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'Next Fall’ Examines Faith, Devotion and Unconditional Love

Friday, January 4, 2013 4:48:00 PM

Weathervane Playhouse ushers in 2013 with the Tony Award-nominated Next Fall, a witty and intelligent play about faith, devotion and unconventional love. The production is presented in Weathervane’s intimate John L. Dietz Theater between Jan. 10 and 26, 2013.

The play's central story focuses on the five-year relationship between Adam and Luke, a couple that exemplifies the notion that opposites can attract. Luke is a devoutly evangelical Christian and an aspiring young actor. Adam is a slightly older (and slightly more neurotic) atheist. But this play goes beyond a typical love story. Next Fall portrays the ups and downs of this unlikely couple’s five-year relationship with sharp humor and unflinching honesty.

When a sudden accident changes everything for the couple, Adam finds that he must turn to Luke’s family and friends. A timely and compelling new American play, Next Fall forces us all to examine what it means to "believe" and what it might cost us not to.

Due to its subject matter and some adult language, Next Fall is recommended for adult audiences.

Next Fall is directed by Jerimie Newcomb, and the production is underwritten by Margaret J. Dietz. The production is presented with generous support from the Gay Community Endownment Fund of Akron Community Foundation.

Ticket and Performance Information

Next Fall plays in Weathervane Playhouse’s John L. Dietz Theater between Jan. 10 and 26, 2013. (The Dietz Theater is Weathervane Playhouse’s intimate, 48-seat “second stage” within its Weathervane Lane facility.)

The preview performance is Thursday, Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m.; the official opening-night performance is Friday, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m.

Between Jan. 10 and 26, 2013, performance days and times are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at both 2:30 and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets for all performances of the play are $18 each. Tickets for college students are $5 each. The 48-seat Dietz Theater features general-admission seating only.

Due to mature themes and some adult language, Next Fall is recommended for adult audiences.

For tickets, call the Weathervane Box Office at 330-836-2626 or connect online to www.weathervaneplayhouse.com.

The Next Fall Cast and their Ohio Residences

SCOTT SHRINER of Akron plays the role of Adam

BRIAN WESTERLEY of Akron plays the role of Luke

KYRA KELLEY of Kent plays the role of Holly

JASON LEUPOLD of Cuyahoga Falls plays the role of Brandon

MARY MAHONEY of North Lawrence plays the role of Arlene

JAMES RIZOPULOS of Akron plays the role of Butch

The Next Fall Creative Team and their Ohio Residences

GREG BEALER of Hartville serves as the stage manager.

DAVE KRUPLA of Cleveland serves as the lighting designer.

KAREN BURRIDGE of Brimfield Township serves as the props designer.

JASON BRYAN MAURER of Cuyahoga Falls serves as the sound designer

JASEN J. SMITH of Akron serves as the costume designer.

ALAN SCOTT FERRALL of Cuyahoga Falls serves as the scenic designer and technical director.

About the Director of Next Fall

JERIMIE NEWCOMB makes his Weathervane Playhouse directorial debut with Next Fall. Most recently at Weathervane, he served as the assistant director (under Rohn Thomas) for the October production of Shooting Star. He spent last summer at Porthouse Theatre, where he served as an assistant director to Terri Kent on two productions there (Damn Yankees and The Sound of Music), and he also served there as an assistant company manager. He graduated from Kent State University in May 2012 with a B.A. in theatre studies (with a concentration in directing). Some of his directing credits include David and Lisa, Furies, Land of the Dead, Rabbit Hole, Mr. Marmalade, Love at Twenty, Coax and Helter Skelter. His assistant-directing credits include Tons of Money, Crazy for You, and the KSU School of Theatre and Dance’s production of A Chorus Line (under the direction of Terri Kent). Jerimie also served as consulting stage manager for Kent State University at Stark Theatre’s productions of Dating is Tough To Do... and Songs for a New World.

About the Play’s Production History

Next Fall premiered in June 2009 as a Naked Angels production at the off-Broadway Peter Jay Sharp Theater. The production then transferred to Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre, where it opened on March 11, 2010, and played for 132 performances. The Broadway production of Next Fall was nominated for two Tony Awards (for best play and for best direction of a play) and two Drama Desk Awards. Among its many producers on Broadway was musician Elton John and his partner, David Furnish.

About the Playwright

Next Fall playwright GEOFFREY NAUFFTS is also an actor whose New York credits include the original Broadway production of A Few Good Men. His off-Broadway credits as a performer include June Moon and Snakebit. He has directed short plays by Kenneth Lonergan, Frank Pugliese, David Marshall Grant, Theresa Rebeck and Suzan-Lori Parks, as well as Naked Angels' critically acclaimed production of Steven Belber's Tape in New York, Los Angeles and London. He wrote, directed and co-starred in the award-winning 1999 short film Baby Steps with Kathy Bates and co-wrote Jenifer, a 2001 movie of the week for CBS. In 2008, he won the Theater Visions Fund Award from Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation for Next Fall. For television, he has written for ABC’s Brothers and Sisters and USA’s Political Animals.

He also has a connection to Summit County: He graduated from Western Reserve Academy in Hudson in 1979. In a 2009 interview with The New York Times, Nauffts spoke about his formative years in Northeast Ohio: "I loved where I grew up (in Hudson), but it was tough – being gay, it made me an outsider, and I just hoped it would go away," he told the Times. "I mean, my first love was a girl, and though I was completely conflicted, it taught me about connecting with someone. There was nothing like Will & Grace on TV. It was a very Amos 'n' Andy time for gays."

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Weathervane Playhouse and its dedicated volunteers offer vital performing arts resources for the people of Northeastern Ohio. We create exciting and thought-provoking shows with impressive production values. Through educational programs and volunteer opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds, Weathervane serves the theater community, our patrons and our volunteers.

The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, education excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Weathervane Playhouse’s 2012-2013 Season Support Provided by:
Akron Community Foundation
The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation
89.7 WSKU-FM
Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust (KeyBank, Trustee)
OMNOVA Solutions Foundation
Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation
Sisler McFawn Foundation
The Ohio Arts Council

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