Keen Company Announces Children of a Lesser God; Begins March 14

Keen Company is proud to announce that the second production of their 2005/06 season is the first professional New York City revival of Mark Medoff's Tony Award-winning play Children of a Lesser God, directed by Keen Company Associate Artistic Director Blake Lawrence. Children of a Lesser God begins previews on Tuesday, March 14 for a limited engagement through Sunday, April 9. Opening Night is Saturday, March 18 at 8:00 PM. The performance schedule is Tuesday Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Performances are at The Connelly Theater (220 East 4th Street, between Avenues A and B). Tickets are $19 and are available by calling SmartTix at 212-868-4444 or online at www.smarttix.com.

Mark Medoff's 1980 Tony Award-winning play Children of a Lesser God is a poignant love story about the lengths two people will travel to bridge the gap between their worlds of silence and sound. Children of a Lesser God opened on Broadway on March 30, 1980 and ran for 887 performances before closing over two years later on May 16, 1982. The movie adaptation, released in 1978, received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture.

The production stars Alexandria Wailes, an actress last seen in Deaf West's Broadway production of Big River, and Jeffry Denman, who recently co-starred with Brian d'Arcy James in White Christmas in Los Angeles and whose Broadway credits include The Producers and How to Success in Business Without Really Trying. Rounding out the cast are Ian Blackman, Guthrie Nutter, Lee Roy Rogers, Tami Lee Santimyer and Makela Spielman.

Mark Medoff received a Tony Award for Children of a Lesser God, as well as Outer Critics and Drama Desk awards. He was nominated for an Academy Award for the film script of Children and a Cable ACE Award for his HBO premiere movie, "Apology." He received Obie, Outer Critics and Drama Desk awards for When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder. He served on the English and theatre arts faculty at New Mexico State University for 27 years. He was head of theatre arts at NMSU for seven years and co-founder and artistic director of the American Southwest Theatre Company for five years. Mark is the author of over 27 plays. In addition to Children and Red Ryder, those that have had productions in New York are Primate, The Wager, The Halloween Bandit, The Hands of Its Enemy, The Heart Outright and The Majestic Kid. Among his 11 screenwriting credits are Clara's Heart, Off Beat, City of Joy, Homage and Santa Fe. He is the author of one novel, Dreams of Long Lasting. In 2000, Mark produced and directed the documentary Who Fly on Angels' Wings, about a mobile pediatric unit traveling the underserved areas of southern New Mexico. In 2001, he directed the feature film, Children on Their Birthdays, based on the story by Truman Capote. The film received the Platinum Award in the family/children division of the Worldfest Houston Film Festival. He is a fellow of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. The Dramaturgy of Mark Medoff Five Plays Dealing With Deafness and Social Issues, a collection of the five bilingual plays Mark has written in English and American Sign Language during his quarter-century relationship with Phyllis Frelich, was published by the Edwin Mellen Press.

Blake Lawrence's (director) directing credits include Allison Moore's Hazard County, Brad Fraser's Snake in Fridge, Pirandello's Naked and the critically acclaimed revival of Mark Ravenhill's Shopping and F***ing for the The Themantics Group, where she also served as Artistic Director. Other credits include It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder!, Angel Street, Cooper Savage (World Premiere), and The Misanthrope. She has been named one of the hottest directors of Off and Off-Off Broadway by Show Business Weekly. She has worked at the Goodman Theatre and Arena Stage and is a member of the LIncoln Center Director's Lab. Blake is a graduate of Northwestern University. She is the Associate Artistic Director of Keen Company, and Children of a Lesser God marks her first production with the company.

The design team includes Nathan Heverin (sets; Drama Desk nominated for Outward Bound), Josh Bradford (lights), and Theresa Squire (costumes). The production stage manager is Erin Grenier.

Keen Company has produced thirteen full-length plays in its five seasons. It has been honored with five Drama Desk Nominations, two Off Broadway transfers, an Obie, and in 2005 a Special Drama Desk Award "for moving and enlightening audiences with plays that build upon our theatrical heritage."

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