Final Casting Announced for Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s World Premiere Production of Five Presidents
By the Emmy Award-winning writer of the West Wing and House of Cards Rick Cleveland
February 11, 2014 – [Milwaukee] – Milwaukee Repertory Theater announced final casting for the upcoming World Premiere production of Five Presidents. Broadway and television veterans Mark Jacoby, Martin L’Herault, Steve Sheridan, Jeff Steitzer, and Brit Whittle, along with Rep Associate Artist Reese Madigan, make up the cast of Five Presidents from Emmy Award-winning writer Rick Cleveland (The West Wing, House of Cards, Mad Men, and Six Feet Under). Directed by Milwaukee Rep Artistic Director Mark Clements, the production is set to begin performances at the Quadracci Powerhouse on March 10, 2015. Opening night is Friday, March 13, 2015 and runs through April 5, 2015.
Originally commissioned by Milwaukee Repertory Theater as part of its new play development program, Five Presidents is a funny and incisive drama about the meeting of America’s most exclusive club – the ex-presidents. Obliged to gather together on the day of Richard Nixon’s funeral, four “exes” and one “current” vent frustrations, revisit old grievances, and reveal the toll that it takes on any person foolish enough to seek the highest office in the land.
Mark Jacoby (George H.W. Bush) has appeared on Broadway in numerous roles including: Walter Hobbs in Elf, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, Padre Perez in Man of La Mancha, Father in Ragtime, Gaylord Ravenal in Show Boat (Tony, Outer Critics, and Joseph Jefferson Award nominations), Baron von Gaigern in Grand Hotel and Vittorio Vidal in Sweet Charity (Theatre World Award). Also in New York: Critical Darling (The New Group), Sitting Pretty (The Hypothetical Theatre), and Enter the Guardsman (The Vineyard Theatre, Drama Desk nomination). Regionally, Jacoby has appeared in The Play’s the Thing (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Life x 3 (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Sleuth (Maltz-Jupiter Theatre), Fiddler on the Roof (Walnut Street Theatre, Barrymore Award) and Nine (Joseph Jefferson Award). On television, he has appeared on all three Law & Orders and in this season’s Members Only.
Martin L’Herault (Jimmy Carter) has appeared in New York as Jimmy Bulkeley in Bonus Army and with New York Comedy Repertory Ensemble (Founding Member). Regional credits include: Jacob Smith in Sleep in Safety: The Death of Octavia Hatcher (Jenny Wiley Theatre); Lee in True West and George in Of Mice and Men (The Gard Theatre); Bob Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird (Children’s Theatre of Madison); Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Dobama West); and Launcelot Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice (Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival). TV credits include Judge Chillingworth on A Crime to Remember and the Father on I’d Kill for You.
Steve Sheridan (Ronald Reagan) is an alumnus of Chicago’s famed theater, The Second City, where he wrote and performed in a number of hit shows. His stage work in Los Angeles garnered him awards from LA Weekly and Drama-Logue for both acting and playwriting. Film credits include Nothing in Common and Vice Versa. His television work includes appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Drew Carey Show, and Malcolm in the Middle.
Jeff Steitzer (Gerald R. Ford) will be making his acting debut for Milwaukee Rep, where he previously directed Inherit the Wind (1990/91 Season). Steitzer has appeared on Broadway in Inherit the Wind (with Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy) and Mary Poppins. He has appeared at Arizona Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, ACT, 5th Avenue Theatre, The Old Globe, GEVA Theatre Center, Yale Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, and Mint Theatre Company. Steitzer has worked in film (Delivered, The Beans of Egypt, Maine, and The Beaver); TV (The Fugitive, 30 Rock, and Law and Order); recorded numerous audiobooks (Audiofile Earphones Award for Dogtrippingby David Rosenfelt) and on many games, most notably as the Voice of God Multi-player Announcer for all the Halo games.
Brit Whittle (Bill Clinton) has previously appeared in New York in Wonderful World (The Attic Theater Company at Theatre Row); JB (78th Street Theatre Lab); and the world premieres of The Mnemonist of Dutchess County (The Attic Theater Company at Theatre Row), Lifeline (Abingdon Theatre Company), and Lyric is Waiting (kef productions). Regional credits include: North of the Boulevard and One Night (Contemporary American Theater Festival); June Moon, Dulcy and Theophilus North (Dorset Theatre Festival); Art and God of Carnage (Gulfshore Playhouse); Grapes of Wrath and The Laramie Project (Alliance Theatre); Cobb (Riverside Theatre), Laughing Stock, Enchanted April, and To Kill a Mocking-bird (Asolo Repertory Theatre); Vincent in Brixton and Glass Menagerie (Banyan Theater Company). TV credits include Younger, The Blacklist, Believe, The Carrie Diaries, Law & Order: SVU, Blue Bloods, Mercy, 30 Rock, All My Children, One Life to Live, Guiding Light and As the World Turns. Film credits include The Adjustment Bureau, Say Yes Quickly, Odessa, December Thaw, and House of Lords.
(Please note: John Bolger was originally announced to play the role of Gerald Ford but had to leave the show due to a family emergency. Kenneth Kimmins was also originally announced to play the role of Jimmy Carter but had to leave the show due to an injury.)
The Creative Team for Five Presidents includes: Artistic Director/Director, Mark Clements; Scenic Design, Todd Edward Ivins±; Costume Design, Mary Folino; Lighting Design, Jesse Klug; Sound Design, Brian Jerome Peterson; Makeup Design; Lauren Wilde; Dialect Coach, Jill Walmsley Zager, Assistant Director, Hannah Greene; Stage Manager, Richelle Harrington Calin; Assistant Stage Manager, Rebecca Lindsey; and Stage Management Apprentice, Kimberly Carolus. ± Rep Associate Artist
Single tickets for all Five Presidents performances are now on sale and can be purchased online at www.MilwaukeeRep.com, by phone at 414-224-9490 or in person at The Rep’s Ticket Office at 108 E. Wells Street. Ticket prices start at $20.00. Group tickets are also available for purchase by calling Morgan Halverson in Group Sales at 414-290-5340.
Milwaukee Repertory Theater is a nationally-recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works, full-scale musicals, housed in its three unique performance venues – the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio and Stackner Cabaret. The Rep also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol at the beautiful and historic Pabst Theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman, The Rep is committed to creating plays that are meaningful and relevant to the society we live in – plays that are challenging, visceral, and engage the community through the issues they explore, demonstrating how a theater deeply rooted in its locality can also enjoy a richly influential and resonant national voice.