South Coast Repertory’s Premieres a Fresh, New Look at Love
Going to a Place where you Already Are By Bekah Brunstetter
COSTA MESA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2016) - Playwright Bekah Brunstetter is on the rise—with productions, readings and commissions of her plays happening across the country. She also is busy as a screenwriter, including work on the highly anticipated Starz series, “American Gods,” based on Neil Gaiman’s book.
Her new play—Going to a Place where you Already Are—premieres at South Coast Repertory on the Julianne Argyros Stage, March 6-27. Artistic Director Marc Masterson will direct this SCR commission, with a five-member cast led by SCR favorites Hal Landon Jr. and Linda Gehringer. Tickets are now available at www.scr.org.
Going to a Place where you Already Are is a love story that explores—through humor and hilariously awkward characters—the meaning of life and the afterlife. Is there a heaven? Joe says no. His wife, Roberta, always has agreed with him, but lately she’s beginning to wonder since she’s at the age when funerals are more frequent than weddings. Their granddaughter, Ellie, doesn’t have time to ponder the afterlife. But when mortality confronts them, Roberta’s claim to have gone to heaven and back may not sound so crazy after all.
“I knew I wanted to direct this play the first time I read it,” said Masterson. “Bekah's writing is funny, warm and whimsical, and she has a vivid picture of who these characters are. In a world that may seem cynical, her play is uplifting and life-affirming.”
Brunstetter has written The Oregon Trail (2013 O’Neill Playwright’s Conference), Cutie and Bear (Roundabout Theatre Company commission), A Long and Happy life (Naked Angels commission), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova, Collaboraction, The Old Globe), Oohrah! (Atlantic Theater Company, Steppenwolf Garage, the Finborough Theater/London) and House of Home (Williamstown Theatre Festival). She is a member of the Echo Playwright’s group, and is an alumna of the CTG Writers’ Workshop, Primary Stages’ writers group, Ars Nova Play Group, The Playwrights Realm and the Women’s Project Lab. She has previously written for ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth.” She earned her MFA at The New School for Drama.
The cast includes Stephen Ellis, Linda Gehringer, Hal Landon Jr., Rebecca Mozo and Christopher Thornton.
Best known for originating and playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge for 36 consecutive years in SCR's annual production of A Christmas Carol, Landon Jr. is an SCR Founding Artist who has been with the theatre since the early 1960s. Among his SCR plays are the world premiere of Samuel D. Hunter’s Rest, The Fantasticks, The Trip to Bountiful, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Born Yesterday, A View from the Bridge, Cyrano de Bergerac, Antigone and The Drawer Boy (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award nomination). Among his television and film credits are “The Closer,” “My Name is Earl,” “CSI: NY,” “Mad Men,” The Artist, Trespass, Pacific Heights, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the new Netflix film, Pee Wee’s Big Holiday, and the upcoming HBO film, All the Way. Landon and Gehringer last appeared together on stage at SCR in Hamlet (2007).
Gehringer previously appeared at SCR in the world premiere of How to Write a New Book for the Bible by Bill Cain, which earned her a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle nomination. Among her other SCR productions, she has appeared in eight world premieres including The Piano Teacher and Doubt. Her television credits include recurring roles on “Touch” and “Justified.” Her other television work includes “NCIS” “Raising Hope,” “Weeds,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Without a Trace,” “Cold Case,” “Ally McBeal,” “Frasier,” “Evening Shade” and “The West Wing.”
The design and creative team includes Michael Raiford, scenic design; Christina Wright, costume design; Tom Ontiveros, lighting design; Vincent Olivieri, sound design; and Joanne DeNaut, CSA, casting. The production manager is Joshua Marchesi; the dramaturg is Kimberly Colburn; and the stage manager is Jennifer Ellen Butler.
Going to a Place where you Already Are is generously supported by Honorary Producers Yvonne and Damien Jordan and Dr. SL and Betty Huang/Huang Family Foundation.
Tickets start at $22. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 25 years of age and under, full-time educators, seniors and groups of 10 or more. For complete information, visit: www.scr.org.
Related Information for Going to a Place where you Already Are
Tickets: May be purchased online at www.scr.org, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the Box Office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Performances run March 6-27, 2016. Ticket prices start at $22. Low-priced previews March 6-10.
Performance Dates, Times:
- Sunday, March 6, at 2 p.m.
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, March 8-10, at 7:45 p.m.
Note: Friday, March 11, is an invitation-only performance
- Regular performances
Special notes: There are no Monday performances.
- Evening Performances:
- Tuesdays-Sundays, March 15-20, March 22-26, at 7:45 p.m.
- Note: There is no evening performance on Sunday, March 27.
- Matinee Performances:
- Saturdays-Sundays, March 12, March 19 and March 26, at 2 p.m.
- ASL-interpreted: Saturday, March 26, at 2 p.m.
- Post-Show Discussions: Tuesday, March 15, and Wednesday, March 16. Discuss the play with cast members of Going to a Place where you Already Are during free post-show discussions led by South Coast Repertory’s literary team. Julianne Argyros Stage.
Inside the Season: Saturday, March 26, from, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Led by members of SCR’s literary staff, this lively two-hour session features in-depth interviews with cast members and artists from the production staff, revealing secrets and offering insights into SCR’s production of Going to a Place where you Already Are. Julianne Argyros Stage. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased in advance or at the door.
Location: South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the David Emmes/Martin Benson Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available on Park Center Drive, off Anton Boulevard.
Current and Upcoming Productions: Pinocchio by Greg Banks (through Feb. 21, 2016, Theatre for Young Audiences, Julianne Argyros Stage); Going to a Place where you Already Are* by Bekah Brunstetter (March 6-27, 2016, Julianne Argyros Stage); Future Thinking* (March 25-April 24, 2016, Segerstrom Stage); Office Hour* by Julia Cho (April 10-May 1, 2016, Julianne Argyros Stage); Amadeus by Peter Shaffer (May 6-June 5, 2016, Segerstrom Stage); and The Light Princess by Mike Pettry and Lila Rose Kaplan (May 20-June 5, 2016, Theatre for Young Audiences, Julianne Argyros Stage). The 19th annual Pacific Playwrights Festival runs April 22-24, 2016.
*Denotes world premieres
More information is available at www.scr.org.
ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. www.scr.org