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Powerhouse Theater announces casting for “The Power of Duff” by Stephen Belber, including Dominic Fumusa, Greg Kinnear, Maura Tierney, Jennifer Westfeldt, and more (7/18 - 29)!

Please note that actress Maura Tierney had to withdraw from this production due to a conflicting commitment.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – New York Stage and Film (Johanna Pfaelzer, Artistic Director; Thomas Pearson, Executive Director, Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, Leslie Urdang, Producing Directors) and Vassar College’s (Ed Cheetham, Producing Director) Powerhouse Theater have announced the casting for Stephen Belber’s The Power of Duff for their 2012 Powerhouse Season. The cast will feature Desmin Borges, Dominic Fumusa, Neil Huff, Russell G. Jones, Greg Kinnear, Ben Platt, Maura Tierney, and Jennifer Westfeldt. The Power of Duff runs from Wednesday, July 18 – Sunday, July 29. 

In The Power of Duff, Charles Duff [played by Greg Kinnear (Little Miss Sunshine, As Good As It Gets)], a news anchor in a mid-market backwater, has an unexpected spiritual awakening on live TV.  His prayers, and their answers, change his audience, his family, and his own life forever. Stephen Belber (Tape, Match, Dusk Rings a Bell, Fault Lines) returns to the Powerhouse alongside director Peter DuBois (Sons of the Prophet, Becky Shaw, Jack Goes Boating, All New People).

Casting for the remainder of the season forthcoming.

Subscriptions and single tickets are now available online and at the campus box office. Remember that Powerhouse subscribers receive priority reservations for Readings Festivals 1 and 2. Go to or visit the Powerhouse Theater box office on the Vassar College campus (124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY): (845) 437-5599 or

About Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater

Each summer Vassar & New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theater presents new plays and musicals in development, many of which go on to reach wider audiences, including Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet (Roundabout Theater); Michael Mayer and Peter Parnell’s re-imagining of Lerner & Lowe’s On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (St James Theater); Seminar by Theresa Rebeck (Golden Theater); Gabriel Kahane & Seth Bockley’s new musical February House (The Public Theater); and Storefront Church, John Patrick Shanley’s final installment to his “Church and State” trilogy that began with Doubt (Atlantic Theatre Company).  Other projects developed at the Powerhouse include the Tony Award-winning Side Man and Tru; the multi-award-winning Doubt; the groundbreaking Broadway musical American Idiot, and A Steady Rain, produced on Broadway in 2009 with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. 

The result of a unique collaboration between New York Stage and Film and Vassar College, the Powerhouse program consists of an eight-week residency on the Vassar campus during which more than 250 professional artists and 40 apprentices live and work together to create new theater works.

New York Stage and Film is the not-for-profit company dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development of new works for theater and film.  Since 1985 New York Stage and Film has played a significant role in the development of new plays, provided a home for a diverse group of artists free from critical and commercial pressures and established itself as a vital cultural institution for residents of the Hudson Valley and the New York metropolitan region.  For more information, visit

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861. Consistently ranked as one of the country’s best liberal arts colleges, Vassar is renowned for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the natural and architectural beauty of its campus. More than 50 academic departments and degree programs — from Anthropology to Cognitive Sciences to Urban Studies — encompass the arts, foreign languages, natural sciences, and social services, and combine to offer a curriculum of more than 1,000 courses.  Vassar College is sited in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Cafe on the Quad will return to Powerhouse Theater this summer for a very limited run. Mix the pleasure of groundbreaking live theater with mouth-watering global cuisine as Twisted Soul Food Concepts will offer a menu of progressive American small plates (menu available online at Three nights only: Saturdays June 30, July 21, and July 28. For reservations call (845) 454-2770.
Artist Biographies

Stephen Belber’s work has been produced on Broadway and in over 25 countries.  His plays include Match (Tony nomination for Frank Langella); Dusk Rings a Bell, (Atlantic Theater Company); Tape (Naked Angels NY/LA/London); McReele (Roundabout Theater); A Small, Melodramatic Story (Labyrinth Theater Company); Geometry of Fire, (Rattlestick, Powerhouse Theater); Fault Lines (Cherry Lane, Powerhouse Theater); One Million Butterflies (Primary Stages), and Carol Mulroney (Huntington Theater Company). He was an associate writer on The Laramie Project (Drama Desk and Lortel nominations), and co-writer on the more recent Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. Movies include Tape, directed by Richard Linklater; The Laramie Project (Associate Writer/Emmy Nomination for screenwriting); Drifting Elegant, and Management, which he also directed, starring Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn. He is currently writing the screenplay Gospel For Teens for Universal, and will direct the film of Match this spring. Television credits include "Rescue Me" and "Law and Order SVU" (staff writer). He is a member of both Tectonic Theater Project and the Labyrinth Theater Company. Upcoming theater productions include The Power of Duff and Don’t Go Gentle, to be produced by New York Stage & Film and MCC respectively.

