Ivey Directs Rupp and Atkinson in World Premiere of The Butcher of Baraboo

News   Ivey Directs Rupp and Atkinson in World Premiere of The Butcher of Baraboo "That 70's Show" mom Debra Jo Rupp and "Rescue Me" and Fat Pig star Ashlie Atkinson head the cast of Marisa Wegrzyn's The Butcher of Baraboo. Judith Ivey directs the world-premiere run, which begins May 24.

Part of Second Stage Theatre's Uptown Festival, the work will officially open June 11 at the McGinn/Cazale Theater for a run scheduled through June 30.

Michael Countryman (Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams), Ali Marsh (Ridiculous Fraud) and Welker White (Lemon Sky, Jar the Floor) also appear in the cast.

The Butcher of Baraboo centers on the title character, Valerie (Rupp), whose "husband has gone missing and everyone suspects she played a hand, especially her nosy sister-in-law (White) who just happens to be the town sheriff," according to Second Stage. "And her daughter, a drug-pushing pharmacist (Atkinson), might know more than she lets on."

Rupp is known to television audiences as the matriarch Kitty Forman on the series "That '70s Show." She has also appeared in the films "Kickin it Old Skool," "Clockwatchers" and "Death Becomes Her."

Atkinson, a former recurring guest star on "Rescue Me," starred in the lead role of Neil LaBute's play Fat Pig. She also appears in the pilot for the series "Cashmere Mafia." Wegrzyn has also penned Killing Women, Psalms of a Questionable Nature, Ten Cent Night and Hickorydickory. Ivey's New York directing credits include Yeardley Smith: More, Southern Comforts and Fugue.

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Next up at the Festival will be Jeremy Dobrish's staging of Josh Tobiessen's Election Day, July 16-Aug. 25 with an opening Aug. 1. "It's Election Day, and Adam knows his over-zealous girlfriend will never forgive him if he fails to vote," according to Second Stage. "But when his sex starved sister, an eco-terrorist, and a mayoral candidate willing to do anything for a vote all show up, Adam finds that making that quick trip to the polls might be harder than he thought."

Playwright Tobiessen's plays include Bag of Piranhas, Up the Yard and Parallel Parking. Director Dobrish has previously staged Off-Broadway's In the Wings, Drift, Spain, Ted Kaczynski Killed People with Bombs, The Joys of Sex, Class Mothers '68 and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

The festival, according to its mission statement, "seeks to develop the skills of emerging playwrights, to provide early-career artists with the support of a major artistic institution, and to create new plays for the American Theatre." The works presented have a limited rehearsal period and streamlined budget.

Previous Uptown plays include Joe Calarco's ...in the absence of spring..., Wendy Kesselman's The Notebook, Hunt Holman's Spanish Girl, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's The Mystery Plays, Brooke Berman's The Triple Happiness, Adam Bock's Swimming in the Shallows and Dan O'Brien's The Dear Boy. Last year, the world premieres of Anton Dudley's Getting Home and Rajiv Joseph's All This Intimacy made their debut for the series.

Tickets to the Uptown series at the McGinn/Cazale, Broadway and 76th Street, will be available by calling (212) 246-4422 or at the Second Stage box office at 307 West 43 Street. For more information visit secondstagetheatre.com.