Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Larry Bryggman, Peter Jay Fernandez, Arliss Howard and David Pittu Set for Atlantic Theater Company’s CQ/CX, January 25-March 11, 2012

Peter Jay Fernandez

Peter Jay Fernandez

Atlantic Theater Company will present the world premiere production of Gabe McKinley’s play CQ/CX, directed by Tony Award® nominee David Leveaux and featuring Larry Bryggman, Peter Jay Fernandez, Tim Hopper, Arliss Howard, Kobi Libii, David Pittu, Steve Rosen and Sheila Tapia.

Previews begin Wednesday, January 25 toward an official opening Wednesday, February 15, and has been extended through Sunday, March 11, 2012 Off-Broadway at Signature Theatre Company’s Peter Norton Space (555 West 42nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenue) while Atlantic’s main stage continues its renovation.

All tickets are $65 and available by calling (212) 279-4200 or visiting, or at the Atlantic Stage 2 box office at 330 West 16th Street.

In the world premiere of Gabe McKinley’s CQ/CX, Jay, an up and coming black reporter at The New York Times, finds his dreams of becoming a famous journalist come crashing down as he becomes the center of a plagiarism scandal. Drawing on his own experience as a newsman, McKinley weaves a revealing and complex story about the collateral damage of unchecked ambition and compounded lies. In this new play inspired by real events, truth becomes slippery and racial tensions reach a boiling point. CQ/CX raises difficult questions about the state of our media culture, and the meaning and price of journalistic integrity.

GABE MCKINLEY makes his Atlantic debut with the world premiere of CQ/CX. His critically acclaimed play Extinction was produced Off-Broadway last season, and his other plays include The Kitchen Sink Play, Welcome Home Rock Rogers, Funny and Floodplains. He is the recipient of the 2011 Samuel French/New School for Drama Award for Excellence in Playwriting, and his play The Grave was the winner of the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival.

Five-time Tony Award® nominated director David Leveaux returns to Atlantic following staging the U.S. premiere of Through A Glass Darkly at Atlantic last season and the recent acclaimed revival of Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia on Broadway. He received Tony Award® nominations for the Tony Award® winning revival of The Real Thing, the Tony Award® nominated revival of Jumpers and the Broadway productions of Nine, Anna Christie and A Moon for the Misbegotten. He recently staged Backbeat, the story of the Beatles, in Hamburg and the West End.

Atlantic company member Larry Bryggman recently starred in Atlantic’s critically acclaimed production of Harold Pinter’s The Collection & A Kind of Alaska. A two-time Tony Award® nominee (Proof, Picnic), he also starred on Broadway in Twelve Angry Men and Festen.

Peter Jay Fernandez has appeared on Broadway in Cyrano De Bergerac, Julius Caesar and Henry IV and Off Broadway in Macbeth last season.

Tim Hopper returns to Atlantic where he was last seen in Ethan Coen’s Almost an Evening. He received an Obie Award for his performance in More Stately Mansions Off Broadway and appeared on Broadway in Present Laughter.

Stage and screen star Arliss Howard’s feature film credits include Moneyball, The Time Traveler’s Wife and Full Metal Jacket. He appeared on Broadway in the revival of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and Off Broadway in A Number and The Late Henry Moss.

Kobi Libii has appeared Off Broadway in Perfect Harmony and Ohio State Murders and in the Fringe First award-winning European premiere of Rolin Jones’ The Jammer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Atlantic company member David Pittu received Tony Award® nominations for both his recent starring roles in Love Musik and Is He Dead? on Broadway. He returns to Atlantic where he was last seen in the critically acclaimed comedy What’s That Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling.

Steve Rosen recently starred in the hit musical Peter and the Starcatcher Off Broadway and has appeared in the original Broadway casts of The Farnsworth Invention and Spamalot and the revival of Guys and Dolls.

Sheila Tapia’s Off Broadway credits include ReEntry and Elliot, A Soldiers Fugue and has appeared in the television series “Rubicon” and “Law & Order.”

The design team for CQ/CX will feature scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting design by Ben Stanton, original music and sound design by David Van Tieghem and projection design by Peter Nigrini and C. Andrew Bauer.

GABE McKINLEY (Playwright). McKinley’s plays have been produced and developed by companies including Naked Angels, Premiere Stages, The Old Vic and Red Dog Squadron. His plays include The Kitchen Sink Play, Welcome Home Rock Rogers, Funny, Floodplains and the critically acclaimed Extinction (Off Broadway). His short play, The Grave, was the winner of the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival. Gabe is a member of the Old Vic New Voices program hosted by London’s Old Vic Theater and is the recipient of the 2011 Samuel French/New School for Drama Award for Excellence in Playwriting. He is published by Samuel French. BFA: NYU. MFA: The New School for Drama.

