ORSON'S SHADOW

Charlie portrayed the character of Laurence Olivier in the play ORSON'S SHADOW at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena California from 18 January, 2008 through 17 February, 2008.

ORSON'S SHADOW is an ingenious tale of two Hollywood giants, Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier. The time is 1960; the place is a London theatre. Legendary critic Kenneth Tynan has made a startling proposal: Welles should direct Olivier and the young Joan Plowright in Rhinoceros, Ionesco's absurdist masterpiece. But it is the rehearsal process that brims with absurdity as titanic personalities, including Vivien Leigh, wrestle the muse. Based on an actual event, ORSON'S SHADOW is a witty and incisive depiction of the drama of theatre.

the following production photos © and courtesy of Pasadena Playhouse, all rights reserved.
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orsons's shadow orsons's shadow orsons's shadow orsons's shadow orsons's shadow

Charles Shaughnessy as Laurence Olivier and Bruce McGill as Orson Welles
Charles Shaughnessy as Laurence Olivier and Bruce McGill as Orson Welles
Charles Shaughnessy as Laurence Olivier and Sharon Lawrence as Vivien Leigh
Charles Shaughnessy as Laurence Olivier
Charles Shaughnessy as Laurence Olivier and Libby West as Joan Plowright

The Arcadia Weekly
Theatrical Luminaries Take Center Stage in Orsons Shadow

By Candyce Columbus

Pasadena Playhouse presents a rare glimpse into the theater where egos and talent are often equally gigantic with its 2008 season opener, Orsons Shadow. Conceived by Judith Auberjonois, and based on an actual event, it takes place at a West End theatre in 1960. Legendary critic Kenneth Tynan has suggested Orson Welles direct Laurence Olivier and the young Joan Plowright in Ionescos absurdist masterpiece, Rhinoceros. What ensues is an absurd rehearsal process with clashing personalities, including Vivien Leigh.Ư

In his debut on the main stage, Dmaso Rodriguez directs a cast of favorite familiar faces, including Nick Chernoch (Furious Theatre) as Sean, Sharon Lawrence (NYPD Blue) as Vivien Leigh, Scott Lowell (Queer as Folk) as Kenneth Tynan, Bruce McGill (MacGyver) as Orson Welles, Charles Shaughnessy (The Nanny) as Laurence Olivier, and Libby West (Six Feet Under) as Joan Plowright.

McGill and Shaughnessy took time out of their hectic holiday rehearsal schedule to answer a few questions:

What attracted you to this role?

Bruce McGill: The role was attractive because of its challenging nature, playing a larger than life legend who really existed, the vocal challenge, the fascinating situation, the size of the role.

Charles Shaughnessy: Larry has always been a fascinating character to me, growing up in England with theatrical ambitions during the 60s. It would be like playing Joe Namath for a wannabe quarterback in the 70s here.Ư

Did you do anything special to prepare?

BM: My preparation consisted and indeed still consists of reading all I have time for about Welles the man, and the artist . . . and the vocal challenge of Orson Welles sound.

CS: Scott Lowell lent me the 1965 Ken Tynan/Larry Olivier interview from Great Acting. It is absolutely the most priceless research.

Were you familiar with this incident prior to becoming a part of this production?

CS: I was certainly aware of all the characters and knew about this period in Sir Larrys career. I was not aware that Orson directed Rhinoceros at the Royal Court, but am not surprised that he did. It was an extraordinarily fertile and dynamic time in British Theatre.

What has been the most interesting aspect of the rehearsal process for you?

BM: Besides the very interesting historical research into these fabulous characters, the return to the stage after so long an absence has been fascinating on a personal level: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Talk about memory lane! This lane is often steep and difficult, with occasional scary challenges.

Has there been anything surprising or especially challenging?

CS: The furious pace of some of it, and the intriguing challenge of rehearsing a play about someone facing the challenge of rehearsing a play.

BM: Aside from the aforementioned vocal challenges there is the judgment that will come. Good or bad we will continue to perform the play. In film one has moved on way before ones work is judged and written about. Not so in the theater. It is high wire acting without a net. I sometimes think, What have I gotten myself into?

Previews for Orsons Shadow begin Jan. 11, it opens Jan. 18. Tickets range from $38-$65. Call (626) 356-PLAY or visit Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 S. El Molino Ave.

