New Rep unites Todd Alan Johnson and John Kuntz in its production of True West
October 5, 2005
Contact: Cory Elizabeth Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-923-7060 x204
For the second production of its inaugural season in Watertown, New Rep presents True West, Sam Shepard’s classic play of sibling rivalry and family dysfunction. Directed by Robert Walsh and starring Todd Alan Johnson and John Kuntz, the production begins performances on October 30 and opens for the press on Monday, October 31 at 7:30 PM.
“This production draws on some of the best comedic talent from Boston and New York,” explains Rick Lombardo, New Rep’s Producing Artistic Director. “John Kuntz enjoys the reputation as one of the funniest, most versatile actors in Boston, and Todd Alan Johnson is a favorite with New Rep audiences, having displayed his comedic gifts as MacHeath in The Threepenny Opera and the Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods. It’s tremendously exciting to bring together such immense talents, along with Robert Walsh – and all to work on a play as wicked and mysterious as True West.”
In True West Sam Shepard explores several of his iconic themes: masculinity and violence, the poignant strain of family love, and the yearning for authenticity in a culture defined by appearances. When brothers Lee (Todd Alan Johnson) and Austin (John Kuntz) meet at their mother’s home in the California hills, they agree that they couldn’t be more different. Austin, an aspiring screenwriter, has made conventional, “successful” life choices. Lee, a petty thief, has spent his adulthood perfecting a dissipated-cowboy persona. However, as Austin begins to question the value of his security and material possessions, Lee becomes increasingly obsessed with a get-rich-quick Hollywood scheme: he plans to write the screenplay for an authentic and “true” American Western. In the course of one uproarious weekend, the brothers explore their painful family history, while learning that they are not as different as they once imagined.
Along with Todd Alan Johnson and John Kuntz, True West features M. Lynda Robinson (Mom) and Stephen Epstein (Saul Kimmer). Sets will be designed by Janie E. Howland, with lighting by Linda O’Brien, costumes by Molly Trainer, and sound by Cameron Willard. True West opens for the press on October 31, 2005 and plays through November 20. Several student matinees are available. For more information, contact the box office at 617.923.8487.
New Repertory Theatre presents provocative and intelligent works of both established and emerging playwrights in an intimate setting that involves and engages the audience. New Rep has earned a reputation for dynamic productions that honor the writers and feature talented professional actors from the New England theatre community as well as guest artists from around the U.S. New Rep has received Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards for outstanding acting, scenic design, direction, and production. Programming at New Repertory Theatre is supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Additional programming support provided by Bank of America.