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It’s 1952. A young Richard Nixon is campaigning as his party’s candidate for Vice-President, his wife Pat proudly at his side, when an accusation of financial impropriety almost ends his promising career. In a momentous speech, he takes charge of his fate, and changes the character of American politics forever. CHECKERS is a revelatory look at Nixon’s drive, history and most surprisingly, his marriage to Pat – all of which are explored with insight, blistering wit and unexpected tenderness.

Checkers

October 12 - December 2, 2012

Written by Douglas McGrath
Directed by Terry Kinney
With Kathryn Erbe, Joel Marsh Garland, Anthony LaPaglia, Kevin O'Rourke, John Ottavino, Kelly Coffield-Park, Mark Shanahan, Lewis J. Stadlen, Robert Stanton
It’s 1952. A young Richard Nixon is campaigning as his party’s candidate for Vice-President, his wife Pat proudly at his side, when an accusation of financial impropriety almost ends his promising career. In a momentous speech, he takes charge of his fate, and changes the character of American politics forever. CHECKERS is a revelatory look at Nixon’s drive, history and most surprisingly, his marriage to Pat – all of which are explored with insight, blistering wit and unexpected tenderness.

Kathryn Erbe

(Pat Nixon) Kathryn is best known for playing Detective Alexandra Eames in "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." Erbe's television credits include playing the infamous death row inmate Shirley Bellinger on the acclaimed HBO series "Oz." She also appeared on NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street," the miniseries "George Wallace," Showtime's original production of "Naked City: Justice with a Bullet," NBC's "Another World" and the television movie "Breathing Lessons." Erbe also gained notice in the 1999 box office hit Stir of Echoes opposite Kevin Bacon and Dream with the Fishes with David Arquette. Her additional film credits include Entropy, Kiss of Death, D2: The Mighty Ducks, Rich in Love, What About Bob?, and Speaking of Sex with Lara Flynn Boyle and Bill Murray. Before appearing in feature films, Erbe began her career on the stage. Most recently, Erbe appeared in Vineyard Theatre’s production of CHECKERS as Pat Nixon alongside Anthony Lapalia. She is a member of the Steppenwolf Theater Company and has starred in many of their productions, including Tennessee Williams' A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE as Stella, CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS and MY THING OF LOVE. She earned a Tony® Award nomination in 1991 for her portrayal of Mary in SPEED OF DARKNESS. Erbe is also an active member of the Atlantic Theatre Company. Most recently, Erbe filmed on Three Backyards starring opposite Embeth Davidtz and Edie Falco, Mother’s House, Worst Friends, and The Love Guide with Parker Posey. She starred in Daniel Talbott's play YOSEMITE at Rattlestick Playwright's Theater this past season and has just completed the short film Blood From A Stoner written and directed by Jeanne Dorsey. Erbe is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

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Joel Marsh Garland

(Cameraman, et al) Television, film, and stage actor, lead singer/lyricist for The Atomic Grind Show, film maker, and graduate of Bennington College. Film: Limitless, The Bounty Hunter, I Sell the Dead, Rocket Science, Lady in the Water, Interstate 84, The Believer. TV:  “Bored to Death” (recurring), “Justified”, “Kings” (recurring), “Louie”, “Blue Bloods”, “Life on Mars”, “Law & Order: SVU”, “Law & Order”, “The West Wing”, “Witchblade”, “The Big C”, “Third Watch”, “Kidnapped”. Stage:  ESSENTIAL SELF DEFENSE, THE GOLDEN DOOR, WOYZECK.  Joel is currently making short films of all of Shakespeare's sonnets: allsonnets.tumblr.com. He is happy to be returning to The Vineyard onstage instead of backstage. Look for him in Netflix's upcoming series “Orange is the New Black”.

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Terry Kinney

(Director) Co-founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company with Gary Sinise and Jeff Perry, where his many directing credits include OF MICE AND MEN, FOOL FOR LOVE, STREAMERS, RECKLESS, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (2001 Tony Award, Best Revival) and A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. For The Vineyard, he directed Gina Gionfriddo’s AFTER ASHLEY and Nicky Silver’s BEAUTIFUL CHILD and THE AGONY & THE AGONY. Other credits include reasons to be pretty (both MCC and on Broadway) and FIFTH OF JULY (Bay Street Theatre and Williamstown Theatre Festival). After directing the short film Kubuku Rides (This Is It) for Steppenwolf Films, Mr. Kinney directed his first full-length feature, Diminished Capacity with Matthew Broderick and Alan Alda (2008 Sundance Film Festival, distributed by IFC Films). Television appearances include HBO’s prison drama “Oz”, ABC’s “The Unusuals”, CBS’s “NYC22”, the HBO special “The Laramie Project”, among many others. Film appearances include Save the Last Dance, Sleepers, Fly Away Home, House of Mirth, No Mercy, Last of the Mohicans, The Firm, Devil in a Blue Dress, and the upcoming Promised Land, starring Matt Damon.

