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Love, Lust, and Literature Collide in CPH's Production of Sex With Strangers

Posted October 4, 2016 in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Media contact:
Kelly Luecke
KellyLuecke@yahoo.com
(216) 712-6292

Love, Lust, and Literature Collide in CPH’s Production of
Sex With Strangers

Oct. 22 – Nov. 13 in the Outcalt Theatre

Media nights are Friday, Oct. 28 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 29th at 7:30 p.m.


CLEVELAND, OH (Oct. 4, 2016) The digital revolution has changed the way that people work, create, and even the way they find love. Laura Eason’s smart two-person comedy Sex With Strangers explores the internet’s impact on writers Ethan and Olivia, and its effect on them both professionally and personally. Eason’s (House of Cards) clever, sultry script was dubbed “…a bodice-ripper with a brain” by The Washington Post, and The Hollywood Reporter called it “both sexually and intellectually provocative.” Its relevance in today’s digital world, and its sizzling and steamy script, has made it one of the most produced plays of 2016. Directed by Joanie Schultz, Cleveland Play House’s production of Sex With Strangers will run in the Outcalt Theatre from Oct. 22 – Nov. 13. Additional selected Sunday evening performances have recently been added due to high demand. This production is sponsored by Ambiance: The Store for Lovers.

CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley adds:Sex With Strangers is a smart, flirtatious, and enticing modern love story that explores romance and fulfillment in the digital age. With social media there is the pressure to constantly curate our lives as if we were a brand. Lines between public persona and private self can get very blurry and confused. The play asks how do we live and love authentically in this new age and how much should be shared. This alluring production will take place in our intimate Outcalt Theatre and will make for a steamy and insightful night out!”


About the Play

Olivia is an obscure novelist on the cusp of 40; Ethan is a famous sex blogger — and 28. When these two strangers collide at a remote B&B, a steamy romance erupts. Passion, intellect, and secret agendas clash in this smart, tantalizing take on modern love that flirts with the ever-blurring line between public and private in our digital age.


Sex With Strangers Cast

SEAN HUDOCK (Ethan) Theatre credits include eight seasons with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey including: The Diary of Anne Frank, The Comedy of Errors, The Lion In Winter, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest and Life of Galileo. Additional theatre credits include: She Calls Me Firefly (VH Theatrical, NY), The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial opposite Ed Asner and James Cromwell (LA Theatre Works), Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (We Happy Few, DC; Washington Post Editor’s Pick), Jesus Hates Me (Emigrant Theater, MN) and The Chairs (Teatr Zritelya Yunova, Russia). In film he starred in Private Romeo (New York Times Critics’ Pick; Outstanding Actor Grand Jury Award, HBO Outfest), Powerless opposite Kelli Giddish, English (Gold Remi Award) and Cry_Wolf (Universal). He founded and develops new work through Wild Root Co, based in New York City. Say hi @SeanHudock.

MONETTE MAGRATH (Olivia) was last seen at Cleveland Play House as Lady Caroline in Enchanted April. She appeared on Broadway in All the Way with Bryan Cranston, and Off-Broadway in The Attic Theatre Company’s On the Verge. Her regional credits include World Premieres of Silent Sky (South Coast Rep), The Night is a Child (Milwaukee Rep), The Ice-Breaker (Laguna Playhouse, and Under My Skin at Pasadena Playhouse. She also appeared in Disgraced at Philadelphia Theater Company), Stick Fly (McCarter Theatre Center), Book of Days (Arena Stage), The Great Gatsby (Arizona Theatre Company), The Laramie Project (Laguna Playhouse) and Desire Under the Elms (A Noise Within). At the Pasadena Playhouse, she appeared in Mauritius, Enchanted April, Private Lives, As You Like It and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Television and film credits include Miss Dial, Jake’s Closet, The Other Sister, The Young and the Restless and recurring roles on Redhanded and Weeds.


