Becky Shaw

by Gina Gionfriddo
directed by Anne Kauffman
December 30, 2009February 7, 2010

Press Kit

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The Wilma Theater Stages Philadelphia Premiere of Pulitzer Prize Finalist Becky Shaw

Becky Shaw
by Gina Gionfriddo
directed by Anne Kauffman
December 30, 2009 - January 31, 2010 

PHILADELPHIA – The Wilma Theater continues its 2009-2010 Season with the Philadelphia Premiere of Becky Shaw (December 30, 2009 – January 31, 2010), directed by Obie Award-winner Anne Kauffman.  A Pulitzer Prize finalist, Becky Shaw is the latest work from Obie Award-winning playwright Gina Gionfriddo whose credits include Off-Broadway's After Ashley and writer and producer of television's “Law & Order.”  Gionfriddo will also visit the theater for an exclusive conversation on the Wilma’s stage on January 10.

Fresh from its critically acclaimed premiere at the 2008 Humana Festival and its extended Off-Broadway run at Second Stage Theatre earlier this year, Becky Shaw was described by The New York Times as being "as engrossing as it is ferociously funny, like a big box of fireworks fizzing and crackling across the stage from its first moments to its last.”

When Suzanna decides to set her best friend Max up on a blind date with her husband's mysterious co-worker, Becky Shaw, she sets into motion a series of cataclysmic events forever changing all of their lives. Mixing sharp wit and humor with the taut suspense of a psychological thriller, Becky Shaw is a comedy of romantic errors that keeps audiences at the edge of their seats guessing what will happen next.

Becky Shaw at The Wilma Theater begins previews on December 30, opens on January 6, 2010 (press night), and closes on January 31, 2010. Tickets are $36 to $65 and are available at the Wilma Box Office by calling (215) 546-7824, visiting 265 South Broad Street, or online at www.wilmatheater.org. Student tickets are available for $10, depending on date and time, made possible by a grant from PNC Arts Alive.

About the Director

Wilma co-Artistic Directors Blanka Zizka and Jiri Zizka have invited Anne Kauffman to guest direct in their 2009-2010 Season. “We're very pleased to showcase the work of Anne Kauffman, whom we consider to be one of the most inventive and imaginative Off-Broadway directors,” says Blanka Zizka.  “She is well known for her work with young, up-and-coming playwrights like Adam Bock, Anne Washburn, Jordan Harrison, and David Adjmi, and for creating an exciting and unique style for each production.  I was thoroughly impressed by Anne's direction of David Adjmi's Stunning in New York last year, and I was ecstatic to find out that Anne was available to direct Becky Shaw at The Wilma."

At the epicenter of the newest works in New York theater, Kauffman is an alumna of the SoHo Rep Writers and Directors Lab, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and the Drama League of New York. She is a founding member of the Civilians, and was a 2003-2004 New Dramatist Resident Director. Kauffman is also on the directing faculty at NYU in the Playwrights Horizons Theater Studio. She received her MFA in directing from UCSD. Her recent credits include God’s Ear at Vineyard Theater and New Georges Theatre; Anne Marie Healey’s Have You Seen Steve Steven at 13P; Adam Bock’s Thugs (Obie Award for directing), SoHo Repertory; John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt and Lisa Loomer’s Expecting Isabel at Asolo Repertory Theatre in Florida.

About the Cast

The Wilma’s cast includes Jeremy Bobb as Max Garrett. Bobb made his Broadway debut in Manhattan Theatre Club’s acclaimed production of Brian Friel’s Translations. He has most recently played Phelim O'Shaughnessy in the Broadway production of Mark Twain’s Is He Dead?.

The title character, Becky Shaw, is played by Brooke Bloom.  Bloom has appeared in numerous television shows and films including He’s Just Not That Into You, starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Aniston, and “Law & Order” in addition to playing recurring character Cynthia Wells on “CSI: Miami.”  Her theater credits include A Feminine Ending and Daniel Sullivan’s Hamlet at South Coast Rep, as well as Noel Coward’s Tonight at 8:30, Autumn Garden and Pera Palas at the Boston Court. She recently concluded work on the major motion picture Ceremony with Uma Thurman. 

Susan Slater is played by Janis Dardaris, who originated the role in the Humana Festival premiere of Becky Shaw.  Dardaris recently won the Barrymore for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play for The Wilma Theater’s 2009 East Coast Premiere of Scorched. She has previously appeared at the Wilma a total of seven times, in productions such as The Magic Fire, Orpheus Descending, and Road.

