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Honor and the River: Now Playing in Studio 3!

February 9, 2009

Nicholas Park (top) and Kevin Duffin (bottom) travel through uncharted waters in Honor and the River (photo: Sara Allen).

PHILADELPHIA, PA: The Walnut Street Theatre's 2008-2009 Independence Studio on 3 season continues with Honor and the River, Anton Dudley's powerful coming of age story about deep rivers and deeper emotions. Directed by Thomas Reing, Honor and the River starts on February 24, opens on February 26 and closes March 15.

Eliot (Nicholas Park) has joined the rowing team in order overcome his fear of water. He is attempting to define who he is, but struggles against life's current. Eliot's rowing partner is Honor (Kevin Duffin), the best athlete on the team. As Honor trains Eliot to conquer his fears, the two create an unsteady friendship tested by manipulation, deception and powerful emotions. Set in the confines of a boy's prep school in New England, Honor and the River explores the powerful themes of love, responsibility, and what it really means to be a man.

Honor and the River is written by New Jersey native Anton Dudley. Mr. Dudley's works have been produced by numerous Off-Broadway theatres, including Cherry Lane Theatre and The Playwrights Realm. Other productions include New York Stage & Film, Adirondack Theatre Festival, Luna Stage and Lincoln Center Theatre. Mr. Dudley teaches at Adelphi University. Honor and the River was originally commissioned by the Manhattan Theatre Club and received its first professional production in 2007 at Luna Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey.

The cast of Honor and the River brings together two new faces with a pair of established Philly actors. Nicholas Park (Eliot) is a senior Musical Theatre Major at the University of the Arts, making his Walnut Street Theatre debut. Nicholas was most recently seen in 11th Hour's Reefer Madness and Mauckingbird's production of Shakespeare's R & J. Kevin Duffin (Honor) is a Media, PA native, and was most recently seen in 11th Hour's Reefer Madness and The Wild Party at Media Theatre. Joining Nicholas and Kevin are Walnut vets Ellen Tobie and Paul Nolan. Ellen Tobie (Wawa - Eliot's mother) has performed in many WST productions, including the 2007 Studio 3 World premiere production of Bookends, as well as mainstage productions of The Philadelphia Story, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound. Paul Nolan's (Mr. Roberts - Honor's father) Walnut credits include Of Mice and Men and Afterplay.

Honor and the River welcomes a number of new faces behind the scenes as well, including director Thomas Reing. Tom has previously directed numerous productions in the Philadelphia area, including three American premieres for Inis Nua (Skin Deep, Tadhg Stray Wandered In and Trad). Tom has also worked as an educator and writer, and is the recipient of an Independence Fellowship in the Arts, a MidAtlantic Arts Fellowship, and a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Playwriting Fellowship.

The scenic design for Honor and the River is courtesy of Robert Kramer, who's previous designs for the Walnut display both a high level of detail and realism (The Price, The Dishwashers) or a precisely subtle scenic canvas created to invoke the proper feel of a production (The Fantasticks, Naked on Broadway). His design for Honor and the River will be a well-engineered blending of the two styles. The design team is rounded out by Costume Designer Megan Diehl (Cinderella), Lighting Designer J. Dominic Chacon and Sound Designer Mark Valenzuela (O Captain, My Captain; The Irish"