Rising Phoenix Rep to Stage EXTRAORDINARY THINGS, 1/13-26
After the critical success of its most recent Lucille Lortel Award winning Off-Broadway production of Martin Moran's All the Rage (produced with piece by piece productions), acclaimed company Rising Phoenix Repertory returns to its longtime downtown home with the world premiere of RPR Artistic Director Daniel Talbott's new play Extraordinary Things.
The play will be staged for eight performances only at Seventh Street Small Stage, where the company has produced new plays site-specifically for eight years, and where is also has presented more than 25 fully produced new plays in its lauded Cino Nights series. The production will run from January 13 - 26, 2014, and features Chris Bellant and RPR company members Denis Butkus and Jelena Stupljanin.
Talbott's play was commissioned and written specifically for the moody and extremely intimate close quarters in the basement space of downtown restaurant Jimmy's No. 43. In the play, a photographer brings her subject to a cold basement, and later meets her ex-lover in an old grungy bar hangout. They all circle each other, looking for weaknesses and testing strengths, as they try to navigate a desperate city landscape not far in the future in which the lines of life and death, success and failure, are drawn in stark and unforgiving terms.
Extraordinary Things runs for eight performances only, from January 13 - 16, 2014, at the Seventh Street Small Stage, 43 East 7th Street (6 to Astor Place, R/W to 8th Street, F train to 2nd Ave). The late night performances will be at 11 p.m. on January 13, 15, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, with an additional performance on January 21 at 9 p.m. Running time approximately 50 minutes. Tickets: $10, cash only at the door. For reservations, call 212.946.5198; for more information, visit www.risingphoenixrep.org.
Daniel Talbott (Playwright/Director) is an actor, director, playwright, producer, literary manager of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and is the artistic director of the Lucille Lortel and NYIT Award-winning Rising Phoenix Rep. Recent directing work includes Scarcity (Rattlestick), Mike and Seth (Encore), Slipping (Rattlestick), AZAK (Rattlestick/Encore), Lake Water (Neighborhood Productions), Eightythree Down (Hard Sparks), Much Ado About Nothing (Boomerang), Squealer (Lesser America), and The Umbrella Plays (the teacup company/FringeNYC - Overall Excellence Award: Outstanding Play). His plays include Slipping (The Side Project, Rattlestick), Yosemite (Rattlestick), AZAK (Encore/Rattlestick), What Happened When (RPR/HERE), Someone Brought Me (Quince Productions), and Mike and Seth (Quince, Encore, upcoming at The Side Project). He is a graduate of Juilliard and of Solano College Theatre's ATP, and teaches at Primary Stages/ESPA, and is a company member of Lesser America.
Chris Bellant (BOY) will be seen next in the Warner Bros. thriller Into the Storm, as well as Those Who Kill, a new series on A&E. He plays the lead in The Backseat, co-starring Andre De Shields, premiering next month at Anthology. He recently wrapped production on Fairfield (with Juliet Landau) and Living with the Dead (with Selenis Leyva and Robert Clohessy). In 2014, he will star in Loserville, written by Sonny Lee (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and directed by Chris Modoono (Drinking Buddies). On stage, he has been seen Off-Broadway in Unhealthy. Other theater credits include Annie Baker's The Aliens, Killing John Grisham, and David Lindsey-Abaire's Snow Angel.
