Kate Walsh Set For Off-Broadway Debut

Kate Walsh plans to spend her summer vacation in a 99-seat off-Broadway theater.

Walsh, star of ABC’s “Private Practice,” will appear in the world premiere of “Dusk Rings a Bell,” a two-character play by Stephen Belber, the Atlantic Theater Company announced Monday. She will co-star with Paul Sparks.

“Dusk Rings a Bell,” which runs May 19 through June 20 at the company’s Stage 2, concerns the reunion of Molly and Ray, who unexpectedly meet again more than two decades after a brief romantic encounter. Rehearsals begin April 27.

“It’s the story of these two people who had known each other during one point in their life and are trying to reconnect,” Walsh said in a telephone interview. “The fact (is) that their lives have gone in vastly different directions. (So) there is sort of this innate melancholy and lament (in the play). It works on so many different levels — particularly where these characters conflict with each other and where they connect.”

Walsh described Molly, a successful career woman in media relations at CNN, as “very cerebral, ironic and confident but definitely missing something. She’s a little broken and longing for something.”

Belber is best known for his three-character drama “Tape,” which was filmed as a movie starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Robert Sean Leonard. “Dusk Rings a Bell” will be directed by Sam Gold, who also directed “Circle Mirror Transformation,” one of the biggest hits of the current off-Broadway season.

Sparks appeared on Broadway in 2009 in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler.” He will be in the HBO miniseries remake of “Mildred Pierce,” starring Kate Winslet.

“Dusk Rings a Bell” will be Walsh’s off-Broadway debut, although she has worked extensively in theater in Chicago and Los Angeles as well as off-off-Broadway.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am,” the 42-year-old actress said. “I love doing new pieces and figuring them out.”

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