Gus Van Swearingen and Michael Shannon in the 2013 production of Sam Shepard's Simpatico at A Red Orchid Theatre.
Gus Van Swearingen and Michael Shannon in the 2013 production of Sam Shepard's Simpatico at A Red Orchid Theatre.
(© Michael Brosilow)

The McCarter Theatre Center has announced complete casting for its upcoming production of Sam Shepard's Simpatico, a collaboration with Chicago's A Red Orchid Theatre. Directed by Dado, performances will run September 8-October 15, extended one week beyond its original closing date due to popular demand.

Simpatico is described as follows: "Buried secrets, blackmail, and false identities race onto the stage in this hard-driving tragicomedy about the slippery netherworld of thoroughbred racing from Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Sam Shepard. When a simple phone call causes Carter and Vinnie's shady past to resurface, fierce loyalties that were once hot-blooded begin to run astray."

As previously announced, Oscar and Tony nominee Michael Shannon (Long Day's Journey Into Night) will lead the cast as Carter, reprising his 2013 performance at A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago. Joining him will be Red Orchid cofounder Guy Van Swearingen (Vinnie), along with Red Orchid ensemble members Mierka Girten (Cecilia) and Jennifer Engstrom (Rosie). Kristen Ellis (Kelly) and John Judd (Simms), round out the cast.

The design team will feature Grant Sabain (set design), Christine Pascual (costume design), Mike Durst (sound design), and Joe Court (sound design). Christa van Baale will serve as production stage manager.

The production of Simpatico comes on the heels of Shepard's death in late July at the age of 73. McCarter artistic director Emily Mann commented: "Sam Shepard, of course, is one of America's iconic playwrights, and it's no surprise to me that an ensemble like A Red Orchid Theatre would thrive off of his idiosyncratic dialogue, raw and multifaceted characters, and fevered exploration of American nostalgia and identity. Sam Shepard shaped the American theater from the moment his plays appeared on our stages. Simpatico, like all of Shepard's plays, is a true feast for an adventurous company and a wild ride for any audience. His passing is a stunning personal loss to all of us who knew him and a devastating loss for the theater community at large. We dedicate our opening play of the season to his memory."

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