LITTLE BLACK DRESS Begins Off-Bway 5/1

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LITTLE BLACK DRESS - a new play by Ronan Noone, whose play THE ATHEIST starring Campbell Scott enjoyed considerable success Off-Broadway in 2008 - will be given its New York premiere this spring Off-Broadway, with previews set to begin Sunday, May 1 prior to an official press opening on Thursday, May 5 at Theatre at St. Clement's (423 W. 46 St.) in Manhattan. Presented by The Exchange - an Off-Broadway theatre company specializing in new work - LITTLE BLACK DRESS is directed by Ari Edelson.

Featured in the cast of LITTLE BLACK DRESS are Nina Hellman, Tobias Segal, Brian J. Smith and Dan Oreskes.

With hints of A DOLL'S HOUSE and Sam Shepard, LITTLE BLACK DRESS -- a funny, dark and poignant look at the sacrifices one makes when one leaves behind all that is familiar -- LITTLE BLACK DRESS is set in a household in rural Blue River where Amy Beaudreaux lives with her boorish husband, their slacker pot-smoking son and his buddy, a gigolo.

Nina Hellman won a Village Voice Obie Award for her performance in TROUBLE IN PARADISE, and appeared at the Vineyard Theatre in Anne Washburn's THE INTERNATIONALIST. Tobias Segal appeared Off-Broadway earlier this season in EDGEWISE and previously appeared on Broadway in THE MIRACLE WORKER. Brian J. Smith appeared in GOOD BOYS AND TRUE at Second Stage and in MTC's COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA. Dan Oreskes has appeared on Broadway in BILLY ELLIOT, CYMBELINE, AIDA and ELECTRA.

Ronan Noone, a native of Ireland, is the author of the plays THE LEPERS OF BAILE BAISTE, an award-winning work that has been widely produced across the U.S.; THE BLOWIN OF BAILE GALL (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding New Script), performed at the Irish Arts Center in NY; BRENDAN, which debuted at the Huntington Theatre in Boston; and THE ATHEIST which starred Campbell Scott and played at Barrow Street Theatre in 2008. LITTLE BLACK DRESS - like most of Mr. Noone's plays - debuted at Boston's Playwrights Theatre, where it won the Elliot Norton Award and was directed by Ari Edelson.

Ari Edelson - Artistic Director of The Exchange - has previously directed THE SCARIEST (Theatres at 45 Bleecker), VENGEANCE (Cherry Lane), EXPATS (The New Group), JUMP! and REALISM (The Exchange), THE ATTIC (Obie Award), THE ATHEIST (Theatre 503 London) and numerous plays overseas.

As Artistic Director of The Exchange, Mr. Edelson heads the internationally renowned Orchard Project in upstate New York, where in the past four years more than 40 American and interNational Theatre companies have developed works that have subsequently been performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, off-off, in regional theatres and on international stages. This year alone, work created at the Orchard Project will be produced at Royal Court, Arena Stage, Yale Rep, Rattlestick, The Public Theatre, Humana Festival and many more.

The Exchange is an Off-Broadway company dedicated to new work, although it does not function traditionally, spending more than half its time and budget on selective programs that allow other companies and artists to develop and display original works, as in The Orchard Project. As well, through its 24 Hour Play Program, The Exchange also produces The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway (in partnership with Urban Arts), and The 24 Hour Musicals at Gramercy Theatre each year.

This season, The Exchange created a first-of-its-kind four-play season that included new works - all developed at the Orchard Project - by some of New York's most innovative companies: The Civilians' IN THE FOOTPRINT, The Talking Band's production ofo Taylor Mac's THE WALK ACROSS AMERICA FOR MOTHER EARTH and Rude Mechs' THE METHOD GUN. LITTLE BLACK DRESS is the final offering of the 2010-11 Exchange NYC season.

Scenic and costume design for LITTLE BLACK DRESS is by Dane Laffrey; lighting design is by Christopher Studley; and sound design is by Bart Fasbender. Kelcie Beene is producer; David Paarlberg is associate producer.

Scheduled through May 28, LITTLE BLACK DRESS will perform during its preview period Sunday, May 1 at 3 and 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 3 at 7 p.m. and Wednesday, May 4 at 8 p.m. Starting May 5, LITTLE BLACK DRESS will perform Tuesdays through Sundays at 8 with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $45 and can be reserved by at www.smarttix.com or by calling 212 868 4444.

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