Theatre 167 Awarded LGBT Grant from Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation for PIRIRA

Theatre 167 Awarded LGBT Grant from Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation for PIRIRA

Theatre 167 has been awarded a grant from The Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation to support their current production of PIRIRA. Founded in 1994 by the late playwright/filmmaker Arch Brown in memory of his life partner of 28 years, Bruce Allen Brown, the Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation honors outstanding plays and fiction dealing with LGBT history or placing lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender characters in historical settings.

Theatre 167's production of J.Stephen Brantley's critically-acclaimed play PIRIRA, directed by Ari Laura Kreith (The Jackson Heights Trilogy), had a 4-week off-off Broadway run and then extended for two weeks off-Broadway. Performances at the West End Theatre, 263 W. 86th St., in the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, continue through Sunday, November 24. Press are invited to all performances.

"Pirira is marvelously constructed, with themes and emotions and pieces of dialogue from the two stories intertwining as they play out at the same time, only fully revealing their connections at the end. The play tackles prejudice, Culture Clashes and misguided good intentions while providing plenty of genuine humor throughout...Pirira makes a strong case for the most innovative and moving new shows coming from beyond the established haunts of Off-Broadway." -John Peacock, Flavorpill

As the tiny African nation of Malawi erupts in riots around them, American aid workers Jack and Ericka take shelter in the storage room of a struggling NGO in Lilongwe. At the same time half a world away, Malawian student Gilbert and his gay co-worker Chad begin another day in the back room of a Manhattan florist.

While these two seemingly separate stories take place 7,000 miles apart, all four of the play's actors share the same intimate physical space. The play is inspired by actual events that took place on July 20, 2011. Theatre 167's production explores how our lives are inextricably linked across cultures, continents, language, and time.

The production stars Adrian Baidoo, J.Stephen Brantley, Todd Flaherty (Fresh Kills, 59E59) and Flor de Liz Perez (In the Time of the Butterflies, Repertorio Español).

The production features scenic design by Brendan Flaherty with costume design by Samantha Newby and lighting design by Josh Benghiat. Janie Bullard is the sound designer, Sydney Lant is the production stage manager. Publicity by Katie Rosin/Kampfire PR, community outreach and public relations by Middleton & Gendron Brand Communications.

PIRIRA plays the following regular schedule through Sunday, November 24: Thursdays, Fridays at 8p.m.; Saturdays at 3p.m. & 8p.m.; Sundays at 3p.m & 7p.m. Tickets are $30, with $50 premium tickets and discounted student/senior/group rate/theatre artist tickets available online at www.theatre167.org. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the theater ½ hour prior to performance. PIRIRA Running Time: 70 minutes. The West End Theater is located at 263 West 86th Street, between Broadway and West End Avenue, New York, NY.

THE ARCH AND BRUCE BROWN FOUNDATION holds yearly literary competitions for works that concern LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) life that are based on, or inspired by, a historical person, culture, event or work of art. The Foundation also offers grants to production companies to offset expenses in producing LGBT-themed theatrical and other performing-arts works based on history. The Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation registered in New York State, was founded in 1994 by the late playwright/filmmaker Arch Brown in memory of his life-partner of 28 years, Bruce Allen Brown.

J.Stephen Brantley* (Playwright / Jack) is an actor and playwright whose work has been commissioned by Performance Space 122, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and East Hampton's Guild Hall. His plays Blood Grass, Break, Furbelow, The Jamb, Nevertheless, Shiny Pair Of Complications, and Struck have been performed across the U.S. and in Canada and Ireland. His Eightythree Down, winner of the Georgia Theatre Conference Award, was nominated for six 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Awards and is published by Indie Theatre Now as part of their Best Of 2011 Collection. Brantley has performed with Big Dance Theatre, CapsLock, Cucaracha, The Directors' Company, Horse Trade, Jewish Plays Project, Neo-Political Cowgirls, and Theatre 167, and at venues including 59E59, HERE, Queens Theatre, Metropolitan Playhouse, Performance Space 122, Soho Rep, East Hampton's Guild Hall, and Provincetown Theatre. He received the Micheál Mac Liammóir Award for Best Actor at the 2013 Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival and a 2013 NYIT award nomination for his role in That's Her Way. J.Stephen is a graduate of NYU's Experimental Theatre Wing, a company member of Theatre 167, and Artistic Director of Hard Sparks. An excerpt of his work for Theatre 167's Jackson Heights 3am was published in the Lincoln Center Theater Review.

