The Sisters Rosensweig
by Wendy Wasserstein
directed by Casey Stangl
SEGERSTROM STAGE
May 5, 2018 - June 2, 2018

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They’re each extraordinary in their own way. Sara, the successful banker. Pfeni, the globe-trotting journalist. And Gorgeous, the irrepressible radio host. Not bad for three sisters from Brooklyn in the early 1990s. When they gather in London for Sara’s 54th birthday, along with some of the men in their lives, the result is a witty, enthralling look at the quest for love, acceptance and self-fulfillment.

Previews: May 5–10, 2018
First Night: May 11, 2018
Regular Performances: May 12–June 2, 2018

Recommendation: High school and above. Contains adult language.

Running Time: Approximately ​​two hours and​ ​25 ​minutes including one 15 minute intermission.

Wendy Wasserstein (October 18, 1950–January 30, 2006) was born in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College in 1971 and receiving an MFA from the Yale School of Drama in 1976, she followed in the footsteps of her grandfather, Simon Schliefer, who was a prominent Polish Jewish playwright. Her first production, Uncommon Women and Others, displayed her signature wry, comical style and was subsequently produced for television by PBS. Her plays include The Sisters Rosensweig, An American Daughter and Third. Her 1989 play, The Heidi Chronicles, won a Tony Award for Best Play and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Though lauded for its comedic merits, Wasserstein’s work explored a deeper issue: the complex politics of independent American women living in a society that values traditional roles and expectations. Wasserstein gave birth to a daughter, Lucy Jane, in 1998. In December 2005, she was hospitalized suffering from leukemia and passed away one month later at the age of 55.
Learn more about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.

Cast
Aquino
Amy Aquino (Sara Goode) performed at SCR in last season’s The Siegel and in 2007 in Sarah Treem’s A Feminine Ending. Her career began in New York, where she had roles in numerous productions at Playwrights Horizons and Circle Repertory Company; in Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles on Broadway and, more recently, in Wasserstein’s Third at Lincoln Center and Jonathan Tolins’ Secrets of the Trade at Primary Stages. Her West Coast appearances include Maria in Twelfth Night at San Diego’s Old Globe, Mark Taper Forum’s Living Out and the Geffen Playhouse’s The Underpants by Steve Martin. Aquino’s film career spans Working Girl and Moonstruck through White Oleander and In Good Company to the upcoming Beautiful Boy with Steve Carrell. Before landing her current role as Lt. Billets in Amazon’s hit series, “Bosch,” she was a regular on television’s “Brooklyn Bridge” and “Picket Fences” and made numerous guest appearances including recurring roles in “Glee,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “ER,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Freaks and Geeks,” “Felicity” and SyFy’s “Being Human.” She holds an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama, is married to financial advisor Drew McCoy and served 20 years as a national officer of SAG-AFTRA. @aquino_amy

Arkin
​​Matthew Arkin (Mervyn Kant) previously appeared at SCR in The Siegel, All the Way, The Whale, The Prince of Atlantis and Our Mother’s Brief Affair. His Broadway credits include Losing Louie, The Sunshine Boys and Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Off-Broadway, he appeared in Dinner with Friends (Drama Desk nomination), Rounding Third, Indian Blood, War in Paramus, You Should Be So Lucky and Moonlight and Magnolias. His regional theatre work includes Surf Report at La Jolla Playhouse, The Scene at Hartford Stage, Sight Unseen at George Street Playhouse, Little Footsteps and Lost in Yonkers at Pennsylvania Stage Company, Around the World in 80 Days at The Cape Playhouse, A Thousand Clowns at American Stage Company, Two Rooms and True West at TheatreWorks and Talley’s Folly at Bay Street Theatre. His film and television credits include Margot at the Wedding, Second Best, Raising Flagg, Death to Smoochy, An Unmarried Woman, The Curse, “Aquarius,” “NCIS,” “Switched at Birth,” “Harry’s Law,” “Medium,” “Rescue Me” (recurring), the “Law & Order” franchise, “Ed,” “Third Watch,” “100 Centre Street” (recurring), “All My Children” (recurring) and “Simple Justice.” Arkin is director of SCR’s Acting Intensive Program and the author of the suspense novel, In the Country of the Blind, available at Amazon. For more information, visit matthewarkin.com.

Brandt
Betsy Brandt (Pfeni Rosensweig ) currently stars in the CBS comedy series, “Life in Pieces.” She is also well-known to television audiences for her portrayal of Marie, the sister-in-law of meth-making mastermind Walter White in “Breaking Bad,” the Emmy, SAG and Golden Globe award-winning series. She starred opposite Michael J. Fox in the NBC comedy “The Michael J. Fox Show.” Her numerous other television credits include memorable recurring roles in “Masters of Sex” and “Parenthood.” Brandt’s recent film projects include the Lifetime feature, Flint, about the devastating lead poisoning of the water supply in Flint, Michigan; the title role in festival independent Claire in Motion; and soon-to-be released Quest, with Lou Diamond Phillips and Dash Mihok. She also appeared in the Steven Soderbergh film, Magic Mike, with Channing Tatum. SCR is one of Brandt’s favorite theatrical homes, where she originated roles in two world premieres—award-winner Julia Cho’s The Language Archive and Beth Henley’s Ridiculous Fraud. She portrayed Holly in the West Coast premiere of Geoffrey Nauffts’ Tony Award-nominated Next Fall at the Geffen Playhouse and has starred in numerous productions at the Intiman Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre and Portland Center Stage. Brandt studied theatre with the Moscow Art School and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama; she earned her BFA in acting at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Brochtrup
Bill Brochtrup (​​​​​​Geoffrey Duncan) returns to SCR where he was previously in Shakespeare in Love, Noises Off, Taking Steps and The Real Thing. In New York, he appeared in the off-Broadway productions of Jonathan Tolins’ Secrets of the Trade (Primary Stages) and David Marshall Grant’s Snakebit (Century Center), as well as the Fringe-NYC production of John Pollono’s Lost and Found. His Los Angeles theatre credits include productions at Pasadena Playhouse, L.A. Theatre Works, The Theatre @ Boston Court, Fountain Theatre, Evidence Room, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Rogue Machine and Antaeus Theatre Company, where he serves as co-artistic director. He appeared in the films Life as We Know It, He’s Just Not That into You, Ravenous and in the upcoming, Hypnotized. He has been a television series regular on three Steven Bochco cop shows, “Public Morals,” “Total Security” and a 10-year run as cheerful police administrative aide John Irvin on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning “NYPD Blue.” He spent the last five seasons recurring as savvy police psychologist Dr. Joe on TNT’s “Major Crimes.” billbrochtrup.com

James
​Emily James (​​​​Tess Goode) returns to SCR having previously appeared in Mr. Wolf and Flora & Ulysses. She was in Antigone at A Noise Within, Colony Collapse at The Theatre @ Boston Court, Stage Kiss at Geffen Playhouse, Smoke and We Are Not These Hands at Rogue Machine Theatre and and Husbands and Wives at Ensemble Theatre Company. She is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton with a BFA in acting.

Neldam
​​​​​​​​Riley Neldam (​​​​​​Tom Valiunus) is making his SCR debut with this production. Neldam recently originated the role of Jason in the world premiere of Stefanie Zadravec’s Colony Collapse at The Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena. His previous regional theatre collaborations include Intiman Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, 5th Avenue Theatre and Book-it Repertory Theatre.

Reissa
​​​​​​​​​Eleanor Reissa (​​​​​​​Gorgeous Te​itlebaum) is making her SCR debut. She is an actor, director, playwright and singer. On Broadway, she was in Paula Vogel’s play Indecent and received a Tony Award nomination for directing Those Were the Days, in which she performed and also choreographed. She directed and starred in Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance in Yiddish at La MaMa. Reissa performed in two other Wendy Wasserstein works, Isn’t It Romantic and a little-known musical, Miami. Her directing credits include Cowgirls (off-Broadway and The Old Globe), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Threepenny Opera, Avenue X, as well as Dianna of Dobson’s, Echoes of the War, The Skin Game and Soldier’s Wife at the Mint Theater Company. An anthology of her plays, The Last Survivor and Other Modern Jewish Plays, was recently published and she was commissioned by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene to write and direct the Yiddish translation of Paddy Chayevsky’s The Tenth Man. Reissa is one of the world’s most renowned interpreters of Yiddish music and just returned from a European tour with Frank London and the Klezmer Brass Allstars. She has been selected to helm From Shtetl to Stage for Carnegie Hall in 2019.

