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SCR Press Release: "Doctor Cerberus"

World Premiere Comedy Mines World of Late-Night Horror Movies


March 22, 2010

COSTA MESA, Calif. (March 22, 2010) — Goblins, ghouls and ghosts of the 1980s haunt SCR's latest world premiere, "Doctor Cerberus", which makes its debut April 11 – May 2 on the Julianne Argyros Stage.

Set in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., in the mid-1980s, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's funny coming-of-age tale centers around Franklin Robertson, a geeky, overweight teenager whose great comfort comes from the horror movies he watches every Saturday at midnight on a black-and-white TV set in his basement, introduced by the enigmatic Doctor Cerberus. He dreams of becoming the TV host's assistant, and of becoming a writer. But first he must survive high school, and that means dealing with his overprotective parents, bullying older brother and clueless teachers.

Director Bart DeLorenzo, who also directed the Pacific Playwrights Festival staged reading of "Cerberus," said that Franklin's story reminds him of Dickens' David Copperfield: Both boys want to be the heroes of their own lives.

"But he doesn't see the world in a normal way," DeLorenzo said. "He sees it as a horror movie. And who is the hero of a horror movie? Is it the one who runs away, or is it the monster?"

Franklin's creator, Aguirre-Sacasa, is no stranger to monsters, having written for several Marvel Comics series, including "Spider-Man" and "The Fantastic Four". An award-winning playwright, Aguirre-Sacasa writes for the HBO series "Big Love" and is working with songwriter Duncan Sheik on a musical adaptation of "American Psycho".
Playing the role of Franklin is Brett Ryback, who also played the part in last year's staged reading. Also reprising his reading role as Franklin's dad is Steven Culp, former series regular on "Desperate Housewives." SCR newcomer and frequent Broadway star Candy Buckley plays Franklin's mother, and Jarrett Sleeper ("The Secret Life of an American Teenager") plays his brother, Rodney. Jamison Jones ("24") plays Doctor Cerberus and several other characters.

The job of creating Franklin's world belongs to Keith Mitchell (set design), Shigeru Yaji (costume design), Rand Ryan (lighting design), Steven Cahill (sound design), Kelly L. Miller (dramaturg) and Kathryn Davies (stage manager).

Laurie Smits Staude
and The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation are the Honorary Producers of "Doctor Cerberus". KCRW 89.9 is the Media Partner.

TICKETS: can be purchased online at, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the box office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Performances begin on April 11 and continue through May 2. Ticket prices range from $20 to $65. Low-priced preview performances are available April 11-15. Opening night is Friday, April 16, and press night is Saturday, April 17, at 7:45 p.m.

TIMES: Previews are Sunday, April 11, at 2 p.m., and Tuesday through Thursday, April 13-15, at 7:45 p.m. Regular performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 7:45 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 25 years of age and under, educators, seniors and groups of 10 or more. There will be an ASL-interpreted performance on Saturday, May 1, at 2 p.m.

POST-SHOW DISCUSSIONS: Tuesday, April 20, & Wednesday, April 21
Discuss the play with members of the "Doctor Cerberus "cast during free post-show discussions led by South Coast Repertory's literary team.

"INSIDE THE SEASON: "Saturday, May 1, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. $12
"Inside the Season" is a series of interactive classes that provide a comprehensive inside look at the theatrical production process. Each two-hour class features creative personnel from South Coast Repertory's current production. "Inside the Season" is offered on select Saturday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (714) 708-5555, online at or by visiting the box office. (Tickets to "Doctor Cerberus "are sold separately.)

LOCATION: South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the Folino Theater Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available off Anton Blvd. on Park Center Drive.

COMING UP: "Pacific Playwrights Festival "(April 23 – 25)," Crimes of the Heart "(May 7 – June 6)," Ben and the Magic Paintbrush "(May 21 – June 6).

