Category 7 to Present STAND-UP TRAGEDY at Nativity Church, 4/12-5/4
Category 7 in association with La Salle Academy and Nativity Mission announces the cast and creative team for Stand-Up Tragedy, Bill Cain's searing 1991 play about a Lower East Side middle school, where an idealistic young teacher sets out to save one of his students from an abusive family and the streets. Directed by Nicholas Minas, performances begin at Nativity Church (44 2nd Avenue - between 2nd & 3rd Streets) on Saturday, April 12, 2013 and will continue through May 4.
Stand-Up Tragedy chronicles a year in the life of the fictional "Trinity Mission School," a middle school on New York City's Lower East Side modeled on the real-life Nativity Mission School, where playwright Bill Cain taught in the late 1980s. Jammed with rambunctious kids and jaded teachers, the school welcomes Griffin, an idealistic recent college grad who is ready to shake things up and change the world. When a student of his, Lee, shows a talent for creating comic book art - as well as signs of abuse - Griffin takes the boy in. The play takes us into Lee's mind as he creates a world of comic book heroes and villains to fight his battles. Set to a hip-hop soundscape, Stand-Up Tragedy is a funny, moving portrait of children lost in America, and one school's quest to find them. Twenty-five years later, this staging returns to the community that inspired Cain's original work to ask: What has changed? What hasn't changed? What can't be changed?
The cast features Carlos Ibarra, Tom Littman, John Mazurek, Charles Baran, Goran Ivanovski and Sean Carvajal, as well as LaSalle Academy students Jonathan Santiago, Tyler Rodriguez, Virgilio Ruiz and Avery Miller.
The creative team is comprised of Elyse Handelman (sets), Sylvia Greiser (costumes), Austin Smith (lights), Mark Kleback (sound), Ephrat "Bounce" Asherie (choreography), Steve Bryant (original music), Nick Demeris (assistant director) and Rick Veich (illustration & poster art) with LaSalle Academy students Michael Muyalde (press apprentice), Wilfredo Cueto (sound apprentice) and Manny Skerret (illustrations apprentice). Alaina Sciascia is Production Stage Manager.
Stand-Up Tragedy will play the following performance schedule: Saturday, April 13th at 8:00p.m., Monday, April 15th at 8:00p.m., Tuesday, April 16th at 8:00 p.m. and then Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. and Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. through May 4th. Tickets are $18 and are available by visiting www.categoryseven.org.
Bill Cain (Playwright) taught language arts and reading for four years at Nativity School, on New York's Lower East Side. Prior to that, he was the founder and Artistic Director of Boston Shakespeare which he ran for seven years, directing most of Shakespeare's canon. He is the author of How To Write a New Book for The Bible, which premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre. It will be seen this season at South Coast Rep and Round House Theatre. His play 9 Circles was awarded the Sky/Cooper Prize by Marin Theatre Company where it received its world premiere production. It has gone to production around the country including theaters in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, and upcoming in DC. His play Equivocation received its world premiere production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and its New York premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club, as well as being produced at the Geffen Playhouse (Ovation Award for Best Play), Seattle Rep, Marin Theatre and Arena Stage. Equivocation and 9 Circles received the 2009 and 2010 Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association Award, making Bill the first playwright ever to win the award two years in a row. He has spent five summers at the Ojai Playwrights Conference developing his plays. His first play, Stand-Up Tragedy, was produced at the Mark Taper Forum (where it earned six LA Critics Awards, including Best Production and Distinguished Writing), Arena Stage, Hartford Stage and ultimately Broadway, a production that earned him the Joe A. Callaway Award. For television he created the ABC series "Nothing Sacred" and wrote the films Thicker Than Blood, Clover, Sounder and Nightjohn. He is a Jesuit priest.
Nicholas Minas (Director) is a theatre director based in NYC. He worked as the artistic director of Blindfaith Theatre, a Chicago-based performance company, for ten years, where he directed such shows as Stand-Up Tragedy (Jeff Nomination), Woody Guthrie's American Song (Jeff Nomination including Best Director and Best Musical Production), Toys in the Attic (Jeff Recommended) and Gorey Stories (critic's pick in Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, Time Out and Reader). His production of The Taming of the Shew for Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre was named one of the top 5 productions of a Shakespeare play in Chicago in 2009 by New City. While in Chicago, Nicolas worked as a teaching artist where he taught in schools all over the city for such companies as Congo Square Theatre, American Theater Company, Pegasus Players, Voice of the City and Li'l Buds Theater. He was often contracted by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs to teach for After School Matters, municipal education program. He also worked as the Arts and Education Director for The Duncan YMCA Chernin Center for the Arts, an arts-based YMCA that provided arts programming to underserved children and teenagers on the South Side of Chicago. In New York he has had the opportunity to work as the Assistant Director on the Broadway production of Driving Miss Daisy (David Esbjornson, director), the off-Broadway premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Orlando (Rebecca Taichman, director) and Theatre Mitu's wildly inventive production of Medea (Ruben Polendo, director). He recently completed an SDC Observership with Lonny Price on Company at the NY Philharmonic. His most recent project was an experimental production of My Fall by Nathan Cann, which was independently produced at TheaterLab NYC. He is in the process of workshopping several new scripts including Nathan Cann's full-length, The Dark Ages of Marilyn Grant. He is an alum of the Advanced Directing program at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center (Waterford, CT), The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (PCPA), and of The Chicago Conservatory of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Member, 2011 Lincoln Center Directors Lab and 2011 Directors Lab West. He is a proud associate member of SDC, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
Charles Baran (Burke Kendall) Recent: The Doctor in the Shakespeare OP Company's production of Macbeth at ATA, Larry Foreman in The Cradle Will Rock at Theatre 80 St. Marks, Tom Lincoln in Honestly Abe at the Actors Temple, The Kingdom at Mabou Mines, Harold Rome's Pins and Needles at both LaMama and Theatre 80 St. Marks with Downtown Music Productions and the Howl Festival, Clyde Tolson in The File on J. Edgar Hoover at Manhattan Rep, Emmett Watson in Juan and Emmett, and Mr. Young in Walkabout Yeolha at Columbia Stages. Studied with Austin Pendleton and Donna McKechnie at HB Studio.
