The Nora Theatre Company presents
Marisa Smith’s Saving Kitty
Starring Jennifer Coolidge
July 9 – August 2, 2015
Exclusive Engagement: Four Weeks Only!
CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Nora Theatre Company is proud to present Saving Kitty by Marisa Smith, featuring film and television star Jennifer Coolidge, and is directed by Artistic Director Lee Mikeska Gardner. Saving Kitty runs from July 9 through August 2, 2015. The press performance is Monday, July 13 at 7:30PM.
Kate and Huntley Hartley, atheist Manhattanites anxiously await the arrival of their daughter, up-and-coming television news producer Kitty, and her new beau Paul, for dinner – and much, much more. When Paul turns out to be an Evangelical Christian educator – the liberal, cultured Kate’s worst nightmare – everything is turned upside down as Kate tries to scuttle the budding romance. The uproarious Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie, Best in Show, and TV’s 2 Broke Girls) makes her Boston debut as Kate, the ruthless, unfiltered, and politically incorrect matriarch in Marisa Smith’s hilarious comedy.
Tickets for Saving Kitty start at $20 and will go on sale Tuesday, May 12. Saving Kitty is currently available as part of subscriptions for the 2015-16 Season which are on sale at CentralSquareTheater.org or by calling 617.576.9278.
About Marisa Smith
Marisa Smith’s Saving Kitty premiered at the Wellfleet Actors Harbor Theater on Cape Cod and was produced by the New Jersey Repertory Theater, workshopped at the Williamstown Theater Festival and is a Clauder Competition winner (Portland Stage.) Marisa’s comedy Mad Love (O’Neill Festival semi-finalist, NH, Clauder competition winner, Portland Stage) will be the first world premiere produced at the new Northern Stage Theater, White River Junction, Vermont in the winter of 2016. Theresa Rebeck will direct. Other produced plays include: Book Group, The Divine Family Comedy (finalist, Orlando Shakespeare Festival) Kong’s Reunion and The Lumpkin Sisters Christmas Caper. Marisa’s 10-Minute plays have been produced in the Boston Marathon of 10- Minute Plays, Barrington Stage in NY and in other theaters in VT, NH, Florida, New York and Massachusetts. They include: The Dress Rehearsal, Getting into Vassar, The Pre-num, Polar Bear Swim, Day One, Welcome to the Beekman Arms, and Total Expression (Heideman Award Finalist, Actors Theater of Louisville). In 2014 Marisa penned her first film, Second Wind, shot in England, staring June Brown, Harriet Walter and Tamzin Merchant, an Andrew Silver Production. Ms. Smith is the co-owner and Publisher of Smith and Kraus Publishers, a theater book publisher with over 600 titles in print.
About the Cast of Saving Kitty
Jennifer Coolidge (Kate) is known for her many memorable roles in the American Pie films, Legally Blonde films and A Cinderella Story. Jennifer has also starred in Christopher Guest’s Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration. She is currently a series regular on the hit CBS series 2 Broke Girls and was seen opposite Steve Carell in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which was released this past October. Jennifer was also on Broadway in all-star casts of The Women and Elling with Brendan Fraser and Denis O’Hare.
