Z Space Presents World Premiere of The Bengsons' HUNDRED DAYS, Now thru 4/6

Z Space Presents World Premiere of The Bengsons' HUNDRED DAYS, Now thru 4/6
The Bengsons. Photo by Mark Leialoha.

Continuing its tradition of presenting innovative and cutting-edge works, Lisa Steindler, Artistic Director of Z Space announces the world premiere of Hundred Days, a folk rock odyssey conceived and composed by The Bengsons.

Produced by Z Space, piece by piece productions and Encore Theatre Company, Hundred Days tells the fierce, triumphant story of a young couple who falls in love, only to have their time together cut short by illness. To fully capture the most of their final 100 days together, the couple decides to live the next three months as though they were six decades as they imagine the life they would share together. Redefining the concert as well as the musical theater experience, this project resonates with the Z Space mission to experiment, re-invent and stretch boundaries. Directed by Obie Award winner, Anne Kauffman, Hundred Days presents a touching journey about love, loss, and life, leaving audiences wondering how they might spend their last hundred days.

Hundred Days runs today, February 20 - April 6, 2014 at Z Space (450 Florida Street, San Francisco). Press night is Saturday, March 1, 2014. Tickets (starting at $10) are on sale now and may be purchased online at zspace.org and by phone at 866.811.4111.

"San Francisco has become a nesting ground for new and original works and Z Space is a "creative lab" at the forefront of development," said Steindler. "When we first experienced The Bengsons work, we knew their vision was a good fit for Z Space and we committed to working with them on this project. Z Space has spent the past three years assembling a world-class team to bring this project to life. The Bengsons' exceptional songwriting and musical nuances create a dynamic and distinctive experience for theater and concert goers alike."

Husband and wife duo, Abigail and Shaun Bengson, are an up-and-coming, "on the verge" folk rock duo from New York City that both defy description and invite metaphor. Called both an "alt folk rock duo" and "vaudeville rockers," The Bengsons' music has been described by Huffington Post as "a hybrid of Dresden Dolls meets Gogol Bordello meets Annie Get Your Gun. It is nothing but sheer pleasure to watch, enjoy and indulge in. The band has to rise to every music journalist's list as a "must see" band soon, because it is unlike anything you have ever seen. It's as fast and furious as a punk show but as creative and clever as an Off-Broadway play. Boundaries for The Bengsons do not exist and their shows are a testament to this."

"Every night we perform, every song we write, every note we choose in our work, we strive to celebrate life and love, to hold the grief and joy of being human in one open hand" is how The Bengsons describe their work. "Hundred Days requires a delicate balance of clarity and fantasy, of movement, song and text. With the help of Z Space, Lisa Steindler, and our incredible team, we believe we are creating something truly wild, deep and new."

The creative team for Hundred Days includes the book by Kate E. Ryan (member of the OBIE-winning playwrights collective 13P and a founding member of the Machiqq Ladies' Auxiliary Playwriting Team); choreography is by Joe Goode, set design by Kris Stone, costume design by Christine Cook, sound design by Drew Yerys and lighting design by MonTy Taylor. The complete cast will be announced at a later date.

The world premiere production of Hundred Days is made possible by Z Space, piece by piece productions, Encore Theatre Company, Dramatist Guild, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Williams College and Zellerbach Family Foundation.

ABOUT Z SPACE: Z Space is a catalyst for innovative new works in multiple artistic disciplines. It nurtures emerging and established artists, providing the resources and community necessary to catapult their work to the highest levels of excellence. Z Space curates an adventurous arts hub, hosting transformative, exciting, and affordable new works the year round. The space is a rigorous environment where artists collaborate to create risky, adventurous, and innovative work. Audiences from everywhere come to revel in premiere Theatre, Dance, Visual Art, Music, and Performance Art, often combined in novel permutations. Z Space encourages the notion that art should make us understand something new about ourselves and about our world.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM:

Creators/Composers/Performers: Married duo The Bengsons blend soaring vocals, frenetic rhythms and rousing all join hands choruses to create new hybrid indie rock/art/theater performances. Their Americana-influenced brand of Indie Rock has received accolades from fans and critics alike. The Bengsons have appeared at such venues as Joe's Pub (NYC), NYU's Skirball Center (NYC), 92YTribeca (NYC), MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA), FlynnSpace (Burlington, VT), Z Space (San Francisco), On The Boards (Seattle), Artists Rep Theater (Portland, OR), Know Theater (Cincinnati, OH), and the Market Theater (Johannesburg, South Africa). There single, ASHES, was featured on national television on So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) and reached #1 on the Amazon Folk Music charts and #24 on the iTunes Rock Music Charts.

Director: Anne Kauffman's most recent credits include Smokefall at the Goodman Theater and South Coast Rep, Somewhere Fun a the Vineyard Theater, Belleville (Lucille Lortel nomination) at New York Theatre Workshop, Steppenwolf and Yale Rep, Detroit at Playwrights Horizons, Slowgirl at LCT3, You Better Sit Down: tales from my parents' divorce at Williamstown Theater Festival and the Flea Theater, Maple and Vine at Playwrights Horizons. Additional credits include Becky Shaw (Barrymore for Best Direction and Best Overall Production) and Body Awareness (Barrymore for Best Direction and Best Overall Production) both at the Wilma Theater, God's Ear by Jenny Schwartz at the Vineyard and New Georges, Stunning by David Adjmi with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and LCT3, This Wide Night at Naked Angels (Lucille Lortel nomination), The Flea and The Professor at Arden Theater Company (Barrymore for Best Overall Production of a Musical), Communist Dracula Pageant at American Repertory Theater, Typographer's Dream by Adam Bock for Encore Theater and Shotgun Players, Have You Seen Steve Steven with 13P, The Ladies by Anne Washburn with The Civilians at Dixon Place and Cherry Lane Theater. Anne won the OBIE Award for The Thugs by Adam Bock at Soho Rep, is a recipient of the Lilly Award, the Alan Schneider Director Award, Joan and Joseph Cullman Award for Exceptional Creativity. She is a Program associate with the Sundance Theater Institute, a Usual Suspect at NY Theatre Workshop, an alumna of the Soho Rep Lab, a current member of Soho Rep's Artistic Council, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, The Drama League, a founding member of The Civilians, and Associate Artist with Clubbed Thumb and New Georges.

Playwright: Kate E. Ryan is a Bay Area-based playwright. Her plays, including Design Your Kitchen, Dot, Him, Mark Smith, Science is Close (sequel to Dot), and an adaptation of Sophocles' Women of Trachis, have been produced or developed by 13P, Clubbed Thumb, Crowded Fire, The Flea Theater, The Ontological, Playwrights Foundation, Soho Rep, The Vineyard, and Target Margin. She is currently writing a third play in her trilogy about Dot and developing two new plays: Gift Shop and Erase Her. She is a Resident Playwright at Playwrights Foundation, a member of the OBIE-winning playwrights collective 13P (Thirteen Playwrights, Inc.), a Clubbed Thumb Affiliated Artist, a '13-'14 member of Just Theater's New Play Lab, and a founding member of the writing collective/team Machiqq. She is former Co-Chair of the Soho Rep Writer-Director Lab and former Co-Curator of the OBIE-winning performance series Little Theatre at Tonic. Her career has received support from sources including California's Creative Capacity Fund. She has an MFA from Mac Wellman's program at Brooklyn College, where she received a MacArthur Graduate Scholarship.

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