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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

February 20, 2009
CONTACT: Amy Lunday

Johns Hopkins University Theatre Presents

The Johns Hopkins University Theatre will present Sam Shepard's "Simpatico" over two weekends, beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27, in the Merrick Barn on the University's Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.

Featuring undergraduate students and alumni of the Theatre Arts and Studies Program as well as up-and-coming professional actors, "Simpatico" uses a story about the horse racing industry to show how business dealings in America can poison relationships. Hidden away in Cucamonga, Calif., Simms, a down-and-out slacker, poses as a detective and calls his wealthy childhood buddy, Vinnie, in Lexington, Ky., to help him deal with a "woman problem," claiming his girlfriend has had him arrested. The events quickly lead to a cross country intrigue taking the faux detective to Kentucky Derby country with a shoe box containing proof of an old scandal while a decent young middle-American woman, obsessed with the Kentucky Derby, finds herself traveling with a bag full of cash to find a man who has "reinvented" his life so as to disappear forever.

Director Joe Martin, an instructor in the university's theater program who has worked with an array of innovative playwrights in Canada, Romania, Scandinavia, Mexico, New York and elsewhere, has selected this play for the way it "captures something terribly wrong and even perverse in the logic behind the way business has been done in America, and how these market activities infect relations between people."

The production will run two weekends through Sunday, March 8. Curtain times are 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $5 to $15. For reservations and information, call 410-516-5153 or e-mail JHUT@jhu.edu. The theatre's Web site is www.jhu.edu/theatre-arts. Visitor parking on campus is available in the South Garage, 3101 Wyman Park Drive, Baltimore, Md. 21211.

The Johns Hopkins University Theatre is celebrating its fourth full season in the historic Merrick Barn under the direction of John Astin, renowned actor and Johns Hopkins alumnus best known for his onstage portrayals of Edgar Allan Poe and for his role as Gomez Addams in the original Addams Family television series. Astin recently performed in Ken Ludwig's play Leading Ladies at the Ford's Theatre in D.C. He returned to Johns Hopkins in 2001 to teach acting and directing. Since then, he has led a renaissance of the school's theater program.

The cast includes as Simms, Astin's son, Mackenzie Astin, who had the title role in Disney's Iron Will and a leading part in Lord Richard Attenborough's In Love and War, and who has moved to Baltimore to help his father with the theatre program. Playing opposite him is senior Scott Morse, a computer engineering major and theatre minor from Seattle, as Carter; alumna and Baltimore native Laura Gordon, who finished her studies toward a degree in Writing Seminars and theatre in December, as Rosie; senior Mike Wills, a political science major and theatre minor from Jacksonville, Fla., as Vinnie; freshman Hannah Carney, an Art History major and Business minor from Baltimore as Kelly; and junior Lisa Rosinsky, a Writing Seminars major and Theatre minor from Clarksville, Md., as Cecilia.

Note to editors: High resolution digital photos are available by e-mailing Amy Lunday, acl@jhu.edu.