Sylvia | 2016-2017 Season

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Jan 10 – Feb 5

Written by A.R. Gurney
Directed by Mark Cuddy
Scenic Design by Jo Winiarski
Costume Design by Susan Branch Towne
Lighting Design by Ann G. Wrightson
Original Music & Sound Design by Scott Killian
Dramaturgy by Jenni Werner

Empty nesters Greg and Kate have relocated back to Manhattan after two decades of raising their family in the suburbs. As Kate observes: “The dog phase of my life is definitely over.”  When Greg finds Sylvia, a street-smart Labradoodle, in Central Park and brings her home, she becomes a bone of contention between Greg and Kate, testing their marriage to howlingly hilarious and touching effect.



JENNIFER CODY is thrilled to again return to her hometown following her acclaimed appearances as Patsy in Monty Python’s Spamalot! last season, Mary in the world premiere of Women in Jeopardy! In 2015 and as Gwendolyn Pigeon in The Odd Couple in 2014. Broadway credits include A Christmas Story; Shrek; The Pajama Game; Taboo; Urinetown the Musical; No, No Nanette (encores); The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Actor’s Fund); Seussical the Musical; Grease; Beauty and the Beast; Cats and most recently, Mr. Magoo’s Christmas.  Ms. Cody has spent the last few years lending her voice to movie and TV characters and commercials. She won the Annie Award (the voice-over Oscar for Best Actor in an Animated Motion Picture Feature Film) for creating the voice of Charlotte La Boeuff in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. She is the voice of Darcy in Nickelodeon’s “Winx Club” and Lucy in “Robot and Monster.” Off-Broadway, she created original roles in The Wild Party (MTC), Charles Bush’s Judith of Bethulia and Henry and Mudge. TV/FILM credits include Lucky Stiff, Khumba, “Blue Bloods,” “Unforgettable,” “Winx Club,” “Robot and Monster,” “American Dad,” “Phineas and Ferb,” “Law & Order,” “Gravity Falls,” “The Daily Show” and “Late Night with David Letterman.” 


Tom, Phyllis and Leslie

HUNTER FOSTER returns to Geva Theatre Center following his debut last season in Monty Python’s Spamalot. Broadway credits include The Bridges of Madison County, Hands on a Hardbody, Million Dollar Quartet, The Producers, Little Shop of Horrors (Tony Award nomination), Urinetown (Outer Critics Circle nomination), Les Misérables, Footloose, King David and Grease. Off-Broadway credits include Happiness (Drama Desk nomination), Burning, Borrowed Dust, Frankenstein, Dust, Modern Orthodox. Regionally, Mr. Foster appeared in Little Miss Sunshine, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Helen Hayes nomination), The Music Man, Mister Roberts, Lend Me a Tenor, The Full Monty, Boeing Boeing and The Government Inspector. TV credits include “Boardwalk Empire” and “Bunheads.”  Mr. Foster wrote the librettos for Summer of ‘42, The Circus in Winter, The Hollow, Clyde & Bonnie and Jasper in Deadland. He is an Artistic Associate at the Bucks County Playhouse.



DEE HOTY makes her Geva Theatre Center debut in Sylvia. A three-time Tony nominee for her starring roles in Footloose, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, and The Will Rogers Follies, the last two Broadway seasons have seen her featured performances in Bright Star and Gigi. Ms. Hoty starred on Broadway and in eight major U.S. cities as Donna in Mamma Mia! More Broadway: Bye Bye Birdie (Roundabout), City of Angels (Outer Critics Circle nomination), Me and My Girl, Big River, The Five O’Clock Girl and Shakespeare’s Cabaret. Other highlights include The Lion in Winter (Two River Theater); Love, Loss, and What I Wore (Off-Broadway); tours of 9 to 5, Barnum; Other Desert Cities (St. Louis Rep); Rich Girl (George Street Playhouse, Cleveland Play House); Phyllis in Follies at Paper Mill (cast recording); Kay Thompson in Stormy Weather (Barrymore Award, LA Ovation Award). Numerous film/television appearances include “Elementary,” “Smash,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” She is an Otterbein College graduate/Honorary Doctorate and a proud member Actors’ Equity. Twitter: @deehoty.



