Asolo Rep stages the timely comedy Eureka Day
Asolo Repertory Theatre proudly presents the timely new comedy EUREKA DAY, written by New College of Florida alumnus Jonathan Spector. Directed by Bianca LaVerne Jones, EUREKA DAY begins previews on May 11, opens on May 13 and runs through June 4, in the intimate Cook Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts.
An illness is spreading through the progressive and painstakingly accepting Eureka Day School – and it’s more than the mumps. When the outbreak threatens to become an epidemic, it’s a race to see what will destroy this community first: the disease or each other. Despite the safe-space mentality, gluten-free scones from the local bakery, and open marriages that have moved beyond monogamy, secrets and lies still run rampant and childhood vaccinations ignite fury. An explosive comedy that skewers sanctimony and the nature of our politics, EUREKA DAY asks: when does “us” become “them?”
A graduate of New College of Florida in Sarasota, Spector is now based in Oakland, Calif. For EUREKA DAY, he has received multiple awards and accolades, including a NY Times Critic’s Pick, Glickman Award, Theater Bay Area Award, Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award and Rella Lossy Award. His other plays include This Much I Know, Best Available, In From The Cold, Siesta Key and Good. Better. Best. Bested. His work has been produced at theatres around the country and he’s currently under commission from La Jolla Playhouse, Roundabout Theatre Company and Manhattan Theatre Club.
Jones was seen on stage at Asolo Rep as Jory in Ayad Aktar’s Disgraced in 2016. She recently served on Broadway as associate director for the comedy Chicken & Biscuits, which she will direct at Asolo Rep next season. Some of her other associate and assistant directing credits include Thoughts of a Colored Man, A Small Oak Tree Runs Red and BLKS.
"Hold on to your mask!” Jones said. “I don't know if our audience will be laughing or crying through this one, but they will definitely relate. This play was written before the pandemic, and it really hits home. The actors we’ve assembled to tell this story have wonderful craftsmanship, and our rehearsal room is going to be dynamic!"
Everyone in the cast is making their Asolo Rep debut this season.
Paul Slade Smith (Don) was part of the original Broadway casts of Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Lincoln Center’s revival of My Fair Lady, as well as the national tours of Wicked (Doctor Dillamond) and The Phantom of the Opera. He was nominated for a 2019 Helpmann Award for his performance as Willy Wonka in the Australian premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Anne Bowles’ (Suzanne) Broadway credits include Collected Stories, reasons to be pretty and Inherit the Wind. She appeared off-Broadway in Make Believe and her regional credits include Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center, Love Factually and Steel Magnolias, among others. Her television credits include The Good Wife, House of Cards and Turn.
An FSU graduate now based in New York City, Jasmine Bracey (Carina) teaches at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Some theatres of note on her resume are The Utah Shakespeare Festival, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre and Guthrie Theater. Celia Mei Rubin (Meiko) appeared on Broadway in Matilda; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 and A Christmas Carol, and in the national tours of Chicago, West Side Story and Guys and Dolls. She is a dual citizen of the US and UK and worked on London’s West End in Parade, Candide and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Based in Chicago, Chris Amos (Eli) has appeared regionally in Twelve Angry Men, Peter and the Starcatcher, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors, and Scapin. His television appearances include Chicago PD, Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Empire, and The Chi. Trezure Coles (Winter) is a first-year FSU/Asolo Conservatory student from Newport News, Virginia. She was an understudy in Asolo Rep’s Our Town this season and served as assistant stage manager for Belleville and Twelfth Night at the Conservatory.
The understudies for EUREKA DAY are Jessica Eckenrod, Zoë Kim, Sharon Pearlman, Jordan Rich and Mikhail Roberts.
“I saw EUREKA DAY in New York before the pandemic and it was hilarious,” said Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. “At the time, anti-vaxxers seemed remote. But the show was very well written and by a New College graduate. Then, of course, the pandemic hit, and the debate about vaccines couldn’t be more timely. This play has gone from the periphery to being in the eye of the hurricane. It will land powerfully with our audience.”
EUREKA DAY contains mature themes and language and is recommended for age 16+.
EUREKA DAY runs May 11 – June 4, 2022. Previews are May 11-12. Visit asolorep.org for a full performance schedule. Tickets start at $28 and are available now in person at Asolo Rep's Box Office at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, by phone at 941.351.8000 or 800.361.8388, or online at asolorep.org.
Learn about Asolo Rep’s Health and Safety Protocols.
Asolo Rep is able to present EUREKA DAY because of the generosity of its sponsors. The corporate sponsors for EUREKA DAY are Suncoast News Network and Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, with additional support from the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.
Asolo Rep 2021-2022 Major Season Sponsors are Florida State University, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Huisking Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Designing Women Boutique, The Exchange, and Sunset Cadillac of Bradenton. Asolo Rep’s artistic programs are paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues.
Now in its 63rd season, Asolo Repertory Theatre is recognized as one of the premier professional theatres in America and one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. One of the few select theatres in the nation that performs in true rotating repertory, Asolo Rep’s highly skilled acting company and extensive craftsmanship bring to life this unique performance method that gives audiences the opportunity to see multiple productions in the span of a few days. Asolo Rep presents up to 10 productions each season, including contemporary and classic works and provocative musical theatre experiences. A theatre district in and of itself, Asolo Rep is committed to expanding its reach into the community, furthering its collaboration with the best theatre artists working in the industry today and cultivating new artists through its affiliation with the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards and Managing Director Linda DiGabriele, Asolo Rep’s ambitious theatrical offerings and ground-breaking education and community programming engage audiences and ensure its lasting legacy for future generations. Visit asolorep.org to learn more.