Long Wharf Theatre to Stage World Premiere of January Joiner

Long Wharf Theatre will present the world premiere of Laura Jacqmin’s new play January Joiner: A Weight Loss Horror Comedy from January 9 through February 10, 2013 on Stage II.

The press opening will take place Wednesday, January 16 at 7:30 p.m.

“Laura is a writer of tremendous gifts who I’ve been following for some time now,” said Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein. “We are delighted to introduce her and offer this world premiere to our community.”

The production will be directed by Associate Artistic Director Eric Ting. The cast includes Ashlie Atkinson (Terry), Anthony Bowden (Brian), Tonya Glanz (April), Meredith Holzman (Myrtle), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Not-Terry), and Daniel Stewart Sherman (Darnell.)

The creative team is comprised of Narelle Sissons (sets), Oana Botez (costumes), Stephen Strawbridge (lights), Leah Gelpe (sound), and Matthew Melchiorre (stage manager.)

Eat less. Exercise more. Make healthy choices. Ignore the bloodthirsty vending machine when it speaks to you. The clientele of a high-end weight loss spa in sunny Florida try to live these mantras daily. But at what cost? In this modern age, when we are barraged with rail thin models in magazines, “miracle” cleanses and fad diets, January Joiner asks, why can¹t we just be happy with ourselves? Alternately hilarious, moving and chilling, this new comedy by Laura Jacqmin, one of the country¹s most exciting emerging playwrights, shows us that what appears in the mirror isn¹t always what it seems.

“At its heart it is a play about two sisters growing apart, about becoming so different that they don’t recognize each other,” Ting said.

Inspired to write the play by events in her family life, Jacqmin blends elements of horror and comedy in an effort to depict the struggles of real people dealing with change, in both themselves and their loved ones. “The play grapples with the American obsession with size, and what our bodies say about us,” Jacqmin said. “If what’s outside is the only thing that counts, do our insides really matter? What happens to us when the people who are closest to us change?”

Jacqmin, a Yale University graduate, received her MFA from Ohio University. Her play Two Lakes, Two Rivers was workshopped at the 2012 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Other plays include Ski Dubai, Look, We Are Breathing, and Dental Society Midwinter Meeting. Her work has been produced and developed by Atlantic Theater Company, Old Vic New Voices, Roundabout Underground, Vineyard Theatre, Ars Nova, Cape Cod Theatre Project, Second Stage Theatre, among others.

Ashlie Atkinson (Terry) won a Theatre World Award for originating the role of Helen in Neil La Bute’s Fat Pig (MCC). Her other theatre credits include her Broadway debut in The Ritz (Roundabout), The Butcher of Baraboo (NY: Second Stage), Making Marilyn and The Particulars (NY: Bridge Theatre Company), The Book Club Play (Arena Stage), and As You Like It and The Tempest as a member of Sam Mendes’s world-touring Bridge Project. TV and film credits include “Rescue Me,” “Louie,” “Inside Man,” “Compliance,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “30 Rock,” The Invention of Lying, Eat Pray Love, Bored to Death, All Good Things, My Best Day, all three “Law & Order” series (SVU, Criminal Intent, and “the mothership”, Law & Order), and the upcoming films Side Effects (directed by Steven Soderbergh) and Wolf of Wall Street (directed by Martin Scorsese).

Anthony Bowden (Brian) has been in Romeo and Juliet (Northern Stage), King Lear (Exit, Pursued by a Bear), and The Metamorphosis (The Educational Theatre of New York). Anthony has also recorded two audiobooks, “Eyes to See” and “King of the Dead” by Joseph Nassie. Anthony is a member of the New York Acting Ensemble and is a graduate of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Tonya Glanz (April) has recent appeared on stage in Slasher (SF Playhouse), The Forest War (Shotgun Players), Big Death & Little Death (Crowded Fire). She is a core company member of theatre company/sketch group “Killing My Lobster” in San Francisco for five years. Her television and film work includes “Elementary”, “Untitled Jersey City Project” (FX), “Law and Order: SVU”, “Nurse Jackie”, “The Evidence”, My Name is Your First Love, Evolution: The Musical!

Meredith Holzman’s (Myrtle) recent theatre credits include the Tony Award-winning production of Death of a Salesman (Broadway, dir. Mike Nichols); The Urban Dictionary Plays (Ars Nova); Fantasy Artists (NYFringe Festival); After the Revolution (Playwrights Horizons/Williamstown Theatre Festival, dir. Carolyn Cantor). This summer she appeared in a special benefit reading of 8 at Williamstown Theatre Festival and played Natasha in a site specific workshop of Three Sisters at a lake house in New Jersey. Her television and film credits include “Law & Order: SVU”, “Damages,” and Petunia.
Maria-Christina Oliveras (Not-Terry) has appeared on Broadway in  Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Her Off-Broadway appearances include Reading Under the Influence (DR2), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (The Public Theater), Night Sky (BPAC), The Really Big Once (Target Margin), After (Partial Comfort), Billy Witch (Studio 42), The Crazy Locomotive (Classical Theatre of Harlem). Regionally she has worked at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Huntington Theatre, Baltimore Centerstage, Denver Center, Westport Country Playhouse, Hangar Theatre, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Berkshire Theatre Festival. Oliveras has done countless new works with the Lark, 2g, New Georges, P73, Working Theater, Atlantic, New Dramatists, NYTW, EST, NYSF/Public, Primary Stages, Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights’ Realm, and Ma-Yi.  She has been in the films Ice, Clutter, Vamperifica. Her television roles include “NYC 22,” “Damages,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Ugly Betty,” “Law & Order: CI,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Person of Interest.” 

Daniel Stewart Sherman (Darnell) has appeared on Broadway in Desire Under the Elms, Cyrano De Bergerac, A Touch of the Poet, Henry IV, and The Full Monty. His Off-Broadway and regional performances include Wild Animals You Should Know (MCC), Girl Crazy (Encores), Guys and Dolls (Papermill), The Mineola Twins (Roundabout). Sherman has appeared in the films Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Boy Wonder, The Taking of Pelham 123, The Briefcase, Gigantic, Redacted, Pretty Bird, The Brooklyn Heist, Music and Lyrics, Ordinary Sinner, and Wendigo. He also appeared on the television series “Gun Hill,” “The Good Wife,” “Mercy,” “Justified,” “Rubicon,”” Life on Mars,” “Law & Order,” and “Monday Night Mayhem.”
Tickets are $45-$65. For more information about Long Wharf Theatre or to buy tickets, visit www.longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.