FIRST FLOOR THEATER Presents MATT & BEN By Mindy Kaling & Brenda Withers Directed by Managing Director Amanda Fink November 16 – December 13, 2014

tumblr_static_fftblackonwhitelogo-sFirst Floor Theater (FFT) is thrilled to kick off their third season with MATT & BEN, Mindy Kaling & Brenda Withers’ uproarious and irreverent send-up of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s attempt to make it big with Good Will Hunting, directed by FFT Managing Director Amanda Fink, playing November 16 –December 13 at Collaboraction’s Pentagon Theatre in The Flat Iron Arts Building. Tickets for MATT & BEN will be available at http://firstfloortheater.com/

MATT & BEN features Associate Artistic Director Andrew Cutler with Brandon Moorhead.

It’s 1996 and best friends and struggling actors, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, are trying to catch their next big break by writing a screen adaptation of Catcher in the Rye. When the finished script for Good Will Hunting literally falls from the ceiling, they are forced to renegotiate their friendship in their competing quests for fame. The Office’Mindy Kaling offers an uproarious glimpse at how Hollywood’s golden boys went from anonymous to A-list. FFT’s production, under the leadership of Managing Director Amanda Fink, expands this story to explore the complex relationship between friendship and professional collaboration.

Matt & Ben is the perfect storm of outrageous premise, characters we know and love, and pitch-perfect execution that doesn’t pull any punches. But under the punchlines and celebrity, there is a genuine exploration of what it means to be life-long friends and the particular kinds of love – and repulsion – that live in that relationship,” Fink says of the show. FFT’s production focuses on this love and repulsion, and draws out these emotional truths that lie within the comedy. MATT & BEN – both comedic and heartfelt – examines the challenges of creating work, whether artistic or other, out of close relationships.

The production team for MATT & BEN includes: Bobby Huggins (scenic design), Sarah Ingraham (lighting design), Graham Carlson (sound design), Alexis Chaney (costume design), Claire Stone (dramaturg), Andrew Rovner (production manager), and Helen Behnke-Hanson (stage manager).

Title: Matt & Ben

Playwright: Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers

Director: Amanda Fink

Featuring: Andrew Cutler (Matt), Brandon Moorhead (Ben)

Location: Collaboraction’s Pentagon Theater at The Flat Iron Arts Building

1565 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Dates: Previews: Friday, November 14 & Saturday, November 15 at 8:00 p.m.

Press Opening: Sunday, November 16 at 6:00 p.m.

Regular Run: Thursday, November 20 – Saturday, December 13, 2014.

Show Times: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.

Please note: There will be no performance on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 27. There are added industry performances on Monday, November 24 and Monday, December 8, both at 8pm.

Tickets: $20 general admission tickets. $10 industry tickets on Monday performances.

Tickets for MATT & BEN will be available at http://firstfloortheater.com/. .

About the Playwrights

Mindy Kaling is a New York Times best-selling author and can be seen on her primetime television show, The Mindy Project (Fox), in which she not only stars, but also created, writes, and executive-produces. Ms. Kaling was most recently seen on the eighth season of The Office (NBC), in which she starred as “Kelly Kapoor.” Initially hired in 2004 as a writer and performer for the American version of The Office, she has written more than 18 episodes of the series, including “Niagara,” which scored her an Emmy nod. In 2009, she debuted as a director, with the episode “Subtle Sexuality,” and she subsequently was named an executive producer on the series. Ms. Kaling was singled out when she was nominated for a 2008 Image Award in the “Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series” category. Most recently, The Office was nominated for a 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.”

Brenda Withers is a writer and actor. She is a founder of both the Harbor Stage Company (Hedda Gabler, CHURCH) and Lucid Theater (My Heart Split in Two, The Macguffin?), the co-writer of Matt & Ben (PS 122), and a former playwriting fellow of the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France. She has worked with companies like Hoi Polloi, the Folger, Dixon Place, HERE, McCarter, and Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, where her play The Ding Dongs (or What is the Penalty in Portugal?) premiered last summer. She studied drama and religion at Dartmouth College.

About the Director

Amanda Fink is a founding member of First Floor Theater and currently serves as FFT’s Managing Director. As an actor, she has been seen with FFT in Polaroid Stories, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Twain’s World and GrimmFest. She has also had the pleasure of performing with Upended Productions (ALICE), The LA Philharmonic (Summer Sounds), and Lookingglass Theatre (Summer Incubator Exploring Moby Dick.) Previous directing credits include Margaret’s Bed (Gorilla Tango), and at the University of Chicago, True West and Henry V. She holds a degree in Theater and Performance Studies from the University of Chicago and is also a proud graduate of Black Box Acting Studio’s 2013-2014 Academy.

About First Floor Theater

First Floor Theater stages stories of individuals facing moments of radical change. By combining visceral acting, immersive design, and collaborative dramaturgy, FFT expands these stories to ask urgent social questions. FFT was named the “Best New Theater Company” in the Chicago Reader’s Best of 2013 Reader’s Pick edition.

For more information on First Floor Theater, visit http://firstfloortheater.com/