Women's Project Presents World Premiere of WE PLAY FOR THE GODS, Now thru 6/23

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Women's Project will end its 34th season with an off-Broadway show of epic proportions when seven playwrights, four directors, three producers and five actors collaborate on one world premiere play titled from the famous Ellen Stewart quote We Play for The Gods.

We Play for The Gods stars Annie Golden, Amber Gray, Alexandra Henrikson, Irene Sofia Lucio and Erika Rolfsud. It opens tonight, June 11, at 7:30pm for a run through Saturday, June 23, at the Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street.

"We Play for the Gods was prompted by the question 'on whose shoulders do we­as women theater artists­stand?'" said Women's Project Producing Artistic Director Julie Crosby. “This question led 14 artists of the Women's Project Lab to Ellen Stewart, the legendary founder of La Mama who in the 1960s blew open the doors of dramatic expression and gave voice to an extraordinary and diverse generation of theater artists. Inspired by her words, 'We play for the Gods and in return, they play for us,'this collaborative play was developed at Women’s Project over eighteen months, three workshops, abundant good humor, and the occasional mojito."

There's a blog reporting on the unique process behind the play's development and other background information at www.weplayforthegods.com/.

We Play for the Gods is the tale of four ordinary women working in a research institute­Annie Golden, Amber Gray, Irene Sofia Lucio and Erika Rolfsud­and one trickster goddess, Alexandra Henrikson, who messes around with their lives as only a deity can.

The 14 Lab artists who conceived and created We Play for the Gods are Alexandra Collier, Elizabeth R. English, Charity Ballard, Jessi D. Hill, Andrea Kuchlewska, Manda Martin, Dominique Morisseau, Kristen Palmer, Sarah Rasmussen, Mia Rovegno, Melisa Tien, Nicole A. Watson, Stephanie Ybarra and Stefanie Zadravec. The animating forces behind the Lab are Ms. Crosby and Associate Artistic Director Megan E. Carter.

The designers are Jennifer Moeller, scenery; Moria Sine Clinton, costumes, Scott Bolman, lighting; and Stowe Nelson, sound. Zac Chandler is stage manager, assisted by Julie DeVore.

Annie Golden was seen in Xanadu; created the role of Georgie Bukatinsky in The Full Monty; appeared as Sondheim’s original Squeaky Fromme in Assassins at Playwrights Horizons; was featured with Colleen Dewhurst and Jason Robards in Ah! Wilderness; as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors; and performed in On The Town. Ms. Golden's films include the role of Jeannie in the 1978 Hair, I Love You, Phillip Morris and Twelve Monkeys, among many others. Amber Grey has appeared in recent productions for The TEAM, Hoi Polloi, Ars Nova and Irish Rep. Alexandra Henrikson's recent credits include Taming of the Shrew at California Shakespeare Theater and Hell House atSt Ann's Warehouse. Irene Sofia Lucio's was seen in Wit at Manhattan Theatre Club, Estrella Cruz the Junkyard Queen at Ars Nova, Romeo and Juliet and Master Builder at Yale Rep. Erika Rolfsrud was seen in The Coast of Utopia at Lincoln Center Theater and Exit The King and Rabbit Hole at Manhattan Theatre Club.

The heart of Women's Project's artistic programming is its free, two-year Lab for early to mid-career playwrights, directors, and producers. In recent seasons, Lab artists and alumnae have written or directed more than 75% of Women's Project's main stage and developmental productions, including work by Liz Duffy Adams, Lear deBessonet, Liz Diamond, Anne Kauffman, Carson Kreitzer, Pam MacKinnon, Wendy McClellan, Lynn Rosen, Saviana Stanescu, Daniella Topol, Kathryn Walat and Meiyin Wang. Two alumnae made a mark on Broadway this season – Katori Hall with The Mountaintop and Clybourne Park directed by Pam MacKinnon, who is nominated for a Tony award for her work.

Published two years ago was the two-volume anthology of Women's Project Lab plays, Out of Time & Place: An Anthology of Plays by Members of the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab www.outoftimeandplace.com.

We Play for the Gods performs Monday evenings at 7:00pm (except Monday, June 4, when there is no performance and Monday, June 11, when the curtain is 7:30pm), Tuesday through Friday evenings at 8:00pm, and Saturdays at 3:00pm and 8:00pm. Tickets are $60 and may be purchased by phone at 866-811-4111 and online at WePlayForTheGods.com.

Women's Project is playing a hot hand this season with its widely acclaimed Milk Like Sugar by Kirsten Greenidge and How The World Began by Catherine Trieschmann.

Women’s Project was founded in 1978 by Julia Miles to address the significant under-representation of women in the American theater, and has since built a tremendous legacy. Although even today women playwrights and directors severely lack parity in pay and opportunity, the extraordinary women artists who have broken through the glass ceiling have all crossed the threshold at WP, including Eve Ensler, Lynn Nottage, Maria Irene Fornes, Suzan-Lori Parks, Diane Paulus, Sarah Ruhl, Paula Vogel, and Anna Deavere Smith, among the many. Throughout its 34-year history, Women’s Project has produced and/or developed over 600 plays and published 11 anthologies of plays.

Recently acclaimed plays produced by Women's Project include this season's How the World Began and Milk Like Sugar and, from season's past, Freshwater, Aliens with Extraordinary Skills, crooked, Sand, Or, Smudge, Lascivious Something and Apple Cove.

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