NORMALCY Begins Off-Broadway Performances, 8/31
Theatre East presents "Normalcy" by Bennett Windheim, Off Broadway at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, 416 West 42nd Street, NYC. Benard Cummings directs the new play. Previews begin for the limited engagement on August 31 and the opening is Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm. For this opening of its 2012-13 season, there will be a series of talk-backs throughout the run, with the author, the producers and director, as well as experts in the respective field of this emotionally charged play.
"Normalcy" takes a brutally honest look at transracial adoption, from the point of view of white prospective parents and their circle of family members and co-workers, to social workers and transracially adopted adults. Normalcy" tackles themes of identity, race, terrorism, nationalism, manifest destiny, marriage and the media, all through the lens of one white, affluent couple's attempt to make the hard choice – adopting a black child and the unexpected and unintended consequences that it has on their happy and complacent lives.
Bennett Windheim (Playwright) received a 2003 OOBR award for Prince Hal (45th Street Theatre). Other plays include Like Batman and The Footloose Chanteuse (Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon finalists), Fixing the Cat (Theatre North Collaborative), and the book to Cross That River, a musical about black cowboys. As a director, his production of Alan Knee's The Man Who Was Peter Pan led to the script being optioned for the film "Finding Neverland". He also directed the stage premiere of Phone Tag by Israel Horovitz, Alan Ball's Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, among others. He was the recipient of a 2002 Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observership with John Tillinger on Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden at MTC. He wrote and produced the documentary "Eleanor: The Godmother of American Fashion" for Vanity Fair, and produced and directed the TV pilot of "The Barn Boys". For five years he served as co-artistic director of Theatre North Collaborative, where he produced more than 30 new works, including Naomi Iizuka's Body Beautiful with Calista Flockhart. He was a resident director and served on the executive board of The 42nd Street WorkShop, has served as an advisor to the SDCF, and mentored NYU graduate dramatic writing students as a member of the department's First Look Theatre Company under Gary Garrison.
Benard Cummings (Director) some of his credits include: Harvest (Off-Broadway), Flying West, The Three Sisters, Dark of the Moon, Tennessee Williams one-acts at SUNY Purchase; As You Like It and Playing for Time at Stella Adler Conservatory. As an Actor has worked in Regional Theatres across the country including Goodman, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Hartford Stage Company, Yale Rep., the Shakespeare Theatre (NJ and Washington, D.C), Signature Theatre and Working Theatre in NYC, as well as some episodic TV. As a Playwright, his work has been produced in the HumanaFestival of New American Plays, The Women's Tapestry Project, Twice as Loud Theatre Company (London, England;) Theatre Geo and Howard Fine Studios in Los Angeles, Stamford Theatre Works, Jubilee Theatre ( Ft. Worth) and The E.T.A. Performing Arts Center (Chicago), to name a few. He is a guest lecturer in acting at SUNY Purchase, The Stella Adler Conservatory, Pace University, and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.
Theatre East (Judson Jones, Artistic Director; Christa Kimlicko Jones, Associate Artistic Director) is a New York based theatre company committed to ensemble collaboration through production of vivid theatrical works that explore our mortality and the shared human experience. They seek to build community by confronting isolation, allowing for a better understanding of their audience and ourselves.