Pawk and Champlin Star in Inge's Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Opening April 5

News   Pawk and Champlin Star in Inge's Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Opening April 5 Tony Award winner Michele Pawk and recent Sweeney Todd actress Donna Lynne Champlin star in a revival of William Inge's play The Dark at the Top of the Stairs for the Transport Group at the Connelly Theatre opening April 5.
Patrick Boll and Donna Lynne Champlin in The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.
Patrick Boll and Donna Lynne Champlin in The Dark at the Top of the Stairs. Photo by Carol Rosegg

The 50th anniversary production, directed by Jack Cummings III, the Transport Group's artistic director, began previews March 30 and runs through April 21.

The cast also includes Patrick Boll, Paul Iacono, Liz Mamana, Colby Minifie, Jay Potter, Jack Tartaglia and Matt Yeager.

The production has also scheduled three special events:

  • On April 5, at a "Meet the Cast" event, Cummings, Pawk, Champlin and Boll will discuss the play.

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  • On April 12, an "Evening with the Experts" panel will include the Inge scholars Jeff Johnson and Ralph Voss, moderated by Cummings.
  • On April 16, at an "Evening with the Artists" event, the actress Shirley Knight will headline a panel of artists that have worked on Inge plays. Knight played the role of Reenie in the film version of The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, for which she received her first Academy Award nomination. Her film debut was a small role in the film version of Inge's play Picnic. According to press notes, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, set in a small Oklahoma town in the early 1920s, "centers on Rubin Flood, who after losing his job as a traveling salesman for a harness manufacturer, finds himself pulled in several directions at once — looking for new employment while trying to deal at once with a wife who shuns intimacy and mistakes his joblessness for stinginess; a shy teenage daughter preparing for her first dance; and an introverted son who runs to his mother instead of confronting local bullies."

    Scenic design is by Sandra Goldmark, costume design is by Shana Albery, lighting design is by R. Lee Kennedy and sound design is by Michael Rasbury.

    The Dark at the Top of the Stairs opened on Broadway in 1957 and ran for 468 performances. Elia Kazan directed the play, which was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Play. Inge is also known for such plays as Bus Stop, Picnic and Come Back, Little Sheba.

    Pawk and Champlin co-starred in Hollywood Arms on Broadway, for which Pawk won a Tony. Pawk's other Broadway credits include Mamma Mia!, Cabaret, Chicago, Crazy for You, Seussical and Losing Louie. Champlin's Broadway credits include Sweeney Todd and By Jeeves.

    Founded in 2001, Transport Group produces work by American writers with the aim of exploring the American conscience in the 20th and 21st centuries. Past productions include a revival of Michael John LaChiusa's musical First Lady Suite, the new musical The Audience, John Cariani's play cul-de-sac, a revival of Tad Mosel's play All the Way Home and Requiem for William, an evening of seven plays by Inge.

    Performances are Wednesday through Monday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM.

    The Connelly Theatre is located at 220 East 4th Street, between Avenue A and Avenue B in Manhattan. Tickets are $20 and are available by calling (212) 352-3101. For more information visit www.transportgroup.org.

  • Donna Lynne Champlin and Michele Pawk star in <i>The Dark at the Top of the Stairs</i>.
    Donna Lynne Champlin and Michele Pawk star in The Dark at the Top of the Stairs. Photo by Carol Rosegg