Going to a Place where you Already Are
by Bekah Brunstetter
directed by Marc Masterson
WORLD PREMIERE
JULIANNE ARGYROS STAGE
March 6, 2016 - March 27, 2016

Going to a Place logo

Is there a heaven?  Joe says no; it’s all a bunch of hokum. His wife, Roberta, has always claimed to agree. But lately she’s beginning to wonder, especially when they  find themselves in church a lot, having reached the age when funerals are more frequent than weddings. Their granddaughter, Ellie, doesn’t have time in her own busy life to ponder the after-life. But when mortality confronts them, her grandmother’s claim to have gone to heaven and back doesn’t sound so crazy after all.  With thoughtful storytelling and quiet wit, Brunstetter looks at beginnings, endings—and an enigmatic angel.

Previews: March 6-10, 2016
Opening Night: March 11, 2016
Regular Performances: March 12-27, 2016

Recommendation: High School and above. Contains herbal cigarette smoking and smoke and haze effects.

Running Time:: Approximately ​one hour and 20 minutes with no intermission.

Bekah Brunstetter has written the plays The Oregon Trail (2013 O’Neill Playwright’s Conference; upcoming, Portland Center Stage), Cutie and Bear (Roundabout Theatre Company commission), A Long and Happy life (Naked Angels commission), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova, Collaboraction, The Old Globe), Oohrah! (Atlantic Theater Company, Steppenwolf Garage, the Finborough Theatre/London), and House of Home (Williamstown Theatre Festival). She currently is a member of the Echo Playwright’s group, and is an alumna of the CTG Writers’ Workshop, Primary Stages’ writers group, Ars Nova Play Group, The Playwrights Realm and the Women’s Project Lab. She has previously written for ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth,” and is currently a co-Producer on Starz’ upcoming American Gods. She earned her MFA at The New School for Drama and her BA at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Learn more about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.

Cast
Ellis, Stephen
Stephen Ellis (An Angel) appeared at SCR previously in the Pacific Playwrights Festival reading of Going to a Place where you Already Are. His credits include the off-Broadway productions of Thinner Than Water (LAByrinth Theater Company, directed by Mimi O’Donnell), The Coward (Lincoln Center Theater, directed by Sam Gold) and Dance Dance Revolution (directed by Alex Timbers). Regionally, he has appeared in different words for the same thing (Center Theatre Group, directed by Neel Keller) and National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. His film and television credits include Hail, Caesar! (directed by Joel and Ethan Coen), Delivery Man (with Vince Vaughn), Rehearsal, As You Like It, Thank You, Tommy Feinstein, “The Britishes,” “Mr. Box Office” and A Reasonable Request (official selection into Sundance Film Festival 2016 and SXSW Film Festival, 2016). He is a graduate of Kenyon College (Paul Newman Award) and The National Theater Institute.

Gehringer, Linda
Linda Gehringer (Roberta) appeared at SCR previously in How to Write a New Book for the Bible, for which she received a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle nomination. She also appeared in the world premieres of The Parisian Woman, The Language Archive, The Piano Teacher, A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Getting Frankie Married—and Afterwards, Hold Please, But Not for Me and The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, a role she repeated in its New York premiere at the Atlantic Theatre Company. Her other SCR credits include Circle Mirror Transformation; Doubt, a parable; Hamlet; The Retreat from Moscow; A Delicate Balance; All My Sons; Relatively Speaking; The Last Night of Ballyhoo; Arcadia; and Good as New. She has played leading roles in theatres across the country, most recently in the world premieres of The Comparables at Seattle Repertory and I Saw My Neighbor on the Train and I Didn’t Even Smile at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Crowd You’re In With at Goodman Theatre (Jeff Awards nomination), Surf Report at La Jolla Playhouse and The Women and Since Africa at The Old Globe. Her recent television credits include recurring roles on “Touch” and “Justified.” Her other television work includes “NCIS” “Raising Hope,” “Weeds,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Without a Trace,” “Cold Case,” “Ally McBeal,” “Frasier” and “The West Wing.”

Landon,-Hal
Hal Landon Jr. (Joe) is an SCR Founding Artist who has appeared in Rest, The Fantasticks, The Trip to Bountiful, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Nothing Sacred, Man from Nebraska, Born Yesterday, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, A View from the Bridge, Habeas Corpus, Cyrano de Bergerac, Antigone, The Drawer Boy (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award nomination), Major Barbara and Tartuffe. His other credits include Arcadia, Our Town, Sidney Bechet Killed a Man, BAFO, Six Degrees of Separation, An Ideal Husband, A Mess of Plays by Chris Durang, Faith Healer, Green Icebergs, The Miser, Our Country’s Good and Waiting for Godot. He created the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in SCR’s A Christmas Carol, and has performed it in all 36 productions. He appeared in Leander Stillwell (Mark Taper Forum) and in Henry V (The Old Globe). Among his television and film credits are “The Closer,” “My Name is Earl,” “CSI: NY,” “Mad Men,” The Artist, Trespass, Pacific Heights, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the new Netflix film, Pee Wee’s Big Holiday, and the upcoming HBO film, All the Way.

Mozo,-Rebecca
Rebecca Mozo (​Ellie) appeared at SCR previously in Five Mile Lake, 4000 Miles, The Parisian Woman, In the Next Room or the vibrator play, A Wrinkle in Time, Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight, The Heiress and Doubt, a parable. Her other theatre credits include Cock at Rogue Machine Theatre (Ovation Award); We Are Proud to Present... at The Matrix Theatre Company; The Savannah Disputation, Educating Rita and Trying at The Colony Theatre Company; The Cherry Orchard, opposite Annette Bening and Alfred Molina, at Center Theatre Group; and Uncle Vanya, Top Girls, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Peace in Our Time, King Lear, Cousin Bette and Pera Palas at The Antaeus Company. She also appeared in I Capture the Castle at El Portal Theatre (Ovation Award nomination for Best Actress), as well as at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her film and television credits include You Bury Your Own, Zerophilia, Headless Horseman, The Waterhole, “Pizza Time,” “Cold Case,” “Medium,” “Modern Family” and “Kittens in a Cage.” Mozo earned her BFA from Rutgers University and studied at The Globe Theatre in London. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and The Antaeus Company.

Thornton,-Christopher
Christopher Thornton (Jonas) appeared at SCR previously in the Pacific Playwrights Festival reading of Going to a Place where you Already Are. His other theatre credits include Happy Place, in a staged reading at Manhattan Theatre Club; The Men, in a staged reading for Primary Stages, New York; The Poor Itch at The Public Theater; Pyretown at Keen Company, Urban Stages; Lion, or, This Corpse Will Not Stop Burning at Taper Too; Pyretown at Geva Theatre; The Body of Bourne at Mark Taper Forum; Hamlet at Lillian Theatre; Waiting For Godot at Lillian Theatre (Drama-Logue Award best actor); Misalliance, Private World and London Calling at World Theatre, Los Angeles; and Good and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Stella Adler Theatre. His television credits include “Battle Creek,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Brothers and Sisters,” “Lie to Me,” “My Name is Earl,” “Family Law,” “Players,” “Homefront” and “Rules of Engagement.” He has appeared in the films Bug, Pretty Persuasion, Welcome to California and Sympathy for Delicious, which won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance in 2010.
Creative Team

Marc Masterson (Director) is in his fifth season with SCR. His recent directing credits include Zealot, Death of a Salesman, Eurydice and Elemeno Pea at SCR, As You Like It for the Houston Shakespeare Festival, The Kite Runner at Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Cleveland Play House. He served for 11 years as artistic director of Actors Theatre of Louisville and produced the Humana Festival of New American Plays. During his Actors Theatre tenure, he produced more than 100 world premieres, expanded audiences and the repertoire, deepened arts education programs and spearheaded numerous community-based projects. His other Louisville directing credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Tempest, Mary’s Wedding, The Crucible, Betrayal, As You Like It, The Importance of Being Earnest and Macbeth. The world premieres he directed at the Humana Festival include works by Lisa Dillman, Wendell Berry, Craig Wright, Eric Coble, Adam Bock, Gina Gionfriddo, Melanie Marnich, Charles Mee and Rick Dresser. He served as artistic director of City Theatre in Pittsburgh for 20 years and was founder and chairman of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Alliance, and as a theatre advisory panel member for the National Endowment for the Arts as well as numerous foundations. He won the Man of the Year Vectors Award, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pittsburgh New Works Festival.


