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Announces the full cast for the upcoming New York Premiere of



By Lisa Loomer

Directed by Mark Brokaw



Peter Benson, Shana Dowdeswell, Lisa Emery, Natalie Gold, Matthew Gumley,

Mimi Lieber, Aleta Mitchell, Cynthia Nixon, Josh Stamberg


Preview performances begin Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Opening night will be Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Off-Broadway at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre


Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) is proud to announce the full cast for the upcoming New York premiere of Distracted, by Lisa Loomer, directed by Mark Brokaw. Distracted will begin previews on Saturday, February 7th and open officially on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street). 


The cast will feature Peter Benson (Dr. Broder, Dr. Karnes, Dr. Jinks), Shana Dowdeswell (Natalie), Lisa Emery (Vera), Natalie Gold (Dr. Zavala, Waitress, Carolyn), Matthew Gumley (Jesse), Mimi Lieber (Sherry), Aleta Mitchell (Mrs. Holly, Dr. Waller, Nurse), Cynthia Nixon (Mama), Josh Stamberg (Dad).


The design team will include Mark Wendland (Sets), Michael Krass (Costumes), Jane Cox (Lights), David Van Tieghem (Original Music & Sound) and Tal Yarden (Projections).


Distracted is a fast-paced and disarmingly funny look at parenting in the age of the Internet and Ritalin. In this New York premiere, a contemporary American mom reaches out to teachers, psychotherapists, and neighbors to figure out if Attention Deficit Disorder is the root of her son’s problems.


Cynthia Nixon returns to Roundabout having last appeared in the 2001 production of The Women at the American Airlines Theatre. She returns to the New York stage after her Tony winning performance in the 2006 production of Rabbit Hole and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Mark Brokaw also returns to the Roundabout and the Laura Pels Theatre after directing the 2006 production of Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer with Blythe Danner and Carla Gugino and The Constant Wife at the American Airlines Theatre in 2004.  Peter Benson was last seen at Roundabout in 2006 Tony Award winning production of The Pajama Game as well as Little Me & Cabaret; Lisa Emery was also featured in The Women with Cynthia Nixon in 2001; Natalie Gold was featured in Roundabout’s fall production of The Language of Trees and last season’s Howard Katz.


Distracted had its world premiere in March 2007 at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.



Tickets are available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212)719-1300, online at www.roundabouttheatre.org or at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre box office (111 West 46 Street).  Ticket prices range from $70.00-$80.00.  This will be a limited engagement through May 3, 2009.



Distracted will play Tuesday through Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. with Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. 



PETER BENSON (Dr. Broder, Dr. Karnes, Dr. Jinks).  Broadway: To Be or Not to Be  (Manhattan Theatre Club) The Pajama Game (‘Prez’ – outer critics nomination – best featured actor), Wonderful Town (‘Frank Lippencot), Roundabout Theatre Co. production of Cabaret at Studio 54,  Wendy Wasserstein’s – An American Daughter (‘Billy Robbins’), Little Me (multiple roles’)  and State Fair (‘Harry’). Off-Broadway: The Maddening Truth (Keen Co.) The New Moon (City Center Cncores!), Tina Howe’s Birth and Afterbirth (Atlantic Theatre Co.), The Country Club (The Drama Dept.). On television Mr. Benson has guest starred on “Law & Order”, “Ed”, “Strangers with Candy”, “Law & Order: CI” and appeared as a regular on HBO’s “Oz” and ABC’s “Hi Honey I’m Home”.


SHANA DOWDESWELL (Natalie). NY Theatre:  Substitution (Soho Playhouse), This Bloody Mess (Lincoln Ctr), Sonia Flew (SPF – Theatre Row), Finding Claire (Theatre for a New City), D.C. (EST), Eva Hesse (Mabou Mines), The Devils Disciple and The Return of Peter Grimm (Metropolitan Playhouse).  Regional: The Diary of Anne Frank (as Anne, Papermill Playhouse), I Oughta Be in Pictures (Deertrees Theatre, Maine) and Guinevere (O’Neill Festival, Ct).  Television:  All 3 “Law & Orders”, “Family of the Year” (ABC pilot). Film: Winning Season (Sundance festival), Choose, Asylum Seekers, Garmento, Farewell Ms. Fortune and 13 Going on 30


LISA EMERY (Vera).  Broadway: The Women, Present Laughter, The Smell of the Kill, Jackie, Rumors, Burn This. Off Broadway:  Mouth to Mouth, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Abigail’s Party (Drama Desk and Lortel nominations), What The Butler Saw, and Curtains (ensemble Obie) all at The New Group.  Lucy at EST, The Maddening Truth at The Keen Company, Iron at MTC (Obie Award, Lortel Nomination), Dinner With Friends, Far East at LCT,  The Monogamist  and  Marvin’s Room (Drama Desk nom.) at Playwright’s Horizons, Talley and Sons and  Dalton’s Back at Circle Rep.  Film: The Night Listener,  People I Know,  Roger Dodger,  A Map of the World, and the as yet unreleased  The Messenger and  Cold Souls. Television: “Law & Order” (incl. CI and SVU), “Third Watch”, “Sex and the City”, “Ed”,  “The Fringe”,  “Damages”, “Canterbury’s Law”, and “Far East” and “The Women” on PBS’s Stage to Screen.


