Arena Stage The Mead Center for American Theater MY ACCOUNT
Event Calendar


By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Kate Whoriskey
January 15 – February 21, 2016
Kreeger Theater

A group of close friends shares everything: drinks, secrets and laughs. But when rumors of layoffs shake up the local factory, the fragile bonds of their community begin to fray and a horrific crime sends shock waves across two generations. This gripping world premiere by acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (Ruined) explores America’s industrial decline at the turn of the millennium by examining the inhabitants of one Pennsylvania town who still struggle to reclaim what’s lost, find redemption and redefine themselves in a new century. Co-commissioned with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Sweat is generously sponsored by Margot Kelly, Jeri and Gary Epstein and


JOHANNA DAY (Tracey) won a Helen Hayes Award for her starring role in Arena Stage’s The Rainmaker. Additional Arena credits include Quality of Life and Good People. She was a Drama Desk Award nominee for Second Stage Theatre’s Peter and Jerry, Tony Award nominee for Proof at the Walter Kerr Theatre and won an Obie Award for Appropriate at Signature Theatre. On Broadway, Johanna played Mrs. Kirby in the 2014 revival of You Can’t Take It With You, opposite James Earl Jones and Elizabeth Ashley; and Barbara Fordham in August: Osage County. She appeared in the world premieres of Westport Country Playhouse’s Oblivion and Yale Repertory Theatre’s The Realistic Joneses. Prior to joining Sweat, she created the role of Zippy in Choice. Johanna currently has recurring roles on CBS’ Madam Secretary and Showtime’s The Knick.

KEVIN KENERLY (Brucie) has spent 19 seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival where his credits include The Great Society; All the Way; Two Trains Running; The Liquid Plain; Troilus and Cressida; Julius Caesar; The African Company Presents Richard III, Henry IV, Part 1; Throne of Blood; Macbeth; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Fences; Gem of the Ocean; Tartuffe; The Importance of Being Earnest; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Gibraltar; Topdog/Underdog; King Lear; Romeo and Juliet; Playboy of the West Indies; As You Like It; Life Is a Dream; Stop Kiss; Seven Guitars; Death and the King’s Horseman; Les Blancs; Pride and Prejudice; The Night of the Iguana; The Taming of the Shrew; and Henry IV, Part 2. Additional credits with Studio Theatre, Hilberry Theatre and Attic Theatre (Detroit). Kevin received his B.A. from Olivet College.

TARA MALLEN (Jessie) is artistic director at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, a professional Chicago-based company. Recent stage credits include the world premieres of Rivendell’s Look, we are breathing and Rasheeda Speaking; Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ How Long Will I Cry; The Walls; and Self Defense, or death of some salesmen. She received two Joseph Jefferson Awards for her work in WRENS (Best Supporting Actress and Best Ensemble) and was nominated for Best Actress for My Simple City. Tara co-conceived and directed the critically-acclaimed premiere of Women at War, an exploration of women in today’s military that played to sold-out houses at Rivendell in the fall of 2014 and is now touring. Screen credits include Steven Soderbergh’s film Contagion, Boss, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., the Netflix series Sense8 and the CBS/Sony Pictures pilot Doubt.

REZA SALAZAR (Oscar) makes his Arena Stage debut. Off-Broadway he was seen in My Mañana Comes (Playwrights Realm), directed by Chay Yew and nominated for both Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk Awards for Best Play. Additional theater credits include Khan in the workshop of The Petrol Station by Sulayman Al-Bassam; In The Cypher (Nuyorican Poets Cafe); Mariela en el Desierto and Por Gusto (Repertorio Español); and Marco (The Invisible Dog Art Center). As a playwright, he debuted his first play Incognito at Thespis Theater Festival. His TV credits include Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Daredevil (Netflix), The Blacklist, Believe, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Louie and Nuestro Barrio. Film credits include The Imperialists Are Still Alive!, See Girl Run and The Inquisition of Camilo Sanz.

