GRACE NOTES & ANVILS is a gentle, funny and deeply touching guided-tour of a "place" most Americans go to, but few feel free to talk about. Based on their book "About Grief: Insights, Setbacks, Grace Notes, Taboos," writers Ron Marasco and Brian Shuff use the intimacy of theatre to explore the heartbreak, everyday heroism and surprising hilarity connected with loss. Directed by Marasco, the production features Marasco along with a series of alternating notable guest actors. Current guest stars are Jonelle Allen & Brandon Barash, July 11 – July 15 and to be featured are Mariette Hartley & Karl Glusman, July 19 – July 22, and Brenda Strong & Brandon Barash, July 27 – July 29.
Ron Marasco (Playwright, Director & Actor) is the author of the book Notes to an Actor, which was named by the American Library Association as an "Outstanding Academic Book of 2008." As an actor, his other Los Angeles theatre appearances include Ghetto at the Mark Taper Forum, Lucky Stiff here at the Odyssey, Casual Sex at the Groundlings, Sophistry with the Buffalo Nights Theatre Company, and his production of Dennis McIntyre's play Modigliani, for which he won a Drama-Logue Award for acting and the LA Weekly Award as Best Director. He has appeared in dozens of TV shows from The X-Files to Entourage, from West Wing to Lost. On film he played opposite screen legend Kirk Douglas in the movie Illusion for which he co-wrote the screenplay. With Brian Shuff, co-author of Grace Notes, he wrote the screenplay Painting the Future, based on Louise Hay's bestselling book You Can Heal Your Life. He and Brian just completed an original screenplay called Amazing Grace that will begin filming this Fall. Ron studied at the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia, at Fordham University at Lincoln Center, and he has a Ph.D. from U.C.L.A. He is a Professor in the College of Communications and Fine Arts at LMU in Los Angeles.
BRIAN SHUFF's (Playwright) previous theatre credits include: Fuddy Meers, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Elephant Man, and This Place on Third Avenue, which he also co-wrote with Marasco. Brian also writes, directs and performs for Your Local News, a live monthly comedy showat The M Bar in Hollywood. Recently, he and Marasco's first screenplay, Painting the Future, was produced by Hay House Films as part of their new series, Tales of Everyday Magic. The two wrote a second installment, titled Amazing Grace, scheduled for production later this year. Much of the material in Grace Notes has been drawn and expanded from Marasco and Shuff's book, About Grief: Insights, Setbacks, Grace Notes, Taboos, published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2010. About Grief has been translated into both Spanish and Korean.
Mariette Hartley (Guest Actress July 19 thru July 22) Mariette Hartley's numerous theatre appearances include Cabaret (Broadway), Sylvia (Manhattan Theatre Co.), Enchanted April (Pasadena Playhouse), Measure for Measure, King John (Joseph Papp Public Theatre.) She has appeared in National Tours for Copenhagen (for which she earned a Helen Hayes Award and the League of American Theatres and Producers National Touring Broadway Award,) The Sisters Rosenzweig and Death Trap. Regional theatre credits include Buffalo Gal (Williamstown Festival), Tom Stoppard's The Seagull (Old Globe), Detective Story (Ahmanson), To Clothe the Naked and Antigone with John Houseman and the UCLA Theatre Group, Lion In Winter (La Mirada), Same Time Next Year, Love Letters, Mrs. Warren's Profession (for director Michael Bloom), King & I, Mame. The Emmy award-winning actress recurred on Law and Order: SVU and has appeared on dozens of televisions shows ranging from Grey's Anatomy, Big Love, The Cleaner and Dirt to M*A*S*H and The Incredible Hulk. A three-time Clio Award winner for her Polaroid commercials with James Garner and recipient of a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she also hosted the CBS Morning Program, nine seasons of the series Healthy Solutions and is currently hosting her tenth season of Wild About Animals. Her best-selling autobiography, Breaking The Silence has recently been reissued in paperback.