Our House, Rebeck's Satiric Look at Reality TV, Opens in NYC Premiere

News   Our House, Rebeck's Satiric Look at Reality TV, Opens in NYC Premiere
 
The Playwrights Horizons New York City premiere of Theresa Rebeck's Our House — a darkly comic look at America's obsession with "reality" television — opens Off-Broadway June 9 after previews from May 15. Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) directs.
Our House star Morena Baccarin
Our House star Morena Baccarin Photo by Joan Marcus

The satire features Christopher Evan Welch as an over-the-top, craven TV executive who has a passion for ratings, but not for humanity.

The cast includes Morena Baccarin ("Stargate SG-1"), Katie Kreisler (Psych at Playwrights Horizons, Gone Missing, "Medium"), Stephen Kunken (Rock 'n' Roll, Frost/Nixon and Proof on Broadway, Fabulation at Playwrights Horizons), Mandy Siegfried (Refuge at Playwrights Horizons, Blackbird, Stupid Kids), Jeremy Strong (Frank's Home at Playwrights Horizons, A Man for All Seasons on Broadway, Lortel nomination for New Jerusalem), Haynes Thigpen (Misalliance at Roundabout) and Obie Award winner Christopher Evan Welch (The Pain and the Itch at Playwrights Horizons, A Streetcar Named Desire at NYTW, The Marriage of Bette and Boo at Roundabout).

"Are news and entertainment interchangeable?" asks Playwright Horizons. "A cocksure TV bigshot (Christopher Evan Welch) faced with dwindling ratings installs America's favorite news anchor (Morena Baccarin) as host of a popular reality show. Meanwhile, in Middle America, a houseful of roommates bickers over high-stakes real-world conflicts: Merv (Jeremy Strong) doesn't clean the bathroom. Someone ate Alice's (Katie Kreisler) yogurt. And the rent is long past due. When reality collides with reality TV, we find ourselves front and center in a drama that holds the nation riveted. Our House is a deliciously scathing new comedy that takes on a media-obsessed culture intent on turning even the most sobering crisis into sexy entertainment."

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The limited engagement will run through June 21 at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street). Our House will feature scenic design by Tony Award nominee Derek McLane, costume design by Tony Award winner Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner and sound design by Darron L West. Production stage manager is James FitzSimmons.

Rebeck's plays previously seen at Playwrights Horizons are The Butterfly Collection in 2000 and Bad Dates in 2003. Past New York productions of her work include Mauritius at the Biltmore Theatre in a Manhattan Theatre Club Production (2007 IRNE Award for Best New Play and the Elliot Norton Award for the original run at The Huntington in Boston); The Scene, The Water's Edge, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann (National Theatre Conference Award) and Spike Heels at Second Stage; and View of the Dome at New York Theatre Workshop. Omnium Gatherum (co-written, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2003) was featured at the Humana Festival, and had a commercial run at the Variety Arts Theatre. In television, her many writing/producing credits include "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" and "NYPD Blue" (Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award, Writer's Guild of America Award, Hispanic Images Imagen Award, Peabody Award). Last year saw the release of her novel "Three Girls and Their Brother" (ALA's Alex Award), which was released in paperback on April 21. Her new play The Understudy had its world premiere in August 2008 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Our House was originally produced by the Denver Center Theatre Company.

Mayer returns to Playwrights Horizons where he previously directed Baby Anger (1997), The Credeaux Canvas (2001) and productions as part of four Young Playwrights Festival (1990-1993). He won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Spring Awakening. Other Broadway credits include 'night, Mother; After the Fall; Thoroughly Modern Millie (Drama Desk Award and Tony nomination); An Almost Holy Picture; Uncle Vanya; You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Tony nomination); The Lion in Winter; Side Man (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards); A View From the Bridge (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and Tony nomination); and Triumph of Love.

The performance schedule for Our House is Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2:30 & 8 PM and Sundays at 2:30 & 7:30 PM. There will be an additional Monday night performance on June 8 at 8 PM.

Tickets are $65. Tickets may be purchased online via TicketCentral.com, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (noon-8 PM daily), or in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).

For information about Playwrights Horizons' discount ticketing initiatives, visit www.playwrightshorizons.org.

Christopher Evan Welch and Jeremy Strong
Christopher Evan Welch and Jeremy Strong
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