NATALIE GOLD (Dr. Zavala, Waitress, Carolyn).  Theatre: The Language of Trees, Howard Katz (Roundabout),  The Fever Chart, Twelfth Night (The Public Theater), Brendan (The Huntington), Festen (Broadway),  Unfold Me (SPF), The Umbrella Plays (New York Fringe Festival – Winner 2008 Outstanding Play). TV + Film: “Law and Order”, “Law and Order: CI”, “Six Degrees”, “Without a Trace”, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.   Upcoming: Important Things with Demetri Martin and The International


MATTHEW GUMLEY (Jesse).  Broadway: Mary Poppins (Michael Banks), Beauty and The Beast (Chip). Regional: The Music Man (Winthrop), Kathie Lee Gifford’s Saving Aimee (Rolf). TV: “Law & Order: SVU,” “Drake & Josh,” “Dora the Explorer” (voice of Benny the Bull), “All My Children,” “The Wonder Pets,” “In Search Of…”  Proud member of AEA, SAG, and AFTRA.


MIMI LIEBER (Sherry).  THEATER – Broadway: Brooklyn Boy, I’m Not Rappaport (revival); The Heidi Chronicles (national tour), all directed by Daniel Sullivan; Regional credits include: Persephone & The Sister’s Rosensweig (Huntington Theater), both directed by Nicholas Martin; We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay (Longwharf); Leon, Lena & Lenz (Guthrie), directed by Joanne Akalaitis; Figaro Gets a Divorce (La Jolla Playhouse), directed by Robert Woodruff; Taking Sides, The Greeks, Love Council, Accidental Death of an Anarchist , Offending the Audience, Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (Odyssey); Potestad (Stages); Help (Coast Playhouse); Othello, Much Ado About Nothing (LA Shakespeare); U.S. Comedy Arts Festival w/ Ensemble StudioTheater (Grand Jury Prize).  TELEVISION: “The Sopranos”, “Law & Order” (recurring), “The Naked Brothers Band”, “Cashmere Mafia”, “The Practice”, “Friends”, “ER”, “NYPD Blue”, “Seinfeld”, “X-Files”, “Judging Amy” (recurring), “Early Edition” (recurring), “Dave’s World” (recurring), “Wiseguy” (recurring), Spielberg’s “High Incident” (recurring).  FILM: Cold Souls (about to be released), Arranged, The Thing About My Folks, Bulworth, Corrina Corrina, Ghost in the Machine, Wilder Napalm, Last Resort, Nightshift, Showtime’s Just Another Story, Grease!.   In addition to her acting work, Mimi choreographs the Nickelodeon series “Naked Brothers Band” and is also a much-in-demand acting teacher in NYC.


ALETA MITCHELL (Mrs. Holly, Dr. Waller, Nurse).  Broadway: August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Botton, directed by Lloyd Richards.  Off-Broadway credits include: The Ohio State Murders by Adrienne Kennedy, Marvin’s Room, Tina Howe’s Approaching Zanzibar; Joseph Chaikin’s production of Night Sky and Peter Sellers’ staging of Ajax.  Regional: Yale Repertory Theater’s productions of Galileo and The Winter’s Tale, Wit and The Amen Corner at Long Wharf Theater, The Comedy of Errors at Hartford Stage and The Member of the Wedding at Westport Country Playhouse.  Films: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Malcolm X, Valmont, The Serpent and the Rainbow and No Mercy.  Television: “The Jury” (Barry Levinson), “Law & Order”, “The Cosby Show” and numerous daytime dramas.


CYNTHIA NIXON (Mama) won a Theater World Award at age fourteen for her stage debut in Ellis Rabb’s production of The Philadelphia Story at Lincoln Center and a Tony Award in 2006 for her performance in David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole for Manhattan Theater Club. At age eighteen, while a first-semester freshman at Barnard College, she appeared simultaneously in two Broadway productions: David Rabe’s Hurlyburly and Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing, both directed by Mike Nichols.  Cynthia’s other Broadway credits include Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles, Indiscretions (Tony nomination), The Women (Roundabout), Tony Kushner’s Angels in America and Alfred Uhry’s The Last Night of Ballyhoo.  She most recently appeared on the New York stage in Scott Elliott’s revival of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie for the New Group.  For her television work, Cynthia has received four Emmy nominations, five Golden Globe nominations and six SAG award nominations for “Sex and the City” and “Warm Springs,” having been honored with an Emmy Award, two SAG Awards and a Lucy Award for “Sex and the City.”   Her recent film credits include Little Manhattan, One Last Thing and Sex and the City.