Sex With Strangers Creative Team

LAURA EASON (Playwright) is the author of twenty plays, original work and adaptation, a musical book writer and screenwriter. Selected productions include Sex With Strangers (Second Stage, NYC; Signature Theatre, DC; Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago; Sydney Theatre, AU; published by Overlook Press); The Undeniable Sound of Right Now (Rattlestick Theatre and Women’s Project Theatre, NYC; Rising Phoenix Rep, NYC); The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Hartford Stage, CT; New Victory, NYC; People’s Light, PA; Actor’s Theatre, KY; KC Rep; St. Louis Rep; Denver Center, published by DPS), and Around the World in 80 Days (New Vic and Royal Exchange, UK; Lookingglass Theatre; Baltimore Centerstage; published by Broadway Play Publishing). She wrote the book for the musicals Days Like Today, music and lyrics by Alan Schmuckler (Writers Theatre, Chicago) and Summerland, music by Jenny Giering, lyrics by Sean Barry (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre commission). Additional plays include: The Vast In-Between (Denver Center commission, also developed by the Vineyard, NYC), Remarkable Invisible (Ambassador Theatre Group commission), Every Reason to Hope and Believe (Repertory of St. Louis commission), 40 Days (NEA grant, developed by New York Theatre Workshop and Lookingglass Theatre Company), Plainfield Ace (developed by Two River Theatre, NJ and Atlantic Theatre Company, NYC) and an adaptation of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates (Arden Theatre commission), among others. As a screenwriter, Laura wrote on seasons two and three of the Emmy-winning Netflix show House of Cards. She is an Ensemble Member and former Artistic Director of Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre (2011 Regional Tony Award). In New York, she is a member of Rising Phoenix Rep, New Georges, and a Women’s Project Playwright’s Lab alumna. More information available at lauraeason.com or @LeasonNYC on twitter. www.lauraeason.com

JOANIE SCHULTZ (Director) is a Chicago-based freelance director. Along with Sex With Strangers, in the 2016/17 season she is directing King Liz at Windy City Playhouse and the world premiere of Queen by Madhuri Shekar for Victory Gardens Theater. Last season, she directed Hand to God (Studio Theatre in DC) and Spinning (Irish Theatre of Chicago); along with the world premieres of Lot’s Wife by Eric Rosen (Kansas City Repertory), Bruise Easy by Dan LeFranc (American Theatre Company), The Cheats by Hamish Linklater (Steep Theatre) and Cocked by Sarah Gubbins (Victory Gardens Theater). Also recently, she directed Martyr (Steep Theatre); Yankee Tavern (American Blues Theatre); The Hundred Flowers Project (Silk Road Rising); Rest and The Whale (Victory Gardens); Venus in Fur (Goodman Theatre); Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (Remy Bumppo Theatre) and fml: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life (Steppenwolf Theatre). She has also directed operas including Bluebeard’s Castle, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Acis and Galatea and Carmen. Joanie holds an MFA in directing from Northwestern University; was a Drama League Fellow; The Goodman Theatre's Michael Maggio Directing Fellow; the SDCF Denham Fellow; a Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab participant; and was 2013 Co-Artistic Curator for Theater on the Lake. She is an ensemble member at Steep Theatre, associate artist with Victory Gardens Theater, and is on the theater faculty of Columbia College and University of Chicago. From 2014-16, Joanie served as Associate Artistic Producer at Victory Gardens Theater, as part of the Leadership U One-on-One Fellowship funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by TCG.

The Design Team for Sex With Strangers includes: CHELSEA M. WARREN (Scenic Designer,) WHITNEY LOCHER (Costume Designer), MICHAEL BOLL (Lighting Designer), THOMAS DIXON (Sound Designer). The Stage Manager for this production is JENNIFER CASTER.


Sex With Strangers Special Events – All FREE

Behind-the-Scenes: Take it from the Top!
October 24, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Get ready for an insightful exploration of the art of directing with Sex With Strangers’ director Joanie Schultz. From casting to opening night, Joanie will discuss her unique perspective as a director, including a hands-on demonstration of how she works with actors during the rehearsal process. Don’t miss this chance to engage with a director critics are calling astute, delicious, engaging and raw.

TalkBacks
October 30, 2016 from 9:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
November 1, 2016 from 9:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
November 6, 2016 from 9:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

TalkBacks are regularly scheduled for patrons as an opportunity to delve deeper into the experience with the artists.

Pre-Show Conversations begin 45 minutes prior to the start of each performance.


Ticket Information

Sex With Strangers will take place in the Outcalt Theatre from October 22 – November 13. Tickets range in price from $25-$90 each. To order single tickets please call 216-241-6000 or visit clevelandplayhouse.com. Groups of 10+ save up to 40% off single ticket prices; call 216-400-7027.


Cleveland Play House, recipient of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award® and founded in 1915, is America's first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, CPH 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. CPH has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,600 productions. Today, Cleveland Play House celebrates the beginning of its second century of service while performing in three state-of-the art venues at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.

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

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