BETHANY Kicks Off Women's Project's 2012-13 Season at New York City Center Stage II Tonight

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Women's Project, the 35-year-old non-profit theater dedicated to producing plays written and directed by women, will present its 2012-2013 season of new plays featuring women theater artists at a new home, New York City Center Stage II, 131 West 55th Street, tonight, January 11 to May 19, Julie Crosby, Producing Artistic Director announced.

"We're celebrating our 35th Anniversary by questioning what America believes about itself and what it may really be," said Ms. Crosby, whose controversial season last year included Milk Like Sugar and How the World Began. "This is Women's Project's most ambition season of the century. We are producing three very bold, deeply theatrical plays, Laura Marks's Bethany, Allison Moore's Collapse and Elfriede Jelinek's Jackie. Is this season provocative? You bet. That's what we do."

Laura Marks's world premiere dark comedy exploring the limits of morality, Bethany, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, will run January 11 through February 17. Set in an American exurb wiped out by foreclosures, a financially-strapped single mother discovers just how far she'll go to regain what she has lost.

Women's Project's second play of next season is the North American premiere of Jackie by the controversial winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Literature, Austrian Elfriede Jelinek, directed by Tea Alagic from a translation from the German by Gitta Honegger. Jackie, February 24 through March 31, is an intensely theatrical dissection of Jackie Kennedy Onassis and the myths surrounding her well-coiffed veneer. Like Ms. Jelinek's acclaimed novel The Piano Teacher, the film of which won the 2001 Gran Prix at Cannes Film Festival, Jackie is a disturbing exploration of submission, power, and the hypocrisy of everyday life.

Inspired by the 2007 collapse of the Mississippi River Bridge in Minneapolis, Collapse by Allison Moore, directed by Jackson Gay, is a New York premiere and the third play of Women's Project's season. Collapse is a comedic exploration of the crumbling structures that undergird our bridges, our economy, and our most intimate relationships. Collapse runs April 7 through May 19.

Playwrights/Directors for 2012 - 2013 Season

Playwright Laura Marks is an alumna of The Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group and is a playwriting fellow at the Juilliard School. Bethany won the Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers as well as Synchronicity Theatre's SheWrites Award, and was chosen by John Guare as runner-up for Yale's David C. Horn Prize. Ms. Marks holds a new play commission from South Coast Repertory and is a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Composer/Lyricist Workshop.

Director Gaye Taylor Upchurch is an alumna of Women's Project's Director's Lab. Ms. Upchurch served as Sam Mendes associate director on The Bridge Project with BAM and the Old Vic and most recently directed the U.S. premiere of Simon Stephen's Bluebird starring Simon Russell Beale at Atlantic Theatre.

Controversial and notoriously private, Elfriede Jelinek was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004. The Nobel cited "her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power" when making the award. Ms. Jelinek did not appear at the ceremony nor did she submit a biography for the Nobel Prize press release.

Tea Alagic directed Women's Project's highly acclaimed Aliens With Extraordinary Skills by Saviana Stanescu in 2008. An alumna of Women's Project's Directors Lab, she directed the world premiere of The Brothers Size by Tarell McCraney at The Public Theater and later at The Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. and The Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Her original devised work includes The Filament Cycle, which performed at La Mama, the 4+4 Festival in Prague, BAC London, Philadelphia, Colorado, Denver, and Potsdam; and Zero Hour, about the Balkan War.

Allison Moore is a displaced Texan now living in Los Angeles by way of Minneapolis, not too far from the horrific 2007 bridge collapse that is the basis of her play. Her other plays include Hazard County, Eighteen, Urgent Fury, The Strange Misadventures of Patty, CowTown, and American Klepto. Her work has been developed or read at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, Williamstown Theatre Festival, InterAct Theatre, and Manhattan Theatre Club; and produced at the Cherry Lane Alternative, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Actor's Express, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and The Playwrights' Center, among others.

Jackson Gay is the recipient of the Jonathan Alper Directing Fellowship at Manhattan Theatre Club, the Williamstown Theater Festival Directing Fellowship and the Drama League's New Directors/New Works Fellowship. She has directed for the Atlantic Theater Company, Alley Theater, Second Stage Uptown, Goodman Theater, Rattlestick Theater, and Playwrights Horizons, among the many.

Women's Project memberships for the entire season, which includes all three main stage shows and some special events, start at $60 and may be purchased at www.womensproject.org or by calling 212 765-1706.

Beginning on September 4, tickets can be purchased online at www.NYCityCenter.org, by calling CityTix at 212 581-1212, or at the New York City Center Box Office at 131 West 55th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues).

Women's Project was founded in 1978 by Julia Miles to address the significant under-representation of women in the American theater, and has since built a tremendous legacy. Although even today women playwrights and directors severely lack parity in pay and opportunity, the extraordinary women artists who have broken through the glass ceiling have all crossed the threshold at WP, including Eve Ensler, Lynn Nottage, Maria Irene Fornes, Suzan-Lori Parks, Diane Paulus, Sarah Ruhl, Paula Vogel, and Anna Deavere Smith, among the many. Throughout its 35-year history, Women's Project has produced and/or developed over 600 plays and published 11 anthologies of plays.

Recently acclaimed plays produced by Women's Project include this past season's How the World Began and the Obie-winning Milk Like Sugar and, from season's past, Freshwater, Aliens with Extraordinary Skills, crooked, Sand, Or, Smudge, Lascivious Something and Apple Cove.

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