Desmin Borges created the lead role of 'Macedonia Guerra' in Kristoffer Diaz's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity; New York (Second Stage-Lortel Nomination, Drama League Nomination, Theater World Award), Chicago (Victory Gardens - Jefferson Award), Los Angeles (Geffen). Additional regional: Boleros for the Disenchanted (Goodman), Elliot a Soldier’s Fugue (Steppenwolf Garage), Buddy Holly Story (Mercury- Chicago), Esperanza Rising (Children's Theatre- Minneapolis). Film; Mr. Popper’s Penguins with Jim Carrey, Tower Heist, Compliance (Sundance 2012), Taco Mary, Lucky Dog with Paul Giamatti, and House that Jack Built.  Television episodic; “Law and Order: SVU,” “Good Wife,” “Gifted Man,” “Castle,” “Switched at Birth.”  Des is a member of Teatro Vista and a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Director Peter DuBois’s  credits include: West End/London: All New People. Almeida Theatre: Becky Shaw. Roundabout Theater Company: Sons of the Prophet.  Second Stage: Becky Shaw, Trust, All New People. Public Theater/NYSF: Measure for Pleasure, Richard III, Mom How Did You Meet the Beatles, Biro. LAByrinth Theater Company/Public Theater: Jack Goes Boating, View From 151st Street. Also: American Conservatory Theater, Trinity Repertory Company, Humana Festival of New Plays, Manchester Opera House, Kings Theater Glasgow. Associate Producer, Public Theater/NYSF (2003-2005) Resident Director, Public Theater/NYSF (2005-2008), Artistic Director, Perseverance Theater Company, Juneau, Alaska. (1997-2003). Peter is in his fourth season as the artistic director of The Huntington Theater Company in Boston. Peter’s productions have been on the annual top ten lists of the New York Times, Time Out, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, The Evening Standard, and the Improper Bostonian.  Upcoming, Playwrights Horizons: Rapture, Blister, Burn.

Dominic Fumusa made his Broadway debut in 1998 opposite Marisa Tomei and Quentin Tarantino in Wait Until Dark.  His most recent New York theater credits include his role as Jesus’ brother in Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play, and his role as “Jim” in Stephen Belber's hit play Fault Lines (Cherry Lane Theater, David Schwimmer, dir.). He originated the role of 'Toddy Koovitz' in Richard Greenberg's Tony winning Take Me Out (Joe Mantello, dir.) in both New York and London, and he created the character 'Vince' (a role that was specifically written for him) in Stephen Belber's Tape (Naked Angels - NY/London/LA, Geoffrey Nauffts, dir.). Other Broadway credits include A Flea in Her Ear (Roundabout Theater Company, Bill Irwin, dir.) and [SIC] (SoHo Repertory, Daniel Aukin, dir.). Regional credits include plays at the Guthrie, Huntington, Kennedy Center, Actors Theater of Louisville, Williamstown, NY Stage & Film, the Stratford Festival of Canada, and Chicago Shakespeare.  Fumusa portrayed Mitch Albom in a six-month, twelve-city national tour of Tuesdays with Morrie opposite Harold Gould. Fumusa is also known for his role as Edie Falco’s husband on the hit series "Nurse Jackie." Other TV credits include "Sex and the City,” "The Sopranos," "Brotherhood," "Kings," "NYPD Blue," "Hack," "Numb3rs," "Threshold," "Bones," and numerous appearances in the "Law & Order" and "CSI" franchises. Film credits include the soon to be released Recalled (dir. Michael Connors), Not for Nothing, One Fall, Helena From the Wedding, Management, Staten Island, This is a Story about Ted & Alice (2008 Cannes), Dealbreaker, Grilled, The Guru, Dobermann (narrator), and Chloe's Prayer. Fumusa lives in Brooklyn with his wife, actress/producer Ilana Levine, and their two children, Georgia and Caleb.

