Tuesday, August 16, 2016

New Jersey premiere of IAGO by James McLure at New Jersey Repertory Company

New Jersey Repertory Company, located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, has announced the New Jersey premiere of IAGO by James McLure.

Backstage intrigue, romance, and scandal take place during rehearsals of the Shakespeare classic Othello, which serves as the backdrop for this comedic-drama. Three extraordinary actors at the top of their game along with a well-known director rehearse the passionate play as they whittle away at each other in this highly theatrical production.  

The cast includes: Ezra Barnes, John FitzGibbonTodd Gearhart and Liza Vann and is directed by SuzAnne Barabas. Previews begin Thursday, August 25 with Opening Night Saturday, August 27  at New Jersey Repertory Company (179 Broadway, Long Branch), and will run  through Sunday, September 25, 2016. Tickets may be purchased by calling 732-229-3166 or at

The production team includes: Charlie Corcoron (Set Design), Brian Snyder (Technical Director,) Jill Nagle (Lighting Design), Merek Royce Press (Sound Design), Patricia E. Doherty (Costume Design), Lindy Regan (Properties), Donna Stiles (Scenic painting), Brad Lemons (Fight Director) and Jennifer Tardibuono (Stage Manager).

Who’s Who:
James McLure (Playwrightwas born in Alexandria, Louisiana and grew up in Shreveport where he was educated by Jesuits. He became interested in acting in high school, performing in Shakespearean plays. He obtained a BFA degree from Southern Methodist University in Texas, and subsequently studied at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, California. He moved to New York City in 1975 and was a member of the Lion Theatre Company. His plays Lone Star and Pvt. Wars were presented off-Broadway in 1979 after having been presented at the Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. In 1980, Lone Star and Laundry and Bourbon were shown together as 1959 Pink Thunderbird at the McCarter Theatre. His subsequent plays include: ThanksgivingThe Day They Shot John LennonThe River Cane, and an adaptation of John O'Keeffe's 18th-century comedy Wild Oats (moving it to the Old West), which was produced as an official entry for the 1984 Olympics Arts Festival. He was also a part of the Biennial Festival of New American Plays at Stephen F. Austin State University. The latest play he presented there was Seduction, a play about the inner workings of a stage production. "Pvt. Wars" made its London premier at the Greenwich Studio Theatre on September 1, 1991 with Billy Lomas (Natwick), Dorian Lough (Silvio), and Pancho Russell (Gately). For many years McLure was a participant playwright in The Missoula Colony, a writer’s workshop of the Montana Repertory Theatre and the only playwright to contribute to the Colony in every year of its existence. In 1992, his play Max and Maxie was presented at the Denver Center Theatre, followed by Fran and Brian (1993), Ghost World (1993), The Agent (1993), and Southern Christmas (1995). His play The Day They Shot John Lennon was presented in 2011 at the Carolina Actors Studio Theatre in Charlotte. His last play, Iago, was developed at the Playwright's Project in Healing Springs, North Carolina and premiered at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. In addition to his work in the theatre, McLure wrote for the screen and television including Sangre starring Holly Hunter, Kingfish starring John Goodman and Reckless starring Aidan Quinn. He died at home in Marina del Rey from cancer in 2011.

SuzAnne Barabas (Artistic Director) For NJ Rep, SuzAnne directed Find Me a VoiceNorth Fork (premiere), Immortal Interlude (premiere), Octet (premiere),Till Morning Comes (premiere), Maggie RoseGetting in Touch With My Inner B*tch (starring Christine Lavin, premiere), The Adjustment10% of Molly Snyder, Romulus Linney's Klonsky & SchwartzApostasy (premiere), Women Who Steal, AppleThe Housewives of Mannheim (premiere), Evie's WaltzDead Ringer(premiere), Steven Dietz's Yankee TavernPuma (premiere), Night Train (premiere), Just In Time: The Judy Holliday StoryBakersfield MistAnnapurnaHappy,Broomstick (premiere), Lucky Me (premiere), Swimming at the Ritz (U.S. premiere), and The Realization of Emily Linder (premiere), Villainous Company. SuzAnne directed productions of The Housewives of Mannheim at 59E59 Theater (NYC), Ensemble Theater of Santa Barbara (CA), and Phoenix Theater (Indianapolis). In addition, she directed regional productions of Ibsen's A Doll's HouseThe FantasticksThe Roar of the Greasepaint the Smell of the Crowd, Cabaret, Shaw's Heartbreak House, A.R. Gurney's The Perfect Party, Marsha Norman's 'Night Mother, Philip Barry's The Philadelphia Story, Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy, Mark Dunn's Belles, Lee Blessing's Down the Road, among others. She is a member of Actors Equity Association, BMI, the Dramatists Guild, SDC, and the League of Professional Theater Women.   
Ezra Barnes (Tony) Off-Broadway include the premiere of Fraser Grace’s Breakfast With Mugabe, nominated for Best New Play by the Off-Broadway Alliance and a critics pick for the The New York Times and Time Out. Ezra also produced this production. Other Off-Broadway: Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (Queens Theater), In White AmericaCool Blues (New Richard II (Pearl). Regional includes: McCarter, Hartford Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Pioneer, Paper Mill, Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays, Pennsylvania Shakespeare. Ezra founded Connecticut’s Shakespeare on the Sound and served as Artistic Director for 13 seasons, directing and acting in many of the Bard’s plays. TV: Blacklist, Blue Bloods, Law & Order, SVU, Bored to Death, As The World Turns (recurring), Royal Pains.  Film: Landline, Noah, Joshua, Once More With Feeling, Stereotypically You, Kid Witness. Graduate, Amherst College and the National Theatre Conservatory.

John FitzGibbon (Basil) This is John's twelfth play at NJ Rep: others include Immortal Interlude, Bakersfield Mist, Puma, Saving Kitty, Touch of Rapture, Winterizing the Summer House and The Play's the Thing. He recently played “Saint Peter” in The Trial of Martin Luther for FPA theatre at the Pearl Theatre and Sel Trevoc in A Better Place at the Duke Theatre, NYC. Favorite roles: “Robert” in Bird Sanctuary w/ Hayley Mills and Elizabeth Franz (Alabama Shakespeare); “Lord Burleigh” in Mary Stuart (TheatreWorks in Colorado Springs); “Donald” in A Passionate Woman w/ Loretta Swit (Cocoanut Grove Playhouse); “Oswald” in Ghosts w/ Kim Hunter (Stuart Vaughan's New Globe Theatre); “Sidney” in Men of Mah Jongg (Mark Medoff, director); “Cosme McMoon” in Souvenir (Marc Geller, director); “Delmore Schwartz” in Klonsky & Schwartz (NJ Rep, SuzAnne Barabas, director); “Ule Enevold” in Poetry of Pizza (Virginia Stage); “Nick” in Sight Unseen (Carbonell Nomination); “Jim Tyrone” in Moon for the Misbegotten (Best of Boston Award); lame beggar in Yeats' Cat and the Moon (Jean Erdman's Theatre of the Open Eye : OBIE Nomination). Film: “Professor Baines' in Shock Act (Best Short, Tribeca Film Fest '04); the lead in Green Lights (Ithaca Films). He played “Alex” in a new videogame for Rockstar Games and has recorded six books for He is an accomplished pianist/composer: selections from his CD Reflections were recently used as the
soundtracks for the Caldwell Theatre production of Next Fall and are available at

Todd Gearhart (Finney) Broadway: Bye Bye Birdie.  NY: The Cherry Lane, Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, Playwright’s Horizon’s, The Vineyard Theatre, The Beckett Theatre, The McGinn/Cazale, HB Playwrights.  Regional: Guthrie, Hartford TheatreWorks,The Alliance Theatre, George Street Playhouse, The Ford’s Theatre, The Ogunquit Playhouse (IRNE Award Best Actor nominated), Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Cleveland Playhouse. TV:  Blue BloodsGossip GirlLipstick JungleLaw & OrderLaw & Order: SVU, The Education of Max Bickford.   Film: Batman: The Dark Night Rises, Dog’s Lie, Moving Mike. Todd is a member of The Actors Company Theatre (TACT), and studied at HB studios with Uta Hagen. 

Liza Vann (Vivacity) From early days at La Mama, favorite Off-Broadway credits include Marietta Corsini in Machiavelli, the fabulous musical Good Ol’ Girls, Diane Greer in Poetic License, and the indomitable Bree Benson in The Road To Damascus. Most recently, she joined Ralph Macchio and Mario Cantone as Jean Morelli in the sold out run of Abingdon Theatre Company’s A Room Of My Own, a new comedy by Charles Messina. A recipient of the Clarence Ross Fellowship from the American Theatre Wing, she has performed extensively in regional theatre in roles as diverse as Chelsea in On Golden Pond, Hermia in Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Nicky in The Smell of the Kill, Myrtle Brown in Morning’s at Seven, and Miss Maudie in To Kill A MockingbirdIago marks her first appearance at New Jersey Rep, and she is most grateful to be a part of this extraordinary company, and this important play by the late James McLure.


Support for NJ Rep is provided in part by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Shubert Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Edgerton Foundation, Investors Bank Foundation, OceanFirst Foundation, Dramatists Guild Fund, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, JENNJOE Fund, the Darien Family Fund, the Jewish Communal Fund, the Community Foundation of New Jersey, Actors Equity Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the Puffin Foundation. New Jersey Rep is a member of the National New Play Network, The New Jersey Theater Alliance, TCG, and the Monmouth and Long Branch Arts Councils.

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