Paired Off: St. Louis Actors’ Studio Announces Full Season of Two-Character Plays

Their twelfth season doesn’t wrap up until July, but the St. Louis Actors’ Studio is already prepping for lucky number thirteen with an interesting twist. All of the plays for the upcoming season, which kicks off in September, feature just two characters. They’re the kind of plays that challenge actors like none other, and it will be interesting to see how the members of the St. Louis Actors’ Studio bring these plays to life on the stage at the Gaslight Theater (358 N. Boyle Ave.).

The 2019-20 season opens with Fifty Words, the 2007 play by Michael Weller (Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Ragtime and the film adaptation of Hair, as well as plays like Moonchildren and Spoils of War) directed by John Pierson, SLAS’ Associate Artistic Director. Married couple Adam (Isaiah Di Lorenzo) and Jan (Julie Layton) spend their first childless night together in far too long, but with the revelations that come forth, will their relationship deepen, or end? Runs September 20th through October 6th.

The merriment turns meta with A Life in the Theatre, the 1977 play by Pulitzer and Tony Award-winner David Mamet’s (Glengarry Glen Ross) that explores the rivalry and burgeoning relationship between Robert (William Roth), a veteran thespian, and John (Ryan Lawson-Maeske), a young actor on the rise. Directed by John Contini, the play runs December 6th through 22nd.

Sharr White’s 2011 play Annapurna arrives in time for Valentine’s Day (it runs February 14th through March 1st, 2020), with Laurie McConnell and John Pierson filling the roles made famous (in both a Los Angeles and an Off-Broadway run) by Megan Mullaly and Nick Offerman. Emma (McConnell) hunts down Ulysses (Pierson), the husband she left twenty years ago, only to find he’s living in a trailer, barely clinging onto life but close to finished with his life’s work. Directed by Annamaria Pileggi, SLAS’ Associate Artistic Director.

The season closes next spring with the world premiere of Comfort, a new play by famed playwright, screenwriter, and film director Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men, The Shape of Things). Iris (Kari Ely) is a successful artist who reunites with her estranged son Cal (Spencer Sickmann) to see if their mother-son bond can be rekindled. Directed by Pileggi, the play runs April 17th through May 3rd, 2020.

For more information, keep an eye on the St. Louis Actors’ Studio website at | Jason Green

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