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Monday, 23 January 2012 16:18

Primary Stages New Comedy RX Begins Performances Tomorrow, Tue Jan 24


{module ad_left_body}Romance in the age of prescription drugs commences on Tuesday, January 24, when Primary Stages (Casey Childs, Founder & Executive Producer; Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director; Elliot Fox, Managing Director) continues its 27th season with the world premiere of the new comedy, Rx, written by Kate Fodor.  Directed by Ethan McSweeny (Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, Sabina in 2005 at Primary Stages) the cast will feature Michael Bakkensen (Noises Off, Festen), Marylouise Burke (Fuddy Meers, Into The Woods, Is He Dead?), Marin Hinkle (“Two and a Half Men”, Electra), Stephen Kunken (Rock ’n’ Roll, Frost/Nixon), Paul Niebanck (In the Next Room…, Shockheaded Peter), and Elizabeth Rich (Cherry Orchard, Hannah and Martin).
Meena Pierotti’s job is making her unhappy. Luckily, there’s a pill for that. Well, not yet. Meena has joined the clinical trial for a new drug targeting workplace depression. The trial gets messy, however, when she falls in love with her doctor, who himself is trying to enroll in a drug trial targeting heartbreak.
Rx features a set design by Lee Savage, costume design by Andrea Lauer, lighting design by Matthew Richards, original music and sound design by Lindsay Jones and prop supervision by Faye Armon.
LISTINGS INFORMATION: Rx plays a limited engagement through Saturday, March 3, 2012 at Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues).   Opening night is set for Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm.  Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7:00pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 2:00pm & 8:00pm, with Sunday matinees at 3:00pm on January 29, February 5, and February 12. There will also be a special Wednesday matinee at 2:00pm on February 15.  Single tickets for Rx are priced at $45 for the first two weeks (January 24 – February 5) and $65 for all remaining performances (February 8 – March 3). Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200, online at, or in person at the 59E59 Theaters Box Office.    Group Tickets (10+) are $35 each for the first two weeks (January 24 – February 5) and $45 each for all remaining performances (February 8 – March 3), and are available by calling (212) 840-9705, ext. 204.  Please visit the website at, or call (212) 840-9705 for additional information.
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The special Pay What You Can ticket offer (now in its fifth season at Primary Stages) will be available for the first two preview performances on January 24th and 25th at 7:00 p.m.   Tickets will be available two hours prior to curtain at a minimum of $1 per ticket and are limited to two (2) tickets per person, cash only with no change given. Patrons must provide mailing address and tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, only at the 59E59 Theaters Box Office.
For theater patrons 35 and under, Primary Stages offers specially priced $20 tickets (maximum two tickets per valid ID).  Advance tickets are available through Ticket Central using code PS35.  Failure to present a valid ID will result in an additional fee. All tickets are subject to availability.
The 2011/2012 season concludes with the New York Premiere of the new play, The Morini Strad, by Willy Holtzman directed by Primary Stages Founder and Executive Producer Casey Childs (March 20, 2012 - April 28, 2012).
Discounted 2-play subscription packages for previews and regular performances priced from $66-$86 are now available by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or online at   For additional information about Primary Stages, please visit the website at
