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Press Release

 

CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM ANNOUNCED FOR THE U.S. PREMIERE
OF ALAN AYCKBOURN'S LIFE OF RILEY


SAN DIEGO (April 7, 2011)—Executive Producer Lou Spisto today announced the complete cast and creative team for the U.S. premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's new comedy, Life of Riley.  Directed by Richard Seer, Life of Riley will run in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, April 30 – June 5.  Preview performances run April 30 - May 4. Opening night is Thursday, May 5 at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.
 
Sir Alan Ayckbourn, one of the world’s most successful living playwrights, was recently awarded the U.K.'s Critics' Circle Annual Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts and a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater.  He is also The Old Globe’s most-produced living playwright.  Globe audiences have enjoyed 10 of Ayckbourn’s plays since 1978, including the U.S. premieres of Mr. A’s Amazing Maze Plays and Intimate Exchanges.
 
With Life of Riley (Sir Alan’s 74th play!) the playwright looks backwards, forwards and, now and then, sideways with wry comic affection on the lives we lived or might have lived.  George Riley’s closest friends discover that he has just a few months to live and they each deal with the news in their own very surprising way. George has deeply affected each of their lives, and he is now plotting one last final farewell, which could upset all of their futures.
 
The cast of Life of Riley features David Bishins (Simeon), Ray Chambers (Jack), Rebecca Gold (Tilly), Dana Green (Tamsin), Colin McPhillamy (Colin), Henny Russell (Kathryn) and Nisi Sturgis (Monica).
 
The creative team includes Robert Morgan (Scenic and Costume Design), Chris Rynne (Lighting Design), Paul Peterson (Sound Design), Jan Gist (Dialect Coach) and Elizabeth Stephens (Stage Manager).
 
Playwright Alan Ayckbourn was born in Hampstead in 1939 to a violinist father and a mother who was a writer.  No doubt he inherited their creativity but a bigger gift was his first close-up view of two people who couldn't be happy together.  By 1945 they had split up and in 1948 his mother married her bank manager.  Utterly incompatible, she had a complete breakdown before Alan persuaded her to leave home.  He left school at 17 with two 'A' levels and an exhaustive knowledge of miserable relationships perceived through the woman's eyes which may explain so much of his writing.  Two years in regional theater as an actor and stage manager led in 1959 to the writing of his first play The Square Cat for Scarborough's Theatre In the Round at the instigation of his then employer and subsequent mentor, Stephen Joseph.  Some 74 plays later, his work has been translated into over 35 languages, is performed on stage and television throughout the world and has won countless awards.  There have been English and French screen adaptations, the most notable being Alain Resnais’ fine film of Private Fears in Public Places.  Major successes include Relatively Speaking, How the Other Half Loves, Absurd Person Singular, Bedroom Farce, A Chorus of Disapproval, The Norman Conquests (recently revived to great acclaim by Matthew Warchus), A Small Family Business, Henceforward…, Comic Potential, Things We Do For Love, House & Garden and My Wonderful Day.  He is also a noted director and it was only in 2009 that he retired as Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, a post he held for 37 years.  Indeed, he would perhaps consider his greatest achievement to be the establishment of this permanent home for the Theatre in the Round company he first worked for all those years ago when the splendid two auditoria complex fashioned from a former Odeon Cinema opened in 1996.  His current plans include the world premiere of Dear Uncle, an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya and, in the autumn of this year, the premiere of his 75th play Neighbourhood Watch.  In addition to the many honorary degrees and other awards he has received, he was recently inducted in to American Theatre's Hall of Fame, received the Society of London Theatres' Special Award and this year has been honoured with a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre as well as the Critics' Circle Award for services to the arts.  He was knighted in 1997. www.alanayckbourn.net.
 
Director Richard Seer is an award-winning director and actor and has directed and/or performed on Broadway, Off Broadway, on film and television and in over 70 productions at regional theaters in this country and Great Britain, including The Kennedy Center, Goodman Theatre, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Huntington Theatre Company, Playwrights Theater, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Studio Arena Theater, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Sybil Thorndike Theatre in England.  He originated the role of Young Charlie in the 1978 Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Hugh Leonard’s Da and received the Theatre World Award for his performance.  At The Old Globe, he has directed productions of The Last Romance, The Price, Romeo and Juliet, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Trying, Fiction, Blue/Orange (San Diego Critics Circle Award), All My Sons, Da and Old Wicked Songs (Patté Award).  Recent directing assignments also include Third (Huntington Theatre Company) and Sonia Flew (San Jose Repertory Theatre). He received his M.F.A. in directing from Boston University, where he was awarded the prestigious Kahn Directing Award in 1985.  In 1990, Seer was invited to return to Boston University’s School for the Arts as an Associate Professor of Acting and Directing.  He has been Director of The Old Globe/University of San Diego Graduate Theatre Program since 1993.  In 2010, he was awarded the Craig Noel Distinguished Professorship.
 