Michael B. Raiford (Scenic Design) is a scenic and costume designer based in Austin, Texas. He previously designed Peter and the Starcatcher and Death of a Salesman at SCR. His national and regional theatre and opera credits include Geva Theatre (Rochester, NY), The Cleveland Play House, Opera Boston, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Central City Opera, Aurora Theatre Company, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Ford’s Theatre (Washington, D.C.), The New Victory Theater (New York) and Actors Theatre of Louisville. At Actors Theatre, Raiford designed more than 20 shows including a dozen world premiere productions at The Humana Festival of New American Plays. In Austin, he has designed at Ballet Austin, Austin Lyric Opera, Rude Mechanicals, ZACH Theatre and Hyde Park Theatre. In addition, Raiford works as a creative consultant in many fields including architecture, interiors, advertising and yes, even marching band/Drum Corps International and Winter Guard International. Raiford received his MFA from University of Texas at Austin, where he also taught design for 10 years. He is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829. To see more of his work, visit: flickr.com/photos/michaelraiford/sets.


Christina Wright (Costume Design) is making her SCR design debut. For more than 30 years she has designed award-winning costumes for opera, film, theatre and themed entertainment. Her work has included Monsters of Grace (Robert Wilson/Phillip Glass), David Schweizer’s Peer Gynt at Kansas City Rep and La Jolla Playhouse, Bill Viola’s Quintet of the Astonished (seen in museums worldwide) and Richard Montoya’s American Night: The Ballad of Juan Jose, directed by Sam Woodhouse at the Denver Center Theatre (2011 Henry Award for outstanding costume design). In 2007, she was honored with the First Americans in the Arts Trustee Award for her work with Native Voices at the Autry. Her other favorite projects include various productions with The Actors’ Gang (Break the Whip, The Rivals and Carnage), Federal Jazz Project at San Diego Rep and The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat with Long Beach Opera, also directed by David Schweizer. For the Los Angeles Library Foundation, she designed costumes for My Moby Dick (2013) and The LA Odyssey Project (2014). At RIVA Creative, she designed show costumes and operational clothing for Bollywood Parks in Dubai. Currently she is designing costumes for the serial opera VIREO ,composed by Lisa Bielawa, libretto by Erik Ehn.


Tom Ontiveros (Lighting Design) has been nominated for Ovation!, LA Ticket Holders and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle awards for his designs. His credits include Fast Company, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Sideways Stories from Wayside School (SCR); Guards at the Taj, Most Wanted (La Jolla Playhouse); Figaro ¡90210! (LA Opera); Seven Spots on the Sun, Shiv, My Barking Dog, Happy Days (The Theatre@Boston Court); The Exonerated (NYC premiere); Tune In Festival (Park Avenue Armory); Schick Machine (Hong Kong Cultural Centre); The Tyrant (Chicago MOCA); Garden of Deadly Sound (Hungarian National Theatre Festival); Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (Conductor Marin Alsop); Full Circle, Nada que Declarar (Danspace, NYC); Slide (Ojai Music Festival); Enemy Slayer (Phoenix Symphony); Garden of Lila (Japan America Theatre); Candida, Indiscretions, My Old Lady, Visions of Kerouac (Marin Theatre Company); Summertime, Wintertime, First Love (Magic Theatre); and Seed, Café Vida, Making Paradise, On Caring for the Beast (Cornerstone Theater Company). His upcoming productions include They Don’t Talk Back (La Jolla Playhouse); Six Characters in Search of an Author (A Noise Within); Birder, John is a Father (Road Theatre); The Box (Z Space, San Francisco); and pe-LO-tah (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco). Ontiveros is an assistant professor of lighting design at USC.


