BAD JEWS to Move to Laura Pels Theatre in September 2013
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by BWW News Desk
This year, Roundabout Theatre Company is thrilled to celebrate the seventh successful season of Roundabout Underground and the new play initiative, which illustrates a continued commitment to the nurturing of new artists. Through myriad programs and productions, the young artists associated with Roundabout will see their work presented to a wide audience of theater goers.
Harmon's sold out dark comedy BAD JEWS, will make the move upstairs from Roundabout Underground's 62-seat Black Box Theatre to the 420-seat Laura Pels Theater beginning September 20, 2013. The limited run will be a part of Roundabout's 2013-2014 subscription season.
The second playwright to be produced as part of Roundabout Underground (The Language of Trees in 2008), Levenson will see the world premiere of his Roundabout commissioned play The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin open in June at the Laura Pels Theatre.
Roundabout will hold their second annual Roundabout Underground Reading series in February, where playwrights such as Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews) made their Roundabout debut. Five up and coming playwrights & directors will have their plays read in the Black Box Theater.
BAD JEWS was first performed at the inaugural Roundabout Underground Reading Series in February 2012. The play was chosen to be the seventh Roundabout Underground production where it opened to critical acclaim on October 30, 2012. The critics raved 'Bad Jews is delicious nasty fun' (New York Post), 'A very promising start by newcomer Joshua Harmon' (New York Magazine), 'Tracee Chimo is marvelous, her versatility is startling' (New York Times). The sold out run was extended two weeks and played its final performance in the Black Box on December 30, 2012. Original cast members Tracee Chimo, Philip Ettinger, Molly Ranson and Michael Zegen will return for the Off-Broadway run, with direction by Daniel Aukin.
Roundabout Underground playwrights are commissioned to write a second play for Roundabout following their Black Box production. The debut of this program was Stephen Karam's Sons of the Prophet which won the 2012 NY Drama Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Next, Steven Levenson's The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin will premiere in the summer 2013 at the Laura Pels Theatre. Following that, Bad Jews will move to the Laura Pels Theatre and Joshua Harmon will be commissioned to write his second play for Roundabout Theatre Company.
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UNDERGROUND READING SERIES PLAYS:
Roundabout also announces the second annual Roundabout Underground Reading Series from February 25 - March 1. Roundabout Underground Reading Series is a five night event that will include a nightly reading of a new play written and directed by an emerging artist, curtain speeches by Roundabout Underground artist alumni and a post-show reception. BAD JEWS was presented at this event in February 2012.
The plays featured in this year's series include Jonathan Caren's The Recommendation, directed by Laura Savia; Rachel Bonds's Swimmers, directed by Portia Krieger; Mat Smart's Tinker to Evers to Chance, directed by Jeremy B. Cohen; Christian Durso's Shiner, directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar; Kate Gersten's Benefit of the Doubt, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch.
There will be one reading each night at 7pm from February 25 - March 1, in the Black Box Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 W46th St.). A limited number of tickets to the reading series will be available to general public.
These tickets can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, February 25
Aaron is smart, privileged and liked by everyone. Iskinder, his college roommate, is modest, unconnected and comes from a middle-class immigrant family. Soon the best of friends, Aaron takes Iskinder under his wing, sharing his world of favors and fortune. But the safe haven of college only lasts so long, and once in the real world, Aaron is thrust into a terrifying situation without his familiar safety net. As the
tables turn, and Aaron is confronted with a crisis, both Aaron and Iskinder have to rethink the meaning of friendship and where loyalty has its limits.
Jonathan Caren (Playwright). Jonathan's work has been developed by The Manhattan Theater Club, Ensemble Studio Theater, Ars Nova, The Flea, The Rattlestick, The Old Globe, New York Stage and Film and The Lark, amongst others. His play, The Morning the Sun Fell Down will be featured in MTC's 2013 7@7 Reading Series this spring. Catch The Fish won most outstanding play in the NY Fringe. He is a 2011-12 Dramatist Guild Fellow, the 2011 New York Stage and Film Founder's Award Winner, a member of The T.S Eliot Old Vic/New Voices Network, a recipient of a residency at SPACE @ Ryder Farm, a two-time Lecomte du Nouy award winner and a recipient of the Theater Publicus Prize for Dramatic Fiction. He was a finalist for the 2012 Laurents/Hatcher Award, a nominee for the 2012 Otis Guerney New American Playwright's Award, a finalist for The 2013 Soho Rep Writers/Director Lab and is currently nominated for a Craig Noel award. He graduate of The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace Playwright's program and Vassar College, hails from Los Angeles and is a member of the downtown New York theater company, Partial Comfort.
