Midtown Direct Rep


Cast Announced for Midtown Direct Rep Staged reading of FEAR, a new play by Matt William, directed by Mark Armstrong

Sunday, December 3 at 7:00pm at The Woodland in Maplewood, NJ

Midtown Direct Rep (MDR) is delighted to present its second reading of its 2017-1018 staged reading series, Theater at The Woodland, with a presentation of FEAR, written by Matt Williams and directed by Mark Armstrong. This event will be performed for one night only on Sunday, December 3rd at 7:00pm at The Woodland (60 Woodland Rd. Maplewood, NJ), where MDR is the resident theater company. The reading is $20 (advance purchase), $25 (if purchased at the door) and open to the public. Student/Senior discounts are also available. Tickets can be purchased online through Eventbrite by clicking the link HERE.

The cast will feature MDR members Norbert Leo Butz (Broadway: My Fair Lady, Catch Me If You Can, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Big Fish, Wicked, TV: Netflix’s Bloodline, PBS’s Mercy Street), Maury Ginsberg (Off-Broadway: Laugh It Up, Stare It Down. Regional: The Cherry Orchard, Mother Courage. TV: Elementary, Madam Secretary, The Blacklist, and HBO’s Vinyl) and Lucas Calhoun (Broadway/West End: The Elephant Man. Regional: Improv Olympic-West, The Second City Hollywood. TV: Madam Secretary, I love you but I lied, and Billions. Sawyer Nunes rounds out the cast (Broadway: Matilda, Finding Neverland. Regional: Something Wicked This Way Comes, Because of Winn Dixie. TV: Madam Secretary, Power and Instinct. Film: Breatharians, 37, Wonderstruck. Self-produced: 50/50, Songs I Wrote in my Room.

About the play

A little girl’s disappearance in the woods near Princeton, NJ prompts a tense confrontation among a neighborhood plumber, professor, and teenage boy. In this gripping psychological thriller, three neighbors discover how far they are willing to go to defend the values – and the secrets – that define them.

About the playwright – Matt Williams

Matt Williams began his career with a collection of one-act plays entitled, Bruce Lee Is Dead and I’m Not Feeling Too Good Either. His one-act play, Jason and The Nun, won the Double Image Festival of Short Plays Award and was subsequently published by Samuel French. His first full-length play, Between Daylight and Boonville, premiered in New York to critical acclaim, and was later performed at the Kennedy Center as part of the American College Theater Festival. His comedy Faithful Wives and Healthy Children was included in the 2017 new play reading series at Penguin Rep. Most recently, Matt developed a psychological drama, Fear, at New Harmony, and will be doing further development at Midtown Direct Rep later this year.

Matt has directed over twenty productions in educational, regional and Off-Broadway theatres, working on everything from Neil Simon to Lanford Wilson. He directed the world premiere of Robby Benson’s musical Open Heart at the Cherry Lane Theatre and, along with Daryl Roth Productions and his partners at Wind Dancer, he co-produced the stage production of Camping with Henry and Tom. He and Wind Dancer co-produced The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin at Playwrights Horizons. Matt has received Emmy and Humanitas nominations and is the recipient of a shared Peabody Award.

Mr. Williams started his television career when he joined The Cosby Show during its premiere season and worked as a writer/producer for three subsequent seasons. He served as co-creator of A Different World, and is best known as the creator and Executive Producer of the hit series Roseanne and the co-creator and Executive Producer of Home Improvement.

In addition to his many credits, Matt serves on the board of The University of Evansville, where he received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts (he also holds an MFA from the University of New Orleans), and is a founding board member of The New Harmony Project and the Cherry Lane Theatre. Matt is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University School of the Arts Theatre Program, and lives in New York with his wife, actress Angelina Fiordellisi, who is the owner and Artsitic Director at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Matt and Angelina are the proud parents of Matisse and Frederick.

About the Director – Mark Armstrong

Mark Armstrong is a Brooklyn-based theater director and the Executive Director for The 24 Hour Plays. Recent directing credits include Christopher Shinn’s, Falling Away, and The Coming World (Williamstown), Lucas Hnath’s Odile’s Ordeal (Williamstown), Dan O’Brien’s From Kandahar to Canada, Max Posner’s Old Folks, and 30 Million, a new musical with music and lyrics by Max Vernon, and book by Jason Kim (Keen Company). Other credits include development and directing work at Naked Angels, Primary Stages, New Dramatists, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Hartford Stage, Lincoln Center Theater, TheatreSquared, Roots & Branches, The New York Neo-Futurists, and many more. Mark is the former Director of New Work for off-Broadway’s Keen Company, where he created the Keen Playwrights Lab for mid-career playwrights and led Keen Teens, producing new plays with high school actors from the five boroughs of New York City. Mark is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab.

