Tucson / Phoenix: Arizona Theatre Co.: 2009 Season


New Jane Martin Play Takes Aim at the Cult of Celebrity

Photo: Jessica Martin, Jeremy Stiles Holm and Alexandra Tavares in Arizona Theatre Company’s SOMEBODY/NOBODY.  Photo by Tim Fuller.

SOMEBODY/NOBODY, a world premiere comedy by award-winning playwright Jane Martin, takes a bitingly funny look at America’s obsession with celebrity and fame.  Hilarious and insightful, this screwball comedy shines a spotlight on the absurdity of the Hollywood star machine and the idea that fifteen minutes of fame will make your dreams come true.  SOMEBODY/NOBODY, under the direction of Jon Jory, plays in Tucson at the Temple of Music and Art from March 7 though March 28, 2009.

It continues its run in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater Center from April 2 though April 19, 2009. Arizona Theatre Company’s Season Underwriters are I. Michael and Beth Kasser and the sponsors of ATC’s Guest Director-in-Residence Program are Ann C. and Frederick A. Lynn. 

So you think you want to be famous?  So did Loli when she arrived in Hollywood from Flatt, Kansas, only to find her dreams of becoming ‘a somebody’ completely dashed.  A fateful knock on the door, however, and the appearance of teen idol Sheena Keener on her doorstep changes everything.  As the two women struggle to understand each other, Loli discovers that glamour isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and Sheena discovers that there is actually a world outside of the TMZ and the bright lights of the silver screen.  Throw in a vampire-wannabe stalker, a backwoods bounty hunter and a talent agent as big as a Galaxy and the result is a laugh-out-loud rollercoaster ride through the Hollywood hills. 

“Jane Martin is a playwright who always seems to have her finger on the pulse of our obsessions, whether in her serious political plays or her wild comedies,” said Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein, “In SOMEBODY/NOBODY, she has our 21st century mania for ‘celebutantes,’ paparazzi, and our fixation on fame in hilarious focus. Loli and Sheena, two characters from opposite sides of the galaxy, come together in a wild showdown over image and actuality and discover what is truly authentic.” 

Jane Martin (Playwright) first came to national attention for Talking With, a collection of monologues premiering in Actors Theatre of Louisville's 1982 Humana Festival of New American Plays. Since its New York premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in 1982, Talking With has been performed around the world, winning the American Theatre Critics Association Best New Play Award and the Best Foreign Play of the Year Award in Germany from Theatre Heute magazine. Her other work includes: Vital Signs, Cementville, Keely And Du (Pulitzer Prize nominee; 1994 American Theatre Critics Association Best New Play Award), Jack And Jill (1997 American Theatre Critics Association Best New Play Award); Anton In Show Business (2001 American Theatre Critics/Steinberg Principal Citation), Mr. Bundy and Flaming Guns Of The Purple Sage. Good Boys premiered at Guthrie Theater in 2002. Flags was co-produced by Guthrie Theater and Mixed Blood in 2004, and her most recent work, Sez She, premiered at Illusion Theatre in April 2006. 

SOMEBODY/NOBODY will be directed by frequent ATC guest artist Jon Jory, who brought ATC audiences The Clean House, Twelfth Night, Pride and Prejudice and The Underpants.  His adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, which was commissioned and premiered at ATC, has since broken house attendance records at several regional theatres. He was Producing Director at Actors Theatre of Louisville from 1969-2000, where he founded the Humana Festival of New American Plays. He has directed on and Off-Broadway and at many regional theatres and is currently Professor of Acting and Directing at University of Washington. Mr. Jory has directed internationally in nine countries and is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Drama League’s Outstanding Contribution to Theatre Award, American Theatre Association’s Award for Distinguished Service to Theatre, the Margo Jones Award twice for the production of new plays and recently the ATA Distinguished Career Award. He has directed nearly all the world premiere productions by playwright Jane Martin including Keely and Du, Talking With, Mr. Bundy and Anton in Show Business, among many others. 