Andrew Porter is played by Armando Riesco who has appeared in the major motion pictures National Treasure and Garden State in addition to TV’s “Kings,” “Law & Order,” and “Third Watch.”  Riesco has numerous theater credits including Jose Alfonso Carcamo’s Decomposition (2009), and Eleven Rooms of Proust (2000) by Mary Zimmerman.

Danielle Skraastad rounds out the cast as Suzanna Slater. Skraastad has previously appeared at the Wilma in Jesus Hopped the A Train (Barrymore Award-winner for Outstanding Ensemble) and Big Love.  She recently appeared in the 2008 Broadway revival of All My Sons, and her TV and film credits include “SVU,” “Fringe,” “All My Children,” Michael Clayton and 27 Dresses.

About the Design Team 

The set is designed by Mimi Lien, whose work has been seen at the Wilma in last season’s Hysteria, in Outrage (Barrymore Award-winner for Outstanding Set Design), and the Barrymore-nominated productions of Eurydice and The Life of Galileo, among others.

Lighting is designed by Thom Weaver who was nominated for a Barrymore Award for his work on last season’s Scorched at the Wilma.  He has also designed shows for Signature Theatre Company, The Committee Theater, 37 Arts Theatre, and Yale Repertory Theatre, among others.

Costume Designer Emily Rebholz and Sound Designer Christopher Colucci are both working with the Wilma for the first time.  Rebholz has created work for Lincoln Center, Public Theatre, Roundabout Theatre, Ars Nova, P.S. 122, The Actors Playhouse, The Old Globe, Yale Repertory, among others.  Colucci has designed shows at numerous Philadelphia area theater companies.  He received the 2008 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Sound Design and was nominated in 2009 for his work on The Hothouse at Lantern Theater Company.

About the Playwright

Obie Award-winning American playwright and television writer Gina Gionfriddo, proclaimed by Variety as “some kind of genius,” graduated from Barnard College in addition to completing Brown University’s MFA playwriting program. During her time at Brown, she studied under the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel. Her previous writing credits include Off-Broadway’s After Ashley (2004) and U.S. Drag (2002), in addition to many episodes of “Law & Order”, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”, and “Cold Case”. Her work has earned her a number of prestigious awards and accolades including the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Symposium Series

A Conversation with Playwright Gina Gionfriddo

Sunday, January 10, 4:15 p.m.

Becky Shaw playwright Gina Gionfriddo joins dramaturg Walter Bilderback for an exclusive conversation on the Wilma’s stage.  The event is free for all subscribers and Becky Shaw ticket holders and $10 for others.  For tickets, call the Box Office at (215) 546-7824 or email tickets@wilmatheater.org.

The Wilma Theater will continue its 2009-2010 Season with the World Premiere of Language Rooms by Yussef El Guindi (March 3 - April 4, 2010), and the U.S. Premiere of Leaving by Václav Havel (May 19 - June 20, 2010).

Subscriptions & Tickets

3-play subscriptions start at $83, with Flex Subscriptions available that give subscribers the flexibility to choose performance dates over the season. Special discounts are available on single tickets for seniors, students, those in their 20s, and groups of 10 or more.  Subscriptions and tickets are available by calling (215) 546-7824, visiting The Wilma Theater box office located at 265 South Broad Street in Philadelphia, or online at www.wilmatheater.org

The Wilma Theater's Symposium Series is supported by The Wallace Foundation Excellence Award grant. The Wallace Foundation Excellence Awards were created to support exemplary arts organizations to pioneer effective practices to engage more people in high-value arts activities.

Doubletree Hotel is Artistic Lead Sponsor. Sporting Club at the Bellevue is a Season Sponsor. 

Reduced ticket pricing for students is made possible by PNC Arts Alive, a five-year, $5 million investment from The PNC Foundation with the goal to increase engagement in the arts, develop new audiences and make the arts more accessible to diverse communities in the Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey region.  In advance, students can save 50% off full-priced tickets (excludes Opening and Saturday nights) and purchase $10 tickets for Sunday evening performances.  Tickets for same day performances can be purchased for $10 at the Box Office. Tickets are subject to availability; valid student ID is required; limit one ticket per ID.

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Press Contact: Megan Wendell, Canary Promotion, 215.242.6393, megan@canarypromo.com