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Anthony LaPaglia

(Richard Nixon) Most recently starred as Tito Merelli in the Stanley-Tucci directed revival of Ken Ludwig's farce LEND ME A TENOR, at the Music Box Theatre. Theatre includes: THE GUYS, BOUNCERS, NORTHEAST LOCAL, ON THE OPEN ROAD, THE ROSE TATTOO, and A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, which earned him Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critic Circle Awards for his portrayal of Eddie Carbone in 1998. TV Credits include: 7- year run on "Without A Trace" (Golden Globe Award) "Frasier" (Emmy Award for recurring role of "Simon Moon"), and "Murder One". Films include: Lantana, Betsy's Wedding, Empire Records, So I Married an Axe Murderer, The House of Mirth, Sweet and Lowdown, The Client, 29th Street, One Good Cop, Company Man, Summer of Sam, Autumn in New York, The Salton Sea, Happy Feet, Lanksy, Phoenix, Commandments, Brilliant Lies, Winter Solstice, The Bank, The Architect, and most recently, Balibo, for which he proudly earned his second Best Actor AFI Award. In 2011 Anthony starred in P.J. Hogan's Mental alongside Liev Schreiber and Toni Collette. In 2012, Anthony starred in the Julian Assange bio pic, Underground.

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Christine Lemme

Production Stage Manager -  For the Vineyard and Terry Kinney – AFTER ASHLEY, THE ARGUMENT, THE AGONY AND THE AGONY, and REASONS TO BE PRETTY (MCC and Broadway).

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Andrea Jo Martin

Assistant Stage Manager for Vineyard Theatre's production of CHECKERS is excited to be joining the Vineyard for this project.  Credits include: Broadway: RENT (sub).  Off-Broadway: The Mint – RUTHERFORD AND SON, TEMPORAL POWERS, A LITTLE JOURNEY, THE WIDOWING OF MRS. HOLROYD, THE GLASS CAGE, THE MADRAS HOUSE; The York Theatre – BUSKER ALLEY (with Glenn Close & Jim Dale), FANNY HILL, A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE, and 10 MUSICALS IN MUFTI; at New World Stages - LA BARBERIA; WHITE’S LIES (with Betty Buckley & Peter Scolari); LOVE CHILD; NAKED BOYS SINGING (sub);  at Theatre Row – NEWSical (sub), BEAUTY ON THE VINE(with Olivia Wilde & David Strathairn); WASPs IN BED; Regional – HEAT WAVE; at NYMF: DATE OF A LIFETIME, JUDAS AND ME.

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Douglas McGrath

(Playwright) Douglas McGrath is the coauthor, with Woody Allen, of the screenplay for Bullets Over Broadway for which they received an Academy Award nomination. His first film as writer/ director was his adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. His other films include his adaptation of Charles Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby, which won the Best Ensemble Cast from the National Board of Review, Infamous, and the HBO documentary, His Way. He began his career as a writer for “Saturday Night Live” and has written numerous essays on the arts and politics for the New Republic, the New Yorker, the Nation, the New York Times and Vanity Fair.

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Rob Milburn & Michael Bobeen

Original Music and Sound Design - Broadway credits include music composition and sound for THE MIRACLE WORKER, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, THE SPEED OF  DARKENESS. Music for MY THING OF LOVE and sound for WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF, SUPERIOR DOUNUTS, REASONS TO BE PRETTY, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM, HOLLYWOOD ARMS, KING HEDLEY II, BURIED CHILD, THE SONG OF JACOB AND ZULU, and THE GRAPES OF WRATH. Off-Broadway credits include music and sound for INKED BABY, AFTER ASHLEY, THE NOTEBOOKS OF LEONARDO DAVINCI, BOY GETS GIRL, RED SPACE, MARVIN’S ROOM. Sound for JITNEY, FAMILY WEEK, JUVENILIA, BRUNDIBAR, THE PAIN and THE ITCH. Music direction and sound for EYES FOR CONSUELA and RUINED. They have created music and sound at many of America’s resident theaters (often with Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre) and at several international venues. For more information please visit www.milbomusic.com.

