Premiere Stages presents the New Jersey Premiere of Farragut North from September 6th through the 23rd in the Zella Fry Theatre at Kean University. Produced in collaboration with the Kean University Center for History, Politics and Policy and supported by the League of Women Voters, the production of playwright Beau Willimon's classic tale of hubris is set against a contemporary political landscape where no price is too high to attain power.
The inspiration for the blockbuster film "The Ides of March," Farragut North is a compelling behind the scenes foray into the world of politics that provides a fascinating perspective on the lives of the true movers and shakers of the modern political spin game. Serving as a precursor to the upcoming U.S. presidential election, the Premiere Stages production promotes a theme of "get out the vote!" The League of Women Voters will be on hand at all performances to register voters, and guest speakers will conduct topical talk-backs with audiences at select performances.
"The upcoming presidential campaign promises to be one of the most fascinating in history" said John Wooten, Premiere Stages' producing artistic director. "Regardless of party affiliation, this collaborative premiere will provide audiences with a great deal of insight into the process before they enter the voting booth. Only at Premiere Stages can you see an excellent production and register to vote at the same time."
The play, loosely based on Howard Dean's 2004 presidential run, tracks a young press secretary named Stephen Bellamy as he gets tied up in the murky world of politics while working for the Dean-esque Governor Mike Morris. Farragut North unfolds in just two days, adding significantly to the tension already building in a political campaign fraying around The Edges. This intriguing, riveting play suggests that both political parties -- perhaps even the entire political system as currently constituted-is guilty of an overwhelming sense of privilege drawn from a sheer hunger for supremacy.
Playwright Beau Willimon is a recipient of the Lila Acheson Wallace Juilliard Playwriting Fellowship, two-time winner of the Lincoln Center Le Comte du Nouy Award, the Seymour Brick Memorial Playwriting Prize, winner of the 2005 Dayton Playhouse FutureFest, and was a 2008 Playwright-in-Residence at the Donmar Warehouse in London. Willimon is currently working on commissions for Manhattan Theatre Club and The National Theatre of Great Britain.
Premiere Stages' Farragut North features Philip Mills as Stephen Bellamy and Steven Hauck as Tom. Mills recently played a young Jack Kennedy in the new play Inga Binga at the Charleston Stage with great critical success. Steven Hauck debuted on Broadway in Irena's Vow, opposite Tovah Feldshuh, and played Rabbi Naphtali Carlebach in the Off-Broadway musical Soul Doctor at New York Theatre Workshop. The cast also features Paul Bernardo (Paul), Steven Carter (Ben), Cara Gansky (Molly), Erick Gonzalez (Waiter / Frank) and Roya Shanks (Ida).
Farragut North is directed by Michael Barakiva, noted for developing new works and staging classics around the country. He has directed the premieres of Wendy Wasserstein's Welcome To My Rash and Third, the first workshop of 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, UP at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and The Seagull at the Blue Heron. Most recently, he directed Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House and Turn of the Screw at Syracuse Stage and the premiere of White People at Ensemble Studio Theater.