The Exceptionals at Merrimack Repertory Theatre.

Merrimack Rep receives 9 IRNE nominations.

Lowell, MA – The Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) have nominated Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s artists and productions for a total of 9 awards in the Large Theater category.  Four Places by Joel Drake Johnson made its East Coast Premiere at Merrimack Rep and took the lead with four nominations, including Best Production of a Play; Best Actress (Carole Monferdini), and Best Supporting Actress (Kate Udall)Charles Towers, Merrimack Rep’s own Artistic Director was nominated for Best Director for the third consecutive year, an award he won in 2008 for directing Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance.

In total, four of Merrimack Rep’s productions of 2010 earned IRNE nominations.  Beasley’s Christmas Party, adapted by C.W. Munger, from the story by Booth Tarkington, and Black Pearl Sings! by Frank Higgins, tied with two nominations each.  Joey Collins was nominated for Best Actor in Beasley’s Christmas Party after lighting up the stage in multiple roles, including Mr. Beasley himself.  Will Pickens was also nominated for Best Sound Design.  Cherene Snow made her Merrimack Rep debut as Pearl and earned a Best Actress nomination, while Robin Vest received a nomination for Best Set Design in Black Pearl Sings!. Heralded Boston actress Karen MacDonald was nominated for Best Solo Performance in Robert Hewett’s The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead.

The IRNE awards will be held in the spring in Boston. For more information and the full list of IRNE nominees, visit www.stagesource.org.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s 2010-2011 Season is sponsored by Lowell Cooperative Bank.  Four Places was sponsored by Lowell General Hospital, with additional support by WBUR.  Beasley’s Christmas Party was supported by Courier Corporation, with additional support by WCAP.  Black Pearl Sings was sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Lowell.  Merrimack Repertory Theater is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

TICKETS: Single Tickets $25-$56; Student/Senior/Group discounts are available.  Tickets can be purchased at MRT Online Box Office at www.merrimackrep.org, or in person at 50 E. Merrimack St., Lowell, or by calling 978.654.4678.  Groups of 6 or more save 25% off single ticket prices, and can call 978.654.7595 for more information.