The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director and Elizabeth Doran, Executive Director) announced Academy Award and Emmy nominee Taraji P. Henson (Starred on “Person of Interest” on CBS, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and new “No Good Deed” oppsite Idris Elba) to star as “Jane” in the World Premiere of ABOVE THE FOLD, the fourth production of its 2013 – 2014 Season. Written by Bernard Weinraub and directed by Steven Robman, ABOVE THE FOLD plays January 28 – February 23, 2014. Opening night is February 2, 2014.
The cast of ABOVE THE FOLD will feature Kristi Johnson, who returns to The Pasadena Playhouse in the role of “Monique” after starring in the Playhouse productions of Jitney and Intimate Apparel. Kristi Johnson’s television credits include “Hart of Dixie,” “General Hospital,” and “House M.D.”
The cast of ABOVE THE FOLD also features Arye Gross as “Marvin,” who is currently performing in “Parfumerie” at The Wallis in Beverly Hills. Gross is also a series regular on ABC’s “Castle” and was a series regular on “The Ellen Show.” Kris Higgins appears as “Victor”. Higgins’s television credits include “Secret Life of the American Teenager ,“NCIS,” and “Cold Case.” Mark Hildreth, a series regular on “Resurrection” will play the role of “Lorne”. Joe Massingill , whose credits include series regular on “Hart of Dixie,” and roles in “Epic” and “Trouble With The Curve will play the role of“Bobby”and Seamus Mulcahy, whose credits include “Killing Lincoln” and “One Fall” will play the role of “Eric”.
Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse, says, “I am tremendously excited about mounting the first production of this play which we developed in our Hothouse series. The play is timely, resonant, hard hitting, and surprising. Bernie writes of a world that he knows very well, so it provides a fascinating insider’s look at the intricacies and the sometimes dangerous aspects of the world of journalism. It is always a challenging pleasure to help give birth to new work and I look forward to both the process and to what I know will be the exciting rewards of having this play on our stage.”
ABOVE THE FOLD Director Steven Robman says “ If you’ve ever wondered how much a news story is affected by the whims and biases of even the most scrupulous reporter, check out this play.”
Bernard Weinraub, author of ABOVE THE FOLD, adds “All the actors, led by Taraji, give such depth and meaning to their roles. They’re supremely talented. And I’m deeply grateful to every one of them.”
Taraji Henson earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress opposite Brad Pitt in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Taraji is a 2011 Emmy nominee for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries for Lifetime’s Taken From Me. She starred as Detective Joss Carter in the highly rated J.J. Abrams crime drama Person of Interest for CBS opposite Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson. Taraji stared in the major hit Think Like a Man, which opened to #1 at the box office and just completed Think Like a Man Too. She will next star in Sony’s No Good Deed opposite Idris Elba which opens in September 2014.
In Larry Crowne she co-starred with star and director Tom Hanks alongside Julia Roberts and Cedric the Entertainer. She starred in the hugely successful Karate Kid opposite Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan and in Date Night with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell. For her role in Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, she received the 2009 Diversity Award for Best Actress. She also starred in the upcoming Peep World playing Rainn Wilson’s love interest; The Good Doctor with Orlando Bloom and Once Fallen costarring Ed Harris.
Henson received rave reviews for her role in Focus Features’ Talk to Me opposite Don Cheadle. She costarred in the ensemble action drama Smokin’ Aces with Ben Affleck and Alicia Keys. Henson was named Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Feature Film by the Black Movie Awards and received the BET Best Actress nod for her performance as Shug in the gutsy drama Hustle & Flow also starring Terrence Howard. She starred in Sony’s Not Easily Broken opposite Morris Chestnut, opposite Forest Whitaker in Hurricane Season, and with Kathy Bates in Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys.
Henson made her singing debut in Hustle & Flow and performed the Academy Award-winning song, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” on the Oscar telecast. She reunited for the third time with John Singleton to film Four Brothers with Mark Wahlberg and Andre 3000 for Paramount. Henson costarred with Simon Baker and Sanaa Lathan in Focus Features’ Something New. Henson is well remembered for her role as Yvette opposite Tyrese in Baby Boy.
Taraji was a series regular on David E. Kelly’s Boston Legal and recurred on ABC’s Eli Stone. She was featured in Jamie Foxx’s video, “Just Like Me,” and also appeared in Estelle’s video, “Pretty Please.”
ABOVE THE FOLD tells the story of Jane, an African-American newspaper reporter from New York, who flies to a Southern university where three white fraternity boys have been accused of raping a young African-American woman. Taking place amidst the shift from print to digital journalism ABOVE THE FOLD asks tough questions about the exploitation of tragedy, the cost of success and the dangers that come when ambition collides with truth. ABOVE THE FOLD began as a HOTHOUSE at The Playhouse staged reading.