Ismenia Mendes Joins Cast of YOUR MOTHER'S COPY OF THE KAMA SUTRA at Playwrights Horizons; Sarah Sutherland Withdraws Due to Illness

Ismenia Mendes Joins Cast of YOUR MOTHER'S COPY OF THE KAMA SUTRA at Playwrights Horizons; Sarah Sutherland Withdraws Due to Illness

Playwrights Horizons has announced new details for its World Premiere production of YOUR MOTHER'S COPY OF THE KAMA SUTRA, a new play by Kirk Lynn (Co-Artistic Director, Austin's Rude Mechanicals), directed by Obie Award winner Anne Kauffman (Detroit, Maple and Vine at PH; Belleville; This Wide Night; The Thugs), which begins previews this weekend.

Joining the cast in the role of Bernie is Ismenia Mendes (A.R. Gurney's Family Furniture at The Flea). Ms. Mendes steps in for originally-announced cast member Sarah Sutherland, who has had to withdraw from the production due to illness. While Ms. Sutherland is on track to make a full recovery, her doctor confirmed that it would not be in time to re-join the show for performances.

Ms. Mendes joins a cast that also features Maxx Brawer (Don't Go Gentle), Zoë Sophia Garcia (La Ruta), Rebecca Henderson (The Whale, The Retributionists at PH; Too Much, Too Much, Too Many), Will Pullen (Marie Antoinette) and Chris Stack (Marie Antoinette, Killers & Other Family).

Originally set to start previews this Friday, the production will now start previews just one day later, Saturday evening, March 29 at 8PM, to accommodate additional tech rehearsal time. Opening Night is still set for Monday, April 21 at 7PM and the limited engagement will play through Sunday evening, May 11 at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 West 42nd Street).

Carla (Ms. Garcia) agrees to marry Reggie (Mr. Stack) on one condition: to break down any walls between them, they'll reenact their individual sexual histories with one another, good and bad, for better or worse. Years later, these stories bring unexpected hope to their household, now forced to confront those barriers a second time. Kirk Lynn's tough-love comedy navigates the boundaries of intimacy, finding startling empathy in the story of a father hell-bent on saving his family.

The production features scenic design by Laura Jellinek, costume design by Tony Award winner Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Ben Stanton and original music and sound design by Daniel Kluger. Production Stage Manager is Vanessa Coakley.

The performance schedule for YOUR MOTHER'S COPY OF THE KAMA SUTRA will be Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2 & 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2 & 7PM.

In addition, special Post-Performance Discussions with members of the creative team will take place immediately after the following three performances: Tuesday evening, April 1 at 7:30 PM; Wednesday evening, April 9 at 7:30 PM; and Sunday matinee, April 13 at 2PM.

Currently playing on the Playwrights Horizons Mainstage is STAGE KISS, the hit New York premiere of a new play by two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee Sarah Ruhl, directed by Rebecca Taichman (extended through April 6). Following STAGE KISS and YOUR MOTHER'S COPY OF THE KAMA SUTRA, the Playwrights Horizons 2013/2014 Season will conclude with the New York premiere of FLY BY NIGHT: A NEW MUSICAL, conceived by Kim Rosenstock, written by Will Connolly, Michael Mitnick and Ms. Rosenstock, directed by Carolyn Cantor (May 16-June 29).

Playwrights Horizons' recently-announced 2014-2015 Season will feature (in Season order): BOOTYCANDY, the New York premiere of a new play written and directed by Robert O'Hara; GRAND CONCOURSE, the World Premiere of a new play by Heidi Schreck, directed by Kip Fagan; POCATELLO, the World Premiere of a new play by Obie and Lortel awards winner Samuel D. Hunter, directed by Davis McCallum; PLACEBO, the World Premiere of a new play by Obie Award winner Melissa James Gibson, directed by Obie Award winner Daniel Aukin; IOWA, the World Premiere of a new musical play by Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Commendation winner (2008) and finalist (2013) Jenny Schwartz, music and lyrics by Todd Almond, directed by two-time Obie Award winner Ken Rus Schmoll; and a new play to be announced by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Bruce Norris.


Kirk Lynn (Playwright) lives in Austin, TX with his wife, the poet Carrie Fountain and their children, Olive and Judah. Kirk writes plays, generally with the Rude Mechs theater collective. He's one of six artistic directors for the Rudes, whose new work, Stop Hitting Yourself, just concluded a run at LTC3. Kirk is the Head of the Playwriting and Directing Area in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin. Kirk was the USA Jeanne and Michael Klein Fellow in 2011 in Theater Arts. Kirk wrote the first draft of Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra at the MacDowell Colony in summer of 2012. Kirk is a Texan and likes to hunt and fish and camp and tell jokes with his Dad, who knows a lot of jokes because he's barber.

