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Cast for Perfect Arrangement Announced

Categories: Company News,Plays

Cast and creative team announced for Chicago premiere of
Topher Payne’s PERFECT ARRANGEMENT

Satiric comedy takes aim at homophobia in McCarthy-era Washington, D.C. Previews begin
September 21.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lane Anthony Flores, Kelli Harrington, Eric Lindahl, Riley Mondragon, Armando Reyes, Amber Snyder, and Autumn Teague

Full casting was announced today by Associate Artistic Director Derek Van Barham for Pride Films and Plays’ Chicago premiere of PERFECT ARRANGEMENT, which Van Barham will direct. In Topher Payne’s comedy, it’s 1950, and new colors are being added to the Red Scare. Two U.S. State Department employees, Bob and Norma, have been tasked with identifying
sexual deviants within their ranks. There’s just one problem: Both Bob and Norma are gay, and
have married each other’s partners and moved next door to each other as a carefully constructed
cover. Set amidst the earliest stirrings of the American gay rights movement, madcap classic
sitcom-style laughs give way to provocative drama as two “All-American” couples are forced to
stare down the closet door.

Reviewing the comedy’s 2015 Off-Broadway production by Primary Stages, THE NEW YORK
TIMES called it a “clever canapé of a comedy…Mr. Payne is a deft and witty writer.” THE NEW
YORKER said of it “As hiding gets harder, pitch-perfect comedy ensues: slamming doors,
strange disguises, preposterous excuses …Eventually, the four must decide whether face-saving
domestic lies are worth it, or whether ostracism beats living in fear. In our own era of
surveillance and paranoia, their mid-century problems don’t feel so far away.”

Appearing as Bob will be Eric Lindahl, a Jeff Award winner and three-time Jeff nominee who
has been seen in productions including ASSASSINS (Jeff Nomination, Kokandy); TITANIC
(Griffin); SIDE SHOW (Jeff Award and After Dark Award, BoHo) and THE WHO’S TOMMY
(Jeff nomination, Circle Theatre). Making her PFP debut as his co-worker Norma is Autumn
Teague, whose Chicago credits include THE OTHER PLACE (Profiles) and MUCH ADO
ABOUT NOTHING (The Arc). Bob and Norma’s secret significant others will be played by
Lane Anthony Flores, acclaimed for his role in ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS A FAGGOT for
About Face; and Riley Mondragon, whose Chicago credits include I AM MY OWN WIFE (u/s,
About Face), THE HEIDI CHRONICLES (Cuckoo’s), and CTRL+ALT-RIGHT+DELETE
(GayCo) and was featured in NBCUniversal’s BREAK OUT COMEDY FESTIVAL.

Kelli Harrington, a two-time Jeff Award-winner (for THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA and
ASPECTS OF LOVE with Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre) will play Barbara Grant – another
State Department official who has something to lose. Harrington has been seen recently in THE
ADDING MACHINE for The Hypocrites and SWEENEY TODD with Porchlight.

Completing the cast are Armando Reyes and Amber Snyder as Bob and Norma’s bombastic,
uber-patriotic boss and his wife, Theodore and Kitty Sunderson. Additional casting includes
Tommy Thurston (u/s Bob & Theodore), Christopher Young (u/s Jim), Kendra Verhage (u/s
Millie & Kitty), and Shannon Webber (u/s Norma & Barbara).

The production team includes Scott Kloosterman (Assistant Director), Jenn Thompson (Stage
Manager), G Max Maxin IV (Lighting Designer), Roger Wykes (Set Designer), Kallie Rolison
(Sound Designer), Noel Huntzinger (Costume Designer), and Claire Stone (Props Design.)

 

Read Creative Team Bios

Derek Van Barham (Director) is the Associate Artistic Director of Pride Films & Plays, a
member of the Red Tape Theatre ensemble, and a former Artistic Director of The Ruckus. For
PFP, he has directed ANGRY FAGS (Steppenwolf Garage Repertory), SONGS FROM AN
UNMADE BED (Jeff nomination: Best Director of a Musical or Revue), PRISCILLA, QUEEN
OF THE DESERT: THE MUSICAL and Terrence McNally’s SOME MEN (co-directed by
David Zak). He also wrote, directed and choreographed BITE: A PUCKING QUEER
CABARET and KILL YOUR BOYFRIENDS. Other directing credits include THREE DAYS
OF RAIN (Boho Theatre), MIRACLE! by Dan Savage and SKOOBY DON’T (Hell in a
Handbag), TRASH and DEEP IN THE HEART OF TUNA (New American Folk Theatre), and
FROM THESE FATAL LOINS (The Ruckus). He has choreographed for Black Button Eyes
(CORALINE THE MUSICAL, GOBLIN MARKET, AMOUR), The Plagiarists, Inappropriate
Theatre, Brain Surgeon Theatre, and Salonathon. He can currently be seen improvising with the
LGBT team Baby Wine (Fridays at The Annoyance). He was recently named one of Windy City
Times 30 Under 30, recognizing individuals from Chicago’s LGBTQ community.

Topher Payne (Playwright) In 2014, The American Theatre Critics Association awarded
Topher Payne’s play PERFECT ARRANGEMENT the M. Elizabeth Osborn Prize for Best Play
by an Emerging Playwright. The play went on to be produced Off-Broadway in 2015. His other
works for the stage include EVELYN IN PURGATORY, SWELL PARTY and ANGRY FAGS.
His new work, MORNINGSIDE, imagining a game of Get the Guests at a baby shower,
premieres in Atlanta in October. Topher has scripted three films for The Hallmark Channel: MY SUMMER PRINCE,
BROADCASTING CHRISTMAS, and the upcoming A GIFT TO REMEMBER. He also gave
Melissa McCarthy a makeover in the film IDENTITY THIEF. Topher is a two-time winner of The Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award, and was a 2017 Lambda Literary Award nominee for PERFECT ARRANGEMENT. He has been named
Atlanta’s Best Local Playwright by readers of CREATIVE LOAFING seven times, was named
as one of “10 Playwrights You Should Know” by SOUTHERN THEATRE MAGAZINE, and
received the 2016 Suzi Bass Award for Outstanding World Premiere for the holiday comedy
LET NOTHING YOU DISMAY. He lives in Atlanta with his fella Daniel, plus a cat named Fred
and a beagle named Daisy.

 

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