20 December, 2007 PRESS RELEASE
PASADENA PLAYHOUSE ANNOUNCES FULL CASTING FOR AUSTIN PENDLETON'S "ORSON'S SHADOW"

STARRING NICK CERNOCH, SHARON LAWRENCE, SCOTT LOWELL, RUCE McGILL, CHARLES SHAUGHNESSY AND LIBBY WEST

DIRECTED BY DAMASO RODRIGUEZ

PREVIEW PERFORMANCES BEGIN JANUARY 11, 2008 WITH THE OFFICIAL PRESS OPENING ON JANUARY 18, 2008

PASADENA, CA (December 20, 2007) ‚ Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director;
Brian Colburn, Managing Director; Tom Ware, Producing Director) announced the full casting
for Austin Pendleton's ORSON'S SHADOW. Conceived by Judith Auberjonois, this ingenious
tale of two Hollywood giants ‚ Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier ‚ will be directed by
Pasadena Playhouse's newly appointed Associate Artistic Director D·maso Rodriguez. Preview
performances begin Friday, January 11, 2008 with the official press opening on Friday, January
18.

"I cannot think of a better way to open our 2008 Season than with this production of Austin
Pendleton's valentine to the theatre and to the craft of acting. The play examines with great love
and affection all of the ego, the artistry, the humor, the emotion and the passion that go into the
creation of the art of the theatre," said Pasadena Playhouse Artistic Director Sheldon Epps.
"This makes it an ideal choice for the launch of our new theatrical season." He added, "When
D·maso agreed to join the staff of the Playhouse as Associate Artistic Director, it gave me great
joy. He has done tremendous work in a wide variety of productions for the Furious Theatre, so I
am delighted to offer him the opportunity to paint his beautiful pictures on a larger palette.
Having D·maso direct the first play of the season is a terrific way to celebrate the beginning of
what I know will be a long and successful relationship for him and for the theatre."

ORSON'S SHADOW stars Nick Cernoch as Sean, Sharon Lawrence as Vivien Leigh, Scott
Lowell as Kenneth Tynan, Bruce McGill as Orson Welles, Charles Shaughnessy as Laurence
Olivier and Libby West as Joan Plowright.

ORSON'S SHADOW takes place at a London theatre in 1960. Legendary critic Kenneth Tynan
has made a startling proposal: Orson Welles (McGill) should direct Laurence Olivier
(Shaughnessy) and the young Joan Plowright (West) in Rhinoceros, Ionesco's absurdist
masterpiece. But it is the rehearsal process that brims with absurdity as titanic personalities,
including Vivien Leigh (Lawrence), wrestle the muse. Based on an actual event, ORSON'S
SHADOW is a witty and incisive depiction of the drama of theatre.

Joining the creative team with Rodriguez are scenic designer Gary Wissmann, costume designer
Mary Vogt, lighting designer Dan Jenkins and sound designer Cricket Meyers.

ORSON'S SHADOW originally opened at the Steppenwolf's Garage Theatre in January 2000.
The play was also produced Off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theatre in March 2005 and
received a 2005 Lucille Lortel nomination for "Outstanding Play."

ORSON'S SHADOW plays at the Pasadena Playhouse, 39 South El Molino Avenue in
Pasadena. Performances begin January 11, 2008 and run through February 17, with an official
press opening on Friday, January 18. Performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8:00
p.m.; Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

(Note: There are no performances on Saturday, January 12 at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 15 at
8:00 p.m.; Tuesday, January 22 at 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 6 at 8:00 p.m. and
Wednesday, February 13 at 8:00 p.m. There will be a matinee performance on Wednesday,
February 6 at 2:00 p.m.) Tickets range from $32.00 - $65.00. Tickets are available by calling
the Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-PLAY, by visiting the Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, open
from 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. daily excluding holidays and online at
Pasadena Playhouse Group Sales (15 or more) are available by calling 800-378-7021.


CAST & CREATIVE BIOS:

NICK CERNOCH (Sean) Pasadena Playhouse: Festen (Hothouse Reading), Matter of Honor
(Hothouse Reading). Furious Theatre Company: Canned Peaches in Syrup (World Premiere),
The Fair Maid of the West, Parts I & II (World Premiere Adaptation), Tearing the Loom (U.S.
Premiere), Scenes from the Big Picture (U.S. Premiere), Mojo (West Coast Premiere). Film:
Dream State. Television: "Last Stand of the 300." Education: B.A. in Theatre Arts, Texas
A&M University. Nick is an ensemble member of Furious Theatre Company, artists in residence
at the Pasadena Playhouse Carrie Hamilton Theatre.

