Charles Evered Play Premieres in Los Angeles

“Class” opens March 18, produced by Garry Marshall

charles evered

“Class,” a new play by theater professor Charles Evered, opens March 18 in Los Angeles.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – “Class,” a play by UC Riverside professor of playwriting Charles Evered, will premiere at The Falcon Theatre in Los Angeles on March 18, produced by renowned director Garry Marshall. Performances continue through April 19.

The Falcon Theatre was founded by Marshall, best known for having directed the films “Pretty Woman,” “Valentine’s Day” and “The Princess Diaries.” Marshall was also responsible for the iconic television series “Happy Days,” “Mork and Mindy,” “Laverne and Shirley” and the television adaptation of “The Odd Couple.”

“Class” tells the story of Sarah, a young Hollywood starlet seeking lessons from Elliot, an esteemed acting teacher in New York City. In the course of their work together, they learn more about themselves than the craft – and in doing so change each other’s lives forever.

Evered, who is the artistic director in the UCR Department of Theatre, Film and Digital Production, notes that the play is about mentors and how people can have a positive or negative effect on a young person’s journey.

“For me, the play is a kind of tribute to people who come into our life and guide us,” he explained. “I lost my parents too soon and was lucky to have had three spiritual fathers who gave me feedback and guidance and sometimes very harsh criticism, but told me things I needed to hear.

“Those mentors were my high school English teacher Hugh Thomas, my professor at Yale, George Roy Hill, and the brilliant actor and director Austin Pendleton. The character of Elliot in the play is a kind of combination of those three personalities.”

The play started in Princeton, N.J., in 2008, where it was given a staged reading directed by Emmy-winning actress Bebe Neuwirth, starring Roger Rees as Elliot. Rees is perhaps best known for his work with England’s Royal Shakespeare Company and for winning a Tony Award for his performance in “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” on Broadway.

theater marquee

“Class” is produced by renowned director Garry Marshall.

“Class” had its world premiere at a small theatre in New Jersey in 2010, starring noted Australian actor Thaao Penghlis. The two-character comedy-drama went on to have its Inland Empire premiere a year later with Riverside’s own 3 Theatre Group. The Riverside production was directed by Evered’s UCR colleague Robin Russin and starred Paul Jacques and Melissa Kirk.

The play’s next incarnation was a New York state premiere in 2012 directed by Joe Brancato, which garnered excellent reviews. The New York Times called the play “Alluring … it is clear that Mr. Evered, a bi-coastal film director and playwright, knows a good deal about celebrity. … Elliot is a fabulous character.”

The team at the Falcon Theatre tracked the play for several years before finding the right slot for it. A 2012 staged reading, directed by another of Evered’s colleagues at UCR, Eric Barr, was well-received.

Marshall said he is thrilled to be producing the West Coast premiere of “Class” at his theater.

“The play addresses both the historic and contemporary creative themes of pupil vs. teacher, actor vs. celebrity and fame vs craft,” he said. “Evered’s extremely insightful play struggles to reconcile the value of acting, talent and discipline in a world plagued by paparazzi and tabloid magazines. ‘Class’ will give audience members a peek inside the secret life of Hollywood acting. It is an evening not to be missed.”

Marshall, Evered and the play’s director, Dimitri Toscas, will participate in three post-production “Talkback Thursdays” at the Falcon during its run, which will give the audience a chance to interact with the creative team. Other participants in the talkbacks may include the cast at The Falcon, Callie Shuttera (Sarah), and Gildart Jackson (Elliot). The talkbacks are scheduled to take place on April 2, 9 and 16.

Evered remains busy with other projects as well. He and his production team are working on his next feature film, “Back,” which he will direct. The script was written by Evered and actor-producer Marty James. “Back” is the story of a returning veteran who takes a prom queen on a very eventful and unexpected road trip.

In addition, Evered is finishing a new play, a comedic contemporary adaptation of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” about a burned-out actor who has played Ebenezer Scrooge one too many times. A premiere reading of “An Actor’s Carol” is anticipated in December, most likely on the East Coast. Evered also is pursuing the idea of adapting “Class into a feature as well.

Information about performance times and tickets at The Falcon Theatre is available at

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