Every day is opening night.

Complete casting announced for MCC Theater’s “Wild Animals You Should Know”

Rick Miramontez / Jon Dimond / Jaron Caldwell
rick@oandmco.com / jon@oandmco.com / jaron@oandmco.com


“ W I L D A N I M A L S Y O U S H O U L D K N O W ”



New York, NY – MCC THEATER (Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, William Cantler, Artistic Directors; Blake West, Executive Director) today announced that John Behlmann (The 39 Steps), MCC Theater founding member Patrick Breen (The Normal Heart), Gideon Glick (Spring Awakening), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Catch Me If You Can), Tony Award-winner Alice Ripley (Next To Normal), and Daniel Stewart Sherman (Desire Under the Elms) will star in the world premiere production of Wild Animals You Should Know, by Thomas Higgins. The production will be directed by Trip Cullman (A Small Fire, Bachelorette). Tickets go on-sale October 3, 2011. Performances begin at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street, NYC) on November 3, 2011 and continue through December 11, 2011. An official opening is set for Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

Matthew (Johnson) and Jacob (Glick) are an unlikely pair of friends. Matthew is a soccer star, full of brio and teenage swagger. Jacob is, well, not. Beneath the surface, though, the two are locked in an innocently erotic game of cat and mouse. When Matthew's reluctant father, Walter, (Breen) is wrangled by his wife Marsha (Ripley) into chaperoning the boys' trip to a wilderness scout camp, he finds himself drawn into their adolescent game. But Matthew has secretly decided just how far he's willing to go for his final act of scouting and everyone might do well to heed the scouts' motto: Be Prepared.

Playwright Thomas Higgins makes his New York debut with this tale of ruin and redemption that takes a magnifying glass to the sometimes blurry line between predator and prey.

MCC’s world premiere production of The Submission, by Jeff Talbott is now running at the Lucille Lortel Theatre under the direction of Tony Award-Winner Walter Bobbie (School for Lies, Chicago). The cast of The Submission features Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening, “Glee”), Will Rogers (When the Rain Stops Falling), Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie, HBO’s “How to Make It in America”), and Rutina Wesley (“True Blood,” The Vertical Hour). Later in the season, MCC Theater will present the newly reworked and fully re-imagined production of Carrie, the musical. Season subscriptions for all three 2011-2012 mainstage productions are priced at $109-$149 and are available by visiting www.mcctheater.org. All performances will take place at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

MCC Theater recently celebrated its 25th anniversary season as one of New York City's leading Off Broadway theater companies, committed to presenting New York and world premieres each season. When MCC Theater was founded in 1986, its mission was simple: to bring new theatrical voices to theater-going audiences. MCC Theater continues to accomplish this yearly through three programmatic areas: its mainstage works; its Playwrights’ Coalition, which actively seeks and develops new and emerging writers; and its Education & Outreach Programs, including the Youth Company, which allow more than 1,200 students yearly to experience theater, increase literacy and discover their own voices through the creation of original theater pieces. Notable MCC Theater highlights include: the 2008 Tony Award-nominated reasons to be pretty by Neil LaBute, last season’s The Pride, Fifty Words, the 2004 Tony-winning production of Bryony Lavery’s Frozen; Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig; Rebecca Gilman’s The Glory of Living; Marsha Norman’s Trudy Blue; Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit; Tim Blake Nelson’s The Grey Zone and Alan Bowne’s Beirut. Over the years, the dedication to the work of new and emerging artists has earned MCC Theater a variety of awards.

For more information on MCC Theater, visit www.mcctheater.org.

