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Playwright Nell Benjamin and Explorer Sylvia Earle Set for Talk After MTC's THE EXPLORERS CLUB, 5/31

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On Friday, May 31, Tony nominated writer Nell Benjamin and legendary deep-sea explorer Sylvia Earle - one of the first women admitted to the real Explorers Club in New York - will engage in a conversation to talk about their experiences in their respective fields, following the 8 PM performance of Manhattan Theatre Club's world premiere production of The Explorers Club, a madcap comedy now in previews at MTC at New York City Center - Stage I (131 West 55th Street). The conversation will be moderated by Peabody Award-winning journalist and author Lynn Sherr.

Tickets for the performance and talkback are available via the New York City Center Box Office (131 West 55th Street), CityTix (212-581-1212) and www.nycitycenter.org.

The 2013 World Science Festival is now being held in New York City through June 2. For more information, visit: www.WorldScienceFestival.com.

The limited engagement of The Explorers Club is now in previews and features Brian Avers (Rock 'n' Roll), Max Baker (Cyrano DeBergerac), Steven Boyer (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), Arnie Burton (Peter and the Starcatcher), Carson Elrod (All in the Timing), David Furr (The Importance of Being Earnest), Tony Award nominee John McMartin (Into The Woods), Drama Desk Award winner Lorenzo Pisoni (Humor Abuse at MTC), and Tony Award nominee Jennifer Westfeldt (Friends With Kids,Wonderful Town). The production will open Thursday, June 20 at New York City Center.

THE EXPLORERS CLUB is a new madcap comedy from Tony-nominated writer Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and director Marc Bruni (Ordinary Days, Old Jews Telling Jokes).

London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president wants to admit a woman, and their bartender is terrible.

True, this female candidate is brilliant, beautiful, and has discovered a legendary Lost City, but the decision to let in a woman could shake the very foundation of the British Empire, and how do you make such a decision without a decent drink?

Grab your safety goggles for some very mad science involving deadly cobras, irate Irishmen and the occasional airship.

The creative team for The Explorers Club features: Donyale Werle (scenic design), Anita Yavich (costume design), Philip Rosenberg (lighting design), Darron L West(sound design), Laurence O'Keefe (original music), Tom Watson (hair & wig design), Angelina Avallone (makeup design).

Lead support for The Explorers Club provided by MTC's Producing Fund Partner, Andrew Martin-Weber. Production support provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as part of the MTC/Sloan Science Theatre Initiative. The Explorers Club is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, MTC has become one of the country's most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over the past three decades, MTC productions have earned a total of 18 Tony Awards and six Pulitzer Prizes, an accomplishment unparalleled by a New York theatrical institution. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and two Off-Broadway theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). Since January 2011, Mandy Greenfield (Artistic Producer) has taken the lead in programming and execution at MTC's Off-Broadway home. Renowned MTC productions include Venus in Fur; Master Class; Good People; The Whipping Man; Time Stands Still; The Royal Family; Ruined; The American Plan; Come Back, Little Sheba; Blackbird; Translations; Shining City; Rabbit Hole; Doubt; Proof; The Tale of the Allergist's Wife; Love! Valour! Compassion!; A Small Family Business;Sylvia; Putting It Together; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Crimes of the Heart; and Ain't Misbehavin.'

For more information on MTC, visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

The World Science Festival is a production of the Science Festival Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in New York City. The Foundation's mission is to cultivate a general public informed by science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future.

