Cast and Creative Team Announced for the World Premiere of Ibsen's Ghost
WRITTEN BY AND STARRING CHARLES BUSCH
DIRECTED BY CARL ANDRESS
THOMAS GIBSON, JEN CODY, CHRISTOPHER BORG, JUDY KAYE, AND JENNIFER VAN DYCK
PREVIEWS BEGIN JANUARY 16, 2024
OPENING NIGHT SET FOR JANUARY 19, 2024
LIMITED RUN THROUGH FEBRUARY 4, 2024
TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW AT GEORGESTREETPLAYHOUSE.ORG
(December 12, 2023 – New Brunswick, NJ) George Street Playhouse (David Saint, Artistic Director & Edgar Herrera, Managing Director) in association with Primary Stages (Shane D. Hudson, Executive Director; Erin Daley, Interim Artistic Director; Casey Childs, Founder) is thrilled to announce the complete cast for IBSEN’S GHOST: An Irresponsible Biographical Fantasy, a new play written by and starring Tony Award nominee Charles Busch (The Confession of Lily Dare) with direction by Carl Andress (Still at Risk). IBSEN’S GHOST begins previews on Tuesday January 16, with an opening night set for Friday January 19 and will run through Sunday February 4, 2024.
The cast of IBSEN’S GHOST will include Charles Busch as Suzannah Thoresen Ibsen, Thomas Gibson (“Dharma & Greg”) as Wolf Dahlquist, Jen Cody (Shrek the Musical) as Gerda, Christopher Borg (The Confession of Lily Dare) as George Elstad/The Rat Wife, Tony Award winner Judy Kaye (Diana: The Musical) as Magdalene Kragh Thoresen, and Jennifer Van Dyck (Hedda Gabler) as Hanna Solberg. Kate Hampton (The Rat Trap) will serve as an understudy for Susannah Thoresen Ibsen.
IBSEN’S GHOST will feature set design by Shoko Kambara (GSP’s Her Portmanteau; Little Girl Blue; Midwives), costume design by Gregory Gale (Fairycakes; Rock of Ages), lighting design by Ken Billington (New York, New York; Gettin’ the Band Back Together), sound design by Jill BC Du Boff (Mother Play; Summer, 1976) and Ien De Nio (Cost of Living; Endlings), and wig design by Bobbie Zlotnik (The Great Gatsby: The Immersive Show; Squirrel Screams). Avery Trunko (DIG) is the Production Stage Manager. Casting is by McCorkle Casting.
Based on a few irrefutable facts, IBSEN’S GHOST tells a tall (and hilarious) tale of the legendary Norwegian playwright's wife Suzannah the week after the great man's state funeral. A fierce keeper of the flame, Suzannah is confronted with a series of predicaments: her husband's long lost illegitimate son, his former protegee peddling a libelous diary and an enigmatic rodent exterminator known as the Rat Wife. This is the play Ibsen never wrote but with more laughs and a happy ending.
"It is truly an honor to welcome the legendary Charles Busch, a comic genius, to George Street Playhouse to star in his latest world premiere,” says Artistic Director David Saint. “Coinciding with the release of his New York Times hit autobiography, Leading Lady, we eagerly await the mad delight Charles will surely bring to his unforgettable character of the wicked Widow Ibsen!"
The performance schedule for IBSEN’S GHOST is as follows: Wednesday – Saturday at 8pm; Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Exceptions: there will be an added performance on Tuesday January 16 at 8pm; there will be no 2pm performance on Thursday January 18.
George Street Playhouse will also offer an open captioned performance on January 27 and there will be a discussion following the audio described performance on Sunday January 28.
Tickets to IBSEN’S GHOST begin at $25 and are now on sale at georgestreetplayhouse.org/ibsensghost.