ABOUT SCR: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, under the artistic direction of David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theaters in the United States. Founded in 1964, SCR is committed to theater that illuminates the compelling personal and social issues of our time, not only on its stages but through its education and outreach programs. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theater, SCR is renowned for its extensive new play development program, including the Pacific Playwrights Festival. Of SCR's more than 435 productions, 112 have been world premieres with subsequent stagings achieving enormous success across America and around the world. SCR-developed works have garnered eight Pulitzer Prize nominations with Margaret Edson's "Wit" winning the prize in 1999 and David Lindsay-Abaire's "Rabbit Hole" in 2007. Located in Costa Mesa, California, in 2002 SCR opened the Folino Theater Center, an expanded three-theater complex that includes the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.


Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright and a graduate of the Yale School of Drama. He has written many plays, including an adaptation of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (Round House Theatre), "Good Boys and True" (Steppenwolf Theatre, 2econd Stage Theatre), "Based on a Totally True Story" (Manhattan Theatre Club), "The Mystery Plays" (2econd Stage Theatre), "The Velvet Sky" (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co), "The Muckle Man" (Source Theatre), "Dark Matters" (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), "Rough Magic" (Hangar Theatre) and "The Weird" (an evening of short, pulpy plays at Dad's Garage Theatre). His comedies "Golden Age" and "Say You Love Satan" were both nominated for GLAAD Media Awards and have been produced around the country. In June, his revision of the classic Charles Strouse/Lee Adams musical "It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's SUPERMAN!" will premiere at Dallas Theater Center. Currently, he is working on commissions for Arena Stage, CTG, and a musical adaptation of Brett Easton Ellis' "American Psycho" with Duncan Sheik. For Marvel Comics, he is the Harvey Award-winning author of "The Stand".

Bart DeLorenzo (Director) returns to SCR, where he directed Sarah Ruhl's "Dead Man's Cell Phone" and the world premiere of Donald Margulies' "Shipwrecked! An Entertainment," as well as readings of plays by Jordan Harrison, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Anthony Clarvoe and Donald Margulies. He is the founding artistic director of the Evidence Room theater in Los Angeles, where he has directed many local and world premieres over the last 15 years, including plays by David Greenspan, Naomi Wallace, Martin Crimp, Philip K. Dick, Gordon Dahlquist, Kelly Stuart, David Edgar and Edward Bond. He is a graduate of Yale University and American Repertory Theatre's Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard. Recent credits include an Evidence Room co-production of Adam Bock's "The Receptionist" at the Odyssey Theatre, Charles Mee's "bobrauschenbergamerica" at Inside the Ford, Caryl Churchill's "A Number" at the Odyssey Theatre, the world premiere of Justin Tanner's "Voice Lessons" at Zephyr Theatre, the world premiere of Michael Sargent's "The Projectionist" at Kirk Douglas Theatre, Mark Brown's adaptation of "Around the World in 80 Days" at The Cleveland Play House, the world premiere of "Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress "at Geffen Playhouse, John Rafter Lee's adaptation of Jean Racine's "Britannicus" at Cal Rep, and the return of "Shipwrecked! An Entertainment" at Geffen Playhouse.

Steven Culp (Lawrence Robertson) returns to SCR after appearing in "Raised in Captivity" ("Drama-Logue" Award for Outstanding Ensemble) and "Art". Additional theatre credits include the premieres of Tony Kushner's "Slavs! "and Phyllis Nagy's "Trip's Cinch" at Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival; "Angels in America" ("Drama-Logue" Award for Outstanding Performance), "Blackbird" and "The Quality of Life" at American Conservatory Theater; "If Memory Serves" at Pasadena Playhouse; "Light Up the Sky" at Center Theatre Group's Ahmanson Theatre; "The White Rose" at The Old Globe in San Diego; "Highest Standard of Living "at Playwrights Horizons; the premiere of A.R. Gurney, Jr.'s "Sweet Sue" at Williamstown Theatre Festival; "Coastal Disturbances" at Circle in the Square; the premiere of Terrence McNally's "The Lisbon Traviata" at Theatre Off-Park; and "Richard III" at New York Shakespeare Festival. Film credits include "Thirteen Days "(as Bobby Kennedy), "The Emperor's Club, Spartan, Firehouse Dog, From Within, Leaving Barstow, The Sisters, Nurse Betty, James and the Giant Peach" and the recently completed "The Chicago 8". Television credits include series regular roles on "Desperate Housewives" (two SAG awards for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series) and "Traveler;" recurring roles on "Saving Grace," "The West Wing," "JAG," "ER," "Star Trek: Enterprise" and "Privileged;" the miniseries "Gore Vidal's Lincoln" and "Impact;" and many guest appearances, most recently on "The Mentalist," "Ghost Whisperer," "CSI: Miami," "Cold Case," "NCIS," "Medium," "Boston Legal," "The Closer" and "Eli Stone."

