TNC's 'New City, New Blood' Series Premiere's SOLDIER BOYS, 11/9

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TNC's 'New City, New Blood' Series Premiere's SOLDIER BOYS, 11/9

NEW CITY, NEW BLOOD READINGS SERIES next reading will be "Soldier Boys" by Lazarre Seymour Simckes on Monday, November 9, at 7pm followed by a wine and cheese reception with the Simckes.

"Soldier Boys," an epic farce by L. S. Simckes, takes us back to the bureaucracy of Czarist Russia and Nicholas I's edict of 1827 drafting Jews into the Russian army for the first time, including children. When a 5-year-old Jewish boy, Itsik, gets recruited into the army, his widowed mother storms the St. Petersburg palace to demand the return of her son. The Czar, smitten by her beauty, sets out on a journey throughout Siberia in search of Itsik. In the Czar's absence, his squabbling ministers devise a law prohibiting the use of Yiddish expressions, save for those already in existence.

Lazarre Seymour Simckes--playwright, novelist, psychotherapist, and translator from the Hebrew--has taught at Harvard, Yale, Williams, Vassar, Brandeis and Tufts, as well as at Bar-Ilan and Haifa University in Israel . A graduate of Harvard College (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa), Stanford University (Wallace Stegner Writing Fellow, M.A.), and Harvard University (Ph.D.), Simckes has also conducted live, interactive writing workshops via satellite linking middle school and high school students across the country, including the Virgin Islands. During his Fulbright year at Haifa University , he conducted a similar workshop linking Israeli Arab and Jewish high school students with their counterparts in America ("Celebrating Differences").

His first play, "Seven Days of Mourning" (adapted from his novel published by Random House), was staged at Circle in the Square. Clive Barnes called it "spiky, yet intensely moving. A 'Fiddler on the Roof' without music, but with blood. Unique, wild, funny. It still haunts me." Other plays include "Ten Best Martyrs of the Year," a TNC production directed by Crystal Field and reviewed by Michael Smith in the Village Voice as "timeless, mythic, enlivened by all kinds of stylistic intrusions and an almost hysterical inventiveness," and Nossig's Antics," another TNC production directed by Crystal Field, which the critic Richard McBee called "a riveting puzzle." His play "Minutes," a burlesque encounter between Sigmund Freud and Gustav Mahler, had a semi-staged reading at Yale's Whitney Humanities Center last November. Simckes play "Open Rehearsal" was picked by Edward Albee as first runner-up in the inaugural 2006-2007 Yale Drama Series Competition.

He has received numerous awards: Littauer Foundation Playwriting Grant, Ingram Merill Foundation Grant, National Jewish Book Award (for a translation from the Hebrew), and two awards from the National Endowment for the Arts. As a practicing psychotherapist, Simckes has worked with multi-problem families and incarcerated sex-offenders. This performance reading is directed by Lazarre Seymour Simckes.

To RSVP for this event, e-mail literary@theaterforthenewcity.net and prepare a contribution of $5.

For 35 years, Pulitzer Prize winning Theater for the New City has nurtured hundreds of playwrights through its EMERGING PLAYWRIGHTS PROGRAM. In June, 2006, they launched New City, New Blood, a play reading series designed to serve audiences and writers even better. Curated by Michael Scott-Price, TNC Literary Manager, New City, New Blood provides a hearing for worthy plays in earlier stages of Development. Audiences get the opportunity to provide feedback, and artists gain valuable insight from audience response.

For additional details about upcoming readings and events at Theater for the New City, visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net.

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