Vincent Olivieri (Sound Design/Original Music) is pleased to return to SCR for Going to a Place where you Already Are. His previous projects include Five Mile Lake, Jitney, The Heiress, A Feminine Ending and Noises Off. His Broadway credits include the design and score for High. His off-Broadway design credits include The Water’s Edge, Omnium-Gatherum, The God Botherers and Fatal Attraction: A Greek Tragedy. His New York City and regional credits include productions with The Geffen Playhouse (Ovation nomination), Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (LCT Award), Portland Center Stage, Center Stage (Baltimore), Barrington Stage Company, The Juilliard School, Syracuse Stage, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati (CEA Award), Virginia Stage Company and Berkshire Theatre Festival. He has created designs for world premiere productions by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Kirsten Greenidge, Charles L. Mee, Kira Oblensky, Adam Rapp, Theresa Rebeck and August Wilson. For three years, Olivieri was the resident sound designer at Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Humana Festival of New American Plays. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and serves on the faculty at UC Irvine. soundandstage.net/sound.


Kimberly Colburn (Dramaturg) is the literary director and co-director of the Pacific Playwrights Festival at SCR. Recently, she was the literary manager at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she was the dramaturg for the world premieres of Partners by Dorothy Fortenberry, The Roommate by Jen Silverman, and Dot by Colman Domingo, among others. Formerly, as the associate literary director at SCR, she was the dramaturg for world premieres of The Long Road Home by Jose Cruz Gonzalez, Zoe Kazan’s Trudy and Max in Love, and A Wrinkle in Time adapted by John Glore, among dozens of other productions and readings. She has worked with companies including Los Angeles Opera, Sledgehammer Theatre, Oregon Contemporary Theatre, Critical Mass Ensemble, Artists at Play and Native Voices at the Autry. B.A. from University of California, Riverside, and MA from the University of Oregon.


Jennifer Ellen Butler (Stage Manager) is the production stage manager at SCR, where she has been a part of the stage management team for 13 seasons and more than 50 productions. Her other theatre credits include productions at Laguna Playhouse, Utah Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Theater, TheatreWorks, Perseverance Theatre, Spoleto Festival USA and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. She also has stage-managed operas for Long Beach Opera and Pacific Repertory Opera. Butler has a BA in theatre arts from UC Santa Cruz and has been a member of Actors’ Equity since 2007.

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From the Blog
Going to a Place First NightGoing to a Place where you Already Are: A Heavenly Evening at SCR
“Heavenly” food and drink greeted First Night playgoers at the Cast Party for Going to a Place where you Already Are. Read more and see photos from the evening.read more
Behind-the-Scenes: A Marriage Between Props and LightingBehind-the-Scenes: A Marriage Between Props and Lighting
Props Master Allie Gillaspie-Williams and Electrician/Board Operator Steven Williams not only have a working relationship at SCR, they also are married. Read their story. read more
Mortality That Makes You LaughMortality That Makes You Laugh
Playwright Bekah Brunstetter puts a lot of humor into Going to a Place where you Already Are—a look at mortality filtered through the eyes of Roberta and Joe and their granddaughter, Ellie. read more
Six Degrees of Hal LandonSix Degrees of Hal Landon Jr.
Hal Landon Jr. and Linda Gehringer last shared the stage at SCR in Hamlet (2007). In Bekah Brunstetter’s Going to a Place where you Already Are, the couple lead a five-member cast that also has connections to each other. read more
Plays of My Life: Bekah BrunstetterPlays of My Life: Bekah Brunstetter
Going to a Place where you Already Are Playwright Bekah Brunstetter talks inspiration, her literary hero and more. read more
Director’s NotesDirector’s Notes: Going to a Place where you Already Are
Learn why Artistic Director Marc Masterson calls Going to a Place where you Already Are a warm and whimsical play. read more
More
Peek into the Going to a Place where you Already Are program.

HONORARY PRODUCERS
Yvonne and Damien Jordan
Dr. SL and Betty Huang/Huang Family Foundation

 
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