Terry Burrell Is Arena's New Aunt Eller in Oklahoma!; E. Faye Butler Moves to Trouble in Mind

News   Terry Burrell Is Arena's New Aunt Eller in Oklahoma!; E. Faye Butler Moves to Trouble in Mind Terry Burrell will play the salty Aunt Eller in Arena Stage's hit production of Oklahoma! starting Aug. 9, taking over for E. Faye Butler, who is rehearsing for Arena's new production of Trouble in Mind.

Terry Burrell
Terry Burrell

Butler originated the role of Aunt Eller in Molly Smith's award-winning revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in summer 2010, and returned with the rest of the principals for the current encore run. Butler was nominated for the Helen Hayes Award for her turn.

Burrell joins the Oklahoma! company Aug. 2, and her first performance as Aunt Eller will be Aug. 9 on Arena's in-the-round Fichandler Stage, in the Mead Center for American Theater.

Casting has been announced for Alice Childress' Trouble in Mind, which opens Arena's 2011-12 season, running Sept. 9-Oct. 23 in the Kreeger Theater.

Trouble in Mind, according to Arena notes, "explores the strained relationships of a newly integrated cast rehearsing a bold anti-lynching drama."

Butler begins rehearsals Aug. 9 for the role of Wiletta Mayer in Trouble in Mind, under the direction of Irene Lewis. The production borrows some personnel (including Butler) from a 2006-07 Baltimore Centerstage production. Also returning are Starla Benford (as Millie Davis), Tony Award nominee Thomas Jefferson Byrd (as Sheldon Forrester), Daren Kelly (as Bill O'Wray), Garrett Neergaard (as Eddie Fenton) and Lawrence O'Dwyer (as Henry), with newcomers Brandon J. Dirden (as John Nevan), Gretchen Hall (as Judy Sears) and Marty Lodge (as Al Manners). Additional production information will be announced. Oklahoma! continues to Oct. 2. This will mark Burrell's fourth production at Arena Stage. Previous performances include The Women of Brewster Place, Thunder Knocking on the Door and Of Thee I Sing. Her Broadway credits include Threepenny Opera, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Swinging on a Star, Into the Woods, Dreamgirls, Honky Tonk Nights, Eubie! and London's Show Boat as Julie. She was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for her work in Queenie Pie and Show Boat. Her one-woman theatrical piece Ethel will debut at Walnut Street Studio Theatre in February 2012.

For more information, visit arenastage.org.

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