American Son opens this week and we are so excited that all four actors are making their Cumberland Theatre debuts in this powerful show! Rehearsals have been going very well and we are proud to introduce you to this talented group of performers who have been working so very hard!

Krystal Pope is happy to be participating in the first Cumberland Theatre production of American Son and she is honored to work with such a hard-working group of people! In an environment where work is very limited, she is extremely grateful that she has been given this opportunity. She studied theater at Northern Arizona University and has been performing, working, and traveling around the world in various entertainment roles. Her last theatrical production was playing the role of Ca’mae in the premiere of The Mountaintop at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse in New Hampshire. She wishes to thank her family and friends for loving, supporting, and always allowing her to chase her dreams. Although they won’t be here to see it, she gives a special shout out to Michelle, Barack, Blake, and Broseph! Enjoy the show!

Thomas J. McCarthy was born just outside of San Francisco, CA and grew up in suburban Detroit, MI. Upon graduating from the University of South Carolina he moved to Chicago,IL to embark on a career in financial services for appx. 10 years. He then shifted gears and entered the commercial real estate arena leasing high rise office towers in downtown Chicago for 6 years. After deciding to take his first acting class at age 42, Tom was officially bitten by the acting bug. He moved to Los Angeles, CA to embark on an acting career where he continued his training with both theatre and camera based classes while building his acting resume. He recently moved back to Chicago to get married and continue with his acting career. His focus has been in the area of independent films. He was recently cast for principal/lead roles in the feature films Torment a Love Story, What Happened in Danville, Relationships, Irrational Fear, The Headmistress and Broken Silence. Tom and his wife Chris currently reside on the north side of Chicago

Seth Thompson has been performing in the tristate area for over a decade. He is honored to be working with the Cumberland Theatre for the very first time, and to be a part of performing this brilliant script by Christopher Demos-Brown. Seth began his acting career at Authentic Community Theatre in Hagerstown, MD. Since then he has worked at the Washington County Playhouse in shows such as: Arsenic and Old Lace (Mortimer), Funny Girl (Nicky Arnstein),

and The Church of Diminishing Marginal

Returns by Jay Huling. He also served as Production Manager for Maryland Entertainment Group where he worked in various capacities for 4 years. While with MEG Seth performed in various shows including: Of Mice and Men (George), The Pillow Man (Tupolski), and Red (Ken). He also has been credited as Director on a few occasions including his directorial debut: Fool for Love by Sam Shepard also performed

by Maryland Entertainment Group. With all the chaos that is the year 2020, Seth is just thankful to be able to get on stage again and he hopes you enjoy the show.

Greg Mays is New York based actor and is making his Cumberland Theatre debut in this production. He has numerous film, web and television credits including appearances on The Perfect Murder, Dead of Winter, and Power. Theatre Credits include: The Curse Within (Pastor Kevin Miller), Love Me Tender (Mitch) and The Eight: Reindeer Monologues (Dasher). Greg studied with the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Billie Holiday Theatre, Negro Ensemble Company, and the Frederick Douglas Creative Arts Center. He is represented by Dream Maker Talent Management.

American Son focuses on both sides of the racial divide in American, when an estranged couple must confront their feelings about race and bias after their son is detained by the local police following a traffic stop incident. Their disparate histories and backgrounds inform their assumptions as they try to find out what happened to their son.

The show will play for just five performances: October 15th, 16th, & 17th at 8:00 pm and October 17th & 18th at 2:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased online at or reserved by calling 301.759.4990. All patrons will be temperature checked at the door and masks are required. All areas will be sanitized between performances. The play is performed without an intermission. The CT staff reserves the right to alter seating assignments to comply with social distancing regulations.

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American Son” opens October 15th for only five performances

The Cumberland Theatre will be reopening its doors to theatre patrons on October 15th with the award-winning play “American Son.” The show will play for a limited engagement of only five performances over one weekend.

Written by Christopher Demos-Brown, “American Son” tells the story of Kendra and Scott, an estranged interracial couple, stuck in the waiting room of a Florida police station. Over the course of a tense night, the couple’s disparate histories and backgrounds collide as they confront an unexpected crisis involving the police and their missing 18-year old son. The play examines our nation's racial divide through the eyes of both characters as their worst fears hang in the balance.

The play debuted Off-Broadway in 2018 and starred Golden Globe & Emmy winner Kerry Washington and directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon. In 2019, the film version also starring Washington and directed by Leon debuted at the Toronto Film Festival and was later released on Netflix.

At the helm of “American Son” will be guest director Michael Jerome Jordan. Jordan is a director, fight director and actor originally from Washington D.C.. He recently directed, Temp, the winner of the 2020 New Play Festival competition of short plays, hosted by Riot Act, Inc in Jackson Hole. WY. Michael also directing the 2017 winner, Love, Radio and Zombies, Sort Of…

Jordan’s numerous directing credits include And In This Corner: Cassius Clay, co-produced by Childsplay Theatre and Black Theater Troupe in Phoenix, AZ for which he was nominated for Best Director for the 2019 Broadway World Awards, Phoenix. Other notable credits include Karen Zacarias’ first play, Blue Buick in My Driveway for Source Theatre Festival, Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa! at Northwestern State University of Louisiana, The Kennedy Center’s second national tour of The Red Badge of Courage, originally directed by Richard Thomas, The Price for National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, Vito on the Beach and Gospel at Colonus for Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, and Carmen for Young Audiences for Mill City Summer Opera. He also worked for the Folger Shakespeare Festival directing Junior High and High School students in various scenes from Shakespeare.

