Tucson / Phoenix: Arizona Theatre Co.: 2008-2009 Season

ATC presents an intimate portrait of Ann Landers, the Queen of Advice

SPEND AN EVENING WITH THE LADY WITH ALL THE ANSWERS

Arizona Theatre Company is pleased to welcome Tony-nominated actor and television personality Nancy Dussault as she brings to life the advice columnist Ann Landers, one of the most intriguing characters of the 20th century,. She was an iconic American figure who offered her expertise, advice and a shoulder to cry on to millions of  readers from 1955 until her death at 2002.  The Lady with All the Answers by David Rambo offers a unique chance to spend an evening with the Queen of Advice and to get to know the woman behind the persona.

Directed by Samantha K. Wyer, The Lady with All the Answers plays in Tucson at the Temple of Music and Art from October 18 through November 8. It continues its run in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater Center from November 13 through November 30. Arizona Theatre Company’s season underwriters are I. Michael and Beth Kasser.

“Dear Ann Landers..." For decades she allowed lovelorn teens, confused couples and everyone else in need of help to turn to her for advice. No topic was off-limits from love to death to how to properly hang a roll of toilet paper. Now, late on a 1975 night in Ann Landers’ Chicago apartment, an ironic twist of events confronts her with a looming deadline for a column dealing with a new kind of dilemma: her own. Based on real events and actual letters, The Lady with All the Answers spends an intimate evening with Ann as she shares secrets, personal revelations and some juicy tidbits from her multitude of readers as she wrestles with the most difficult column she has ever had to write. The L.A. Times called David Rambo’s play, “a smile-inducing, tear duct-activating reunion with a woman who might have been a stranger but seemed like family…engaging from beginning to end”.

Director Samantha Wyer affirms that “The Lady with All the Answers is a theatrical jewel. I couldn’t be more delighted to work on this play with the marvelous actress, Nancy Dussault. She has a vivacity and wit about her that are integral in creating this fascinating woman for the stage. By sharing in Ann Landers’ questions and confidences, we are transported back to her Lake Shore Drive apartment in Chicago in 1975 from which Ann eased the hearts and minds of millions of readers.”

DAVID RAMBO (Playwright) is also the author of God's Man in Texas, The Ice-Breaker, The Spin Cycle, and a new adaptation of Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt.  His plays have been widely produced throughout the country, including productions at Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Geffen Playhouse, The Old Globe, Denver Center Theatre Company, Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Northlight Theatre, Magic Theatre, The Laguna Playhouse and Florida Stage. He has adapted several classic screenplays for live performance, including All About Eve, Casablanca, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington and Adam's Rib. His adaptation of the Sunset Boulevard screenplay was performed at the Hollywood Bowl accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra playing Franz Waxman's original film score.  He is a writer and producer of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, set in Las Vegas, the most watched TV show in the world.

SAMANTHA K. WYER (Director) is in her tenth year as Associate Artistic Director of ATC, where she also serves as Director of Education. Previously at ATC, Ms. Wyer directed To Kill a Mockingbird, I Am My Own Wife, Tuesdays With Morrie, Permanent Collection, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Proof, Wit, and Secret Things by Elaine Romero. Her other Arizona directing credits include Betrayal, The Philadelphia Story, Noises Off!, Two Gentlemen of Verona and Angels in America: Millennium Approaches at Arizona Repertory Theatre, Still Life by Harry Clark, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues by Jeff Goode and Two Days of Grace at Middleham by Toni Press-Coffman, a play she also directed for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Ms. Wyer came to Arizona from Kansas City, where she worked as director of Missouri Repertory Theatre’s Playwright’s Stage. She has been a visiting instructor and director for University of Missouri, Arizona State University and The University of Arizona. Ms. Wyer received her MFA in Directing from the University of Missouri and was awarded the Buffalo Exchange Arts Award by the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona.

NANCY DUSSAULT (Ann Landers) appeared on Broadway in Do Re Mi, Bajour, The Sound Of Music (replacing Mary Martin), Side by Side by Sondheim and Into The Woods, garnering a Theatre World Award and multiple Tony Award nominations for her work. Ms. Dussault appeared in the Off-Broadway revival of The Boyfriend, starred in Carousel and Finian’s Rainbow at the City Center; Street Scene, The Cradle Will Rock and The Mikado at the New York City Opera and Trelawny Of The Wells at Joseph Papp’s New York Public Theatre. Her television credits include The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Co-Host of ABC’s Good Morning, America and Too Close For Comfort.  Her numerous guest-starring appearances include episodes of Barney Miller; Full House; The Love Boat; Hotel;  Jack of Hearts; Matlock; Murder, She Wrote; Dream On; Mad About You; Providence; Family Law; Judging Amy and Alias. An Emmy Award winner, for Cabaret Tonight she continues to make cabaret and symphony appearances. In 1999, she founded the musical theatre program at UCLA. The past year has seen Ms. Dussault star in Sunday in the Park with George at LA’s Reprise and as Toinette in the American Conservatory Theatre production of Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid.

