PAY THE WRITER, by Tawni O’Dell, Starring Ron Canada, Marcia Cross, Bryan Batt, More, Opens Off-Broadway August 21

The timely new play began its run with a benefit performance supporting the Writers Guild of America.

By Margaret Hall, Logan Culwell-Block for

Ron Canada, Marcia Cross, and Bryan Batt

Pay the Writer, a timely new play from Tawni O’Dell (Back Roads), officially opens Off-Broadway August 21, after beginning performances August 13. The production plays through September 30 at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center with Karen Carpenter (Love, Loss, and What I Wore) at the helm.

The new play follows the friendship between a white, gay literary agent and his best friend and most successful client, a gifted Black writer. The sold-out first preview performance served as a benefit in support of the Writers Guild of America, which is currently on strike. Additional benefit performances were added August 14 and 20 to meet demand.

The cast features Ron Canada (Network) as writer Cyrus Holt, Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives) as Lana Holt, Bryan Batt (Mad Men) as literary agent Bruston Fischer, Steven Hauck (The Velocity of Autumn) as Jean Luc, Miles G. Jackson (Chicken & Biscuits) as Young Bruston and Taz, Garrett Turner (Tina – The Tina Turner Musical) as Young Cyrus, Danielle J. Summons (Baby) as Gigi, and Stephen Payne (Straight White Men) as Homeless Man.

The production also features scenic design by David Gallo, costume design by David C. Woolard, lighting design by Chistopher Akerlind, sound design by Bill Toles, and props by Yuki Nakamura.

The limited run is produced by Alexander “Sandy” Marshall, Mitchell Maxwell, Giles Cole, and MarMaxMedia.

Tickets are available at