Works by Paula Vogel, Paul Weitz, Jim & Ruth Bauer Set for 2nd Stage in 2011-2012

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Following a critically acclaimed season which included the World Premiere of Lynn Nottage's hit comedy, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Second Stage Theatre has announced three of the four mainstage productions in the company's upcoming 33rd season.  

The 2011-2012 season will kick off this fall with the New York Premiere of the new musical, THE BLUE FLOWER, written by Jim Bauer and Ruth Bauer, directed by Will Pomerantz. Winner of Boston's Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Musical Production, THE BLUE FLOWER will begin previews in October prior to a November opening.

Paul Weitz, whose acclaimed play, Trust, received an extended, sold-out run last summer, will return to Second Stage with another world premiere comedy, LONELY, I'M NOT. Performances will begin in early 2012.

Second Stage will also present Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE, in its first New York staging since its world premiere fifteen years ago.

A fourth production is still to be announced.

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THE BLUE FLOWER

By Jim Bauer and Ruth Bauer
Directed by Will Pomerantz
Previews begin in October; opening early November

Spanning two continents and half a century, the new musical, THE BLUE FLOWER, explores the romantic and tumultuous relationships between four young friends - three artists and a scientist - as they create a world of art, revolution, and passion amidst the turbulence and destruction of the World Wars.

Writer/composer/lyricist Jim Bauer earned a Bachelor's degree in music composition and theory at Haverford College, where he was mentored by composers Harold Boatrite and John Davison. He has composed and produced music scores for film and television while performing as singer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboardist in a variety of bands he periodically assembles. With DAGMAR, his current project with singing partner Meghan McGeary, he performs in the New York City subways under the Music Under New York (MUNY) banner and on the streets of Boston and Cambridge. DAGMAR recently released its third CD, Door No. 3. He has received numerous songwriting and performance awards, including the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award in 2004 with his wife Ruth Bauer for their work on The Blue Flower. www.dagmartheband.com.

Co-writer/visual artist/videographer Ruth Bauer is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Her oil paintings, watercolors, collages and monotypes have been shown in group exhibits in museums including Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, The Hudson River Museum, The Tuscon Museum of Art, The DeCordova Museum, The Brockton Museum and the Rose Art Museum, and in solo exhibitions in galleries across the United States. Her work is included in notable private and public collections and has been reviewed in a number of articles in art journals and newspapers, including ArtNews and The Boston Globe. As an illustrator she has created book jacket covers for Hougton Mifflin, Viking, Harvard University Press and Orchard Books. She is a faculty member and Chair of the Arts Department at Shore Country Day School in Beverly, Mass. She is a 2004 recipient of a Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award.

Director Will Pomerantz has directed and developed new plays, musical theater, and opera with such theaters as Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theatre, Hartford Stage, New York Theater Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Soho Rep, Culture Project, The Signature Theatre, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Studio Theatre, Bard Summerscape and The Guthrie. He has directed world premieres by John Guare, David Auburn, Neil LaBute, Craig Lucas, Kia Corthron, David Lindsay-Abaire, Stephen Belber, Noah Haidle and Linda Cho. His production of The Shape of Things was voted Outstanding Production of the Year in Washington, D.C. by Metro Weekly and received a Helen Hayes Award for outstanding performance, as well as being cited as among the year's best by The Washington Post and The Washington Times. His production Dai (starring Iris Bahr) received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Solo Performance 2006-2007 and won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Solo Performance. He received an OOBR Award for Outstanding Production (for A Tale of Two Cities) and his work has been a Critic's Pick in Time Out NY and The Village Voice. Pomerantz is Associate Director for Artistic Development for Epic Theatre Ensemble, where he directed the New York premiere of Howard Barker's A Hard Heart (starring Kathleen Chalfant) and Mahida's Extra Key to Heaven. Pomerantz is the first American director ever invited to direct for The National Theatre of Poland, where his production if Cinders, by Janusz Glowacki, was performed as part of the repertory for four years. In addition, he has been the Boris Sagal Fellow in Directing for Williamstown Theatre Festival, Staff Repertory Director for The Acting Company, Director-In-Residence for Culture Project and is an alumnus of the Directors Lab at Lincoln Center, a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop and a member of Ensemble Studio Theater.

LONELY, I'M NOT

World Premiere
By Paul Weitz
Director TBD
Previews begin in early 2012

At an age when most people are discovering what they want to do with their lives, Porter has been married and divorced, earned seven figures as a corporate "ninja," and had a nervous breakdown. It's been four years since he's had a job or a date, and he's decided to give life another shot. LONELY, I'M NOT is a comic journey that follows one man as he tries to put the many pieces of his life back together.

