Bob Dreyfuss, Sarah E. Kreps and Hina Shamsi Set for Talk Back After Page 73's GROUNDED Tonight
Page 73 Productions, now in its 16th year premiering the next generation of American Playwrights - who have included Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes, Drama Desk Award winner Sam Hunter, New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award recipient Dan LeFranc, and more - announces a post-show discussion panel on America's drone wars following tonight's January 23rd performance of the New York premiere of George Brant's gripping new play GROUNDED, directed by two-time Obie Award-winning director Ken Rus Schmoll (TELEPHONE, A MAP OF VIRTUE) and starring Hannah Cabell (3C, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS opposite Frank Langella).
Audience members at the January 23rd performance of GROUNDED are invited to attend this post-performance conversation. Michelle Shephard, investigative journalist and author of Decade of Fear: Reporting from Terrorism's Grey Zone, will moderate a discussion with panelists including Bob Dreyfuss (The Nation contributing editor), Sarah E. Kreps (author of the forthcoming book Drone Warfare), and Hina Shamsi (Director of the ACLU National Security Project). This panel of experts will discuss current questions on the American military's use of remotely piloted aircraft, a focal point of GROUNDED, and the issues raised by this new type of warfare.
Bob Dreyfuss is an independent, investigative journalist based in Cape May, New Jersey, and New York City specializing in politics and national security. He is a contributing editor at The Nation, and his blog appears daily at TheNation.com. In the past, he has written extensively for Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, The American Prospect, The New Republic, and many other magazines, and he has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including the PBS Newshour, Fox News, MSNBC, Democracy Now!, and many others. He has traveled widely and reported from Iran, Vietnam, China, and Tanzania. He is the author of Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam. He graduated from Columbia University.
Sarah E. Kreps is an assistant professor in the department of government at Cornell University and an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School. She is the author of Coalitions of Convenience: United States Military Interventions after the Cold War (Oxford University Press, 2011). She received her BA from Harvard University, her MSc from Oxford University, and her PhD from Georgetown University. Before going to graduate school, Dr. Kreps served as an acquisitions and foreign area officer in the United States Air Force. She is the author of the forthcoming book Drone Warfare.
Hina Shamsi is director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Security Project, which is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. counterterrorism policies and practices do not violate the Constitution or the United States' obligations under international law. She is litigating the ACLU's lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the U.S. government's killing of three U.S. citizens in Yemen in 2011. She has litigated numerous cases relating to post-9/11 torture, unlawful detention, discrimination against racial and religious minorities, and the freedoms of speech and association. Shamsi teaches a Columbia Law School course on international human rights, and has monitored and reported on the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay. She previously directed Human Rights First's Law & Security Program, and also served as senior advisor to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions.
Michelle Shephard (moderator) is an award-winning investigative journalist who has focused on issues of terrorism, security, and civil rights in the twelve years since the 9/11 attacks. Her reporting as The Toronto Star's national security reporter has taken her through Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and 26 times to the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In Yemen, she was among the first journalists to examine and question the covert U.S. drone program. Shephard is the author of two books, Decade of Fear: Reporting from Terrorism's Grey Zone (2011) and Guantanamo's Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr (2008). She is currently producing and co-directing two documentaries on Guantanamo detainees that will be released in 2014.
Winner of the 2012 Smith Prize, presented by the National New Play Network to honor a new play that focuses on American politics, GROUNDED is the story of an ace fighter pilot (Cabell) whose unexpected pregnancy ends her career in the sky. Reassigned to operate military drones from a windowless trailer outside Las Vegas, she hunts terrorists by day and returns to her family each night. As the pressure to track a high-profile target mounts, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert in which she lives and the one she patrols. GROUNDED performances are running Off-Broadway through February 1 at Walkerspace (46 Walker Street) in Manhattan. GROUNDED has a runtime of 70 minutes, with no intermission.
GROUNDED has had productions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Fringe First Award) and the Gate Theatre in London, and received its world premiere earlier this year in critically acclaimed productions through the National New Play Network's Rolling World Premiere program in San Francisco (San Francisco Playhouse), Tucson (Borderlands Theater) and upcoming in Kansas City (Unicorn Theater). Additionally, productions of GROUNDED have been announced for dates later in 2014 in Pittsburgh (City Theatre) and Chicago (American Blues Theater).
The production design team for GROUNDED includes set and costume design by Arnulfo Maldonado (NOT WHAT HAPPENED), lighting design by Garin Marschall (DOT), and sound design by Jane Shaw (JACKIE).