TICKETS to Life of Riley can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.  Performances at the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre begin on April 30 and continue through June 5.  Ticket prices range from $29 to $67.  Performance times:  Previews:  Saturday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m., Sunday, May 1 at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 3 at 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00 p.m.  Regular Performances:  Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday evenings at 7:00 p.m.  There is also a Wednesday matinee on May 18 at 2:00 p.m. and no Saturday matinee performance on May 21.  Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and under, seniors and groups of 10 or more.
 
Associated events taking place during the run of Life of Riley include:
 
INSIGHTS SEMINAR: Life of Riley
Monday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m.  FREE
Insight Seminars are informal presentations of ideas and insights to enhance the theater-going experience.  The seminars feature a panel selected from the artistic company of each production and take place in the theater where the production is performed.  Reception, 6:30 p.m.  Seminar, 7:00 p.m.  Admission is free and reservations are not required.
 
POST-SHOW FORUMS: Life of Riley
Tuesdays, May 10 and 31 and Wednesday, May 18.  FREE
Discuss the play with members of the Life of Riley cast and crew at post-show discussions led by the Globe’s creative staff after the performances.
 
OUT AT THE GLOBE: Friday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m.  $20
An evening for gay and lesbian theater lovers and the whole LGBT community, Out at the Globe includes a hosted wine and martini bar, appetizers and door prizes.  $20 per person.  RSVP at (619) 23-GLOBE.  (Tickets to Life of Riley are sold separately.)
 
THANK GLOBE IT’S FRIDAY: Fridays, May 13 and 20 at 6:30 p.m.  $20
Kick off the weekend with the Globe’s Friday pre-show bash.  TGIF includes a hosted wine and martini bar, appetizers and desserts.  $20 per person.  RSVP at (619) 23-GLOBE.  (Tickets to Life of Riley are sold separately.)
 
LOCATION:  The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way.  There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park.  Valet parking is also available ($10).  For additional parking information visit www.BalboaPark.org.

CALENDAR:  Groundswell (3/12-4/17), Rafta, Rafta… (3/22-4/24), August: Osage County (5/7-6/12), Life of Riley (4/30-6/5), Much Ado About Nothing (5/29-9/24), The Tempest (6/5-9/25), Amadeus (6/12-9/22), Hershey Felder as George Gershwin Alone (7/1-7/10), Hershey Felder in Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein (7/15-8/28).
 
PHOTO EDITORS: Digital images of The Old Globe’s productions are available at www.TheOldGlobe.org/pressroom.
 
The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional regional theaters and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for 75 years.  Under the direction of Executive Producer Louis G. Spisto, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, which are both part of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 612-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival.  More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theater's education and community programs.  Numerous world premieres such as The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Catered Affair, and the annual holiday musical, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theaters across the country.

x x x

CAST BIOGRAPHIES

David Bishins (Simeon) was recently seen at the Globe as Jack Jerome in Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound.  His New York theater credits include The Glass House with Harris Yulin (Clurman Theatre), We Declare You a Terrorist (Summer Play Festival at The Public Theater), Incident at Vichy and Henry Miller in Anais Nin: One of Her Lives (The Beckett Theatre), Catch-22 (Lucille Lortel Theatre), A Mother, a Daughter and a Gun with Olympia Dukakis (Dodger Stages), Sympathetic Magic by Lanford Wilson (Second Stage Theatre), Bad Girls (The Directors Company), The Nest (directed by Moisés Kaufman), The Boys in the Band (WPA Theatre and Lucille Lortel Theatre), Teibele and Her Demon (Jewish Repertory Theatre) and Tower of Evil (Classic Stage Company).  His regional credits include Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird (Intiman Theatre), Place Setting (directed by Evan Bergman), The Great Game (directed by Wilson Milam), Lee in True West (Vermont Stage Company), Rag and Bone (directed by Tina Landau), A Month in the Country (Long Wharf Theatre), As Bees in Honey Drown (directed by Evan Bergman), Arcadia (The Wilma Theater), The Dybbuk (Pittsburgh Public Theater) and Reckless (Hartford Stage).  Bishins’ film and television credits include Salt, The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon, Henry’s Crime with Keanu Reeves, Sorry, Haters, The War Within, Tracks, “Liberty! The American Revolution” (PBS), A Magic Helmet, “Fringe,” “Babylon Fields,” “Law & Order,” "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Law & Order: Trial by Jury."

