The Guthrie Theater today announced complete casting for the remount of the Pillsbury House Theatre production Buzzer by Tracey Scott Wilson. Buzzer, co-commissioned by the Guthrie Theater and Pillsbury House Theatre, will be helmed by Tony-nominated director Marion McClinton and play the Dowling Studio from February 8-March 3, 2013. Buzzer was previously performed at Pillsbury House Theatre last fall.
The cast features three of Minnesota's hottest young actors, who reprise their roles from last year's production. Namir Smallwood (Guthrie: A Midsummer Night's Dream; Pillsbury House Theatre: The Brothers Size, Buzzer) plays Jackson, a young successful lawyer who returns to his old, hardscrabble-but newly gentrifying neighborhood. Sara Richardson (Pillsbury House Theatre: Buzzer) plays Jackson's girlfriend Suzie. Hugh Kennedy (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol and Arsenic and Old Lace; Pillsbury House Theatre: Buzzer) plays Don, Jackson's best friend and a recovering drug addict. Kennedy received a 2012 Ivey Award for his performance in the original production.
They say you can never go home again, but African American attorney Jackson is determined to show off his success. When he returns to the mean streets of his youth with his white girlfriend and best friend, he discovers a changing neighborhood where a combustible mix of race, sex, and class simmers just below the surface.
Namir Smallwood returns to PHT and the Dowling Studio after recently appearing in the Guthrie Theater presentation of the Pillsbury House Theatre and The Mount Curve Company co-production of The Brothers Size. He has also performed on numerous stages around the Twin Cities including Children's Theatre Company, Penumbra Theatre, Ten Thousand Things, Mixed Blood Theatre and the Guthrie. Smallwood has also appeared with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where he was last seen as serial killer Paul Pare Jr. in Christina Anderson's Man in Love, directed by Robert O'Hara. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program.
Hugh Kennedy won a 2012 Ivey Award for his performance in Buzzer, and recently played the title role in the Jungle Theater's production of Hamlet. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program, and also studied at the Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London. Since graduating in 2008, he has worked at the Guthrie Theater in Arsenic and Old Lace, Two Gentlemen of Verona, A View from the Bridge, The Government Inspector, A Midsummer Night's Dream and three productions of A Christmas Carol. In 2010 he joined The Acting Company's national tour of Romeo and Juliet, produced in association with the Guthrie Theater. After the close of Hamlet's critically acclaimed run, he traveled to the United Arab Emirates to join an international company of actors in Anthony Tassa's new production of Macbeth Arabia, in which he played the role of Macduff. Kennedy is a 2004 Presidential Scholar of the Arts and performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. In 2011 he was profiled as a Minnesota Monthly 'Artists We Love'.
Sara Richardson returns to PHT after making her debut with the company last year with Buzzer. Previously in the Dowling Studio: Super Monkey (Jon Ferguson Theater). Richardson's recent work includes Kill Me Don't Go, Flesh and the Desert (Workhaus Collective), An Absolute Turkey (Gremlin Theatre), and Mercy Watson to the Rescue! (Children's Theatre Company). Other credits include Frank Theatre, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Minnesota Orchestra, Four Humors, Open Eye, Sandbox Theatre, and Red Eye Theater, among others. Trained at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, Richardson is active in the Twin Cities' physical and ensemble created theatre community, creating new work with long-time collaborators such as Jon Ferguson Theater (now Theatre Forever) and Kimberly Richardson. She has taught with SPCPA, Guthrie Summer Camps and Upstream Arts. Her film work includes award-winning independent feature Rough Tender and numerous short films.
Marion McClinton (director) has directed several critically acclaimed productions for Pillsbury House Theatre including the world premiere of Buzzer and The Brothers Size and In the Red and Brown Water at the Guthrie Theater's Dowling Studio in 2012 and 2011, Pa's Hat: Liberian Legacy at Pillsbury House Theatre in 2010, the regional premiere of Bulrusher in 2008 and Home in 2007. He has directed on Broadway, at the Royal National Theatre in London and in numerous regional theatres including the Goodman, Guthrie, Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Kennedy Center, Seattle Rep, CenterStage, Pittsburgh Public and Huntington Theatre among others. He has won numerous awards including the Obie award for directing, two AUDELCOs, two Beverly Hills/NAACP Image Awards, among others, and his nominations include a Tony nod and Drama Desk Award. He is a lifetime core member of the Playwrights' Center, an alumni of New Dramatists, a longstanding member of Penumbra and an Artistic Associate of Pillsbury House Theatre. He concluded his life-changing collaboration with the great August Wilson by giving the eulogy at his funeral.