Press - Trudy and Max in Love

by Zoe Kazan
directed by Lila Neugebauer

January 5 - 26, 2014
Julianne Argyros Stage

On rare occasions, you meet someone and everything clicks. But is love a choice? Or does it just happen? Trudy writes young adult fiction; Max is a novelist of celebrity status. And their attraction is anything but convenient. This very funny take on an unconventional romance is the latest from the multi-talented Zoe Kazan. A playwright/screenwriter/stage and screen actor on a roll, she’s the author and star of Ruby Sparks, the hit indie film The New York Times called “beautifully written and acted.” 


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Trudy and Max

Michael Weston and Aya Cash in South Coast Repertory's 2014 world premiere production ofTrudy and Max in Love by Zoe Kazan. Photo by Debora Robinson/SCR.

Trudy and Max

Tate Ellington, Michael Weston and Celeste Den in South Coast Repertory's 2014 world premiere production ofTrudy and Max in Love by Zoe Kazan. Photo by Debora Robinson/SCR.

Trudy and Max

Tate Ellington and Michael Weston in South Coast Repertory's 2014 world premiere production ofTrudy and Max in Love by Zoe Kazan. Photo by Debora Robinson/SCR.

Trudy and Max

Michael Weston and Aya Cash in South Coast Repertory's 2014 world premiere production ofTrudy and Max in Love by Zoe Kazan. Photo by Debora Robinson/SCR.

Trudy and Max

Celeste Den and Aya Cash in South Coast Repertory's 2014 world premiere production ofTrudy and Max in Love by Zoe Kazan. Photo by Debora Robinson/SCR.

Playwright Bio

Zoe Kazan was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently resides in New York. Trudy and Max in Love was an SCR commission, developed at the 2013 Pacific Playwrights Festival. Kazan’s first play, Absalom, was produced in 2009 at the Humana Festival at the Actors Theater of Louisville. Her second play, We Live Here, was commissioned and produced off-Broadway by Manhattan Theatre Club in 2011.  Kazan also wrote, executive produced, and starred in the movie Ruby Sparks, for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay. In addition, Kazan is an award-winning stage and film actress whose credits include Revolutionary Road, It’s Complicated, The Exploding Girl and the upcoming The Pretty One, In Your Eyes, The F Word and HBO miniseries “Olive Kitteridge.”

Aya Cash
Aya Cash as Trudy. Cash is making her SCR debut. She is a New York-based actress, last seen on the west coast in Seminar at the Ahmanson Theatre. Her New York theatre credits include shows at Playwrights Horizons (The Pain and the Itch, Three Changes), Atlantic Theater Company (Happy Hour, Offices), Manhattan Theatre Club (From Up Here), Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (Killers and Other Family), Ars Nova (Play-list, Missed Connections) MCC Theater (The Other Place) and Summer Play Festival (Whore, Not Waving). Her film credits include Sleepwalk with Me, The Oranges, The Bits in Between, Deception, Off Jackson Avenue, Winter of Frozen Dreams, The Happy House, the upcoming Can A Song Save Your Life? and Why Now? Cash was a series regular on the Fox series “Traffic Light” and has filmed pilots for NBC, FOX, CW and FX, as well as guest-starred on many New York-based shows. She recently recurred on “The Newsroom” and “We are Men” and can currently be seen in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.

Celeste Den as Other Woman. Den returns after appearing in this season’s Death of a Salesman and last season’s international tour of Chinglish at SCR, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the 2013 Hong Kong Arts Festival. Her other theatre credits include the world premieres of Wild Swans at American Repertory Theatre and Young Vic in London; Between Two Friends and Island at Actors Theatre of Louisville; 11 Septembre 2001 and Peach Blossom Fan with Center for New Performance; Spit, Shine, Glisten with Cotsen Center for Puppetry; and Laws of Sympathy with Playwrights’ Arena. Regional credits include King Lear with Center for New Performance; Conjunto at Borderlands Theatre; Othello at The Theatre @ Boston Court; The Joy Luck Club at East West Players; The Merchant of Venice with LA Women’s Shakespeare; and Attrapee with Poor Dog Group. Film and television credits include “Dumb American Family” (Adult Swim), “Castle” (ABC), “Criminal Minds” (CBS), “The Doctor” (WB), and Larry Crowne (Universal). Den received her BFA from the University of Florida and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.

