By Joanna McClelland Glass
Directed by David Ellenstein

From: Nancy Richards
Office: 858-481-1055 ext. 220
Cell: 917-873-6389

Download Release

Download Photos

By Joanna McClelland Glass
Directed By David Ellenstein
Streaming March 24 – April 18, 202

Solana Beach, Calif. – In an era where truth and values are being hotly debated, TRYING presents an intriguing snapshot of American history. The story is based on playwright Joanna McClelland Glass’s experience as an assistant to famed Attorney General and Chief Judge at Nuremberg, Francis Biddle, during the final year of his life. Audiences are treated to a highly literate, affecting portrayal of two wildly different personalities struggling to understand each other. Told with great humor, compassion and insight, this is a compelling and deeply satisfying piece of theatre.

David Ellenstein directed James Sutorius and Emily Goss on North Coast Rep’s mainstage, adhering to all mandated safety and testing procedures under Actors’ Equity Media Agreement. Audiences will see a full theatrical production with sets by Scenic Designer Marty Burnett, costumes by Elisa Benzoni, and Prop Design Philip Korth. Cinematographer/editor Aaron Rumley filmed the show. Reserve your tickets now to this heartfelt, moving play.

TRYING will stream on on demand from MARCH 24 to April 18, 2021. Tickets are $35 – $54 and can be purchased at


Joanna McClelland Glass (Playwright) was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  Her plays include Canadian Gothic and American Modern, Artichoke, To Grandmother’s House We Go, Yesteryear, If We Are Women, and Mrs. Dexter and Her Daily. Play Memory, directed by Harold Prince, was produced on Broadway in 1984.  It won a Tony Award nomination that year. Trying was first presented by Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago in 2004, starring Fritz Weaver.  It won Chicago’s Jefferson Award for Best New Play. It was then produced in New York City at The Promenade Theatre, in 2004-2005.  In 2016 a radio version of the play was produced for the B.B.C, London. The premiere of Palmer Park was at the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario, 2008.

DAVID ELLENSTEIN (Director) Born into a theatrical family, David has worked in theatres across the country. Before joining North Coast Rep in 2003 he served as Artistic Director for the Los Angeles Repertory Company and the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company (AJTC). A veteran of over 250 theatrical productions, directorial favorites include: North Coast Rep – The Outsider, All in the Timing, Holmes & Watson, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Father, This Random World, Travels with My Aunt, The Illusion, Hedda Gabler (World Premiere Translation), Way Downriver; William Faulkner’s ‘Old Man’ (West Coast Premiere), Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush (World Premiere), Side By Side By Sondheim, Chapter Two, Freud’s Last Session (San Diego Premiere), Faded Glory (World Premiere), Mandate Memories (World Premiere), Becoming Cuba (World Premiere), Time Stands Still, Words by: Ira Gershwin and the Great American Songbook (World Premiere), Two by Pinter: The Lover and The Dumb Waiter, HENRY IV Part 1, Heroes, My Name is Asher Lev, The Drawer Boy, Becky’s New Car, Ghosts, The Tempest, Talley’s Folly, Over the Tavern, Old Wicked Songs, The Dresser, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Madagascar, A Shayna Maidel, The Honky-Tonk Angels, Rashomon, A Moon for the Misbegotten; Tuesdays With Morrie; Collected Stories; Halpern and Johnson; Romeo and Juliet; Amy’s View; Einstein Comes Through (also co-author); The Chosen; A Life in the Theatre; Story Theatre and Charley’s Aunt. Coconut Grove Playhouse – Sonia Flew starring Lucie Arnaz; Halpern and Johnson starring Hal Linden and Brian Murray. Papermill Playhouse – The Chosen starring Theodore Bikel and John Lloyd Young. 59E59 – His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley. Park Square & Colony Theatre – Words By. Portland Stage – Halpern and Johnson. Renaissance Theatre – Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Actor’s Theatre of Phoenix – Rabbit Hole. Alabama Shakespeare Festival – The Glass Menagerie, Rocket City (World Premiere) and Honky-Tonk Angels. Laguna Playhouse – Chapatti, Alexandros (World Premiere). Southwest Shakespeare Company – Cyrano de Bergerac. AJTC – Awake and Sing. Meadow Brook Theatre – A Christmas Carol. Portland Rep – Conversations with My Father and Gaslamp Quarter Theatre – A Shayna Maidel. Winner of numerous theatre awards, including the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award for “2018 Director of the Year.”

