Role in A.C.T. Run of The Quality of Life Won't Be Shared By Two Actresses

News   Role in A.C.T. Run of The Quality of Life Won't Be Shared By Two Actresses American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) announced Oct. 17 that Laurie Metcalf will be performing the role of Jeannette for the full run of its upcoming production of The Quality of Life, written and directed by Jane Anderson.

Caroline Lagerfelt has stepped down from the previously announced alternate arrangement for the role when Metcalf became available after her television commitment was put on hiatus. Metcalf originated the role of Jeannette, which was written for her, in the Geffen Playhouse production of The Quality of Life and has a long-standing artistic relationship with Anderson.

Lagerfelt, who is returning to her recurring role on "Gossip Girl," says she agreed to the unconventional casting arrangement as a personal favor to A.C.T. artistic director Carey Perloff and because of the strength of Anderson's emotionally complex and actor-driven play. "I am thrilled to have gotten a chance to work with this amazing group of artists," she stated, "but I know that being able to rehearse and perform this difficult piece with one actress will make the process more fluid."

Produced in association with the Geffen Playhouse and Jonathan Reinis Productions, The Quality of Life will play A.C.T. Oct. 24-Nov. 23. Opening night is Oct. 29.

In addition to Metcalf, the four-person ensemble for The Quality of Life features two other members of the original, award-winning cast: two-time OBIE Award winner Dennis Boutsikaris and JoBeth Williams ("Poltergeist," "The Big Chill"), joined by Stephen Culp, who most recently appeared on the A.C.T. stage in the acclaimed production of Blackbird.

According to A.C.T., "A daring, star-studded cast explores hot-button issues of life and death in this riveting new tour-de-force. When a religious Midwestern couple, Bill [Culp] and Dinah [Williams], visits free-spirited cousin Jeannette [Metcalf] and her husband, Neil [Boutsikaris], in their Northern California home, both couples confront loss and survival in the face of explosive circumstance. An unforgettable, brave work of heart and humor, The Quality of Life was nominated for four 2007 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards." The creative team includes Kent Dorsey (lighting designer), Donald Eastmen (set designer), Lydia Tanji (costume designer) and Richard Woodbury (sound designer).

Tickets — starting at $14 — are available by calling A.C.T. Ticket Services at (415) 749-2228, or at www.act-sf.org.

For more information visit www.act-sf.org.

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