Stone
​​​​​​​​​Julian Stone (​​​​​​​Nicholas Pym) s excited to return to SCR, where he appeared in the West Coast premiere of Man from Nebraska, directed by William Friedkin. Nationally, his theatre credits include And a Nightingale Sang (Indiana Repertory Theatre), Treasure Island (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), National Playwright’s Conference (Eugene O’Neill Theater Center), Dark Shadows (VIA Theater, NYC), Vampire Lesbians of Sodom (Provincetown Playhouse, NYC) and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Princeton Rep Company). He has appeared extensively on the screen, guest-starring in many popular television shows including “Suburgatory,” “Maron,” “Castle,” “Columbo,” “Mad About You,” “Baywatch” and “Babylon 5” and was a regular on “General Hospital” (ABC). As a voice actor, he has worked in video game franchises such as “Call of Duty,” “Medal of Honor,” “Titanfall” and “Uncharted” and looped film features including Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rogue One, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road and Phantom Thread. With his writing/producing hat, he currently has television series in development at Gaumont and Constantin Film. He is a member of Equity (U.K.) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Creative Team
Casey Stangl (Director) returns often to work at SCR on productions including Michael Mitnick’s The Siegel, David Ives’ Venus in Fur, Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, and many Theatre for Young Audiences productions including this season’s Ella Enchanted: The Musical. Her recent projects include The Cake at La Jolla Playhouse, The Revolutionists at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, The Nether at the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis, Cloud 9 at Antaeus Theatre Company (winner of eight LA Drama Critics’ Association awards including Best Director and Best Production), Stage Kiss for Guthrie Theater and Ah, Wilderness, Love and Information and Venus in Fur for American Conservatory Theater. Stangl is a resident director for Ojai Playwrights Conference and is a frequent collaborator in the creation of new plays. For her work as the founding artistic director of Eye of the Storm Theatre in Minneapolis, she was named Minnesota Artist of the Year. Stangl proudly serves on the executive board of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the national labor union for professional stage directors and choreographers.

John Iacovelli (Scenic Design) created memorable designs at SCR including The Roommate, Amadeus, Abundance, Rest, Silent Sky, Noises Off, Talley’s Folly, The Philanderer, Shadowlands, Faith Healer and 18 others including Heartbreak House (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award.) He has designed more than 300 plays and musicals at most major theatres in the U.S. including Steppenwolf Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre Center, Long Wharf Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Center Theatre Group. Iacovelli received a primetime Emmy for the broadcast of the Broadway production of Peter Pan. He was the production designer on Ruby in Paradise, starring Ashley Judd, and art director on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids! His television credits include The Old Settler starring Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen, The Gin Game staring Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke, “Babylon 5,” “Ed,” “Resurrection Blvd.” and “Lincoln Heights.” He has an MFA in scenic design from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. This year, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Scene Design and Technology from The U.S. Institute of Theatre Technology. iacovelli.com


Denitsa Bliznakova (Costume Design) is happy to return to SCR, where she previously designed the costumes for Orange. Her theatre design work has been seen nationwide at venues including the Geffen Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Cleveland Play House, A Noise Within, The Theatre @ Boston Court, Williamstown Theatre Festival and The Falcon Theatre. Bliznakova’s work for opera includes Carmen at Los Angeles Opera and Murder in the Cathedral at San Diego Opera. Her costume design and stylist credits for other media include films and music videos for various artists. Her work has been nominated for Outstanding Costume Design by LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award. She is a professor in the School of Theatre, Television and Film at San Diego State University and is the head of the MFA design and technology program there. Bliznakova is a graduate of Parsons School of Design and Brandeis University. Her work may be viewed at Denitsa.com.

Elizabeth Harper (Lighting Design) returns to SCR where she previously designed Little Black Shadows, The Siegel, Reunion, Venus in Fur, Office Hour, District Merchants and tokyo fish story. Her other design credits include Immediate Family, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (The Mark Taper Forum); Women Laughing Alone with Salad, Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up, A Raisin in the Sun (Kirk Douglas Theatre); Play Dead, Wait Until Dark, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Good People and Bad Jews (Geffen Playhouse); The Invisible Hand (Kansas City Repertory Theatre) and Crescent City (The Industry). Her industrial lighting projects include events for Microsoft, On-Live, Asics, Under Armour, Ubisoft and Universal Studios. Harper is a lecturer at the University of Southern California as well as a nine-time Ovation Award nominee and occasional winner.

Jeff Polunas (Sound Design) is thrilled to be designing for the third time this season, having previously designed Shakespeare in Love and Ella Enchanted. Polunas received his MFA in sound design at UC Irvine and is currently the production sound supervisor at UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts. He has designed more than 125 productions in his career. His credits include Venus in Fur, Flora & Ulysses, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Ivy & Bean and Between Us Chickens (SCR); Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Antaeus Theatre Company); Silent Sky, Fences, Abigail/1702, A Walk in the Woods, Uncanny Valley (International City Theatre); Passion Play, Seminar and A Bright New Boise (Chance Theater); The Full Monty, Peter Pan, The Wedding Singer and The Producers (Summer Repertory Theatre); and Company, Much Ado About Nothing and The Importance of Being Earnest (PCPA Theaterfest). He received the 2017 and 2015 Scenie Award (StageSceneLA) for Sound Design. He has been nominated for a NAACP, Stage Raw and Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Awards.

