“Bringing THE EXPERTISE AND BRAVERY OF A VETERAN SPELUNKER, Rebecca Hall finds a compelling persuasiveness and the sense that MADNESS MAY BE THE SANEST RESPONSE TO A MAD WORLD. Theatergoers have the PRECIOUS CHANCE TO OBSERVE HER MAKING DARKNESS VISIBLE IN ACUTE CLOSE-UP in this production, DIRECTED WITH CLINICAL FOCUS by Gaye Taylor Upchurch”
– Ben Brantley, The New York Times
“Clare Lizzimore’s drama turns one woman’s mental descent into A THEATRICAL TOUR DE FORCE. She shows herself to be A MASTER OF THEATRICAL LEGERDEMAIN. I don’t go to the theater to see the ordinary. I go to see something else, and ANIMAL DELIVERS THE EXTRAORDINARY.”
– Robert Hofler, The Wrap
“Hall gets to SPAN THE EMOTIONAL GAMUT, from brittle to ferocious! This intimate production presents an EXCEPTIONAL OPPORTUNITY TO WITNESS, UP CLOSE, AN ACTRESS OF HALL’S FORCE PROBING THE LIMITS OF CUSTODIAL RAGE.”
– Sandy MacDonald, Time Out New York
“Animal has elements of menace and surrealism REMINISCENT OF HAROLD PINTER!”
– Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News
“Rebecca Hall is SO STRIKING AND SYMPATHETIC! She stands tall — LIVING PROOF OF “ANIMAL” MAGNETISM.”
– Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
New York Premiere Play
By CLARE LIZZIMORE
Directed by GAYE TAYLOR UPCHURCH
Atlantic Stage 2, 330 W. 16th St
Rachel has it all: marriage, house, career. So why does she suddenly have this creeping feeling? Did she leave something behind? Or is there something in the walls…? Her husband thinks she needs time; her psychiatrist suggests positive thinking. But then the visions start. A darkly comic play about the underside of domesticity, the complexity of the brain in chaos, and the thin line between sinking and survival.
Clare Lizzimore makes her Atlantic playwriting debut with this disquieting play directed by frequent Atlantic collaborator Gaye Taylor Upchurch.
Production photos by Ahron R. Foster.
KRISTIN GRIFFITH (Old Woman) recently played opposite Judd Hirsch in The Stone Witch at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. At Atlantic, Neil Pepe directed her in Jody’s Mother, and she played in Lucy Thurber’s Perry Street and Bottom of the World. Broadway debut: A Texas Trilogy, received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Actress in The Fatal Weakness at the Mint Theater. Ms. Griffith has appeared at the Roundabout, the Promenade (The Holy Terror, written and directed by Simon Gray), the New Georges (Stretch, a Fantasia), Manhattan Theatre Club (In the Summer House), the WPA, and the Women’s Project Theater (Bethany, with America Ferrera, The Most Deserving). At the Irish Repertory Theatre she was seen in Da, The Master Builder, It’s a Wonderful Life and Ernest in Love. A member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, she has appeared in 15 “Marathons,” in plays by, among others, David Mamet, Frank Gilroy, and Joyce Carol Oates. She has appeared in regional theaters across the country and at the Shaw Festival in Canada. She guest-starred on “Law & Order” (and its franchises “SVU” and “Criminal Intent”), “Blue Bloods,” “New Amsterdam,” “Ed,” “Wonderland” and “Third Watch.” She co-starred with Jennifer Garner in the TV movie Rose Hill, with Jack Lemmon in The Long Way Home, and in Flesh and Blood with Denzel Washington and John Cassavetes. Feature Films include Woody Allen’s Interiors, Steven Soderbergh’s King of the Hill and the Merchant/Ivory film The Europeans.
