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Monday, 02 July 2012 17:25

BAD JEWS cast announced at Roundabout Underground

Roundabout Theatre Company
Roundabout Theatre Company’s

Announces the full company for  

A New Play by Joshua Elias Harmon

Directed by Daniel Aukin 

Tracee Chimo, Philip Ettinger, Molly Ranson, Michael Zegen 

This production launches the sixth season of Roundabout Underground following five critically acclaimed seasons of world-premiere productions since its premiere in 2007.

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) is pleased to announce the cast for the next Roundabout Underground production Bad Jews,a new play by Joshua Elias Harmon, directed by Daniel Aukin, featuring Tracee Chimo (Daphna), Philip Ettinger (Jonah), Molly Ranson (Melody) & Michael Zegen (Liam).

Bad Jews will begin preview performances on October 5 and will open officially on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. This is a limited engagement through December 30, 2012. All tickets for Roundabout Underground productions are $20.

The creative team includes Lauren Helpern (Sets), Mark Barton (Lights), Dane Laffrey (Costumes).

Bad Jews is a world-premiere comedy about the holy and the holier-than-thou.  Daphna Feygenbaum (Chimo) is a Real Jew—just ask the Israeli boyfriend she met on Birthright. So when her cousin Liam (Zegen) brings home his shiksa girlfriend Melody (Ranson) and declares ownership of their grandfather’s Chai necklace, it sparks a viciously hilarious brawl over family, faith and legacy. 

Bad Jews launches the sixth season of Roundabout Underground, an initiative to introduce and cultivate artists in Roundabout’s 62-seat Black Box Theatre, at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street, NYC, NY, 10036).  Prior productions include the acclaimed world premieres of Stephen Karam’s Speech & Debate (2007), Steven Levenson’s The Language of Trees (2008), Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days (2009), Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still (2010), David West Read’s The Dream of the Burning Boy (2011) and Andrew Hinderaker’s Suicide, Incorporated (2011).

Roundabout Underground is an initiative to showcase new plays that will either allow an experienced director to go back to his/her creative roots or give a debut production to an emerging writer or director.    Robyn Goodman (Artistic Consultant to the Roundabout), who has significant artistic development experience, curates the initiative that continues to be a creative breeding ground for nurturing new talent.

The 62-seat Black Box Theatre, below the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, allows Roundabout to take artistic risks that are better suited for a more intimate space. 


Tickets will be available beginning later this summer by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212)719-1300, online at or at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre box office (111 West 46 Street).  The ticket price is $20.00 for all seats. All tickets for Bad Jews will be issued as General Admission passes for first-come, first-served seating on the show date.


Bad Jews will play Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 7:00PM with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 1:30PM.

Major support for this production provided Jodi and Dan Glucksman.

New plays are supported by Roundabout Leaders for New Works:  Alec Baldwin, Linda L. D’Onofrio, Jodi Glucksman, Sylvia Golden, Caryn and James Magid, Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre, Laura S. Rodgers, Mary and David Solomon / GS Gives, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Yolanda R. Turocy, Lori Uddenberg, Deborah and Thomas Wallace, and Xerox Foundation. 


TRACEE CHIMO (Daphna). Broadway: Harvey, Irena's Vow (Eugene O'Neill Award). Off Broadway: Bachelorette (Lucille Lortel nom), Circle Mirror Transformation (Drama Desk and OBIE Awards, Lucille Lortel nom), Break of Noon (LA Stage Scene Award). Film:The Five-Year Engagement, as well as the upcoming God's Behaving Badly, Bitter Pill, Concussion, others. TV: Dylan on 'I Just Want My Pants Back', 'Louie' and Michelle in Funny or Die's new series 'First Dates w/ Toby Harris'. Recipient of the 2011 Clarence Derwent Award.

PHILIP ETTINGER (Jonah).  Off Broadway: Edgewise (dir. Trip Cullman). Film/TV: Compliance (Official selection, 2012 Sundance Film Festival), Twelve (dir. Joel Schumacher), Sleepwalk With Me (dir. Mike Birbiglia), The Maid's Room (upcoming), “Girls”, “Blue Bloods”, “The Closer”, “Mercy”, “Law and Order SVU”. Graduated with BFA from Mason Gross School of The Arts at Rutgers University.

MOLLY RANSON (Melody). Molly Ranson appeared most recently as “Carrie” in Carrie, directed by Stafford Arima.  Broadway: Jerusalem, directed by Ian Rickson, Steppenwolf’s August: Osage County, directed by Anna D. Shapiro. August: Osage County at the National Theatre (Olivier Award Nomination – Best Company Performance) & the Sydney Theatre Company.  Off-Broadway: Vineyard Theatre and Playwrights Horizons co-production of The Burnt Part Boys.  Regionally: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, directed by Mark Lamos.  LaGuardia Arts High School (Drama Desk Scholarship Award.)

