Photo Flash: Behind the Scenes with Joseph Assadourian and More in THE BULLPEN Off-Broadway

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Eric Krebs, in association with The Fortune Society, present THE BULLPEN, written and performed by Joseph Assadourian and directed by Richard Hoehler. Scroll down to take a look behind the scenes of the off-Broadway show in previews!

Joseph Assadourian was released from prison in 2013 after serving 12 years of a 25 year sentence for attempted murder. Two years before his release, he reluctantly became one of two-dozen inmates who joined a theatre workshop at Otisville Correctional Institution in upstate New York. Actor/director Richard Hoehler, a volunteer at the institution, used acting techniques to guide inmates through the rehabilitation process. Joseph, who had never before even seen a play, quickly discovered his special skills and, with Hoehler's guidance, began creating an 8-minute scene that incorporated characters he had met during his incarceration. The Bullpen evolved from that short sketch into a full-length production which premiered at Otisville Correction Facility; upon his release from prison, Assadourian also performed at the Fortune Academy (The Castle) - a residence in NYC for formerly incarcerated men and women.

Richard Hoehler has premiered three original solo shows Off-Broadway, New Jersey-New York, Working Class (OOBR Best Solo Performance) and Human Resources (Best of the Fest, MITF). He was the founding Artistic Director of the American Line Theatre Company that premiered over forty new plays. His original play Fathers and Sons opened Off-Broadway in 2009. As an actor he has performed in New York, regionally and abroad. He's also been featured on "Law and Order," "NYPD Blue," "Third Watch," and "The Black Box." Richard is also the creator and director of Acting Out, a professional acting class and performance workshop for at-risk teens and adults that is in residence at the Fortune Society and Otisville Correctional Facility.

Eric Krebs has been a theatrical producer as well as a professor for over 40 years. On Broadway he produced Electra, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Bill Maher in his Victory Begins at Home, Avery Brooks in Paul Robeson andNeil Simon's The Dinner Party. His Broadway productions have received 10 Tony Award nominations. Off-Broadway, he produced over 40 productions, including Sam Shepard's Fool For Love, Neil LaBute's Bash, The Capitol Steps, etc.

David Rothenberg's multilayered life thrust him into Broadway's brightest lights, prison riots, political campaigns, civil rights sit-ins, and a Central American civil war. David produced an Off-Broadway prison drama, Fortune and Men's Eyes, which reshaped his life. John Herbert's chilling play led directly to the creation of the Fortune Society, which has evolved into one of the nation's most formidable advocacy and service organizations in criminal justice.

Performances will be Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8PM and Sunday at 3PM. Special Matinees Friday June 20th at 4PM and Saturday June 21st at 3PM. Tickets, which are $20, are available online at www.StepInTheBullpen.com or by calling toll-free 866-811-4111. Performances take place at The Playroom Theater at 151 West 46th Street (between Broadway and 6th Avenue).

Photo Credit: Ben Mann

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Photo Flash: Behind the Scenes with Joseph Assadourian and More in THE BULLPEN Off-Broadway
Sound check for The Bullpen Writer and Performer Joe Assadourian. Joseph Assadourian was released from prison in 2013 after serving 12 years of a 25 year sentence. Two years before his release, he reluctantly became one of two-dozen inmates who joined a theatre workshop at Otisville Correctional Institution in upstate New York. Actor/director Richard Hoehler, a volunteer at the institution, used acting techniques to guide inmates through the rehabilitation process.

Photo Flash: Behind the Scenes with Joseph Assadourian and More in THE BULLPEN Off-Broadway
Joseph, who had never before even seen a play, quickly discovered his special skills and, with Hoehler’s guidance, began creating an 8-minute scene that incorporated characters he had met during his incarceration. The Bullpen evolved from that short sketch into a full-length production which premiered at Otisville Correction Facility; upon his release from prison, Assadourian also performed at the Fortune Academy (The Castle) â€" a residence in NYC for formerly incarcerated men and women.

Photo Flash: Behind the Scenes with Joseph Assadourian and More in THE BULLPEN Off-Broadway
Production Assistant Josh Aber calls places for the preview performance.

Photo Flash: Behind the Scenes with Joseph Assadourian and More in THE BULLPEN Off-Broadway
Joe Assadourian prepares to ''Step in the Bullpen.'' In The Bullpen, a man is arrested, arraigned and put on trial for a crime he claims he did not commit. Consequently two systems of jurisprudence judge him â€" one a jury of his peers in the courtroom and the other: the fascinating and hilarious denizens of the bullpen in which he is being held. During the course of this 70 minute show, Assadourian takes on 18 different characters, each inspired by a real person from his time in the system.

Photo Flash: Behind the Scenes with Joseph Assadourian and More in THE BULLPEN Off-Broadway
Audience takes their seats at The Playroom Theater. The Bullpen officially opens Off-Broadway at The Playroom Theater on Sunday, June 22nd.

Photo Flash: Behind the Scenes with Joseph Assadourian and More in THE BULLPEN Off-Broadway
Actress Qurrat Ann Kadwani (center) of They Call Me Q dropped in to be a part of the action.

Photo Flash: Behind the Scenes with Joseph Assadourian and More in THE BULLPEN Off-Broadway
A sold-out preview weekend meant many post-show photos for Joe.

Photo Flash: Behind the Scenes with Joseph Assadourian and More in THE BULLPEN Off-Broadway
A family affair. David Assadourian (left) joins his brother Joe Assadourian (center) and Director Richard Hoehler (right) for this special weekend.

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