MICHAEL BAKKENSEN (Simon). Broadway credits include Noises Off, Festen, and The Man Who Came to Dinner (Roundabout). Off and Off-Off New York include The Secret of Mme. Bonnard’s Bath (written and directed by Israel Horovitz), The Paris Letter (u/s Roundabout), Tales of Doomed Love (Premiere), Waxing West (Lark Theatre, Premiere) and Alarms (Lincoln Center Theater’s Director’s Lab). Regional: Ether Dome (World Premiere, Dir. Michael Wilson, Alley Theatre), US Premiere of The School of Night (Bill Alexander, dir. Mark Taper Forum), Brian Friel’s The Home Place (US Premiere, Joe Dowling, Guthrie), All’s Well That Ends Well, (dir. Michael Kahn, Shakespeare Theatre, DC), Noises Off, A Christmas Carol, (Hartford Stage), Born Yesterday (Arena Stage), Lady Windermere’s Fan (Baltimore Center Stage), Shakespeare’s R&J (Alliance), The Long Walk, Jack & Jill (Guthrie), Big Love (ACT), Light Up the Sky (La Jolla Playhouse), Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night  (NJ Shakespeare), and Macbeth, Titus Andronicus,and premier eof Disguises  (Alabama Shakespeare), Indoor/Outdoor and Fixed  world premieres at the Hangar and the premiere of Melanie Marnich’s Blur at UCSD. Film: On The Slope (indie), Memoria Mortalis (Sundance) TV: “Law & Order(s)”, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”, “Guiding Light”, “Stage on Screen”. MFA: UCSD, BA: Yale
MARYLOUISE BURKE (Frances).  Broadway:  Is He Dead?, Into the Woods, national tour of Lettice and Lovage, Inherit the Wind. Off-Broadway includes Fuddy Meers (Drama Desk Award), Kimberly Akimbo (Drama Desk Nomination), Wonder of the World, MTC; The Savannah Disputation, Playwrights Horizons; American Sligo, Rattlestick; Wintertime, Second Stage;  The Oldest Profession, Signature; Creature, Page 73/New Georges.  Regional:  Hartford Stage, Long Wharf, La Jolla, South Coast Rep, McCarter, NYS&F, Steppenwolf premiere of Bruce Norris’s A Parallelogram.  TV:  “30 Rock”, “Fringe”, “Law & Order”, “L&O:SVU”,“Hope and Faith”,and the recurring role of Lotte in HBO’s “Hung”.  Recent films:  Sideways, A Prairie Home Companion, Series 7: The Contenders, Must Love Dogs, Mona Lisa Smile, Meet Joe Black, Ira and Abby, The Baxter, a feather-filled cameo in Doubt, Rabbit Hole, An Invisible Sign, I Love You Phillip Morris, That’s What She Said, Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk With Me.
MARIN HINKLE (Meena). Broadway credits include Electra, A Thousand Clowns, and The Tempest. Off-Broadway credits include Graceland at Lincoln Center’s LCT3,  Miss Julie (Rattlestick), Jayson With a “Y” (New Group), Blue Window (Barrow Group), The Dybbuk (Public Theatre), Wonderful Time (WPA), The Changeling (TFNA), Ambrosio, (Signature) among others.  Previously at Primary Stages, Marin appeared as the title character in the New York Premiere of Willy Holtzman’s Sabina, directed by Melia Bensussen. This past year Marin worked in Los Angeles on two plays, Extraordinary Chambers directed by Pam MacKinnon at the Geffen Playhouse and Circle Mirror Transformation directed by Sam Gold at South Coast Rep.  Other recent work at those theatres includes What They Have and My Mother’s Brief Affair (both at South Coast) and Rose and Walsh and Rabbit Hole (both at the Geffen.)  Other regional credits include work at the Shakespeare Theatre, Yale Rep, Center Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Berkshire Theatre Festival.  On television, Marin has played Judith for the past eight seasons on CBS’s “Two and a Half Men.”  Before that she played Judy for three seasons on ABC’s “Once and Again.” Additionally she has appeared on many “Law and Order” episodes, as well as playing recurring roles on “Brothers and Sisters” and on “The Sarah Silverman Program.”  She has also guest starred on ER, House, Private Practice, Without a Trace, among others.  Some of Marin’s film credits include “Friends With Money”, “What Just Happened?”, “Quarantine”, “Nowhereland”, “I am Sam”, and the upcoming “My Eleventh”.
STEPHEN KUNKEN (Phil). Broadway: High, Andy Fastow in Enron (Tony Award® nomination), Rock ’n’ Roll, Frost/Nixon (Outer Critics Circle, Drama League Nominations), Festen, Proof. Off-Broadway: Lost in the Stars (Encores), Our Town (Barrow Street), Our House (Playwrights Horizons), A Very Common Procedure (Drama League Nomination), Fabulation (Playwrights Horizons), The Story (Public Theater), A Dybbuk (Public Theater), Arrangements (Atlantic Theater Co.), Henry VIII (NYSF), Misalliance (Roundabout). Regional includes: Noises Off (Dorset Theater Festival, directed by Jenn Thompson), Three Sisters (Williamstown), Mister Roberts (Kennedy Center), Henry V (Chicago Shakespeare Theater).TV:“The Good Wife”, “Gossip Girl”, “The Unusuals”, “New Amsterdam”, all of the “L&O’s”, “The Sopranos”, “Spin City”. Film: The Bay directed by Barry Levinson (2012), Price Check (Sundance 2012), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2012), Passing Harold Blumenthal (2012), All Good Things, Taking Woodstock, Girl in the Park, Wait till This Year, Light/Sufferer, Bamboozled. Juilliard Graduate. 2004 Fox Fellowship recipient.