Laura Savia (Director) directing credits include The Mnemonist of Dutchess County (The Attic - upcoming), 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (Naked Angels), House Strictly Private (1st Irish Festival), The Lover (The Drama League), The Color of Justice (Theatreworks USA), as well as numerous short plays for Ars Nova, Partial Comfort, At Play, and the 24 Hour Plays. She has directed workshops or readings for The Public Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, Atlantic Theater Company, Second Stage, and Ma-Yi Theater Company, among others. Assistant directing includes Broadway's The Merchant of Venice (dir. Daniel Sullivan). Laura is the Director of the Workshop at Williamstown Theatre Festival. She spent five seasons on Atlantic Theater Company's staff, including two as Literary Associate. Co-conceiver and director of The Living Newspaper, which has performed at Joe's Pub, Le Poisson Rouge, and the A.R.T.'s Club Oberon. Faculty at NYU/The Strasberg Institute. 2009 Drama League Directing Fellow. Alumna of Northwestern University.
Tuesday, February 26
By Rachel Bonds; Directed by Portia Krieger
It's Monday. It's Vivian's first day back. Tom is hiding in the basement. Bill just got promoted. Michaelson is on the rampage. Farrah's thinking about the end of the world. Everyone's hoping something might change. A play about grasping for the profound within the mundane.
RACHEL BOND (Playwright). Rachel Bonds' plays have been developed or produced by Ars Nova, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Georges, Williamstown Theater Festival, Playwrights Horizons, McCarter Theatre, The Arden, and MTC (upcoming), among others. She is currently an affiliated artist of New Georges', a member of EST's Youngblood, and a recent winner of the Sam French Short Play Festival. She is an alum of Ars Nova's Play Group and New Georges' The Jam, and was the Father William Ralston Fellow at the 2011 Sewanee Writers' Conference. She is currently working on a commission for Philadelphia's Arden Theatre as recipient of their 2013 Writer's Room residency. Rachel is a graduate oF Brown University.
Portia Krieger (Director) mostly directs new plays. Upcoming: Eager To Lose at Ars Nova, starring Tansy, the Elizabeth Taylor of Burlesque! Recent credits include The Netflix Plays and Let Me Collect Myself (Ars Nova), Daniel Talbott's Break Your Face On My Hand and Florencia Lozano's BUSTED (Rising Phoenix Rep), Kim Rosenstock's Tigers Be Still (TheaterSquared), Too Much Too Soon (Lesser America), Samuel D. Hunter's When You're Here (Williamstown), and Kathryn Walat's This Is Not Antigone (New Georges). Portia has assistant and associate directed productions both off and on Broadway, including working with Sam Gold on the world premiere of Tigers Be Still at the Roundabout Underground. She's an alumna of the Drama League Directors Project and the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, Ars Nova's 2013 Director-in-Residence, an ensemble member at Lesser America, and a co-founder of the New Georges Jam.
TINKER TO EVERS TO CHANCE
Wednesday, February 27
By Mat Smart; Directed by Jeremy B. Cohen
Lauren makes a rare trip home to Chicago to take her ailing mother, Nessa, to the biggest Cubs game of the year-the infamous Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. But Nessa has disappeared, leaving behind her caretaker and the fresh manuscript of a play about Cubs great Johnny Evers. As she searches the script and city for her mother, Lauren is forced to answer the question: when is enough enough?
MAT SMART (Playwright) is a Core Writer at the Playwrights' Center, where he was a McKnight Advancement Grant and two-time Jerome Fellowship recipient. Samuel J. and K. premiered at Williamstown Theatre Festival starring Justin Long and Owiso Odera (subsequent productions include Steppenwolf and Passage Theatre). Other plays include: The Steadfast (upcoming at Slant Theatre Project), The Hopper Collection (Magic Theatre and Huntington Theatre Company), The 13th of Paris (City Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre, Horizon Theatre, Public Theatre of Maine, Warehouse Theatre and LiveWire in Chicago) and The Bebop Heard in Okinawa (O'Neill Playwrights' Conference). He has been commissioned by South Coast Rep and Huntington. Co-founder of Slant Theatre Project in NYC. MFA: UCSD. An avid baseball fan and traveler, Mat has been to 28 of the current MLB stadiums, all 50 states and 6 continents - including a recent stint working as a janitor at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. He currently lives in Brooklyn and is a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer's Group at Primary Stages.