Lydia Barnett-Mulligan has trained and performed at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA since the age of 15, where selected credits include Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Ice Glen, both directed by Tina Packer, The Servant of Two Masters, The Tamer Tamed, Dibbledance, and Twelfth Night. She most recently played Pompey in Measure for Measure at Actors’ Shakespeare Project, where credits include The Cherry Orchard (Anya), Macbeth, and The Merry Wives of Windsor (Dr. Caius/Ann Page). Selected regional credits include The Physicists (with Roger Rees) at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Pericles at Elm Shakespeare Company in New Haven, CT, Romeo & Juliet (Juliet) at the Putney Gardens, Steel Magnolias and Miracle on 34th Street at Stoneham Theatre, 123 and Outlaw Jean with Fresh Ink Theatre, Shakespeare On Love (Juliet) at Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, and Macbeth with Shakespeare Now. Directing credits: King John, The Tempest, and Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, all at Williams College. LydiaBarnettMulligan.com
Alexander Cook (Huntley) returns to Central Square Theater, where he is best known for his seven characters in our award-winning holiday tradition, Arabian Nights. Mr. Cook can be seen in upcoming films The Forger (with John Travolta), The Congressman (with Treat Williams), Black Mass (with Johnny Depp), Universal’s Almost Mercy, Disney’s The Finest Hours, and David O. Russell’s Joy (with Jennifer Lawrence). He starred in the indie thriller This Killing Business, now in European distribution, and appeared in George Romero’s classic Dawn of the Dead as the Sledgehammered Zombie. Recent stage roles include Saunders in Lend Me A Tenor at Ocean State Theatre, Picasso in A Picasso at the Theater Workshop of Nantucket, and Ian in the critically-acclaimed Blasted at Providence’s Wilbury Theater Group. He has appeared in Boston as Colonel Dulac in the premiere production of Burning at Boston Playwrights, Ian (understudy, performed) in The Other Place at the Nora Theater, and Mary Prime Deity in The Lily’s Revenge at American Repertory Theater. In New York, he originated the role of Schumann in Carnaval Off-Broadway, and was a member of the Riverside Shakespeare Company, appearing in their productions of The Tempest, Julius Caesar and Richard III. He was a founding member of Pittsburgh’s City Theater Company, appearing in such productions as Curse of the Starving Class, Indians and How I Got That Story. He received his BFA in Acting from Carnegie-Mellon’s School of Drama.
Lewis D. Wheeler (Paul Cook) – Lewis has performed at CST in The Nora Theatre Company’s Emilie, La Marquise du Chatelet Defends her Life Tonight and Underground Railway Theater’s The Life of Galileo. This summer he appears in Israel Horovitz’s Gloucester Blue at Gloucester Stage. Regional credits include No Man’s Land – IRNE Nomination, Best Supporting Actor (American Repertory Theatre); Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Pattern of Life, Muckrakers (New Rep); Chosen Child – IRNE Nomination, Best Supporting Actor (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre); Doubt, An Ideal Husband (Gloucester Stage); The Importance of Being Earnest, A Number, The Glass Menagerie (Lyric Stage); Arcadia – IRNE Nomination Best Actor and Troilus and Cressida (Publick Theatre); No Exit (Payomet); Hamlet and Macbeth (Shakespeare Now); Bald Soprano, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, What the Butler Saw, and five seasons with Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre (WHAT); also American Stage (Florida), Commonwealth Shakespeare, Huntington Theatre, Wellesley Summer Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, Vineyard Playhouse, Wheelock Family Theatre, TCAN Natick. He was a founding member of Harbor Stage in Wellfleet, where he performed in The Seagull and Hedda Gabler and directed David Rabe’s Sticks and Bones. Film/TV credits include The Company Men, Pink Panther 2, Louisa May Alcott (PBS), Brotherhood, pilots Hatfields & McCoys, Gilded Lilys, and the upcoming Kenneth Lonergan film Manchester-by-the-Sea and Whitey Bulger saga Black Mass. Lewis earned his BA in Theatre and Film Studies at Cornell University and his MFA from the American Film Institute. Proud member of Actors’ Equity since 2004.
