Chappell Returns to the Role She Created in CA Collected Stories, Opening May 22 | Playbill

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News Chappell Returns to the Role She Created in CA Collected Stories, Opening May 22 Kandis Chappell and Melanie Lora play Professor Ruth Steiner and Lisa Morrison, respectively, in the South Coast Repertory Theater revival of Donald Margulies' Collected Stories, opening May 22 on the Segerstrom Stage in Costa Mesa, CA.

Previews began May 15 for a run to June 14. The play had is world premiere at SCR 13 years ago.

Margulies' Pulitzer Prize-nominated play about two women writers at opposite stages of their careers is one of SCR's best-known commissions and has been performed around the world. An unrelated production starring Linda Lavin will open on Broadway in spring 2010.

Chappell returns to the role she created at SCR in 1996. In New York the role was later played by Maria Tucci (in 1997 at Manhattan Theatre Club) and Uta Hagen (in 1998-99, commercially at the Lortel Theatre).


Directed by SCR artistic director Martin Benson, Collected Stories will open May 22. According to SCR, "Ensconced in her Greenwich Village apartment, Professor Ruth Steiner, a middle-aged short story writer and professor, agrees to take on a 26-year-old graduate student as her assistant. Over the course of six years, their student-teacher relationship evolves. The question of who has control over memories — the one who lives them or the one who writes about them — is the complex dilemma that confronts the young author and her revered mentor, with whom she collides on her race toward fame."

The 1996 SCR production starred Chappell and Suzanne Cryer, and won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Production of a Play and Best Original Play. After its New York premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club, Collected Stories received a commercial Off-Broadway run. The Los Angeles production at the Geffen Playhouse was subsequently filmed for PBS.

In addition to Collected Stories, Margulies is the author of four plays that were commissioned and premiered by South Coast Repertory: Brooklyn Boy and Pulitzer Prize finalist Sight Unseen, which received Broadway productions, and Shipwrecked! An Entertainment – The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont as Told by Himself. Dinner with Friends, which had its West Coast Premiere at SCR, won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize.

The creative team includes Tom Buderwitz (set design), Angela Balogh Calin (costume design), Tom and Donna Ruzika (lighting design), Mark Johnson (sound design), John Glore (dramaturg), Jamie Tucker (stage manager) and Chrissy Church (assistant stage manager).

Chappell received Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for her work in The Crucible, Woman in Mind, Shadowlands and Collected Stories. She is an associate artist of The Old Globe in San Diego where her credits include more than 25 productions. She has played on Broadway in Neil Simon's Rumors and Getting Away With Murder by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth, at Lincoln Center Theater in Tina Howe's Pride's Crossing, and at theatres across the country.

Lora returns to SCR after appearing in the Theatre for Young Audience's production of Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Theatre credits include Taking Steps at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble; American Tales, The Rover and Zastrozzi with The Antaeus Company; The Count of Monte Cristo at Edgemar Theatre; Many Happy Returns at Laguna Playhouse; Dead End at the Ahmanson Theatre; Embedded, Orlando, Moscow and The Seagull at The Actors' Gang; and more.

Tickets to Collected Stories can be purchased online at, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the box office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, CA.

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