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


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.

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