Lillias White, S. Epatha Merkerson Tapped for Billy Porter Stage Premiere; Primary Stages Reveals Season Casting

By Adam Hetrick
June 18, 2014

Tony Award winner Lillias White and Emmy Award winner S. Epatha Merkerson will star in the Primary Stages production of While I Yet Live, a new world-premiere play by Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots star Billy Porter.



Sheryl Kaller (Mothers and Sons, Next Fall, Adrift in Macao) will direct the premiere of Pittsburgh native Porter's new play, which centers on "a young man's coming of age in Pittsburgh amongst a bevy of fascinating and strong-willed women." It will run Sept. 23-Oct. 31. An official opening is set for Oct. 12 at New 42nd Street.

In addition to White (The Life, Fela!) and Merkerson (Come Back, Little Sheba; "Law & Order") the cast will include Elain Graham (The Picture Box, "Smash"), Susan Heyward (The Trip to Bountiful, Ruined), Kevyn Morrow (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Dreamgirls), Sharon Washington (The Scottsboro Boys, Wild With Happy) and Larry Powell (Broke-ology, Dutchman).

The production will have scenic design by Adam Koch, costume design by ESosa, lighting design by Kevin Adams, sound design by Leon Rothernberg and casting by Stephanie Klapper Casting.

Primary Stages has also announced casting for Theresa Rebeck's Poor Behavior, directed by Evan Cabnet (The Model Apartment, A Kid Like Jake), which runs July 29-Sept. 7. It officially opens Aug. 17.

The play, which is billed as "a devilish argument about infidelity and America … about two couples spending a not-so-idyllic weekend in the country," will include Heidi Armbruster (Disgraced, Time Stands Still), Brian Avers (The Explorers Club, The Lieutenant of Inishmore), Jeff Biehl (Machinal, Master Builder) and Katie Kressler (Nikolai and the Others, The House of Blue Leaves).

It will have scenic design by Lauren Helpern, costume design by Jessica Pabst, lighting design by Jason Lyons, sound design by Jill BC Du Boff and casting by Stephanie Klapper Casting.

Casting has not been announced for the Primary Stages premiere of David Ives' All in the Timing, directed by John Rando, which runs in early 2015.

Visit primarystages.org.