Neal Huff’s film credits include Moonrise Kingdom, Meek’s Cutoff, Jack and Diane, Vanishing On 7th Street, Monogamy, Motherhood, Michael Clayton, Stephanie Daley, Bernard and Doris, The Good Shepherd, Dealbreakers, The Shovel, Hollywood Ending, Poster Boy, Happy Accidents, Big Daddy, Love Walked In, and The Wedding Banquet. Upcoming: Land Of Tomorrow, Predisposed, and Doomsdays. Neal played Michael Steintorf, Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Baltimore on HBO’s “The Wire.” Other television: “John Adams” (HBO), recurring roles on “Fringe” (Fox), “Six Degrees” (ABC) and “Starved” (FX) and “Law and Order” and “L&O: Criminal Intent.” Upcoming: “The Abolitionists.”  Neal’s theatre credits include leading roles on Broadway in Take Me Out (Donmar Warehouse and NYSF), The Lion in Winter (Roundabout), and The Tempest (NYSF). Other credits include Will Scheffer’s The Green Book (Summer Shorts/59E59), When I Come To Die (LCT), and the world premiere of William Inge's The Killing (Summer Shorts/59E59).

Russell G. Jones. Theater: originated the role of Christian in Ruined at Manhattan Theater Club, Goodman Theatre & the recent national tour (winner Obie, Audelco, and BTAA awards, Outer Critics and Jeff nominations), Marie & Bruce with the New Group, A View from 151st Street at The Public Theater, Our Lady of 121st Street at Union Square Theater, God, The Crackhouse and The Devil at La Mama, The Death of Don Flagrante Delicto at The Greenwich Street Theater and In Arabia We’d All Be Kings at Center Stage New York. Television: “Smash,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: CI,” “Law & Order: SVU.” Film: Traffic (SAG Award winner Outstanding Ensemble Cast), Squeeze, The Saint of Avenue B, Companions, Choking Man and Turntable (2006 Best Actor, San Diego Noir Festival) and the recently completed Bitter Pill. Mr. Jones has been a proud member of LAByrinth Theatre Company since 1995.

Greg Kinnear. Academy Award® nominee and Emmy Award winning actor Greg Kinnear continues to draw audiences and critical acclaim with diverse and interesting roles in both television and film. Kinnear most recently wrapped production on Josh Boone’s Writers, co-starring Jennifer Connelly. He also wrapped Craig Zisk’s The English Teacher, co-starring Julianne Moore, Lily Collins and Michael Angarano. Both films will be released in 2012. He was most recently seen in Douglas McGrath’s 8, opposite Pierce Brosnan and Sarah Jessica Parker. He also recently starred in IFC's Salvation Boulevard, opposite Jennifer Connelly, Marisa Tomei, and Pierce Brosnan. The film originally premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival as did ATO Picture’s The Convincer in which Kinnear stars opposite Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup and Lea Thompson. His performance as John F. Kennedy in the “The Kennedy’s” earned him an Emmy Award nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie. The mini-series was directed by Jon Cassar and co-starred Katie Holmes and Barry Pepper. In 2006, Kinnear starred in Little Miss Sunshine, the critically-acclaimed hit of the Sundance Film Festival. Lauded by critics nationwide, the film went on to receive several Academy Award® nominations and Independent Spirit Awards wins, while Kinnear, along with Steve Carell, Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, Paul Dano, and Toni Collette, won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. In 1997, Kinnear starred alongside Jack Nicholson as his unfortunate neighbor Simon in James L. Brooks' Academy Award® nominated film As Good As It Gets. His performance garnered him not only an Academy Award® nomination, but earned him the honor of being named Best Supporting Actor by the National Board of Review; he was also nominated in the same category at The Golden Globes and The Screen Actors Guild Awards that year. Next, he co-starred in Nora Ephron's romantic hit comedy You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Kinnear made his feature film debut in the Sydney Pollack-directed remake of Sabrina, in which he co-starred with Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond. His performance prompted the trade organization of the movie theatre owners to name him NATO ShoWest's Star of Tomorrow. Other notable film roles include Paul Schrader's Auto Focus, Invincible opposite Mark Wahlberg, Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation based on the best-selling book by Eric Schlosser, Paul Greengrass’ Green Zone, Ghost Town opposite Ricky Gervais, Feast of Love directed by Robert Benton and co-starring Morgan Freeman, Mike Nichols' What Planet Are You From? with Garry Shandling and Annette Bening, and a cameo role as Captain Amazing' in Mystery Men, as well as The Matador, Bad News Bears, We Were Soldiers, HBO's Dinner with Friends, Someone Like You, Stuck on You, The Gift, Unknown, Nurse Betty and Baby Mama. Kinnear grew up virtually all over the world as his family followed his State Department father to disparate locales such as Logansport, Indiana; Washington, D.C.; Beirut, Lebanon; and Athens, Greece. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and three daughters.