Ray Chambers (Jack) has worked as a classical actor and director with numerous regional theaters across the country since first training with The Old Globe in the mid-‘80s.  For nearly two decades as an Associate Artist with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Chambers has worked as an actor, director, writer and instructor. He also served as Director of the Master of Fine Arts/Professional Actor Training Program at ASF from 2001 to 2009.  His regional acting credits include title roles in Hamlet, The Count of Monte Cristo, Richard III, Coriolanus, King John, Henry V and Tartuffe and leading roles in Julius Caesar, The Winter's Tale, The Rivals, Henry IV, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Great Expectations, The Importance of Being Earnest and Saint Joan, among many others.  His credits at The Old Globe include Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, The School for Scandal, Coriolanus, Love’s Labours Lost, Hamlet and Macbeth.
 
Rebecca Gold (Tilly) is a senior at The Bishop's School in La Jolla and will be attending college in the fall.  She played Celia in The Old Globe's 2010 Shakespeare Intensive production of As You Like It and most recently played Yvette in her high school's production of Mother Courage and Her Children.  This is her first professional performance and her Globe debut.
 
Dana Green (Tamsin) was last seen at The Old Globe as Roxane in Cyrano de Bergerac and Viola in Twelfth Night in the 2009 Shakespeare Festival.  Ms. Green has spent four seasons with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival where some of her favorite roles included Isabella in Measure for Measure, Carol Cutrere in Orpheus Descending, Princess in Love's Labour’s Lost, Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Viola in Twelfth Night.  Her regional theater credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream (South Coast Repertory), All's Well That Ends Well (Yale Repertory Theatre), Measure for Measure (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Twelfth Night (California Shakespeare Theater), Love's Labour's Lost and Othello (Shakespeare Santa Cruz), The Constant Wife and The Play's the Thing (Asolo Repertory Theatre), Hay Fever (Court Theatre), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Meadow Brook Theatre) and Twelfth Night and Macbeth (Shakespeare Festival of Dallas).  She is a proud member of The Antaeus Company in Los Angeles.  Her television credits include "Early Edition."
 
Colin McPhillamy (Colin) trained at Central in London, U.K.  His Broadway and Off Broadway credits include The Importance of Being Earnest, Waiting in the Wings and House and Garden.  His American regional credits include When We are Married and The Constant Wife (Guthrie Theater), The Play’s the Thing, Amadeus and Servant of Two Masters (New Jersey Shakespeare Festival), Hamlet and Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (Arkansas Repertory Theatre), Ying Tong: A Walk with the Goons (Wilma Theatre), Arsenic and Old Lace (Alley Theatre), Sedition and Scramble (Westport Country Playhouse), The Drawer Boy, Hanging Fire and The Hatchetman (Florida Stage), The Likely Lad and The Faculty Room (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and The Molière Comedies (Mark Taper Forum).  McPhillamy has appeared on television in “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” In the U.K., he spent five seasons with the Royal National Theatre and has extensive West End, regional, festival and television credits.  In Australia he appeared in Democracy with Sydney Theatre Company.  His film credits include The Madness of King George. McPhillamy has taught and guest directed at London University, University of San Diego and in Beijing.  His plays and short stories for BBC Radio were nominated for the Prix Italia and the Writers’ Guild Comedy Award.
 
Henny Russell (Kathryn) is thrilled to be back in San Diego and is grateful to the producers of Lombardi on Broadway for granting her a leave of absence as standby for Judith Light.  Her other Broadway credits include The Royal Family, Impressionism and Major Barbara.  Off Broadway, she appeared in Fuddy Meers (Minetta Lane Theatre), Boy Gets Girl, (Manhattan Theatre Club) and Marion Bridge (Urban Stages).  Previous Globe productions include The Constant Wife, Sylvia, The Comedy of Errors, Dracula, Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew.  This play marks her fourth Ayckbourn, after Absurd Person Singular (Barrington Stage Company), Season’s Greetings (Denver Center Theatre Company) and the American premiere of Things We Do For Love (Studio Arena Theater).  She has also worked at Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Pittsburgh Public Theater, George Street Playhouse, Virginia Stage Company, Cleveland Play House, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, TheaterWorks, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Two River Theater Company and Paper Mill Playhouse.  On television, Russell can be seen in You Don’t Know Jack (HBO movie), “Law & Order,” “Gossip Girl,” “Possible Side Effects,” “Hope & Faith,” “Pensacola: Wings of Gold” and numerous commercials.  Her film credits include Revolutionary Road, Tie a Yellow Ribbon, Loopy and Corn.

