Working Theater's BAMBOO IN BUSHWICK to Explore Gentrification in Brooklyn, Off-Broadway This Spring

Working Theater's BAMBOO IN BUSHWICK to Explore Gentrification in Brooklyn, Off-Broadway This Spring

Working Theater, under the direction of Artistic Producing Director MarkPlesent, has announced that it will present BAMBOO IN BUSHWICK - a new play that explores the varying and complex reactions to gentrification in the suddenly trendy Bushwick section of Brooklyn, as the second fully staged production in the company's FIVE BOROUGHS / ONE CITY project, which is deepening its relationships with communities of working people in their very own neighborhoods.

Written by Ed Cardona, Jr. (La Ruta, the Company's critically acclaimed production about undocumented workers crossing the border, staged in an actual 48' tractor trailer) and directed by Ana Margineanu, previews will begin in Bushwick on April 13th & 14th before moving to Urban Stages in Manhattan on April 18th. The official opening is on April 25th at 7:00PM. Performances will continue through May 13th at venues in Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx.

Join us in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, recently mentioned in Vogue magazine as one of the 15 hippest neighborhoods in the world. Long-term residents called it home long before any magazine called it hip. Developed through conversations with residents of Bushwick, including members of Working Theater venue partner Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council (RBSCC) Cardona's play weaves a traditional and very funny narrative about a loosely knit circle of friends who gather for a weekly dominoes game. Three of these friends are long-term residents of Bushwick and one is relatively new, but they are all experiencing the changes in the neighborhood with varying and complex reactions. This narrative is juxtaposed with a surreal exploration of gentrification inspired by the psychedelic murals that cover many walls of this suddenly trendy neighborhood.

These scenes of an icy tundra populated by polar bears andpenguins, portray a more direct vision of gentrification and the resulting displacement of individuals based on an historical/demographic interpretation of the trend, as opposed to the many and varied personal interpretations portrayed in the naturalistic scenes in the play. The dramaturgical structure makes the play an ideal vehicle to inspire a deep, non-confrontational conversation about the real effects of gentrification and displacement on neighborhoods and communities of color.

BAMBOO IN BUSHWICK was born out of theater workshops, story circles and conversations with members of Working Theater venue partner Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council (RBSCC) and Bushwick Salvation Army Community Center, Make the Road/New York, El Puente, Bushwick, Saint Brigid Parish, as well as conversations Ed and Ana had with residents as they wandered the streets, parks, restaurants and bars of Bushwick.

BAMBOO IN BUSHWICK is the second production to come out of Working Theater's Five Boroughs/One City Initiative. Five Boroughs/One City is a multi-year collaborative community-based theater development and production project in which five pairs of writers and directors are engaged in creating a new piece of theater in each of the five boroughs of New York City. Beginning in 2015, each creative team collaborated with community members as well as a borough-specific venue partner to devise an original play firmly rooted in the cultural and geographic identity of each neighborhood.

Playwright Ed Cardona, Jr. I like to be here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This is a Mango - a multi-disciplinary collaboration (Theater 167/Theater: Village Festival 2014, E Pluribus); Audrey Bound, Sir Quince, Super Moon - a collection of ten-minute plays (FOCUS Festival of the Arts, St. Andrew's College); La Ruta - a site-specific play which toured for a five-week run through the boroughs of New York City (Working Theater); American Jornalero, selected as a MetLife Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition award winner (Intar Theater); Leveret's Lesson (St. Andrew's College, Christmas Plays); Jackson Heights, 3am, a multi-disciplinary collaboration (Theater 167); Mongo, performed at the Local 3, I.B.E.W. Diversity Conference in part with membership diversity workshops (Working Theater); Super Moon - a ten-minute play (FOCUS Festival of the Arts, St. Andrew's College); Bottle Rockets and La Perla (Puerto Rican Traveling Theater); With Love, Gabe (Intar Theatre). Ed has been an artistic associate with the Working Theater, a collaborator with The Brooklyn Generator and Urban Arts Partnership/The New Group, and a resident playwright with St. Andrews College, Hispanic Playwrights-in-Residence Lab at Intar Theatre, The Professional Playwrights Unit at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, The Hall Farm Center for the Arts & Education in Townsend, VT, and is a member of NY Madness. Ed's work has been published by NoPassport Press, Dramatic Publishing and Smith and Kraus Publishing. Ed received his M.F.A. in playwriting from Columbia University where he received the John Golden Award for his thesis play, PICK UP POTS!

Ana Margineanu is a Romanian theatre and television director. Credits include: Long Distance Affair (Edinburgh, New York, Mexico), Inside (Madrid), The Blind Trip (New York City), The Sunshine Play (Dublin /Bucharest), Buy Me With A Coffee (Graz / Bucharest), Bucharest Calling (New York/Bucharest), 89 , 89... Hot After'89 (Bucharest) and Vitamins (Bucharest). Her work has been presented internationally in New York, Edinburgh, Madrid, Mexico, Basel, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Graz, Prague, Saint Petersburg, Stuttgart and Vienna as well as the major cities of Romania. Her most recent show in New York, The WINDOW received seven nominations at the New York Innovative Theatre Awards in 2013. The Sunshine Play received several awards including Best Play in 2006- Relationship Drama at London Fringe Awards, and the Romanian Critics Award in 2007. 89, 89... Hot After '89 received seven awards in 2005 including Best Show at the Romanian Drama Festival and The Jury Award for Innovation at the Contemporary Drama Festival. Garbage won Best Show at Hop Gala Mangalia in 2003. 5 Miraculous Minutes in Piatra Neamt won Best Show Award at the Romanian Comedy Festival in 2010. Ana received Best Contribution In Romanian Theatre Award in 2008 at the VIP Gala. She was also nominated for Best Debut at the Uniter Gala. As a television director, Ana worked for Media Pro Television Studios, directing the series "One Step Ahead". Ana also worked as an associated professor at the National University of Theatre and Film, Bucharest. She has led workshops in Athens, Bucharest, Mexico City, New York and Timisoara. She is a founding member of DramAcum (directors collective that supports young Romanian playwrights) and an alumnus of Lincoln Centers Directors Lab.

The cast of BAMBOO IN BUSHWICK features John Concado, Edna Lee Figueroa, Clinton Lowe (The Block), José Antonio Melián, Arisael Rivera and Michelle Sui.

The Set Desinger is Raul Abrego (La Ruta, The Block), the Costume Designer is Sarita Fellows (The Block), the Lighting Designer is Harry Feiner, the Sound Designer is Lawrence Schober, the Prop Designer is Theresa Pierce and the Video Designer is Aaron Minerbrook.

Performances of BAMBOO IN BUSHWICK begin on Thursday, April 13th in Bushwick, then runs from April 18th - May 2nd at Urban Stages and then go on a tour of the other boroughs. The official opening will be on Tuesday, April 25th at 7PM. For performance dates, locations and times, visit theworkingtheater.org/bambooinbushwick. The production's running time is 95 minutes. Tickets are $25 - $35 and available at theworkingtheater.org/bambooinbushwick or by calling 1-888-718-4253.


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