Reading of new comedy by Ian Mairs starring Michael Emerson: Behind The Scenes

Hey lovely followers of this blog,

Wanted to share an exciting bit of news. On October 20th, in New York City, I’ll be doing a closed reading of a new comedy by Ian Mairs entitled THE LEARNING CURVE starring Michael Emerson (TV: LOST, PERSON OF INTERES) and Jeff Binder (Broadway: LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE, LION KING, MARY POPPINS).

THE LEARNING CURVE is a wicked comedy about the perils of being a teacher today (remember those two weeks that Chicago didn’t have school – yeah….) and I’m thrilled to have actors with such fantastic comedic timing diving into this for an afternoon. I have no doubt that this is just the first step on this play’s path to full production, and then eventually…world domination.

Oh, what’s a closed reading? Great question. It’s when you are doing a reading of a play, and for a variety of reasons decide to not make it open to the public.  For us, it’s because Michael’s fans would overwhelm us, and the people we want to hear the play (producers, artistic directors, my mother) wouldn’t be able to get in.

Though fear not, even though the reading itself won’t be open to the public, I’ll be updating here on how the show goes, what the process is like and what happens to the show post-reading.

If you don’t know the players involved:

Michael Emerson won an Emmy for his portrayal of Benjamin Linus on LOST on ABC and one for portraying William Hinks on THE PRACTICE. He also plays Harold Finch on CBS’ PERSON OF INTEREST. He appeared on Broadway opposite Kevin Spacey in THE ICEMAN COMETH and opposite Kate Burton in both GIVE ME YOUR ANSWER, DO! and HEDDA GABLER.






Jeff Binder has appeared on Broadway: Disney’s MARY POPPINS, THE LION KING, SIDE MAN and THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE. In London: SIDE MAN. In New York: ROMANCE, BIRTH AND AFTER BIRTH, PRINCESS TURANDOT, and regionally in the title role in BOB by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb directed by Sean Daniels at the Humana Festival of New American Plays. On television, he has been featured on the shows DAMAGES, LAW & ORDER, and GUIDING LIGHT. He received his MFA from NYU.




Ian Mairs’ plays, including PARTS UNKNOWN (also starring Michael Emerson), BAY AT THE MOON, OUR DAVID, SHE’S A BIG GIRL, NOW, NOCTURNE AT TWILIGHT, and 7-7 have been seen in New York at the Nat Horne Theater (OOB), the Florida Project and at the Kitchen Theater (Ithaca); in Atlanta at Actors’ Express, 14th Street Playhouse and Seven Stages Backdoor Theater; in Florida at American Stage (St. Petersburg), The Loft (Tampa), Theater Southeast (Tallahassee), Jacksonville Actors Theater, Oasis Theater Project, Theater Jacksonville and Players-by-the-Sea. Ian received his MFA in dramatic writing from Ohio University.

Sean Daniels is the recently appointed Artist-At-Large/Director of Artistic Engagement for Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY, after spending 4 years at the Tony Award-winning Actors Theatre of Louisville as the theater’s Associate Artistic Director (directing a record 17 productions in 4 years, including 5 in the Humana Festival of New American Plays). He has directed all across the country, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and Dad’s Garage in Atlanta GA (which he co-founded).

THE LEARNING CURVE follows the journeys of teachers at all phases of their careers. Meet Mitch, who has fled his depressing stint as a management trainee in search of a more meaningful existence and winds up with a dismal assignment: working as a long-term substitute teacher to a particularly challenging set of high school students. THE LEARNING CURVE tracks his journey of daily setbacks and the occasional tiny victory as it charts one person’s struggle to find his place in the world

More as it happens….





3 thoughts on “Reading of new comedy by Ian Mairs starring Michael Emerson: Behind The Scenes

  1. Hi Sean, My name is Jeremy Sony and I’m at Ohio University in the same MFA program that Ian attended. I learned of this reading through Emily Auwaerter and I was wondering if I could post one of your photos from the reading on the Ohio Playwriting news blog / website and link back to your blog? We’d also share on Facebook and Twitter of course. Sounds like everything went well. Congrats! –Sony

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