Candy Buckley (Lydia Robertson) is making her SCR debut. Broadway credits include "Cabaret, After the Fall, Thoroughly Modern Millie" and" Ring Round the Moon". She appeared Off-Broadway in "Shockheaded Peter, Valhalla, Defying Gravity, The Petrified Prince "(Drama Desk nomination), "Bernarda Alba, Communicating Doors, Make Me, Knives and Other Sharp Objects, Two Noble Kinsmen, Funny House of a Negro, Mimi le Duck, View of the Dome" and "Wise Guys". Regionally she has appeared in "A Delicate Balance "(Guthrie Theater), "The Little Dog Laughed "(TheaterWorks), "Scramble" (Westport Country Playhouse), "Travesties" (Williamstown Theatre Festival), "Tales of the City" (The O'Neill), "The Lady in Question" (Bay St. Theater), "Much Ado About Nothing" (Alliance Theatre), "Sweeney Todd" (Casa Mañana), "Silence Cunning Exile" (Seattle Repertory Theatre) and "All the King's Men" at both Trinity Repertory Company and Arena Stage (Helen Hayes nomination). She has been a company member at American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Mass., for four years, where work included "Macbeth, Misalliance, King Lear, Hamlet, The Seagull" and "Once in a Lifetime," among others. She also was company member at the Dallas Theater Center for 11 years, where work included "The Cherry Orchard, The Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya, Lady Audley's Secret" and "Cloud 9, "among others. She is a recipient of a Princess Grace Statuette for excellence in theater. Recent television and film include "Gossip Girl" and "Home "(with Marcia Gay Harden).

Jamison Jones (Doctor Cerberus) is making his SCR debut. Theater credits include "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" and "Angels in America "at the American Conservatory Theater, "How the Other Half Loves" at the Pasadena Playhouse, "The Foreigner" with Tony-nominated McCoy/Rigby Entertainment at the La Mirada Theater, where he also starred in" The Lion in Winter" with Mariette Hartley, "All My Sons, Dancing at Lughnasa" and "The Rainmaker, Fool for Love" with Geoffrey Lewis, the critically acclaimed "Therese Raquin" at The Ensemble Theatre," Dracula, Bent, Timon of Athens "and" Cyrano de Bergerac" at A Noise Within and the European premieres of "Tennessee in the Summer" and "Purple Hearts "in Scotland. Film credits include "The Lodger" with Alfred Molina, "Born to Ride" with William Forsythe (2010 release), "He Was a Quiet Man" with Christian Slater and William H. Macy, "Dark Blue" with Kurt Russell, "Hollywood Homicide" with Harrison Ford, and actor and producer credits for "West of Brooklyn" with Joe Mantegna. Television credits include "24," "General Hospital," "Kamen Rider," "Brothers & Sisters," "Days of Our Lives," "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," "CSI: NY," "N.C.I.S.," "Crossing Jordan," "Alias," "JAG," "That 70's Show," "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Will and Grace." Mr. Jones holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the American Conservatory Theater.

Brett Ryback (Franklin Robertson) is very pleased to be back playing Franklin, a role he created at last year's Pacific Playwrights Festival. Also at SCR, Ryback appeared as the imaginary friend T-Rex in the world premiere of "Imagine". Additional theatre credits include Scripps in "The History Boys" (Ahmanson Theatre), Leaf Coneybear in" Spelling Bee" (La Mirada Theatre), James in "Red Herring," Ro'i in "The Master of the House," and Mikey in "Shear Madness "(Laguna Playhouse), Sidney Cohn in "On Your Toes" (Reprise!), Charlie in "Mary's Wedding" (The Colony Theatre), Georgie in "Over the Tavern" and Luther in "Inspecting Carol" (Milwaukee Repertory) and Barnaby Tucker in "Hello, Dolly!" and Ynoild in "Pelleas and Melisande" (Skylight Opera Theatre). Television appearances include "House," "How I Met Your Mother" and "Cupid." Ryback won the 2007 Tennessee Williams Award for his play "Weïrd". Other works by Mr. Ryback include "A Roz By Any Other Name" (Winner, 2007 Henrico Theatre Company), "Quit India," (Finalist, 2007 Richard Rodgers Award), "Darling" (2009 Pace New Musicals), "I, Abraham" (UCLA commission, Director John Rubinstein) and "Liberty Inn," which is currently running at Andak Stage Company in North Hollywood.