JOHN SCHERER made his Geva Theatre Center debut in 2015 in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. He appeared on Broadway in LoveMusik directed by the legendary Harold Prince and as Joe Gillis opposite Betty Buckley in Sunset Boulevard. He also worked with Mr. Prince in the world premiere of 3hree in Los Angeles. He starred as Bertie Wooster in the Broadway and film versions of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s By Jeeves directed by Sir Alan Ayckbourn. He played Herman in The Most Happy Fella at the NYC Opera with Paul Sorvino. John has won the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for his performance in George M! at the Goodspeed Opera House. Other regional credits include the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Arena Stage, Goodman Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse and many others. Film and television credits include Spinning Into Butter, Titus, “The Shield,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Law & Order” (all three series) and “Guiding Light.” He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.

A.R. Gurney


A.R. GURNEY  is the playwright of Scenes From American Life, Children, The Dining Room, The Middle Ages, Richard Cory, The Golden Age, What I Did Last Summer, The Wayside Motor Inn, Sweet Sue, The Perfect Party, Another Antigone, The Cocktail Hour, Love Letters, The Snow Ball (adapted from his novel), The Old Boy, The Fourth Wall, Later Life, A Cheever Evening, Sylvia, Overtime, Let’s Do It (A Cole Porter Musical), Labor Day, Far East, Darlene And The Guest Lecturer, Ancestral Voices. He wrote libretto for Strawberry Fields, with music by Michael Torke, part of the Central Park Opera trilogy presented by the New York City Opera in the Fall of 1999. Novels include The Gospel According to Joe, Entertaining Strangers, and The Snow Ball. Awards include Drama Desk, N.E.A., Rockefeller Foundation, New England Theatre Conference, Lucille Lortel, American Association of Community Theatres, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Mr. Gurney holds honorary degrees from Williams College and Buffalo State University. Mr. Gurney was on the faculty of M.I.T. until 1996. He is the husband of one, father of four, and grandfather of six.



MARK CUDDY  is in his twenty-second season as Artistic Director of Geva Theatre Center. This season, in addition to Sylvia, he will direct A Christmas Carol and Private Lives.  Last season, he directed To Kill a Mockingbird, Good People, A Christmas Carol and the world premiere of The Road to Where. Mr. Cuddy is well known for his staging of premieres, contemporary comedies and musical theatre. Among his Geva Theatre Center productions have been Clybourne Park, Pump Boys and Dinettes, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, You Can’t Take It With You, Company, Superior Donuts, The Music ManFive Course Love, Fences, Sweeney Todd, A Christmas Story, Pride and Prejudice (which he also co-adapted), Bad Dates, Our Town, Tuesdays With Morrie, Urinetown, Splitting Infinity, Vigil, A Chorus Line, Hamlet, That Was Then (American premiere), Convenience (world premiere musical); 1776, Proof; the world premiere of Thornton Wilder’s Theophilus North which was also seen at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., The Miser, the East Coast premieres of both House and Garden, Quilters, Art, Famous Orpheus (world premiere musical) with Garth Fagan Dance, Every Good Boy Deserves Favor with the RPO, Golf With Alan Shepard, Picasso at the Lapin Agile and State of the Union. Prior to his tenure at Geva Theatre Center, Mr. Cuddy directed a number of world and American classics while Artistic Director of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Sacramento Theatre Company.


Scenic Design

JO WINIARSKI returns to Geva where she previously designed Good People, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Clean House.  Recent design credits include “Wishes” for Disney Cruiseline. Off-Broadway credits include Love, Loss, and What I Wore; Love Therapy; The Jewish American Princesses of Comedy; I Love You Because; and multiple shows with the Pearl Theatre Company.  Other New York design credits include The Abington Theater Company, New Georges, The New Group, Keen Company, and Clubbed Thumb.  Regional design credits include the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, nine seasons at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Dallas Theater Center, Virginia Stage, and Capital Repertory Theatre.   Miss Winiarski is the art director on, “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”  She received an Emmy nomination for “Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All.”   