The cast of SOMEBODY/NOBODY includes Alexandra Tavares (Sheena Keener), who appeared in last season’s The Clean House.  Ms. Tavares’ regional theatre credits include Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice and Janice in Italian American Reconciliation at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Irina in The Three Sisters and Ellie in Heartbreak House at Intiman Theatre and Medea in Jason and the Golden Fleece at Seattle Children’s Theatre. Jessica Martin (Loli) is a recent graduate of the University of Washington where she appeared in Mother Courage and her Children, Language of Angels, Juliet, Anton in Show Business, Mad Forest and Arcadia. Regionally, she has appeared as Ophelia in Indiana Repertory Theatre’s Hamlet, The Terminus at On the Boards and in the Icicle Creek Theatre Festival in Seattle.  Jeremy Stiles Holm (Joe Don) has appeared as Biff in Death of a Salesman at Arena Stage; Jack Brennan in Frost/Nixon and John Proctor in The Crucible at Capital Repertory Theatre; Slim in Of Mice and Men at The Cleveland Play House and Studio Arena Theatre and in Sleuth at Hangar Theatre. His television credits include Law & Order, The Street, Guiding Light and All My Children. Mr. Holm can be seen this winter on ABC’s What Would You Do? Elizabeth Gilbert (Galaxy) recently appeared on Broadway in A Man for All Seasons with Roundabout Theatre Company. Regionally, she has appeared in This Beautiful City at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, A Christmas Carol and Dracula at Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Hair at Hangar Theatre and in Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Amy Kim Waschke (Beverly) appeared most recently in Tamburlaine and Edward II with the Shakespeare Theatre Company. In New York, she has performed with Vampire Cowboys Theatre, Pacific Performance Project at HERE, Naked City Arts and The Artful Conspirators. On television, Ms. Waschke has been seen in Law & Order SVU: Identity.  Claire Buchignani (Stalker) is a BFA Acting student at the University of Arizona and recently appeared as Sister Boyet in Love's Labour's Lost. Previous roles include Tamora in Titus Andronicus, Jasmine in Aladdin, Rita in Prelude to a Kiss, Lois Lane in Kiss Me Kate and Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie. 

The design team includes Matthew Smucker (Scenic Designer), whose work has been seen at Childsplay, Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Portland Center Stage, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and Seattle Children’s Theatre, among others. He received the Seattle Times Footlight Awards as Best Scenic Designer for Nora and The Gingerbread Man in 2003, and for The Pillowman and Wine in the Wilderness in 2006. Marcia Dixcy Jory (Costume Designer) has designed costumes for Guthrie Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, Hartford Stage, Manhattan Theatre Club, Circle in the Square, ACT Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre and Village Theatre. As a resident costume designer for Actors Theatre of Louisville, she designed over seventy productions. She has published “The Ingenue in White,” a book of essays about costume design.  Michael Philippi (Lighting Designer) designed Arizona Theatre Company’s Pride and Prejudice. He has designed on Broadway for Death of a Salesman and The Speed of Darkness.  Off-Broadway designs include shows at The Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club and Playwrights Horizons. His international designs include The Iceman Cometh for Dublin’s Abbey Theatre. Mr. Philippi has been awarded the Jefferson Award and the DramaLogue Award.  Brian Jerome Peterson (Sound Designer) celebrates his 23rd season at ATC, where he has designed, among many others, The Lady with All the Answers, Enchanted April, I Am My Own Wife, Twelfth Night 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, Actors Theatre of Louisville and San Jose Repertory Theatre.  Ken Merckx is the Fight Director, Desdemona Chiang is the Assistant Director and the Stage Manager is Bruno Ingram. 

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 March 25 at 2 PM and March 26 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 March 26 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 March 26 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 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 SOMEBODY/NOBODY is March 10. 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 March 10. 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 8204.
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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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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