Christopher Shinn's Teddy Ferrara Premiere Will Feature Patrick Clear, Ryan Heindl, Liam Benzvi, Josh Salt
By Kenneth Jones
Goodman Theatre's 2013 world-premiere production of Teddy Ferrara by Pulitzer Prize finalist Christopher Shinn, will feature Ryan Heindl in the title role and Liam Benzvi as college-kid Gabe in the play about how "the truth gets lost along the way" when a movement is sparked by a tragedy.
Evan Cabnet (Broadway's The Performers, Off-Broadway's All-American, Outside People, The Dream of the Burning Boy) directs the Goodman Theatre commission, playing Feb. 2-March 3, 2013, in Chicago. Full casting was announced on Dec. 5.
The cast also includes Patrick Clear (University President), Rashaad Hall (Nicky), Christopher Imbrosciano (Jay), Jax Jackson (Jaq), Dev Kennedy and Fawzia Mirza (Campus Police), Paloma Nozicka (Jenny), Adam Poss (Drew), Josh Salt (Tim), Kelli Simpkins (Ellen) and Janet Ulrich Brooks (University Provost).
"Teddy Ferrara takes place during Gabe's senior year of college," according to Goodman notes. "His future looks bright: he runs the Queer Students Group, he finally has a single room and he recently started dating a great guy. But when a campus tragedy occurs that makes national headlines it ignites a firestorm and throws Gabe's world into disorder. When new evidence surfaces, Gabe discovers that the events surrounding the tragedy aren't as straightforward as they seem, and he is forced to question popular assumptions — and his own life's contradictions."
"In 2010, there was a lot on the news about bullying and suicide in the gay youth community, and I found myself thinking a lot about my own experience and the pain and despair I felt at that age," Shinn said in notes. "This now very public issue became a catalyst to explore the dynamics behind bullying in a play that is relevant to today's young audiences. I didn't aim to write a play about an issue — I aimed to write a play about complex human beings moving through the world."
The design team includes Jenny Mannis (costume), Keith Parham (lighting), Lee Savage (set) and Richard Woodbury (sound).
Shinn is the author of Four, Other People, The Coming World, What Didn't Happen, On the Mountain, Where Do We Live, Dying City, Now or Later and Picked. His adaptation of Hedda Gabler for Roundabout Theatre Company premiered on Broadway in 2009. He is the recipient of an Obie Award in Playwriting and a Guggenheim Fellowship, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 2008 and was shortlisted for the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play in 2009.
Performances play the Goodman's Owen Theatre. Opening night is Feb. 11.
For tickets and more information, visit GoodmanTheatre.org.
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