'SILENT HEROES' At Theater 54, Shetler Studios Opens 1/8/09

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'SILENT HEROES' At Theater 54, Shetler Studios Opens 1/8/09The Roundtable Ensemble (Kelly Ann Moore, Artistic Director and Joshua P. Weiss, Managing Director), now in its 10th season, will present the New York premiere of Linda Escalera Baggs' award-winning play "SILENT HEROES," inspired by a true story, and directed by Rosemary Andress. "SILENT HEROES" will be presented at Theatre 54 at Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th Street, 12th floor (bet. 8th and 9th Aves). Performances will begin on January 8, and the official opening performance will be Sunday, January 11 at 3:00 p.m. Performances will run through Saturday, January 24.

Set shortly after the end of the Vietnam War, the wives of six Marine Corps aviators have gathered in the night after hearing that one of the base's jet fighters has crashed. The Corps has offered no comfort or information, but the women know that one of their husbands isn't coming home. "SILENT HEROES" deals with women's rights, race relations, family, war and peace, and the tenuous social structure that enables military wives to cope with the constant fear that their husbands' lives, and their futures, could end suddenly. It won Best Play at FutureFest (Dayton, OH), at the Firehouse Theatre Festival of New American Plays (Richmond, VA), and at the Pittsburgh New Play Festival. TheaterMania's Peter Filichia was one of the judges at FutureFest and wrote this in his column: "While I was watching Linda Escalera Bagg's Silent Heroes, I thought 'Hmm...this playwright has not only written six fat parts for women but also at least two parts that could very well win Tony Awards for the actresses playing them.'" "SILENT HEROES" was also honored with the Source Literary Prize in Washington, D.C.

Linda Escalera Baggs is a Virginia-based playwright whose plays have been produced across the U.S.A. In addition to her award-winning Silent Heroes her full length plays include Harps & Harmonicas and Word War, and her one-acts and short plays include: Parting Words, The August Jinx, < span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; ">Welcome to Florida, Who's Margaret, and Dress Blues. Baggs is the daughter of a Marine colonel.

Director Rosemary Andress' New York credits include: Michael Develle Winn's Up Against the Wind at New York Theatre Workshop, a play about the life of Tupac Shukar; Jim Knable's True and Solid Ground at Soho Rep; Noemi Martinez-Cress' The Deep Run at The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater; Joan Jubett and Jerusha Klemperer's Ritalin for Two (The Loft) at Under St. Mark's; Christina Ham's A Wive's Tale at SPF; Susan Kathryn Hefti's Dear Prudence(Galanthus Productions) at Rattlestick; Tony McNamara's The John Wayne Principle (Hair of the Dog) at The Ohio; and Absolute Flight by Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich at the New York International Fringe Festival. Following Silent Heroes she will be directing the return of Mac Rogers' Universal Robots at Manhattan Theater Source. Rosemary is a Lincoln Center Directors Lab Member, a David Merrick Theater Award recipient, and a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop.

The six-member cast will include: Dionne Audain (Felicia), Julie Jesneck (Patsy), Kelly Ann Moore (June), Sarah Saunders (Miranda), Lisa Velton Smith(Kitty), and Rosalie Tenseth (Eleanor). Ms. Audain portrayed Felicia in the world premiere production of Silent Heroes at The Phoenix Theatre in Washington. D.C. Her New York credits include Twelfth Night with the Queen's Company and Seven Stories at Urban Stages. Ms. Jesneck was last seen on Broadway in Tom Stoppard's Rock 'N Roll. Her Off-Broadway credits include Walls at the Cherry Lane; Green Girl and The Nightshade Family at SPF;Romania, Kiss Me! with The Play Company; and Abu Ghraib Triptych at Ensemble Studio Theatre. Ms. Moore is a founding member of the Roundtable Ensemble. Her performance in the company's production of The Heiress garnered her a "Best of the Year" performance citation from TheaterMania. Ms. Saunders portrays Darcy Tate in ABC Productions' "Army Wives." Ms. Smith has performed Off Broadway with Theatre for a New Audience in Antony and Cleopatra and All's Well That Ends Well and with Clubbed Thumb in Greedy. Ms. Tenseth has appeared across the country at top regional theaters including Arena Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, and the Old Globe.

The set and lighting design for Roundtable Ensemble's "SILENT HEROES" will be by Nick Francone, the costume design by Kevin Hucke, and the sound design and original music by Jonathan Sanborn. The production stage manager is Henry Cheng.

The Roundtable Ensemble (www.roundtableensemble.org), founded in 1998, produces humanist theater in New York City. The company believes theater can make a powerful contribution to the lives of the people in our community by acting as a laboratory in which new ways of relating within and to our community can be explored by both the theater artist and the audience.

"SILENT HEROES" will be performed from January 8 through 24 on a Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. schedule. The official Opening Performance will be Sunday, January 11 at 3:00 pm. All tickets will be $18.00. The box office number to charge tickets is1-800-838-3006 or go to www.roundtableensemble.org. Reservations may also be made at 212-696-6699.

Reviewers and press are invited to attend beginning with the Friday, January 9 performance.
Please e-mail or call Jim Baldassare to make your press reservation.

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