Ben Platt will be making his onscreen debut in the upcoming October 5th release of the Universal Picture Pitch Perfect (dir. Jason Moore). National Tours: Caroline, or Change (dir. George C. Wolfe, Tony Kushner). Workshops/Readings: Alice By Heart (Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik), Irma La Douce (dir. Rob Ashford, starring Katie Holmes), Bridges of Madison County (dir. Bartlett Sher, Jason Robert Brown). Regional Credits: Dead End ( dir. Nicholas Martin, Ahmanson Theatre), The Music Man, Mame, Camelot, and The Sound of Music (Hollywood Bowl).

Maura Tierney. Emmy-nominated actress, Maura Tierney, is perhaps best known for her role on the top rated NBC series “ER” on which she starred for 8 seasons.  More recently, Tierney was seen on the critically acclaimed “Rescue Me,” on ABC’s “The Whole Truth,” and will next be seen on the big screen in the comedy “Nature Calls” alongside Johnny Knoxville, Patton Oswalt and Rob Riggle. Tierney was last seen starring in Baby Mama with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and in Semi-Pro opposite Will Ferrell and Woody Harrelson.  Additional film credits include Diggers, Welcome to Mooseport, Instinct, Primary Colors, Liar Liar, Insomnia, Primal Fear, and Scotland PA. Select Off-Broadway credits include Neil LaBute's Some Girls (Lucille Lortel Theater), Three Changes, North Atlantic (The Wooster Group), and God of Carnage (Gate Theater in Dublin).

Jennifer Westfeldt is best known for co-writing, co-producing, and playing the title role in the 2002 indie hit Kissing Jessica Stein, released by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Kissing Jessica Stein won the Audience award for Best Feature at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, the Audience Favorites Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Miami Film Festival, Best Feature at the Louisville Jewish Film Festival, and the GLAAD Media Award for Best Picture. Jennifer won the Golden Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, a Special Jury Prize for Writing and Acting at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, and a nomination for an Indie Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay. Jennifer and her longtime partner Jon Hamm formed their production company, Points West Pictures in 2009. The first feature from the shingle is Friends with Kids a film written, produced and for the first time, directed by Jennifer. Jennifer also stars in the film which opened March 9th alongside a stellar ensemble including Adam Scott, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, Ed Burns, Megan Fox, Jon Hamm & Kristen Wiig. The film received rave reviews and critical acclaim from press and audiences alike when it premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival as well as for its theatrical release. Prior to the genesis of her production company, Jennifer’s second feature as an actress/writer/producer, Ira & Abby, also marked her first solo screenwriting effort. Ira & Abby won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival, as well as the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Boston Jewish Film Festival and the Jury Prize for Best Feature at the 2007 HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. Additionally, Jennifer won the Best Actress Award at the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, and Best Actress at the Puerto Vallarta Film Festival for her performance as Abby. The film was acquired by Magnolia Pictures and was released to critical acclaim in the fall of '07. Jennifer started her career as a New York-based theater actress, starring in more than 25 Off-Broadway and regional productions, including the long-running hit The Fantasticks. In 2003, she made her Broadway debut in the critical and commercial hit Wonderful Town, directed by two-time Tony winner Kathleen Marshall, co-starring opposite two-time Tony Award winner Donna Murphy. Jennifer received a 2004 Tony nomination for her performance, a Theater World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut, and a Drama League Award. On the small screen, Jennifer was seen on a multi-episode arc on ABC's award-winning drama "Grey's Anatomy" in 2009 as well as guest starring role in season eight of Fox’s hit show "24" in 2010. She also starred in the Hallmark Channel original movie "Before You Say I Do" opposite David Sutcliffe, which premiered in February 2009. Prior to that, she starred in ABC’s "Notes From the Underbelly." Other television credits include "Numbers," "Judging Amy," "Hack,""Snoops," "Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place," "Holding The Baby," and many pilots.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, June 13, 2012