KIMBERLY SCOTT (Cynthia) last appeared at Arena Stage as Molly in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. In the role on Broadway, she was nominated for Tony and Drama Desk Awards. Her most recent theater credits include Head of Passes (Berkeley Repertory Theatre) and Familiar (Yale Repertory Theatre). She spent six seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) playing roles in Henry IV, Part 2; Ruined; As You Like It; The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler; and The Pirates of Penzance. As part of OSF’s American Revolutions: The United States History Cycle, she created the roles of Dembi in The Liquid Plain, Amira in Party People, Viola Pettus in American Night and Cynthia in Sweat. Kimberly’s film credits include Love and Other Drugs, World Trade Center, The Abyss and many TV credits. Twitter: @kimaileen

STEPHEN MICHAEL SPENCER (Jason) makes his Arena Stage and D.C. debut. Regional credits include Sweat (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Heart of Robin Hood (Mirvish Productions); Yentl, A Carol for Cleveland and Every Good Boy Deserves Favor (Cleveland Play House); Go West, Clybourne Park, The Comedy of Errors and As You Like It (Chautauqua Theater Company); Tartuffe (Triad Stage); The Tempest (North Carolina Shakespeare Festival); Go, Dog. Go! (North Carolina Theatre for Young People); and In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, The Misanthrope and Twelfth Night (Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House). Stephen holds a B.F.A. in acting from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an M.F.A. in acting from Case Western Reserve University/ Cleveland Play House. Instagram: @stephenMspencer

TRAMELL TILLMAN (Chris) is a native of the D.C.-metro area and this show marks his debut at Arena Stage. Tramell received his M.F.A. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2014. Notable credits include Red Bull Theater’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Off-Broadway); New Stage Theatre’s The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Twelfth Night and A Soldiers Play; Chautauqua Theater Company’s The Tempest and A Raisin in the Sun; and Clarence Brown Theatre’s The Whipping Man, Spamalot and A Christmas Carol. Tramell is grateful for the opportunity to tell such a riveting, relevant story in American history. Enjoy the journey.

JACK WILLIS (Stan) returns to Arena Stage after appearing in Mother Courage and Her Children, Book of Days, Of Mice and Men and Agamemnon and His Daughters. Broadway credits include Julius Caesar, The Crucible, Art and The Old Neighborhood. Off-Broadway credits include The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, World of Mirth, The Iphigenia Cycle and Valhalla. He has appeared in more than 200 productions worldwide and been a company member at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theater, American Repertory Theater, Trinity Repertory Company and Dallas Theater Center. Film and TV credits include Toy Story 3, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Cradle Will Rock, The Out-of-Towners, Love Hurts, I Come in Peace, Problem Child, Law & Order, Ed and Dallas. Jack was awarded a Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship through the Ten Chimneys Foundation.

TYRONE WILSON (Evan) appeared on Broadway in Lettice and Lovage. For the last 22 years, he has been a company member at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and has performed in nearly 50 productions. His favorite credits include the Friar in Much Ado About Nothing, Abernathy in All the Way and The Great Society, Vincentio in The Taming of the Shrew, Elbow in Measure for Measure, Christian in Ruined, Joe Stoddard in Our Town, Sebastian in The Tempest, Carl in Bus Stop, Morocco in The Merchant of Venice, Menelaus in Troilus and Cressida, Godfrey in Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Abioseh in Les Blancs, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet and Caliban in The Tempest. Tyrone holds an M.F.A. (Yale School of Drama) and B.A. (Middlebury College). Twitter: @ashlandbardman Instagram: @tyronewilsonashland Facebook: Tyrone K Wilson


LYNN NOTTAGE (Playwright) is a Pulitzer Prizewinning playwright and screenwriter. Her plays have been produced widely in the U.S. and throughout the world. They include By the Way Meet Vera Stark; Ruined; Intimate Apparel; Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine; and Crumbs from the Table of Joy. Lynn is the recipient of numerous honors including a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, Steinberg “Mimi” Distinguished Playwright Award, Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, inaugural Horton Foote Prize, Helen Hayes Award, Lee Reynolds Award and a PEN/Laura Pels Award. She is the co-founder of the production company Market Road Films. Special thanks to Oregon Shakespeare Festival and American Revolutions: The United States History Cycle, The Lark, McCarter Theatre, Travis Ballenger, Alison Carey, Bill Rauch, Jill Dubiner, Mica Cole, Santo Mirabella, the folks of Reading, Tony Gerber and my family.

