Tucson / Phoenix: Arizona Theatre Co.: 2009 Season

ATC’s production of George is Dead

Marlo Thomas in George Is DeadFeatures Marlo Thomas

Arizona Theatre Company presents George Is Dead, a new comedy by acclaimed writer and director Elaine May. Featuring Julia Brothers, Academy Award nominee Don Murray, and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Marlo Thomas, George is Dead plays in Tucson at the Temple of Music and Art from October 17 through November 7. It continues its run in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater Center from November 12 through December 6. Arizona Theatre Company's season sponsors are I. Michael and Beth Kasser and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

In George is Dead, Marlo Thomas plays Doreen, the socialite wife of a right-wing Republican named George, played by Don Murray.  On her way to a fundraiser, driven by a possibly illegal immigrant, she ends up at the home of a former employee and her left-wing husband.  How?  Why?  Do they kill her?  Reject her? Adopt her?  Is George really dead?  Arizona audiences will have to see this comedy by the award-winning writer of The Birdcage, Primary Colors and Heaven Can Wait to find out!
 
Elaine May (Playwright/Director) started her career in The Second City, where she began a successful partnership with Mike Nichols.  The two appeared in clubs, on TV and Broadway.  Ms. May earned a Drama Desk Award for her play Adaptation, a one-act which she directed along with Terrence McNally's Next.  Other plays that she has penned include Death Defying Acts, Taller than a Dwarf, Adult Entertainment, Power Plays and After the Night and the Music. She wrote, directed and starred in her first film, A New Leaf, with Walter Matthau.

She wrote and directed Mikey & Nicky, starring Peter Falk and John Cassavetes.  She directed The Heartbreak Kid and received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay of Heaven Can Wait.  Ms. May's acting credits in film include California Suite, Enter Laughing, In the Spirit and Small Time Crooks (National Film Critics Award).  She wrote the screenplays for The Birdcage and Primary Colors (British Academy of Film and Television Award), which reunited her with Mike Nichols, who directed both films.

Julia Brothers is Carla in GEORGE IS DEAD.

Julia Brothers (Carla), comes to Arizona Theatre Company via San Francisco, where her recent credits include Moving Right Along (an early version of George is Dead), Medea (title role; directed by Joseph Chaikin), Nickel and Dimed, Ambition Facing West, Wit and Beauty Queen of Leenane.  Ms. Brothers has received numerous Bay Area theatre awards and was named Bay Area Theatre MVP by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2006. 

Don Murray (George) made his motion picture debut in 1956 in Bus Stop with Marilyn Monroe, for which he received Best Supporting Actor nominations for both the US and British Academy Awards.  He has appeared on Broadway in The Rose Tattoo; Smith; Same Time, Next Year; The Norman Conquests and The Skin of Our Teeth.  An early recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Mr. Murray has appeared in many films, including The Bachelor Party, A Hatful of Rain, Shake Hands with the Devil, Advise and Consent, The Hoodlum Priest (Best Actor, Brussels Film Festival) and Peggy Sue Got Married.

His television appearances include live performances of The Hasty Heart, Billy Budd, Winterset and his own screenplay, For I Have Loved Strangers.   Televisions series of which he has been a part include The Outcasts and Knots Landing (for which he wrote the screenplay for the second season premiere). 
 
Marlo Thomas (Doreen) has appeared on Broadway in The Shadow Box, Social Security and Thieves. Off-Broadway, she has been seen in The Vagina Monologues, The Guys and The Exonerated, and she was seen in the national tour of Six Degrees of Separation.

She has also performed The Exonerated in Chicago and Boston. Her regional credits include Paper Doll at Pittsburgh Public Theater, Woman in Mind at Berkshire Theatre Festival, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Harford Stage, The Effect of Gamma Rays... at The Cleveland Play House and Barefoot in the Park on London's West End. She most recently starred in Arthur Laurents' new play, New Year's Eve, at George Street Playhouse.

Ms. Thomas has appeared in more than a dozen distinguished television movies, including Nobody's Child, for which she won the Emmy Award for Best Dramatic Actress. Numerous TV guest appearances include Ugly Betty, Friends and Law & Order. Among her films are Playing Mona Lisa, The Real Blonde, Dust and Stardust, In the Spirit, Thieves and Jenny.

Ms. Thomas created the Free to Be...You and Me TV specials, books and records, as well as the bestselling books, The Right Words at the Right Time, Volumes 1 and 2. She starred in and produced the groundbreaking television show, That Girl, TV's first comedy series about a single, independent woman, and has been honored with four Emmy Awards, nine Emmy nominations, the Peabody Award, the Golden Globe Award, the Grammy Award, and has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Ms. Thomas is the National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which was founded by her father, Danny Thomas, in 1962. She lives in New York with her husband Phil Donahue.

The cast of George is Dead also includes Carman Lacivita (Freddie), who appeared on Broadway as Valvert in Cyrano de Bergerac. Off-Broadway, he has been seen as King Henry VI in Rose Rage: Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, 3 (Bayfield Award, Jeff Award, Drama League nomination). Mr. Lacivita's regional credits include Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, Fully Committed, Icarus, Burn This, and Three Days of Rain.  On television, he has appeared in Cyrano de Bergerac (PBS Great Performances) and Marino's (pilot).  Reese Madigan (Michael) appeared on Broadway in Abe Lincoln in Illinois and Holiday. Off-Broadway, he has been seen in Elaine May's Adult Entertainment, as well as in shows at Manhattan Theatre Club, Abingdon Theatre Company, Urban Stages and The Public Theater/Shakespeare in the Park. He also appeared in the National Tour of Six Degrees of Separation with Marlo Thomas. 

His film and television credits include American Shaolin, Prison Break, Canterbury's Law, All My Children and As the World Turns. Elizabeth Shepherd (Old Woman) has performed in London's West End, on Broadway, Off-Broadway, at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and the Shaw Festival Theatre in Canada, and in regional theatres across America. Recent roles include Fonsia in The Gin Game, Miss Havisham in Great Expectations, Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret, Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music and Mrs. Higgins in Pygmalion.

Ms. Shepherd has over 550 televisions appearances to her credit, ranging from The Winter's Tale (PBS, Emmy Award nomination) and several BBC Masterpiece Theatre series, to All My Children and Law & Order, to Mrs. Margaret Thatcher in Shades of Black. Roberto Guajardo (Funeral Director) most recently appeared at Arizona Theatre Company in To Kill a Mockingbird. Other ATC productions include Molly's Delicious, Twelfth Night, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure and Macbeth, among many others. Other regional appearances include Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre and San Jose Repertory Theatre. Mr. Guajardo has also worked extensively throughout Arizona, and has also made numerous appearances on TV and in film.
 
The creative team for George is Dead includes John Arnone (Scenic Designer), who has designed more than 30 productions at The Public Theater with legendary producer Joseph Papp. He designed The Who's Tommy on Broadway, for which he received a Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Other Broadway designs include How to Succeed in Business..., Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; Tommy Tune's productions of The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public and Grease; The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?; The Full Monty; Minnelli on Minnelli; and Lennon: The Musical. Sam Fleming (Costume Designer) returns to Arizona Theatre Company where she designed The Lady with All the Answers, 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, Denver Center Theatre Company, ACT Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Ms. Fleming received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for A Midsummer Night's Dream at Westwood Playhouse. She is the Associate Costume Designer for The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Kurt Landisman (Lighting Designer) has designed lighting for Ballet Arizona in both Tucson and Phoenix. His regional credits include productions at San Jose Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Laguna Playhouse and Los Angeles Opera.

His work has garnered 16 Bay Area Critics Circle Awards and five Dramalogue Awards. His lighting designs for playwright Sam Shepard include the world premieres of True West and Fool for Love. Brian Jerome Peterson (Resident Sound Designer) celebrates his 24th season at ATC, where he has designed, among others, Somebody/Nobody, The Lady with All the Answers, Enchanted April, Touch the Names, I Am My Own Wife, Oh Coward 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 including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Cleveland Play House and San Jose Repertory Theatre. Bruno Ingram is the Stage Manager.
 
Julian Schlossberg (Jumer Productions), has produced a number of shows, including Sly Fox, Fortune's Fool, The Unexpected Man, Madame Melville, Taller than a Dwarf, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Power Plays, If Love Were All, Death Defying Acts and Vita & Virginia.  In film, he has been a producer on Widow's Peak, In the Spirit, Bad Girls, No Nukes and Ten from Your Show of Shows.  His television credits include Mike Nichols and Elaine May: Take Two, Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey (nominated for an Emmy Award), Claire Bloom's Shakespeare's Women and The Lives of Lillian Hellman.

Accessibility Options

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. An audio-described performance is offered on November 5 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 5 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 5 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 programs 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).

Ticket Information

Tickets range from $26-$50 depending on date and section choice and are available at www.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 rush tickets are available for balcony seating for all performances one hour prior to curtain at the ATC box office (subject to availability). Ten Dollar Tuesday for George is Dead is October 20. Balcony seats for this preview performance are available for a suggested $10 donation. (Tickets must be purchased at the ATC Box Office starting at 11 AM on October 20. 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 (520) 884-8210 x 8201 or e-mail [email protected] For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the ATC Box Office at 520.622.2823 or visit www.arizonatheatre.org.

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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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