59E59 to Kick Off 'Scotland Week' with 'A RESPECTABLE WIDOW' and CLEAN, 4/2

59E59 to Kick Off 'Scotland Week' with 'A RESPECTABLE WIDOW' and CLEAN, 4/2

59E59 Theaters will launch the Scotland Week celebrations with US premiere of the double bill of A RESPECTABLE WIDOW TAKES TO VULGARITY by Douglas Maxwell and CLEAN by Sabrina Mahfouz, both directed by Orla O'Loughlin. Produced by the Traverse Theatre, A RESPECTABLE WIDOW TAKES TO VULGARITY and CLEAN begin performances on Wednesday, April 2 for a limited engagement through Saturday, April 26. Press opening is Wednesday, April 9 at 7:15 PM.

The performance schedule is Tuesday - Thursday at 7:15 PM; Friday at 8:15 PM; Saturday at 2:15 PM and 8:15 PM; and Sunday at 3:15 PM and 7:15 PM. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). Tickets are $40 ($28 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.59e59.org.

A double bill of two new short plays from Scotland's renowned Traverse Theatre, both celebrating brilliant, brazen women.

In A RESPECTABLE WIDOW TAKES TO VULGARITY, Annabelle, mourning her husband's death, strikes up an unlikely relationship with his potty-mouthed employee, Jim. Entering into Jim's un-finishing school, Annabelle finally finds her own voice. This "comic gem" (The Telegraph) is "a hilarious riff on language, class and communication, perfectly structured by Maxwell...and one of the most perfectly tuned double acts I've ever seen on a Scottish stage" (The Scotsman).

CLEAN introduces audiences to an adrenaline soaked world of London's top female underground criminals on their biggest job yet. Zainab, Chloe, and Katya are three fast-talking, no-nonsense criminal heroines who mean business. British Theatre Guide compared these characters to the iconic "Charlie's Angels," calling the play "thrilling, intelligent and constantly witty!"

The cast for A RESPECTABLE WIDE TAKES TO VULGARITY features Joanna Tope (Drama Desk-nominee for Douglas Maxwell's The Promise at 59E59) and Gavin Jon Wright (Black Watch for the National Theatre of Scotland). The cast of CLEAN features Jade Anouka (Julius Caesar at the Donmar Warehouse); Emma Dennis Edwards (Millennium at The Vineyard); and Chloe Massey (Glory Dazed Soho Theatre).

The design team includes Patrick McGurn (sets); Claire Elliot (lighting); Tom Saunders and Kevin McCallum for (sound for CLEAN); and Tom Saunders, Camilla O' Neill and Kevin McCallum (sound for A RESPECTABLE WIDOW...)

Douglas Maxwell (playwright) has been one of the most popular and performed playwrights in the Scotland for over a decade. A Respectable Widow Takes To Vulgarity is his latest play. It was first performed in Oran Mor in Glasgow, as part of its iconic A Play, A Pie and A Pint lunchtime theatre slot. It played to standing room only audiences and subsequently transferred to The Traverse for another sold-out run during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013. It was nominated for Best Play at the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2013.

His previous work includes the multi-award winning Decky Does a Bronco (which The Scotsman called "one of the finest plays to emerge from a Scottish working-class story in the last ten years"), Variety (with Grid Iron), and The Promise, which played 59E59 in New York in 2011, winning the actress Joanna Tope a nomination for a Drama Desk Award.

His plays have been performed in translation in Germany, Norway, Hong Kong, New York, Chicago, Holland, Sweden, New Zealand, Wales, Japan and South Korea, where his debut play Our Bad Magnet has been running for over ten years. The Japanese version of the same play by Watanabe Entertainment and the D-Boys Stage Company, staged in Tokyo and Osaka in 2012 played to 15,000 people during its two week run.

His many plays are published by Oberon books, including a collection of his work for young people that includes the plays Decky Does a Bronco, Mancub, The Mother Ship, Helmet and Too Fast. The Mother Ship won the Brian Way Award for Best Play For Younger People in the UK in 2009.

He is currently writing under commission for Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh; The Citizens, Glasgow; The National Theatre of Scotland and Vanishing Point.

He lives in Glasgow with his wife and two daughters.

Sabrina Mahfouz (playwright) is a poet, playwright and performer. She is currently the recipient of a Sky Arts Futures Fund Award for poetry; an Associate Artist at the Bush Theatre, London; Poet in Residence at Cape Farewell - a climate change and arts organization supported by the Science Museum; a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum and a Writer at Liberty for the civil rights charity, Liberty.

Her first collection of plays and poems will be published by Bloomsbury imprint, Methuen in Spring 2014. Her show With a Little Bit of Luck will be at the Bush Theatre in July; her National Theatre Connections play, A Shop Selling Speech will be at the National Theatre in July and her spoken word play, CHEF, at the Underbelly, Edinburgh in August. Previous theatre includes: That Boy (Westminster Prize 2010); End of the Line (IdeasTap Group Award 2010); Dry Ice (The Stage Award Best Solo Show nomination 2011); One Hour Only (Old Vic New Voices Edinburgh Underbelly Award).

Orla O'Loughlin (director) is Artistic Director of the Traverse Theatre. Prior to taking up post at the Traverse, she was Artistic Director of the award-winning Pentabus Theatre and International Associate at the Royal Court Theatre.

Directing work for the Traverse includes the Scotsman Fringe First and Herald Angel award-winning Ciara, Clean, A Respectable Widow Takes to Vulgarity, Fifty Plays for Edinburgh, The Arthur Conan Doyle Appreciation Society, The Artist Man and the Mother Woman, and the Herald Angel award-winning Dream Plays (Scenes from a play I'll Never Write). Other directing work includes: For Once (Hampstead Theatre Studio, National Tour); Kebab (Dublin International Festival/ Royal Court Theatre); How Much is your Iron? (Young Vic); The Hound of the Baskervilles (West Yorkshire Playhouse/ National Tour/ West End); Tales of the Country, Origins (Pleasance/ Theatre Severn); Relatively Speaking, Blithe Spirit, Black Comedy (Watermill Theatre); Small Talk: Big Picture (BBC World Service/ ICA/ Royal Court Theatre); A Dulditch Angel (National Tour) and The Fire Raisers, sob stories, Refrain (BAC).

Orla has also directed two large-scale, site-specific productions: Shuffle with the National Youth Theatre at Merry Hill, one of Europe's largest shopping centers and Underland, performed 200 feet below ground at Clearwell Caves in the Forest of Dean. Orla was winner of the James Menzies Kitchin Directors Award and recipient of the Carlton Bursary at the Donmar Warehouse.

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