KATE WHORISKEY (Director)’s New York credits include Dear Elizabeth (Women’s Project Theatre), Public Studio shows Ping Pong and Manahatta (The Public), Tales From Red Vienna and Ruined (Manhattan Theatre Club, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel Award nominations), The Miracle Worker (Broadway’s Circle in the Square), How I Learned to Drive (Second Stage Theatre), The Piano Teacher (Vineyard Theatre), Oroonoko (Theatre for a New Audience), the world premieres of Fabulation and Inked Baby (Playwrights Horizons) and Massacre (Labyrinth Theater Company). International credits include Magdalena at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris and Teatro Municipal de Sao Paulo. Regional credits include Goodman Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, American Repertory Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Huntington Theatre Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, Center Stage, Sundance Theatre Lab and New York Stage and Film, among others.

JOHN LEE BEATTY (Set Designer) previously designed for Arena Stage’s The Tot Family (1976) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1978). His Broadway credits include Disgraced, The Heidi Chronicles, Chicago, The Nance, Outside Mullingar, Venus in Fur, Other Desert Cities, Good People, Rabbit Hole, After Midnight, The Color Purple, Doubt, Proof, The Sisters Rosensweig, Talley’s Folly, Fifth of July, A Delicate Balance, The Heiress, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Abe Lincoln in Illinois. Off-Broadway credits include Dada Woof Papa Hot, Shows for Days, The City of Conversation, and Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear in Central Park. Designer of more than 100 Broadway shows, he is the recipient of multiple Tony, Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards, and is a member of the Theater Hall of Fame.

JENNIFER MOELLER (Costume Designer) recently designed costumes for Sweat at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Additional credits include La Bohéme (Washington National Opera); The Bachelorette and Venus in Fur (Studio Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helen Hayes Award nomination), The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Tamburlaine (Helen Hayes Award nomination) and Richard III (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Public’s Shakespeare in the Park); The Last Goodbye (The Old Globe); Candide (Glimmerglass); The Dance and the Railroad (Signature Theatre); The How and the Why (McCarter Theatre Center); The Winter’s Tale and Dance of the Holy Ghost (Yale Repertory Theatre); Mud Blue Sky (Center Stage); and Six Degrees of Separation (Williamstown Theatre Festival).

PETER KACZOROWSKI (Lighting Designer) makes his Arena Stage debut. Broadway credits include The Country House; Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; No Man’s Land and Waiting for Godot; Venus in Fur; Anything Goes; Grey Gardens; A View From The Bridge; The Producers; Kiss Me, Kate; She Loves Me; and Steel Pier. He has additional credits with Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, The Public, The New Group, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage Theatre, Classic Stage Company, Signature Theatre, Vineyard Theatre and 20 Encores! concerts at New York City Center. Opera credits include The Met, San Francisco, Houston Grand, LAMCO, Santa Fe, Seattle, Saint Louis, The Royal Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera North, Maggio Florence, L’Arena di Verona, La Fenice, Bonn and Lisbon. He is the recipient of Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama-Logue, Ovation and Henry Hewes Design Awards.

ROB MILBURN & MICHAEL BODEEN (Original Music and Sound Design)’s Broadway credits include music composition and sound for No Man’s Land, Waiting for Godot, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Miracle Worker, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Speed of Darkness; music for My Thing of Love; and sound for Larry David’s Fish in the Dark, This Is Our Youth, Of Mice and Men, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Superior Donuts, Reasons to be Pretty, A Year with Frog and Toad, King Hedley II, Buried Child, The Song of Jacob Zulu and The Grapes of Wrath. They have also created music and sound Off-Broadway, at many of America’s resident theaters (often with Steppenwolf Theatre) and at several international venues.

JEFF SUGG (Projection Designer) is a Brooklyn based designer and multi-award winner. Arena Stage credits include Camp David, Five Guys Named Moe, The Mountaintop and 33 Variations. Broadway credits include Macbeth (Lincoln Center Theater), A Time to Kill, Bring It On: The Musical, Magic/Bird and 33 Variations. Off-Broadway credits include Fortress of Solitude, An Octoroon, This Clement World, Tribes, Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island and The Accidental Trilogy. Regionally, he worked on Marie Antoinette (Steppenwolf Theatre Company) and Five Guys Named Moe (Cleveland Play House). His music credits include Anthracite Fields (Julia Wolfe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning composition) and Prince’s appearance on SNL. Jeff has received a Lucille Lortel, Obie, Bessie and two Henry Hewes Design Awards.

