August 8, 2006

Theophilus North

Filed under: Listings,Press Releases — offoffbway @ 10:30 pm

From the Keen Company comes a show whose title you probably can’t say ten times fast. G’head. Try it. We dare you.

Keen Company kicks off the 2006/07 Season Off Broadway in their new
home on Theater Row with Theophilus North

New York, New York August 3, 2006— Keen Company kicks off their
2006/07 season with the New York premiere of Theophilus North by
Matthew Burnett, based on the novel by Thornton Wilder and directed
by Carl Forsman. The production begins previews on Tuesday,
September 5 for a limited engagement through Saturday, October 14.
Opening night is Thursday, September 14 at 8 PM. The performance
schedule is Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday – Saturday at 8:00 PM and
Sunday at 2:00 PM, with an additional matinee on Saturday, October 14
at 2 PM. Performances are at Keen Company’s new home the Clurman
Theater (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues).
Tickets are $40 and are available by calling Ticket Central at
212-279-4200 or visit Please note, Keen
Company is now performing on an Off Broadway contract.

In the Spring of 1926, 30 year old Theophilus North decides to quit
his teaching post in New Jersey and embark on a quest for fun,
excitement and his place in the world–until his used car breaks down
in Newport, Rhode Island, stranding him in this city of renowned
wealth. Insinuating himself into the lives and troubles of Newport’s
residents, both idle rich and working class, Theophilus hopes to make
a difference—but will they return the favor?

Keen Company’s production marks the NY premiere of this touching,
funny and insightful charmer, adapted from the final novel by the
American literary icon Thornton Wilder. In the 2004/05 season, Keen
Company produced a critically acclaimed evening of Wilder one-acts
(Pullman Car Hiawatha and Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden), which
made Time Out’s top 10 year-end list at the close of the season.

The cast for Theophilus North features the New York stage debut of
Giorgio Litt as Theophilus. Joining him in the cast is a group of
acclaimed NY stage actors: Margaret Daly, Joe Delafield, Brian
Hutchison, Virginia Kull, Geddeth Smith, and Regan Thompson.

Carl Forsman’s (director) recent directorial credits include
Everything’s Turning Into Beautiful and Sin: A Cardinal Deposed (Obie
Winner, Drama Desk nominations for Best Play and Best Actor) for the
New Group and Tina Howe’s translations of Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano
and The Lesson for Atlantic Theater Company. For Keen, he directed
In Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, W. Somerset Maugham’s The
Breadwinner, John Belluso’s Pyretown, Thornton Wilder’s Happy Journey
to Trenton and Camden (Drama Desk nomination, Best Revival), the
world premiere of David Auburn’s adaptation of The Journals of Mihail
Sebastian, Keith Reddin’s Can’t Let Go, The Voice of the Turtle
(Drama Desk nomination for Best Director), and Conor McPherson’s The
Good Thief, starring Brian d’Arcy James (OBIE Award; Drama Desk and
Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Solo Performance), as well
as revivals of SN Behrman’s The Second Man, Tina Howe’s Museum,
Gertrude Tonkonogy’s Three Cornered Moon and PG Wodehouse’s Good
Morning, Bill.
Matthew Burnett (playwright) is a writer and actor, originally from
Los Angeles, California. Theophilus North, his first full-length
play, received its world premiere as a co-production of Arena Stage
(Washington, DC) and Geva Theater Center (Rochester, NY), and has
since been produced by other regional U.S. theaters. Theophilus
North received a 2004 Helen Hayes Award nomination as Outstanding New
Play or Musical, in addition to being selected for the FST-Burdick
Festival of New Plays in Sarasota, Florida. Theophilus North is
published by Samuel French, Inc. As an actor Burnett has performed
at Long Wharf Theater, Yale Repertory, and Off-Broadway at Theatre
Off Park and the Samuel Beckett Theater. Burnett is the recipient of
the Natalie Wood Award in acting, received his degree in Theatre,
Film and Television from UCLA, and studied with the British American
Drama Academy at Oxford.

The design team includes sets by Beowulf Borritt (Broadway’s The 25th
Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), lights by Josh Bradford (2005
Ovation nominee, The Good Thief), and costumes by Theresa Squire (Lt.
of Inishmore, High Fidelity). The production stage manager is Erin

Keen Company is one of New York’s most respected young theater
companies. Keen has produced fifteen full-length plays in its six
seasons. It has been honored with five Drama Desk Nominations, two
Off Broadway transfers, an Obie, and in 2005 a Special Drama Desk
Award “for moving and enlightening audiences with plays that build
upon our theatrical heritage.”


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