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Recently optioned for a television series, ‘Assistance’ is the second offering in Leslye Headland’s ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ series

October, 2012
Contact: Johnny Van Heest, Public Relations Manager
215.893.9456 ext. 102 | jvanheest@wilmatheater.org

The Wilma Theater’s Season continues with sharp Off-Broadway comedy
ASSISTANCE
Recently optioned for a television series, ‘Assistance’ is the second offering in Leslye Headland’s ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ series

 January 2 – February 3, 2013

 PHILADELPHIA – The Wilma Theater is proud to present the Off-Broadway hit comedy Assistance, the second offering in playwright Leslye Headland’s “Seven Deadly Sins” series, directed by returning Wilma director David Kennedy.  A sharp observation of strenuous corporate office politics through the eyes of the Millennial generation and hailed as “Ferociously funny!” by the Los Angeles Times, Assistance comes on the heels of Headland’s Bachelorette, another hit play which received a feature film release in September 2012. When Headland’s feature film was released, NBC announced it plans to develop Assistance as a television comedy, produced by comedian Will Ferrell.. Assistance begins previews on Wednesday, January 2, 2013; opens on Wednesday, January 9, 2013; and closes on Sunday, February 3, 2013.

Critics and members of the press are invited to attend Press Night on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at 7:30pm. For ticket arrangements, contact Johnny Van Heest at jvanheest@wilmatheater.org or 215.893.9456 x102.

What do Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, and Anna Wintour have in common? They all need assistance! Enter the world of Nick and Nora, 20-somethings working in a tyrannical tycoon’s downtown Manhattan headquarters, juggling phone calls and jumping through hoops with marathon endurance – all for the privilege of being mocked and insulted by their velociraptor of a boss. Fireworks explode in this office full of ambitious ladder-climbers, shooting some to the top and leaving others burnt and scarred. But these young and eager assistants are hooked, blinded by the dream of success.

"I'm really happy to be back at the Wilma with such a smart play,” states director David Kennedy, who last directed the Wilma’s smash hit The Understudy in 2011. “Leslye has written a really timely, sometimes sardonic, sometimes sweet, sometimes scathing, and always funny examination of millennial angst.  It's a perfect play for our cultural moment, and I'm glad that it will have a home in Philadelphia." 

Production History
Along with the other plays in the “Seven Deadly Sins” series, Assistance was produced by and premiered at the IAMA Theatre Company in Los Angeles. Assistance received its NYC premiere at Playwrights Horizons in early 2012.

About the Playwright
Leslye Headland
is the writer/director of the “Seven Deadly Sins” series, which was produced by and premiered at the IAMA Theatre Company in Los Angeles.  The series includes Cinephilia (lust), Bachelorette (gluttony), Assistance (greed), Surfer Girl (sloth), Reverb (wrath), and The Accidental Blonde (envy). Bachelorette enjoyed a sold-out, extended run at Second Stage Theatre Uptown in July 2010, which the NY Times called “vivid, entertaining and witheringly funny.”  Other New York credits include Cinephilia at Theatre Row and Assistance, which recently premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons. Ms. Headland is currently working on her final play for the series (pride), as well as commissions for Second Stage Theatre and South Coast Repertory.  On film, Leslye directed the feature adaptation of her play Bachelorette with Gary Sanchez Productions (Adam McKay and Will Ferrell), starring Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, James Marsden, and Adam Scott, which premiered as a selected feature at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and has received rave reviews.  On television, she wrote for the first and only season of Terriers, created by Ted Griffin and produced by Shawn Ryan, on FX.  She holds a B.F.A. in Drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and studied at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School where she was awarded the Robert Moss Prize.

About the Director
David Kennedy
has served as Associate Artistic Director of Connecticut’s Westport Country Playhouse since March 2009. For the Playhouse, he has directed Tartuffe, Suddenly Last Summer, Beyond Therapy, and Dinner With Friends. Upcoming projects for the Playhouse include Loot. Prior to Westport, he was on the artistic staff of Dallas Theater Center, first as Associate Artistic Director (2004-2007) and then as Acting Artistic Director (2007-2008). For DTC he directed The Misanthrope, Glengarry Glen Ross, Moonlight and Magnolias, Thom Pain (based on nothing), I Am My Own Wife, and The Violet Hour, as well as readings of new plays by Denis Johnson, Peter Morris, and Marcus Gardley. David was a founding Artistic Director for Milkman Theatre Group of Halifax, Nova Scotia (1992-1999), with whom he directed the original theatre works Oedipus: The Medium is the Message, Extract, and FAUST/Perpetual Motion Machine. In 2005 he wrote and directed Brighter Than the Light of the Sun, a co-production with Nova Scotia’s Ship’s Company Theatre and Toronto’s The Lunar Society. In addition, his directing work has been seen at the Wilma Theater (The Understudy), Clarence Brown Theatre Company, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Hangar Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theater, Prospect Theater Company, 78th Street Theatre Lab, and The Summer Cabaret in New Haven (1998 artistic director). David is a former Phil Killian Fellow at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a Drama League Directing Fellow, and a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.


Special Events

A number of special, behind-the-scenes Onstage Conversations will accompany the production and provide audiences with the opportunity to engage with the artistic staff of the Wilma.

Onstage Conversation
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Stay after the performance to discuss the play with a member of the Wilma's artistic staff.

Onstage Conversation ­
Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stay after the performance to discuss the play with the cast.

Young Friends Evening
Friday, January 25, 2013

Join us for a complimentary pre-show reception for audience members age 35 and under.

Onstage Conversation
Wednesday, January 30, 2013, immediately following the matinee

Stay after the matinee performance to discuss the play with a member of the Wilma's artistic staff in the lobby with complimentary coffee.                          

Tria Pre-Show Wine Tasting    
Friday, February 1, 2013

Join us for a complimentary, pre-show wine tasting in our lobby from 7 8pm sponsored by Tria.

Tickets

Tickets range from $39 to $66, and are available at the Wilma’s Box Office by calling 215.546.7824, visiting wilmatheater.org, or coming to the theater, located at 265 South Broad Street in Philadelphia. Discounted ticket options are available for students, groups, or anyone in their 20s. Information on discounts is available at wilmatheater.org

 The Doubletree Hotel, FISH Restaurant, and The Sporting Club at The Bellevue are the Season Sponsors for The Wilma Theater’s 2012/2013 Season.

 

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