DAVID LEVEAUX (Director) returns to Atlantic following directing the U.S. premiere of Through A Glass Darkly and recently staged Backbeat, the story of the Beatles, in Hamburg and the West End as well as the critically acclaimed production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia on Broadway. Previous Broadway productions include Cyrano de Bergerac, Tom Stoppard’s Jumpers (Tony Award® nominations Outstanding Direction and Best Revival) and The Real Thing (Tony Award® nomination Outstanding Direction and Tony Award® Best Revival), Fiddler on the Roof (Tony nomination® Best Revival), Nine (Tony Award® nomination Outstanding Direction and Tony Award® Best Revival), The Glass Menagerie, Betrayal (Tony Award® nomination Best Revival), Electra (Tony Award® nomination Best Revival), Anna Christie (Tony Award® nomination Outstanding Direction and Tony Award® Best Revival) and A Moon for the Misbegotten (Tony Award® nominations Outstanding Direction and Best Revival). London theatre includes Arcadia, Jumpers, The Real Thing, The Late Middle Classes, Nine, Sinatra Live at the London Palladium, Electra, The Father, No Man’s Land, Moonlight, Betrayal, The Distance From Here, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Romeo and Juliet, and A Moon for the Misbegotten. Also, Rudolph (Vienna); Tales of Ballycumber and The Three Sisters (Abbey, Dublin), The Turn of the Screw (Scottish Opera), The Marriage of Figaro and Salome (English National Opera).

LARRY BRYGGMAN (Frank King). Broadway: Twelve Angry Men, Proof (Tony Award® nomination), Picnic (Tony Award® nomination), Prelude to a Kiss, Richard III, The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, Festen. Off Broadway includes Edward Albee’s Occupant, Groundswell. Romance (Obie Award), The Collection & A Kind Of Alaska, 10×25 One Acts, Hothouse, Once in a Lifetime (all Atlantic Theater), Proof, New England (MTC), Prelude and Liebestod (MCC), A Bad Friend, Bodies Rest and Motion (LCT), King Lear, Henry VIII, The Tempest, As You Like It, Henry IV Parts l and ll, Rum and Coke, The Ballad of Soapy Smith, Museum, Marco Polo Sings a Solo, Mod Donna (all The Public). Film: Spy Game, Die Hard with a Vengeance, And Justice for All, Looking for Richard, Side By Each, Family Games. Obie Award for Sustained Excellence. Two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Actor. Member of Atlantic Theater Company.

PETER JAY FERNANDEZ (Gerald Haynes). Broadway: Cyrano De Bergerac, Julius Caesar, Henry IV, Jelly’s Last Jam, The Merchant of Venice. Off Broadway: Macbeth (TFANA), Too Much Memory (Fourth St. Theater), Zooman and the Sign (Signature), The Pain and the Itch (Playwrights Horizons), As You Like It, Henry VIII, Coriolanus, Spell # 7, Winter’s Tale and more (Public), Widowers Houses (Epic), Thunder Knocking on the Door (Minetta Lane) and more. Regional: Arena, Longwharf, Goodman, Old Globe, Cincinnatti Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Wilma,Williamstown, Milwaukee Rep and more. Televison/ Film: Deception, Preaching to the Choir, Adjustment Bureau, Funny Valentines, “Fringe,” “The Good Wife,” “Damages,” “Blue Bloods,” “Body of Proof,” “Law & Order”(s) and more. Adjunct Professor (The New School for Drama, Graduate Division).

TIM HOPPER (Ben). Atlantic Theater: Almost An Evening (Bleecker Street Theater). Recent credits include Go Back To Where You Are (Playwrights Horizons), Middletown (Steppenwolf Theatre) and A Doll’s House (Long Wharf). Ensemble member, Steppenwolf Theatre Co., Chicago. TV includes “Blue Bloods,” “Medium” (directed by Arliss Howard), “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Law & Order: SVU,” and an upcoming “Nurse Jackie.” Film includes Tenderness, Gardener of Eden, School of Rock, Personal Velocity and To Die For.

Broadway: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Off-Broadway: Killer’s Head and The Late Henry Moss (both at Signature Theatre Company), A Number (New York Theatre Workshop) and The Monogamist (Playwrights Horizons). Regional: Keith Reddin’s Life and Limb (South Coast Rep), Marlane Meyer’s Geography of Luck (LATC), Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind (Mark Taper Forum) and Fool for Love (Alley Theatre), Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive, Brecht’s In the Jungle of Cities and Chekhov’s Ivanov (American Repertory Theater). Film: Moneyball, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Full Metal Jacket, Men Don’t Leave, Wilder Napalm and A Map of the World. Mr. Howard co-wrote and directed the film Big Bad Love. Recent television credits include “Rubicon” and “Medium.”

