Seattle Rep to Premiere Edgerton New Play Award-Winner ROZ AND RAY
Seattle Repertory Theatre presents the world premiere of the compelling new drama and recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award Roz and Ray, the story of Ray, a single dad who believes he's found a miracle in Dr. Roz, until tragedy strikes.
Written by Seattle Rep Writers Group alumna and University of Washington Senior Artist in Residence Karen Hartman with direction from the acclaimed Chay Yew (Artistic Director of Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago), Roz and Ray will run October 14-November 13, 2016 (opening night is October 19, 2016) in the Leo K. Theatre. Tickets ($17) are on sale now through the Seattle Rep Box Office at 206.443.2222 and online at seattlerep.org.
Roz and Ray marks Seattle Rep's first Writers Group production made part of the mainstage season. The Seattle Rep Writers Group offers a forum for playwrights residing in the Seattle-area to come together to challenge and motivate each other's artistic processes and ultimately, their work. "The Writers Group has been part of Seattle Rep's New Play Program for just about five seasons now," Braden Abraham Seattle Rep Artistic Director comments." It's exciting to see the community of writers and directors that has formed around the Group, and that this partnership with Karen has led to the opportunity to premiere her beautiful new play here in Seattle before it goes on to a longer life around the country.
"I wrote Roz and Ray for the McKnight Commission and Residency at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis and workshopped it there, but did much of the work in the Seattle Rep Writers Group," playwright Karen Hartman commented. Hartman went on to further develop the play at the famous Hedgebrook Women's Playwright Retreat before the Rep held a public reading of the play, which ultimately led to a producing offer from Seattle Rep. After this Seattle Rep production, the play will continue on at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago in the fall. "The creation of this play and the full-bodied, though unpossessive, support from this theatre and this community might not have been possible anywhere else in America. Roz and Ray onstage at the Rep feels like hitting the jackpot."
Roz and Ray follows the close, turbulent relationship between Roz, a pediatric physician, and Ray, the single father of two hemophiliac boys. "My father Gary Hartman was a doctor at Children's Hospital in San Diego from the early 1970s until the early 1990s. He treated children with hemophilia and with cancer," Hartman discloses. The characters in Roz and Ray find themselves caught in a devastating chapter of medical and queer history rooted in the same era that her father practiced. Hartman draws inspiration from the stories of her family's past and from the information documented throughout this trying time. "Like Roz, my father had the miserable luck to practice a healing art contingent on blood products during the years when HIV entered the blood supply," Hartman comments. Much like Hartman's father may have asked himself, so do both Roz and Ray - can they "do no harm" while saving the children they love?
Seattle Rep company and/or cast members will join the audience to chat about the production's themes and creative process. Post-play discussions will be held after the evening (7:30 p.m.) performances on Sunday, October 16; Saturday, October 22; Friday, November 4; and after the matinee (2:00 p.m.) performances on Sunday, October 30; Wednesday, November 2.
Karen Hartman has four productions of three world premieres this season: Roz and Ray at Seattle Rep and at Chicago's Victory Gardens;The Book of Joseph at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; and Project Dawn at People's Light in Malvern, P.A. She held the Playwright Center's McKnight Residency and Commission in 2014/15. Her new dialogue for Mozart's The Magic Flute appeared in Pacific Music Works' production at Seattle's Meany Center in 2015. Hartman's Goldie, Max, and Milk premiered at Florida Stage and the Phoenix Theater, nominated for the Steinberg and Carbonell Awards. Other works: Goliath (Dorothy Silver New Play Prize); Gum; Leah's Train; Going Gone (N.E.A. New Play Grant); Girl Under Grain (Best Drama in NY Fringe); Wild Kate; ALICE: Tales of a Curious Girl (Music by Gina Leishman, AT&T Onstage Award);Troy Women; Donna Wants; Sea Change, score by AnnMarie Milazzo; and MotherBone, score by Graham Reynolds (Frederick Loewe Award). New York: Women's Project, National Asian American Theatre Company, P73, the New York Fringe (Best Drama), and Summer Play Festival. Regional: Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Dallas Theater Center, the Magic, and elsewhere. Publications: Theater Communications Group, Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Backstage Books, and NoPassport Press. Honors: Sustainable Arts Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, New Dramatists, the N.E.A., the Helen Merrill Foundation, Daryl Roth "Creative Spirit" Award, Hodder Fellowship, Jerome Fellowship, Fulbright Scholarship. A long-time Brooklynite, Hartman and her husband Todd London moved to Seattle in 2014 with their son. Ms. Hartman is a Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington; her prose is published in The New York Times and The Washington Post. www.karenhartman.org.
Chay Yew's production credits include The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, Goodman Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse, Empty Space, Portland Center Stage, Cornerstone Theatre, Round House Theatre, Curious Theatre, Geva Theater Center, Northlight Theatre, East West Players, National Asian American Theatre Company, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, Theatre at Boston Court, Pillsbury Theatre, Gala Hispanic Theatre, and Singapore Repertory Theatre, amongst others. Upcoming productions include the world premieres of Hannah and the Dread Gazeboat Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Lady in Denmark at the Goodman, and A Wonder In My Soul at Victory Gardens. His opera credits include the world premieres of Osvaldo Golijov and David Henry Hwang's Ainadamar (co-production with Tanglewood Music Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Los Angeles Philharmonic) and Rob Zuidam's Rage D'Amors (Tanglewood). He is a recipient of the OBIE Award and a DramaLogue for Direction. An award-winning playwright and an alumnus of New Dramatists, he is currently serving on the Executive Board on the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. He is the Artistic Director of Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago.
Seattle Rep was founded in 1963 and is currently led by Artistic Director Braden Abraham and Managing Director Jeffrey Herrmann. One of America's premier not-for-profit resident theatres, Seattle Repertory Theatre has achieved international renown for its consistently high production and artistic standards, and was awarded the 1990 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. With an emphasis on entertaining plays of true dramatic and literary worth, Seattle Rep produces a season of plays along with educational programs, new play workshops, and special presentations.