Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Comedy 'Becky Shaw' next at Centenary Stage Company

With a professional theater season full of premieres and award winning women playwrights, Centenary Stage Company keeps the ball rolling with the bitingly hilarious Becky Shaw running February 19 through March 6 in the Lackland Center. A Pulitzer Prize finalist, Off-Broadway smash hit and now NJ Premiere, Becky Shaw is a comedy from Obie Award-winning playwright Gina Gionfriddo.

Centenary Stage Company’s Becky Shaw is directed by the Tony nominated Lynne Taylor-Corbett. Ms. Taylor - Corbett (photo) directed last season’s critically acclaimed CSC world premiere of “In the Car with Blossom and Len” and has received Tony Nominations for best director, as well as, best choreographer for Broadway’s “Swing!”. Recipient of Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominations for Off Broadway productions of “Wanda’s World” and “My Vaudeville Man” her work spans the gamut of theatre, dance, television and film. Ms. Taylor-Corbett has choreographed works for American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, among others. Her works have been featured on “Live from Lincoln Center” and National Public Television. Feature films include “Footloose”, “My Blue Heaven” and “Bewitched”. In 2011, she created a production of Kurt Weill’s “Seven Deadly Sins” for New York City Ballet, with Patti LuPone in the Lotte Lenya role. Her adaptation of “The Lion King” is in its seventh year at Disney’s park in Hong Kong and her production of “Cougar the Musical” is currently playing Off Broadway. Ms. Taylor-Corbett, a proud member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers, co-wrote and directed Good Housekeeping’s benefit for the National Women’s History Museum, featuring Meryl Streep, is on the board of Rosie’s Broadway Kids and has served as a consultant for the Hunger Project. 

Becky Shaw features a talented cast of professional actors from New York City and New Jersey. Returning home to the CSC stage is Alycia M. Kunkle as the financially dependent Suzanna. A former CSC intern, Kunkle was featured in CSC productions, Ladies Man, A Christmas Carol and various WPS readings including The Text of Sex. An MFA graduate from Ohio University’s Professional Actor Training Program, Kunkle received a New Hampshire Theatre Award nomination for her role in Charley’s Aunt (Amy Spettigue) directed by Charles Morey at the Peterborough Players.

A fresh face to the CSC stage, Terence MacSweeny joins the cast as the cynical pull-no-punches Max, Suzanna’s adopted brother. An MFA graduate from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, MacSweeny has worked at Classic Stage Company, The Pearl Theatre, The Arden Theatre, Colorado Shakespeare Festival and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey to name a few. 
Another new comer to the CSC stage is Aaron Matteson. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College's Theatre Program, as well as, an alum of the Actors Theatre of Louisville Acting Apprenticeship, Matteson makes a turn as the ever helpful and loving Andrew, Suzanna’s husband.

Making her CSC debut is Suzzane Kimble in the title role of the emotionally charged Becky Shaw. Kimble is an MFA graduate of The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University. Recent credits include; A Street Car Named Desire (Majestic Theater), Table Manners (Winnipesaukee Playhouse) and Round & Round the Garden (Attic Ensemble). 

No stranger to the CSC stage or audiences, Centenary Stage Company’s very own, Catherine Rust (photo) returns to the stage. After her delightful turn in Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan Rust graces the Sitnik stage as Susan, Suzanna’s “tell it like it is” mother.

"Gina Gionfriddo's comedy of bad manners, a tangled tale of love, sex and ethics among a quartet of men and women in their thirties, is as engrossing as it is ferociously funny, like a big box of fireworks fizzing and crackling across the stage from its first moments to its last…deftly plotted, scabrous and sharp-witted…One of the great pleasures of BECKY SHAW is the way the moral ground keeps shifting underneath your feet." (NY Times). 
When Suzanna decides to set her best friend Max up on a blind date with her husband's mysterious co-worker, Becky Shaw, she sets into motion a series of cataclysmic events forever changing all of their lives. Mixing sharp wit and humor with the taut suspense of a psychological thriller, Becky Shaw is a comedy of romantic errors that keeps audiences at the edge of their seats guessing what will happen next.

 Entertainment Weekly has said, "The characters in Gionfriddo’s blind-date-gone-bad black comedy share the potential to revolt…They’re also subversively funny—and improbably charming. Grade: A." Performances for Centenary Stage Company’s NJ premiere of Gina Gionfriddo’s Becky Shaw are Thursdays, February 25 and March 3 at 7:30pm; Fridays, February 19, 26 and March 4 at 8pm; Saturdays, February 20, 27 and March 5 at 8pm; Sundays, February 21, 28 and March 6 at 2pm and Wednesdays, February 24 and March 2 at 2pm.
 Centenary Stage Company is also offering a buffet matinee for the Wednesday, February 24 2pm performance. All performances are located in the Sitnik Theater of the Lackland Center (photo); 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.

Tickets are $25.00 for adults on Friday and all matinee performances. Saturday evening performances are $27.50 for adults. Thursday evening performances are $25.00 for all seats with a 2 for 1 rush ticket special when purchased in person at the CSC box office two hours prior to the performance. Buffet/matinee is $42.50 per person with a minimum of 25 people. To reserve for the buffet/matinee contact the CSC box office directly.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call the CSC box office at (908) 979 – 0900. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5pm and 2 hours prior to every performance. The CSC box office is located in the Lackland Center; 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ. Centenary Stage Company can also be found on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The 2015-16 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters
photos courtesy of CSC

Pictured: (left to right; front to back)
Front -
(left front) Terence MacSweeny as Max(center front) Alycia M. Kunkle as Suzanna(right front) Aaron Matteson as Andrew
Back –
(back center) Suzanne Kimball as Becky

Not Pictured:
Catherine Rust as Susan

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