The artistic team for The Lady with All the Answers includes Tom Burch (Scenic Designer) who has designed for Northlight Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Chicago Children’s Theatre, among several Chicago-area theatres. Other regional work includes Romeo and Juliet for Childsplay in Phoenix, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Peninsula Players, among others. Mr. Burch is the recipient of a Jeff Award, two After Dark Awards and Chicago’s Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award. Sam Fleming (Costume Designer) returns to Arizona Theatre Company where she designed To Kill a Mockingbird, Bad Dates, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Wit and Proof. She has designed at theatres across the country including Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Alley Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, ACT Theatre, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, among others. She is the Associate Costume Designer for The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Jennifer Setlow (Lighting Designer) has designed lighting for Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, East West Players, Sledgehammer Theatre and Theatre de la Jeune Lune, as well as numerous theatres in Minneapolis and San Diego. She is the head of the lighting program at Arizona State University.  Brian Jerome Peterson (Sound Designer) celebrates his 23rd season and 56th sound design for ATC, where he has designed, among others, Enchanted April, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Inventing van Gogh, Twelfth Night, and The Holy Terror. His designs have been heard in many theatres including Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep, Cleveland Play House, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Northlight, Kansas City Rep, Portland Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville and San Jose Rep. Timothy Toothman is the Stage Manager.

MAEDELL DIXON (Understudy, Ann Landers) returns to ATC, where she appeared as Mrs. Dubose in To Kill a Mockingbird, as well as in Blithe Spirit, Amadeus, Katsina and Don’t Look Back. She appeared Off-Broadway at the 92nd St. Y in Intimate Letters with the Prazak Quartet. Other appearances include work with Chamber Music Plus Southwest, Phoenix Theatre, Invisible Theatre (The Business of Murder, From Door to Door, My Old Lady, Collected Stories, Kindertransport, among others), Actors Repertory Theatre of Sedona, Arizona Repertory Theatre (Mourning Becomes Electra, Light Up the Sky, The Belle of Amherst, among others), Old Tucson Studios and Guthrie Theater. Ms. Dixon has appeared on television on CBS, NBC and Lifetime (Jesse, The Truth About Jane, Little Arliss). Her film appearances include Speed Zone and Half Laughing. She received her BA from the University of Southern California and her MA from the University of Minnesota. She has been a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association since 1973.  For more information and her latest updates, visit haroldandmaedell.blogspot.com.

The Creative Team

DAVID RAMBO (Playwright) is the author of God's Man in Texas, The Ice-Breaker, The Spin Cycle, and a new adaptation of Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt. His plays have been widely produced throughout the country, including productions at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Geffen Playhouse, The Old Globe, Denver Center Theatre Company, Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Northlight Theatre, Magic Theatre, Laguna Playhouse and Florida Stage. He has adapted several classic screenplays for live performance, including All About Eve, Casablanca, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington and Adam's Rib. His adaptation of the Sunset Boulevard screenplay was performed at the Hollywood Bowl accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra playing Franz Waxman's original film score. He is a writer and producer of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, set in Las Vegas, the most watched TV show in the world.

SAMANTHA K. WYER (Director) is in her tenth year as Associate Artistic Director of Arizona Theatre Company, where she also serves as Director of Education. Previously at ATC, Ms. Wyer directed To Kill a Mockingbird, I Am My Own Wife, Tuesdays With Morrie, Permanent Collection, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Proof, Wit, and Secret Things by Elaine Romero. Her other Arizona directing credits includeBetrayal, The Philadelphia Story, Noises Off!, Two Gentlemen of Verona and Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, all at Arizona Repertory Theatre, Still Life by Harry Clark, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues by Jeff Goode and Two Days of Grace at Middleham by Toni Press-Coffman, a play she also directed for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Ms. Wyer came to Arizona from Kansas City, where she worked as director of Missouri Repertory Theatre’s Playwright’s Stage. Ms. Wyer has served as a grants panelist for Theatre Communications Group, Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Tucson Pima Arts Council. She has been a visiting instructor and director for University of Missouri, Arizona State University and The University of Arizona. Ms. Wyer received her MFA in Directing from the University of Missouri and was awarded the Buffalo Exchange Arts Award by the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona.

