World Premiere of Eduardo Machado's WORSHIP Opens This Weekend at TNC
Theater for the New City, the Pulitzer Prize winning community cultural center that produces over thirty premieres of new American plays each year, presents the return of acclaimed playwright Eduardo Machado with the world premiere of his new play Worship, directed by Michael Domitrovich. Opening Night is set for Saturday, March 22nd at 8PM at Theater for the New City (155 First Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets). This limited engagement continues through April 13th.
The cast features Quinlan Corbett, Crystal Field, Lori Fischer, Sharon Ullrick, Heather Velazquez, Mark Elliot Wilson, and Tatyana Yassukovich. The creative team for Worship includes Mark Marcante (scenic design), Alex Bartenieff (lighting design), Michael Bevins (costume design), and Elizabeth Rhodes (sound design).
Worship explores the relationship between teachers and the students who idolize them. Estelle, a legendary writing teacher, is known for her signature style - a mystical approach combined with a brutal honesty and a willingness to do anything in the name of art. Estelle's commitment to her ideals has made her cross all sorts of pedagogical boundaries. She's been personally and even romantically involved with her protégés, yielding extreme results - some vilify her, others canonize her. When Alzheimer's debilitates her later in life, Estelle is visited by the students she has influenced most. Through a series of flashbacks and ritualized devotionals, the nature of the bond between this guru and her disciples is exposed, covering the full spectrum from the sacred to the profane. This piece marks a dramatic departure in Machado's writing style drawing on tropes of Classical Greek Drama, but with an ultimately modern feel.
Eduardo Machado was born in Cuba and came to the United States when he was nine. He grew up in Los Angeles. He is the author of over forty plays, including The Cook, Havana is Waiting, The Modern Ladies Of Guanabacoa, Fabiola, In the Eye of the Hurricane, Broken Eggs, Once Removed, A Burning Beach, and Stevie Wants to Play the Blues. His plays have been produced at Seattle Rep, the Goodman, Hartford Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Mark Taper Forum, Long Wharf Theatre, Hampstead Theatre in London, American Place Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, INTAR, Theater for the New City, and Repertorio Español, among many others. Mr. Machado wrote and directed the film Exiles in New York, which played at the A.F.I Film Festival, South By South West, Santa Barbara Film Festival and Latin American International Film Festival in Havana, Cuba. He has taught playwriting at Columbia University (where from 1997-2007 he was the Head of Playwriting), the Public Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Sarah Lawrence College and the Playwrights Center. From 2004-2010 he was the Artistic Director of the off-Broadway INTAR Theatre in NYC. Mr. Machado is a member of the Actors Studio, Ensemble Studio Theater, and an alumnus of New Dramatists, and has served on the boards of TCG, New Dramatists and Theatre for the New City. Mr. Machado is currently a Professor of Playwriting in the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Tastes Like Cuba: An Exile's Hunger for Home, a food memoir by Eduardo Machado and Michael Domitrovich, was released by Gotham Press in 2007. His latest collection of plays entitled Havana is Waiting and Other Plays was published by TCG in Spring 2011.
Michael Domitrovich's work was last seen at TNC this past spring when he directed the world premiere of Eduardo Machado's Mariquitas. Other TNC credits include directing the world premiere of his play, Lotus Feet, in 2010. Before that, in 2007, his play Artfxxxers had its world premiere at TNC before moving to an Off-Broadway run in 2008. In the summer of 2010, he directed his first bilingual production, in English and French, of two plays in Bonnieux, France. His work as a playwright has been performed at 59E59, EST, Galapagos, the Bowery Poetry Club and La Mama etc. as well as the Avenue Theater in Denver, CO. His short play Dirtfag was published in the 2009 New York Theatre Review an he is co-author of Eduardo Machado's critically acclaimed food memoir Tastes Like Cuba: An Exile's Hunger for Home (Gotham Press). He was a guest speaker at the Chautauqua Institution's Literary and Scientific Circle and a guest columnist in PAPER Magazine's "Beautiful People" issue. Mr. Domitrovich is a professional chef, food poet, psychic, medium, and spiritual healer who holds a BFA in Cinema Studies from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. www.ediblespirit.com
Worship will be presented at Theater for the New City (155 First Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets) through April 13th. Performances are Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8pm, with matinees Sundays at 3pm. Opening night is set for Saturday March 22 at 8 PM.
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg