Blog Mimi Kennedy & Gordon Clapp to Star in Pru Payne World Premiere at Arizona Theatre Company
Jan 30, 2023

Mimi Kennedy & Gordon Clapp to Star in Pru Payne World Premiere at Arizona Theatre Company

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Arizona Theatre Company has announced that the world premiere of Pru Payne, winner of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, is coming to Tucson and Phoenix this spring. The show, written by Pulitzer Prize nominee Steven Drukman, is a funny and emotional journey about the evolution of love and identity in the face of memory loss. Directed by Sean Daniels, the play features renowned Hollywood actors Mimi Kennedy, known for her roles on MOM and Dharma & Greg, and Gordon Clapp, best known for playing Detective Greg Medavoy for all 12 seasons of the television series NYPD Blue.

Audiences will follow Prudence “Pru” Payne (Kennedy) – a witty public intellectual whose memory begins to fade. As a result, she starts to question her identity and discover unexpected love. Long valued for her mind, Pru ends up losing what made her most formidable while gaining an unexpected emotional connection. This reintegration ends up benefiting her son, Thomas, most of all-thereby altering and informing Pru Payne’s true legacy.

Known for writing beautifully drawn characters that have proven irresistible to audiences throughout the country, playwright Drukman says: “The play asks ‘What’s the best way for any of us to be remembered, and what’s love got to do with it?’ It’s a rare opportunity to see a mature woman letting go of her hard-won tenacity, allowing her to grow even further and transcend the tribalism that keeps people so cordoned off from one another these days.” The story will resonate with anyone who has faced difficult and complicated relationships with loved ones or dealt with issues of memory loss and the changes they bring.

“Pru Payne is expertly told with humor and superb acting from Mimi, Gordon and the rest of the incredible cast,” Drukman said.

Kennedy has been a recognizable onscreen presence in both TV and Film since the 1970s. Her most notable film roles include Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, the political satire In the Loop opposite James Gandolfini, and the cult comedy favorite The Five Year Engagement with Emily Blunt and Jason Segel. Television viewers will also recognize Kennedy from recent roles on The CW’s In The Dark, Netflix’s Grace & Frankie, and ABC’s The Goldbergs. Her professional acting career began on the stage opposite comedy legend Sid Caesar in Neil Simon’s Last of The Red Hot Lovers, followed soon after by her Broadway debut as a cast member of the original Broadway production of Grease.

Clapp, who plays Pru’s unconventional love interest Gus, is an Emmy-winning, Tony-nominated theatre, television, and film actor with Broadway credits that include Glengarry Glen Ross (Tony Nomination, Theatre World Award), The Great Society (Lincoln Center), and To Kill a Mockingbird. He has performed widely in Off-Broadway and regional theatre productions including five seasons with Canada’s National Arts Centre Theatre Company. Film credits include Return of the Secaucus Seven, Eight Men Out, Matewan, Flags of Our Fathers, Peter and John, and Game Plan. In addition to his 12 seasons on NYPD Blue, for which he won Emmy and SAG awards, he has appeared on Damages, Chicago Fire, Mare of Easttown, American Rust and Deadwood.

In partnership with Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, ATC will host conversations about the disease and other dementias. Information will be shared widely by both organizations as part of an ongoing community outreach. Drukman will also be hosted on the institute’s “Dementia Untangled” podcast, which focuses on innovative ideas, practical strategies and proven methods that create a supportive path for caregivers.

The show will run March 4 through March 25 in Tucson at the Temple of Music and Art (330 S. Scott Ave.) and March 30 through April 16 in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater Center (222 E. Monroe St.). Tickets are on sale now; prices begin at $25. Tickets can be purchased at or 1-833-ATC-SEAT.