THIS IS MY OFFICE, I CALL MY BROTHERS and More Set for PlayCo's 2013-14 Season
The Play Company (PlayCo), led by Founding Producer Kate Loewald and Executive Producer Lauren Weigel, is unique in its commitment to premiering plays from around the world, including the U.S., to advance a dynamic, international experience of contemporary theater as part of the American repertoire. The New York-based company has garnered awards and critical acclaim for its productions of works by Jonas Hassen Khemiri (Sweden), Toshiki Okada (Japan), Marius von Mayenberg (Germany), Vijay Tendulkar (India), Lloyd Suh (United States) and the Presnyakov Brothers (Russia), among many others. Today PlayCo announces its 2013-14 season, which includes three productions that epitomize the company's global view of contemporary theater.
The season begins with the world premiere of American writer Andy Bragen's This Is My Office, a site-specific production directed by Davis McCallum (Water by the Spoonful, The Whale), tonight, November 5 - December 8 at chashama (210 E 43rd St). This Is My Office is a ghost story for the theater, set in a disused office that becomes a character unto itself. One night, hunkered down in the office provided to him by an arts grant, eating his way through a box of donuts and battling intense writer's block, Andy Bragen (the eponymous protagonist) discovers an old photograph that spurs a revelation: the very office he currently inhabits was once his father's office.
Andy begins to delve deeper and deeper into his challenging relationship with his recently deceased father. Strange things begin to happen to him in the space as family and writing take on a symbiotic relationship. The office bridges the two Bragens' lives, and ultimately becomes an epic symbol of redemption, faith and love.
Playing Bragen will be David Barlow (The Film Society, The Castle), who starred in PlayCo's 2003 production of Brooke Berman's Smashing. The design team includes Andrew Boyce (set), Kaye Voyce (costumes), Tyler Micoleau (lighting) and Peter John Still (sound).
January 22 - February 23 at The New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher Street), Swedish writer Jonas Hassen Khemiri and director Erica Schmidt (using a translation by Rachel Willson-Broyles) return to PlayCo with I Call My Brothers, following PlayCo's celebrated production of Khemiri's Invasion! in 2011 (OBIE Playwriting Award). The story begins after a car bomb explosion, when the play's hero (or, anti-hero), Amor, is wandering around a paranoid city full of police. He's on an important errand and must, above all, act "maximally normal." But what is normal behavior? And what happens when you become the target of suspicious glances? Just in time for our grapple with stop and frisk and what we'll sacrifice in the name of security, this American premiere illuminates paranoia's tendency to destroy both the person seen and the seer.
Khemiri wrote I Call My Brothers for the project EUROPE NOW. The play has its origins in the text "Jag ringer mina bröder," which Khemiri published in Dagens Nyheter in December 2010, one week after the suicide bombing in Stockholm. In April, 2013, Khemiri's open letter to Sweden's Minister for Justice, Beatrice Ask, made history as the most shared article ever in Sweden. It was published in The New York Times and International Herald Tribune.
In the spring (dates and venue TBA), Japanese writer Toshiki Okada and director Dan Rothenberg (Enjoy, 2010; Co-Artistic Director of Pig Iron Theatre) reunite for the American premiere of The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise in the English translation by Aya Ogawa. Okada's idiosyncratic exploration of alienation and unease within the rising generation in Japan has made him one of his country's most sought-after writers. Here he probes the everyday lives of 30-something professionals who enjoy good jobs and relationships. Everything seems perfect, but a surreal abyss yawns beneath the surface. The play is a funny and heart-breaking account of the harrowing undercurrent in our contemporary life.