Philip D. Thompson (Dialect Coach) teaches at UC Irvine and works as a voice and dialect coach for professional and university productions. He is certified as a master teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, is the co-founder of Knight-Thompson Speechwork and is the past president of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association. He is the head of voice and text at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and has served as resident coach there for 16 seasons and more than 100 productions. He has coached at Pasadena Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre Company and Alabama Shakespeare Festival, among others, including numerous productions at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. This is his 32nd production at SCR.

Julie Ann Renfro (Stage Manager) is happy to be back at SCR for The Sisters Rosensweig! She has been a part of the stage management team at SCR for nine seasons and more than 25 productions. Some of her favorites include The Parisian Woman, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and The Light Princess. Her other credits include Geffen Playhouse, LA Opera, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Pasadena Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse, Sydney Independent Theatre Company, Long Beach Shakespeare Company and American Coast Theatre Company. She holds a BA in theatre arts from Vanguard University. Renfro is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Sue Karutz (Assistant Stage Manager) toured with Robert Wilson’s The Black Rider (London, San Francisco, Sydney, Los Angeles), Wicked (Chicago, LA, San Francisco), Les Misérables (more than 100 cities across the U.S., Canada, China and Korea) and Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo (Russia and Belgium). Her first union contract was in 1997, off-Broadway on Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly. In seven seasons at SCR, her favorite projects have been Lookingglass Theatre Company’s Moby Dick in 2016; One Man, Two Guvnors from Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2015; and this season’s Once. Elsewhere, she has been part of stage management teams at La Jolla Playhouse, The National Theatre of the Deaf, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theater, Falcon Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Los Angeles Opera, the Ahmanson and Kirk Douglas theatres, Deaf West, Alpine Theatre Project, Laguna Playhouse and Utah Shakespeare Festival, and is also a staff stage manager at Disneyland.

The actors and stage managers employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

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Eleanor Reissa, Amy Aquino and Betsy Brandt in "The Sisters Rosensweig." Photo by Debora Robinson.
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Matthew Arkin, Eleanor Reissa, Emily James and Betsy Brandt in "The Sisters Rosensweig." Photo by Debora Robinson.
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Matthew Arkin and Emily James in "The Sisters Rosensweig." Photo by Debora Robinson.
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Amy Aquino and Emily James in "The Sisters Rosensweig." Photo by Debora Robinson.
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Amy Aquino and Matthew Arkin in "The Sisters Rosensweig." Photo by Debora Robinson.
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Amy Aquino, Emily James and Riley Neldam in "The Sisters Rosensweig." Photo by Debora Robinson.
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Riley Neldam, Julian Stone and Emily James in "The Sisters Rosensweig." Photo by Debora Robinson.
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Eleanor Reissa, Amy Aquino and Betsy Brandt in "The Sisters Rosensweig." Photo by Debora Robinson.
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The cast in "The Sisters Rosensweig." Photo by Debora Robinson.
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Bill Brochtrup and Betsy Brandt in "The Sisters Rosensweig." Photo by Debora Robinson.
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Amy Aquino and Betsy Brandt in "The Sisters Rosensweig." Photo by Debora Robinson.
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Amy Aquino and Eleanor Reissa in "The Sisters Rosensweig." Photo by Debora Robinson.
video video video video
Remembering Wendy and The Sisters RosensweigRemembering Wendy and The Sisters Rosensweig
Learn about The Sisters Rosensweig’s origins from the director who helped develop it.
Opening Night of The Sisters RosensweigParty Play: The Sisters Rosensweig
Wendy Wasserstein’s comedy captured the First Night audience’s attention and never let up. First Night guests were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the entire cast ​at the post-show party.
Meet the Cast of The Sisters RosensweigMeet the Cast: The Sisters Rosensweig
A mix of SCR veterans and actors making their debut here bring back the ’90s in Wendy Wasserstein’s captivating comedy, The Sisters Rosensweig. Read on to meet the cast.
Wendy WassersteinWendy Wasserstein’s Works Today
Wasserstein’s plays spoke to a generation of smart, ambitious women trying to navigate their desire to “have it all”—a fulfilling career and a family—in a changing world. Lena Romano re-examines the works for today’s world.
Three Sisters PlaysThree Sisters Plays
From Shakespeare's King Lear to Chekhov's The Three Sisters to Wendy Wasserstein's The Sisters Rosensweig, ​sisters are important. Find out more about how playwrights have written about sisters in this article by dramaturg Jerry Patch.

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