Denis Butkus (MAN) has been an Artistic Associate of Rising Phoenix Repertory since 2003; one of the Literary Managers at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater since 2008; a faculty member at the Einhorn School of Performing Arts at Primary Stages since 2010 and an Adjunct Artist with Theater Mitu since 2012. With Rising Phoenix Repertory he has produced, developed, and/or appeared in: Summer Lovin', Ponies, The Sibling Plays, Gift, The Telling Trilogy, Three Sisters, Rules of the Universe, Fall Forward, What Happened When, 365 Days/Plays Week 47, Don't Pet the Zookeeper, Too Much Memory, Nobody, Birthday, Slipping, Afterclap, Ceremony, The Cino Nights Series and Elective Affinities. As a Literary Manager of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater he's been fortunate to collaborate with many of the brightest emerging playwrights working today as well as help establish Rattlestick's annual theaterjam and F*CK!NG GOOD PLAYS! festivals. As an actor he has appeared on Broadway in The Caine Mutiny Court Martial and in The Coast of Utopia at Lincoln Center Theater. Off-Broadway he has appeared with Theatre for a New Audience in Othello, Measure for Measure, Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew, and Much Ado About Nothing; The Mint Theater Company in The Skin Game and Walking Down Broadway; Red Bull in The Revenger's Tragedy; The Summer Play Festival in Unfold Me; Rattlestick in St. Crispin's Day and Massacre (sing to your children) and with Keen Company in Three-Cornered Moon. Internationally, he appeared in the Austrian premiere of Old Wicked Songs at the English Theatre of Vienna and with Theater Mitu in A Dream Play in Abu Dhabi, UAE and Juárez: A Documentary Mythology in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Film: Gods Behaving Badly, Frank the Bastard and The Cuddle Workshop. He holds a BFA from The Juilliard School of Drama and is currently an MA Candidate at NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study where he was awarded the Newington-Cropsey Fellowship for 2013-2014 with a concentration on the work of William Shakespeare.
Jelena Stupljanin (WOMAN) was born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, and is now based in NYC. She's a member of NY Innovative Theater award-winning theater company Rising Phoenix Rep. Jelena's also a permanent member of one of the leading Serbian theater companies: Atelje 212. With Atelje 212, as well as many other Belgrade theater companies (Yugoslav Drama theater, National Theater of Serbia, etc.), she has performed in more than 30 mainstream productions and toured on stages of many European theaters. She became a household name in Serbia, recognized for her lead role in the TV series "Foxes" as well as her film work that includes a lead role, Azra, in Cirkus Columbia (2010), directed by the Oscar winner Danis Tanovic (No Man's Land, 2002). The film was a Bosnian contender for Oscar nominations in 2011 and it was in the selection for the European Film Awards. She's currently producing Remember Me Berlin, a narrative omnibus feature film due to open in 2014. www.jelenastupljanin.com
2007 Caffe Cino Fellowship and New York Innovative Theatre Award winning Rising Phoenix Repertory was founded in 1999 by Artistic Director Daniel Talbott, and produces both in the Indie Theatre and Off-Broadway, in traditional spaces and site-specifically around New York City. Recent productions include the Lucille Lortel Award winning Off-Broadway run of All the Rage (co-produced with piece by piece productions and The Barrow Group), and the acclaimed productions of Elective Affinities (co-produced site-specifically with piece by piece and Soho Rep), Slipping (produced with piece by piece and Rattlestick), and Too Much Memory (also with piece by piece), which transferred to the New York Theatre Workshop's Fourth Street Theatre after winning the FringeNYC award for Outstanding Play in 2008. RPR produces an ongoing series called Cino Nights, inspired by Joe Cino and his Caffe Cino-one of the original birthplaces of Off-Off-Broadway theatre-for which the company commissioned over twenty playwrights to write new, full-length plays which are fully produced site-specifically in the intimate back room of East Village restaurant Jimmy's No. 43 on a shoestring budget. The first volume of plays from the series, Cino Nights: Plays from Rising Phoenix Rep, was published by The New York Theatre Experience and is available online at Indie Theater Now. Other recent productions include Ceremony, Afterclap, Birthday, and Don't Pet the Zookeeper (Seventh Street Small Stage); 365 Days/365 Plays (Jimmy's No. 43 and The Public Theater); What Happened When (HERE Arts Center); Fall Forward (part of the Sitelines/River to River festival produced by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council); The Telling Trilogy (including The Ride, 2006 NYIT Award Nominee - Outstanding Original Short Script/Crystal Skillman), Rules of the Universe (Winner, 2007 NYIT Awards for Outstanding Original Short Script/Daniel Reitz and Director/Daniel Talbott), and Three Sisters (Seventh Street Small Stage); Gift by Mark Schultz and Ponies by Mike Batistick (FringeNYC). Rising Phoenix Rep serves as a home base for a company of theatre professionals that encourages an open exchange of work and ideas within the greater theatre community. The company is a proud member of A.R.T./New York, League of Independent Theaters/NY, and The Dish. www.RisingPhoenixRep.org.