The Burning Deck tells the story of a 1950's New York ad agency secretary whose life turns upside-down when her young cousin from Ohio shows up. Kirsten Brandt, artistic director of Sledgehammer Theatre, directs the work-in-progress inspired by Honoré de Balzac's "Cousin Bette."
Venora, who will portray the lead role of Bette, was seen Off-Broadway in Eve Ensler's Necessary Targets as well as The Tongue of a Bird (Mark Taper Forum). Miss Julie (Lincoln Center Theatre) and in New York Shakespeare Festival's Hamlet, The Winter’s Tale and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her film credits include "Hamlet" (starring Ethan Hawke), Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo and Juliet," "Heat" and "All That Jazz."
The cast also includes Lionel Mark Smith, Christine Albright, José Chavarry, Alex Cranmer, Sandra Ellis-Troy, D.W. Jacobs and Makela Spielman.
The Burning Deck design team includes Ryan Palmer (set), Ivy Chou (costumes), David Lee Cuthbert (lighting) and Casi Pacilio (sound). Carrie Ryan serves as dramaturg.
Playwright Schulman has penned Carson McCullers (Historically Inaccurate) as well as the novels "The Sophie Horowitz Story," "Girls, Visions and Everything," "After Delores," "People in Trouble" and "Empathy and Shimmer." "Page To Stage" allows audience to experience a developing play in a workshop staging. The production is critic-free. Past works include Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife — which currently plays Off-Broadway — and Leigh Fondakowski's I Think I Like Girls.
For tickets to the "Page To Stage" presentation of The Burning Deck at the La Jolla Playhouse, (the corner of La Jolla Village Drive and Torrey Pines Road) in La Jolla, California, call (858) 550-1010. For more information visit www.lajollaplayhouse.com.