13 Feb TheatreFIRST announces casting for final show of 2009-2010 season, The Drawer Boy, by Michael Healey

The Drawer Boy, will feature two of the most prominent Bay Area Actors: Howard Swain and Warren David Keith


Oakland, Calif. – Warren David Keith, an accomplished stage and screen actor with extensive Bay Area theatre credits and roles in major motion pictures such as the Coen brothers’ Fargo, The Big Lebowski and A Serious Man, makes his debut appearance with Oakland’s TheatreFIRST in the poignant comedy The Drawer Boy. Mr. Keith will be joined by Howard swain also well known to Bay Area audiences for his work at Cal Shakes, Marin Theatre company, Berkeley Repertory Theatres, and for his work on Nash Bridges, Midnight Caller, Hillstreet Blues and in such films as Cherry 2000, Miracle Mile and Frameup.

The Drawer Boy, the third and final show of TheatreFIRST’s 2009-2010 season, will open Saturday, June 12th, 2010 in The Marion E. Greene Black Box Theatre at 531 19th Street on the ground floor of The Fox Oakland Building. The show runs Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2pm, through Sunday, July 4th. Tickets start at $10 and are on sale now at brownpapertickets.com.

Keith, who plays Angus, the forgetful but charming farm hand, is well known to Bay Area audiences. His credits include Death Defying ActsA Life in the Theatre, Hysteria, The Devil’s Disciple (Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award) and The First Grade, all at the Aurora Theatre; Heartbreak House and Rhinocerous at Berkeley Rep; Infidelities, Life X ThreeThe Good German for Marin Theatre Co.; Arcadia, Machinal, Mary Stuart, Tis Pity She’s a Whore and War Music at American Conservatory Theatre; A Common Vision, The Rules of Charity and Mauritius with the Magic Theatre; Hayfever, Relatively Speaking, Holiday, Tartuffe and A Christmas Carol  for the Napa Valley Repertory Theatre. Also, he has performed at California Shakespeare Theatre, TheatreWorks and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.  His film credits include The Manhattan Project, Hiding Out, Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, A Serious Man, Moonlight Sonata, Stephanie’s Image and Welcome Space Brothers. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Yale School of Drama.

Keith is joined in the cast by award-winning actor Howard Swain, who brings an extensive background in Bay Area and national productions. Swain plays the role of Morgan, the Purveyor of the farm where he and his lifelong friend reside and work. In the Bay Area Swain has worked at ACT, Berkeley Rep, San Jose Rep, The Magic Theatre, Marines Memorial, Theatre-On-The-Square, The Eureka Theatre, San Jose Stage, Word For Word, Theatreworks, Aurora, SF Playhouse, Marin Theatre, and The B Street Theatre in Sacramento, as well as the Oregon, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, California, and Marin Shakespeare Festivals. Recipient of five BATCC and five Dramalogue awards, he has appeared Off-Broadway in Horizon, which was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards and received a Lucille Lortel Award, and has performed with the National Tours Of Picasso At The Lapin Agile and Love, Janis. Other credits include television appearances on Nash Bridges, Midnight Caller, Partners In Crime, Kiss Shot, Bed Of Lies and Hill St. Blues, and work in such films as Cherry 2000, Miracle Mile, Golden Gate, Just One Night, Teknolust, Frameup, Night Of The Scarecrow, and Valley Of The Heart’s Delight. The cast is rounded out by Max Rosenak as Miles, the actor who visits the two aging WWII veterans to research life on a farm for a play he is developing with his theatre group. This will be Max’s debut with TheatreFIRST as well and he is a recent graduate of ACT’s MFA Program.

The Drawer Boy will be directed by Domenique Lozano, an Associate Artist at the American Conservatory Theatre and the California Shakespeare Theatre. She has directed ACT’s Main Stage production of A Christmas Carol for the past two seasons and recently adapted Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle for ACT’s production, which ran from February to March this year.

The Drawer Boy, one of the most successful plays in Canadian theatre history, tells the story of two aging farmers and their long-buried family secret, which is uncovered when an actor visits them to research life on a farm. The actor takes their stories back to his theatre group, profoundly affecting the trajectory of the farmers’ lives and forever altering their understanding of their past and their future. The Drawer Boy entices audiences with its quirky humor and questions the role of art in our day-to-day lives. Since its premiere in 1999 at Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille, The Drawer Boy has won numerous awards, including Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award and The Helen Hayes Award. In 2001, the play  made Time Magazine’s Top 10 list as “a new classic”.

The Drawer Boy will run Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8:00pm with Sunday Matinees at 2 pm from June 12th through July 4th. Tickets are $30 for Fridays, Saturday and Sundays, and $25 on Thursday evenings. Previews are on Thursday, June 10th and Friday, June 11th and tickets for those two shows are $10. Patrons under the age of 30 pay only $15 for regular performances. Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com and more information can be obtained at www.theatrefirst.com or by calling 510.436.5085.

Since 1993, TheatreFIRST has been one of the most interesting and dynamic theatre companies around.  TheatreFIRST’s history of Bay Area premieres includes Blue Remembered Hills, Via Dolorosa, The Great Celestial Cow, Fronteras Americanas, Making Noise Quietly, and The Arab-Israeli Cookbook. Awards include Best Small Theatre by East Bay Express and the Bay Guardian’s Goldie Award For Theatre. Finishing up its first season in the Marion E. Greene Black Box Theatre, in the newly renovated Fox Oakland Building, TheatreFIRST is coming off its very successful run of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and continues its commitment to remain Oakland’s resident professional theatre company.

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Attention Calendar Editors

What:  The Drawer Boy, by Michael Healey
Who:  Directed by Domenique Lozano, featuring Warren David Keith*, Max Rosenak and Howard Swain*. *Appear courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association
When: Previews Thursday and Friday, June 10th and 11th at 8:00pm
Opening Saturday, June 12th at 8:00pm. Runs Thursday through Saturday Evenings at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2pm. Closes Sunday, July 4th, 2010
Where:  The Marion E. Green Black Box Theatre
Located at 531 19th Street, Oakland, CA 94612 on the ground floor of The Fox Oakland Building, just one block from the19th Street BART station in downtown Oakland.
Regular Ticket Prices:  $30 for Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees.  $25 for Thursday evenings. Patrons under 30yrs of age are always $15. Previews $10

More information is available on our website at www.theatrefirst.com


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