By BESS WOHL
Directed by MICHAEL GREIF
With KIM FISCHER, SUSANNAH FLOOD, RYAN FOUST, HARRISON FOX, MAREN HEARY, BRAD HEBERLEE, CASEY HILTON, SAMANTHA MATHIS
When does real life collide with make believe? For the four Conlee kids, ages 5 to 10, playing house is no longer a game when their parents inexplicably disappear. Thirty-two years later, their search for answers continues. Bess Wohl returns to Second Stage after her funny and poignant play, American Hero, with a look inside the minds of children, their parents and the mysteries of childhood that haunt us forever.
“A beautifully constructed play of family and sibling connections in those formative years.” – The New York Times
"Make Believe is astounding. It gains stature and power before your eyes." – The Hartford Courant
BESS WOHL’s (Playwright) plays include Small Mouth Sounds (John Gassner Outer Critics Circle Award, top ten lists in The New York Times, The New York Post, The Guardian and others), American Hero, Barcelona, Touched, In, Cast Talk and the musical Pretty Filthy with composer/lyricist Michael Friedman and The Civilians (Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Musical). Her play, Continuity, will have its world premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in the spring of 2019. Her plays have been produced or developed at theaters in New York and around the country, including Second Stage, Ars Nova, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, Goodman Theater, The Geffen Playhouse, People’s Light and Theatre Company, The Contemporary American Theater Festival, Vineyard Arts Project, The Pioneer Theatre, The Pittsburgh Public Theater, The Northlight Theater, TheaterWorks New Works Festival, Ojai Playwright's Conference, the Cape Cod Theatre Project, PlayPenn and the New York International Fringe Festival (Award for Best Overall Production). She currently holds new play commissions from Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theater Club, Second Stage, and The Williamstown Theatre Festival. In 2015, Bess won the Sam Norkin special Drama Desk Award for “establishing herself as an important voice in New York theater, and having a breakthrough year.” Other awards and honors include the Athena Award for her screenplay, Virginia, a MacDowell Fellowship, and inclusion on Hollywood’s Black List of Best Screenplays. She is an associate artist with The Civilians, an alumna of Ars Nova’s Play Group, and the recipient of new play commissions from Second Stage Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Hartford Stage and Lincoln Center. She also writes screenplays and has developed multiple original television projects for HBO, ABC, USA, FOX, Disney, Paramount and others. In her previous life as an actress, she appeared onstage in New York and regionally, and in numerous films and TV shows. She is a graduate of Harvard and the Yale School of Drama.
MICHAEL GREIF (Director) returns to Second Stage Theater where he staged Bruce Norris’ A Parallelogram; Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul’s Dear Evan Hansen; Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s Next to Normal; and Howard Korder’s Boys’ Life. Broadway credits include Dear Evan Hansen; War Paint, starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole; If/Then, starring Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp and LaChanze; Next to Normal; Grey Gardens; Rent (Tony Award nominations); and Never Gonna Dance. At the Delacorte, The Tempest, Winter's Tale and Romeo and Juliet. Off-Broadway credits include new plays, musicals and revivals at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Class Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, NY Shakespeare Festival/Public, NYTW, Roundabout, and Signature, including Katori Hall’s Our Lady of Kibeho, the 2010 revival of Angels in America (Lortel Award), Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide … (Public), Guare's Landscape of the Body (Signature) and musical adaptations of Giant (Public) and Far from Heaven (Playwrights Horizons). He received Obie Awards for Machinal and Dogeaters (Public) and for Rent (NYTW). Regional credits include Williamstown (nine seasons), La Jolla Playhouse (Artistic Director 1995-99), Center Stage, Goodman, Guthrie, CTG/Taper, DTC and Trinity Rep. Greif is currently directing Fox’s “RENT: LIVE.” Education: Northwestern (BS), UCSD (MFA).
