World Premiere of The Shoplifters, With Jayne Houdyshell, Begins at Arena Stage Sept. 5 | Playbill

News World Premiere of The Shoplifters, With Jayne Houdyshell, Begins at Arena Stage Sept. 5 The world premiere of Morris Panych's The Shoplifters, a satirical comedy about class and privilege in society, begins performances Sept. 5 at Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage.

Jayne Houdyshell Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The production will officially open Sept 18 and continue through Oct. 19 in the Kreeger Theater.

The cast features Tony Award nominee Jayne Houdyshell (Romeo and Juliet, Follies) in her D.C. theatre debut as Alma, Delaney Williams ("The Wire," A View from the Bridge) as Otto, Jenna Sokolowski (Clybourne Park) as Phyllis and Adi Stein (Body Awareness) as Dom.

"I'm delighted to have Morris Panych, one of Canada's premier playwrights and directors, at Arena Stage this season," artistic director Molly Smith said in a previous statement. "It's perfect timing for Morris' complex look at human beings — finding humor in these tricky times."

"I'm so excited to be premiering my play at Arena Stage," Panych added. "Since getting to know Molly I have come to admire her commitment to bold, innovative theatre, to big ideas and to sharing those ideas by reaching deep into the community to engage audiences in an ongoing and vibrant social dialogue. It's a great compliment to me that Molly has chosen The Shoplifters as part of her dynamic theatrical discourse."

Here's how the play is billed: "Meet Alma, a career shoplifter who prefers the 'five-finger discount' over some lousy senior citizen deal. When her life of petty crime is halted by an overzealous rookie security guard and his ambivalent mentor, she risks losing her freedom, her resolve and maybe even the steak she has stuffed in her pants. Tony-nominee Jayne Houdyshell leads an expertly drawn cast of oddball characters in this biting, world-premiere comedy about society's haves and have-nots and how much they might actually have in common." The creative team for The Shoplifters includes set and costume designer Ken MacDonald, lighting designer Nancy Schertler, original composition and sound designer David Van Teighem and casting director Geoff Josselson. Kurt Hall and Martha Knight are stage managers, and Pat Cochran is assistant stage manager.

Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at (202) 488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth St., SW, D.C.

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