JEREMY B. COHEN (Director). Artistic Director (The Playwrights' Center); Associate Artistic Director (Hartford Stage) where he directed Snow Falling on Cedars, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mistakes Were Made, The Scene, Mahalia, I Am My Own Wife, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Bad Dates and A Christmas Carol; Other Directing credits include: The Novelist (Dorset), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Rep Theatre St Louis, Kansas City Rep), Let There Be Love (Centerstage), Smart Cookie (Alliance), The Scene, Bad Dates, and Trip to Bountiful (Alley Theatre); Hannah and Martin (Theater J/DC & Timeline Theatre/Chicago), Nickel and Dimed and Waving Goodbye (Steppenwolf/Naked Eye); One Flea Spare (Goodman), The Unexpected Man (ATF); Ghosts in the Cottonwoods (Victory Gardens), Cannibals (Red Orchid), Cannibals, Nocturne, Shopping & F***ing and Scraped (Bailiwick), The Idiot Box (Naked Eye/Chicago & Open Fist/LA), Mom's the Word (Metropolis Theatre & Royal George/Chi), Closet Land (NYPW); Founding Artistic Director of Naked Eye Theatre Company/Chicago. Workshops include: NYSF, Woolly Mammoth, Pasadena Playhouse, New Harmony, Denver Center and McCarter. Currently, his workshop production of Brahman/i is playing at La Jolla Playhouse as part of the DNA series.
Thursday, February 28
In the spring of 1994, two outcast teens make a pact to die happy. All they need to do is see Nirvana live in concert and then they will jump off the 101 overpass. But a first kiss, a restraining order, and Kurt Cobain's ailing health threaten their plans. A Grunge Rock Fueled Love Story.
Christian Durso (Playwright) is a playwright, screenwriter and classically trained actor. He holds an MFA from the University of San Diego/Old Globe and a BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He is a member of the Los Angeles based IAMA Theatre Company where his most recent play SHINER was named to the Tracking Board's 2012 Young and Hungry List as one of the top 100 scripts of the year. His plays have been performed in Los Angeles and have enjoyed readings at The Old Globe and EST/LA. He is currently developing a young adult novel into a screenplay with REEL FX. Also an actor, Christian has worked regionally at The Old Globe, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Great Lakes Theatre (OH), Idaho Shakespeare Festival as well as Off-Broadway.
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar (Director) is a 2012 Drama Desk Award nominee for his direction of Sean Graney's These Seven Sicknesses at The Flea, where he also directed Amy Freed's Restoration Comedy (both NY premieres). Ed is Founding Artistic Director of the groundbreaking NYC theatre collective Exit, Pursued by a Bear (EPbB), where he incubated productions of Restoration Comedy, These Seven Sicknesses, Jason Williamson's Lesser Mercies and Arok of Java, King Lear and Jeff Whitty's The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler starring Whitty and Billy Porter (all NY premieres). Ed currently serves as the Director of Creative Development for Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT). He is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect, a Drama League Directing Fellow, a two-time Resident Director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab,
and the recipient of the Robert M. Golden Medal for distinguished achievement in the creative arts and the Sherifa Omade Edoga Prize for work involving social issues. Ed has taught at Stanford (BA Modern Thought & Literature, and Drama) and Carnegie Mellon (MFA Directing). Upcoming: World premiere of Gabriel Jason Dean's Bacha Bazi (Broadway option, Davenport Theatrical). In 2013: NY premieres of Jason Williamson's All Good Angels (EPbB, recipient of EST/Sloan Foundation Grant), Roland Schimmelpfennig's The Golden Dragon (The Play Company), Ismail Khalidi's Tennis in Nablus (The Culture Project), and the Asian premiere of David Ives' Venus in Fur (SRT).
BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT
Friday, March 1
Jane just got dumped and she's hell-bent on figuring out what went wrong, no matter how much dignity it costs her. Jane's best friends try to pick up the pieces, but one's own romantic foibles and the other's unrelenting idealism make them ill-equipped to deal with Jane's teetering sanity. Written by current Juilliard playwriting fellow Kate Gersten, this match.com-age comedy hopscotches through misadventures in dating and the art of being a best friend.