John Behlmann (Rodney) is thrilled to be making his MCC debut. Broadway: Journey’s End (Tony Award for Best Revival). Off Broadway: The 39 Steps (New World Stages); Ghosts (Pearl Theatre Co.). Regional: Betty's Summer Vacation (Bay Street Theater); As You Like It (Shakespeare Theater Co.); Glass Menagerie (Guild Hall); world premiere of Bill Pullman's Expedition 6 (Magic Theatre, Kennedy Center, NY Stage & Film, Baltimore Theater Project); Doubt (Portland Center Stage); Measure for Measure, Christmas Carol, A Flea In Her Ear, The Madwoman (Denver Center). Film: Revolutionary Road, Pretty Bird, Unstoppable. TV: “The Good Wife”; “3 Lbs.”; and recurring roles on “All My Children” and “Guiding Light.” He voiced the character of Neptulon in “World of Warcraft: Cataclysm” and is the current national spokesman for both Edge Shave Gel and Dairy Queen. John is also a trained trapeze artist and Co-Artistic Director of NYC aerial theater company Fight or Flight. As a writer, John has penned several original web series for CBS.com and had a number of his one-act plays produced in New York, Denver, and Washington DC. His first full-length play will be produced in NYC this spring by aMios. MFA: National Theatre Conservatory (Denver). BA: Wesleyan University.

Patrick Breen (Walter). Recent Broadway credits: The Normal Heart and Next Fall. Distant Broadway credits: Brighton Beach Memoirs and Big River. Off Broadway: The Substance of Fire, Fuddy Meers, Celebration/The Room, Life and Limb, A View of The Dome, Baby Anger, Aven’ U Boys. Films include: Men In Black, Galaxy Quest, The Bleeding House, Radio, Just a Kiss, One True Thing, and Ishtar. Television: “The Good Wife,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Kevin Hill,” “West Wing,” “Sex and The City,” “21 Jump Street,” “Gimme A Break,” “My Sister Sam,” and “Frasier.” Mr. Breen appears in the web series “Whole Day Down” which documents the opening of his art gallery in Los Angeles. Patrick is a member of Naked Angels and helped found MCC Theater many years ago with Bernard Telsey and Robert LuPone.

Gideon Glick (Jacob). Broadway: Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Spring Awakening. Off Broadway: Speech and Debate (Roundabout Theatre), Spring Awakening (Atlantic Theater). NY/regional: Population 8 (Fringe); DC (Ensemble Studio); Democracy (Naked Angels); Peter Pan and Wendy, The Snow Queen (Prince Music Theater); The Three Musketeers (Wilma Theatre). Selected workshops: Little Miss Sunshine, Sons of the Prophet, Volleygirls. Film: One Last Thing, Gods Behaving Badly.

Jay Armstrong Johnson. (Matthew). Broadway: Catch Me If You Can (Frank Abagnate Jr. Standby), Hair (Claude u/s). First National Tour: A Chorus Line (Mark). Regional Theatre: Pool Boy (Nick) World premiere Barrington Stage; Hairspray (Link) Weston Playhouse; Godspell (Jeffrey) Casa Manana. Workshops/Readings: “8” on Broadway (Spencer), Newsies (Jack), Tio Pepe (Jamie), Tales of the City (Mouse), Dogfight (Eddie Birdlace), Bring It On (Steven), Mrs. Sharp, Darling. Concerts: Birdland, The Kennedy Center, Joe’s Pub. Film: Sex & the City 2; TV: “Law & Order SVU,” “The Apprentice.” Jay is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Music degree from NYU Steinhardt.

Alice Ripley (Marsha) received the 2009 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Diana Goodman in the Pulitzer Prize winning Next to Normal. This performance also garnered her a Helen Hayes Award, a Drama Desk Award nomination, and an Outer Critics Circle nomination. Other Broadway: Side Show (Tony Award and Drama Desk Awards nominations), Rocky Horror Show, The Dead, King David, Sunset Boulevard, Les Miserables, Tommy. Off Broadway: Five Flights (Rattlestick), The Vagina Monologues, Li'l Abner (Encores). Select regional: Tell Me On a Sunday and Company (Kennedy Center, Helen Hayes Award nominations for both), Shakespeare in Hollywood (Arena Stage, Helen Hayes Award Nomination). Alice will star in the upcoming feature film Isn’t It Delicious and recently completed filming the pilot “Modern Love” for Lifetime. She has written a hundred songs and records and performs regularly with her band RIPLEY.

