The Flea Stages 5-hour Epic THESE SEVEN SICKNESSES
The Flea Theater is set to present the New York Premiere of THESE SEVEN SICKNESSES, a 5-hour marathon of all seven of Sophocles' plays re-envisioned by playwright Sean Graney, directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, and starring The Bats. Standout Tribeca dining destination Macao Trading Co. will provide a complimentary Asian fusion feast at all performances. Previews begin January 19 for this special limited engagement, with opening night slated for Sunday, January 29.
In THESE SEVEN SICKNESSES, Sophocles' seven surviving plays-Oedipus, In Trachis, Philoktetes, In Colonus, Ajax, Elektra & Antigone-combine to create a stunning portrait of the human condition, where the intermingling of chance & fate yields disquieting results. A witty & relevant interpretation of the classics, THESE SEVEN SICKNESSES is an epic examination of the past & a window on the present.
"When I read THESE SEVEN SICKNESSES, I knew it was a perfect fit for The Bats; just the right amount of hubris and more than enough drama to fill our tiny stage." says Artistic Director Jim Simpson. "It is sweeping, reverent, irreverent, modern, ancient, familiar and yet brand spanking new. Don't miss what will be a highlight of our season."
Graney became interested in The Common themes inherent in the Sophocles cannon after adapting Ajax in 2001 for his Chicago-based company, The Hypocrites. Following workshops with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's BLACK SWAN Lab and a developmental lab with Exit, Pursued by a Bear in New York City (dir. Ed Sylvanus Iskandar), Graney decided the plays could and should be performed as a marathon event. THESE SEVEN SICKNESSES finally premiered to critical acclaim this past September in Chicago.
The Flea is partnering with neighborhood favorite, Macao Trading Co., to provide dinner for the show each night. The main entrée will be vegan and gluten-free, and will be included in the cost of the ticket. The Acting Company will serve audience members at this unique event.
Tackling this epic work is an extraordinary cast of 38, all members of The Flea's lauded resident acting ensemble The Bats: Tiffany Abercrombie, Matt Barbot, Yoni Ben-Yehuda, Satomi Blair, Dave Brown, Allison Buck, Charlotte Bydwell, Holly Chou, Jenelle Chu, Ugo Chukwu, Alexander Cook, Tommy Crawford, Eloise Eonnet, Bobby Foley, Katherine Folk-Sullivan, Glenna Grant, Cleo Gray, Alex Grubbs, Grant Harrison, Victoria Haynes, Cameran Hebb, Alex Herrald, Miles Jacoby, Betsy Lippitt, Sean McIntyre, Kate Michaud, Seth Moore, Erik Olson, Victor Joel Ortiz, Jeff Ronan, Marie Claire Roussel, Olivia Stoker, Stephen Stout, Liz Tancredi, Will Turner, Tony Vo, Nate Washburn, and Akyiaa Wilson.
The design team includes Julia Noulin-Merat (set), Carl Wiemann (lighting), Loren Shaw (costumes), Patrick Metzger (sound), Michael Wieser (fight director), David Dabbon (music director), Greg VanHorn (dramaturg), and Edward Herman & Kara Kaufman (stage managers).
Sean Graney is the Founding Director of The Hypocrites, a Chicago theater company. As a playwright, Sean has received productions of his play The 4th Graders Present an Unnamed Suicide at 59E59; Autophagy at the Drama League Director's Fest in 2007; Porno at the sideproject in Chicago; as well as several adaptations and short plays. As a director, Sean has worked at Steppenwolf, The Goodman, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis and Milwaukee Rep. He was a participant in the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors from 2004/6. He has won two Joseph Jefferson Citations for Outstanding Direction for Equus and Machinal. He currently teaches at University of Chicago and Lake Forest College. Please check out his cleverly named website, seangraney.com, to find out what the future holds.
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar is Founding Artistic Director of Exit, Pursued by a Bear where he directed Amy Freed's Restoration Comedy, Sean Graney's These Seven Sicknesses, Jason Williamson's Lesser Mercies, King Lear and Dido, Queen of Carthage (both starring Billy Porter) and Arok of Java. Ed has staged over eighty plays in the U.S. and U.K., including Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond's Homemade Fusion starring Patina Miller (Zipper Factory); Goat Song for Asa Jacob (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Red Umbrella (Drama League); Translations and Don Juan (Stanford Summer Theater); and Brand, After Miss Julie and Don Carlos (Carnegie Mellon). Ed has taught at Stanford and Carnegie Mellon. He is a current Emerging Artist Fellow with the New York Theatre Workshop, a Drama League Directing Fellow, a two-time Resident Directing Fellow at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and the recipient of the Robert M. Golden Medal for distinguished achievement in the creative arts.
The Bats are the resident Acting Company members of The Flea Theater. Each year over a thousand actors audition for a place in this unique company. The Bats perform in extended runs of challenging classic and new plays. The Bats have recently appeared in World Premieres by A.R. Gurney, Will Eno, Adam Rapp, Beau Willimon, Mac Wellman, Elizabeth Swados, Thomas Bradshaw, Itmar Moses, Sheila Callaghan, Julian Sheppard, Ken Urban, Tommy Smith, Jonathan Reynolds, Trista Baldwin and Laurel Haines.
From the owners of Employees Only, Tribeca's Macao Trading Co. restaurant and bar was inspired by the East Asian European Trading Outpost of the same name. The exotic peninsula of Macao is most renowned for its striking integration of Asian and Portuguese flavors, culture and raucous nightlife. Dubbed "Macanese", the flavors in the food and drink, as well as the atmosphere at Macao Trading Co., reflect the extraordinary dynamic of this East Asian escape. The confluence of exceptional food and drink, along with Macao's sultry and "secret" ambience make for a truly unique dining and nightlife destination.
The Flea Theater, under Artistic Director Jim Simpson and Producing Director Carol Ostrow, is one of New York's leading off-off-Broadway companies. Winner of a Special Drama Desk Award for outstanding achievement, Obie and Otto awards, The Flea has presented nearly 100 plays and numerous dance and live music performances since its inception in 1996. Past productions include the premieres of Anne Nelson's THE GUYS; six plays by A.R. Gurney (POST MORTEN, O JERUSALEM, SCREENPLAY, MRS. FARNSWORTH, A LIGHT LUNCH and OFFICE HOURS); and plays by Mac Wellman, Roger Rosenblatt, Elizabeth Swados, Karen Finley, Adam Rapp, Will Eno, Thomas Bradshaw, Jonathan Reynolds, Bathsheba Doran, Steven Banks, Trista Baldwin, Laurel Haines, Sheila Callaghan, Qui Nguyen, and too many more to mention.
THESE SEVEN SICKNESSES runs January 19 – February 12, Wednesday - Saturday at 6:30pm, and Sunday at 4:30pm. The Flea is located at 41 White Street between Church and Broadway, three blocks south of Canal, close to the A/C/E, N/R/Q, 6, J/M/Z and 1 subway lines. Tickets (including dinner) are $40 and are available by calling 212-352-3101 or online at www.theflea.org.