Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Julia Barr Returns to the Stage (With Walt Willey)

Two time Emmy-Award winning actress Julia Barr, best known as Brooke English on the daytime drama ALL MY CHILDREN, returns to her theatre roots this summer when she plays the role of “Abby Brewster in Joseph Kesselring’s "Arsenic and Old Lace," July 23 to 25 at the Ottawa High School auditorium (211 East Main Street) in Ottawa, IL.

Julia is co-starring in the production with her ALL MY CHILDREN cast mate Walt Willey (Jackson), who is originally from Ottawa, IL. "Arsenic and Old Lace" marks his WilleyWorld Community Productions’ second annual effort in developing a self-sustaining theatre for the Ottawa community as well as a mentorship program for youths in the area.

Barr says, “I truly admire what Walt does for his community and his sincere love for the arts and theatre. He is really a great guy and I am very much looking forward to being on stage with him. I am very excited about this project!"

Willey says, “It has been my pleasure to form a community theatre in my hometown of Ottawa, and an even greater pleasure to have two of my favorite actresses from AMC give their time and talent to the cause. Last year we mounted ‘The Odd Couple’ and Jill Larson (Opal) was kind enough to come in and play Cecily Pigeon. This year it is our good fortune to have Julia playing Abby Brewster in ‘Arsenic and Old Lace.’ This classic comedy is a great vehicle for Julia and the whole town is excited about it! She is a doll and I've thoroughly enjoyed playing with her across the years on AMC and can't wait to do this show with her. She has tremendous stage ‘chops’’ and will elevate our little production to great heights!”

Barr appeared on ALL MY CHILDREN for 30 years, received eight Emmy Award nominations, and won two Emmys as “Outstanding Supporting Actress.” By popular demand, she returned to the show for a three month run in 2010. "Arsenic and Old Lace" brings Barr back to the stage. Growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, she appeared in dozens of productions at the Fort Wayne Community Theatre, Civic Theatre, Wagon Wheel Playhouse and Enchanted Hills Playhouse. While attending Purdue University she starred in such productions as Our Town, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Lover, The Killing of Sister George, and Endgame. She later starred in Scapino and A Girl in My Soup at Buffalo’s Studio Arena Theatre; in the national company of West Side Waltz with Katharine Hepburn and Dorothy Loudon; on tour in Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular; and Off-Broadway in Kerouac and Leonard Melfi’s Butterfaces. Her other television credits include GATHERING OF ONE, THE ADAMS CHRONICLES, and RYAN'S HOPE. In addition to acting, Julia is actively involved in animal welfare issues. Her family includes two rescued cats and a dog, along with her husband Dr. Richard Hirschlag and their daughter Allison, who is also an actress.

Tickets for the show are $25 in advance and $30 at the door (general admission). For performance information and to purchase tickets, please phone the Ottawa Visitors Center at 815-434-2737 or visit www.experienceottawa.com.

For more on Julia Barr, visit www.juliarosebarr.com.

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