Alexis Marnel and Artists Collective for Social Change present the New York Off-Broadway premiere of Rock WILK's BROKE WIDE OPEN, a theatrical love letter to his hometown, New York City, and the story of his adoption, his fostering, and his complex search for his biological mother. Directed by Stephen Bishop Seely ("8 Million Protagonists") preview performances of BROKE WIDE OPEN begin October 6th prior to an official press opening of tonight, October 11th at The 45th Street Theatre (354 West 45th Street) in Manhattan.
In the vein of works by John Leguizamo and Anna Deavere Smith, BROKE WIDE OPEN is a poetic and orchestral unveiling of Rock WILK's story of self-discovery and self-acceptance told in his signature style of rapid fire monologue. Chronicling his life beginning as an adopted youth in a New York Jewish household, Rock WILK comes of age as both maestro and menace, testing the limits of every relationship in his life by insistently fighting to enlighten and protect anyone and everyone in his path, Rock re-counts and re-lives life changing decisions and their consequences. Emotionally gripping, spiritually giving and filled with moments of laugh out loud comedic revelation, BROKE WIDE OPEN is a story of love, loss, family, relationships, questions of identity and Rock's incessant search for a place that feels like HOME to him.
An actor, playwright and poet, Rock Wilk is also a socially and politically charged vocalist and an accomplished multi-instrumentalist. He creates his multi-disciplinary work while riding the subways of NYC. Along with being a 2009 Nuyorican Poet's semifinalist and 2010 runoffs qualifier for The Nuyorican's national team, Rock has also worked as a studio and touring background vocalist for many years, most recently singing with the legendary Patti LaBelle and contributing vocal and horn arrangements to the Grammy Award winning Les Paul compilation album, LES PAUL AND FRIENDS. Rock's music can be heard on such TV shows as MTV's "The Real World" and "Making The Band," among others. BROKE WIDE OPEN is Mr. Wilk's first play.
Stephen Bishop Seely has served as the Literary Manager and Director of New Play Development at the Genesius Theatre Guild (NYC). He workshopped and produced the premiere of "BOX" by Fred Shahadi directed by Clinton Turner Davis. He served as the assistant dramaturg at Disney Theatrical Productions and served on their creative team for their musicals "Tarzan" (book by David Henry Hwang and music and lyrics by Phil Collins) and "On The Record" directed by Bobby Longbottom. He became Associate Artistic Director of the new Texas Star Theatre at the Granbury Opera House, where he directed "The Boys Next Door" and associate produced "Gypsy" (w/Cindy Benson), "Grease," and a workshop reading of "Robin Hood the Musical." He was one of co-founding Producing Artistic Directors of ReVision Theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey. When he was there, he produced Richard Skipper as Carol Channing in "Hello, Dolly!," "Hair," "Scrooge in Rouge," "Kingdom" (Winner of Best New Musical in New Jersey), Steven Brinberg as Barbra Streisand in "Funny Girl," and "The Full Monty." His next project includes directing the Off-Broadway dance play, "8 Million Protagonists," opening November 2012.
Alexis Marnel (Producer) has been the Director of Artists Collective for Social Change since 2000, she is also an independent creative practitioner who has worked as a producer/consultant on various projects for theater, dance, and world music ensembles. She is also a highly in demand teaching artist working with special populations.
Scheduled now through November 11, BROKE WIDE OPEN will perform Tuesdays through Sundays at 8:00pm, with Wednesday & Saturday matinees at 2:00pm at The 45th Street Theatre (354 West 45th Street) in Manhattan. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/250252. Additionally, there will be a special gala performance of BROKE WIDE OPEN on Saturday, October 6that 8:00pm with party to follow – tickets for the gala performance and party at $125 with a portion going to benefit The Children's Aid Society Adoption and Foster Care Program of New York.