Paul Weitz is the author of the acclaimed plays Trust, Show People, and Privilege, all of which premiered at Second Stage Theatre. His play Mango Tea was produced Off-Broadway with Marisa Tomei and Rob Morrow by New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre, which also produced his next works, Captive, All for One, and the acclaimed ensemble comedy Roulette. He also wrote and directed the comedy American Dreamz, starring Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, and MAndy Moore, as well as the critically acclaimed film In Good Company, starring Topher Grace and Scarlett Johansen. With his brother and frequent collaborator Chris Weitz, he co-directed and adapted the screenplay from Nick Hornby's novel for the award winning hit, About a Boy. The screenplay received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as similar nominations from BAFTA, Writers Guild, Chicago Film Critics, and Humanitas. Prior to their screenwriting work on About a Boy, the brothers collaborated on several screenplays, including Antz. He made his feature directorial debut teaming with his brother on American Pie, the phenomenally successful first installment of the Pie franchise. He recently directed the hit film, Meet the Fockers.

HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE

By Paula Vogel
Director TBA
Previews begin 2012

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE explores the complex relationship between Li'l Bit and her Uncle Peck, as a series of driving lessons progresses from innocence to something much darker. Told with surprising wit, Paula Vogel's acclaimed play is returning to New York City for the first time since its world premiere 15 years ago.

Paula Vogel's plays include The Baltimore Waltz, Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief, The Oldest Profession, And Baby Makes Seven, Hot ‘N Throbbing, The Mineola Twins, The Long Christmas Ride Home, and Civil War Christmas, among others. They have been performed at the Vineyard Theatre, Lortel Theatre, Signature Theatre, and Circle Repertory in New York, and regionally at The American Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Center Stage and Alley Theatre, among others. The Baltimore Waltz won the Obie Award for Best Play in 1992, and her anthologies, The Baltimore Waltz and Other Plays and The Mammary Plays (including How I Learned to Drive) have been published by TCG. Other awards include a 1996 John Simon Guggenheim, a Peco Charitable Trust/TCG Senior Artist residency fellowship, several National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the AT&T New Plays Award, and The Fund for New American Plays. She is a member of New Dramatists. How I Learned to Drive won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as the New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Obie Awards for Best Play.

Founded in 1979 under the leadership of Artistic Director Carole Rothman, Second Stage Theatre produces a diverse range of premieres and new interpretations of America's best Contemporary Theatre, including Tiny Alice and Peter and Jerry by Edward Albee; The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry; The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane; Little Murders by Jules Feiffer; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin; A Soldier's Play by Charles Fuller; Afterbirth: Kathy & Mo's Greatest Hits by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy; Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo; Painting Churches and Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe; Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants and On the Stem by Ricky Jay; Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey; Living Out by Lisa Loomer; This Is Our Youth and The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan; Some Men by Terrence McNally; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage; eurydice by Sarah Ruhl; Everyday Rapture by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott; Let Me Down Easy by Anna Deavere Smith; Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim; Crowns by ReGina Taylor; Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein; Spoils of War by Michael Weller; Before It Hits Home, Jar the Floor and Birdie Blue by Cheryl L. West; Jitney by August Wilson; Lemon Sky, Serenading Louie and Sympathetic Magic by Lanford Wilson; and Metamorphoses and The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci by Mary Zimmerman.

The company's more than 130 citations include the 2010 Pulitzer prize for Next to Normal, the 2009 Tony Awards for Best Score, Best Orchestrations, and Best Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley) for Next to Normal, the 2007 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed), 2005 Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical (Rachel Sheinkin, ...Spelling Bee) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Fogler, ...Spelling Bee), 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (Mary Zimmerman for Metamorphoses), the 2002 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, 27 Obie Awards, six Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Clarence Derwent Awards, 12 Drama Desk Awards, nine Theatre World Awards, 12 Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Critics Circle Award and 15 AUDELCO Awards.

Second Stage Theatre's upcoming production of ALL NEW PEOPLE, written by Zach Braff and directed by Peter DuBois, will begin previews on June 28, prior to a July 25 opening. The world premiere comedy features David Wilson Barnes, Justin Bartha, Anna Camp, and Krysten Ritter. Second Stage Theatre Uptown's current production of Michael Mitnick's Sex Lives of Our Parents, directed by Davis McCallum and featuring Teddy Bergman, Lisa Emery, Daniel Jenkins, Virginia Kull, Ben Rappaport, and Mark Zeisler, will officially open on June 22.

For subscription or ticket information, please call the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422 or visit the company's website, www.2ST.com.

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