SHARON LAWRENCE (Vivien Leigh) Pasadena Playhouse: It's A Wonderful Life.
Broadway: Chicago-Velma Kelly; Fiddler On The Roof with Chaim Topol; Cabaret with Joel
Grey and Zorba with Anthony Quinn. Off-Broadway: Tongue Of A Bird with Cherry Jones.
Regional Theatre: Williamstown Theatre- Anything Goes; Berkley Rep - The Guys; Bay Street
Theatre - No Time For Comedy; Mark Taper Forum - Tongue Of A Bird; The Geffen Playhouse -
Under The Blue Sky, Paint Your Wagon; Matrix Theatre-The Homecoming and The Seagull. TV:
"NYPD Blue" - three Emmy Nominations, SAG Award; "Hidden Palms" for CW; "Desperate
Housewives;" "Monk;" "Law and Order SVU;" "Wolf Lake" with Lou Diamond Phillips;
"Ladies Man" with Alfred Molina and Betty White; "Fired Up" and numerous films for
television. Films: Little Black Book with Holly Hunter, Brittany Murphy and Kathy Bates; The
Only Thrill with Diane Keaton and Sam Sheppard; Gossip with Kate Hudson; The Alibi with
Rebecca Romijin, and John Leguizamo and Nearing Grace with David Morse.

SCOTT LOWELL (Kenneth Tynan) Pasadena Playhouse: Present Laughter. Regional: The
Heidi Chronicles (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Los Angeles: Durang/Durang (Hollywood
Court); Caine Mutiny Court-martial and Anna Christie (LA TheatreWorks). Chicago: Light Up
The Sky and A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre); Picasso At The Lapin Agile and Twelfth
Night (Steppenwolf); A Perfect Ganesh (Northlight); Laughter On The 23rd Floor (Briar
Street); Assassins (Pegasus); The Chicago Conspiracy Trial (Remains Theatre); Much Ado About
Nothing and King John (Chicago Shakespeare); Incorruptible (Jeff nomination), Wild Honey
and Orwell Down And Out (Bailiwick Rep.). TV: Ted Schmidt in 5 seasons of "Queer As Folk"
(Prism Award nomination) and On The Edge (Showtime); Alien Fury (UPN); "American Dad";
"Frasier;" "Caroline In The City;" "Early Edition." Film: To Live And Die in Dixie, Ping Pong
Playa, Trapped Ashes, The Debtor$, Love Bites (Sundance '99), Ladies Room LA and Damned If
You Do.

BRUCE McGILL (Orson Welles) Orson's Shadow is Mr. McGill's debut at Pasadena
Playhouse and his return to the stage after 22 years. Broadway: My One and Only (with Tommy
Tune and Twiggy). New York: Lincoln Center: Hamlet (with Sam Waterston), Shakespeare in
the Park N.Y.C.: Henry V (with Meryl Streep), Othello (with Raul Julia) as well as many
production Off-Broadway and at The Public Theater. Regional: Regional: The Kennedy Center:
Henry IV (as Hotspur with Patty Lupone) and numerous productions with the Trinity Square
Repertory Theatre Co. in Providence, RI. Since his last stage performance, Mr. McGill has
appeared in more than 100 films, including Cinderella Man, My Cousin Vinny, Matchstick Men,
The Insider, Collateral, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Legally Blonde II, and Animal House.
Television viewers may know him from his 6 years as Jack Dalton on "MacGyver." He is
originally from San Antonio, Texas and graduated from the University of Texas, Austin, with a
B.F.A. in Acting. Upcoming films: Vantage Point (Feb. with Dennis Quaid) and Recount for
HBO.

CHARLES SHAUGHNESSY (Laurence Olivier) Pasadena Playhouse debut. Broadway:
Urinetown: The Musical. Regional: A Patriot for Me (The Mark Taper Forum, LAAT,
Ahmanson) opposite Alan Bates. Television: "The Nanny" opposite Fran Drescher, "Days of
Our Lives" as Shane Donovan (three-time Soap Opera Award Winner), "Law and Order SVU,"
"Four Kings," "Veronica Mars," "Stargate SGI," "Jury" (BBC) and "Partners in Crime." Voice-
Over: Disney's "Stanley" (Emmy Award). Film: Denial with Jason Alexander and Patrick
Dempsey, Second Chances, The Painting, Kids in America. Eton College graduate; BA in Law
from the Magdalene College of Cambridge University.