JAMES SUTORIUS* (Francis Biddle) was last seen in North Coast Rep’s production of The Sunshine Boys.He won the San Diego Theatre Critics Award for his title-role performance in North Coast Rep’s staging of The Father. Broadway: The Farnsworth Invention, Conversations with My Father, The Changing Room, Hamlet. Off Broadway: Sexual Perversity in Chicago. Other Theatre credits include: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Best Actor Award), Lincolnesque (Best Featured Actor Award), The Price, The Savannah Disputation (The Old Globe), Glengarry Glen Ross (Nominated Best Featured Actor Award, La Jolla Playhouse), Antaeus: Jaques in As You Like it, Hedda Gabler, Henry IV, Part One, The Crucible, Macbeth, The Seagull, The Autumn Garden and Classics Fest Project, A Delicate Balance and Wrecks. Regionally: The Crucible, Other Desert Cities, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, Uncle Vanya, The Price, A Perfect Wedding, A Man for All Seasons, Anthony and Cleopatra, A Christmas Carol. Film/TV: refer to IMDb for more details.

EMILY GOSS (Sarah Schorr) received her B.A. in Theatre from the University of Southern California and M.A. in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She’s a proud company member of Antaeus Theatre Company. Los Angeles. Theatre credits include The Cripple of Inishmaan (Anteaus), The 39 Steps (Malibu Playhouse), A Tale of Two Cities (A Noise Within), Ah, Wilderness! (A Noise Within), Vanya, Sonia, Masha, and Spike (I.C.T. Long Beach), and Stupid F*cking Bird (Boston Court). Television credits include guest stars on “L.A.’s Finest,” “Criminal Minds,” “Castle,” and “Future Man.”


AARON RUMLEY (Cinematographer/Editor) has worked on over 120 shows at North Coast Rep, over 50 as a stage manager, over 20 as a designer.

MARTY BURNETT (Set Design) Resident Designer at North Coast Rep since 1992 and has designed more than 200 productions for the theater. Other design venues include Sahara and Hacienda hotels in Las Vegas, Claridge Hotel, Atlantic City and Drury Lane Chicago.

ELISA BENZONI (Costume Design) is thrilled to be working on her fourth season at North Coast Rep including numerous Craig Noel nominated productions. Elisa has also worked on over a hundred productions across Southern California with theatres such as The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Geffen Playhouse, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Diversionary Theatre and New Village Arts. Being Italian born, Elisa has also had the opportunity to work and perfect her craft in Europe. Elisa holds a costume design M.F.A. from UCSD where she currently is an adjunct professor.

PHILLIP KORTH (COVID-19 Compliance Officer/Props) is an actor, writer, craftsman, and educator. He earned BA in Acting and Creative Writing from Western Michigan University and his MFA in Acting from the University of Connecticut. He is a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps and served two tours of duty in Iraq. In addition to designing and managing props for NCRT, Phillip is also the Education Associate at The Theatre School @ North Coast Rep.

About the North Coast Repertory Theatre:

North Coast Repertory Theatre, under the artistic leadership of David Ellenstein since 2003, is a professional Equity theatre founded in 1982 by Olive and Tom Blakistone. Currently celebrating its 39th season, North Coast Rep has received critical acclaim from media and audiences alike and has evolved into one of the area’s leading performing arts organizations. North Coast Rep prides itself on employing the majority of its actors from Actors’ Equity Association for its high quality, award-winning productions, and staging works by established and emerging playwrights. Throughout its history, North Coast Rep has created a platform where artists and audiences thrive through the intimacy of live theatre, recognizing the power of theatre to challenge complacency, revitalize the imagination, nurture the unexpected, and embrace the variety and diversity in our lives.



All photos courtesy of Aaron Rumley