As an actor, Jordan has performed at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Source Theater Company, Ford’s Theatre, Arena Stage, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington Stage Guild, Toby’s Dinner Theatre, Theatre of the First Amendment, and The Kennedy Center. Regionally, Michael has performed at Off Square Theatre Company (former company member), Riverside Theatre (Vero Beach, Florida), Delaware Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theatre, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Theatre at Lime Kiln, and Maryland Shakespeare Festival. Some of his favorite roles include the title role in Othello (three times), the title role in The Merchant of Venice (Antonio), Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, Astrov in Uncle Vanya, the Devil in The Devil and Tom Walker, Banquo in Macbeth and Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing.

As a fight director, Jordan has worked at Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth, Ford’s Theatre, Rep Stage, Off Square, Riot Act, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Lady Cavaliers, Source Theatre, Keagan Theatre, and The Kennedy Center to name a few. He taught stage combat at both the Maryland Opera Studio and National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts for eleven years.

“American Son” will be Michael’s first time working at the Cumberland Theatre. “We are thrilled to have Michael on board for this production, “said a theatre spokesperson. “We feel very fortunate to have someone with his talent and credentials to lead us in telling this powerful story in these troubled times.”

Performances for “American Son” will be October 15th, 16th and 17th at 8:00 pm and October 17th and 18th at 2:00 pm. In accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, only 100 tickets will be sold for each performance. Ticket holders will be temperature checked before entering the theatre and masks are required. The show has no intermission. Tickets are available online at or by calling 301.759.4990. The theatre staff reserves the right to alter ticket reservations to accommodate social distancing if needed.

Please note that “American Son” contains tense and emotional moments that may trigger strong feelings.

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Stephen Sondheim's Most Provocative Work will Open Our 32nd Season

The Cumberland Theatre will open their 32nd Season of entertainment with a limited engagement of the musical Assassins written by Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim. The show will play for just nine performances and is part of a nation-wide celebration of Sondheim’s 90th birthday. “We were very fortunate to be one of the regional theatres to be granted the rights to perform Assassins this year, “said a CT spokesperson. “The show will re-open on Broadway in the spring, so the process was very competitive.”

Assassins is considered by many to be Sondheim’s most edgy and controversial work. The show lays bare the lives of nine individuals who assassinated or tried to assassinate the President of the United States, in a one-act historical "revusical" that explores the dark side of the American experience with flashbacks, music and, at times, humor. From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, Sondheim and writer John Weidman, bend the rules of time and space, creating a roller coaster ride in which assassins and would-be assassins from different historical periods meet, interact and inspire each other to harrowing acts in the name of the American Dream.

The show won multiple Tony Awards in 2004, including Best Revival of a Musical. Over the years, productions of Assassins have featured many accomplished actors including Terrance Mann, Victor Garber, Debra Monk and Neil Patrick Harris.

The Cumberland Theatre cast hosts CT veterans as well as some new faces making their Cumberland Theatre debuts. Former Cumberland resident Josh Ruppenkamp will return to play the Balladeer, who acts as a narrator for the show. Ruppenkamp has lived and worked in New York City for the past six years. Regionally, he has performed for El Dorado Casino and WV Public Theatre.

Also returning to CT will be Tim Fitzsimons as Charles Guiteau, Matthew Clark as John Hinckley and Matt Kurzyneic as Guisseppe Zangara. Fitzsimons was last seen on the CT stage as Jack in Reefer Madness the Musical and recently finished a stint performing for Knotts Berry Farm in California. Clark is originally from Frostburg and is a recent graduate of the Theatre Program at West Virginia University. He was recently seen in CT’s Miracle on 34th Street. Kurzyneic played Norm in last season’s Meteor Shower. He has performed both Off-Broadway and in regional theatres throughout the east coast.

Scott O’Brien will play John Wilkes Booth, Sean Besecker will play Sam Byck and Sean Noonan will portray Leon Czolgosz. All are making their Cumberland Theatre debuts. O’Brien is currently living in New York City. He is a lead vocalist for Opera New York, performing multiple times at Carnegie Hall as well as continuous shows at the Triad Theatre. Besecker is from Chambersburg, PA and recently worked with the PA Renaissance Faire as part of the fight/stunt team. Noonan is also from NYC. His most recent credits are See How They Run & Next to Normal at the Tibbits Opera House in Michigan, as well as doing a series of tours through Stars Within Reach Productions.

Also starring in Assassins are veteran actor Nicole Halmos as Sara Jane Moore and newcomer Becca Parsons as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme. Halmos’s most recent CT appearances include Nat in Rabbit Hole and Rose in Gypsy. Parsons is from Leesburg, VA and studied musical theatre at Columbia College in Chicago.

Also appearing in Assassins in a variety of supporting roles will be Austin James, Tyyonn Powell, Ashley Snow, Kevin Shreve, Karl Vogtman and Caleb Tracy as the Proprietor.

The show is under the direction of Kimberli Rowley with music direction by Chris McCabe. The design team includes Jennifer Clark (costume designer), Rhett Wolford (set designer) and Xander Muldor (lighting designer).

Assassins will celebrate it’s opening night on Friday, February 7th at 8:00 pm. Following the opening performance, a special champagne reception will be held to honor founding board member Shirley Giarritta as she steps down from the Board of Directors. There is no additional cost for the reception. The show will run February 7th – 23rd with Friday & Saturday performances at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Tickets are available online at or by calling the theatre at 301.759.4990.

Please note the show does contain adult language, live gun fire and moments of violence. Parental discretion is encouraged.

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