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Kevin O'Rourke

(Sherman Adams) Broadway: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF with Kathleen Turner, SPOILS OF WAR, ALONE TOGETHER. New York/Regional: Manhattan Theatre Club, The Public, Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, Roundabout, Primary Stages, Arena Stage, Centerstage, Long Wharf, Yale Rep and Williamstown. Film: The Aviator, Vice Versa, Turbulence, Tattoo. TV: “Remember Wenn” (SAG nom), “Law and Order”, “Good Wife”, “Blue Bloods”, “Damages”, “Sopranos”. Kevin currently appears as Mayor Edward Bader on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” (SAG award, ensemble). As Director: WILLIAMSTOWN, WESTBANK CAFÉ, ACADIA REP, the 2008 NY premiere of Abi Morgan's TENDER. Since 2004 Kevin has served as Artistic Director of the WILLIAMS COLLEGE SUMMER THEATRE LAB.

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John Ottavino

(General Eisenhower, et al) 65 plays in 35 states and 7 countries including A DOLL’S HOUSE on Broadway, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINA WOOLF in Lithuania and HAWK MOON in Vienna, and Prague directed by Edward Albee. Off-Broadway THE POOR ITCH at The Public Theater, BLACKBIRD at Manhattan Theatre Club and WHITE PEOPLE. Regionally, CIRCLE, MIRROR, TRANSFORMATION (Kevin Kline Award), SEASCAPE (Carbonelle Award Nomination), BLACKBIRD (Cincinnati Award Nomination). On television running roles on “NYPD Blue”, “FEDS”, “The Commish”. On film, Bob Roberts, Malcolm X, and Revolutionary Road.  Wife, Eve teaches 4th grade in Brooklyn. Son, Adam pitches for the Colorado Rockies.

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Kelly Coffield Park

(Mamie Eisenhower, et al) Kelly Coffield Park is thrilled to be back at the Vineyard as part of this 30th Anniversary Season. Previously at The Vineyard, she starred in FOOD AND SHELTER with Phillip Seymour Hoffman. LIVING OUT and SIN at Second Stage, CRIMES OF THE HEART at Actor's Theatre of Louisville and NORTHEAST LOCAL at Seattle Rep. Kelly was among the cast of Fox TV's “In Living Color” that recently won a "Groundbreaking Award" from TVLand. She was a series regular on “If Not For You”, “413 Hope Street” and “Once and Again”. She was in Field of Dreams, Jerry Maguire, Scary Movie, Little Man, Bride Wars and the soon to be released Nature Calls. Kelly is a member of the Actor's Center Workshop Company.  She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Stephen Park and their two great kids.

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Mark Shanahan

(Peter Edson, et al) New York Stage: THE 39 STEPS (American Airlines, Cort Theatre), TRYST, THE SHAUGHRAUN (Irish Rep), AS BEES IN HONEY DROWN (Lucille Lortel Theatre),  THE INTERNATIONALIST (13P), PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! (Roundabout), MADAME KILLER (Clubbed Thumb). Regional: Alley Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse, Hartford TheatreWorks, Bay Street Theatre, Fulton Opera House, Kennedy Center, Denver Center, Pioneer Theatre, Merrimack Rep, Penguin Rep,  and others. TV/Film:  “David Letterman”, “All My Children”, Safe Men, Felix Chronicles and more.  Directing: Alley Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Fulton Opera House, Cape Playhouse, Weston Playhouse, Westport Country Playhouse, Penguin Rep and others. Graduate Brown University(BA), Fordham (MA). Current faculty, Fordham and Pace. IRNE and CCC nominated Outstanding Performance, Edgar nominated playwright.

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Lewis J. Stadlen

(Murray Chotiner) Broadway: THE PRODUCERS, MINNIE'S BOYS, THE SUNSHINE BOYS, CANDIDE (Tony nomination), FEMALE ODD COUPLE, LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED... (Tony nomination), THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, FORTY-FIVE SECONDS FROM BROADWAY, THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE. Favorite roles: Nathan Detroit in the National company of GUYS & DOLLS, Tevye in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Trigorin in THE SEAGULL, Vandergelder in HELLO DOLLY and THE MATCHMAKER, Azdak in THE CAUCASION CHALK CIRCLE, Willie Clark in THE SUNSHINE BOYS, Givola in ARTURO UI.  His better  Films: SERPICO, THE VERDICT, TO BE OR NOT TO BE, IN & OUT. Author of the juicy theatrical memoir, ACTING FOOLISH. (available at Amazon.com).

