Friday, October 9, 2015

Our “I and You” cast members look back at their high school selves

In I and You, the first show of The Rep’s 2015-2016 Studio Theatre Series, an unlikely pair of teenagers bonds over a last-minute English project.

They represent opposing ends of the high school social spectrum: Anthony is an effortlessly popular “A” student and athlete; Caroline is a prickly cynic, homebound with a serious liver disease. Paired up as partners for a presentation on Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself,” this odd couple discovers the unseen truths about each other over the course of an eventful night.

And while they certainly look the part, our talented actors Reynaldo Piniella (Anthony) and Danielle Carlacci (Caroline) are no teenagers. To introduce them to our readers, we gave them a homework assignment of their own: What were you like in high school? How similar were you to your character in this show? Read their responses below!

Piniella: As a pre-teen, I was the “perfect” kid. I was the lead trumpet player in band, the head color guard, the lead in the school play and a menace on every sports field imaginable. All that changed when I left middle school and suddenly my age had “teen” at the end of it. I dropped out of band, despised drama class and even cut class to chase the only thing my hormones desired — girls. I hung with the cool kids and wore all the clothes that gave me social status. After failing a few classes and seeing my “cool” friends drop out, I made the choice to focus on my grades and rediscover my long lost artistic loves.

Anthony manages to juggle his music, sports and schooling way better than I ever could. His strong family foundation gives him a base of support that I never had. I would’ve never been caught dead saying that Walt Whitman is awesome. Instead of comparing the use of pronouns in “Song of Myself”, I was too busy trying to catch all the Pokémon. Although sports were my first love, I had to choose between the basketball team and drama class. If I had chosen basketball I probably wouldn’t be doing this wonderful play at the Rep!

Carlacci: In high school I was the captain of my cheerleading team, in student council and a member of the National Honor Society. I was definitely a goody two shoes!

I grew up in a very small town and was fortunate to have an extremely strong bond with my family. The best friends I had in high school (and still have now) became my friends in first grade so we were a very connected group. I was fortunate to have a senior year full of friendship, something that Caroline dreams of in the play.

Though our senior year situations were drastically different, very luckily for me, I find Caroline and I connected on many levels. I’m a tiny girl, as she is, and we both are little daschunds! We are both spitfires and when we want something, we are super passionate and go after it. We both have a sweeter side but can be very hard-headed and opinionated. She is definitely a tough cookie and her strength is something in the character that I really admire.

We also both LOVE sarcasm. Caroline and I love to pack on the dry humor especially around people that we like. Behind her harsher exterior, Caroline is vulnerable and yearning for someone to support her and I think that’s something we can all identify with. I love vulnerability, I think it is a huge part of what makes us all human so Caroline’s vulnerable moments resonate with me in a very deep way. I feel very grateful to be playing Caroline and telling her story, she is SO much fun!

October 9, 2015 at 1:47 PM | (0) Comments | Permalink
Categories: Meet the Cast | Studio | I and You

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Designer David Toser gives a guided tour of the costumes in “Angel Street (Gaslight)”

Last week, we got our first look at the cast of Angel Street (Gaslight) in their magnificent full costumes, thanks to some outstanding portraits from photographer Lon Brauer.

Shortly thereafter, we caught up with costume designer David Toser to give us an inside look at the history behind these fabulous ensembles, which are based off 1880s London period attire. Click each image below for a full-resolution view of each costume.


Janie Brookshire as Bella Manningham

Toser: “In the 1880s, there was a brief window of time for this narrow, highly restrictive silhouette used for women. And it’s the perfect silhouette for Bella in this play: she’s restricted and imprisoned.”


Clark Scott Carmichael as Jack Manningham

Toser: “Jack is not super wealthy. In the play, Bella’s the one who bought the house. They have only two servants. I say ‘only,’ but if you’ve seen Downton Abbey you’ll know that it was possible to have a great deal more. So this is an upper middle class look.”


Geoffrey Wade as Sergeant Rough

Toser: “The four-button suit you see on the detective could have easily been something you’d see even 10 years ago. We just keep recycling fashion.”