ARI LAURA KREITH (Director) conceived and directed The Jackson Heights Trilogy: 167 Tongues, You Are Now The Owner Of This Suitcase, and Jackson Heights 3AM, featuring 93 characters speaking 11 languages, written by 18 playwrights, performed at 4 venues in Queens and Manhattan. The Jackson Heights Trilogy will be published by Indie Theatre Now and featured in the Queens Museum International in 2014. Ari's recent premiere of Alex Kip's My Other Voice in Ann Arbor was named "Best of the Best" by Detroit Free Press and is slated for production in New York this spring. NYC credits: How We Are Connected (Brooklyn Museum/El Museo Del Barrio), Double Vision (NYC Fringe/Fringe "Encores" Selection), Memory Play (Women's Project Directors Forum, starring Eli Wallach), Trip (Provincetown Playhouse; Jig Cook Award Winner), The Golden Aurora (NYC Fringe), 2Gether (Six Figures; a multi-writer drama inspired by a note found on the subway). Musical theatre: Myths and Hymns (European premiere) and Dreamhouse, which she also co-created. Ari is a Yale graduate, a member of Lincoln Center Directors' Lab and SDC, and Artistic Director of Theatre 167.

ADRIAN BAIDOO (Gilbert) was born in the U.K. and raised in Ghana, London, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh. He just graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA in musical theatre and, like his character, is a newcomer to New York. Regional credits include: St. Louis MUNY, Music Theatre of Wichita, and West Virginia Public Theatre.

TODD FLAHERTY (Chad) Off-Broadway: Fresh Kills (59E59). New York: Sleep No More (Punchdrunk/Emursive), We Are Nebeneinander (American Laboratory), Lord of the Flies (Teatro la Tea). Regional: Slap and Tickle (Provincetown Theatre, Dir. David Drake). Film/TV: The Fuzz (Puppet Web Series for Yahoo Screen), upcoming Pretty Girls. Todd is thrilled to be working with J.Stephen again after presenting readings of the playwright's work Godhead and The Jamb. B.F.A. NYU/Tisch: Atlantic.

FLOR DE LIZ PEREZ* (Ericka) NY Theatre: ensemble member/performer with the NY Neo-Futurists in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind; premiere of In the Time of the Butterflies (Repertorio Español); The Jackson Heights Trilogy (Theatre 167); Another Part of the House (Hero Theatre). Regional includes: world premiere of Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England (Two River Theater); In the Continuum, Nicholas Nickleby (PlayMakers Repertory). Film: The House That Jack Built (written by the late Joseph Vasquez and directed by Henry Barrial; now playing at select festivals). TV: The Good Wife; NYC 2-2; Made in Jersey; Gurland on Gurland (pilot). MFA-Acting: UNC Chapel Hill. Volunteer with the 52nd Street Project. Proudly AEA/AFTRA/SAG www.flordelizperez.com

Jenny Lyn Bader (Artistic Producer) co-founded Theatre 167, where she has served as Director of Artistic Development and resident playwright, co-authored all three plays in The Jackson Heights Trilogy, and co-produced the trilogy in rotating repertory. She collaborated with Ari and J.Stephen on How We Are Connected: Caribbean (Museo Del Barrio, Brooklyn Museum) and The Painting Plays (Guild Hall) and with Ari on Memory Play and Out of Mind. She performed her solo play Mona Lisa Speaks in the 2013 One Woman Standing Festival New Works Series (E.A.T). Her play None of the Above, published by Dramatists Play Service, will have its international premiere this month in Montreal. Member, Dramatists Guild, WGAE, Authors Guild; executive board member, League of Professional Theatre Women. For more, see www.jennylynbader.com. Twitter: @JennyLynBader

THEATRE 167 (Ari Laura Kreith, Artistic Director; Jenny Lyn Bader, Artistic Producer) Born in a community where 167 different languages are spoken, Theatre 167 creates, cultivates, and supports new work by artists of wide-ranging backgrounds, traditions, and beliefs. Our process is deeply collaborative, and we are particularly interested in investigating intersections, boundaries and borders-both cultural and artistic-and exploring how the telling of our individual and collective stories inspires us to appreciate a multiplicity of voices. We bring our community together to share innovative, generous and entertaining theatrical events-events that deepen and enhance our understanding of one another and of the role of theater in our civic dialogue.




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