TOM BURCH (Scenic Designer) designed The Lady with All the Answers, Bad Dates, Red Herring and The Good War at Northlight Theatre, Gas for Less and Talking Pictures at Goodman Theatre, touring productions of The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth for Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Esperanza at Chicago Children’s Theatre, among several Chicago-area theatres. Other regional work includes Romeo and Juliet for Childsplay in Phoenix, as well as shows at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Peninsula Players, among others. Mr. Burch is the recipient of a Jeff Award, two After Dark Awards and Chicago’s Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award. Upcoming projects include The Hairy Ape at Goodman Theatre (as part of the O’Neill Festival), a touring production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and The Lady with All the Answers at The Cleveland Play House. His work can also be seen at tomburch.com.

SAM FLEMING (Costume Designer) returns to Arizona Theatre Company where she designed To Kill a Mockingbird, Bad Dates, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Wit and Proof. She has designed costumes at theatres across the country including Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera (world premiere of Dead Man Walking), Alley Theatre, Alliance Theatre, PlayMaker’s Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Denver Center Theatre Company, Studio Arena Theatre, CENTERSTAGE, StageWest, Houston Opera Studio, Skylight Opera Theatre, Texas Opera Theatre, ACT Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare Festival and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Ms. Fleming received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Westwood Playhouse. Off-Broadway, she designed the musical The Prince and the Pauper and has worked with the Pearl Theatre, Manhattan Class Company and The Women’s Project. She is the Associate Costume Designer for The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

JENNIFER SETLOW (Lighting Designer) has designed lighting for Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, East West Players, Sledgehammer Theatre and Theatre de la Jeune Lune, as well as numerous local theatres in Minneapolis and San Diego, such as Malashock Dance, Diversionary Theatre and North Coast Repertory Theatre. Ms. Setlow is the recipient of three KPBS Patté awards for her work in San Diego, as well as a 2007 NAACP Image Award for San Diego Repertory Theatre’s production of Intimate Apparel.  She holds a BA from Swarthmore College, an MFA from University of California, San Diego and is currently head of the lighting program at Arizona State University.   Ms. Setlow is a member of United Scenic Artists local 829.

BRIAN JEROME PETERSON (Sound Designer) celebrates his 23rd season and 56th sound design for ATC, where he has designed, among others, Enchanted April, Touch the Names, I Am My Own Wife, Molly’s Delicious, Twelfth Night, Tuesdays with Morrie, Crowns, Macbeth, Permanent Collection, The Pirates of Penzance, The Immigrant, The Underpants, A Streetcar Named Desire, Oh Coward!, Over the Moon, Copenhagen, The Drawer Boy, Much Ado About Nothing, Fully Committed, Proof, The Mystery of Irma Vep (forwhich he won an ariZoni Award), Loot, The Road to Mecca, and the world premieres of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Inventing van Gogh, Rocket Man, Minor Demons, and The Holy Terror. His designs have been heard in many theatres includingBerkeley Repertory Theatre,La Mirada Theater, Virginia Stage Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Cleveland Play House, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Northlight Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville and San Jose Repertory Theatre.

TIMOTHY TOOTHMAN (Stage Manager) has stage managed ATC’s productions of Touch the Names, Tuesdays with Morrie, The Immigrant and A Moon for the Misbegotten. Early in his career, Mr. Toothman spent five seasons as the Production Stage Manager for the Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY and was then Company Manager for five years for Sunshine Too, a national touring ensemble of deaf and hearing actors. He has also managed producing and presenting theatres in Indiana and Maryland. Prior to moving to Arizona, Mr. Toothman spent 11 years as a program and grants director for the Maryland State Arts Council and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. Mr. Toothman stage managed the National Heritage Awards Program for the National Endowment for the Arts for ten years. For the past six summers he has been the Production Stage Manager for the Vineyard Playhouse on Martha’s Vineyard.

