Reed Birney and Nikki M. James to Read NUDE STUDY at Manhattan Theatre Club Studios, 6/20

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Reed Birney, nominated for a Tony Award in Casa Valentina, and Nikki M. James, winner of the Tony Award for The Book of Mormon will appear in a reading of Ken Kaissar's new play Nude Study at Manhattan Theatre Club Studios (311 West 43rd Street, 8th Floor) on Friday, June 20 at 2:00 PM. Directed by Evan T. Cummings, they will be joined by Deirdre O'Connell, who was seen recently in Circle Mirror Transformation, Lisa Joyce, whose credits include Red Light Winter, and Tobias Segal, who was seen in From Up Here at Manhattan Theatre Club. For reservations to the free reading contact nudestudyplay@gmail.com.

Nude Study is the story of Hughie Lark, a painter whose entire oeuvre is made up of female nudes. His world is rocked when a young woman, who he initially assumes is his new art model, claims that she is his biological daughter. Hughie finds himself defending his identity, his work, and his relationships. Nude Study is a meditation on intimacy that asks: just how much of ourselves do we reveal when our clothes come off??

Playwright Ken Kaissar's The Victims: Or What Do You Want Me To Do About It was a runner-up for the 2009 Princess Grace Award and honored by the Lark Play Development Center as part of the Middle East America Play Commission. The Israeli-born's play Ceasefire, a response to Israel's 2006 war with Hezbollah, was an official selection in the New Works Festival at Fusion Theatre Company and a regional winner in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. His adaptation of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales was commissioned and premiered by Columbia University where he earned his MFA. Other plays include Creativity, an Ashland New Plays Festival Finalist and The Man Stanley.

Director Evan T. Cummings is a founding member of the World Wide Lab, an international directors' collective with members from seven countries throughout the world. Evan works primarily with new plays and playwrights both in New York and regionally, including recent directing and play development with Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY, the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, and NYC's The Private Theatre. Other NYC associations include LAByrinth Theater Company, The Lark, Ego Actus, and The Culture Project where Evan conceived and directed the play Strike for their annual Impact Festival. Evan holds a BFA in directing from Carnegie Mellon and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.

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