REBECCA HALL (Rachel) returns to the New York stage following her Broadway debut performance in Machinal and a notable career on the London stage. Off-Broadway: As You Like It (Brooklyn Academy of Music) and A Winter’s Tale and The Cherry Orchard (The Bridge Project). West End: Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Ian Charleson Award), Twelfth Night (National Theatre). Other stage credits include The Fight for Barbara, Man and Superman, Galileo’s Daughter and Don Juan (Theatre Royal). Film: Christine, The BFG, The Gift, Tumbledown, Transcendence, A Promise, Closed Circuit, Iron Man 3, Lay the Favorite, The Awakening (BIFA, Gotham Nominations), The Town (National Board of Review Best Ensemble Award), Everything Must Go, Please Give (Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award), Dorian Gray, Frost/Nixon (SAG Cast Ensemble Nomination), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Golden Globe, BAFTA London Critics Circle Nominations), The Prestige (London Critics Circle Nomination), Starter for 10 and the upcoming films The Dinner, Permission and Holmes and Watson. Television: HBO/BBC’s “Parade’s End,” UK Channel 4’s “Red Riding: 1974” (BAFTA Award), HBO’s “Joe’s Palace,” BBC Wales “Wide Sargasso Sea,” BBC‘s“Don’t Leave Me This Way,” UK Channel 4’s “The Camomile Lawn.”
photo by Michael Schwartz.
GREG KELLER (Stephen) has been lucky enough to originate roles in (or act in NY/LA premieres of) new plays by Rachel Bonds (Sundown, Yellow Moon), Sarah Ruhl (Scenes From Court Life), Ayad Akhtar (The Who and The What), Amy Herzog (Belleville), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (War), Melissa Ross (Of Good Stock), Jenny Schwartz (Somewhere Fun), Daniel Goldfarb (Cradle and All), Moises Kauffman (33 Variations), Theresa Rebeck (Seminar), Zayd Dohrn (Sick, Reborning), Sheila Callaghan (Elevada, That Pretty Pretty), Kristin Newbom (Telethon), Rachel Axler (Smudge), Deb Laufer (The Last Schwartz), Mike Batistick (Ponies), Robert O’Hara (American Maul), Sam Marks (Craft, The Bigger Man), and the Broadway premieres of Richard Greenberg’s Our Mother’s Brief Affair and Margaret Edson’s Wit. Greg was a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School and has an MFA in acting from NYU.
DAVID PEGRAM (Dan). Broadway: War Horse (Lincoln Center). Selected Regional Credits: The Lion In Winter (Guthrie Theater), The Piano Lesson (McCarter Theatre), A Few Good Men (Alley Theatre), Fly (St. Louis Rep), Broke-Ology (Theatreworks Hartford). New York Theater: Autumn’s Harvest (Lincoln Center Education), Much Ado About Nothing (Smith Street Stage), The New York Spectacular (Radio City Music Hall), The 1’s and 2’s (The Tank), ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (The Tank). Television: “Madam Secretary,” “The Family.” Film: Camp Wedding. Awards: 2015 Innovative Theatre Award (Best Ensemble, Much Ado About Nothing), 2016 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship. Education: BFA, Mason Gross School of the Arts: Rutgers University. David would like to thank the Leonore Anneberg Foundation for their generous support. He is originally from Houston, TX.
MORGAN SPECTOR (Tom). A classically trained actor, Morgan Spector’s extensive body of work spans the stage, small and big screen alike. Spector will next be seen in two feature films that will be premiering at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. Spector stars opposite Rebecca Hall and Dan Stevens in the relationship drama Permission directed and written by Brian Crano. He also stars opposite Liev Schreiber in director Philipp Falardeau’s biopic Chuck, the true story of boxer Chuck Wepner who inspired the film series Rocky. The movie premiered at last year’s Toronto Film Festival and will be released by IFC Films in May. This spring, he will be seen starring as the lead in the television series “The Mist” based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. The series will premiere June 2017 on Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV). Spector made his Broadway debut in Gregory Mosher’s Tony Award-winning revival of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge starring opposite Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson. He was later seen in the New Group’s production of Erika Sheffer’s Russian Transport starring opposite Janeane Garofalo. Spector’s performance earned him a Drama Desk Award nomination. Other significant stage performances include Dissonance (Bay Street), Yanks (workshop directed by David Cromer); The Lion King (National Tour); Enemies: A Love Story (Wilma Theatre). Spector’s past television credits include a notable turn on HBO’s critically acclaimed series “Boardwalk Empire” where he portrayed Frank Capone, as well as roles in “Allegiance” (NBC), “Person of Interest” (CBS), “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix), “Zero Hour” (ABC), “Do No Harm” (NBC) and “How to Make it in America” (HBO). A graduate of the prestigious American Conservatory Theater, Spector resides in New York.