GLENN BRUNER (Assistant Stage Manager) is in his twelfth season at ATC where he has stage managed, among many others, Enchanted April, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Pajama Game, Touch the Names, Molly’s Delicious, Twelfth Night, Bad Dates, Pride and Prejudice, The Pirates of Penzance, Copenhagen, The Fantasticks, Much Ado About Nothing, 2 Pianos 4 Hands and the world premieres of Steven Dietz’s Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Rocket Man, Inventing van Gogh and Over the Moon. A stage manager since 1985, Mr. Bruner has worked at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Pasadena Playhouse, CENTERSTAGE, Studio Arena Theatre, Maine’s Portland Stage Company and Casa Mañana Musicals in Fort Worth. He was the Assistant Stage Manager for the world premiere of On the Waterfront at The Cleveland Play House, and Production Stage Manager for the Off-Broadway premiere of Alan Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings. Mr. Bruner has also been the voice for many radio and television commercials and was an announcer for Texas Public Radio in his hometown of San Antonio. Mr. Bruner has been a member of Actors' Equity Association since 1981.

ASHLEY SIMON (Assistant to the Stage Manager) stage managed The Mousetrap, Same Time Next Year, and Forever Plaid this past summer at The Theater Barn in the Berkshires. At Florida Stage she was Assistant to the Stage Manager for the world premieres of Deborah Zoe Laufer’s End Days, Roger Heddon’s The Count, Jessica Goldberg’s Ward 57 and Assistant Stage Manager for 1st Stage: New Works Festival.  In West Palm Beach, she assistant stage managed an adaptation of Orson Welles’ radio drama Treasure Island at the Kravis Center. Ms. Simon is a graduate of the BFA Theatre program at Sam Houston State University, where she stage managed Little Shop of Horrors for the NAACP SHSU chapter in Texas.

MICHAEL DONOVAN, CSA (Casting Director) is, for the third consecutive year, the recipient of the Casting Society of America’s Artios Award for Outstanding Casting.  Previously at ATC, Mr. Donovan has cast Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure.  Other current theatre projects include the other production of The Lady with All the Answers (Pasadena Playhouse), The All Night Strut (International City Theatre, Long Beach, CA), and the national tour of Walking with Dinosaurs.  Credits includes shows produced at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, The Cleveland Play House, Alliance Theatre, Post Street Theatre, Hollywood Bowl, Shakespeare Festival/LA, Reprise, Ensemble Theatre of Santa Barbara and Laguna Playhouse.  Tours include Aida, Beauty and the Beast and Buddy.  TV credits include the new series Creature.  Mr. Donovan has also cast numerous films and over 1,200 commercials. 

ATC services for patrons, tickets

Arizona Theatre Company offers accessibility services for patrons with disabilities for select performances. Audio Description provides patrons with vision loss a running audio description of the movement and activities onstage through an infrared broadcast system.  Audio-described performances are offered on November 5th at 2 PM and November 6th at 2 PM. Interested patrons may request a tactile tour one hour prior to curtain. American Sign Language interpretation is presented by professional theatrically-trained ASL-interpreters for people who have deafness or hearing impairment.

An ASL-interpreted performance is offered on November 6th at 7:30 PM. Open-captioning allows patrons to read the play’s dialogue on an LED screen as the play progresses. An open-captioned performance is offered on November 6th at 2 PM. For Open-captioned or ASL-interpreted performances, patrons should request seats best suited to ASL interpretation or captioning when purchasing tickets. Large Print and Braille playbills and Infrared listening amplification devices are also available at every ATC performance with reservation. TTY access for the box office is available in Tucson at (520) 884-9723 or via Arizona Relay at (800) 367-8939 (TTY/ASCII).

Tickets range from $26-$50 depending on date and section choice and are available at arizonatheatre.org or by calling the box office at (520) 622-2823. Discounts are available for students, seniors and active military on specific performance days. Half-price student rush tickets are available for balcony seating for all performances one hour prior to curtain at the ATC box office (subject to availability; must show ID).

Ten Dollar Tuesday for The Lady with All the Answers is October 21st. Balcony seats for this preview performance are available for a suggested $10 minimum donation. (Tickets must be purchased at the ATC Box Office starting at 11 AM on September 16th. Seating is first-come, first served and is not guaranteed. Cash only, please. Two tickets per person maximum.)  For discounts on groups of eight or more, call Chris Olson at (520) 884-8210 Ext. 8204.

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Subscriptions for Arizona Theatre Company’s 2008-2009 season are currently on sale. Visit www.arizonatheatre.org for more information.

All Tucson, AZ performances take place at the Temple of Music and Art (330 S. Scott Avenue); call the Box Office at (520) 622-2823.

All Phoenix performances take place at the Herberger Theater Center (222 E. Monroe Street); call the Box Office at (602) 256-6995.

Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) Web Site: http://www.aztheatreco.org/

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