JOSH STAMBERG (Dad).  Josh Stamberg is thrilled to be making his Roundabout debut.  Josh co-developed the play Tape with Stephen Belber and Dominic Fumusa (productions in New York, Los Angeles and London.)  Also in New York, Josh has appeared at the Atlantic Theater Company, the Barrow Group and the Actor’s Studio. Regionally, Josh has worked often in Chicago (Steppenwolf, the Court Theater and the Next Theater), the O’Neill Conference, the Ojai Festival, NY Stage and Film, and at the Williamstown Theater Festival.  He has also performed for LA Theaterworks.  Films include Legion, Fracture, Must Love Dogs, A Lot Like Love, and Drifting Elegant (written by Stephen Belber.)  On television, Josh appeared as a series regular in “Courting Alex”, has recurred on “Six Feet Under”, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”, and “Over There” and has made numerous guest star appearances.  He most recently shot “Drop Dead Diva”, a pilot for Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.  Josh lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Myndy Crist and their daughter Vivian.


LISA LOOMER (Playwright). Lisa Loomer’s plays, including Living Out; The Waiting Room; Expecting Isabel; Broken Hearts; Birds; Bocón!; Looking for Angels; Cuts; Maria!, Maria, Maria, Maria; and Accelerando have been produced at  such theatres as the Mark Taper Forum, Arena Stage, South Coast Rep, the Kennedy Center, Seattle Rep, Missouri Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Trinity Rep, Theater Works, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and in New York at the Vineyard Theatre, Second Stage, Intar, and the Public.  Her newest play, Distracted, had its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum last spring and was subsequently produced at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  Her work has also been seen in Europe, Mexico, Israel and Egypt.  She’s received grants from The NEA and NYFA, is a two-time winner of the American Theatre Critics Award, and has also won the Kennedy Center Award for New Plays, the Jane Chambers Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and an Imagen Award for positive portrayals of Latinos in all media.  Her work is included in The Best Plays of 1994, 1998, and 2003, and is published by Dramatists Play Service.  She is also a screenwriter.


MARK BROKAW (Director).  At Roundabout, Brokaw recently directed the Off-Broadway production of Suddenly Last Summer, starring Blythe Danner and Carla Gugino & the Tony® Award nominated revival of The Constant Wife starring Kate Burton and Lynn Redgrave.  Other Broadway:  Cry-Baby the Musical.  Other recent New York revivals include Reckless (Manhattan Theatre Club and Second Stage at the Biltmore) and Baltimore Waltz (Signature Theatre Company). New York premieres include Paula Vogel’s The Long Christmas Ride Home and How I Learned to Drive (Vineyard Theatre), Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero (Playwrights Horizons and its UK premiere at London’s Donmar Warehouse and West End) and This Is Our Youth (New Group and Second Stage), Craig Lucas’ The Dying Gaul and Stranger (Vineyard Theatre), Douglas Carter Beane’s As Bees in Honey Drown and Music From a Sparkling Planet (Drama Dept.), Wendy Wasserstein’s Old Money (Lincoln Center Theater), Lisa Kron’s 2.5 Minute Ride (New York Shakespeare Festival) and Lynda Barry’s The Good Times Are Killing Me (Second Stage). Regional credits include the new musical Marty with John C. Reilly at the Huntington, A Little Night Music in the Sondheim Celebration at the Kennedy Center, as well as work at the Guthrie, Mark Taper Forum, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, La Jolla Playhouse and the Gate Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. He is an Associate Artist at Roundabout Theatre Company, serves on the executive board of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and is a member of Drama Dept. 


Roundabout Theatre Company is one of the country’s leading not-for-profit theatres.  The company contributes invaluably to New York’s cultural life by staging the highest quality revivals of classic plays and musicals as well as new plays by established writers. Roundabout consistently partners great artists with great works to bring a fresh and exciting interpretation that makes each production relevant and important to today’s audiences.


Roundabout Theatre Company currently produces at three permanent homes each of which is designed specifically to enhance the needs of the Roundabout’s mission.  Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics.  Roundabout’s Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions.  Together these three distinctive venues serve to enhance the work on each of its stages.


American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company.  Roundabout productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts; and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.  American Express is the 2008-2009 season sponsor of the Roundabout Theatre Company.   The Westin New York is the official hotel of Roundabout Theatre Company.   


Roundabout Theatre Company‘s 2008-2009 season also includes Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, starring Frank Langella, directed by Doug Hughes; Rodgers & Hart’s Pal Joey, starring Stockard Channing, Matthew Risch & Martha Plimpton, directed by Joe Mantello, David Rabe’s Streamers, directed by Scott Ellis; Steven Levenson’s The Language of Trees, directed by Alex Timbers; Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, starring Mary-Louise Parker, Michael Cerveris, Paul Sparks & Peter Stormare, directed by Ian Rickson; Christopher Hampton’s The Philanthropist, starring Matthew Broderick, directed by David Grindley and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, starring (in order of speaking) Nathan Lane, Bill Irwin, John Goodman, David Strathairn, directed by Anthony Page.  Roundabout’s sold out production of The 39 Steps transferred to the Cort Theatre on April 29th, 2008.




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