Jarrett Sleeper (Rodney Robertson) is making his SCR debut. He has worked on the stage extensively in and around Chicago with groups such as A Red Orchid Theatre, Defiant Theatre, Apple Tree Theatre, Dog & Pony Theatre Co. and Lookingglass Theatre Co. On the West Coast he has worked with needtheater in Los Angeles and The Victory Theatre Center in Burbank. Television and film credits include "Eli Stone," "The Suite Life on Deck," "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," "Days of our Lives" and "Foreign Exchange".

Fact Sheet

"Doctor Cerberus"
By Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Directed by Bart DeLorenzo

CREATIVE TEAM: Keith Mitchell (set design), Shigeru Yaji (costume design), Rand Ryan (lighting design), Steven Cahill (sound design), Kelly L. Miller (dramaturg) and Kathryn Davies (stage manager).

CAST: Candy Buckley (Lydia Robertson), Steven Culp (Lawrence Robertson), Jamison Jones (Doctor Cerberus), Brett Ryback (Franklin Robertson) and Jarrett Sleeper (Rodney Robertson).

HONORARY PRODUCER: Laurie Smits Staude and The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation


SYNOPSIS: Doctor Cerberus rises from the mist in "Nightmare Theatre," and 13-year-old Franklin emerges as the season's most appealing anti-hero.

TICKETS: $20-$46 previews; $28-$65 regular performances.

BOX OFFICE WINDOW HOURS: 10am to showtime Tuesdays through Saturdays; noon to showtime Sundays; 10am to 6 pm Mondays and non-performance days. American Express, VISA and MasterCard accepted. (714) 708-5555.

LOCATION: Folino Theatre Center, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa CA 92626. One block east of South Coast Plaza at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway.

PHOTOS: Digital images of South Coast Repertory productions are available at

Soyia Ellison 714-708-5561
Madeline Porter 714-708-5562

RUNS: April 11 – May 2, 2010

Apr 11 SUN at 2 p.m.
Apr 13 TUES at 7:45 p.m.
Apr 14 WED at 7:45 p.m.
Apr 15 THURS at 7:45 p.m.
OPENING NIGHT: Apr 16 FRI at 7:45pm

Apr 17 SAT at 2 p.m.
Apr 17 SAT at 7:45 p.m. (Press Night)
Apr 18 SUN at 2 p.m.
Apr 18 SUN at 7:45 p.m.
Apr 20 TUE at 7:45 p.m. (Post-Show Discussion)
Apr 21 WED at 7:45 p.m. (Post-Show Discussion)
Apr 22 THU at 7:45 p.m.
Apr 23 FRI at 7:45 p.m.
Apr 24 SAT at 2 p.m.
Apr 24 SAT at 7:45 p.m.
Apr 25 SUN at 2 p.m.
Apr 25 SUN at 7:45 p.m.
Apr 27 TUE at 7:45 p.m.
Apr 28 WED at 7:45 p.m.
Apr 29 THU at 7:45 p.m.
Apr 30 FRI at 7:45 p.m.
May 1 SAT at 2 p.m. (Inside the Season/ASL-Interpreted)
May 1 SAT at 7:45 p.m.
May 2 SUN at 2 p.m.
May 2 SUN at 7:45 p.m.

Tuesday, April 20
and Wednesday, April 21
Discuss the play with members of the cast following the performance. Free.

Saturday, May 1, 10:30 a.m. –12:30 p.m.
A 2-hour comprehensive class featuring creative personnel from the current production. Tickets: $12.

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