Kate Gersten (Playwright) is currently a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School under the mentorship of Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang. Her thesis play, Benefit of the Doubt was produced this year at The Juilliard School and was directed by Danny Goldstein. Her other plays include Father Figure, and Exposed! The Curious Case of Shiloh and Zahara which was produced as part of the Midtown International Theater Festival in 2009 (Dir: Dan Fogler). That production received 12 nominations from the festival for which she won an award for Outstanding Playwriting of a New Script, and was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress. As an actress, Kate has appeared in numerous film and television projects. Favorite New York and regional theater credits include The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall (Dir: Sam Gold, The Lion Theater), Elephant in the Room (Dir: Dan Fogler), 10X25 (Atlantic), The Cherry Sister's Revisited (Humana), The Miracle Worker (Bay Street), The San Francisco production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Skin of Our Teeth, On the Razzle, A Clockwork Orange, Our Country's Good (All Williamstown). In addition to her work at Juilliard, Kate has a BA from UCLA's school of Film and Television.
Gaye Taylor Upchurch (Director). Off-Broadway: Laura Marks's Bethany (The Women's Project); Simon Stephens's Harper Regan with Mary McCann (Atlantic Theater); Simon Stephens's Bluebird with Simon Russell Beale (Atlantic Theater). Her work has been seen at The Culture Project, La Mama, and Lincoln Center Institute among others, and she has developed new work at Primary Stages, New Dramatists, NY Stage & Film, The Kennedy Center, Dixon Place, Playwright's Center, Geva, LCT Director's Lab, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. She worked with Sam Mendes as Associate Director on The Bridge Project's productions of The Cherry Orchard, The Winter's Tale, Tempest, and As You Like It (BAM/Old Vic/International tour). She is an alumna of the Women's Project Directors Lab and The Drama League.
Roundabout Underground is an initiative launched in 2007 to introduce and cultivate artists in Roundabout's 62-seat Black Box Theatre, at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street, NYC, NY, 10036). Prior productions include the acclaimed world premieres of Stephen Karam's Speech & Debate (2007), Steven Levenson's The Language of Trees (2008), Adam Gwon's Ordinary Days (2009), Kim Rosenstock's Tigers Be Still (2010), David West Read's The Dream of the Burning Boy (2011), Andrew Hinderaker's Suicide, Incorporated (2011) and Joshua Harmon's Bad Jews (2012).
Major support for Roundabout Underground provided by members of Roundabout Leaders for New Works including, Alec Baldwin, Lois and Irvin Cohen, Linda L. D'Onofrio, Peggy and Mark Ellis, Jodi Glucksman, Sylvia Golden, Caryn and James Magid, the Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre, Laura S. Rodgers, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Yolanda R. Turocy, Lori Uddenberg, Deborah and Thomas Wallace, and Xerox Foundation.
The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre reflects Roundabout's commitment to produce new works by established and emerging writers as well as revivals of classic plays. This state-of-the-art off-Broadway theatre and education complex is made possible by a major gift from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The Trust was created in 1986 by Harold Steinberg to promote and advance American Theatre as a vital part of our culture by supporting playwrights, encouraging the development and production of new work, and providing financial assistance to theatre companies across the country. Since its inception, the Trust has awarded over $45 million to more than 100 not-for-profit theatre organizations.
Roundabout Underground is an initiative to showcase new plays that will either allow an experienced director to go back to his/her creative roots or give a debut production to an emerging writer or director. Robyn Goodman (Artistic Consultant to the Roundabout), who has significant artistic development experience, produces the initiative that continues to be a creative breeding ground for nurturing new talent.
The 62-seat Black Box Theatre, below the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Centerfor Theatre, allows Roundabout to take artistic risks that are better suited for a more intimate space.
Roundabout Theatre Company presents a variety of plays, musicals, and new works on its five stages, each of which is specifically designed to enhance the needs of Roundabout's mission. Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design, is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics. Roundabout's Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions. The Stephen Sondheim Theatre offers a state of the art LEED certified Broadway theatre in which to stage major large-scale musical revivals. Together these distinctive homes serve to enhance Roundabout's work on each of its stages.
American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Roundabout Theatre Company's 2012-2013 season features The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Rupert Holmes, starring Stephanie J. Block, Will Chase, Gregg Edelman, Jim Norton and Chita Rivera, directed by Scott Ellis; Picnic by William Inge directed by Sam Gold; The Big Knife by Clifford Odets, starring Bobby Cannavale, directed by Doug Hughes; Talley's Folly by Lanford Wilson, directed by Michael Wilson; The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin by Steven Levenson, directed by Scott Ellis.
Roundabout Theatre Company's Tony Award winning Anything Goes has set sail on a National Tour that will cruise into more than 25 other cities during the 2012/2013 season.