PAUL NIEBANCK (Richard/Ed). Broadway: In the Next Room or the vibrator play. Off-Broadway: Blood and Gifts (LCT); Shockheaded Peter; All's Well That Ends Well; Coriolanus (TFANA); Pericles (TFANA at BAM); The American Clock; The Pussycat... (Signature); Our Lot (Clubbed Thumb); Great Expectations; The Revenger’s Tragedy (Red Bull); Bill W. and Dr. Bob; Richard III, The Seagull (The Pearl); Leaving Queens (Women’s Project). Regional: Berkeley Rep (In the Next Room... world premiere), Goodman, Humana Festival, Chicago Shakespeare, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, O'Neill Playwrights Conference, Yale Rep, Syracuse Stage, St. Louis Rep, Delaware Theatre Company, Huntington Theatre Company, Arena Stage. TV: “Burn Notice”, “Gossip Girl”. M.F.A., Yale School of Drama.
ELIZABETH RICH (Allison). Elizabeth most recently appeared in DC playing Rosalind Franklin in Anna Zielgler’s Photograph 51 at Theatre J where she also appeared as Hannah in Hannah and Martin by Kate Fodor (Helen Hayes Nomination). New York credits:  Civilization: All You Can Eat atClubbed Thumb, Couldn’t Say as part of MITF (nominated as Best Featured Actress and a Talking Broadway Citation), Non Play at the Horace Mann Theatre and A Common Swallow at the Bleeker St Theatre.  Regionally, Elizabeth has worked at Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Oblivion, The Pillowman, Cherry Orchard , and A Tale of Two Cities); The Goodman (Dollhouse); The Alley (The Scene); The Wilma (Enemies, A Love Story); Chautauqua and Ojai Playwrights Conference (Rx) and Florida Stage (Cradle of Man); TimeLine Theatre Co. (Hannah and Martin, Jeff Award and After Dark Award); Famous Door (Cider House Rules, Early and Often, Ghetto); Irish Rep (Bailegangaire);  About Face (Seven Moves, Xena);  Greasy Joan (The Lady from the Sea); and Strawdog (Our Country’s Good, Measure for Measure, HurlyBurly).  Films: Knee High, Wings and Beer, The Couch, Watch, and The Transfiguration of Harold Maines.  TV: “Law and Order”, “Law and Order: SVU”, and “Missing/Reward”.
KATE FODOR (Playwright) Kate Fodor’s plays have been produced by Playwrights Horizons, Steppenwolf, Epic Theatre Ensemble, San Jose Repertory Theatre, London’s Courtyard Theatre, and Chicago’s TimeLine Theatre, among others. 100 Saints You Should Know received the National Theatre Conference’s Stavis Award and was named one of the 10 Best Plays of the Year by Entertainment Weekly and Time Out New York, as well asbeing included in the Theater Yearbook Best Plays of 2007-2008. Hannah and Martin received the Kennedy Center’s Roger L. Stevens Award, a Joseph Jefferson Citation, an After Dark Award, and a finalist position for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Kate is a proud and grateful member of New Dramatists, the country’s premiere center for the support and development of playwrights.