Sean Carvajal (Henry) was born and raised in Washington Heights and has performed at such prominent N.Y.C venues as NYC Hip Hop Theater Festival, Rebel Verses at Center Stage New York, the Nuyorican Poets Café, Pregones Theatre, The Brooklyn Starr, and the Downtown Urban Theater Festival. Sean has recently starred in the winner of the 2011 HBO/New York International Film Festival Short Film Script Competition, CRUSH, which has just finished its year long run on HBO, and is currently touring film festivals across the world. He is a proud son, brother, and friend of an array of beautiful, talented people. 'Thank YOU!'
Carlos Ibarra (Lee) Recent NY credits include: Obskene (HERE Arts Center), Sh*thole (HERE Arts Center), Another Horatio Alger Story (9th Space/Metropolitan Playhouse), Convicencia (Playwrights Theater of NJ). Film/TV: "Today's Special," "The Deli," "Family Dinner," MAMA (short) and multiple national commercials. He is also the writer of the award winning short, "Botes al Amanecer." He is currently in pre-production for his feature film.
Goran Ivanovski (Mitchell) Having graduated from Muhlenberg College with a concentration in acting in 2006, Goran pursued acting in its various forms in NYC. At the onset he did a season with the Flea Theater as a member of the resident company 'the bats', participated in a production with The Living Theater and a production at the EST (Ensemble Studio Theater). He later joined the Michael Chekhov Theater Co. with whom he put up 7 productions, including Sam Shepard, Martin McDonaugh, John Patrick Shanley and original work. He's been for 3 years with Suzanne Shepard who has been instructing him in the Meisner technique. His latest work has been with the Live-in Theater which presents interactive theater pieces set in the past.
Tom Littman (Griffin) Recent New York credits include Orlando in As You Like It, and John in Mergers and Acquisitions. Regional Credits include, Lysander in A Midsummer Nights Dream, Actor 1 in Around the World in 80 Days, Malcolm in Macbeth, and Ferdinand in The Tempest. He has worked with aMios in their monthly Shotz show. Tom is also the founder of Tale Told Productions in NYC which produces the summer series known as Seven Day Shakespeare.
John Mazurek (Larkin) is a veteran actor of both stage and screen who has hit the boards professionally both in NYC and 48 of the 50 United States. Some of his favorite roles include: Lenny in Of Mice and Men at Kentucky Repertory Theater at Horse Cave, Barrymore in I Hate Hamlet at The Old Creamery, and he is proud to have spent 3 years touring the country with Poetry Alive!, spreading the gospel of classic literature and reading through poetry and theater. Off- Broadway: Barnadine, King John, Pearl Theater; Dave, You Can't Take it With You, TACT. Other Theater: Dr. Buchanan, Summer and Smoke, Boomerang Theater Co, Lucentio, Taming of the Shrew, Bottoms Dream Arts. Film/ TV: "You're Whole" with Michael Ian Black Adult Swim, Law and Order, Franz Kafka Airport Onion News Network, All my Children, One Life to Live, As the World Turns, The Guiding Light, The Camera's Eye, and more commercials than he can possibly remember. A proud member of AEA.
David G. Schultz (Artistic Director, Category 7) Before and after graduation from the University of Chicago in 2001, David worked as a professional actor, appearing Steppenwolf's Haymarket 8, the Viaduct's production of E.E. Cummings' Him (in the title role), and over 20 other productions in the Chicago area. In 2006, moved by a lack of cogent critical writing about the Chicago theater scene, he began a blog, performing a critical survey of a year in Chicago theater. He subsequently moved to New York to attend Columbia University's MFA Dramaturgy program, from which he graduated in 2010. In his time as a dramaturg in New York he has produced, directed, and dramaturged over 15 productions and/or texts. His most recent two projects have been The Art of Being Human, a dance-theater piece created by Turkish director Onur Karaoglu, and One Arm, an adaptation of Tennessee Williams' short story and screenplay of the same name, produced by Tectonic Theatre Project (directed by Moises Kaufman). David's work on One Arm spanned nearly 18 months, consisting of voluminous research in Williams' archives. David recently completed a theater education project in Varanasi, India with InterNational Theatre Literacy Project, in January 2012.
Category 7 (Producer): New Audiences, One Community at a Time. The work of Category 7 is to build live performance around a community's relationship with a space. We make high-quality performance that develops new audiences for our work and for performance in general. Our work emphasizes the actor and cultivates the living presence of the actor and the audience, together, without interruption. We are particularly motivated to make work that creates relationships, which are tied to performance, where none existed before: to launch new artist and develop new work and new audiences-and to do so by presenting work in untraditional spaces. We want our work to make it joyful to see the world in new ways.