SUMMER SHORTS 4 To Feature Premieres By LaBute, Mason & More 7/30-9/2
ThroughLine Artists with J.J. Kandel and John McCormack will present SUMMER SHORTS 4, their fourth annual festival of new American short plays, at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street). Performances begin Friday July 30th, and continue through Thursday September 2nd.
Featured will be eight World Premieres from some of New York's finest established and emerging playwrights, including Jonathan's Blaze by Christopher Stetson Boal (Order, currently playing on Theatre Row), directed by José Angel Santana; Play With The Penguin by Roger Hedden (Bodies, Rest & Motion), directed by Billy Hopkins; The Graduation Of Grace by Wendy Kesselman (My Sister in This House, new adaptation of The Diary Of Anne Frank), director TBA; Fit by Neil Koenigsberg (producer of such films as Pollack, A Walk on the Moon, and High Art), directed by Merri Milwe; Romance by Neil LaBute (reasons to be pretty, The Shape of Things), directed by Dolores Rice; The Expenses Of Rain by Deb Margolin (Obie Award for Sustained Excellence), directed by Laura Barnett; An Actor Prepares by Timothy Mason (Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, Babylon Gardens), directed by Maxwell Williams; Happy by Alan Zweibel (700 Sundays, "Saturday Night Live"), directed by Fred Berner ("Law & Order")*.
Summer Shorts returns for another summer of new American one-acts featuring original plays by the country's top playwrights. Representing some of today's best writing, directing and acting talents, Summer Shorts celebrates theatre, summer and the short form. The festival's two separate series offer a diverse range of voices, styles, and subject matter. Summer Shorts 4 offers eight world premiere one-act plays, in two separate evenings. The two series will run in rotating repertory. The New York Post declared "one-act shorts fit nicely in summer heat!"
59E59 Theaters (Elysabeth Kleinhans, Artistic Director; Peter Tear, Executive Producer) is the Drama Desk Award-winning state-of-the-art theater complex located on 59th Street between Park and Madison Avenues in Manhattan. Owned and operated by the Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation, a not-for profit operating foundation, 59E59 Theaters has set an invigorating policy of bringing new, challenging and entertaining work to a new Off Broadway neighborhood.
Performances will be Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7:15, Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8:15pm, with matinees Saturdays at 2:15 and Sundays at 3:15. Tickets are $18 each (59E59 Members $12.60). Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office (Monday 12pm - 6pm, Tuesday - Sunday 12pm - final curtain.), by phone through Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or online at www.59e59.org. Service fees apply to phone and web purchases. Tickets go on sale July 15th. For more information, please visit www.59e59.org or www.summershortsfestival.com
*All programming subject to change
DEB MARGOLIN is a playwright, performance artist and founding member of Split Britches Theater Company. She is the author of eight full-length solo performance pieces, which she has toured throughout the United States, as well as numerous plays, and is the recipient of a 1999-2000 OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance and the Kesselring Playwriting Award for her play Three Seconds in the Key. Her play Bringing the Fisherman Home premiered at the Cleveland Public Theater. Deb has enjoyed commissions from the Jewish Museum of New York, The Public Theater/NYSF, the Actors Theater of Louisville and other theaters, has lectured extensively at universities throughout the country. A book of Deb's performance pieces and plays, Of All the Nerve: Deb Margolin Solo, was published by Cassell/Continuum Press. In 2005 she was awarded the Richard H. Brodhead Prize for Teaching Excellence at Yale. Deb is a proud member of New Dramatists, and was honored to accept the 2008 Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright Award. Her play Imagining Madoff opens this summer at Stageworks Hudson.
Timothy Mason's musical adaptation of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (music by Mel Marvin) has become a seasonal hit on Broadway and on tour. In New York, his plays have been produced by Circle Rep (including The Fiery Furnace starring Julie Harris, Babylon Gardens with Mary-Louise Parker and Timothy Hutton, Only You, and Levitation). These and other plays have been produced by The Actors Theatre of Louisville, South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Victory Gardens, Portland Stage, the Jungle Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre Lab, the Royal National Theatre, London, and Theatre Royal, Bath. Mason created the 5-play Young Americans Cycle in collaboration with A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory (Ascension Day, The Less Than Human Club, Time on Fire, Mullen's Alley and My Life in the Silents). He has won the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, the W. Alton Jones Foundation Award, the Berilla Kerr Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Award and the National Society of Arts and Letters Award. His first kids' novel, The Last Synapsid, was published by Random House in 2009.
