Marcia Cross, Bryan Batt and Ron Canada will star in the world premiere of the play pay the writerwith the first performance set to benefit the Writers Guild.
The dramatic comedy, written by novelist Tawni O’Dell (Back roads) will play Off-Broadway at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theater at the Pershing Square Signature Center for a seven-week engagement beginning August 13. Karen Carpenter (Love, loss and what she wore) directs.
The story of pay the writer follows a well-known literary agent, Bruston Fischer (played by Batt) and his complicated relationship with his best friend, Cyrus Holt (played by Canada), who is also his most successful client, as well as Holt’s ex-wife, Lana, played by Cross.
The production describes the play by saying: “Bruston Fischer is a young gay man who suffers social persecution while trying to make it in publishing when he meets Cyrus Holt some 40 years earlier. Cyrus is a gifted black writer trying to make his talent known to a world that wants to ignore his existence. Through their unique friendship, the couple finds literary success and the most stable relationship they’ve ever had. However, when talent, business and love intertwine, missteps are made and, inevitably, regrets often follow.
Fifty percent of all ticket sales for the August 13 performance, which will also include a reception, will go to the WGA, according to the production. Producer Sandy Marshall said the company is showing its support for the writers because “without its members there would be no stories to experience and no escape from the difficulties of the human experience that are often thrown at us. Simply, the artist must support the art”. (Actors in stage productions are covered by actors’ equity and are not affected by the SAG-AFTRA strike.)
The play marks Cross’ return to the stage after appearing as Bree Van de Kamp on the ABC television series. Desperate housewives. Cross graduated from The Juilliard School and began her theater career at the Williamstown Theater Festival, The Hartford Stage Company, and The Old Globe Theater in San Diego. Cross has recently appeared on the Fox television series. Monarch and those of netflix You.
Batt is known for his portrayal of Salvatore Romano on AMC’s Mad Men. He has previously appeared on Broadway inorth the cage of madness, Beauty and the Beast and sunset boulevard and on the stage of Paul Runick jeffrey. She also appeared in movies like 12 years a slave, american rejection and by Spike Lee Tales From The Hood 2.
Canada has previously starred in Grid on Broadway as well as Off-Broadway in in old age and zooman and the sign. His film work has included An American President, Cinderella Man and more.
The production also stars Steven Hauck (the speed of autumn), Miles G. Jackson (Chicken and Cookies), Garrett Turner (TINA — The Tina Turner Musical) as Danielle J. Summons (Baby) and Stephen Payne (Superior Donuts).