DEBUTANTE. to Make World Premiere at the Bernie Wohl Center, 4/23-5/10
After a sold out presentation at Ars Nova's ANT Fest last June, DEBUTANTE. returns to New York City for its world premiere production. Written by Ryann Weir, created & directed by Annie Tippe and produced by Robb Nanus (Andrew Lippa's I Am Harvey Milk), the production will be staged at the Bernie Wohl Center (647 Columbus Avenue).
DEBUTANTE. follows the preparations and ultimate debut of a group of restless young heiresses living in decadence during a worldwide financial crisis. Through late night bike rides, TAB soda overdoses and Jazzercise sessions inspired by the soap opera "Dynasty", these poor little rich girls come of age as they come out to the world.
At its heart, it is an unexpectedly loving portrait of a group of young women anxious to find their worth in a world defined by the almighty dollar.
Since its conception in 2012, DEBUTANTE. has been presented at "Guadalupe", a CUNY sponsored evening of new work by female artists; Fresh Ground Pepper; and was one of the fastest selling shows at Ars Nova's 2013 ANT Fest. Ars Nova is one of the most exciting developmental theatre spaces in New York and has helped launch the careers of director Alex Timbers (Rocky on Broadway, Peter & the Star- catcher), composers Andrew Lippa (Big Fish,The Wild Party) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights) as well as dozens of others.
The upcoming production features scenic design by Adam Rigg (The Disappearing Man, Sarah Ruhl's Dear Elizabeth at Yale Rep), costume design by Maria Hooper (Sarah Ruhl's Dear Elizabeth at Yale Rep), lighting design by Joe Cantalupo (The TEAM's RoosElvis), sound design by Jerome Ellis (Under the Radar's Aaron/Marie) and projections by Ivaylo Getov.
DEBUTANTE. performances will take place from Wednesday through Saturday between April 23 and May 10. All performances are at 8pm. Tickets are on sale at http://debutante.brownpapertickets.com.
This production is presented in partnership with the community arts program at Goddard Riverside Community Center and will be housed at its Bernie Wohl Center. Since its founding in 1892, Goddard Riverside has been committed to bringing people together across potential barriers of culture, ethnicity, age, sexuality and personal circumstances. Goddard Riverside's programs are catalysts to advance a vi- sion of a more just and compassionate society. The Bernie Wohl Center was reopened in 2011, with a new initiative to bring high quality arts and entertainment accessible to all members of Goddard Riverside and the citizens of the Upper West Side at large.
Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1912, The TEAM) named Ryann and Annie "amongst the most exciting emerging artists I know. They are smart, hilarious, brutal and clear-sighted."
Additional information can be found at www.debutanteplay.com.
ANNIE TIPPE (director/creator) - Annie is a New York-based director and performer. She was the Associate Direc- tor for the TEAM's production of Mission Drift, which recently toured Australia and Hong Kong (dir. Rachel Chavkin). Directing credits include Aaron/Marie (Under the Radar Incoming Series at the Public; Prelude Festival '13; Ars Nova's ANT Fest), Dinosaur Play (HERE Arts),The Collected Rules of Gifted Camp (The Brick), First Ladies Project (E. 4th Street Theater). Williamstown Theater Directing Intern 2012.
RYANN WEIR (writer) - Ryann Weir is an actor/playwright based in New York. Her work has been performed at Ars Nova, HERE Arts Center, NYU, NYTW's E. 4th St.Theater, The Second City's Donny Skybox, The Pit ,Theater for the New City as part of The Dream Up Festival, The Cookery Festival at Playwrights Horizons Theater School, and Fresh Ground Pepper. Ryann is a member of Smith + Tinker, a collaborative writers' group at HERE Arts Cen- ter. She was also chosen as a playwright for FGP's inaugural writers retreat in 2013. Ryann holds a BFA in Drama from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
ROBB NANUS (producer) - Robb is a New York based producer. He recently co- produced Andrew Lippa's I AM HARVEY MILK with Bruce Cohen (Silver Linings Playbook, Milk) this past June with the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus and will be bringing it to New York in the fall of 2014. Other NY projects: Wild Party Swings: An- drew Lippa meets Charlie Rosen's Broadway Big Band (54 Below), Bus Stop (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater's Middle Voice Theatre Company), Motherline (NY Fringe Festival). Robb has worked in various capacities with the National Alliance for Musical Theater, the TONY Award winning Signature Theatre in DC, The Music Theatre Company in Chicago, Telsey + Co, and Turbovote.
Photo by Bailey Carr