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Working Theatre Presents Reading of US Poet US Poet Laureate Philip Levine, Tonight, 5/7

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Working Theater previously announced a reading of the poetry of US Poet Laureate Philip Levine. Readers include Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides and performers André De Shields, Gene Gillette and Lisa Ramirez tonight May 7th at 7pm at the SEIU 32BJ building at 25 West 18th Street, on the 5th floor. Reception with artists to follow.

Philip Levine’s poetry explores and extols the world of working people. Many set against the rusting background of Detroit, (Mr. Levine’s birthplace) his poems give voice to the unemployed, the overworked, and the financially beaten.

Mr. Levine has been named this year’s US Poet Laureate. He has also been honored with numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1995, the National Book Award for Poetry in both 1991 and 1980, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Modern Poetry Association and the American Council for the Arts, the Levinson Prize, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Harriet Monroe Memorial Prize, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, Frank O'Hara Prize and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

Mr. Levine’s twenty-one published collections of poetry include What Work Is, News of the World, One for the Rose, Breath, and The Mercy.

Jeffrey Eugenides won the Pulitzer-Prize in 2003 for his second novel Middlesex, for which he was also awarded the WELT-Literaturpreis of Germany and the Great Lakes Book Award.
His first novel, The Virgin Suicides, published in 1993 received high-praise and was adapted to film in 1999 by Sophia Coppola. And his most recent book, The Marriage Plot, has met with critical acclaim, a billboard in Times Square and reached the #2 position on the New York Times Best Seller List.

Like Mr. Levine, Mr. Eugenides grew up in Detroit during its painstaking deflation and Middlesex portrays the struggles of a single immigrant family through several decades in the city.
Now in its 27th season, Working Theater is New York's only professional Off-Broadway theatre company dedicated to producing plays for and about the working men and women of New York. Past productions include Lisa Ramirez's play about nannies, EXIT CUCKOO directed by Colman Domingo; Roberto Aguirre Sacasa's KING OF SHADOWS Stephanie Zadravec's Honey Brown EYES; Israel Horovitz's HENRY LUMPER ; and Rob Ackerman’s CALL ME WALDO, TABLETOP, and DISCONNECT.

Scheduled for tonight at 7pm, the reading will take place at the SEIU 32BJ building at 25 West 18th Street, on the 5th floor.

Tickets are $15 at smarttix.com or by calling 212.868.4444.

For more information call 212-244-3300, or visit www.theworkingtheater.org

André De Shields has distinguished himself as an  actor, director, choreographer and educator in a career spanning more than forty years. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, who then went to college at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Mr. De Shields is the recipient of the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the coveted Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. He is best known for his performances in the original Broadway productions of four legendary musicals: The Full Monty, for which he received Tony, Drama Desk and Astaire Award nominations, in addition to both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards; Play On! (Tony nomination), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award) and The Wiz (title role). In the classical tradition, he has distinguished himself in the title role of King Lear at both the Classical Theatre of Harlem and the Folger Shakespeare Library and in the Red Bull Theater’s production of The Witch of Edmonton. His most recent work includes a critically acclaimed turn as Mr. Applegate (the Devil) in Damn Yankees at the John W. Engeman Theatre in Northport and an AUDELCO AWARD winning performance as Dr. W. E. B. DuBois in the New Federal Theatre production of Knock Me A Kiss. He has just returned from performing in Tennessee William’s Camino Real at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

Gene Gillette is a New York City based actor and has performed at The Working Theatre as Branko in Honey Brown Eyes, with Cap 21 as Wilfred Blackinstone in The Ushers Ball and in a salon performance at TACT as Captain Kovacs in Olympia. Regionally he has played Pale in Burn This at Shakespeare Santa Cruz; John Proctor in The Crucible at The Arvada Center for the Performing Arts; Thurio in The Two Gentlemen of Verona at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Padraic in The Lieutenat of Inishmore (Ovation Award, Henry Award, Best of Westord) and Bobby Reyburn (Ovation Award, Best Actor) in Coyote on a Fence at Curious Theatre; the title role in Hamlet (Best Year by an Actor, The Rocky Mountain News) at The Denver Civic Theatre; Stanley in Streetcar Named Desire (Ovation Award, Best Actor) and the title role in Macbeth at Theatreworks; Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet and Oliver in As You Like It at The Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C.; and he originated the role of Jock in the critically acclaimed World Premiere of columbinus by The United States Theatre Project. He has also worked with The Shakespeare Theatre Of New Jersey, Roundhouse Theatre, Dorset Theatre, Perseverance Theatre and The Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Film and Television: The Laramie Project, Law and Order: SVU, Person of Interest, and the CW Pilot Ringer. He holds a Masters Certificate in Classical Acting from The Shakespeare Theatre's Academy of Classical Acting at George Washington University. Upcoming: His theatre company Spleen Theatre is producing a site specific production of Anna Christie on a 19th century barge in Red Hook.

Lisa Ramariez is an award winning actor and playwright. Her first play, EXIT CUCKOO (nanny in motherland) was first presented Off Broadway by the Working Theater (Colman Domingo-director) and subsequently toured in various theatres throughout the U.S. and Ireland. Other writing credits include; ART OF MEMORY- a dance theatre piece that was commissioned by Company SoGoNo and presented at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater and the 3-Legged Dog in New York. (Conceived and directed by Tanya Calamoneri); INVISIBLE WOMEN-RISE- a collaboration with the Foundry Theatre and Domestic Workers United. Ten domestic workers performed at the historic Riverside Church in NY; IN MOTHER WORDS (Lisa Peterson, director); TO THE BONE- a Working Theater commission (Lisa Peterson-director). TO THE BONE was a 2011 Smith Prize, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and Ellen Stewart Award finalist. ALL FALL DOWN was written during a residency at INTAR’s 2010/11 Maria Irene Fornés Hispanic Playwrights in Residency Lab. Lisa has recently been invited to be part of the Cherry Lane Theatre’s 2012 Mentor Project (Cynthia Hopkins-mentor) where she has just begun working on PAS DE DEUX (lost my shoe) a new solo show.

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