Tate Ellington as Other Man. Ellington is making his SCR debut and is thrilled to be part of this production. His previous theatre credits include the Broadway production of The Philanthropist and off-off Broadway in Dog Sees God (original cast) and The Shape of Things. He has appeared on television in “The Good Wife,” “The Walking Dead,” “Psych,” “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23,” “Wolfpack of Reseda” and “Rescue Me.” His film credits include The Elephant King, The Kitchen, Remember Me, Breaking Upwards and The Invention of Lying. He earned his BFA at the University of Mississippi. Tate is also an accomplished visual artist.

Michael Weston as Max. Weston is making his SCR debut. His theatre credits include the off-Broadway productions of Extinction and Snakebit; regionally he appeared in Dead End, Matchmaker, Johnny on the Spot and Misha’s Party (all at Williamstown Theatre Festival); in the Los Angeles productions of Other Desert Cities (Center Theatre Group) and Waverly Gallery (Pasadena Playhouse). His films include Expecting, Quad, Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, State of Play, Last Kiss, Love Wedding Marriage, Wedding Daze, Garden State, Pathology, Dukes of Hazzard, Harts War, Lucky Numbers, Wishcraft, Getting to Know You and Coyote Ugly, among others, as well as the upcoming Wish I Was Here, Gravy and See You in Valhalla. He has done large recurring arcs on several television shows including  “House,” “Six Feet Under,” “Psych,” “Scrubs,” “Law & Order: SVU,” and the upcoming “Those Who Kill.” His other television work includes Coma (mini-series), “The Office,” “White Collar,” “CSI: N.Y.,” “The Good Guys,” “NCIS: L.A.” and yes, “Burn Notice,” among others.
Creative Team
Lila Neugebauer (Director) is a New York-based director whose recent work includes Dan LeFranc’s Troublemaker (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Lucas Hnath’s Red Speedo (The Studio Theatre, Washington, D.C.), Mallery Avidon’s O Guru Guru Guru (2013 Humana Festival), Annie Baker’s The Aliens (San Francisco Playhouse; The Studio Theatre), Circle Mirror Transformation (Juilliard), The Valley of Fear (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Eliza Clark’s Edgewise (Cherry Lane Studio) and Snow Day (Drama League), The Wii Plays (Ars Nova), and associate-directing Karen O’s Stop The Virgens (St. Ann’s Warehouse, Sydney Opera House). As co-artistic director of The Mad Ones, Neugebauer conceives and directs ensemble-devised work, including Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War (Ars Nova, The Brick, New Ohio Theatre). She is a recipient of the Princess Grace Award; an alumna of the Drama League, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Lincoln Center Directors Lab; a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre; and a New Georges Affiliated Artist. Her upcoming work includes Dorothy Fortenberry’s Partners (2014 Humana Festival).

Laura Jellinek (Scenic Design) is a theatre and opera designer based in New York. Her recent theater projects include Taking Care of Baby (Manhattan Theatre Club), What Rhymes with America (Atlantic Theater Company), The Imaginary Invalid (Bard Summerscape) as well as multiple projects with Daniel Fish, The Debate Society, Target Margin and The Mad Ones (where Lila Neugebauer is a co-artistic director). Upcoming, she has projects with Sam Gold (MCC Theater) and Anne Kauffman (Playwrights Horizons). Her opera credits include Owen Wingrave with Daniel Fish at Curtis/Opera Philadelphia, a fully staged Messiah with Sam Helfrich at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and The Cunning Little Vixen with Emma Griffin at The Juilliard School. This spring, she has operas with Jordan Fein and Robin Guarino. In 2010, she designed Ghosts (Christopher Wheeldon, San Francisco Ballet), which was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design, and in 2013 she received an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Set Design. She holds a BA in mathematics from Brown University and an MFA in set design from New York University, where she is an adjunct professor

Melanie Watnick (Costume Design) is pleased to return to collaborate with SCR after previously designing Smokefall and On the Mountain. She has been working as a professional costume designer in theatre and dance for more than 13 years. Her costume designs for dance include works for Ballet West, ABTII (part of American Ballet Theatre), Ballet X, Company C, Complexions, Contemporary Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Malashock Dance and Backhaus Dance. Costume designs for theatre include work with The Juilliard School, Seattle Repertory Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, The Barter Theatre, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, The Open Fist Theatre Company and Rogue Machine Theatre. Watnick also has served as lecturer at University of California, Irvine; UC San Diego and Hartnell College and is currently a faculty member at Pepperdine University. She earned her MFA from UC San Diego, and her BA, with an emphasis in design, from UC Santa Barbara. She is currently working with choreographer Jodie Gates on a new work for Ballet West.

