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Taraji P. Henson heads stellar cast of ‘Above the Fold’ at Pasadena Playhouse

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Academy Award and Emmy nominee Taraji P. Henson (“Person of Interest” on CBS, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “No Good Deed” opposite Idris Elba) stars in the World Premiere of “Above the Fold” by former New York Times reporter Bernard Weinraub and directed by Steven Robman. The show begins previews January 28, 2014 and performs at The Pasadena Playhouse through February 23.

Developed in part by The Pasadena Playhouse as part of its Hothouse at the Playhouse program, “Above the Fold” takes place against the backdrop of the sharp decline of newspapers and newspaper readership around the country, as the internet emerges as the major source of information around the world. The play tells of an ambitious newspaper reporter who comes to grips with a provocative and incendiary story involving a young African American woman who has accused three white fraternity students of raping her. The accusations against the students are made not only by the press, but also by the prosecutor in the case, who is seeking election.

Like the reporters on other newspapers and networks, the journalist, Jane (played by Taraji P. Henson), and her editors make a series of assumptions about who the defendants and the accuser are, and what might (and might not) have happened. What the journalist learns is that the truth is sometimes not only complicated and elusive, but can also leave the reporter facing intense pressures that could launch or shatter her career.

The cast also features Kristi Johnson, who returns to The Pasadena Playhouse after starring in the Playhouse productions of “Jitney” and “Intimate Apparel,” and Arye Gross, Kristopher Higgins, Mark Hildreth, Joe Massingill and Seamus Mulcahy.

Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse, says, "I am tremendously excited about mounting the first production of this play which we developed in our Hothouse series. The play is timely, resonant, hard hitting, and surprising. Bernie writes of a world that he knows very well, so it provides a fascinating insider's look at the intricacies and the sometimes dangerous aspects of the world of journalism. It is always a challenging pleasure to help give birth to new work and I look forward to both the process and to what I know will be the exciting rewards of having this play on our stage."

Robman says “If you've ever wondered how much a news story is affected by the whims and biases of even the most scrupulous reporter, check out this play.”

Weinraub adds “All the actors, led by Taraji, give such depth and meaning to their roles. They're supremely talented. And I'm deeply grateful to every one of them.”

“Above the Fold” previews January 28 through February 2, and performs Tuesday through Sunday through February 23. Tickets are $38 to $72 plus premium, previews $26 to $50 plus premium. Call 626-356-7529, visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.

The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue in Pasadena.

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