About the Stage Manager – Sydney Golden

Previous credits Include: Broadway: American Psycho and Fiddler on the Roof; Off-Broadway: The Band’s Visit and The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois (Atlantic Theatre Company), If Only (Cherry Lane Studio Theater), The Mother of Invention (Abingdon Theatre Company); Showcases: A Wall Apart (NYMF); Touch (59e59); The Phillie Trilogy and The Fierce Urgency of Now (Wild Project); Readings: Gilded Girls (Drama League) Proud member of AEA.

About Theater at The Woodland
Midtown Direct Rep’s Theater at The Woodland is a series of readings of new plays and musicals in development, presented at The Woodland, right in the center of Maplewood Village. The readings include lively post-show discussions with the cast and creative team, fostering a fun and collaborative environment that allows the audience to be a part of the development of vital new works. Many of the works presented by this reading series have gone on to major productions off-Broadway, in regional theaters, and beyond.

Midtown Direct Rep (MDR) is excited to continue its partnership with the Township of Maplewood, presenting its staged readings and other productions as the resident theater company of The Woodland (60 Woodland Rd. in Maplewood, NJ). MDR’s reading series, “Theater at The Woodland,” takes place in the Parlor, and larger productions, such as the well-known annual event Listen To Your Mother, are held in the Great Hall.


Managing Director
Aliza Wassner

Artistic Producer
Steven Tabakin

Literary Manager
Marni Raab

Artistic Advisor
Sandy Rustin

Resident Casting Director
Gayle Seay

Ondine Landa Abramson (Chair)
Paul Bartick
Evan Fleischer
Matthew Lefferts
Budd Mishkin

Chair of Membership Committee
Vanessa Pollock

Emeritus Artistic Directors
Jeremy Dobrish
Sandy Rustin


Hawley Abelow
Rick Adams
Maki Amemiya
Sebastian Arcelus
Jenny Bacon
Stephen Barker Turner
Julie Barnes
Emily Bauer
Jeremy Beck
Robbie Berry
Jessamyn Blakeslee
Stephanie J. Block
Eli Bolin
Ron Bohmer
D.B. Bonds
Catherine Brunell
Norbert Leo Butz
Julie Campbell
Kristin Carbone
Matt Castle
Mindy Catron
Miguel Cervantes
Doreen Chila
Dwayne Clark
Janeece Freeman Clark
John Cramer
Amy Merlino Coey
Brian Corrigan
Natalie Cortez
Adam Dannheisser
Diane Davis
Kate Dawson
Joel de la Fuente
Bradley Dean
Jeremy Dobrish
Bob Dusold
Maria Eberline
Michelle Federer
Vadim Feichtner
Danielle Ferland
Jim Ferris
Evan Fleischer
Kate Fodor
George Forbes
Dina Friedler
Frank Galgano
Maury Ginsberg
Heather Fine Grinspan
Mitch Greenberg
Mandy Gonzalez
Becky Gulsvig
Jenny Turner Hall
Julia Haubner
David Hess
Joan Hess
Suzanne Hevner
Steve Hogle
Stacey Todd Holt
Lily Hung
Casey Hushion
David Josefsberg
Kevin Kern
Marc Kessler
Kevin Kraft
Garth Kravits
Leslie Kritzer
Stephanie Kurtzuba
Jeff Larkin
Jamie Laverdiere
Megan Lawrence
Aaron Lazar
Mark Ledbetter
John Leone
Erin Maguire
Beth McCourt
Sean McCourt
Scott McGowan
Adrienne McKeown
Christiane Noll
Gregory Omar Osborne
Bethany Pettigrew
Jeff Parvin
Vanessa Parvin
Michele Pawk
Michael Perilstein
Christoper Mark Peterson
Charlie Pollock
Allison Posner
Vanessa Pollock
Marni Raab
Richard Rauscher
Matt Ramsey
Holly Raye
Chuck Rea
Peter Reader
Nikki Rene
Josephine Roberts
Roger Rosen
Emily Rozek
Sandy Rustin
Gayle Seay
Scott Seay
Matt Servitto
Robert Shaffron
Bev Sheehan
Abby Sher
Matthew Shepard Smith
Jeffrey Shubart
Corey Skaggs
David Spangenthal
Michael St. John
Cat Tate Starmer
Molly Stuart
John Steber
Ben Steinfeld
Antonio Suarez
Steven Tabakin
Michelle Tattenbaum
Jen Taylor
Marcy Thompson
Nicole Van Giesen
Elizabeth Ward Land
Tim Welch
Elizabeth Welch
LaVon Fisher Wilson
Terrence Witter
Denise Payne Worley
Kevin Worley
Matt Yeager
Joanna Young
Meg Zervoulis

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