Pasadena Playhouse Announces Cast for "The Father" Starring Alfred Molina

Published : Thursday, December 12, 2019 | 11:23 AM

Pasadena Playhouse, The State Theater of California, has completed casting for The Father, written by Florian Zeller, translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Jessica Kubzansky, that comes to the Playhouse February 5 to March 1, 2020.

The production stars previously announced Alfred Molina (Frieda, An Education, Enchanted April) in a tour-de-force role in perhaps one of the most awarded plays of recent times on two continents – winning the 2014 Molière Award, and nominations for the Evening Standard Theatre Award, Olivier Award for Best New Play, and Tony Award for Best Play.

Molina will be joined by Sue Cremin (Neva at Kirk Douglas Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, SCR) as “Anne;” Michael Manuel (Buried Child at A Noise Within) as “Pierre;” Pia Shah (Orange at SCR) as “Laura;” Hugo Armstrong (Mysterious Circumstances at the Geffen Playhouse) as “Man;” and Lisa Renee Pitts (Sweat on Broadway) as “Woman.”

André was once a tap dancer. He lives with his daughter, Anne, and her husband, Antoine. Or was André an engineer, whose daughter Anne lives in London with her new lover, Pierre? The thing is, he is still wearing his pajamas, and he can’t find his watch. He is starting to wonder if he’s losing control.

A New York Times Critics’ Pick, Ben Brantley said that The Father is “harrowing … one of the most disorienting experiences in town … The Father operates from an exceedingly ingenious premise … that’s presenting the world through the perspective of a mind in an advancing state of dementia, making reality as relative and unfixed as it might be in a vintage Theatre of the Absurd production … [however] André’s ego is too large and impregnable to be deflated by senility. Dementia is inherently tragic. That’s what Shakespeare saw in King Lear, himself a precursor to this absurdist existential hero.” Lyn Gardner said in The Guardian that The Father is “hugely rewarding … a play that constantly confounds expectations and works almost like a thriller, with a sinister Pinteresque edge.”

Pasadena Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman said, “Alfred Molina is one of the greatest actors of our time. We’ve been searching for a play to do together here at the Playhouse since I started a few years ago. The Father had a profound impact on me. I distinctly remember reading the script in my office and getting to the end and feeling breathless. I sent it to Fred and he quickly said ‘this is the one’. I think it will be a performance that people will be talking about for years to come.”

Alfred Molina says, “It is so exciting when a play comes along that offers so much to explore from both the perspective of an actor, and as importantly, if not more so, the perspective of the audience one performs for. The Father provides a deep and searing look into a world we still know so little about from the point of view of a person afflicted with Dementia. It is my deepest wish that this work will shed new light and understanding on what is fast becoming a worldwide epidemic.”

The creative team features direction by Jessica Kubzansky; scenic design by David Meyer; costume design by Denitsa Bliznakova; lighting design by Elizabeth Harper; sound design by John Zalewski; and stage management by Sara Sahin.

Tickets for The Father start at $25 and are available at pasadenaplayhouse.org by phone at 626-356-7529, and at the box office at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena.

The Father is underwritten, in part, by the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation.

Biographies

Alfred Molina (André) – Alfred hails from London and has lived and worked in the USA since the early ’90s. His career spans over 45 years with more than 200 credits in theater, television, and film. He made his film debut in Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark and quickly followed up with appearances for directors as diverse as Richard Donner, Mike Leigh, Jim Jarmusch, Lasse Hallström, Mira Nair, Stephen Frears, and Julie Taymor. His theater work includes the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, London’s West End, and Broadway where he has been a three-time Tony Award nominee. He has also worked extensively in Los Angeles, with productions at the Mark Taper Forum, Geffen Playhouse, and The New American Theatre. This is his first full production with Pasadena Playhouse.

Sue Cremin (Anne) appeared in the title role of Neva (Kirk Douglas, La Jolla Playhouse, SCR) as well as world premieres at The Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, Baltimore’s Center Stage, Actors Theater of Louisville, and Yale Repertory. Favorites include Twelfth Night (The Old Globe) and Candida (Two River Theater). New York: Such Things Only Happen In Books (Keen Company), Honey Brown Eyes (Clurman Theatre), Killing The Boss (Cherry Lane Theatre), A Part Of The Story (MCC) and Dinosaur Dreams (NY Stage & Film). Film includes California Love,Homeland, The Good War and The Tao of Steve. Television includes NCIS, Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie, Monk, Law & Order. Currently recurring on ABC’s new series For Life. MFA Yale School of Drama.