Lap Chi Chu (Lighting Design) has designed regionally for SCR, Mark Taper Forum, Geffen Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Goodman Theater, The Shakespeare Theater, Arena Stage, Hartford Stage, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Portland Center Stage and Evidence Room. New York design credits include The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Signature Theater, Second Stage Theatre, Performance Space 122 and Kitchen Theatre Company. He is the lighting/video designer for ChameckiLerner Dance Company (Costumes by God, Visible Content, Hidden Forms, I Mutantes Seras, Por Favor and Não Me Deixe), which has performed in the United States and Brazil. Awards have included the Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Circle Angstrom Award for Career Achievement in Lighting Design, an Ovation award, multiple Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, a “Drammy” for best lighting, as well as a Lucille Lortel nomination for The Good Negro at The Public Theater. Chu is on the lighting design faculty at California Institute of the Arts.

Cricket S. Myers (Sound Design) is thrilled to return to SCR after designing 4000 Miles, The Fantasticks, The Parisian Woman, Sight Unseen, Elemeno Pea, The Trip to Bountiful and Three Days of Rain. On Broadway, she earned a Tony nomination and a Drama Desk Award for her design of Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. Her designs off-Broadway include the 16-month run of The Marvelous Wonderettes (Westside Arts, Upstairs). She has also designed regionally at the Ahmanson Theatre (Sunshine Boys), Mark Taper Forum (Steward of Christendom, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Vigil, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The Lieutenant of Inishmore), La Jolla Playhouse (Sideways, The Nightingale), Berkeley Repertory Theatre (In the Wake), Arena Stage (Book Club Play), Kirk Douglas Theatre (Twist Your Dickens, The Little Dog Laughed), Pasadena Playhouse (Crowns) and Geffen Playhouse (Play Dead, Wrecks, Some Girls, Emergency). Other selected Los Angeles designs include The Colony Theater Company, The Antaeus Company, The Celebration Theater, Ford Amphitheater and Circle X Theatre. Myers has earned 16 Ovation nominations, and won LADCC and Garland awards in Los Angeles.

Kimberly Colburn (Dramaturg) is the associate literary director and Pacific Playwrights Festival coordinator at SCR. She’s also serving as the dramaturg for the Dialogue/Diálogos project, working with playwright José Cruz González as he spends two years creating a theatrical piece inspired by the stories of the nearby Santa Ana community. Other favorite dramaturgical projects at SCR include A Wrinkle in Time (adapted for the stage by John Glore), Pride and Prejudice, Elemeno Pea and Jane of the Jungle. She has worked as dramaturg, performer, director and producer with companies including Los Angeles Opera, Chance Theater, Sledgehammer Theatre, Lord Leebrick Theatre, Critical Mass Ensemble, Native Voices at the Autry, Artists at Play and she co-founded the Full Frontal Artists Collective in San Diego. Upcoming, she’ll be the dramaturg on Partners by Dorothy Fortenberry in the 2014 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. She received her bachelor’s in theatre from University of California, Riverside and her masters in performing arts administration from the University of Oregon.

Kathryn Davies (Stage Manager) previously stage managed Ivy+Bean: the Musical, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, How to Write a New Book for the Bible, Sight Unseen, Topdog/Underdog, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, In the Next Room or the vibrator play, Doctor Cerberus, Ordinary Days, Our Mother’s Brief Affair, The Injured Party, The Brand New Kid and Imagine at SCR. Favorite credits include Dividing the Estate at Dallas Theater Center; La Bohème at Tulsa Opera; The Mystery of Irma Vep at The Old Globe; Daddy Long Legs at Laguna Playhouse; Tosca and La Fille du Régiment at Opera Ontario; Of Mice and Men at Theatre Calgary/CanStage/Neptune Theatre; The Dresser at Manitoba Theatre Centre; Skylight at Tarragon Theatre; To Kill a Mockingbird at Citadel Theatre/Manitoba Theatre Centre/Theatre Calgary and The Designated Mourner at Tarragon Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Davies also has worked as head theatre representative at the Toronto International Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, AFI Fest (part of the American Film Institute), Los Angeles Film Festival and as team leader at Sundance