About Director Lee Mikeska Gardner
Lee Mikeska Gardner (Artistic Director of The Nora Theatre Company) marks her first year at the helm of The Nora. In back-to-back Boston-area debuts, Lee directed the critically acclaimed Her Aching Heart and followed with performing the title role in Emilie: The Marquis du Chatele Defends Her Life Tonight (Norton nomination for Best Actress.) Pursuing her love of new play development, Lee then performed Claudia in Boston Playwrights’ Theatre production of Chosen Child (Irne nomination for Best New Play.) Hailing from Washington, D.C., Lee has an extensive background in the theatre arts, education and administration. She has helmed over twenty world premieres, three of which earned nominations for the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play. Overall, her productions have received twenty-five Helen Hayes nominations. An Artistic Associate for ten years at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Lee directed After Ashley (Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Direction); Fat Men In Skirts; Life During Wartime (Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Direction); Goodnight, Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet (Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Direction); Doug Wright’s Watbanaland; The Chinese Art of Placement; the world premiere of The Gene Pool; Stop Kiss and Fuddy Meers. Other favorite directing projects include Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie at The Kennedy Center, Angels in America and Peristroika at Signature Theatre (WDC), T.S. Eliot’s The Cocktail Party for the Washington Stage Guild (Theatre Lobby Award,) Bad Dates at the Olney Theatre Center, Golden Boy and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with the Keegan Theatre (Artistic Associate), The Butterfingers Angel…, Thom Pain (Based on Nothing,) Stones In His Pockets and Three Tall Women at Rep Stage, where Lee also served as Managing Director for two years Blithe Spirit; The How and The Why; Humble Boy and Fuddy Meers at 1st Stage (Artistic Associate;) the world premieres of Caesar and Dada and Learning Curves (both by Allyson Currin); Equus; A Midsummer’s Nights Dream (with 7 actors,) and Deathwatch at Washington Shakespeare Company, where she served as Managing Director for 5 years, and the all-male Dangerous Liaisons, with Actors’ Theatre of Washington. As a performer Lee has earned a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress for the role of Mary in A House in the Country with Charter Theatre, where she also performed the roles of Carla in A Taste of Fire (Helen Hayes nomination), Fran in Short Order Stories, and Susanna in Of A Sunday Morning, all of which were world premieres. Lee originated the role of Hettie in Julie Jensen’s Two Headed, which she performed at Washington Shakespeare Company and Mill Mountain Theatre. Other favorite roles include Terry in Sideman at 1st Stage (Helen Hayes nomination,) Patricia Preece in Stanley at Potomac Theatre Project (Helen Hayes nomination,), Kimberly Bergalis in Patiant A at Freedom Stage (Helen Hayes nomination,) Clare in Tennessee Williams’s The Two-Character Play at Spooky Action Theatre, Gertrude in Hamlet and Luisa in A Shayna Maidel (Best Actress, Baltimore City Paper) at Rep Stage. Lee spent seven years as Associate Artistic Director with the Shenandoah Playwrights’ Retreat working on plays in development and has worked closely with emerging playwrights at The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival as an actor, director and mentor.
The creative team for Saving Kitty includes Resident Scenic Designer (2014-15 Season) for The Nora Theatre Company, Steven Royal, Resident Lighting Designer (2015-16 Season) John Malinowski. Dominique D. Burford is the Stage Manager.
Saving Kitty plays at Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, Thursday, July 9 through Sunday, August 2, 2015. Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30PM, Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 3PM and 8PM, and Sundays at 2PM. Tickets may be purchased by calling (866) 811-4111, at the Central Square Theater box office, or online at CentralSquareTheater.org. For box office hours, group discounts, and more information call (617) 576-9278 x210.
Central Square Theater (CST) opened in 2008 through a groundbreaking partnership between The Nora Theatre Company (The Nora) and Underground Railway Theater (URT). This collaboration has been called a model for the arts community (The Boston Foundation, Culture is our Commonwealth, and The National Collaboration Prize), as it has paired two like-minded performing arts organizations in a strategic alliance with the City of Cambridge and MIT, resulting in the development of a state-of-the-art performing arts center in the heart of Central Square. CST has a mission to support its two theaters-in-residence while maintaining a shared vision of artists and audiences creating theater vital to their communities. The Nora and URT have a combined track record of over 50 years producing award-winning theater. Located in Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and steeped in its multiracial, intergenerational, ethnically and economically diverse neighborhoods, the CST theater experience exudes a democratic energy where classes, races and age groups come together to be inspired, entertained and energized.