MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 29, 2015) — Bay Area actress Anna Ishida is among those named Thursday to The Guthrie Theatre’s casting for “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play”, a co-production with San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater.
The Guthrie is presenting Anne Washburn’s critically acclaimed dark comedy, directed by Mark Rucker. This New York Times Top 10 Play of 2013 is set in post-apocalyptic California where a group of strangers bond by recreating the popular “Cape Feare” episode of “The Simpsons.”
What will endure when the apocalypse arrives? Anne Washburn’s imaginative dark comedy begins immediately after the fall of civilization with a group of people trying to recreate the iconic “Cape Feare” episode of “The Simpsons.” Seven years later, the same clan is recounting episodes of the show professionally. Flash forward 75 years, and the story is told in an entirely different way. A paean to live theater, and to the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, Mr. Burns is an exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another.
Since its premiere in 1989, “The Simpsons” has garnered 31 Emmy Awards and holds the record as the longest-running sitcom in television history (563 episodes and counting) for its razor sharp writing and parodies of American culture, society and human nature. One of the most celebrated Simpsons episodes and often considered to be one of the series’ best, “Cape Feare” first aired in 1993 as the second episode in the fifth season of the show, two years after Martin Scorsese’s 1991 remake of the original 1962 film Cape Fear. “Cape Feare” is a spoof of the film and also refers to popular horror films such as Psycho and A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Mr. Burns, a post-electric play will feature three Guthrie alums: Charity Jones (Guthrie: The Cocktail Hour, Tales from Hollywood and Hay Fever) as Colleen, Jim Lichtscheidl (Guthrie: Uncle Vanya, Clybourne Park and Nice Fish) as Gibson, and Andrea Wollenberg (Guthrie: Top Girls) as Nedra. Additional cast members include Ryan Williams French as Sam, Nick Gabriel as Matt, Anna Ishida as Jenny, Tracey A. Leigh as Quincy, and Kelsey Venter as Susannah.
According to her online bio, Anna Ishida was born in Tokyo and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She began as a classical/bel canto singer and has since established herself as a respected actor and singer in the Bay Area and beyond with extensive experience in new works by composers and playwrights.
Ishida starred in San Francisco director H.P. Mendoza’s arthouse/experimental award winning 2012 horror film “I Am a Ghost” currently distributed by Gravitas Ventures. She is an original cast member and continues to tour regionally and internationally with the theatrical songplay Beowulf—A Thousand Years of Baggage, which has since rocked the Lower East Side & Joe’s Pub in NYC, Boston, Edinburgh, Montreal, Ireland, Australia and has achieved “cult status.”
Anna is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts, Mills College (English Bachelor of Arts), and completed the 30th Annual Shakespeare & Company Month-Long Intensive training program in Lenox, MA. She is the recipient of a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award (Best Actress in a Musical 2011) and the 2012 San Francisco Bay Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery Award for Theater.
The creative team for Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, includes Anne Washburn (Lyrics), Michael Friedman (Score), American Conservatory Theater Associate Artistic Director Mark Rucker (Director), Ralph Funicello (Set Design), Alex Jaeger (Costume Design), Alexander V. Nichols (Lighting Design), David Möschler (Music Direction), Dan Moses Schreier (Sound Design) and Amy Anders-Corcoran (Choreography).
Anne Washburn’s plays include The Internationalist, A Devil At Noon, Apparition, The Communist Dracula Pageant, I Have Loved Strangers, The Ladies, The Small and a transadaptation of Euripides’ Orestes. Her work has been produced by 13P, Actors Theater of Louisville, The Almeida, American Repertory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, Dixon Place, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Folger, The Gate, Playwrights Horizons, Red Eye, Soho Rep, Studio Theater, Two River Theater Company, Vineyard Theater and Woolly Mammoth. Awards include a Guggenheim, a NYFA Fellowship, a Time Warner Fellowship, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, and residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo. She is an associated artist with The Civilians, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Chochiqq, and is an alumna of New Dramatists and 13P. Currently commissioned by MTC, Playwrights Horizons, and Yale Rep. 10 out of 12 will be produced this Spring by Soho Rep in NYC.
The Guthrie’s 2014-15 season continues with The Crucible (April 11 – May 24), Juno and the Paycock (May 23 – June 28), Meredith Willson’s The Music Man (June 20 – August 23), and Stage Kiss (July 18 – August 30).
The GUTHRIE THEATER (Joe Dowling, Director) was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. With annual attendance of nearly 500,000 people, the Guthrie Theater presents a mix of classic plays and contemporary work on its three stages. Under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. In 2006, the Guthrie opened its new home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie Theater houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms and dramatic public lobbies.
from March 31 through May 10, 2015, with the Opening Night on Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Guthrie Theater’s McGuire Proscenium Stage at 818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55415
Pricing: Tickets start at $34 ($15 for select previews. Discounts for students and seniors available.
Post-play discussions will be held:
· Tuesday, April 7 following the evening performance
· Sunday, April 12 following the matinee performance
· Saturday, April 18 following the matinee performance
· Saturday, April 25 following the matinee performance
· Sunday, May 3 following the matinee performance
Learn more online at http://www.guthrietheater.org/accessibility
Interpreted by Erin Gardner, James Gardner and Jenn Welna
Friday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 25 at 1 p.m.
Described by Laura Wiebers
Friday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 25 at 1 p.m.
captioned by c2 inc.
Friday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 2 at 1 p.m.
Wednesday, May 6 at 1 p.m.
If you have specific program questions or need an accommodation, please contact the Accessibility Office by phone at 612.225.6390 (voice) or 612.225.6391 (TTY) or email at [email protected].
Following its run at A.C.T.’s Geary Theatre through mid-March, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play begins previews at the Guthrie’s McGuire Proscenium Stage on March 31, opens April 4 and closes May 10, 2015. Single tickets start at $34 ($15 for select previews), and are now on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224 or online at www.guthrietheater.org.