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CONNECTED with Gus Birney & Ella Dershowitz to Play 59E59 Theaters

59E59 Theaters will welcome Project Y with the New York premiere of CONNECTED, written by Lia Romeo and directed by Michole Biancosino. CONNECTED begins performances on Thursday, March 3 for a limited engagement through Saturday, March 26. Press opening is Tuesday, March 8 at 7:30 PM. The performance schedule is Tuesday - Thursday at 7:30 PM; Friday & Saturday at 8:30 PM; and Sunday at 3:30 PM. Please note: there is no performance on Wednesday, March 16. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). Tickets are $25 ($17.50 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or go to www.59e59.org.

Grindr. Tindr. Viral videos. Gamers gone wild! Constant connection leaves us tethered to our devices, but how do our simulated relationships transition to the ones IRL? In CONNECTED, characters navigate this tricky terrain through a series of interrelated vignettes: a young girl's most embarrassing moment goes viral, a high school student must choose between real life and role-playing games, two girls spend Saturday night endlessly searching for the "perfect party," and a teacher is accidentally seduced by her student on an internet dating site.

Featuring a vibrant cast, including Gus Birney and Ella Dershowitz, CONNECTED looks at the ways social media shapes our lives in the 21st century.

CONNECTED was nominated by local critics for the St. Louis Theater Circle award for best new play when it premiered at HotCity Theatre, St. Louis, MO. The St. Louis Post Dispatch called it "very, very good...a wry, fast-paced look at American life in the age of YouTube, Facebook, online gaming and online dating."

Joining Ms. Birney and Ms. Dershowitz in the cast are Joachim Boyle (LoveSick at 59E59); Robby Clater; Midori Francis (A Winter People at New York Theater Workshop); Dana Jacks (Our Town, dir. David Cromer, at Barrow Street Theater); Thomas Muccioli (Court Play, written and dir. by Greg Kotis, at Atlantic Stage 2); and Aria Shahghasemi (Office Party at the Guthrie Theater).

The design team includes Matthew J. Fick (set design); Ben Hagen (lighting design); Amit Prakash (sound design); Jessa Raye Court (costume design); and Michole Biancosino (video and projection design). The production stage manager is Allison Raynes.

Lia Romeo (playwright) is a playwright, novelist, and comic writer. She earned her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.F.A. from Rutgers. Her plays have been produced or developed at 59E59, the Lark Theatre, the Kennedy Center, Project Y Theatre Company, Abingdon Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Matthew Corozine Studio Theatre, HotCity Theatre, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Orlando Shakes, New Jersey Repertory Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Stillwater Theatre, Renegade Theatre Experiment, Forward Flux Theatre, New Origins Theatre Company, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for the ATCA/Steinberg Award, the L. Arnold Weissberger Award, and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She has been a finalist for the O'Neill, PlayPenn, WordBRIDGE, the Reva Shiner Comedy Award, the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, and the Heideman Award. She was the National New Play Network Emerging Playwright-in-Residence at Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, and she is currently a member of the Project Y Playwrights Group, the Abingdon Theatre Playwrights Group, and the BMI Librettists Workshop. She is also the author of a novel, Dating The Devil (BelleBooks), and a humor book, 11,002 Things to Be Miserable About (Abrams Image), which has sold over 35,000 copies worldwide.

Michole Biancosino (director) is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of the award-winning Project Y Theatre Company, where she has developed and directed new work in Washington, D.C. and New York City over the past 17 years. With Project Y, she has led various professional productions, as producer, director, and writer. Directing: Gary Busey's One Man Hamlet As Performed by David Carl (59E59 Theaters), Before & After (New York New Playwright Festival), LoveSick or THINGS THAT DON'T HAPPEN (59E59 Theaters), The Revival (The Lion, Theatre Row), A User's Guide to Hell featuring Bernard Madoff (Atlantic Stage 2), Goodness (Under St. Marks), and Gidion's Knot in NYC; and In the Boom Boom Room, The Crackwalker, White Biting Dog, Lion in the Streets, Zastrozzi, and One Flea Spare in Washington, DC. Michole has developed new work with playwrights at Urban Stages, Abingdon Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Luna Stage, CrossRoads Theatre, 59E59 Theaters, Theatre Row, Atlantic Stage 2, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Charter Theatre, New Orleans Theatre Experiment, Rorhshach Theatre, Milesquare Theatre, Kennedy Center New Play Festival, Luna Stage, Brooklyn Generator, PTP/NYC, and Ars Nova. Michole is a recipient of the prestigious SDC Gielgud Fellowship for classical directing and a SPARC artist through the Brooklyn Arts Council. She was a semi-finalist for TCG Leadership U grant and a finalist for the Killian Fellowship. Her productions with Project Y have won several NYIT Awards and garnered grants from NYSCA, The Puffin Foundation, ART/NY Nancy Quinn Fund, DCA, and Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund. She has a BA from Middlebury College and a MFA in Directing from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts.


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