Olivia Thirlby (Juno, Dredd) and Nelsan Ellis (True Blood) have joined the ensemble cast of The Stanford Prison Experiment, about the infamous 1971 psychological exercise in which college students exhibited shocking cruel and sadistic behavior when divided into camps of prisoners and prison guards.
elmed by Kyle Alvarez (C.O.G.), the Tim Talbott-scripted film stars Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, and Billy Crudup as Dr. Philip Zimbardo, the Stanford professor who would later write the book on the psychology of good and evil behavior. Thirlby will play Christina Zimbardo, Professor Zimbardo’s wife and fellow academic. She’s currently starring in O.P.C. at the American Repertory Theater with Melissa Leo and next appears onscreen in The Wedding Ringer in January. Ellis, who had a beloved run as Lafayette Reynolds on HBO’s True Blood, will play Jesse Fletcher in Stanford. He appeared as Martin Luther King, Jr. in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and was seen earlier this year in Universal’s James Brown biopic Get On Up.
Academy Award-winning “The Fighter” star Melissa Leo and “Juno” actress Olivia Thirlby will star in the American Repertory Theater world-premiere of Eve Ensler’s O.P.C., a new play about politics and consumption, that will begin performances Nov. 28 in Cambridge, MA.
Pesha Rudnick directs the new work, short for “Obsessive Political Correctness,” that casts Leo as a political candidate whose daughter is a dumpster-diving squatter. It officially opens Dec. 3 for a run through Jan. 4, 2015.
Here’s how the play is billed: “O.P.C. is an exploration of consumption and politics that asks, ‘How are we to survive as a species if we insist on destroying the world we love?’ A dumpster-diving freegan (Thirlby) is doing just fine squatting in an abandoned apartment, but when her mother (Leo), a candidate running for the Senate, tries to make her toe the party line, radicalism comes into collision with mainstream liberalism. Mother and daughter wrestle with the inconvenient truths at the heart of consumer culture, tossed between political compromise and ‘obsessive political correctness.'”
Ensler’s plays include The Vagina Monologues, Necessary Targets, The Treatment, The Good Body and Emotional Creature. She is the recipient of the 2011 Isabelle Stevenson Award.
For tickets, call (617) 547-8300 or visit AmericanRepertoryTheater.org.