Nisi Sturgis (Monica) is overjoyed to return to The Old Globe where she has been seen as Honey in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (directed by Richard Seer), Loves and Hours (directed by Jack O'Brien), Pentecost (directed by Mark Lamos), Taming of the Shrew (directed by John Rando), Much Ado About Nothing (directed by Brendon Fox) and Pericles (directed by Darko Tresnjak).  Her Broadway and New York credits include Annabella, Margaret and Pamela in The 39 Steps (directed by Maria Aitken), Mrs. Van Buren understudy in Intimate Apparel (Roundabout Theatre Company and Mark Taper Forum, directed by Daniel Sullivan), Kerri Taylor and Tobi McClintoch in Perfect Harmony (Essential Theatre) and Dsyphoria and The Less We Talk (Ontological-Hysteric Theater, directed by Alec Duffy).  Sturgis’ regional credits include Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, Rose in I Capture the Castle and Raina in Arms and the Man (The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Inherit the Wind (Geva Theatre), three seasons with Denver Center Theatre Company as Vivie Warren in Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Alice Sycamore in You Can’t Take It with You, Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, Sister James in Doubt and Lady Anne in Richard III.  She has a recurring role as June Thompson in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” She received her M.F.A. from The Old Globe/University of San Diego Graduate Theatre Program.

x x x

 

FACT SHEET

LIFE OF RILEY
U.S. PREMIERE
By Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by Richard Seer
 
RUNS: April 30 – June 5, 2011
Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center
 
TICKETS:  $29-67

SYNOPSIS:
 George Riley’s closest friends discover that he has just a few months to live, and he plots one last final farewell that could upset all of their futures.  U.S. Premiere.

CREATIVE TEAM:
Robert Morgan (Scenic and Costume Design), Chris Rynne (Lighting Design), Paul Peterson (Sound Design), Jan Gist (Dialect Coach) and Elizabeth Stephens (Stage Manager).

CAST:
 David Bishins (Simeon), Ray Chambers (Jack), Rebecca Gold (Tilly), Dana Green (Tamsin), Colin McPhillamy (Colin), Henny Russell (Kathryn) and Nisi Sturgis (Monica).

PREVIEWS:
Apr. 30 SAT 8pm
May 1 SUN 7pm
May 3 TUE 7pm
May 4 WED 7pm
OPENING NIGHT: May 5 THU 8pm
REGULAR PERFORMANCES:
May 6 FRI 8pm
May 7 SAT 2pm
May 7 SAT 8pm
May 8 SUN 2pm
May 8 SUN 7pm
May 10 TUE 7pm
May 11 WED 7pm
May 12 THU 8pm
May 13 FRI 8pm
May 14 SAT 2pm
May 14 SAT 8pm
May 15 SUN 2pm
May 15 SUN 7pm
May 17 TUE 7pm
May 18 WED 2pm
May 18 WED 7pm
May 19 THU 8pm
May 20 FRI 8pm
May 21 SAT 8pm
May 22 SUN 2pm
May 22 SUN 7pm
May 24 TUE 7pm
May 25 WED 7pm
May 26 THU 8pm
May 27 FRI 8pm
May 28 SAT 2pm
May 28 SAT 8pm
May 29 SUN 2pm
May 29 SUN 7pm
May 31 TUE 7pm
Jun. 1 WED 7pm
Jun. 2 THU 8pm
Jun. 3 FRI 8pm
Jun. 4 SAT 2pm
Jun. 4 SAT 8pm
Jun. 5 SUN 2pm
Jun. 5 SUN 7pm

INSIGHTS SEMINAR
Monday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Seminar series features a panel of artists from the current show.  Reception at 6:30 p.m.  FREE

POST-SHOW FORUMS
Tuesdays, May 10 and 31 and Wednesday, May 18
Discuss the play with members of the cast following the performance.  FREE

OUT AT THE GLOBE
Friday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m.  $20
An evening for LGBT theater lovers with a hosted wine and martini bar, appetizers and door prizes.  (Show sold separately.)

THANK GLOBE IT’S FRIDAY
Fridays, May 13 and 20 at 6:30 p.m.  $20
Friday pre-show bash includes wine, martinis, appetizers, dessert and live music.  (Show sold separately.)

BOX OFFICE WINDOW HOURS:  Noon to final curtain Tuesday through Sunday. American Express, Discover, MasterCard and VISA accepted.  (619) 23-GLOBE [234-5623]

LOCATION:  The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way.  Free parking is available throughout the park.  Valet parking is also available ($10).  For parking information visit www.BalboaPark.org.

PRESS CONTACT:
Jeffrey Weiser (619) 238-0043 x2352 jweiser@TheOldGlobe.org
Mike Hausberg (619) 238-0043 x2355 mhausberg@TheOldGlobe.org