KIM FISCHER's New York theater credits include: Then She Fell (Third Rail Projects) & Fuerza Bruta (Daryl Roth Theater). Regional Theater: Frankenstein (Dallas Theater Center), Chill (Merrimack Rep), Macbeth (Denver Center), and How We Got On (Cleveland Playhouse). TV: “Mrs. Fletcher” (HBO), “Jessica Jones” (Netflix), “The Get Down” (Netflix), “Royal Pains” (USA), and “One Bad Choice” (MTV). Film: I Can I Will I Did. Kim is an alumnus of the Actors Theatre of Louisville Acting Apprentice program & the ABC Diversity Showcase 2018. BFA: NYU.
SUSANNAH FLOOD appeared on Broadway in The Cherry Orchard (Roundabout). Her Off-Broadway credits include: Plano, Baby Scream Miracle (Clubbed Thumb); The Effect, Tribes (Barrow Street); Scenes From A Marriage, Love & Information (NYTW); Mr. Burns (Playwrights Horizons); Sonic Life (PlayCo); Fulfillment (The Flea); As You Like It (The Public/NYSF); among others. OSF, McCarter, Longwharf, Hartford Stage and Trinity Rep (IRNE nom.), among others. Television: "Law & Order: SVU,” "Chicago Fire" and "Deadbeat.” Susannah plays Laeticia Saltier on Julian Koster's "The Orbiting Human Circus” (NightVale/WNYC) and Kate Littlejohn on ABC/Shondaland's "For The People.”
RYAN FOUST appeared in Second Stage Theater’s Mary Page Marlowe (Lila Neugebauer, Dir.) Broadway: Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Jack O’Brien, Dir.). Readings/Workshops: Into the Wild (Lila Neugebauer, Dir.). Becoming Nancy (Jerry Mitchell, Dir.), The Sandman (Sam Buntrock, Dir.). Upcoming Film: Warner Bros.’ The Goldfinch (John Crowley, Dir.).
HARRISON FOX is making his Off-Broadway debut in this production. His youth production credits include Hansel & Gretel and Aristocats.
MAREN HEARY Maren Heary is making her NY stage debut in this production. Film and television roles include Jennifer Brennan in the upcoming Warner Brothers feature film The Kitchen, and Dolly Holloway in the Netflix series Gypsy. Readings include Halley Feiffer’s Saying Goodbye….From My Bathtub at the Willamstown Theatre Festival and NYSAF, and The Net Will Appear at the American Theatre Group.
BRAD HEBERLEE most recently appeared in Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie with The Mad Ones at Ars Nova. Off-Broadway: A Life (Playwrights Horizons), Small Mouth Sounds (Ars Nova), Peter Pan (Bedlam), These Paper Bullets! (The Atlantic), This Beautiful City (The Vineyard/Civilians), Vanity Fair, The Bald Soprano (The Pearl), The Thugs (SoHo Rep). Regional: Hartford Stage, Yale Rep, The Geffen Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, Actors Theatre of Louisville, ART, The Huntington, The Denver Center, Center Stage Baltimore. Television: “White Collar,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Person Of Interest,” “Unforgettable.” Education: Yale School of Drama.
CASEY HILTON is making her Off-Broadway debut in this production. Casey’s credits include, Luna on “New Amsterdam” (CBS), and Young Sam Bee on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” (TBS). Her youth productions include the Evil Queen in Snow White, and leads in Free to Be You and Me at the French Woods Festival, and Strega Nona Meets Her Match at Atlantic Acting Theater.
SAMANTHA MATHIS has appeared on film in Being Frank, The Clovehitch Killer, American Psycho, Little Women, The American President, The Thing Called Love, Affluenza, Broken Arrow, How to Make an American Quilt, This is My Life, Jack & Sarah, The Punisher, and Pump Up the Volume. TV: “Billions,” “All That We Destroy,” “The Strain,” “Under The Dome,” "Law & Order: SVU," “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Collected Stories,” Theater: Nomad Motel (Atlantic); 33 Variations (Broadway); The Man Who Had All The Luck (Roundabout); Collected Stories (Geffen Playhouse); and Love, Loss and What I Wore (Off-Broadway).