Rachel Kenney as Nancy

Toser: “I made her clothes slightly shorter than you’d see in the period. I wanted to make her a little saucier, so the audience knows that there’s something going down with her. They don’t know where it’s going to go, but we wanted to set it up without giving it away: she’s already got her eyes on the master of the house.”

Tickets for Angel Street are available here!

October 8, 2015 at 3:17 PM | (0) Comments | Permalink
Categories: Behind the Scenes | Mainstage | Angel Street (Gaslight)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Meet the cast for our next show, the thrilling “Angel Street (Gaslight)”

Rehearsals for Angel Street (Gaslight) are well under way, and they’re serving to highlight the incredible work of a tight, talented cast.

Compared to our last show, Angel Street is an intimate affair in which all five principal characters create a dynamic symphony of rising tension. Set in Victorian London, the play focuses on Bella Manningham’s battle for her sanity… and perhaps her life. Her husband Jack torments her to no end, claiming that she has been playing cruel pranks on him and hiding valuable objects — none of which she can remember. But the arrival of a keen police inspector turns the situation on its head, the first of many thrilling twists in this tightly plotted masterpiece. Check out our Play Guide to learn more about the show and its background.

We sought out the best in casting for this show, and it’s led to an exciting group of performers who will be almost entirely new to Rep audiences. So by way of introduction, let’s meet our five players:

Janie Brookshire
as Bella Manningham

A newcomer! This is Janie’s first performance at The Rep.

Notable theatre credits: Janie’s Off-Broadway credits include a lead turn in Lanford Wilson’s The Mound Builders at Signature Theatre in 2013, as well as playing the title role in the New York revival of Mary Broome (Mint Theater, 2012).

TV/Film: Janie has appeared on network TV shows like The Good Wife (CBS) and Forever (ABC). She also made a brief appearance on FX’s acclaimed comedy Louie.

Clark Scott Carmichael
as Jack Manningham

Rep fans may remember him from: The Other Place (2014, Studio)

Notable theatre credits: Clark appeared in the Broadway revival of Jumpers (2004) and is a regular performer at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, most recently appearing in Love’s Labour’s Lost.

TV/Film: Clark had a memorable two-episode run on FOX’s Gotham as the Irish hitman Connor — even if (spoiler) things didn’t end terribly well for his character. He also appeared on streaming video devices everywhere as a grieving father in a first-season episode of Netflix’s House of Cards.

Geoffrey Wade
as Rough

Rep fans may remember him from: An Ideal Husband (1998), Six Degrees of Separation (1993)

Notable theatre credits: Recently, Geoffrey has racked up a number of regional theatre credits in California and Vermont. He also appeared in the Broadway production of Translations in 1995. He’s acted in several shows alongside his wife and Angel Street castmate Amelia White.

TV/Film: Geoffrey has been all over your television screen for the past two decades — you just might not have noticed it. He’s made guest appearances on Mad Men, ER, The Mentalist, NCIS and many more. In 2016, he’s slated to appear as a general in the Steven Spielberg film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG.

Rachel Kenney
as Nancy

A newcomer! This is Rachel’s first performance at The Rep.

Notable theatre credits: Rachel recently served as an understudy for the lead role in The Mystery of Love and Sex at Lincoln Center Theater. While studying theatre and film at Northwestern University, Rachel had leading roles in more than a dozen productions.

TV/Film: Rachel appeared opposite Steve Buscemi as a mysterious performer on the series finale of HBO’s acclaimed Boardwalk Empire.

Amelia White
as Elizabeth

A newcomer! This is Amelia’s first performance at The Rep.

Notable theatre credits: Most recently, Amelia appeared in Weston Playhouse Theatre’s production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, a play familiar to Rep audiences. She appeared alongside her husband Geoffrey Wade in a 2014 production of James and the Giant Peach at the South Coast Rep in Coast Mesa, California.

TV/Film: Amelia appeared in an episode of CBS’ Judging Amy and was featured as a part of PBS’ Great Performances TV series.

September 30, 2015 at 1:37 PM | (0) Comments | Permalink
Categories: Mainstage | Angel Street (Gaslight) | Meet the Cast

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