Casting Complete for Master Class, with Daly, at the Kennedy Center

By Adam Hetrick
02 Feb 2010

Master Class star Tyne Daly
Master Class star Tyne Daly
Photo by Joan Marcus

Jeremy Cohen, Laquita Mitchell, Ta’u Pupu’a and Alexandra Silber will join Tony Award winner Tyne Daly in Terrence McNally's Master Class at the Kennedy Center in March.

Stephen Wadsworth will direct the Tony-winning play that features Daly as opera diva Maria Callas. Master Class will run March 25-April 18 in the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. An official opening has been set for April 1.

Callas' "victims" (as she lovingly refers to them in the script) will be portrayed by Cohen (Avenue X, West Bank) as pianist Manny, Mitchell (Porgy and Bess with San Francisco Opera) as fiery soprano Sharon, Pupu’a as tenor Tony and Silber (Carousel and The Woman in White in the West End) as first soprano Sophie.

The play is inspired by Callas' Juilliard master classes, which were preserved on tape. For the stage production, McNally imagines the Greek soprano reliving her stage triumphs and personal tragedies as she interacts with young, hopeful performers.



Master Class is presented as part of the Kennedy Center's Nights at the Opera, a five-week celebration of McNally's plays that also includes The Lisbon Traviata and Golden Age.

The production has set design by Thomas Lynch, costume design by Martin Pakledinaz, lighting design by David Lander and sound design by Jon Gottlieb.

Daly earned a Tony Award for the 1989 revival of Gypsy and was Tony nominated for her performance in David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Rabbit Hole. She is currently appearing Off-Broadway in Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Her screen roles include "Cagney and Lacey," "Grey's Anatomy," "Play It As It Lays," "John and Mary," "The Entertainer," "Judging Amy" and "Wings."

Master Class, under the direction of Leonard Foglia, initially played the Kennedy Center prior to its 1995 Broadway bow. The play earned Tony Awards for Best Play, Best Actress (Zoe Caldwell) and Best Featured Actress (Audra McDonald). A host of women have inhabited the coveted role of Maria Callas in McNally's play including Patti LuPone (who also starred in the London premiere), Dixie Carter and Faye Dunaway.

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