Michael Manual (Pierre) was most recently seen at A Noise Within as Tilden in Buried Child, The Creature in Frankenstein and Iago in Othello. Michael has worked in regional theaters across the country including Alley Theatre, South Coast Rep, Berkeley Rep, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Mark Taper, Yale Rep, Seattle Rep, Empty Space, Group Theatre, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Theatre for a New Audience, Cornerstone, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Geffen, UCB, Interact, Main Street and Impro Theatre, among others. Some of his television, movie and narration credits include Wonderland, National Treasure and the upcoming Lafayette Escadrille. Michael is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

Pia Shah (Laura) Pia Shah most recently starred in the HBO anthology series Room 104, by the Duplass Brothers, opposite Charlyne Yi in the episode “FOMO.” She also starred in the role of Leela, a young woman on the spectrum, in Orange at South Coast Repertory. Shah recently made her first short film, The Shower, which she wrote, produced and starred in, while 8 months pregnant, opposite Emily C. Chang. Shah has workshopped dozens of new plays including Getting There (Geffen Playhouse), Dry Land (Ojai Playwrights Conference), Noms de Guerre (Pasadena Playhouse) and Basketcases (Seattle Rep). Film/TV credits: Grey’s Anatomy, Good Trouble, Futurestates, Disney’s Planes, Mercy, The Wonderful Maladys, Dirty John, Pearson. Shah starred in and co-wrote Grass, winner of Best Narrative Feature at the Austin Asian American Film (now streaming on Netflix). Shah is the voice of Qadira in the video game Indivisible. She has an MFA in drama from USC and a BA from The Johns Hopkins University.

Hugo Armstrong (Man) Hugo Armstrong has most recently been seen in Michael Mitnick’s Mysterious Circumstances at the Geffen Playhouse. Other theater roles include Lyndon B. Johnson All The Way/South Coast Repertory, Lucky Waiting for Godot/The Mark Taper Forum, Jim the Hanger BleedRail/Boston Court, Ted Backyard/Echo Theatre Company, and Sabertooth in Burglars of Hamm’s Land of the Tigers at Sacred Fools. Movie/TV work includes Room 104, Coherence, Fear the Walking Dead, Into the Dark, For the People, Roman J Israel Esq., Cuck, LUCKY, Criminal Minds, Blacklist, Into the Dark, The Passing Parade, OK Good and the new Netflix series Messiah.

Lisa Renee Pitts (Woman) is overjoyed to make her Pasadena Playhouse Debut! Broadway: Tony nominated play Sweat by Lynn Nottage. Selected Regional Credits: Tiny Beautiful Things and Doubt (Portland Center Stage/ Critics Circle Award) A Raisin in the Sun (Virginia Stage Company/NAACP Theater Award Nominee), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Syracuse Stage), Proposals (Norris Center Perf Arts) La Ronde (Williamstown) and Intimate Apparel (San Diego Rep/ Critics Circle Award). Selected Film and Television Credits; Dr. Dre’s mother, Verna, in Straight Outta Compton (Dir. F. Gary Gray) ;True to the Game 1 & 2 (Dirs. Preston Whitmore & Jamal Hill); XX (Dir. Karyn Kusama); Her (Dir. Spike Jones) and Baselines (Dir. Nate Parker). Up next, Lisa will appear in Stephen Kings The Stand based on his best-selling novel. As a multi- award winning narrator, she has narrated over 100 audiobooks spanning all genres. Lisa holds a BFA degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. LisaReneePitts.com “victory”

Jessica Kubzansky (Director) has been an Artistic Director of Boston Court Pasadena since its inception and is also an award-winning director working nationally specializing in new works and reenvisioned classics. Previously for the Pasadena Playhouse: Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths, GB Shaw’s Pygmalion and Theresa Rebeck’s Mauritius. Recently for Boston Court: world premieres of Kit Steinkellner’s Ladies, Sarah B. Mantell’s Everything That Never Happened, Stefanie Zadravec’s Colony Collapse, RII (her own three-person re-envisioning of Shakespeare’s Richard II), Michael Elyanow’s The Children, as well as Luis Alfaro’s Mojada, A Medea in Los Angeles (a co-production at the Getty Villa), and the New York and world premieres of Sheila Callaghan’s Everything You Touch (a co-pro with Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre at the Cherry Lane) among many others. Recently elsewhere: Othello (A Noise Within), Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths (Arena Stage, San Diego Rep), Sofia Alvarez’s Amos & Boris, Aditi Kapil’s Orange (South Coast Rep), Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird (ACT Theatre Seattle). Upcoming: Sarah B. Mantell’s Everything That Never Happened for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Kubzansky has received numerous awards and honors, among them the Los Angeles’ Drama Critics’ Circle’s Margaret Harford Award for Sustained Excellence in Theater.

About The Pasadena Playhouse

The Pasadena Playhouse is a place where people have gathered for 100 years to experience bold and important theater. It is one of the most prolific theaters in American history with a legacy of profound theatrical impact and courageous new work. In 1937, the Playhouse was officially recognized as the State Theater of California for its contribution and commitment to the dramatic arts. Today it continues that tradition of excellence under the helm of producing artistic director Danny Feldman. Dedicated to enriching lives through theater, community programs and learning initiatives, Pasadena Playhouse is a living force in the community.

 

 

 

 

 

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