LIBBY WEST (Joan Plowright) Pasadena Playhouse: The Constant Wife, Sherlock Holmes:
The Final Adventure. Off-Broadway: The Promenade Theatre and The Public Theater.
Regional: Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, American Conservatory Theater, Denver
Center, The Old Globe, The Shakespeare Theatre, Arizona Theater Company, Paper Mill
Playhouse, The Intiman, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, PlayMakers Rep, IRT, Actors Theatre
of Louisville, CATF, The Weston Playhouse. Los Angeles: Furious Theatre, Theater @ Boston
Court, A Noise Within, ICT, Odyssey Theater, Open City Ensemble, LAGLC, etc. NYC:
Actors Studio, SoHo Rep, West End Theatre, Third Eye Rep, Expanded Arts, Director's Lab, PS
122, The Kraine. Film: Two Weeks Notice, Divorce Be Gone, Fractalus, Midsummer Nite's Re-
Write, Who Flew, The Wedding Video, Iceman, Misanthrope, Ride of Passage, The Guests,
Mirrorland, Dream House, Homecoming, Fluffy, Richard, The Take, etc. Television: "Jericho,"
"Six Feet Under," "As the World Turns," "One Life to Live" and "All My Children." Awards:
Dean Goodman Choice Award, LA Drama Critics Award, and Garland Award. Education: MFA
from NYU. Fox Foundation Fellow.

AUSTIN PENDELTON (Playwright) Austin Pendleton has written three plays: Orson's
Shadow, Uncle Bob (both published by Dramatists' Play Service) and Booth (published by
Samuel French). All of them have been produced in New York, Chicago and around the country
and, in the case of Uncle Bob, internationally. Mr. Pendleton is also an actor and a director and a
teacher in New York of acting and directing at HB Studio and the New School respectively.

DAMASO RODRIGUEZ (Director) Pasadena Playhouse: Private Lives (Assistant Director),
Star Quality (Assistant Director), Festen (Hothouse Reading), Another Part of the Forest
(Hothouse Reading). Furious Theatre Company: Canned Peaches in Syrup (World Premiere),
An Impending Rupture of the Belly (World Premiere), Grace (Los Angeles Premiere, three Los
Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards including Production and Direction), Back of the Throat
(Los Angeles Premiere), The Fair Maid of the West Parts I & II (World Premiere Adaptation),
The God Botherers (West Coast Premiere), The Shape of Things (Los Angeles Premiere), Scenes
from the Big Picture (U.S. Premiere), Chimps (U.S. Premiere), The Playboy of the Western
World, Saturday Night at the Palace (U.S. Premiere, two NAACP Theatre Awards including
Best Director). As a co-founder of Furious Theatre Company, D·maso received the Pasadena
Arts Council's Gold Crown Award and the Debut Award from Back Stage West.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS TO PASADENA

AIR TRAVEL

You will be much closer to Pasadena if you fly into the Burbank, CA airport instead of flying into Los Angeles Airport LAX

Accomodations:

Arroyo Vista Inn 335 Monterey Road South Pasadena, CA 91030 Arroyo Vista Inn 323-478-7300

Although the building is historical and was built in 1910, it is completely renovated. Many rooms have fabulous views of the Arroyo area. The Inn is actually more like boutique hotel than a B & B. We serve wine and tea in the afternoon and a full gourmet breakfast. The building's electrical needs are 100% solar provided. We strive to be "green" in other ways too!

Mention Pasadena Playhouse and receive a 10% discount.

Pasadena Convention and Visitor¹s Bureau:

Pasadena Visitor's Bureau

Things to do and places to go in Pasadena

Descanso Gardens: Tea at Descanso

Historic Old Pasadena

Special Centennial Section Mount Wilson Observatory

Botanic Gardens: Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

California Cultural Center The Old Mill

Museums:

Pasadena Museum of History

The Armory Center for the Arts

PMCA: Pasadena Museum of California Art

The American Arts and Crafts Movement: The Gamble House

Places to eat:

Restaurants in Pasadena

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