Memphis’ Only Professional Resident Theatre Company’s Circuit Playhouse Stage begins it’s 50th season with the very first regional premier of:


By Ayad Akhtar
Running August 24 – September 9
The Circuit Playhouse

51 South Cooper St.
Memphis, TN 38104

Playhouse on the Square, in partnership with Art and Nancy Graesser and super sponsor Dr. Thomas Ratliff, is proud to present the regional premier of Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ayad Akhtar’s new work.

Financier, Robert Merkin, will stop at nothing to take over an iconic American manufacturing company. Including changing the rules as he goes. Set in the high-flying, risk-seeking, teetering financial world of the 1980s and inspired by the real junk bond kings of the day. Junk is the riveting story that shows us, from the inside, how money became the only thing that mattered.

Originally performed at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2016 and later on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Junk is Akhtar’s fourth stage play and was nominated for Best Play at the 2018 Tony Awards. The Circuit Playhouse previously presented the regional premier of Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced in 2017.

Playhouse on the Square welcomes Chicago guest director Warner Crocker as he makes his Memphis directorial debut. Crocker recently completed work at Chicago’s Mercury Theatre, directing Bunny, Bunny: Gilda Radner, A Sort of Love Story in January. Also debuting is guest artist Grace Hamashima, as Judy Chen. Hamashima has just completed residency at the Charleston Stage Company in Virginia. The role of Robert Merkin will be played by Gabe Beutel-Gunn (Stupid F@#king Bird, Shakespeare in Love). Resident Company Member, Kim Sanders (Crib, Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody) returns to The Circuit Playhouse stage as Amy Merkin. Also joining the cast are Assistant Director of Theatre Education, Jason Gerhard along with Playhouse on the Square’s Associate Company Member Ryan Negron, and Memphis theatre favorite Mark Pergolizzi (Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody).

Junk complete cast is as follows:

Cast List (In alphabetical order)

Merkin – Gabe Beutel-Gunn

Cizik – Burton Bridges

Addesso – Steven Brown

Murray/Counsel – Jason Gerhard

Judy Chen – Grace Hamashima

Peterman – David Hammons

O’Hare/Ensemble – Michael Kinslow

Wiley/Curt/Union Rep – Jeff Kirwan

Atkins/Waiter/Ensemble – John T. Moore

Rivera – Ryan Negron

Tresler – Mark Pergolizzi

Walsh – Darius Robertson

Amy Merkin – Kim Sanders

Everson – Kevin Shaw

Charlene/Lawyer – Cassie Thompson

Pronsky – Mark Winburne

Jacqueline Blount – Kelsee Woods

Artistic Staff

Directed by Warner Crocker

Production Manager/Technical Director/Scenic Designer – Phillip Hughen

Stage Manager – Savannah Thibodeaux

Costume Designer – Lindsay Schmeling

Lighting Designer – Trey Eikleberry

Sound Designer – Carter McHann

Properties Designer – Brandyn Nordlof

Performances will run Thursday – Saturday 8:00 pm curtain and with 2:00 pm curtain on Sunday.  For tickets, call the Box Office at (901) 726-4656 or visit our website Group rates are also available.

Special ticket pricing for opening weekend $25. Pay What You Can performance, sponsored by Arts First and the First Tennessee Foundation is August 30th.

For questions and booking, please contact Playhouse on the Square Director of Community Relations, Marcus Cox (901) 937-6496.


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