KOBI LIBII (Jay Bennett). New York / Regional theater: The Tempest (Porpentine Theater), Perfect Harmony (45 Bleecker/Theater Row), Ohio State Murders (TFANA), The Cenci (Hotel Savant), The Great Ape Love Song (Target Margin), The Gay Ivy (Dixon Place), Boiling Pot (Cherry Lane / FringeNYC), King Lear, Comedy of Errors (Yale Rep), The Jammer (Edinburg Fringe, Fringe First). Improvisation: Chicago City Limits, Broadway’s Next Hit Musical, One Night Stand-An Improvised Musical, Symposium. Training: Yale (BA, Theater), Second City Chicago.

DAVID PITTU (Junior) received Tony Award® nominations for both his recent starring roles in Love Musik and Is He Dead? on Broadway. He returns to Atlantic, where he is a company member, and was last seen in his own critically acclaimed musical What’s That Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling. Since then, he has starred in The Public Theater’s Twelfth Night at the Delacorte (2009 St. Clare Bayfield Award), Equivocation at MTC (Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations) and Bells are Ringing at City Center/Encores! Recent film and television work includes “Damages,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “The Good Wife” and Men in Black 3.

STEVE ROSEN (Jacob Sherman). Broadway: Original casts of Guys and Dolls (2009), The Farnsworth Invention and Spamalot. National Tour: Guys and Dolls (2011). Off-Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher (NYTW), Franz Kafka’s The Castle (MET), The Golem (MET), The Parrot (Flea). Co-creator/star of the long-running comedy benefit Don’t Quit Your Night Job. Regional: James and the Giant Peach (Goodspeed), The Farnsworth Invention (La Jolla Playhouse), Enter Laughing (Berkshire Theatre Festival), Finks (NY Stage & Film). TV: “The Good Wife,” “Law & Order SVU,” “Kings,” “Law & Order,” “Ed,” “Five Year Plan” (pilot). Film: Arthur; Storytelling; Heavy Petting. Co-composer/lyricist/author/star of the musical The Other Josh Cohen opening Off-Broadway in 2012.

SHELIA TAPIA (Monica Soria). Off-Broadway: ReEntry (Urban Stages), Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue (Culture Project/P73), Welcome to Arroyos (Lark/NYC Hip Hop Festival/NYTW), Naughty Prep School Stories (NYC Fringe Festival), The Wrath of Aphrodite (GayFest NYC). Regional: ReEntry (Baltimore Center Stage), Private Lives, ReEntry (Two River Theater Company), How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (Round House Theater), Havana is Waiting, A Christmas Carol, A Flea in Her Ear, and The Wrestling Season (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Big Tush, Little Tush (Secret Rose Theater). Film: Gimme Shelter, The Cycle. Television: “Rubicon,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Days of Our Lives.” BA: University of Florida; MFA: Ohio University at Athens. Member AEA.

ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director) is the award-winning Off-Broadway theater that produces great plays simply and truthfully by utilizing an artistic ensemble. Atlantic believes that the story of a play and the intent of its playwright are at the core of the creative process. The plays in the Atlantic repertory, from both new and established playwrights, are boldly interpreted by today’s finest theater artists and resonate with contemporary audiences. Since its inception over 23 years ago, Atlantic has produced more than 125 plays, including: Tony Award winning productions of Spring Awakening (Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik) and The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Martin McDonagh); world premieres of Almost an Evening and Offices (Academy Award winner Ethan Coen); The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Cripple of Inishmaan (Martin McDonagh); Romance (David Mamet); Through A Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, adapted by Jenny Worton); Bluebird (Simon Stephens); Blue/Orange (Joe Penhall); Port Authority and Dublin Carol (Conor McPherson); Writer’s Block (Woody Allen); revival of Hobson’s Choice (Harold Brighouse); revivals of American Buffalo and Edmond (David Mamet); Dangerous Corner (J.B. Priestley, adapted and directed by David Mamet); Trumpery and The Cider House Rules (adapted by Peter Parnell); Celebration & The Room, The Collection & A Kind of Alaska and The Hothouse (Harold Pinter); Gabriel (Moira Buffini); Oohrah! (Bekah Brunstetter); Mojo and Parlour Song (Jez Butterworth); New York premieres of Boys’ Life and The Lights (Howard Korder) at Lincoln Center Theater; Distant Fires (Kevin Heelan); The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite and Shaker Heights (Quincy Long); Minutes From The Blue Route (Tom Donaghy); Trafficking in Broken Hearts (Edwin Sánchez); Missing Persons (Craig Lucas). During its history, Atlantic has garnered twelve Tony Awards, nine Lucille Lortel Awards, fourteen Obie Awards, five Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, and four Drama League Awards. Atlantic also operates The Atlantic Theater Company Acting School, which has an undergraduate program in conjunction with NYU, as well as a two-year professional acting program and a six-week intensive workshop every summer. Atlantic for Kids and the Educational Outreach Program partners with schools and teachers throughout the greater metropolitan area coordinating in-school visits of teaching artists and post-theater talkbacks.
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Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

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Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.

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