PURE Theatre is proud to present the regional premiere of Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts. Directed by PURE's Co-Founder and Artistic Director Sharon Graci, and will feature Randy Neale, Michael Smallwood, Laura Rose, Rodney Lee Rogers, Chris Harvey, Letitia Lynn, Tripp Hamilton, Robert Maniscalco, and Tom Lucas. The show opens Thursday, March 3rd and runs through the 19th.
This is PURE's third show by Tracy Letts. PURE did the regional premiere of Man from Nebraska in 2006 and Killer Joe in 2007. Since then "Mr. Letts has mothballed his angst and tossed the deadly weapons in the back drawer," says New York Times writer Charles Isherwood.
"Superior Donuts is a wonderfully funny story about friendship, and the power of kindness. This is the third Tracy Letts play that PURE Theatre has produced beginning with our 2006 production of Man from Nebraska for which he received his first Pulitzer nomination. Interestingly, we have much of the same cast in Donuts as we did in Nebraska. I think it's safe to say that Tracy Letts is as appealing to artists as he is to audiences. As a company, we are huge fans, his work is incredibly smart and Superior Donuts is very, very funny. It's a really great night at the theatre," says Sharon Graci.
Hailed as "A soulful play, full of humor and humanity," Superior Donuts is the story of Arthur Przybyszewski (Randy Neale), who owns a decrepit donut shop in an uptown neighborhood of Chicago. Franco Wicks (Michael Smallwood), a black teenager who is his only employee, wants to change the shop for the better. This comedy-drama, set in the heart of one of Chicago's most diverse communities, explores the challenges of embracing the past and the redemptive power of friendship.
Superior Donuts had its world premiere at Steppenwolf in 2008, and later on was performed on Broadway. "Mr. Letts has described the play as a love letter to Chicago, where he has lived for more than 20 years. It is amply stocked with affectionate jokes that allude to local establishments and sports teams, all of which were warmly received by the enthusiastic audience at the premiere. But it could also be described as a valentine to the 1970s sitcoms of Norman Lear, which featured colorfully contrasted characters, formulaic but smart comic writing and a social conscience," describes Isherwood.
PURE Theatre has garnered a reputation for artistic excellence, risk taking, and thinking outside of the box. The company's intrepid approach to the art and craft of theatre has garnered them numerous critics and audience awards, as well as a loyal following of patrons. PURE has been the recipient of Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Play, Best One-Person Play, Most Diverse Theatre Company critic and audience awards, and Winners of the 2010 South Carolina Arts Commission's Fellowships in the Playwrighting & Acting.
Student Rush tickets are available for $15 with a valid student ID, for tickets remaining at curtain.
Superior Donuts Creatives
Tracy Letts (Playwright) A member of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company's ensemble since 2002, Tracy Letts has appeared as an actor in 18 productions there. His work as a playwright includes Nebraska Man, which was a 2004 Pulitzer Prize finalist; Bug, which was the inaugural production of Artists Rep's Morrison Stage in 2005 and Killer Joe which was produced by Artists Rep in 2002. In 2008 his play August: Osage County won the Drama Desk Award, the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In 2009, Artists Rep commissioned him to adapt Three Sisters as part of the theater's Chekhov Project. Superior Donuts is Letts' most recent play and opened in Chicago in 2008.
Sharon Graci (Director) is the artistic director and co-founder of PURE Theatre. Directing credits include Yankee Tavern, Up, Speech & Debate, Sheep's Clothing, The Last Five Years, The Seafarer, Underneath the Lintel, and Eurydice. She is an alumnus of the 2007 Lincoln Center Director's Lab. Recent acting credits include Stage: Mara Stockman Kelly in Hogs, Elizabeth in Faith, Hope & Charity, Becca in Rabbit Hole, Celestina in Cloud Tectonics at PURE. Television: Army Wives (Lifetime), One Tree Hill (WB), Surface (NBC). She studied acting at Point Park University and the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Theatre and received a BA in theatre from Augusta State University. She has performed with numerous regional theatre companies throughout the Southeast and was voted Best Local Actress by Charleston City Paper readers in 2007, 2008, and 2009. She also received a Best Actor award for her work in Montague, winner Best Film, Stopwatch Cinema, and winner of the 2010 South Carolina Arts Commission's Fellowships in the Acting.