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Steven Culp in "The City of Conversation"

May 17 - June 4, 2016 (22 performances)

West Coast Premiere at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills, CA

Playwright by Anthony Giardina Chandler - Steven Culp
Directed by Michael Wilson Hester - Christine Lahti
Anna - Georgia King
Colin/Ethan - Jason Ritter
Carolyn - Michael Learned
Jean - Deborah Offner
Young Ethan - Nicholas Oteri
Donald - Johnny Ramey
George - David Selby

Previews: May 17 - 19, 2016
Opening Night: May 20, 2016
Regular Performances: May 21 - June 4, 2016

Post-Show Conversation: following the May 25 performance

Opening Night Party
Coming Soon: Talk-Back with the Cast
Press Coverage of "The City of Conversation"

(slightly modified, original published at

"The City of Conversation" ensemble: Sitting, from left, Georgia King, David Selby, Christine Lahti, Nicholas Oteri (on ground) and Jason Ritter; standing, Johnny Ramey, Deborah Offner, playwright Anthony Giardina, Michael Learned, Steven Culp and director Michael Wilson. (photo by Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Time, published at, May 21, 2016)

(published at

Steven Culp courtesy of The
Steven Culp (Chandler) Theatrical appearances include: the premieres of Beau Willimon's The Parisian Woman, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Doctor Cerberus, Art and Raised in Captivity (South Coast Rep); Angels in America (Drama-Logue Award for Outstanding Performance), Blackbird and The Quality of Life (A.C.T.); Old Times (Shakespeare Theatre Co., D.C.); If Memory Serves (Pasadena Playhouse); the premieres of Tony Kushner's Slavs! and Phyllis Nagy's Trip's Cinch (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Light Up the Sky (Ahmanson Theatre); The White Rose (Old Globe); Sweet Sue (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Coastal Disturbances (Circle in the Square); Highest Standard of Living (Playwrights Horizons); Richard III (NY Shakespeare Festival); and many more. His film credits include: Thirteen Days (as RFK), The Emperor's Club, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Firehouse Dog, Spartan, Nurse Betty, James and the Giant Peach and the recently completed The Last Word. His television credits include: regular and recurring roles on "Desperate Housewives" (two SAG awards for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy), "Bosch," "Revolution," "Zoo," "Grey's Anatomy," "Traveler," "The West Wing," "Jag," "ER," "Star Trek: Enterprise," the Emmy-winning miniseries "Gore Vidal's Lincoln," and many, many guest stars. (c) The

Production Photos taken on May 15, 2016 by Kevin Parry
(c) Photo by Kevin Parry

(c) Photo by Kevin Parry

(c) Photo by Kevin Parry

(c) Photo by Kevin Parry

(c) Photo by Kevin Parry


The City of Conversation, first seen at Lincoln Center, promises to be the talk of the campaign season. Savvy Hester Ferris is the doyenne of Georgetown dinner parties whose influence in liberal politics is legendary. But when her son suddenly turns up with a Reaganite girlfriend and a shocking new conservative world view, Hester must choose between preserving her family and defending her cause.

(May 25, 2016)

The following message and photo were posted on The Wallis' Twitter account:

"Our fabulous cast of THE CITY OF CONVERSATION. Have you seen the show yet? #opening"

(May 21, 2016)

The following message and photo were posted by Deborah Behrens @deborahbehrens on her Twitter account:

"Fantastic opening @TheWallisBH 4 #CityofConversation! Kudos 2 @1ChristineLahti & ensemble. Politics vs family = loss"

(May 21, 2016)

The following message and photo were posted by Ryan Luévano on his ?Twitter @TinPanLA account:

"It's #OpeningNight at @TheWallisBH 'THE CITY OF CONVERSATION' #BreakALeg #ReviewToFollow #LAThtr"

(April 29, 2016)

The following message and photo were posted on The Wallis' Twitter account:

"Press conversation for THE CITY OF CONVERSATION @1ChristineLahti @JasonRitter @Georgia_MayKing @davidselbycom"

(April 29, 2016)

The following message was published on The Wallis Facebook page:

"Engaging press conversation for THE CITY OF CONVERSATION"

(April 20, 2016)

The following message and photo were posted on The Wallis' Twitter account:

"1st rehearsal for THE CITY OF CONVERSATION @1ChristineLahti, @Georgia_MayKing @JasonRitter @jramesjr @davidselbycom"

(April 9, 2016)

The following message was published on The Wallis Facebook page:

"Christine Lahti, Georgia King, Jason Ritter, Steven Culp, Michael Learned, Nicholas Oteri, Deborah Offner, Johnny Ramey and David Selby join the cast of Anthony Giardina's THE CITY OF CONVERSATION, making its West Coast Premiere at The Wallis, May 17-June 4."

(April 8, 2016,, by Bethany Rickwald)

Christine Lahti, Jason Ritter, and More Set for The City of Conversation at The Wallis
The cast will also feature Johnny Ramey, David Selby, and Georgia King.

