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Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell Return to 'The Humans' at Ahmanson


Producers Scott Rudin and Barry Diller announced today that Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell will reprise their Tony Award®-winning performances in “The Humans” for the last stop of the national tour at the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre. Performances begin Tuesday, June 19 ahead of an official opening on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Performances continue through July 29, 2018.

“The Humans,” the 2016 Tony Award-winning Best Play by Stephen Karam, garnered the most ecstatic reviews of any play in recent memory and was heralded as “The Best Play of the Year” by The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Record, Time Out New York, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline and The Wrap.

Led by two-time Tony Award-winning director Joe Mantello, the cast will also include previous Broadway company members Cassie Beck, Lauren Klein, Nick Mills and Sarah Steele. The entire creative team of the Broadway production returns for the national tour, including Tony Award-winning scenic designer David Zinn, costume designer Sarah Laux, Tony Award-nominated lighting designer Justin Townsend and Drama Desk Award-winning sound designer Fitz Patton.

The angst, anguish and amity of the American middle class are first coaxed—then shoved—into the light in this uproarious, hopeful and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake (Birney) has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter’s apartment in lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle pre-war duplex, and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan’s deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed, with humor and compassion, in this new American classic.

After transferring from Off-Broadway’s Laura Pels Theatre, the Broadway production began performances on Sunday, January 24, 2016, and officially opened on Thursday, February 18 at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Sweeping the 2016 awards season, the limited engagement was extended and moved on August 9 to the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, thereby doubling its capacity. At the time of its closing, “The Humans” had played 502 performances in New York.

“The Humans” is the recipient of four 2016 Tony Awards including Best Play (Author, Stephen Karam), Best Featured Actress in a Play (Jayne Houdyshell), Best Featured Actor in a Play (Reed Birney), and Best Scenic Design of a Play (David Zinn) and four Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Play, Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play (Justin Townsend), Outstanding Sound Design in a Play (Fitz Patton) and a 2016 Special Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble. In 2016, “The Humans” was named the Best Play of the Year by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama League. The Obie Awards honored Stephen Karam with a 2016 Award for Playwriting and Jayne Houdyshell with a 2016 Award for Performance.

“The Humans,” a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist, is Stephen Karam’s second play commissioned by Roundabout Theatre Company following his Pulitzer Prize finalist “Sons of the Prophet” (his first Roundabout commission; 2011) and the hugely acclaimed premiere of “Speech & Debate” (2007).

“The Humans” is produced by Scott Rudin, Barry Diller, Fox Theatricals, James L. Nederlander, Roy Furman, Jon B. Platt, Eli Bush, The John Gore Organization, Jack Lane, Barbara Whitman, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Sonia Friedman, Amanda Lipitz, Peter May, Stephanie P. McClelland, The Shubert Organization and Diana DiMenna. Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner and John Johnson serve as Executive Producers.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Tickets for “The Humans” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online at, or by visiting the Center Theatre Group Box Office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets range from $30 – $130 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, 90012.

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CASSIE BECK (Aimee Blake). Broadway: “The Humans,” “Picnic.” Off-Broadway: “The Humans” (Roundabout Theatre Company); “The Whale,” “The Drunken City” (Theatre World Award), “Prayer for My Enemy” (Playwrights Horizons); “By the Water” (Manhattan Theatre Club and Ars Nova); “The Insurgents” (Labyrinth Theater Company); “Happy Hour, Oohrah!” (Atlantic Theater Company); and “Smudge” (Women’s Project Theater). Regional: “Elemeno Pea” (South Coast Repertory and Humana Festival), “Prelude to a Kiss” (Huntington Theatre Company), “The Cherry Sisters Revisited” (Humana), “Three Sisters” (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and “The Consultant” (Long Wharf Theatre).

