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Release: September 25, 2006 CONTACT:

Jeannine Stehlin
Circus Theatricals

press release in pdf version



World premiere directed by Steve Zuckerman opens October 14, 2006


Los Angeles , CA September 25, 2006 Award-winning and critically acclaimed theatre company, Circus Theatricals, announces that it will present the world premiere of Man.Govby award-winning playwright Shem Bitterman. Acclaimed Broadway and television director Steve Zuckerman will direct. Man.Gov will play Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, October 14 - November 18.

“We’re continuing the inaugural year in our new home by offering world premieres." says Artistic Director Jack Stehlin. "Our continuing artistic relationships with talented writers such as Shem Bitterman and world-class directors like Steve Zuckerman make this an exciting time in the history of Circus Theatricals.”

Man.Gov tells the story of a senior arms inspector - the quintessential government man - whose life is turned upside-down when he is suspected of leaking damaging information to a celebrity reporter.

Shem Bitterman loosely based on several stories of high profile weapons inspectors critical of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, including;

the story of British Arms inspector Dr. David Kelly who was “outed” as a source for the report that Britain’s Tony Blair intentionally "sexed up" the case for Iraq's war capability as a prelude to invasion. Two months later, Dr. Kelly was found dead. Officially called a suicide, the cause of his death remains controversial.


William Scott Ritter, Jr. a former U.S. weapons inspector and critic of United States foreign policy in the Middle East, who, since outwardly criticizing the U.S. Iraq policies, has found himself accused of being a spy of Israel, has been investigated by the FBI as an agent of Iraq, his wife has been investigated as a KGB spy, and he has been accused of domestic crimes.

The cast includes stage veterans Robert Cicchini, Christopher Curry, Stephanie Erb, Thomas Kopache, Jordan Lund, and newcomer Britt Napier.

Design team includes Kitty Rose (sound/set/costumes), Derrick McDaniel (lights). Assistant Director is Elise Robertson. Stage Manager is Leah Roobini. Producers are Artistic Director Jack Stehlin and Managing Director Jeannine Stehlin.

Shem Bitterman
With Circus Theatricals: The Job which won the LA Drama Critic’s Circle Award for Best New Play, transferred to off-Broadway and was published by Samuel French and Smith & Kraus, The Circle, LA Weekly nominee for Best Leading Male Perfromance, Best Supporting Male Performance, a 2005 Pen/West Finalist. Man.Gov is his 20th produced play.

Most recently, his play Sensitive Skin was produced at The Elephant Asylum and directed by David Fofi. Ten Below, at the WPA, , starring Kevin Conway and Anthony Edwards, winner of the National Play Award; Peephole at Geva, winner of the Davie Award; Night-Side, a one- woman show at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville starring Pamela Gien (The Syringa Tree); The Ramp at South Coast Rep, winner of the California Playwright’s Competition; Beijing Legends at The Pacific Jewish Theatre winner of the Fund For New American Plays; Self Storage at the Odyssey; and Iowa Boys at The Actor’s Studio, winner of the CBS/FDG New Plays Award.

Produced films include: "Lenexa," "1 Mile," starring Paul Wesley, Jason Ritter, Chris Klein and William Baldwin; "Peephole," directed by Shem; "Out Of The Rain" starring Bridget Fonda and directed by Gary Winick; "Off The Lip" starring Marguerite Moreau; "Tinsletown" starring Joe Pantoliano and Ron Perlman; and "Open House," starring Jason Wiles. Shem has developed and acted in plays at The Mark Taper Forum, Sundance, the Midwest Playlabs and Steppenwolf and has written films for Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Disney and many independent film companies. He has taught screenwriting, playwriting and acting in the California Prisons and in Beijing, China. Shem studied acting at New York’s High School of Performing Arts and Julliard and got an M.F.A. in playwriting from The University of Iowa.

Steve Zuckerman
Steve Zuckerman directed Nuts by Tom Topor on Broadway which received two Tony nominations and a Drama Desk Award. As Associate Director of New York’s WPA theater he directed many productions including the premieres of Nuts , Steve Metcalf’s The Incredibly Famous Willy Rivers, Shem Bitterman’s Ten Below and Israel Horovitz’s Unexpected Tenderness and North Shore Fish. His collaboration with Mr. Horovitz also resulted in the premieres of Today I am a Fountain Pen , A Rosen By Any Other Name and The Chopin Playoffs. He directed a filmed version of North Shore Fish for Showtime which starred Mercedes Ruehl, Peter Riegert and Tony Danza. Revivals of Tennessee Williams Vieux Carre and Ibsen’s When We Dead Awaken with Kim Hunter received Drama Desk Awards.

 He has been Director of Play Development at The Circle in the Square Theatre and Artistic Director of the Impossible Ragtime Theatre in New York and the Sharon Playhouse. He has directed at the Manhattan Theater Club, Circle Rep and many regional theatres including Baltimore’s Center Stage, The La Jolla Playhouse and the Yale Rep. Mr. Zuckerman was trained at the University of Michigan and the Yale School of Drama.

In addition to his long theater career, Mr. Zuckerman has directed over 350 episodes of prime time television including such shows as "Everybody Loves Raymond," "The Drew Carey Show," "Friends," "Murphy Brown" for which he recieved an Humanitas Award, and "Empty Nest."

Circus Theatricals
Jack Stehlin founded Circus Theatricals in New York in 1983. The company’s notable NYC productions - - include Shakespeare’s Macbeth Off-Broadway at the Classic Stage Company and Danton’s Death at the Rapp Arts Center. In 1995, Circus Theatricals moved to Los Angeles, where Jack met and partnered with Jeannine Wisnosky (Jack and Jeannine married two years later). In LA, Circus Theatricals was in residence at The Hudson Guild (The Job, Hedda Gabler) from 1995 - 1999, and the Odyssey Theatre (Hamlet, Richard III, True West, Tartuffe, The Cherry Orchard) from 1999 to 2005.

Circus Theatricals began their 2006 season in the new Circus Theatricals Studio Theatre at the Hayworth. The company plans to continue to present a mix of classic and new plays. This past summer, Circus Theatricals presented three world premiere plays in repertory, including John Bunzel’s” Complexity,” R. Hamilton Wright’s “Greensward,” and Colette Freedman's " Sister Cities," as well as the classic play, "Iphigenia in Aulis." Circus Theatricals is a participant in the 365LA, the largest theatre festival in the United States.

Further goals include a plan to develop more new works with established and budding playwrights, expand community outreach programs, develop a subscription audience, continue to develop the Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble, and enhance the quality of training in The Circus Theatricals Studio for Actors.

Circus Theatricals has garnered awards and nominations from the LA Drama Critics Circle, Back Stage West, the LA Weekly, LA Stage Alliance Ovations, and Dramalogue.

Performance Schedule
MAN.GOV: Opens Saturday, October 14, 8PM
Closes Saturday, November 18, 8PM.
Previews Friday, October 13

Ticket and Reservations
Tickets, at $20 can be purchased by calling 323-960- 1054 or by visiting the Circus Theatricals website,

Venue Information
The Circus Theatricals Studio Theatre at The Hayworth is located at 2511 Wilshire Blvd, just off the 10 and 110 freeways. The entrance is on 643 Carondelet. The theatre is on the second floor. There is ample street parking, as well as a low-priced parking lot one half block west on Wilshire.


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Hayworth Theatre Center CARONDOLET entrance

Circus Theatricals
at The Hayworth Theatre Center
2511 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90057

photo: Carondolet entrance

Company members in new space

Circus Theatricals Company Members in unbuilt space

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Site of future rehearsal room

Site of Future Rehearsal Room

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