Karen Ziemba Joins Off-Broadway's HERESY, Beginning 10/19

Karen Ziemba Joins Off-Broadway's HERESY, Beginning 10/19

The Flea Theater welcomes Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba (Contact, Curtains, Steel Pier) to the cast of the limited Off-Broadway engagement of HERESY by A.R. Gurney, directed by Jim Simpson. Beginning October 19th, Ziemba replaces Kathy Najimy, who leaves to begin filming a TV project. The cast also stars Annette O'Toole (Smallville, Southern Comfort), Ariel Woodiwiss (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Reg E. Cathey (The Wire), Steve Mellor (Nixon's Nixon) and introducing Tommy Crawford and Danny Rivera, members of The Bats, The Flea's resident company of actors in their professional debut. Previews of this World Premiere began September 29 with opening night slated for Thursday, October 11.

Says Gurney, "HERESY is a new look at an old story.  But it's really about the American Dream and what happens when Americans are told by their president to go shopping in the face of unspeakable terror."  And as only Gurney can – he puts a light touch on our darkest despair.

Set in the near future, Mary (played by Annette O'Toole) and Joseph (Stephen Mellor) have come to Homeland Security because their protesting son, Chris, has been taken into custody during the latest crackdown. They put their case before Pontius Pilate (Reg E. Cathy) in this timely comedy that Simpson calls "a sharp, funny, poke in the eye."

The design team includes Kate Sinclair Foster (sets), Brian Aldous (lights), and Claudia Brown (costumes).

A.R. Gurney has been writing plays for over fifty years. Among them are: The Grand Manner, Scenes from American Life, The Dining Room, The Middle Ages, The Cocktail Hour, Love Letters, Sylvia, Far East, Ancestral Voices, Big Bill Indian Blood, Crazy Mary, Buffalo Gal and most recently Black Tie. At The Flea he has premiered Office Hours, Post Mortem, Screenplay, Mrs. Farnsworth, A Light Lunch and O Jerusalem. He has also written three novels, a few television scripts, several unproduced movies, and the librettos of two operas. Gurney is a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has honorary degrees from Williams College and Buffalo State University, and taught literature at M.I.T. for many years.

The Flea Theater, under Artistic Director Jim Simpson and Producing Director Carol Ostrow, is one of New York's leading off-off-Broadway companies. Winner of a Special Drama Desk Award for outstanding achievement, Obie Awards and an Otto for political theater, The Flea has presented nearly 100 plays and numerous dance and live music performances since its inception in 1996. Past productions include the premieres of Anne Nelson's The Guys; six plays by A.R. Gurney; Mac Wellman's Cellophane and Two September; Roger Rosenblatt's Ashley Montana Goes Ashore... and The Oldsmobiles; Elizabeth Swados' JABU and Kaspar Hauser; Karen Finley's Return of the Chocolate Smeared Woman; Adam Rapp's Bingo with the Indians; Will Eno's Oh, The Humanity and other exclamations; Thomas Bradshaw's Dawn and currently Job; The Great Recession; Jonathan Reynolds' Girls in Trouble; Bathsheba Doran's Parents' Evening, Qui Nuygen's She Kills Monsters and Shawn Graney's These Seven Sicknesses.

HERESY runs through November 4, Tuesday – Saturday at 7pm, Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are $45 Tuesday – Thursday and Sunday Matinees, $50 on Friday and Saturday nights, and $10 Saturday Matinees. Tuesdays are Pay What You Can, at the door only. The Flea is located at 41 White Street between Broadway and Church, three blocks south of Canal, close to the A/C/E, N/R/Q/W, 6, J/M/Z and 1 subway lines.  Tickets are available by calling 212-352-3101 or online at www.theflea.org.

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