Costume Designer

SUSAN BRANCH TOWNE made her Geva Theatre Center debut last season with Monty Python’s Spamalot! Her design credits include work at the Denver Center Theatre Company, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Syracuse Stage, Pioneer Theatre Company, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Skylight Music Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Yale Repertory Theatre, New York City Opera, and Off-Broadway.  Ms. Branch Towne is based in Austin, Texas where she is on the faculty at St. Edward’s University and designs for Zach Theatre and Ballet Austin. Susan holds a B.F.A. from Carnegie-Mellon and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama.


Lighting Designer

ANN G. WRIGHTSON is pleased to be returning to Geva where she designed The May Queen and A Moon for the Misbegotten last season and Good People and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in 2014. She designed the Broadway production of Souvenir and was a Tony nominee for her work on Tony Award-winning August: Osage County, which she designed for Broadway, London, Sydney and the National Tour. Recent projects include Domesticated at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre; The Three Musketeers  at Indiana Repertory, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Berkshire Theatre Festival and A Streetcar Named Desire at Portland Center Stage. Past projects include The Unmentionables at Yale Repertory TheatreTracy Letts’ The Man from Nebraska at Steppenwolf; and ten seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Other work has been seen at the Guthrie, the Alliance, Arena Stage and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference. Awards include a 2009 IRNE Award for Best Lighting for Fences at Huntington Theatre, a 1997 Backstage Garland Award, for Magic Fire at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and a 2014 PAMTA award for Fiddler on the Roof at Portland Center Stage.


Original Music & Sound Design

SCOTT KILLIAN is happy to return to Geva after two previous productions with Mark Cuddy at the helm: Art and Tuesdays with Morrie.  As a composer and sound designer for theatre, his NYC credits include Sarah, Sarah;  Five by Tenn; A Picasso (Lortel Award nom.); and  The Other Side (all at Manhattan Theatre Club); The Duchess of Malfi, Edward the Second, Women Beware Women (Red Bull Theater); Side Effects (MCC);  and Steve and Idi and Miss Julie at the Rattlestick Theater.  Regional credits include Resident Composer/Sound Designer at the Berkshire Theatre Festival (35+ productions);  George Street Playhouse; Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, Westport Country Playhouse;  American Conservatory Theatre;  Seattle Repertory Theatre;  Shakespeare Theatre, DC;  Shakespeare & Company, Theatre Calgary and Vancouver Playhouse. A well-known composer in the dance world, Mr. Killian has composed works for many companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Jose Limon Company, Nikolais-Louis Dance, and Chicago’s Hubbard Street Dance.  His long-term choreographic collaborators include Zvi Gotheiner, Joanie Smith (Shapiro and Smith Dance) and Cherylyn Lavagnino.


Literary Director/Resident Dramaturg

JENNI WERNER is in her sixth season at Geva Theatre Center. She has served as dramaturg on seventeen productions at Geva include world premieres by Molly Smith Metzler, Wendy MacLeod, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Lora Cole and Cass Morgan.  Previously, she served as the Director of Programming at Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the non-profit theatre field.  From 2005-2011, Ms. Werner produced TCG’s annual National Conference, curating the content and organizing the logistics for the largest national gathering of professionals in the non-profit theatre field.  For six years, she was adjunct instructor in the Program in Educational Theatre at New York University, and is now an adjunct instructor in the English Department at RIT. She sits on the board of ImageOut.  Ms. Werner has an M.F.A. in dramaturgy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a B.A. in theatre and history from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.


Stage Manager

JENN LYONS is a Rochester native happy to be working at Geva. Previous shows at Geva include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Miracle on South Division Street, Red, The Mountaintop, Little Shop of Horrors, The Odd Couple and Clybourne Park.  National Tours include Mary Poppins, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella (starring Eartha Kitt), Showboat and The Who’s Tommy. New York credits include work at Roundabout Theatre and Circle Repertory Theater as well as the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid.  Her two favorite productions are Maddie and Jack.


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