Photo Flash: First Look at Lincoln Center Theater's BLOOD AND GIFTS

Lincoln Center Theater's production of BLOOD AND GIFTS, a new play by J.T. Rogers, directed by Bartlett Sher, opens on Monday, November 21, at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater (150 West 65 Street). The cast features Michael Aronov, Jeremy Davidson, Robert Hogan, Jefferson Mays, Andrés Munar, Rudy Mungaray, J Paul Nicholas, Paul Niebanck, John Procaccino, Liv Rooth, Gabriel Ruiz, Pej Vahdat, Andrew Weems and Bernard White.

Commissioned by Lincoln Center Theater, and presented last year at The National Theatre, BLOOD AND GIFTS tells the story of the secret spy war behind the official Soviet-Afghan War of the 1980s. Spanning a decade and playing out in Washington DC, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the play follows CIA operative Jim Warnock (Jeremy Davidson) as he struggles to stop the Soviet Army's destruction of Afghanistan. The ground constantly shifts for Jim and his counterparts in the KGB (Michael Aronov) and British and Pakistani secret service (Jefferson Mays and Gabriel Ruiz, respectively) as the political and personal alliances between the men keeps changing. And as the outcome of the entire Cold War comes into play, Jim and a larger-than-life Afghan warlord (Bernard White) find the only person they can trust is each other.

BLOOD AND GIFTS has sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder and sound by Peter John Still.

J.T. Rogers is the author of the play The Overwhelming (produced in New York by the Roundabout Theater Company and in London at The National Theatre, in association with Out of Joint), Madagascar, White People, Murmuring in a Dead Tongue and Seeing the Elephant which was nominated for the Kesselring Prize for Best New American Play. An earlier version of BLOOD AND GIFTS was presented as part of a cycle of 11 plays about Afghanistan titled The Great Game: Afghanistan at the Tricycle Theatre in London.

Bartlett Sher, Resident Director at Lincoln Center Theater, directed the LCT productions of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Joe Turner's Come and Gone (Tony nomination), South Pacific (Tony Award), Awake and Sing! (Tony nomination,) and The Light in the Piazza (Tony nomination). Former Artistic Director of Seattle's Intiman Theater, his other NY credits include productions at Playwrights Horizons and Theatre for a New Audience. His opera credits include the MET productions of The Barber of Seville, The Tales of Hoffman and Comte d'Ory.

BLOOD AND GIFTS plays Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8pm, with matinees Wednesday and Saturdays at 2pm and Sundays at 3pm. (Exceptions: There is no performance on Thursday, Nov. 24. There are two performances at 2 and 8 pm on Friday, Nov. 25.) Tickets, priced at $80 and $85, are available at the Lincoln Center Theater box office (150 West 65 Street) or by visiting telecharge.com or www.lct.org.

Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

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