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Robert Stanton

(Herbert Brownell) Recent credits include STRANGE INTERLUDE (Shakespeare Theatre), LOVE’S LABOR’S LOST (The Public) and Alarm Will Sound’s 1969 (Carnegie Hall). Broadway includes A FREE MAN OF COLOR, MARY STUART and THE COAST OF UTOPIA. Off Broadway includes LOVE CHILD, written and performed with Daniel Jenkins, FUDDY MEARS and ALL IN THE TIMING (Obie and Clarence Derwent Awards). Films include Confessions of a Shopaholic, Find Me Guilty, The Stepford Wives, The Quiet American, Mercury Rising, Next Stop Wonderland, Red Corner, Washington Square, Dennis the Menace and Bob Roberts. Television includes “Damages,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “Frasier.” M.F.A., NYU.

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Anthony LaPaglia and Lewis J. Stadlen in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg
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Anthony LaPaglia in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Robert Stanton, Kevin O'Rourke and Anthony LaPaglia in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Anthony LaPaglia, with Kelly Coffield Park and Mark Shanahan in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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John Ottavino, Mark Shanahan and Anthony LaPaglia in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Joel Marsh Garland, Robert Stanton and Anthony LaPaglia in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Anthony LaPaglia and Kathryn Erbe in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Anthony LaPaglia in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Anthony LaPaglia and Kathryn Erbe in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Anthony LaPaglia and Kathryn Erbe in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Cast of CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Anthony LaPaglia and Kathryn Erbe in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Anthony LaPaglia and Kathryn Erbe in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Kevin O'Rourke and Robert Stanton in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Kelly Coffield Park and John Ottavino in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Anthony LaPaglia in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Anthony LaPaglia in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Anthony LaPaglia and Kathryn Erbe in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Kathryn Erbe in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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Anthony LaPaglia and Kathryn Erbe in CHECKERS. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
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CHECKERS Review Quotes

“IN THIS YEAR OF ELECTORAL AMBIVALENCE, AN UNLIKELY CANDIDATE TO ROOT FOR HAS ARISEN IN NEW YORK. THE RELEVANCE OF 'CHECKERS' IS UNDENIABLE.

Mr. LaPaglia, a seasoned and excellent stage actor, conveys Nixon’s force of will with gut-grabbing physicality. Ms. Erbe emanates the radiant pathos of a woman about to be swallowed by

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Director Terry Kinney interviews CHECKERS playwright Douglas McGrath

Kicking off the Vineyard’s 30th season is the world-premiere of CHECKERS, by Douglas McGrath, the acclaimed writer of such films as EMMA, INFAMOUS, and BULLETS OVER BROADWAY. In CHECKERS, he turns his attention to Richard Nixon, early in his career, and the scandal that threatened to derail his political rise. C

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VINEYARD announces casting for the opening production of its 30th Anniversary Season!

TONY AWARD WINNER ANTHONY LAPAGLIA RETURNS TO THE NY STAGE AS RICHARD NIXON and TONY NOMINEE KATHRYN ERBE WILL PLAY PAT NIXON IN CHECKERS BY DOUGLAS MCGRATH, DIRECTED BY TERRY KINNEY Previews Begin October 12, opens on October 31 Vineyard Theatre will open  its 30th Anniversary season with the world-premiere production of

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"CHECKERS" Tickets on Sale Monday, Sept. 24 at 10 A.M.

Sunday, September 23rd marks 60th anniversary of Richard Nixon's legendary "Checkers speech" Douglas McGrath's new play CHECKERS about Nixon, wife Pat and speech that forever changed U.S. political landscape set for world-premiere at Vineyard Theatre Previews October 12th, opening night October 31st ANTHONY LaPAGLIA is Nixon; KATHRYN ERBE is Pat Terry Kinney directs   Sunday,

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John Kander's THE LANDING, Richard Nixon Drama & More Set for The Vineyard in 2012-2013

The award-winning Vineyard Theatre will celebrate its 30th anniversary season after its enormously successful 2011-12 season – which included the acclaimed debuts of THE LYONS, OUTSIDE PEOPLE, NOW. HERE. THIS. and the developmental lab of THE LANDING – with new works by Douglas McGrath, Rajiv Joseph and Jenny Schwartz, to be

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