U. JONATHAN TOPPO (Fight Director)’s previous credits as fight director include Pericles at Folger Theatre, Guys and Dolls at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, The Great Society at Seattle Repertory Theatre and The Pirates of Penzance at Portland Opera. He is the resident fight director at Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

REBECCA WEAR (Associate Director)’s previous credits include If the Saints (Metro Baptist), Obedient Steel (HERE) and I Run with You (Women Center Stage). She has previously assisted Jerry Ruiz, Stew and Kate Whoriskey. Rebecca has worked with Under the Radar, is an associate artist with The Orchard Project, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at University of California, Santa Barbara.

MOLLY HOULAHAN (Assistant Director) is currently the Bret C. Harte directing fellow and assistant to the artistic director at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. As the directing fellow, Molly has assisted Sean Graney on The Hypocrites’ The Pirates of Penzance and will assist Daniel Sullivan on Macbeth starring Frances McDormand, Mary Zimmerman on Treasure Island and Les Waters on Sarah Ruhl’s For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday. She previously worked with The Public and Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Her directing work has been featured in FringeNYC, TinyRhino Short Play Festival and New York Theatre Workshop’s Jonathan Larson Lab. Molly is a graduate of Yale University where she won the Louis Sudler Prize for Excellence in the Performing and Creative Arts. She is thrilled to return to Sweat after working on it at Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

KURT HALL (Stage Manager)’s favorite Arena Stage credits include Destiny of Desire, The Blood Quilt, Our War, The Shoplifters, Smokey Joe’s Café, Mother Courage and Her Children starring Kathleen Turner, Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life, Good People, Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins starring Kathleen Turner, The Normal Heart, Red, Ruined, every tongue confess starring Phylicia Rashad, Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, Looped starring Valerie Harper, Next to Normal starring Alice Ripley, Awake and Sing! and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? Additional regional credits at the Kennedy Center, Roundabout Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre Center, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Signature Theatre. Thanks to his family for all their support.

JANA LLYNN (Assistant Stage Manager) is delighted to return to Arena Stage and her hometown area. Recent credits include Round House Theatre’s The Night Alive, starring Edward Gero. Broadway credits include The Drowsy Chaperone, Bridge & Tunnel, Company and The Moliere Comedies. Off-Broadway credits include SILENCE! The Musical, SHOUT! The Mod Musical, Blind Lemon Blues, Matt & Ben (starring Mindy Kaling), The Shawl (director Sidney Lumet, starring Dianne Wiest), Beau Jest (three years Off-Broadway, director for Boston production) and Carnegie Hall. Regional credits include The Taming of the Shrew (Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Southern Writers’ Project), Henry V, Avenue Q (Arkansas Repertory Theatre), Buses, Cookin’ at the Cookery, Sheila’s Day, The Last 5 Years (Crossroads Theatre Company), Having Our Say (La Jolla Playhouse) and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Studio Theatre). PSM for Pfizer-Brazil’s Viagra launch.

JOY DICKSON (Casting Director, Oregon Shakespeare Festival) has worked with Seattle Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum (including Taper Too, Taper New Works, Juneteenth, P.L.A.Y.), Ojai Playwrights Conference, Geffen Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Goodman Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Cleveland Play House, Ahmanson Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Pasadena Playhouse, Intiman Theatre and A.S.K. Theatre Projects. Film/TV credits include Terri (Sundance Film Festival), Easier with Practice (Cinevegas, Edinburgh Film Festivals), Stephanie Daley (Sundance, Deauville Film Festival), The Business of Strangers (Sundance, Deauville), Interview with the Assassin (Tribeca Film Festival), The Tao of Steve (Sundance), Lush (Sundance), The Independent (HBO/U.S Comedy Arts Festival), Perdita Durango (Toronto Film Festival), Quarterlife (Bedford Falls Productions/NBC), The Men’ Room (NBC), Off Centre (The WB) and The Mullets (UPN). She is an adjunct professor at California Institute of the Arts.