MICHAEL ZEGEN (Liam).  Michael Zegen previously starred off-broadway in Liz Meriwether’s Oliver Parker! (dir. Evan Cabnet) and Greg Moss’ punkplay (dir. Davis McCallum).  His TV credits include recurring roles on The Walking Dead, Rescue Me, How To Make it in America, and, currently, Boardwalk Empire.  Film: Adventureland, The Box, Taking Woodstock, and the upcoming Untitled Noah Baumbach Project.    

Joshua Elias Harmon (Playwright) is the author of A Boy Named Alice, Bad Jews, Love in the Time of Channukah, and an adaptation of Emile Zola's novel Therese Raquin. His work has been produced and developed by Hangar Theatre, Ars Nova, The Lark, Prospect Theater Company, Future Tenant and Actor's Express, where he was the 2010-2011 National New Play Network's Playwright-in-Residence. Other honors include fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Eudora Welty Foundation, the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting (2nd Place) and a Kennedy Center fellowship at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference. He has taught playwriting at Actor's Express, Horizon Theatre and Carnegie Mellon. Education: Northwestern (BA), Carnegie Mellon (MFA).

DANIEL AUKIN (Director). Most recently Daniel Aukin directed the critically lauded 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog at Lincoln Center.  Selected credits include The Ugly One by Marius von Mayenburg at Soho Rep, This by Melissa James Gibson at Playwrights Horizons and for Center Theater Group and Paraffin by Adam Rapp at Rattlestick.  Also: [sic] (OBIE Award for direction), Mark Schultz’s Everything Will Be Different, Quincy Long’s The Year of The Baby, Melissa James Gibson’s Suitcase and Brooklyn Bridge, Mac Wellman’s Cat’s-Paw and Maria Irene Fornes’ Molly’s Dream (OBIE Award), all world premieres.  Also, Itamar Moses’ Back Back Back, Elmer Rice’s The Adding Machine and Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge.  His work has been seen at Center Theater Group, Rattlestick, Lincoln Center, The La Jolla Playhouse, The Guthrie, Arena Stage, The Children’s Theater of Minneapolis, Manhattan Theater Club, Playwrights’ Horizons and Woolly Mammoth.  From 1998-2006 Daniel was Artistic Director of Soho Rep where he developed, produced and occasionally, directed plays by many of the country’s most iconoclastic playwrights and theater-makers including Richard Maxwell, Adam Bock The Flying Machine, Anne Washburn, Big Art Group and Young Jean Lee.

The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre reflects Roundabout’s commitment to produce new works by established and emerging writers as well as revivals of classic plays. This state-of-the-art off-Broadway theatre and education complex is made possible by a major gift from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The Trust was created in 1986 by Harold Steinberg to promote and advance American Theatre as a vital part of our culture by supporting playwrights, encouraging the development and production of new work, and providing financial assistance to theatre companies across the country. Since its inception, the Trust has awarded over $45 million to more than 100 not-for-profit theatre organizations.

Roundabout Underground’s home is a 62-seat Black Box Theatre, which is also used year-round by Roundabout’s education department for its activities including student productions and professional development workshops. 

Roundabout Theatre Company is a not-for-profit theatre dedicated to providing a nurturing artistic home for theatre artists at all stages of their careers where the widest possible audience can experience their work at affordable prices. Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the revival of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established playwrights and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate loyal audiences.

Roundabout Theatre Company currently produces at three permanent homes each of which is designed specifically to enhance the needs of the Roundabout's mission.  Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics.  Roundabout's Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions.  Together these three distinctive venues serve to enhance the work on each of its stages.

American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties; and the City of New York Theater Subdistrict Council, LDC and the City of New York.

Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2011-2012 season features Simon Gray’s The Common Pursuit,directed by Moisés Kaufman; Mary Chase’s Harvey starring Jim Parsons, Jessica Hecht & Charles Kimbrough, directed by Scott Ellis. Roundabout’sTony Award winning production of Anything Goes starring Stephanie J. Block & Joel Grey, directed & choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, is currently playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. The 2011 Tony® Award winning Anything Goeswill set sail on a National Tourat Cleveland’s Playhouse Square in October 2012.  Following its opening in Cleveland, Anything Goes will cruise into more than 25 other cities during the 2012/2013 season.

Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2012-2013 season features Rupert Holmes’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood starring Stephanie J. Block, Will Chase, Gregg Edelman, Jim Norton & Chita Rivera, directed by Scott Ellis; Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, with a translation by Ranjit Bolt, starring Douglas Hodge, directed by Jamie Lloyd; William Inge’s Picnic directed by Sam Gold; Nick Payne’s If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet directed by Michael Longhurst; Clifford Odets’ The Big Knife starring Bobby Cannavale, directed by Doug Hughes; Steven Levenson’s The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin directed by Scott Ellis.

Joshua Elias Harmon’s Bad Jews directed by Daniel Aukin is a world premiere production that launches the sixth season of Roundabout Underground following five critically acclaimed seasons of world-premiere productions since its premiere in 2007.
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