The World Science Festival's signature event is an annual celebration and exploration of science that launched in 2008. Hailed a "new cultural institution," by The New York Times, the Festival has featured such luminaries as: Stephen Hawking, Edward O. Wilson, Sir Paul Nurse, Harold Varmus, James Watson, Anna Deavere Smith, Francis Collins, Bobby McFerrin, David Baltimore, Chuck Close, Saul Perlmutter, Liev Schreiber, Daniel Dennett, John Hockenberry, Eric Lander, Philip Glass, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Charlie Kaufman, Sylvia Earle, Yo-Yo Ma, Oliver Sacks, Mary-Claire King, William Phillips, Paul Davies, Elizabeth Vargas, Sir Roger Penrose, Charlie Rose, Lisa P. Jackson, John Lithgow, Vinton Cerf, Glenn Close, Jeffrey Eugenides, Bill T. Jones, Joyce Carol Oates, Elaine Fuchs, and Walter Isaacson. The first five Festivals have attracted almost one million visitors, and millions more have viewed the programs online. The World Science Festival also produces year-round live programming in New York City, nationally and internationally.

Tickets for The Explorers Club are available via the New York City Center Box Office (131 West 55th Street), CityTix (212-581-1212) and www.nycitycenter.org. Tickets for The Explorers Club are $85.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:

  • THROUGH SUNDAY, JUNE 9: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday at 7 PM, Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM.
  • MONDAY, JUNE 10 - SUNDAY, JUNE 16: Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 PM.
  • MONDAY, JUNE 17 - SUNDAY, JUNE 23 (WEEK OF OPENING): Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday at 7 PM, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Saturdayand Sunday at 2 PM. Please note there are only seven performances on sale to the public this week.
  • MONDAY, JUNE 24 - SUNDAY, JUNE 30: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 PM, Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 PM.
  • MONDAY, JULY 1 - SUNDAY, JULY 7 (WEEK OF JULY 4): Monday through Wednesday at 7 PM, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 PM. Please note the production will be dark on Thursday, July 4 of this week.
  • MONDAY, JULY 8 - SUNDAY, JULY 21: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 PM, Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 PM.

BIOGRAPHIES

Nell Benjamin. Broadway credits include: Legally Blonde, The Musical with Laurence O'Keefe, (Tony and Drama Desk award nominations and the Olivier Award for Best Musical). Off-Broadway/Regional: Life of the Party, Sarah, Plain and Tall, Cam Jansen (Drama Desk nomination), The Mice (L.A. Ovation Award), Pirates! (or Gilbert and Sullivan plunder'd), How I Became a Pirate, I Want My Hat Back (both for TheaterworksUSA). Television: "Unhappily Ever After", Animal Planet's "Whoa! Sunday with Mo Rocca", and the new "Electric Company". Proud Kleban and Larson Award winner and member of ASCAP. Best of all, she is married to a genius, which she highly recommends.

SYLVIA A. EARLE. National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence Sylvia A. Earle is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer who has been called a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress and "Hero for the Planet" by Time magazine. Formerly chief scientist of NOAA, Earle is the founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc., founder of Mission Blue and SEAlliance, and chair of the advisory councils of the Harte Research Institute and the Ocean in Google Earth.

Earle has led more than a hundred expeditions and logged more than 7,000 hours underwater, including leading the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970; participating in ten saturation dives, most recently in July 2012; and setting a record for solo diving in 1,000-meter depth. Her research concerns marine ecosystems with special reference to exploration, conservation, and the development and use of new technologies for access and effective operations in the deep sea and other remote environments. Earle's more than one hundred national and international honors include the 2011 Royal Geographical Society Gold Medal, 2011 Medal of Honor from the Dominican Republic, and the 2009 TED Prize.

Lynn Sherr. Award-winning broadcaster and author Lynn Sherr spent more than thirty years with ABC News, covering everything from women's issues, social change and scientific explorations to investigative reports, politics and the space program. She was a semifinalist in NASA's Journalist-in-Space competition, a contest that, she regrets, was terminated before she could fly. Sherr has also anchored and reported for PBS and public radio. Her books include Outside the Box: My Unscripted Life of Love, Loss and Television News; Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words; and the bestselling Tall Blondes: A Book About Giraffes, which was also the subject of a documentary for the PBS Nature program. Her 2012 bestselling book SWIM: Why We Love the Water will be published in paperback in May 2013. She is currently writing the authorized biography of astronaut Sally Ride, scheduled for publication in 2014.

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