Neil LaBute Will Helm REASONS TO BE HAPPY for MCC Theater in 2013

Neil LaBute Will Helm REASONS TO BE HAPPY for MCC Theater in 2013

MCC Theater has announced that MCC Playwright-in-Residence Neil LaBute will direct the world premiere of his new play, Reasons to Be Happy, as part of its 2012-13 Season. Performances of Reasons to Be Happy begin at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street, NYC) on May 16, 2013 and continue through June 23, 2013. An official opening is set for June 2, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. Additional information, including complete casting, will be announced shortly.

Reasons to Be Happy replaces a previously announced production of John Pollono’s Small Engine Repair, which has been delayed due to new filming scheduling conflicts for previously announced cast members. MCC intends to stage Small Engine Repair at a later date.

LaBute’s new play begins three years after a contentious break-up, with Steph and Greg wondering if they can make a fresh go of it. Trouble is, she’s married to someone else and he’s just embarked on a relationship with Steph’s best friend, Carly, a single mom whose jealous ex-husband, Kent, has trouble articulating his feelings – navigating the rocky landscape of conflicting agendas and exploding emotions isn’t going to be easy for any of them. Reasons to Be Happy is a funny, surprising, and poignant new play about the choices and sacrifices we are willing to make in the pursuit of that often elusive ideal: happiness.

Reasons to Be Happy is a companion piece to LaBute’s critically-acclaimed award-winning play, Reasons to Be Pretty, first produced at MCC Theater in 2008 before moving to Broadway where it was nominated for three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Play.

Prolific playwright and filmmaker Neil LaBute is the author of the renowned plays The Shape of Things, Fat Pig, and Reasons to Be Pretty, the latter of which served as his Broadway debut in 2009, for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play. On stage, he previously directed his plays The Mercy Seat, Wrecks, and The Shape of Things. For film, LaBute wrote and directed the Cannes Palme d’Or finalist Nurse Betty, Your Friends & Neighbors, The Shape of Things, and In the Company of Men, for which he won the Independent Spirit Award and New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First Feature. He also directed the hit dark comedy Death at a Funeral. LaBute is currently the Playwright-in-Residence at MCC Theater, with whom he has had a longstanding and fruitful relationship dating back to 2002.

Two-play subscriptions which include Reasons to Be Happy and the previously announced New York premier of Really Really by Paul Downs Colaizzo and directed by David Cromer are available now beginning at $79 by visiting www.mcctheater.org or calling 212-352-3101. The on-sale date for single tickets will be announced soon.

In Winter 2013, MCC Theater presents Paul Downs Colaizzo’s startlingly funny, booze-soaked cornucopia, Really Really (January 31 - March 10, 2013), which took Washington D.C. by storm last season with its acclaimed run at the Tony Award®-winning Signature Theatre. Its New York premiere will be directed by David Cromer, whose visionary take on Our Town floored New York audiences in 2009, and whose Tribes is one of this year’s biggest off-Broadway hits. Really Really begins in the hazy aftermath of a wild party, on what appears to be just another day in the undergrad carnival that revolves around a close circle of friends. But when morning after gossip about boy-next-door Davis and good girl Leigh turns ugly, the veneer of loyalty among friends is peeled back to reveal a vicious jungle of sexual politics, raw ambition, and class warfare where only the strong could possibly survive. Casting for Really Really will be announced shortly.

MCC Theater’s 2012-1013 three-play season began with the world premiere of Stephen Belber’s new play Don’t Go Gentle (September 27 - November 4, 2012) directed by Lucie Tiberghien, which featured a tour de force performance by Michael Cristofer (NBC’s “Smash”, Broadway’s A View from the Bridge opposite Live Schreiber). Joining Cristofer were David Wilson Barnes (Broadway’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Becky Shaw at Second Stage), newcomer Maxx Brawer, Angela Lewis (Milk Like Sugar at Playwrights Horizons), and Jennifer Mudge (Roundabout Theatre Company’s The Philanthropist).

MCC Theater – founded in 1986 as Manhattan Class Company – is committed to developing and producing new work that challenges artists and rewards audiences. Our mission is carried out through an annual season of world, American, and New York premieres, literary development programs for emerging writers, and ground-breaking education programs that enable more than 1,000 New York City high school students to find - and use - their own unique voice each year through the creation and performance of original theater pieces. Notable MCC Theater highlights include: the New York premiere of The Other Place starring Laurie Metcalf (opening on Broadway January 10, 2013); the 2008 Tony Award-nominated Reasons to Be Pretty by Neil LaBute, The Pride, Fifty Words, the 2004 Tony-winning production of Bryony Lavery’s Frozen, Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig, Rebecca Gilman’s The Glory of Living, Marsha Norman’s Trudy Blue, Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit, Tim Blake Nelson’s The Grey Zone, Alan Bowne’s Beirut, The Submission, winner of the inaugural Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for new American plays, and last season’s newly reworked and fully re-imagined production of Carrie, the musical. Over the years, the dedication to the work of new and emerging artists has earned MCC Theater a variety of awards.

For a complete production history, visit www.mcctheater.org.

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