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Anthony M. Laura directs his new play SHADOWS at the Jeffrey And Paula Gural Theatre/ART

Anthony M. Laura directs his new play SHADOWS at the Jeffrey And Paula Gural Theatre/ART

Anthony M. Laura, Artistic Director of Face to Face Films, will direct his new play “Shadows” Off-Broadway at the Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theater / ART this fall.

The original track tells the story of Lyndsy Elle Cooper (Liv Kirby), a 30-year-old singer trying to make a musical comeback when she is diagnosed with childhood dementia. As she begins to deal with her symptoms, her friend Kensley (Hailey Foss) is diagnosed with terminal cancer. The play explores the duality of both diseases and the role that chance plays in trauma.

Mr Laura began writing the play in late 2021. He says: “The Lyndsy and Kensley journey started for me in Chicago. It was my first visit and one of the main reasons for the trip was to see a play at Steppenwolf. After touring the theater and seeing a Tracy Letts (Bug) play, I left inspired. I had no map of where the story was going, but Lyndsy was my starting point. Suddenly, Kensley and Ariana (Lyndsy’s sister and manager, played by Katia Mendoza) showed up and I fell in love with them all. I took about a year off the play, during which time I was directing The Girl with the Red Hair (2022 production at Gene Frankel Theatre), but had approached Liv to play Lyndsy a few months after I wrote it. She was producing Girl with me at the time, and our conversations blossomed for a year. It’s an unusual process for me because I don’t usually put scripts aside, I work and set them up right away, so the story development was exciting and gave me time to really get to know these characters. It started as a story about memory and has now grown into a story about love. It’s been quite a while since I wrote a love story, and the love of “Lyndsy and Kensley is something that has stuck with me for over a year. You don’t usually see what our characters are grappling with in the same play. It’s either a story from young beginnings or a story of terminal cancer. Our story explored what happens when two incredibly unforeseen and tragic events take place at the same time, and how it affects our loved ones e affects each other and the world. It’s absolutely mesmerizing and incredibly challenging to structure the tone of how we tell her story and allow the audience to leave without having experienced tragedy, but having experienced love.”

The cast of Shadows consists of Ms. Kirby (courtesy of the Actors Equity Association), Hailey Foss (Kensley), Katia Mendoza (Ariana Cooper), Alexandra Rooney (Jessa King) and Mari Blake (Tatum) in the all-female ensemble.

Joining the cast are Rheanna Salazar (Lyndsy Elle Cooper), Courtnie Keaton (Kensley), Colleen Wright (Ariana Cooper), Chloe Joyce (Jessa King), and Grace Rucci (Tatum).

Mr. Laura and Ms. Kirby are producing the show under the Face to Face Films banner. Ms. Foss and Ms. Mendoza are production partners.

The creative team includes Richard Urquiza (Stage Manager), Mengyi Liu (Set Design), Yang Yu (Lighting Design), Trey McGee (Sound Design), Philip Lauto (Composer), Rose Hart (Songwriter), Gabe Calleja (Production Manager). , Kristen Seavey (Executive Producer), Courtnie Keaton (Dramaturge), Andrea Alton (Commercial) and Caroline Sinclair (Casting).

Shadows opens December 1, 2023 and runs for fifteen performances through December 16, 2023.

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