEN MARKSON (Alexander Lord) has previously appeared in the CWRU/CPH productions of The Three Sisters (Kulygin) and Too True to Be Good (The Microbe/The Father).

RICKIE McDOWELL (George Kittredge) has previously appeared in the CWRU/CPH productions of The Three Sisters (Solyony) and Too True to Be Good (Sergeant Fielding).

KATHRYN METZGER (Tracy Lord) has previously appeared in the CWRU/CPH productions of The Three Sisters (Olga) and Too True to Be Good (Sweetie).

KATIE O. SOLOMON (Elizabeth Imbrie) has previously appeared in the CWRU/CPH productions of The Three Sisters (Irina) and Too True to Be Good (Miss Mopply). She also performed at CPH in the New Ground Theatre Festival reading of Grand Concourse.

Additional Cast Members

SARA BOGOMOLNY (Elsie) is a junior at Case Western Reserve University, where she is majoring in theatre with minors in dance and creative writing. Sara will also be performing in this semester’s CWRU production of The Learned Ladies.

ERIN BUNTING (Margaret Lord) is a 2007 graduate of the CWRU theater program. Erin has previously performed with the CWRU/CPH MFA graduate ensemble in Heartbreak House, Present Laughter and Dead Man's Cell Phone.

JIM GREEN (Thomas/Dr. Parsons) is delighted to be making his Cleveland Play House debut. Jim is currently adjunct facility at Cuyahoga Community College West, and he is also a founding member of Something Dada, Cleveland’s longest running improvisational theatre company.

ARON LONG (Edward/Mac) has appeared in the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program’s productions of The Three Sisters and Twelfth Night. A new arrival to Cleveland, he recently graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater.

THE PHILADELPHIA STORY Creative Team

JERROLD SCOTT (Director and Willie Q. Tracy) is professor of theater at Case Western Reserve University where he teaches directing, classical acting and speech and dialects, and also serves as artistic director of the Eldred Theater. For the CWRU/CPH MFA training program, he has directed Present Laughter, Heartbreak House, The Real Thing and performed in As You Like It. He also serves as resident dialect coach at CPH. Jerrold has directed 15 productions at Eldred Theater including the recent production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Other local directing credits include A Doll’s House, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Polish Joke, Beck Center for the Arts; As You Like It, Cleveland Shakespeare Festival; and A Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Weathervane Playhouse in Akron. Prior to his CWRU appointment, he worked as a director, actor and educator in Washington, DC. He has taught at George Mason University, The Catholic University of America and served a visiting lectureship at The Ohio State University. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of South Carolina/The Shakespeare Theatre, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh and pursued further study in classical performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Jerrold is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and an associate member of SDC.

PHILIP BARRY (Playwright / 1896-1949) was born on June 18, 1896 in Rochester, New York. Raised by his mother and brothers, Barry knew he wanted to become a writer at a young age instead of taking over the family marble-and-tile business. Barry attended Yale but left during WWI to decipher cables for the U.S. Embassy in London. He later enrolled in George Pierce Baker’s playwriting course at Harvard, alumni of which include Eugene O’Neill and Thomas Wolfe. His first Broadway success, You and I, came in 1923 on the heels of his marriage and focused on marital obligations getting in the way of an artistic career. Barry’s next hit, Paris Bound (1927), was written while he and his family were living on the French Riviera amongst a circle that included F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Cole Porter. Holiday (1928), a depiction of an affluent American family confronted with less-than-conventional values, was filmed twice in 1930 and 1938, the latter starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. Though known for his comedic works, Barry was a practicing Roman Catholic who was, as theatre critic Brooks Atkinson noted, “attracted to moralistic themes about mankind,” which can be seen in The Joyous Season (1934). The Philadelphia Story (1939) is Barry’s most well-known and frequently revived work. It was made into a film in 1940, once again starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant; Hepburn also appeared in the play on Broadway. Philip Barry died of a heart attack in 1949 at the age of 53.

The design team for The Philadelphia Story includes Cameron Caley Michalak (Scenic Designer), Jeffrey Van Curtis (Costume Designer), Michael Boll (Lighting Designer), and James C. Swonger (Sound Designer). Also on the production team: Kaitlin LaVella Kelly (Stage Manager), Meghan Cvetic (Production Assistant), Ron Wilson (Assistant Director/Movement Coach), Catherine L. Albers (Acting Coach), and Beth McGee (Voice Coach).

For a complete cast and creative team bios, visit us online at http://clevelandplayhouse.com/shows/2014/the-philadelphia-story.

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 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 Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.

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: The Philadelphia Story

Written by: Philip Barry

Directed by: Jerrold Scott

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

SYNOPSIS: On the eve of heiress Tracy Lord's second marriage, a steady stream of visitors — including her ex-husband and the paparazzi — create a most unwelcome guest list. With emotions running high — and expectations low — the big question is whether Tracy will make it to the altar at all.

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

Playhouse Square, 1407 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, 44115

WHEN: Opening Night: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Final Performance: Saturday, March 7th, 2015

Wednesday - Saturday Evenings at 7:30 pm

Saturday Matinees at 3:00 pm

Sunday Matinee (March 1st only) at 3:00 pm

SPECIAL EVENTS

Pre-show Conversations – 30 minutes before every performance. These interactive 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, 2/27; Friday, 3/6 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 jnemecek@clevelandplayhouse.com.

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