GEORGE STREET PLAYHOUSE
Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint since 1997, George Street Playhouse produces groundbreaking new works, inspiring productions of the classics, and hit Broadway plays and musicals that speak to the heart and mind, with an unwavering commitment to producing new work. As New Brunswick’s first producing theatre, George Street Playhouse became the cornerstone of the revitalization of the City’s arts and cultural landscape. Entering its 50th season, the organization has a rich history of producing nationally renowned theatre. The Playhouse continues to fill a unique theatre and arts education role in the city, state and greater metropolitan region. George Street Playhouse recently announced the appointment of Edgar Herrera as Managing Director, effective June 1, 2023. Beginning with the 2019-20 Season, George Street Playhouse moved to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in downtown New Brunswick. Featuring two state-of-the-art theatres—The Arthur Laurents Theater with 253 seats and The Elizabeth Ross Johnson Theater which seats 465—and myriad amenities, the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center marks a new era in the esteemed history of George Street Playhouse. Founded by Eric Krebs, George Street Playhouse, originally located in an abandoned supermarket on the corner of George and Albany Streets, was the first professional theatre in New Brunswick. In 1984, the Playhouse moved to a renovated YMCA on Livingston Avenue, and in 2017 took temporary residence in the former Agricultural Museum at Rutgers University during construction of its new home. The Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway. In 2018, George Street Playhouse was represented on Broadway with Gettin’ the Band Back Together which premiered on the Playhouse mainstage in 2013. American Son, produced by George Street Playhouse in 2017, opened on Broadway in 2018 starring Kerry Washington and Stephen Pasquale, and was seen on Netflix. Other productions include the Outer Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger. In 2015, It Shoulda Been You opened on Broadway and Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies opened off-Broadway. Both shows received their premieres at the Playhouse. Other productions include the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League Award-nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the Broadway hit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at the Playhouse during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Commissioners through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.
ABOUT PRIMARY STAGES
Primary Stages is an Off-Broadway not-for-profit theater company dedicated to inspiring, supporting, producing. and sharing the art of playwriting. We operate on the strongly held belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights and giving them the artistic support needed to create new work. Last year, we proudly returned to 59E59 Theaters as their Resident Off-Broadway Theater Company with our productions of Judy Gold’s Yes, I Can Say That!; Jiehae Park’s peerless; Clarence Coo’s On That Day in Amsterdam and Karen Hartman’s New Golden Age; and this fall produced Theresa Rebeck's critically-acclaimed Dig. Since our founding in 1984, we have produced more than 135 new plays, including Theresa Rebeck’s Poor Behavior and Downstairs; Kate Hamill’s Pride and Prejudice and Little Women; Billy Porter’s While I Yet Live; Charles Busch’s The Confession of Lily Dare and The Tribute Artist; Sharon Washington’s Feeding the Dragon; Leah Nanako Winkler’s God Said This; In Transit by James-Allen-Ford, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Russ Kaplan, and Sara Wordsworth (on Broadway in 2017); Horton Foote’s Dividing the Estate (two Tony nominations); Donald Margulies’ The Model Apartment (1995 premiere and 2013 revival); David Ives’ All in the Timing (original 1993 production and 2013 revival); Tanya Saracho’s Fade; Michael McKeever’s Daniel’s Husband; A.R. Gurney’s Black Tie; Terrence McNally’s Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams; Conor McPherson’s St. Nicholas (which marked the playwright’s U.S. debut); and Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter’s In the Continuum (which went on to tour the U.S., Africa, and Scotland). Our productions and artists have received critical acclaim, including Tony, Obie, Lortel, AUDELCO, Outer Critics’ Circle, Drama League and Drama Desk Awards and nominations. Primary Stages supports playwrights and develops new works through commissions, workshops, readings, and our education and training programs: The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, the Marvin and Anne Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA), the Echoes Writers Group, the Free Student Matinee Program, and the Primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral History Project. Through these programs, Primary Stages advocates for our artists, helping them make important—and often transformative— connections within the theater community.
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