Laurence Fishburne Begins Class for Uhry Drama Without Walls in L.A. June 1

News   Laurence Fishburne Begins Class for Uhry Drama Without Walls in L.A. June 1 Tony Award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne stars with Matt Lanter and Amanda MacDonald in a new drama from Alfred Uhry, Without Walls, in Los Angeles.
Laurence Fishburne
Laurence Fishburne Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Christopher Ashley directs the Center Theatre Group production, which begins June 1 and opens June 11 at the Mark Taper Forum for a run currently scheduled through July 16.

In the 1977-set Without Walls, Fishburne portrays Morocco, "an idealistic and popular drama teacher at a non-traditional high school in Manhattan," according to show materials, who "has great skill in bringing out the best in his students, and he cares deeply about them, perhaps too deeply as is eventually revealed in this sensitive drama about both the power and the fragility of the student/mentor relationship." (The drama teacher uses the drama The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in this play.)

Lanter ("Commander in Chief") and MacDonald ("Boston Public," "8 Simple Rules") complete the cast of the three-person drama. Lanter takes on the role of the young transfer student while MacDonald portrays the school's prized actress.

Fishburne earned his Tony for August Wilson's Two Trains Running (a role which he reprised for the Los Angeles run at CTG's Ahmanson Theatre). He most recently appeared on Broadway in The Lion in Winter but is well known for turns in such movies as "What's Love Got to Do With It," "The Matrix" trilogy, "Assault on Precinct 13," "Miss Evers' Boys," "The Tuskegee Airmen," "Boyz in the Hood," "The Color Purple," "The Cotton Club" and "Apocalypse Now" among others. He also stars in the upcoming "Akeelah and the Bee" and opposite Tom Cruise and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in "Mission: Impossible III."

The design team for Without Walls features Thomas Lynch and Charlie Corcoran (set), David C. Woolard (costume), Donald Holder (lighting) and Mark Bennett (sound) — who also provides additional music. The production stage manager is Alex Lyu Volckhausen. Acclaimed scribe Uhry has earned a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Academy Award for his stage and screen versions of Driving Miss Daisy as well as Tony Awards for his play The Last Night of Ballyhoo and book to the musical Parade. Other works include The Robber Bridegroom, Little Johnny Jones, Here's Where I Belong and the screenplays for "Mystic Pizza" and "Rich In Love."

The Taper will end the current season with Culture Clash's Water & Power (July 27-Sept. 17).

Tickets to Without Walls at the Taper, 135 North Grand Ave. in Los Angeles, CA can be purchased by calling (213) 628-2772 or on-line at www.TaperAhmanson.com.