REED BIRNEY (Erik Blake). Broadway: “1984,” “The Humans” (Tony Award, Outer Critics Circle Award nomination), “Gemini,” “Picnic” and “Casa Valentina” (Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award). Off-Broadway: “Man From Nebraska” (Lucille Lortel Award nomination), “The Humans” (Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble), “I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard” (Drama Desk nomination, Outer Critics Circle nomination), “You Got Older” (Drama Desk nomination), “Uncle Vanya” (Drama Desk nomination, Outer Critics Circle nomination), “Blasted” (Drama Desk nomination), “Circle Mirror Transformation” (Obie Award, Drama Desk Award), “Tigers Be Still,” “The Dream of the Burning Boy” (Outer Critics Circle nomination), “A Small Fire” and “Bug” (Obie Award). Television: “House of Cards” (Donald Blythe), “The Blacklist” (Tom Connolly), “Girls,” “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” “Madam Secretary” and “The Accidental Wolf.” He is the recipient of a 2006 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence, a 2011 Special Drama Desk Award honoring his career and the Richard Seff Award from Actors’ Equity.

JAYNE HOUDYSHELL (Deirdre Blake). Broadway: “A Doll’s House: Part 2” (Tony Award nomination), “The Humans” (Tony Award), “Fish in the Dark,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Follies” (Tony nomination), “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “Dead Accounts,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Wicked,” “Well” (Tony nomination, Theatre World Award). Off-Broadway: “Relevance,” “The Humans” (Obie Award, Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble); “Harrison, TX;” “Coraline;” “The Receptionist;” “The New Century;” “The Pain and The Itch;” “Much Ado About Nothing;” “Well” (Obie). She is the recipient of a 2013 Special Drama Desk Award “for her artistry as an exceptionally versatile and distinctive Broadway and Off-Broadway performer.” Film: “Lucky Stiff,” “Everybody’s Fine,” “Garden State,” “Trust the Man,” “Bounty Hunter.” TV: “The Good Fight,” “American Odyssey,” “Elementary,” “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order: SVU.”

LAUREN KLEIN (Fiona “Momo” Blake). Broadway: “The Humans,” “Other Desert Cities,” “Lost in Yonkers” (original cast) and “Broken Glass” (original cast). Off-Broadway: “The Humans,” “Mr. Goldwyn,” “Death Defying Acts” and “After the Fall.” Regional: “Death of a Salesman,” “Plainsong,” “Eventide,” “Big Love,” “The People’s Temple,” “The Last Night at Ballyhoo” and “Denial.” National Tours: “Dirty Dancing,” “Broadway Bound” and “I’m Not Rappaport.” TV: “Law & Order” (Judge, recurring for 10 years) and “Tales From the Darkside.” Film: “My One and Only,” “A Price Above Rubies” and “Then She Found Me.” Video Game: Red Dead Redemption. Awards: Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for “Big Love,” Carbonell Award for Best Actress for “Denial” and Denver Ovation Award for Best Supporting Actress for “Plainsong.” She received her Master of Fine Arts from American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

NICK MILLS (Richard Saad). Broadway: “1984,” “The Humans.” Off-Broadway: “The Humans,” “The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin” (Roundabout Theatre Company) and “Macbeth” (Public Theater). Regional: “The Legend of Georgia McBride” (Denver Center Theatre Company), “Lombardi” (Cleveland Play House), “Back Back Back” (The Old Globe) and “How to Disappear Completely” (Theatre @ Boston Court). TV: “Mr. Robot,” HBO’s “Show Me a Hero,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Person of Interest.” He has a Master of Fine Arts from New York University’s Graduate Acting program and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Evansville.

SARAH STEELE (Brigid Blake). Broadway: “The Humans” (Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble), “The Country House.” Off-Broadway: “The Humans,” “Slowgirl,” “Russian Transport,” “All-American,” “Speech and Debate,” “The Netflix Plays,” “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.” Regional: “Not Waving” (Williamstown Theatre Festival) Film: “Ask for Jane” (upcoming), “Speech and Debate,” “Permission,” “Viena and the Fantomes,” “The Mend,” “Adult Beginners,” “The To-Do List,” “Please Give,” “Margaret,” “Spanglish,” “Man” (short). Television: “The Good Fight,” “The Good Wife,” “Girls,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Blue Bloods,” “Harry’s Law,” “Gossip Girl,” “Law & Order.” Sarah has a BA in English from Columbia University.

May 2, 2018