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts has announced plans to present Anthony Giardina's political comic drama The City of Conversation for a limited run from Many 17-June 4. Michael Wilson directs the production, which will have an opening night on May 20.

The City of Conversation is described as "an inside-the-Beltway play about politics in family — and families in politics — as it delves into the ever-changing tapestry of U.S. Government and the people who shape it off the senate floor." In the play, Hester Ferris must choose between preserving her family and defending the causes she's spent her whole life fighting for.

The cast will feature Broadway veteran Christine Lahti (God of Carnage), as well as Jason Ritter, Steven Culp, Michael Learned, Deborah Offner, Nicholas Oteri, Johnny Ramey, David Selby, and Georgia King.

The creative team includes Jeff Cowie (scenic design), David C. Woolard (costume design), Lap Chi Chu (lighting design), John Gromada (sound design), and Hana S. Kim (projection design).

For tickets and more information, click here.

Previous and future shows:

Producer City State Opening Closing
Lincoln Center Theater New York New York 04/10/2014 06/22/2014
Arena Stage Washington DC 01/29/2016 03/06/2016
The Bram Goldsmith Theater, The Wallis Beverly Hills California 05/17/2016 06/04/2016
Horizon Theatre Atlanta Georgia 05/20/2016 06/26/2016
Northlight Theatre Skokie Illinois 09/15/2016 10/23/2016
Delaware Theatre Company Wilmington Delaware 11/02/2016 11/20/2016
The Colonial Players, Inc. Annapolis Maryland 01/13/2017 01/28/2017


"A juicy, funny and terrific new play." - The New York Times

"Terrific … Smart, literate, funny.  Mr. Giardina's stimulating play illuminates the emotional toll that living in such a house divided (and a country divided) can take on its inhabitants." – The New York Times

"Stirring and entertaining!" – Entertainment Weekly

"As vibrant and reflective of the Washington political world as anything you might see anywhere." – Broadway World

"Exhilarating … a touching story of personal sacrifice." – The Washington Post

"An intelligent, provocative, incisive drama about politics, people, ideals and principles, with razor-sharp dialogue." – Huffington Post

"Lively and engrossing." - Newsday

(February 13, 2016,

Casting of 'The City of Conversation'


Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Michael Wilson, dir.
Beth Lipari, casting dir.

Production Description

Casting "The City of Conversation," by Anthony Giardina.


Hester Ferris: Female, 50-85

playing early 50's-early 80’s; Southern girl made very good in the Washington, D.C. of the 1970’s; a highly connected hostess, the epitome of glamour in the Kissinger years. Smart, articulate, charming, she’s been a highly influential, behind-the-scenes figure for much of her D.C. life. Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

Anna Fitzgerald: Female, 20-49

playing late 20's to late 30’s; Minneapolis public school girl educated in the east and at the London School of Economics; attractive, eager, ambitious, extremely smart and hugely competent, with her own unapologetic sense of Midwestern style; a very quick study in the very complicated world of Washington. Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

Colin Ferris: Male, 20-49

playing late 20's-late 30's; same actor also plays Ethan (ADD) Ferris in the final scene when he is age 27; Hester's son, Harvard and the London School of Economics- one of those athletic, good looking, hugely promising young men who somehow miss brilliance, and knows it about himself. Same actor also plays Ethan is 20s, son of Colin and Anna, very bright, self-effacing, dedicated New York City high school teacher. Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

Jean Swift: Female, 50-79

playing mid-50's to mid-80’s; Hester's older sister and second-in-command; more organized, more practical and less glamorous than her younger sister, she has no need to be at the center of things. Has her own off-center sense of humor. Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

Chandler Harris: Male, 50-79

Hester's longtime boyfriend, an old school Democratic Senator from Virginia, in the John Warner mold; attractive and in shape. Horse Country manners, but tough as nails.Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

George Mallonee: Male, 60-79

Republican Senator from Kentucky, deceptively good old boy in manner, but infinitely canny and able to use his barnyard humor very strategically. Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

Carolyn Mallonee: Female, 50-69

a Kentucky doyenne who married into the bluegrass aristocracy, she has the sangfroid of Lauren Bacall; a lifetime of adjustments to the political life has only sharpened her blade. Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

Young Ethan Ferris: Male, 8-11

playing Ethan at age 6; son of Colin and Anna as a child. He is full of life, bright, adorable, the apple of Hester’'s eye. Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

Donald Logan: Male, 20-29

late 20s in 2009, intelligent, politically astute, charming, Donald's a grad student at Columbia who's Ethan's boyfriend. An historian, he's thrilled to meet Ethan's grandmother, Hester Ferris, even though he knows there's some difficult personal history between Ethan and Hester. Ethnicity: African American

Rehearsal and Production Dates & Locations

Rehearsals begin Apr. 18; runs May 20-June 5 in Los Angeles, CA.

Compensation & Union Contract Details

Pays $861/wk. Equity LORT B Non-Rep Contract.

Key Details

Seeking talent from: Beverly Hills, CA

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