October 5 — November 6


By Lisa D’Amour

Regional Premiere

Directed by Aimée Hayes




Featuring Todd d’Amour,* Elizabeth Daniels,* Madeline Kolker,* Cristine McMurdo-Wallis,* Chivas Michael,* Thomas Francis Murphy,* Lance E. Nichols,* Carl Palmer,* and Janet Shea.*

With Zachary Evans, Evan Eyer,** Khali Freeman, Patrick Hunter,* Marques Legier,** Michelle Lepori,** Rachel Morris**, John Neisler,* Tracy Norwood,** John Proctor III,* Matthew Rigdon,** Pam Roberts, Todras Sam, Juliana Turner,** Betty Varnado,** John Michael White

*Member, Actors’ Equity Association / **Equity Membership Candidate

Presented at the University of New Orleans, Nims Theatre


Thursdays – Saturdays: 8:00 PM

Sundays: 3:00 PM


FOUR ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCES! Now playing through November 6th, 2016

In the parking lot of the dilapidated Hummingbird Hotel on AIRLINE HIGHWAY, an assortment of strippers, hustlers, and poets come together to celebrate the “living funeral” of beloved burlesque performer Miss Ruby. The party rages through the night as old friends reunite to pay their respects—and stir up trouble. Pulitzer Prize finalist Lisa D’Amour (DETROIT) celebrates the night owls of the French Quarter who live along the frayed edges of New Orleans.

Contains adult language and situations. Not recommended for children.



"An exceptional ensemble piece ... Each actor instills his or her character with guts, panache and vulnerability. Individually, they are all terrific; collectively, they are stellar. ... Lisa D'Amour is dynamically experimenting with language and conversation like no other contemporary playwright ... An exquisite dramatic symphony."

—Bruce Burgun, The New Orleans Advocate

Very few playwrights have the acute sense of American place you find in D'Amour's beautiful writing . . . Another excellent piece of writing from this compelling new voice in American theater.

—Chris Jones, The Chicago Tribune


Wednesday, October 5 – Sunday, October 9: Preview Performances – all tickets $25

Thursday, October 6: UNO Night! Discounts for faculty/staff/alums.

Monday, October 10: Opening Night (includes reception)

Thursday, October 13: Pay What You Can Night (yes, really!) – limited tickets, at the door only

Saturday, October 15: Poetry Night, hosted by Danny Kerwick (6 PM reading open to the public). Local poet Danny Kerwick – one of the inspirations for the character of “Francis” – will host a free poetry reading before the performance Saturday night, 10/15! 6 PM at the Nims Theatre. No ticket required in order to attend the reading; 8 PM performance is by separate admission. (You can pick up one of his beautiful books while you’re at it!)

Sundays, October 9, 16, 23, & 30: Talk-backs following the matinee performance


Stay tuned for additional talk-backs, and other special events!


lisa-damour-headshotLISA D’AMOUR is a playwright and co-artistic director of PearlDamour, an OBIE-award winning interdisciplinary performance company. Her plays have been produced at theaters across the U.S., most recently, on Broadway at Manhattan Theater Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theater as well as at Steppenwolf Theater (Chicago), The Wilma Theater (Philadelphia), Woolly Mammoth Theater (Washington D.C.), The National Theater (London),  Playwrights Horizons (NYC) and ArtSpot Productions (New Orleans). Her play Detroit was a finalist for both the 2011 Pulitizer Prize for Drama  and Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.  She is a past recipient of the Alpert Award for the Arts, the Steinberg Playwright Award, and is a 2013 Doris Duke Artist.  WIth her company PearlDamour, Lisa has created a many large-scale, interdisciplinary performances including How to Build a Forest, an eight hour performance installation that has toured widely and was presented by the CAC in New Orleans last October.  Lisa moved to New Orleans, when she was 10, and her roots reach back at least 6 generations.  She attended Dominican High School, performed in many plays with La Troupe De La Salle, received her B.A. from Millsaps College and her M.F.A in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin


TODD D’AMOUR (Bait Boy) is from New Orleans and attended Syracuse University (B.A. Psych) and AADA (NY – 2000). Todd was Horace Wells in NUMB, an original piece created with his company, Goat in the Road. Todd was also Thomas in Southern Rep’s VENUS IN FUR, opening in New Orleans (first regional production) then touring to GEVA Theatre (Rochester). He made his Broadway debut in 2015 in Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of Lisa D’Amour’s AIRLINE HIGHWAY. NYC credits: ORPHEUS DESCENDING (Val – dir. Austin Pendleton), EMPIRE TRAVEL AGENCY (The Woodshed Collective), THE VERGE (PL115/Ontological), ETHER STEEDS (Fringe; Best Ensemble); THE CONFIDENCE MAN (The Woodshed Collective), SPAIN (dir. Shana Gold), SYPHON (dir. Shana Gold), Orpheus – ORPHEUS & EURYDICE, Jake – LIE OF THE MIND, Heracles – WOMEN OF TRACHIS (Target Margin), Stanley – STANLEY (dir./co-created Lisa D’Amour), Colin Clement in RED TIDE BLOOMING (dir. Taylor Mac), Bill – MAJOR BARBARA (Company OBIE), Mr. Interviewer – NITA & ZITA (OBIE). Regional: ORPHEUS DESCENDING (Val – Southern Rep), DETROIT (Kenny – TheatreWorks – Colorado Springs), AIRLINE HIGHWAY (Steppenwolf Work Shop – dir. Joe Mantello), Stanley – A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (SMT), A PERFECT GANESH (NET), Charlie Chaplin – SILENT LIVES (NET). Todd starred in the feature film Wendell and the Lemon, which premiered at Slamdance Film Festival in 2015 and just recently showed at San Fran Indie Fest this month. He won the Best Actor Award for this role in NYC VisionFest in 2015. He also starred in the short film The Heart Wants What it Wants (dir. Paavo Hanninen), which premiered at the New Orleans Film Festival in 2014. Todd’s first film as producer, Get Out Fast, was shot in and around south Louisiana and New Orleans and premiered in NYC in May.

ELIZABETH DANIELS (Krista) fell in love with New Orleans the first time she ever set foot on its cracked sidewalks. She never thought she’d be lucky enough to call this magical city home, but in 2010, the fates conspired to help her do just that. Favorite credits include The Victory Belles, Lullaby of Broadway, and Let Freedom Swing!, National World War II Museum; the Broadway’s Rising Stars Concert, Town Hall NYC; The Sound of Music, Asian Tour, Troika Entertainment; The Parrot, Flea Theater NYC, and Cold As Ice, Gateway Playhouse NY. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, CAP21 Conservatory. She is also a member of Lightwire Theater, the New Orleans-based dance company, with which she travels all over the world, even appearing with them on Season 7 of America’s Got Talent.

MADELINE KOLKER (Zoe) recently moved to New Orleans from New York City. AIRLINE HIGHWAY marks her first performance in New Orleans. Credits include: National Tours: Charlottes Web (Fern), Peter Pan (Michael). Theatre: The Fallen (Abingdon Theatre co.), A House on Top of the Hill (Atlantic Theatre Co.), Hell Is For Real (NYC Fringe fest.).TV/ Film: A Crime To Remember (Investigation Discovery), The Hunt with John Walsh (CNN), No One Else (Skyline Indie Film Fest). Madeline holds a BFA in Acting from the University of the Arts. www.madelinekolker.com

CRISTINE MCMURDO-WALLIS (Tanya) is delighted to return to Southern Rep (The Last Madame (Big Easy Award), Rising Water). McMurdo-Wallis has performed in theatres across the country. Highlights include: Nickel and Dimed (original cast, Intiman Theatre, Seattle and Mark Taper Forum, LA; dir: Bartlett Sher); Angels in America, Millenium and Perestroika (ACT, San Francisco, dir: Mark Wing-Davey, Drama-Logue and Bay Area Critics Circle Awards); Cymbeline (Hartford Stage and McCarter Theatre, dir: Mark Lamos), Collected Stories (Berkeley Rep, Drama-Logue Award); two seasons with Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Other theatres include: Seattle Rep, A Contemporary Theatre, Denver Center, Alaska Rep, The Huntington (Boston) Papermill Playhouse, Diamond Head Theatre (Honolulu), New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Indiana Rep, Portland Stage Company, New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, and Swine Palace. McMurdo-Wallis has appeared in several off-Broadway productions and with Al Pacino in Salome (Stamford, CT). Film and TV: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, American Heart (with Jeff Bridges), “Guiding Light.” Cristine is a regular narrator for Recorded Books, Inc. in New York.

michael-chivas-headshotCHIVAS MICHAEL (Sissy Na Na) is pleased to be making his Southern Rep debut. He was most recently seen in THE ILLUSION at New Orleans Shakespeare Festival. Some recent works include: London – ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, The Royal Shakespeare Company; New York -Broadway: SUPERFLY THE MUSICAL (workshops/lab) dir. Bill T Jones; Off-Broadway: ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, The Public Theater; Brooklyn Omnibus, Brooklyn Academy of Music; Romeo and Juliet, Classic Stage Co.; The Broadway Problem, Lincoln Center; Sliding into the Beast (adapted from the book Beast of No Nation), New York Theater Workshop Regional- The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Yale Rep.; Wild with Happy, Baltimore Center Stage; The Servant of Two Masters, The Guthrie Theater; A Doctor in Spite of Himself, Yale Rep/Berkeley Rep; Much Ado About Nothing/ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare on the Sound; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (all-male cast), Williamstown Theater Festival; Oklahoma/A Chorus Line, Port House Theater Film- Fish Zoo-Zoos and Wham-Whams: The True Story of a Boy in a Men’s Prison. MFA, The Graduate Acting Program at NYU.

