Monday, October 6, 2014

Powerhouse Cast For "Zealot" Premiere

THE CAST OF ZEALOT (l. to r.): Charlayne Woodard,  Alan Smyth, Adam El-Sharkawi, Demosthenes Chrysan and Nikki Massoud.

Zealot is set in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The British consul and the American undersecretary of state are locked in a battle of wills and wits—and a life hangs in the balance. This dynamic world premiere by Theresa Rebeck features an equally dynamic cast—four-fifths of whom are making their SCR debut. They hail from Dublin and Seattle, with many stops in-between. Their performances have earned high praise, including Tony and Obie Awards. You’ve seen them in shows from Broadway to La Jolla, in stage, television and film. Meet the cast of Zealot.

Demosthenes Chrysan (as Usama) is making his SCR debut. His London credits include Blood and Gifts at the National Theatre. He appeared on Broadway in Golden Boy (Lincoln Center Theater). Other New York credits include Urge for Going (The Public Theater), Aftermath (New York Theatre Workshop) and Queens Boulevard (Signature Theatre Company). Regionally, he has appeared in Travesties (McCarter Theatre Center), Water by the Spoonful (Hartford Stage), Tennis in Nablus (Alliance Theatre), The Kite Runner (San Jose Repertory Theatre), Homebody/Kabul (Trinity Repertory Company) and Blood and Gifts (La Jolla Playhouse). He has appeared in the films A Case for You, Behind the Mirror, Santa Claus in Baghdad and on television in “Boardwalk Empire,” “Damages,” “Louie,” “30 Rock,” “Killing Kennedy,” “The Fear,” “Reckless,” “Blue Bloods” and will be recurring in the new series “Flesh and Bone.”

Adam El-Sharkawi (as Yousef) is making his SCR debut with Zealot. He is a recent graduate of the MFA acting program at California State University, Fullerton. At CSUF, his credits include Dollhouse, Twelve Angry Jurors, Lobby Hero, The Drunken City and Measure for Measure. His other theatre credits include All’s Well That Ends Well (Great River Shakespeare Festival), Sinbad: The Untold Tale (Adventure Stage Chicago), Romeo and Juliet (New Swan Shakespeare Festival), Harper Regan (Steep Theatre) and The Book of Liz (Chemically Imbalanced Comedy). He is a very happy California transplant and a very proud Seattle native.

Nikki Massoud (as Marina) is making her SCR debut. She is a recent graduate of the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA acting program. Her recent roles include The Dove in Conference of the Birds (B Street Theatre), Ruthie Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (Trinity Repertory Company) and Laura/Ensemble in The Glass Menagerie Project (Arena Stage). Her Brown/Trinity Rep roles include Celia in As You Like It, Marisol in Marisol and Mary Swanson in Middletown. She earned a BA in history, psychology and theatre from Georgetown University; attended the British-American Drama Academy (BADA) and earned an MFA in acting from Brown/Trinity Rep.

Alan Smyth (as Edgar) appeared at SCR previously in Absurd Person Singular. He is from Ireland, where he trained at the Dublin School of Acting. His theatre credits include The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Salome, Pride and Prejudice, A Christmas Carol, The Sunshine Boys (Gate Theatre); The Freedom of the City, The Importance of Being Earnest (Abbey Theatre); The Plough & the Stars, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear (Second Age Theatre Company); Cinderella, Mother Goose, Aladdin, Jack & the Beanstalk, Snow White & the Seven Dwarves, Sleeping Beauty (Gaiety Theatre); The Merchant of Venice, How the Other Half Loves (Andrews Lane Theatre); and Normal and Trios (Meridian Theatre Company). He produced the Irish premieres of Burn This by Lanford Wilson, Dinner with Friends by Donald Margulies and The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard. On television, he appeared in “Ballykissangel,” “Career Opportunities” (BBC), “CSI: NY,” “NCIS,” “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior,” “The Bold & the Beautiful,” “Leverage,” “The Last Ship,” “Grimm,” “Person’s Unknown,” “Children’s Hospital,”  “The Middleman” and “Caper.” He was also a series regular on Ireland’s number one show, “Fair City,” for five years. His film credits include Bobbie’s Girl (Showtime), Becoming Jane (JA Films), The Fallen Faithful (Other Side of the River Prod.), Botched (Madigan Pictures) and The Crooked Mile (Tribeca ‘First View’ Award).

Charlayne Woodard (as Ann) is a two-time Obie Award winner and Tony Award nominee who has written and performed four acclaimed solo plays: Pretty Fire, Neat, In Real Life and The Night Watcher. Her play, Flight, is an adaptation of African and African American folktales. Her acting credits include off-Broadway productions of The Witch of Edmonton (Obie Award), Suzan-Lori Parks’ In the Blood (Obie Award), Jon Robin Baitz’s Substance of Fire (Second Stage), Lynn Nottage’s Fabulation (Playwrights Horizons) and Athol Fugard’s Sorrows and Rejoicings (Second Stage); regionally in Taming of the Shrew (Kate, Shakespeare Theatre Company) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (La Jolla Playhouse); and on Broadway in Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Tony nomination). She completed a TCG/PEW Charitable Trust National Theatre Artist Residency Program Fellowship at Center Theatre Group and has taught at California Institute of the Arts.  Her film credits include Unbreakable, Sunshine State, The Crucible and Eye for an Eye. Her television credits include recurring roles on “Law & Order, SVU;” “Terminator: Sarah Connors Chronicles;” “ER;” and “Chicago Hope.”

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