UGA Theatre, Classic City Stage Company to present ‘Mafia on Prozac’

Production tours Athens, Atlanta, Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland

July 16, 2014

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Ray Paolino

Ray Paolino

Director of theatre


Theatre and Film Studies, Department ofFranklin College of Arts and Sciences
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Athens, Ga. - The University of Georgia's department of theatre and film studies will present the Classic City Stage Company's "Mafia on Prozac," the hit off-Broadway comedy by Edward Allan Baker, July 23-25 at 8 p.m. in the Cellar Theatre of the Fine Arts Building.

The company will move to Atlanta's Hangar Theatre for a performance July 26 from 8:50-9:35 p.m. and then on to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland Aug. 1-2 and 4-9.

The production is a collaboration between two long-time colleagues at separate universities: Ray Paolino, UGA's director of theatre, and Barry Pearson, provost of the State University of New York Purchase College. The two pooled resources to bring a professional-level production to the Edinburgh Festival with Pearson serving as the play's director and Paolino as a lead actor in the role of Tee.

Also on board from UGA is department of theatre and film studies faculty member T. Anthony Marotta in the lead role of Jay; master of fine arts in theatre graduate student Zack Byrd as the stage manager; and alumnus Michael Stille in the role of Matt. The production and tour are funded by the Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, the President's Venture Fund, a Provost's Summer Research Grant and the Purchase College Foundation.

"Ed Baker's play about two aging Mafia hoods on anti-depressants and sexual therapy for impotence is a hilarious sendup of the standard tough guy images we see in most films and TV shows," said Paolino, who has worked with Baker since the 1970s. "‘Mafia on Prozac' predates Tony Soprano's midlife crisis and is a highly original, witty and almost vaudevillian take on the standard gangster motif.

"Audiences should expect more of the partnership we see in ‘The Honeymooners' or Abbot and Costello, rather than (Robert) De Niro and (Al) Pacino."

A screenwriter as well as a faculty member at Pace University's Actors Studio Drama School, Baker is a recipient of the 25th Anniversary Award for Theatrical Excellence by the Ensemble Studio Theatre of New York, and a member of the Dramatists Guild. His plays have been produced all over the world.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland's capital city. There are more than 2,000 theatre productions entered in the festival.

Tickets to the UGA performances may be purchased—cash or check only—at the Fine Arts Theatre box office on the evening of the performance for $10. Proceeds from the UGA performances will help defray some of the costs incurred for the trip to Edinburgh.

The Cellar Theatre is located on the basement floor of the Fine Arts Building at the corners of Lumpkin and Baldwin streets on the UGA campus. Free parking is available in lot W03 on Hull Street and the Hull Street parking deck.

For more information on the UGA theatre and film studies department, call 706-542-2836, see drama.uga.edu or facebook.com/UGATheatreAndFilmStudies or follow @UGATheatreFilm.

For information on the production in Edinburgh, see http://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/theatre/mafia-on-prozac. For more information on the Classic City Stage Company, follow @fringemafia on Twitter.

The play contains strong language and is recommended for mature audiences only.

 

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