THOMAS FRANCIS MURPHY (Francis). A not so recent transplant from the east coast, AIRLINE HIGHWAY marks Tom’s return to the stage after nearly five years of working exclusively in film and television. Prior to that he spent a couple of years with Shakespeare & Co of Lenox, Mass. and many years living in New Haven, Conn. working with the Long Wharf Theatre Co. and Elm Shakespeare. A bit of a Sam Shepard specialist, his New York credits include principal roles in LIE OF THE MIND, THE UNSEEN HAND, BURIED CHILD, FOOL FOR LOVE, and THE LATE HENRY MOSS. Since moving to New Orleans he has worked across from Matthew McConaughey in Free State of Jones, Woody Harrelson in “True Detective”, Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave, and Keanu Reeves in The Whole Truth. He can be seen in the upcoming release of Same Kind of Different As Me, with Greg Kinnear and Renee Zellweger. He appeared as a series regular in the early seasons of “Salem”, and has had roles in “American Horror Story” and a host of other projects.

Treme Production Season 2 nicholsLANCE E. NICHOLS (Terry). New Orleans native Lance E. Nichols returned to the New Orleans stage after a six year hiatus last November in Southern Rep’s SONG OF A MAN COMING THROUGH. Audiences will remember him as dentist Larry Williams on the critically acclaimed HBO series “Treme.” Mr. Nichols career spans 35 years with appearances in television on “NCIS New Orleans,” “American Horror Story,” “House of Cards,” and the AMC series “Into the Badlands”. Film credits include Woodlawn, The Fantastic Four, Left Behind, Homefront, The Mechanic, The Last Song, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. On stage appearances include productions of DRIVING MISS DAISY with Michael Learned (of the Waltons) at the Rubicon Theatre Company, New Dinner Theatre, Alhambra Dinner Theatre, and La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts. New Orleans audiences have seen him in SHOTGUN, YELLOWMAN, and IN WALKS ED at Southern Rep, TOPDOG, UNDERDOG at the CAC, and last year in DRIVING MISS DAISY at the Bayou Playhouse in Lockport. Other theater credits include THE BOYS NEXT DOOR and THE LITTLE FOXES at the Rubicon Theatre Company, FLYIN’ WEST at the International City Theatre, HABITATION OF THE DRAGONS at the Zephyr Theatre, SPUNK at Oregon Shakespeare, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at the L.A. Art Theatre, and THE LOWER DEPTHS with The Actors Gang in Los Angeles. He and his wife Zardis of 35 years are the proud owners of Lanzardis Productions; a company that trains and coaches actors throughout the country, and showcases local talent to industry professionals.

CARL PALMER (Wayne). After playing Jabe in last season’s Orpheus Descending, Carl is very happy to be back at Southern Rep. A veteran of nearly sixty Off-Broadway and major regional theatre productions, Carl’s Off-Broadway credits include THE SKIN GAME and UNCLE TOM’S CABIN (Mint), Our Town (Transport Group), and his solo show, THE NATURE OF A FOOL. New Orleans and regional credits include Jim Taylor in LOMBARDI (re-opening of Le Petit), Master Page in THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (New Orleans Shakespeare), TWENTY SEVEN and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), RICHARD III (Shakespeare Theatre), PIANISSIMO (L.A. Philharmonic), and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (Milwaukee Rep). Recent TV/Film credits include “Roots,” a recurring role on “Bloodline,” “Underground,” Dallas Buyers Club, Bonnie and Clyde, “Treme,” 99 Homes, The Hot Flashes, and upcoming releases of LBJ, Abattoir, Virginia Minnesota, and Rectify.

JANET SHEA (Miss Ruby), winner of five Big Easy Awards, recently retired from NOCCA’s drama faculty after 21 years and serving as Chair of the Department. She has received the Big Easy and Storer Boone Lifetime Achievement Awards for her six decades on stage, during which she has appeared in over 160 productions. Ms. Shea directed 40 more plays including Amadeus, The Importance Of Being Earnest, The Lonesome West, True West, The Diary Of Anne Frank, A Christmas Carol, et cetera. She has also taught Voice and Diction at UNO and Loyola and works as a dialect coach in the film & television industry. A professional actress and member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA, Janet has worked in films with Paul Newman, James Franco, Elijah Wood, Nicolas Cage, Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Michael Curtiz, Elvis Presley, and Morgus The Magnificent.