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From Lajollaplayhouse.com

Jonathan M. Woodward

Fans get discount on tickets for Jonathan Woodward’s play (knox)

Thursday 15 July 2004, by Webmaster



La Jolla Playhouse is proud to present the West Coast premiere of Obie Award-winner Melissa James Gibson’s SUITCASE or, those that resemble flies from a distance. SUITCASE, directed by Daniel Aukin, runs in the Mandell Weiss Forum from July 6 through August 8, with openings on Saturday, July 10 and Sunday, July 11, 2004.

In this hip, urban comedy by the author of the Off Broadway hit [sic], Jen (Colleen Werthmann) and Sallie (Christina Kirk), two young women who cannot finish their dissertations, refuse to let their frustrated boyfriends, Lyle (Thomas Jay Ryan) and Karl (Jonathan M. Woodward), into their apartments or their lives. The foibles of procrastination take center stage as the women, glued to their desks, obsessively telephone-talk their way through fantasies and fears in a desperate attempt to fight off the inevitable - love and real life. SUITCASE was cheered by Newsday as "exquisite and thoroughly original."

Playhouse Artistic Director Des McAnuff comments, "When I saw [sic] at Soho Rep, I was charmed by Melissa’s forlorn, quirky characters, with director Daniel Aukin’s astute staging and with the inventive design of the creative team. When I learned they were all collaborating on SUITCASE, I quickly ventured to Soho Rep for another magical and surprising evening of theatre. This team had once again fashioned an imaginative urban landscape in which the poetry of deferred dreams becomes the unlikely springboard for farce. I am so pleased to welcome them to the Playhouse."

Playwright Melissa James Gibson and Director Daniel Aukin

Melissa James Gibson won an Obie Award for her 2001 production of [sic]. In 2003, she completed an NEA/TCG playwriting residency at Soho Rep, where SUITCASE was developed in both their Writer/Director Lab and R&D workshop. She is currently working on a commission for La Jolla Playhouse and has received commissions from Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Children’s Theatre Company/New Dramatists Playground program, the

Adirondack Theatre Festival and, most recently, Playwrights Horizons and Mark Taper Forum. Next season, her play Brooklyn Bridge, with music by Barbara Brousal, will premiere at The Children’s Theatre Company. Gibson holds a B.A. from Columbia University and an M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama.

Director Daniel Aukin is the Artistic Director of Soho Rep, where he directed the world premiere of SUITCASE and [sic], the biggest critical and popular hit in the theatre’s history, for which he received an Obie Award. Aukin has been Artistic Director of Soho Rep since 1998 and his directing credits there include Maria Irene Fornes’ Molly’s Dream and the world premieres of Mac Wellman’s Cat’s-Paw and Quincy Long’s The Year of the Baby. His next directing project will be Gibson’s Brooklyn Bridge. He is on the advisory council for The Civilians, one of New York’s hottest new theatre companies.

The Cast

Christina Kirk (Sallie) appeared in Gibson’s [sic] and SUITCASE at Soho Rep. She has also appeared in Stage Door at HERE, Nighthawks (Blue Heron Arts Center) and David Auburn’s Fifth Planet (NY Stage and Film). Her film and television credits include Final, directed by Campbell Scott, Woody Allen’s upcoming movie Melinda and Melinda, John Hamburg’s Safe Men and Law and Order: S.V.U. She is an associated artist of The Civilians and Clubbed Thumb and a graduate of Brown University.

Thomas Jay Ryan (Lyle) most recently appeared in SUITCASE at Soho Rep and Five by Tenn at the Kennedy Center. His New York theatre credits also include This Thing of Darkness (Atlantic Theater Company), Juno and the Paycock (Roundabout Theatre Company) and Venus (Public Theater) and he has appeared regionally at Guthrie Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Shakespeare Theatre and Sundance Theatre Lab. He made his film debut as the title character in Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool and has also appeared in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Legend of Bagger Vance and Degas and the Dancer (an HBO film in which he played Edgar Degas).

Colleen Werthmann (Jen) appeared in SUITCASE at Soho Rep. Off Broadway, she appeared in Kia Corthron’s Light Raise the Roof at New York Theatre Workshop, Craig Wright’s Recent Tragic Events at Playwrights Horizons and Rebecca Gilman’s Blue Surge at the Public Theater. She is a founding member of The Civilians and has appeared in their productions of The Ladies, Gone Missing and Carnard, Carnard, Goose?. She is also a founding member of the acclaimed experimental theatre group Elevator Repair Service. Her solo shows Catholic School Girls Rule, Fire in the Hole and She Hates Her Supervisor were produced at P.S. 122, Westbeth, Joe’s Pub and HBO Workspace in LA.

Jonathan M. Woodward (Karl) recently completed a run of Ten Unknowns at Mark Taper Forum. New to the SUITCASE cast, he previously worked with Daniel Aukin at Soho Rep in Quincy Long’s Year of the Baby. He has also performed with Big Dance Company at Dance Theatre Workshop, HERE Independent Arts, the Via festivals in France and the Polverigi festival in Italy. Film and television credits include HBO’s Wit, Pipe Dreams, The Year That Trembled, Third Watch, Diagnosis Murder, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.

The Design Team

The SUITCASE design team includes the original New York designers Louisa Thompson (Scenic Designer), Maiko Matsushima (Costume Designer), Matt Frey (Lighting Designer), Shane Rettig (Sound Designer), Elaine J. McCarthy (Projection Designer) and Michael Friedman (Composer) as well as Dana Victoria Anderson (Stage Manager).

Ticket Information and Performance Schedule

SUITCASE begins performances July 6 and runs through August 8. Single tickets for SUITCASE and 2004 subscriptions are currently on sale and can be purchased in person at the Playhouse box office, by phone at (858) 550-1010 or online at www.lajollaplayhouse.com. Performances are Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 pm and Sunday evenings at 7 pm. Single tickets range in price from $28-$52. For students and patrons under 30, a limited number of $15 tickets are available. Subscription package prices range from $81 to $309.

Hey yalls - I know not many folks live in or near the San Diego neighborhood, but I gotta say, this is a great play and I’m super proud to be in it. The playwright is a great and fantastic writer and I am really proud of this piece...

Anyone who wants to see it should get in touch with me, as I’ve worked out a discount for Buffy/Firefly/Angel fans that want to catch it! I’ll be on the lookout for anyone who emails me at reverendwallet@earthlink.net and I’ll send on the link.

You all rock.


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