Daniel Stewart Sherman (Larry). Broadway: Desire Under The Elms, Cyrano De Bergerac, A Touch of the Poet, Henry IV, The Full Monty. Off Broadway: Guys and Dolls, The Mineola Twins, Corpus Christi. Regional: A Streetcar Named Desire / Dir. David Cromer, Desire Under the Elms / Dir. Robert Falls. Film: Mr. Popper's Penquins, The Briefcase, Boy Wonder, The Taking of Pelham 123, Gigantic, Pretty Bird, Redacted, Music and Lyrics, I Think I Love my Wife, The Box, Capers, Ordinary Sinner, Wendigo, Monday Night Mayhem. TV: “Gun Hill” (pilot), “L&O: SVU,” “Rubicon,” “Mercy,” “The Good Wife,” “Justified,” “Rescue Me,” “Life on Mars,” “Gossip Girl,” “L&O: Criminal Intent,” “Without A Trace,” “The Sopranos,” “L & O,” “The Chappelle Show,” “Tough Crowd.” B.F.A. from N.C.S.A.

Trip Cullman most recently directed Adam Bock’s A Small Fire (Playwrights Horizons, Drama Desk nom.), Adam Rapp’s Nursing (part 3 of The Hallway Trilogy at Rattlestick), Leslye Headland’s Bachelorette (Second Stage), and Eli Clark’s Edgewise (The Play Company/p73). Other NY credits include: Bock’s The Drunken City (Playwrights Horizons), Terrence McNally’s Some Men (Second Stage), Bert V. Royal’s Dog Sees God (The Century Center), Bock’s Swimming in the Shallows (Second Stage), Jonathan Tolins’s The Last Sunday In June (Rattlestick and Century Center), Paul Weitz’s Roulette (EST), Robert Farquhar’s Bad Jazz (Play Co.), Gina Gionfriddo’s US Drag (stageFARM), Lloyd Suh’s American Hwangap (Play Co./Ma Yi), Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Dark Matters (Rattlestick), Roland Schimmelpfennig’s Arabian Night (Play Co.), Glen Berger’s The Wooden Breeks (MCC), Sarah Schulman’s Manic Flight Reaction (Playwrights Horizons), Brooke Berman’s Smashing (Play Co.), Rinne Groff’s Of a White Christmas (Clubbed Thumb), Ken Urban’s The Happy Sad (SPF ’09), Gary Sunshine’s Sweetness and Brooke Berman’s Sam and Lucy (both at SPF ’04), The Wau Wau Sisters (Ars Nova). Regional credits include John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation (Old Globe), Richard Greenberg’s The Injured Party (South Coast Rep), McNally’s Unusual Acts of Devotion (La Jolla Playhouse), Christopher Durang’s Betty’s Summer Vacation (Bay Street Theater), Bess Wohl’s Touched (Williamstown Theater Festival), Keith Huff’s A Steady Rain and The Petersons Project (both at New York Stage and Film), Bock’s The Flowers (About Face), Suh’s American Hwangap (Magic Theater), and Lauren Weedman’s Rash (Empty Space). Upcoming: Thomas Higgins’s Wild Animals You Should Know (MCC), Headland’s Assistance (Playwrights Horizons). Artistic Associate, The Play Company. Training, Yale School of Drama.

Thomas Higgins is a playwright/performer residing in Brooklyn. He graduated cum laude from Northwestern University and received his MFA in 2008 from Columbia University – School of the Arts on their prestigious Dean’s Fellowship. His plays This Modern House, The Elephant Party and The Home Maker were nominated for the L. Arnold Weissberger Award and the Cherry Lane Mentor Project. Recent productions include The Dying Breed (Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival Winner 2008), a new musical Chaos Theory (Ars Nova’s Ant Fest 2009), and A Different Kind of Animal (performed in the Samuel French Festival 2010). Current projects include The Furniture Fire (The Drama League’s DirectorFest 2010) and The Dead Letters (a 2011 Finalist for the O’Neill). His newest full-length work, Wild Animals You Should Know, was given a staged reading at the Southampton Playwriting Conference in July 2010, directed by Joe Mantello, and was later selected for workshop at the Ojai Playwriting Conference in August 2010.

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