Anne Kauffman (Director) won an Obie Award for her work on The Thugs by Adam Bock (Soho Rep). She most recently directed the world premiere of Cherokee by Lisa D'Amour at The Wilma Theater; the co-world premiere of Smokefall by Noah Haidle at South Coast Repertory and Goodman Theatre; the world premiere of Somewhere Fun by Jenny Schwartz at the Vineyard Theater; the New York premieres of Belleville (previously at Yale Rep, New York Times top 10 productions of 2011) by Amy Herzog at NYTW; Detroit, the 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist play finalist by Lisa D'Amour at Playwrights Horizons (New York Times, New York Magazine and Time Out-NY top 10 productions of 2012); Slowgirl by Gregory Pierce for LCT3; and Maple & Vine by Jordan Harrison at Playwrights Horizons; as well as Body Awareness by Annie Baker for the Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia (2011 Barrymore for Best Direction, Best Overall Production and Best Ensemble). Other production highlights include Tales from My Parents Divorce (Williamstown, The Flea), This Wide Night (Naked Angels, Lucille Lortel Nomination for Best Direction), Becky Shaw (Wilma), Stunning (LCT3), Sixty Mils to Silver Lake (P73 & Soho Rep), God's Ear (Vineyard, New Georges) and the new musical We Have Always Lived in a Castle (Yale Rep). Anne is a recipient of the Lilly Award, the Alan Schneider Director Award, Joan and Joseph Cullman Award for Exceptional Creativity, and several Barrymore Awards. She is a member Usual Suspect at NYTW, an alumna of the Soho Rep Lab, a current member of Soho Rep's Artistic Council, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, The Drama League, a founding member of The Civilians and Associate Artist with Clubbed Thumb and New Georges.

Maxx Brawer (Sean). Playwrights Horizons debut. Off-Broadway: Don't Go Gentle (MCC). Other theater: Into the Woods (Kid City Theatre Company), Showcase (Player's Loft). Film: Twelve. Television: Are We There Yet?, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, All My Children, Between the Lines, Another World, 100 Centre Street.

Zoë Sophia Garcia (Carla). Playwrights Horizons debut. New York Theater: La Ruta (Working Theatre). Other theater: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, That Noise, Oh Gastronomy! (Actors Theater of Louisville). Film: Bed, One Day, The Heart of San Francisco.

Rebecca Henderson (Tony). Playwrights Horizons: The Whale, The Retributionists. Other Off-Broadway: Too Much, Too Much, Too Many (Roundabout); Red-Handed Otter (Cherry Lane); The Collection/A Kind of Alaska (Atlantic); Canary (Rattlestick); Three Sisters, The Misanthrope, Scapin (Classic Stage Company), Baby Face (Soho Rep). Other New York: Roadkill Confidential (Clubbed Thumb), Spin (StageFARM). Film/Television: True Story, The Good Wife.

Ismenia Mendes (Bernie). Playwrights Horizons debut. She was most recently seen in A.R. Gurney's new play Family Furniture (Peggy) at The Flea Theater. Other credits include Baby Screams Miracle (Kayden) at Clubbed Thumb and Henry V (Boy, Katharine) at Two River Theater. Favorite roles include Lorna in Golden Boy, Snug the Joiner in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Jackie Coryton in Hay Fever. Training: Juilliard.

Will Pullen (Cole). Playwrights Horizons debut. Off-Broadway: Marie Antoinette (Soho Rep), Scarcity (Rattlestick). Other Theater: Breaking Heels, Curse of the Starving Class, Hamlet, Oleanna, As You Like It, The Lower Depths, The Black Box, True West.

Chris Stack (Reggie). Playwrights Horizons debut. Off-Broadway: Marie Antoinette (Soho Rep), Killers & Other Family (Rattlestick), Vacuum (Cherry Lane), the absence of spring... (Second Stage), Joe Fearless (Atlantic). Other Theater: The Umbrella Plays (The Tank), Love & Communication (Passage Theatre Company), The Sit (Soho Shorts), Self Portrait in a Blue Room (EST), The Last Seder (Workshop Theater). Film/Television: School of Rock, White Collar, Damages, Third Watch.

Playwrights Horizons is a writer's theater dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American playwrights, composers and lyricists and to the production of their new work. Under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus, the theater company continues to encourage the new work of veteran writers while nurturing an emerging generation of theater artists. In its 43 years, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of more than 400 writers and has received numerous awards and honors, including a special 2008 Drama Desk Award for "ongoing support to generations of theater artists and undiminished commitment to producing new work." Notable productions include five Pulitzer Prize winners - Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park (2012 Tony Award, Best Play), Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles (1989 Tony Award, Best Play), Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George - as well as Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns - A Post-Electric Play, Lisa D'Amour's Detroit (2013 Obie Award, Best New American Play); Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale (2013 Lortel Award, Best Play); Annie Baker's The Flick (2013 Obie Award, 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize) and Circle Mirror Transformation (three 2010 Obie Awards including Best New American Play); Kirsten Greenidge's Milk Like Sugar (2012 Obie Award); Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss and Dead Man's Cell Phone; Gina Gionfriddo's Rapture, Blister, Burn; Dan LeFranc's The Big Meal; Amy Herzog's The Great God Pan and After the Revolution; Bathsheba Doran's Kin; Adam Bock's A Small Fire; Edward Albee's Me, Myself & I; Melissa James Gibson's This (2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist); Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens (three 2007 Tony Awards); Craig Lucas's Prayer For My Enemy and Small Tragedy (2004 Obie Award, Best American Play); Adam Rapp's Kindness; Lynn Nottage's Fabulation (2005 Obie Award for Playwriting); Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero; David Greenspan's She Stoops to Comedy (2003 Obie Award); Kirsten Childs's The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (2000 Obie Award); Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey's James Joyce's The Dead (2000 Tony Award, Best Book); Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins; William Finn's March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland; Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You; Richard Nelson's Goodnight Children Everywhere; Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's Once on This Island; Jon Robin Baitz's The Substance of Fire; Scott McPherson's Marvin's Room; A.R. Gurney's Later Life; Adam Guettel and Tina Landau's Floyd Collins; and Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet.

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