Neil Cuthbert's White People to Premiere at Ensemble Studio Theater

News   Neil Cuthbert's White People to Premiere at Ensemble Studio Theater
White People, a dark family comedy by Neil Cuthbert (and Neil Cuthbert), will have its world premiere at the Ensemble Studio Theater Feb. 16-March 13, with an official opening set for Feb. 21.

Cuthbert explains the double-author billing by revealing that he began work on the play when he was a young, struggling playwright and the literary manager at EST. He abandoned the play to work in Hollywood, and returned to New York to finish what he had started – and to premiere the work at the theatre where he had started writing it.

"This play has two authors," Cuthbert said in a statement. "Me at 30 and me at 59. The 30-year-old vividly remembered all the details of this life. The 59-year-old knew how to shape them into a play. Before, I was the age of the kids. Now, I'm the age of the parents."

Michael Barakiva will direct a cast including James DeMarse, Cecilia DeWolf, David Gelles, Delphi Harrington, Matthew Minor, Mickey Solis and Jennifer Joan Thompson.

The creative team will feature set designer Maiko Chii, costume designer Suzanne Chesney, lighting designer Cat Tate Starmer, sound designer Matt Sherwin, props designer Sylviane Jacobson and production stage manager Joshua Scherr.

According to EST notes, "Set on a single day in 1975 the play is a bruising family comedy in which the long repressed conflicts of a middle class WASP family finally explode. The father is drinking again; the son has moved home to write an epic science fiction novel; the daughter receives a visit from a mysterious stranger; and the domineering racist grandmother comes for lunch on the wrong day." Cuthbert's other plays include Preston, The Boss and Bar Play Night. He has written the screenplays for "Hocus Pocus," "Mystery Men" and "The Adventures of Pluto Nash," and has also written pilots and episodes for various TV series.

Ensemble Studio Theatre is located at 549 West 52nd Street. For tickets visit Ensemble Studio Theatre or call (866) 811-4111.

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