TARA RUBIN CASTING (New York Casting Director)’s Arena Stage credits include Dear Evan Hansen, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Other Desert Cities, Ruined and A Time to Kill. Selected Broadway/national tour credits include Dr. Zhivago; School of Rock; Gigi; It Shoulda Been You; Aladdin; Bullets over Broadway; Mothers and Sons; Les Misérables; Big Fish; The Heiress; Ghost; One Man, Two Guvnors (U.S. Casting); How to Succeed..; Promises, Promises; A Little Night Music; Billy Elliot; Shrek; Guys and Dolls; The Farnsworth Invention; Young Frankenstein; The Little Mermaid; Mary Poppins; My Fair Lady; Pirate Queen; Spamalot; Jersey Boys; …Spelling Bee; The Producers; Mamma Mia!; The Phantom of the Opera and Contact. Off-Broadway credits include Here Lies Love, Old Jews Telling Jokes and Love, Loss and What I Wore. Regional credits include work with Sundance Theatre Lab, Yale Repertory, Kennedy Center, Paper Mill Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse and The Old Globe.


Sweat now through February 21, 2016

Sweat is the newest play from Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage, a searing look at blue collar America.

This is Reading – Portraits

More about The Reading Project.

Photo Gallery


Review: Lynn Nottage’s Sweat Examines Lives Unraveling by Industry’s Demise
The New York Times
Charles Isherwood

Sweat, the title of Lynn Nottage’s scorching new play, refers to the hard labor that its characters have put in for decades, only to find their modest livelihoods threatened by the evaporation of manufacturing jobs in America. But members of the audience may find themselves getting a little moist with anxiety as this extraordinarily moving drama hurtles toward its conclusion with the awful inevitability of Greek tragedy.

Certainly I found myself squirming in my seat as I watched the forces of fate, or, to be more specific, the mechanics of 21st-century American capitalism, bear down on these characters with the brutal power of a jackhammer smashing through concrete… Read more

Review: Sweat a provocative and haunting drama
Siskiyou Daily News

Bill Choy

A heartbreaking tragedy about the American dream gone wrong, the world premiere of Sweat by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland is a gut-wrenching masterpiece.

The beauty of this play is how real the characters and their conversations are. It is frank, bawdy, and at times both sad and funny, just like real life. We care about what happens to these people, so when things begin to worsen in the lives of these characters, the pain and agony they endure feels palpable… Read more


The State of the Union
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Following the 2 pm matinee (approximately 4:30 pm)
Join us for a conversation about the current issues facing America's Unions, as well as the future outlook. Featuring Elizabeth Davis (President, Washington Teachers Union) and Thea Mei Lee (Deputy Chief of Staff, AFL-CIO), and Jason Mechling (Executive Board Member, United Steel Workers, Local 1196).

Post-Show Discussions
January 27 at 12:00 pm
January 28 at 8:00 pm
February 2 at 7:30 pm
February 3 at 12:00 pm
February 9 at 12:00 pm

Off Book

Welcome to Off Book – Arena Stage's online forum featuring American artists at the top of their game, talking about what they do best. Actors, directors, writers, dramaturgs, designers – unscripted and unrehearsed.

Lynn Nottage’s latest play takes a searing look at the de-industrial revolution in a struggling town. “I think we’re undergoing one of the greatest revolutions in our history,” she says. “In 50 years we’ll look back on this time and understand that fully.” Read More

Sweat marks our fourth collaboration together. I think over the years we have developed a deep trust of one another and a strong sense of each other's intent. I consider Lynn one of the great writers of our time. Her work has a deep sense of purpose, beautifully drawn characters and a wicked sense of humor. So it is always a pleasure to work with such great material and a trusted friend. Read More

The cast of Sweat talks about their first jobs as Union members of Actors’ Equity. Read More


Audio Described

January 23 at 2:00 pm

Open Captioned

January 27 at 7:30 pm
February 4 at 8:00 pm

“Blazingly well-acted … damn funny.”– New York Times

“A gut-wrenching masterpiece … both sad and funny, just like real life.”– Siskiyou Daily

“Brims with the kind of ripe, richly imagined life associated with the work of the great August Wilson.”– New York Times

“It is as relevant as today's headlines.”– Ashland Daily Tidings