George Brant was a 2013 P73 Playwriting Fellowship finalist. His plays include ELEPHANT'S GRAVEYARD, THE MOURNERS' BENCH, ANY OTHER NAME, SALVAGE, GRIZZLY MAMA, THREE VOYAGES OF THE LOBOTOMOBILE, and DARK ROOM. A Core Writer at the Playwrights' Center, George's scripts have been produced internationally by Trinity Repertory Company, City Theatre, London's Gate Theatre, and the Traverse Theatre, among others. He has received a Kennedy Center National Playwriting Award, the Smith Prize (for GROUNDED), an Edinburgh Fringe First Award (for GROUNDED), an OAC Individual Excellence Award, and the Keene Prize for Literature. George has been awarded writing fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the McCarter Theatre Center, and the Michener Center for Writers. He is published by Samuel French, Oberon Books and Smith & Kraus.
Ken Rus Schmoll is a two-time Obie Award-winning director, primarily of new plays, whose credits include NOT WHAT HAPPENED (BAM); RED DOG HOWLS (New York Theatre Workshop); LUTHER, TELETHON, AMAZONS AND THEIR MEN, DEMON BABY (Clubbed Thumb); THE PERIPHERALS (The Talking Band); DEATH TAX (Humana Festival); A MAP OF VIRTUE, Mark Smith, APHRODISIAC, THE INTERNATIONALIST (13P); SEVEN HOMELESS MAMMOTHS WANDER NEW ENGLAND (Two River Theater); FUREE IN PINS AND NEEDLES, TELEPHONE (Foundry Theatre); MIDDLETOWN, THE INTERNATIONALIST (Vineyard Theatre); WHAT ONCE WE FELT (LCT3); OCTOBER/NOVEMBER (EST Marathon); MILLICENT SCOWLWORTHY, HONOR AND THE RIVER (SPF); and APHRODISIAC (Long Wharf). He staged the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen's cantata IT HAPPENS LIKE THIS (Tanglewood) and the American premiere of Wolfgang Rihm's opera PROSERPINA (Spoleto Festival USA). He is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb, a Sundance Theatre Institute alum, and co-chair of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab.
Hannah Cabell has appeared on Broadway opposite Frank Langella in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (Roundabout). Off-Broadway credits include: COLLAPSE (Women's Project), 3C (Rattlestick), COMPULSION (Public Theater), ZERO HOUR (13P), PUMPGIRL, (Manhattan Theatre Club), JANE EYRE (Acting Company), MILLICENT SCOWLWORTHY (SPF), GENTLEMAN CALLER (Clubbed Thumb), Mark Smith (13P). Regional and International credits include: World premieres of MARIE ANTOINETTE (ART and Yale Repertory Theater), COMPULSION (Yale Repertory Theater and Berkeley Repertory Theater; BACCA nom), and Sarah Ruhl's adaptation of THREE SISTERS (Cincinnati Playhouse); AS YOU LIKE IT (Continuum Company, Florence); world premiere of Sarah Ruhl's IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY (Berkeley Rep; BACCA nom); SEDITION and MARY'S WEDDING (Westport Country Playhouse). She is a recent recipient of the Annenberg Fellowship for the Arts.
PAGE 73 Productions - under the leadership of Executive Directors Liz Jones and Asher Richelli and Producing Director Michael Walkup - develops and produces the work of early-career playwrights who have yet to receive a professional production in New York City. Page 73 produces at least one New York or world premiere by an early-career playwright each year that represents that playwright's first professional production in New York. In addition to its annual productions, the company also hosts production-oriented development opportunities that help usher the works of early-career playwrights from first draft to final script. Programs include the P73 Playwriting Fellowship, a year-long program supporting one playwright's creative and career development; Page 2, an extensive developmental workshop; Interstate 73, an annual writers group for 8 early-career playwrights; and a weeklong summer residency on the Yale University campus for 4 early-career writers. Page 73 produced the world premieres of ELLIOT, A SOLDIER'S FUGUE by Quiara Alegría Hudes, directed by Davis McCallum (2007 Pulitzer finalist and prequel to Quiara's 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning play WATER BY THE SPOONFUL), SIXTY MILES TO SILVER LAKE by Dan LeFranc directed by Anne Kauffman and co-produced with Soho Rep (2010 New York Times Playwriting Award); CREATURE by Heidi Schreck, directed by Leigh Silverman and co-produced with New Georges; JACK'S PRECIOUS MOMENT by Sam Hunter directed by Kip Fagan; and EDGEWISE by Eliza Clark directed by Trip Cullman and co-produced with The Play Company; as well as the New York premieres of 1001 by Jason Grote, directed by Ethan McSweeney (Time Out New York - Top 10); LIDLESS by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, directed by Tea Alagi? and SLEEPING ROUGH by Kara Manning, directed by Sam Buntrock. The company received from the League of Professional Theatre Women their 2008 Lucille Lortel Award for "innovative and creative work dedicated to the emerging dramatist."
GROUNDED has a performance schedule of Mondays through Wednesdays at 7:30pm and Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm (at Walkerspace -- 46 Walker Street). Tickets range from $25 to $35, with $15 preview tickets and $15 Student tickets available with valid ID. Tickets can be purchased online at: page73.org/tickets, or by phone: 1-866-811-4111. For more information about Page 73 Productions, visit www.page73.org.