Love in Drought: Frank Wood and Johanna Day Star in D.C. Rainmaker

News   Love in Drought: Frank Wood and Johanna Day Star in D.C. Rainmaker
 
Johanna Day, a Tony Award nominee for playing brittle sister Claire in Proof, will play brittle sister Lizzie in Arena Stage's new production of The Rainmaker, starting March 3.

Director Lisa Peterson (making her Arena debut) pairs Day with Tony Award winner Frank Wood (Side Man), as Deputy File. He's a potential love interest for Lizzie, who is fast becoming an Old Maid in a farming community run by men. If she's considered a plain and a little starchy, she is also warm and yearning.

N. Richard Nash's warm family drama, which has humor and hope on its horizon, has Lizzie pulled between earth and sky when hot con man named Starbuck (played by Michael Laurence) comes to the drought-ridden heartland to sell rain. It opens at Arena's Fichandler space March 9 and continues to April 9.

According to Arena, "Lizzie Curry's dreams of romance are wilting in the drought that is ruining her family's farm. Her brothers and father desperately try to help, but it is the charm of a fast-talking stranger that brings the promise of hope to the Curry family, if only they can allow their faith to take root."

The cast also includes William Parry as patriarch H.C. Curry, McCarter Theatre and Humana Fest veteran Michael Laurence as Bill Starbuck, Ben Fox and Jesse Hooker alternating as Jim Curry, Graham Winton (Broadway's The Tempest and Two Shakespearean Actors) as older brother (and bitter realist) Noah Curry, and Arena and D.C. regular Delaney Williams as Sheriff Thomas.

The creative team includes set designer Michael Yeargan, costume designer Ilona Somogyi, lighting designer James F. Ingalls, sound designer Mark Bennett, speech and vocal coach Lynn Watson, production dramaturg Mark Bly and stage manager Susan R. White. The Rainmaker opened on Broadway 50 years ago starring Geraldine Page and Darren McGavin. Its film version starred Katharine Hepburn and Burt Lancaster. It was musicalized for the stage as 110 in the Shade.

Director Lisa Peterson's credits include Collected Stories (Manhattan Theatre Club), The Fourth Sister (Vineyard), Sueno (MCC), Tongue of a Bird (Public), Tight Embrace (Intar) and many plays at New York Theater Workshop including Trestle At Pope Lick Creek, Slavs!, The Waves and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire.

For more information, visit www.arenastage.org.

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