SCR announces cast and creative team for Galilee, 34 by Eleanor Burgess

South Coast Repertory (Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei) announces the cast and creative team for the world premiere of Galilee, 34 by Eleanor Burgess. Directed by Davis McCallum, the story exploring the disciples in the aftermath of the Crucifixion, runs April 21-May 12 on the Julianne Argyros Stage.

Known for her Emmy-nominated role in Judging Amy, The Old Man and numerous film credits (Casper, Fear, Daylight, Heat, Friends and Neighbors, among others), Amy Brenneman makes her SCR debut as Miriam of Nazareth. She joins a stellar cast featuring Eric Berryman (Yacov of Nazareth), Christopher Cruz (Linus/Stranger), Teresa Avia Lim (Miri of Magdala), Sharon Omi (Elishiva), Benjamin Pelteson (Shimon of Bethsaida), Jeremy Rabb (Mattiyahu/Ezra) and RavivUllman (Saul of Tarsus).

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Photos courtesy of SCR

Cast of Galilee, 34, Amy Brenneman (back row, second from right)

Berryman (“Atlanta,” Get Your Ass In the Water and Swim Like Me off-Broadway), Cruz (El Huracán at The Old Globe), Lim (Junk on Broadway), Pelteson (ESPN 30 for 30 film Silly Little Game), Rabb (original cast of Rock of Ages) and Ullman (Phil in “Phil of The Future,” “Rita Rocks”) all make their SCR debuts. Omi (Eat with Me, 50 First Dates) returns to SCR for the first time since appearing in the 1994 production of A Christmas Carol.

The design and creative team includes Sandra Goldmark, set design; Dina El-Aziz, costume design; Josh Epstein, lighting design; Bray Poor, sound design, and Charles Haugland, dramaturg. Joanne DeNaut, CSA, is the casting director and Darlene Miyakawa is the production stage manager.

Galilee, 34 takes a look at what happened to the disciples after the Crucifixion of Yeshua or Jesus. The healer from Nazareth is dead, and his followers are determined to keep sharing his message. The problem is the Roman Empire wants them out of the picture. And they don’t have a leader. And they can’t quite agree on exactly what that message is. With wit and intelligence, one of the country’s most exciting writers takes audiences back to the start of a world-changing movement for a deeply personal look at those who made it happen.

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Eleanor Burgess

“Eleanor Burgess’ Galilee, 34 asks evocative and smart questions about ‘what if?’ On a cover page of the script she writes, ‘None of this happened, but all of it is true.’ I love how this encapsulates Eleanor’s adventurous, intelligent, hilarious and human new play about the chronicling of biblical history,” Ivers said. “As she wrestles with the legacy of Yeshua in an ancient world, Galilee, 34 elevates voices left out, illuminates new context, and builds the foundation for a dimensional and complicated narrative. Galilee, 34 is a thrilling addition to our PPF roster of world premiere productions.”

Galilee, 34 was a reading at the 2023 Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF), where it was well-received. It continues SCR’s commitment to producing and showcasing new works from talented playwrights. In 2024, it’s one of two anchoring productions of PPF.

A high-school history teacher before she became a writer, Burgess spent three years researching and writing Galilee, 34, diving into Jewish and Christian theology, the Roman Empire, the history of the Kingdom of Judea and the daily life of the people living there in the first century CE.

“There was a clear jumping-off point that led me to think about these people,” she said. “What if you’re a human being who has encountered the divine and who is now struggling to hold onto that feeling and to figure out what the divine looks like when applied to real, daily life? What if the way forward wasn’t all revealed to them, but instead they were normal human beings who had to figure out what to do – and they disagreed about it?

“I wanted to tell the most famous story on Earth as if the outcome weren’t a foregone conclusion. What if the figures we’ve turned into saints were capable of jealousy, uncertainty, grief, cruelty? Even failure? My goal with Galilee, 34 was to take things we’ve turned into hallowed traditions and put a human face on them.”

Tickets range in price from $29-$105, with additional discounts available for educators, seniors and theatergoers ages 25 and under. Tickets may be purchased online at www.scr.org, or by phone at 714. 708.5555. More information is available at www.scr.org.

South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.


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