Roger Hedden's plays have been produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre, Naked Angels, Atlantic Theater Company, Montana Rep, and Florida Stage, among others. His play Bodies, Rest, and Motion premiered at Lincoln Center Theatre directed by Billy Hopkins. He adapted Bodies, Rest, and Motion for the screen and co-produced the Fine Line film. As a producer, he gathered five writer friends to co-write the MGM film Sleep With Me. He subsequently wrote and directed the Lions Gate release Hi-Life. Other plays include The Count, As Sure As You Live, Deep In The Whole, and If I Had... (from last year's Summer Shorts) He is a graduate of Columbia University and was the recipient of an N.E.A. Playwriting Fellowship. He lives in Missoula, Montana. This is the ninth of his plays to be directed by Billy Hopkins.
Wendy Kesselman is an American playwright who has written over a dozen plays, including an adapted version of The Diary of Anne Frank. In 1981, Kesselman was the recipient of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for work of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre, for her play My Sister in this House. Kesselman writes for television as well, and most recently adapted a screenplay of John Knowles' A Separate Peace.
Neil LaBute received his Master of Fine Arts degree in dramatic writing from New York University and was the recipient of a literary fellowship to study at The Royal Court Theatre, London and also attended The Sundance Institute's Playwrights Lab. His films include: In The Company Of Men (New York Critics' Circle Award for Best First Feature and the Filmmaker Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival), Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, Possession, The Shape Of Things, a film adaptation of his play by the same title, The Wicker Man, Lakeview Terrace, And Death At A Funeral. LaBute's plays include bash: latter-day plays, The Shape Of Things, The Mercy Seat, The Distance From Here, Autobahn, Fat Pig, Some Girls, This Is How It Goes, In A Dark Dark House and reasons to be pretty (Tony Award nomination, Best Play). LaBute is also the author of several fictional pieces that have been published in The New York Times, The New Times Magazine and Harper's Bazaar among others. Seconds Of Pleasure, a collection of his short stories, was published by Grove Atlantic.
Alan Zweibel is an original "Saturday Night Live" writer and recipient of multiple Emmy, Writers Guild of America, and TV Critics awards for his work in television, which also includes "It's Gary Shandling's Show" (which he co-created and executive produced), "Monk" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." In films, he co-wrote the screenplays for Dragnet, North, and The Story of Us. Alan's theatrical contributions include the play Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner - A Sort Of Romantic Comedy, which he adapted from his best-selling book. He also collaborated with Billy Crystal on the Tony Award winning-play 700 Sundays, as well as Martin Short's Broadway hit Fame Becomes Me. Alan is currently finishing his next theatrical venture titled Sunday Nights at 8:00, to be directed by Jerry Zaks; executive producing a mini-series on the history of comedy with Steve Carell and David Steinberg; writing a one-man show for Dick Van Dyke; just completed an animated pilot titled "Womb With a View;" and is dramatizing his most recent book - a collection of his short stories and essays titled Clothing Optional - for an upcoming New York theatrical production.
NEIL KOENIGSBERG was represented at the 2008 Summer Shorts Festival by the world premiere of On a Bench, which was also directed by Merri Milwe. Fit was developed at a staged reading as part of EST's Octoberfest in 2009. He's currently working on a full-length Off the King's Road which had staged readings at Trafalgar Studios in London's West End and at the Playwright/Director's Unit of The Actors Studio, NYC during the past year. Koenigsberg was a founder partner of publicity firm PMK and also worked for many years as a talent manager and film producer.
CHRISTOPHER STETSON BOAL is the critically acclaimed author of Order, Crazy For The Dog, and 23 Knives. Boal is also the creator of The Continuing Adventures of Dick Danger, as well as Bad Guys Don't Know - The Musical, and the award-winning short film Walking Charlie. A Hope For This World won an audience award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Recent projects include the screenplay Driver for Ridley Scott.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.