The Big Meal Will Have Chicago World Premiere Prior to NYC; Casting Announced

News   The Big Meal Will Have Chicago World Premiere Prior to NYC; Casting Announced Casting has been announced for the American Theater Company (ATC) world premiere of Dan LeFranc's The Big Meal, a collection of dinner-table scenes involving a family, to bow Feb. 3 in Chicago.

Dexter Bullard will direct a cast that includes Andrew Goetten, Philip Earl Johnson, Emily Leahy, Lindsay Leopold, Lia Mortensen, Peggy Roeder, Noah Schwartz and Will Zahrn.

The title will be part of the 2011-12 season of Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons, according to ATC, although Playwrights has not announced such an engagement. The Chicago run plays to March 6 at the company's home at 1909 W Byron St, Chicago. Opening night is Feb. 7.

Here's how ATC bills the play: "Suburban Restaurant. Today. Eight actors present the life-changing moments from five generations of a modern family. From their first kiss to their final goodbye, this family's long history illuminates life, love and loss at America's dinner table."

Director Bullard said in a statement, "This play has enchanted me in so many ways — its innovation, its breadth, its simplicity and the emotional power of its story. It is rare to find a play that is so real, yet theatrically bold — Dan is a thrilling new voice in American theatre and The Big Meal proves this."

The creative team includes Brian Sidney Bembridge (scenic and lighting design), Tiff Bullard (costume design), and Kevin O'Donnell (sound design). The stage manager is Dana Nestrick. Bullard directed Craig Wright's Mistakes Were Made at Barrow Street Theatre in New York after directing the world premiere at A Red Orchid Theatre with Michael Shannon in 2009. He previously worked with Wright on Lady at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre Off-Broadway and Grace at Northlight.

LeFranc received the 2010 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award for Sixty Miles to Silver Lake, which was premiered by Page 73 Productions and SoHo Rep. His other plays include Origin Story, The Troublemaker (or, The Freakin Kick-A Adventures of Bradley Boatright), Bruise Easy, Night Surf, In The Labyrinth, Backyard, The Fishbone Fables, Kill The Keepers and Catgut.

For reservations or more information, call (773) 409-4125 or visit www.atcweb.org .

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American Theater Company is an ensemble of artists committed to producing new and classic American stories that ask the question, "What does it mean to be an American?"

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