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Vassar College and New York Stage and Film Present Powerhouse Theater

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Vassar College and New York Stage and Film Announce Final Casting for New John Patrick Shanley Play, "Defiance"

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — New York Stage & Film and Vassar have completed casting for the new workshop production of DEFIANCE (formerly called CHAIN OF COMMAND), to be presented July 29, 30 and 31 at the 21st Powerhouse Theatre Season. DEFIANCE, Shanley's follow up to his Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning play DOUBT, is a drama about two officers who clash over an explosive incident that could end one of their careers. The play will feature the previously announced Chris Cooper as Lt. Colonel Littlefield, Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Captain King, and Dana Delany as Margaret Littlefield. Rounding out the cast are Jeremy Strong as PFC Evan Davis, Chris Bauer as Chaplain White and Trevor Long as Gunney.

One of the most respected character actors of our time, Chris Cooper was recognized in 2003 with an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of 'John Laroche' in Adaptation, written by Charlie Kauffman and directed by Spike Jonze. Cooper was most recently seen in John Sayle's feature film Silver City and the 2003 Academy Award nominated film Seabiscuit (which earned Cooper an individual Screen Actors Guild Nomination). In the same year, Cooper was nominated for an Emmy Award for his supporting performance in the HBO film My House in Umbria starring Maggie Smith. In 1999, Cooper received a Screen Actor's Guild Award for his supporting performance, alongside Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening, in the Academy Award winning film, American Beauty. He also starred as the father of an amateur rocket enthusiast in the acclaimed coming-of-age drama October Sky. He had previously earned a Best Actor nomination in 1997 from the Independent Spirit Awards for his work in John Sayles' Lone Star. Nearly a decade earlier, Cooper made his feature film debut in Sayles' Matewan. Among his other film credits are Robert Redford's The Horse Whisperer, TheBourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Patriot, Me, Myself and Irene, Great Expectations, A Time to Kill, Money Train, This Boy's Life, Guilty by Suspicion and City of Hope. On the small screen, he starred in HBO's "Breast Men," and includes among his other credits "Alone," "One More Mountain," "Ned Blessing," "Bed of Lies," "Darrow," "In Broad Daylight," " A Little Piece of Sunshine," "Law and Order" and "Journey to Genius." Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Cooper attended the University of Missouri School of Drama and started his professional career on the New York stage. His theater credits include Of the Fields Lately on Broadway, The Ballad of Soapy Smith and A Different Moon. This Fall, Cooper can be seen in strong supporting roles in the feature films, Capote, Syriana, and Jarhead.

Rubin Santiago-Hudson received a Tony Award for his performance in Seven Guitars. Other stage work includes include the Broadway productions of Gem of the Ocean and Jelly's Last Jam, the one man show Lackawanna Blues, Measure for Measure and Henry VIII (all at the Public Theater). He has appeared in such films as Lackawanna Blues, Domestic Disturbance, The Devil's Advocate and Shaft and on television in "Law & Order," "Third Watch," "The West Wing," and "Murphy Brown."

Dana Delany is best known for her 2-time Emmy Award winning performance as Colleen McMurphy on highly acclaimed television show China Beach (1988-1991). She has appeared in the TV series Pasadena and Presidio Med and TV movies: Promises to Keep, Wild Palms, True Women, Resurrection, A Time to Remember, Choices of the Heart, Exit to Eden and Baby for Sale. Her feature films include Light Sleeper, Housesitter, Tombstone, The Outfitters and Spin. Her stage work includes Translations (Broadway), Dinner With Friends (New York City, Los Angeles, Boston), and Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (San Diego).

Chris Bauer plays Frank Sobotka on HBO's "The Wire". He has also appeared in *61, "Tilt", "The Exonerated" and was recently seen in the Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire.

John Patrick Shanley is the recipient of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony, Drama Desk, and Obie Awards for his play DOUBT. Other full-length plays include Psychopathia Sexualis, Four Dogs and a Bone, The Big Funk, Beggars in the House of Plenty, Italian-American Reconciliation, Women of Manhattan, Savage in Limbo, The Dreamer Examines His Pillow, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, and Welcome to the Moon. Mr. Shanley wrote the screenplay for Five Corners, which won a Special Jury Prize (screenplay) at the Barcelona Film Festival. His script for Moonstruck won both the Writers Guild Award and an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He made his debut as a feature film director with his script Joe Versus the Volcano. He also wrote the screen adaptations of both Alive and Congo. This is this 8th season at the Powerhouse.

Tickets to the workshop are available online at http://powerhouse.vassar.edu or by calling the Powerhouse box office at (845) 437-5599. Four performances of "Defiance" will be presented in the Powerhouse Theatre, Friday and Saturday, July 29 and 30 at 8:00 pm, and Sunday, July 31 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. All tickets are $35. Ticket holders for THE TALK, earlier cancelled and originally scheduled for these dates, should call the Powerhouse box office to have their tickets honored.

Vassar and New York Stage and Film previously announced the rest of the 21st Powerhouse Season, which is being held on the Vassar campus from June 17 to July 31, 2005. For information on the rest of the season, the latest updates on casting and events, visit the web sites of the Powerhouse Season (http://powerhouse.vassar.edu) and New York Stage and Film of New York Stage and Film (http://www.newyorkstageandfilm.org).

Since 1985, Vassar and New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Season has premiered numerous new works destined for on- and off-Broadway production, and made Poughkeepsie a theater destination for thousands of theatre lovers. Powerhouse has also trained an entire generation of young artists through its annual summer apprentice-training program, which produces an outdoor repertory series on the Vassar campus. More than 200 professional playwrights, directors, actors, and designers, and more than 50 apprentices from high schools and colleges across the United States, live and work together each summer in a rich collaborative environment on the Vassar campus.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, July 22, 2005