ETHAN McSWEENY (Director) made his Off-Broadway debut with the 1998 NY premiere of John Logan’s Never the Sinner (Drama Desk and NY Outer Critics Circle Awards) and his Broadway debut with the 2000 revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (Tony Award® nomination, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards). He has had the good fortune to direct nearly 60 productions of new plays, revivals, and classics for preeminent companies around the United States, including the Guthrie, the Globe, the Shakespeare Theatre, the Alley, Center Stage, the Denver Center, George Street Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public, San Jose Rep, South Coast Rep, Westport, Wilma, Playwrights Horizons, Primary Stages and the National Actors Theatre.  Recent New York highlights include the New York premieres of Kate Fodor’s 100 Saints You Should Know and Jason Grote’s 1001, which in a rare double were both named among the Top Ten of 2007 by Time Out and Entertainment Weekly magazines. National highlights of the last few seasons include the world premiere of Mark Olsen’s Cornelia at the Globe, the American premiere of David Lan’s adaptation of Ion at the Shakespeare Theatre, the west coast premiere of Adam Gwon’s new musical Ordinary Days, critically acclaimed productions of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Center Stage (Baltimore City Paper Best of 2008), A View from the Bridge at the Guthrie, Major Barbara at the Shakespeare Theatre (Helen Hayes Award nomination) and revivals of The Glass Menagerie, Death of a Salesman, The Just, The Cherry Orchard and All My Sons for the Chautauqua Theater Company—where he has spent the last six summers as Co-Artistic Director alongside Vivienne Benesch, leading the company through a phenomenal period of growth in attendance and national recognition.  Other notable work includes the National Actor’s Theatre 2003 production of The Persians featuring Len Cariou, Roberta Maxwell and Michael Stuhlbarg in a new translation by Ellen McLaughlin, the world premiere of 1001 at the Denver Center (Ovation Award), the premieres of In This Corner at the Globe (San Diego Critics Circle Award) and A Body of Water at both the Globe and the Guthrie (San Diego Critics Circle Award and Minneapolis Star Tribune Award); the new musical Chasing Nicolette at the Prince Music Theater (Barrymore Award nomination), the world premiere of Mr. Marmalade at South Coast Rep (OCIE Award); revivals of Romeo and Juliet and Six Degrees of Separation at the Guthrie (Star-Tribune Award for Direction and Play) and Every Good Boy Deserves Favor with Michael Emerson and Brian Murray for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.  In addition to staging classics by Aeschylus, Albee, Euripides, Miller, Williams, Chekhov, Pinter, Shakespeare and Shaw, Mr. McSweeny is fortunate to have collaborated on the development of new work by many leading writers in America including Courtney Baron, Anthony Clarvoe, Cusi Cram, Zayd Dorn, Steven Drukman, Kate Fodor, Richard Greenberg, Paul Grellong, Rinne Groff, Jason Grote, Adam Gwon, Noah Haidle, Julia Jordan, Tony Kushner, Alex Lewin, Ken Lin, Quincy Long, Molly Smith Metzler, Peter Morris, Lloyd Suh, Adam Szymkowicz, David Zellnick, and Anna Ziegler among others.  Long involved in the leadership of arts institutions, Mr. McSweeny has served as Artistic Director of the Chautauqua Theatre Company since 2005, Associate Artistic Director of the George Street Playhouse (2000-2004), Artistic Advisor to the National Actors Theatre (2003-2005), Resident Director at New Dramatists (2001-2002), and Associate Director of the Shakespeare Theater (1993-1997). He currently serves as Treasurer on the Executive Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, an independent national labor union. Through no fault or intention of his own, he received the first-ever undergraduate degree in theater and dramatic arts bestowed by Columbia University.  Recent credits include the world premiere of Regina Taylor’s The Trinity River Plays trilogy at the Dallas Theater Center and the Goodman in Chicago, a revival of Arms and the Man for the Guthrie, and The Merchant of Venice for the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC. Upcoming 2011-2012 credits include The Pirates of Penzance at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare Theatre Company.
PRIMARY STAGES is an Off-Broadway theater company dedicated to inspiring, supporting, and sharing the art of playwriting. Under the leadership of Founder and Executive Producer Casey Childs, Artistic Director Andrew Leynse and Managing Director Elliot Fox, we operate on the strongly held belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights and giving them the artistic support needed to create new work. Primary Stages produces new plays at 59E59 Theaters, where we have been the Resident Theater Company since its inauguration in 2004. Since our founding in 1984, we have produced more than 100 new plays, including Charles Busch’s Olive and the Bitter Herbs; A.R. Gurney’s Black Tie; Horton Foote’s Dividing the Estate (Two 2009 Tony Award® nominations); Brooke Berman’s Hunting and Gathering (one of New York Magazine’s Top Ten Plays of 2008); Terrence McNally’s Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams (starring Nathan Lane and Marian Seldes) and The Stendhal Syndrome (featuring Isabella Rossellini and Richard Thomas); Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter’s In the Continuum (which went on to tour the U.S., Africa, and Scotland); David Ives’ All in the Timing; and Conor McPherson’s St. Nicholas (which marked the playwright’s U.S. debut). In 2008, Primary Stages was honored with the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, which encompasses much more than the plays we produce for the stage. Primary Stages supports playwrights and develops new works through commissions, workshops, readings, and our two flagship programs: The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group and the Marvin and Anne Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA).  Through these programs, Primary Stages advocates for our artists, helping them make important—and often transformative—connections within the theater community.