The original cast of <em>Stiff</em>

Casting Announced for Stiff Reading

Local critical faves Fun House Theatre and Film have cast Broadway vets and Dallas expats in the NYC staged reading of Jeff Swearingen's Stiff on April 23.

published Monday, April 3, 2017

Photo: Chuck Marcelo
The original cast of Stiff


Dallas — You’ve heard the one about the theater critic, Mickey Blake, who dies in the audience at a Broadway tryout, and then the producers carry his body around, á la Weekend at Bernies, to help them sell their pitch to investors? You know it because you saw it as Jeff Swearingen’s play Stiff back when the company he co-founded, Fun House Theatre & Filmpremiered it in 2014.

As previously reported, the work will have a staged reading in New York, but now we know more of the details.

I pointed out what I thought was the single funniest scene of the year in my 2014 Year in Review.

The invitation-only reading is 8 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at the Crown Theater at the Producers’ Club Theaters and Bar at 358 W. 44th Street in Manhattan.

We previously announced that Swearingen, Andy Baldwin and Matt Lyle will be featured, and now we know the rest of the cast, which includes two other Dallas expats, Texas Christian University alum Joshua Doss, whose North Texas credits include Dallas Theater Center, WaterTower Theatre, Uptown Players, and Lyric Stage; and Aleisha Force, who was in Dallas Theater Center’s Tigers Be Still, Fat Pig and The Shape of Things. They’ll be joined by Kally Duling (Fun Home on Broadway, Next to Normal at Baltimore Center Stage); Clifton Samuels (Follies with Bernadette Peters, Amazing Grace, first national revival tour of A Chorus Line); Heather Shisler (Barrow Street Theatre, Actor’s Studio Drama School Repertory Theatre); and Rachel McPhee (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, Boardwalk Empire on HBO, Pearl Theatre).


Here is the full cast list:

(The Writer) Robert Gray - Matt Lyle

(The Director) Stanley Miller - Joshua Doss

(The Producer) Theodore Saul Solomon - Andy Baldwin

(The Actor) Guy Van - Jeff Swearingen

(The Actress) Vanessa Verkamp - Heather Shisler

(The Understudy) Maggie Simon - Kally Duling

(The Executive) Walter Goldstein - Clifton Samuels

(The Alcoholic) Hilary Doyle-Blake - Aleisha Force

(The Janitor) Margret Pilsner - Rachel McPhee

Reading stage directions and reenacting some of Mickey Blake's physicality is Rory Scholl


The plan is to mount a full production of the work in New York by the end of the year. To inquire about invitations contact: bren@funhousetheatreandfilm.comThanks For Reading

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Casting Announced for Stiff Reading
Local critical faves Fun House Theatre and Film have cast Broadway vets and Dallas expats in the NYC staged reading of Jeff Swearingen's Stiff on April 23.
by Mark Lowry

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