Sparks, Boyd and Cullen Take the Rapp in Essential Self-Defense at Cape Cod Theatre Project, July 6-8

News   Sparks, Boyd and Cullen Take the Rapp in Essential Self-Defense at Cape Cod Theatre Project, July 6-8
Ray Rizzo, Paul Sparks, Michael Chermus, Guy Boyd, Emily Cass-MacDonnell, Lucas Papaelias, Laura Heisler and Michael Cullen make up the cast of Essential Self-Defense, the new Adam Rapp play that will be workshopped at the Cape Cod Theatre Project July 6-8.
Adam Rapp
Adam Rapp

Boyd is a veteran of Rapp's work, having starred in the Off-Broadway run of his Stone Cold Dead Serious. Sparks, a popular Off-Broadway actor, recently appeared in Landscape of the Body at the Signature Theatre Company. Cullen acted in the Off-Broadway premiere of Bug (a show that also featured Sparks at one point).

As first reported by, Adam Rapp, whose Red Light Winter enjoyed a 2005-06 Off-Broadway life, will direct a workshop of his latest play at the Cape Cod Theatre Project. Essential Self-Defense will get its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in 2006-07.

In the play, "Yul Carrol makes his living by being a human punching bag for a women's self-defense class. He falls in love with the woman who injures him, and then things get strange."

Rapp's other works include Stone Cold Dead Serious, Nocturne and Blackbird.

* In other news, Skip Sudduth and Kelly McAndrew have been added to the cast of Jimmy Breslin's Love Lasts on Myrtle Avenue. Rip Torn and Lois Smith will star in a July 13-15 staged reading of the new play by the legendary journalist and columnist.

Smith won unanimous praise and several awards, including a Drama Desk and an Obie, for her work in the recent Signature Theatre Company revival of Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful. Torn has his own Foote credit, having starred on Broadway in the playwright's The Young Man From Atlanta. The two actors shared a stage in 1964 with Broadway's Blues for Mr. Charlie.

Love Lasts on Myrtle Avenue will be directed by Gordon Edelstein. The work is described as a love story based on true events. Breslin is known for his Runyonesque, man-of-the-street prose style, and his focus on the travails of criminals, mobsters and the common man. He has written several books.


Also part of the season is Badcat, the latest by Leslie Ayvazian, a talent once best known for her acting, but now more frequently working as a playwright (Nine Armenians). The new work asks, "When you're unhappy with the role you are playing in your marriage, why not make a drastic change?" Actress Blair Brown, who directed Ayvazian's Lovely Day Off-Broadway, stages the work. Dates are July 20-22.

Concluding the season will be a play directed by CCTP artistic director, Andrew Polk: Have You Seen Steve Steven? by Ann Marie Healy. In it, "Mary and Frank are having a dinner party with some neighbors they never met, reminiscing about some times they never had. Their two children are trying to find the exit to a door they never opened. It's a long, cold night in outer suburbia, if they could only remember the way home." Dates are July 27-29.

The 12-year-old CCTP has developed a reputation for nurturing plays that eventually find their way Off-Broadway. Just this past season alone, New York has seen Manuscript by Paul Grellong, Almost, Maine by John Cariani and BFE by Julia Cho, all developed at one point at the Falmouth company.

The summer theatre festival rehearses (in a brief process) and offers readings of new works each July. The company is stationed in Falmouth in the southwest corner of Cape Cod, and performs out of The Falmouth Academy, a private school. Though the company never stages full productions and makes no bones about its plays being in a state of development, the season has become quite popular with the local populace.

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