Hollywood's Chris Pine Stars in Off-Broadway's Atheist Starting Nov. 24

By Kenneth Jones
October 23, 2006

Rising Hollywood star Chris Pine, of "The Princess Diaries 2" and "Just My Luck," will star in the world premiere of Ronan Noone's dark comedy, The Atheist, Off-Broadway this fall.

The solo-actor play about "a journalist's relentless quest for fame premieres" begins Nov. 24, produced by Square Peg Productions and directed by David Sullivan.

The limited engagement plays to Dec. 23 and opens Nov. 29 at Center Stage, NY, at 48 W. 21st Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

According to production notes, "Every good news story needs a good storyteller, but as Augustine Early's headlines become fueled by vengeance and self-interest, secrets hold no sanctuary and a good story always prevails, regardless of the cost."

Pine plays Early, who "does whatever it takes in the pursuit of the perfect front-page headline."

Ronan Noone penned The Lepers of Baile Baiste. This new play comes from the Breaking Ground Festival at Boston's Huntington Theater (Campbell Scott starred in the reading there).

David Sullivan (director) directed the Off-Broadway premiere of The Blowin of Baile Gall by Ronan Noone at the Irish Arts Center in 2005. Other New York credits include Swansong (Irish Repertory Theatre); The Stage is Bare (Directors Theatre NY); and The Lepers of Baile Baiste (Phil Bosakowski Theatre). Regionally, he has directed at the Huntington Theatre Company's Breaking Ground Festival for New Plays, Williamstown Theater Festival Workshop, Powerhouse Theatre/NYSAF Workshop, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Boston Playwrights Theatre, and Boston Theatre Works Unbound Festival.

Ronan Noone (playwright) emigrated from Ireland in 1994. He wrote his first play The Lepers of Baile Baiste while working on Martha's Vineyard. It had its professional premiere in Boston with Sugan Theatre Company, where it became a Critic's Pick by the Boston Globe and went on to win the Independent Reviewers of New England. His second play, The Blowin of Baile Gall, had its Off- Broadway debut, produced by Gabriel Byrne, at the Irish Arts Center in New York in 2005. The play had previously been nominated by the American Theatre Critics Association for the Steinberg New Play Award and won the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding New Script. Noone was chosen by Boston Magazine as the Best Young Playwright for 2003, and in July of 2003, he was commissioned as a playwriting fellow by the Huntington Theatre Company, under the Stanford Calderwood Fund for New American Plays.

Chris Pine is currently in production on the drama "Carriers," for director Alex Pastor and will next be seen in Joe Carnahan's gritty ensemble drama "Smokin' Aces" for Working Title Films and Universal Pictures, directed by Joe Carnahan and starring Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta and Jeremy Piven. His film, "Blind Dating," with Jane Seymour, is scheduled for release next year. He has performed numerous classic roles at the Williamstown Theater Festival, University of California, Berkeley, and various theatre companies in the Los Angeles area.

Most recently, Pine appeared in the Antaeus Theatre Company's production of A Month in the Country, directed by Tom Moore; a reading of Daisy Foote's Bhutan at Pacific Stages; and was involved in the Young Playwrights Festival at Noah Wyle's Blank Theatre. Pine graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in English, and he has studied acting at the American Conservatory Theater and University of Leeds in the U.K. The design team includes Richard Chambers (sets), Jennifer Caprio (costumes) and Stephen Boulmetis (lights) with original music composed by Haddon Kime.

The production stage manager is Misha Siegel-Rivers.

The performance schedule for The Atheist is Tuesday–Saturday at 8 PM; Sunday at 3 PM. There is no performance Nov. 26 and an added performance on Nov. 27 at 8 PM.

Admission is $45. For tickets, call SmartTix at (212) 868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com.

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Sara Katz, Douglas Mercer and Betsey Katz founded Square Peg Productions, a non-profit theatre company based in New York City in 2006. Square Peg Productions' mission is "to foster the creation of original work by emerging playwrights in order to develop a new generation of writers who engage New York audiences in a thought provoking, challenging, and unpredictable theatrical experience."