FINA STRAZZA (Little Girl) made her Broadway debut at eight years old as the youngest actress to perform the title role in Matilda the Musical. She first appeared Off-Broadway at St Clements Theater (A Loss of Roses, dir. Dan Wackerman). Workshop credits include Anastasia (dir. Darko Tresnjak); Alice Bliss (dir. Mark Brokaw, New Horizons); Snow Child (dir. Molly Sims, Arena Stage); and Summer and Smoke (dir. Jack Cummings III, Classic Theater Company). With numerous appearances on both big and small screens, Fina was chosen by director Mariah Carey to star in the Hallmark Channel’s original film A Christmas Melody, for which the legendary singer wrote, produced, and recorded with Fina a new version of her number one single, “Oh, Santa!” Fina is delighted to be joining Atlantic amid such fine company and extends her gratitude for all artistic opportunities to John Mara Jr, Ellen and Rachel at Paradigm, and her family, who inspire her routinely.
CLARE LIZZIMORE (Playwright) is a playwright and an Olivier Award-winning director. Her first play, Mint (2013), was produced at the Royal Court’s Open Court Season and long-listed for the prestigious Bruntwood Prize. Her first radio play was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2014. Her new radio play The Rage was broadcast in 2016. Her play Animal premiered at Studio Theatre and was a Helen Hayes nominee for The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical. She is currently under commission with the Royal Court Theatre and the Almeida Theatre. As a director, she has worked extensively in new writing, and her latest production, Bull by Mike Bartlett, won the 2015 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in An Affiliate Theatre for its production at The Young Vic; it premiered at Sheffield Theatres and also toured to 59E59 in New York. Other recent directing credits include One Day When We Were Young by Nick Payne in the Roundabout Season at Paines Plough at Sheffield Theatres and Shoreditch Town Hall; Lay Down Your Cross by Nick Payne and On the Rocks by Amy Rosenthal at Hampstead Theatre; Pieces of Vincent by David Watson at Arcola Theatre; Faces in the Crowd by Leo Butler at the Royal Court Theatre; War and Peace and Fear and Misery by Mark Ravenhill at the Royal Court Theatre; Jonah and Otto by Robert Holman at the Royal Exchange Theatre; and Tom Fool by Franz Xaver Kroetz at Glasgow Citizens Theatre and the Bush Theatre, which was nominated for four CATS Awards. Lizzimore’s directing awards include the Channel 4 Theatre Directors Award and the Arts Foundation Theatre Directing Fellowship for Innovation. She has been resident director at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, and a staff director at the Royal National Theatre.
GAYE TAYLOR UPCHURCH (Director). Atlantic: Simon Stephens’s Harper Regan and Bluebird (with Simon Russell Beale); Nancy Harris’s Our New Girl. World premieres: Nick Gandiello’s The Blameless (The Old Globe); Clare Lizzimore’s Animal (Studio Theatre, Helen Hayes nomination); Laura Marks’s Bethany (Women’s Project); Anna Ziegler’s The Last Match (The Old Globe); Melissa Ross’s Of Good Stock (South Coast Repertory). Other recent directing: The Year of Magical Thinking (with Kathleen Turner at Arena Stage); Lucy Thurber’s Stay (Rattlestick); and at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival An Iliad (also at West Point) and As You Like It (also at Folger Theater), winner of the international Falstaff Award for Best Production, nominated for Falstaff Award for Best Director. Upchurch has developed new work at New Dramatists, NYTW, The Public, Roundabout, MTC, NY Stage & Film, The Kennedy Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Playwrights’ Center, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Alum of The Drama League, WP Theater Directors Lab, LCT Directors Lab, and the UNC School of the Arts.