Emily Mann's ANULLA to have NYC Premiere May 4
Edmund Gaynes and West End Artists Company will present the off-Broadway premiere of Anulla by Emily Mann. Performances begin May 4 and continue through June 11. Opening Night is set for May 14 at 7pm, at The Theatre at St. Luke's (308 West 46th Street). Pamela Hall directs Eileen De Felitta as Anulla and Neva Small as The Voice of Emily, the Interviewer.
Award-winning playwright and director Emily Mann wanted to record a relative's personal remembrance of the Holocaust, which proved too difficult due to a language barrier. She found, however, Anulla Allen, a vibrant woman who had a rich and fascinating history of living as a Jew under the Nazi regime, yet "passing" as an Aryan. In Anulla, Mann had a learned, eloquent spokesperson with a treasure trove of stories to tell and a hunger for truth. Always doing something, scattered in many directions, her past as a Survivor informs everything she is and does.
In the course of the "interview," we discover all that this passionate woman has seen and experienced. A Polish Jew married to an Austrian Jew, she managed to elude the authorities, and even get her husband released from Dauchau. Decades ahead of her time, she dreamt of starting the first political Women's Party as early as 1939, and actually wrote her own six-hour play on the subject of her life. Constantly moving as a child she learned seven languages, finally settling in London as a grown woman, which she adored. The entire interview takes place in her history-packed London kitchen, as she prepares dinner for her bed-ridden sister.
Emily Mann is celebrating her 15th season as Artistic Director of the McCarter Theatre. Ms. Mann directed Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Anna in the Tropics, which later transferred to Broadway (two Tony nominations). Her McCarter directing credits include Getting Home, Uncle Vanya (also adapted), The Tempest, All Over (2003 Obie Award for her direction), Romeo and Juliet, Because He Can, The Cherry Orchard (also adapted), Fool for Love, Meshugah (author), Safe as Houses, The House of Bernarda Alba (also adapted), Betrayal, The Mai, A Doll's House, The Perfectionist, Miss Julie (also adapted), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Three Sisters, Betsey Brown (co-author), The Glass Menagerie, The Matchmaker and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992. She is also the author of Greensboro (A Requiem), the multi-award winning Execution of Justice, and Still Life (winner of six Obie Awards). Ms. Mann wrote and directed Having Our Say for which she received Peabody and Christopher Awards. A winner of the prestigious Hull-Warriner Award, Ms. Mann is a member of the Dramatists Guild and serves on its Council. Ms. Mann holds an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Princeton University.
Eileen De Felitta has appeared in dozens of guest starring and recurring roles on TV and in films, including "The West Wing" and Two Family House, the Sundance Audience Award-winning film made by her brother Raymond De Felitta, and Audrey Rose starring Anthony Hopkins and written by her father Frank De Felitta from his best-selling novel. Her commercials are numerous, as are her LA theatrical credits, including Piaf at the American Renegade Theatre, Mother in The Fiery Furnace at ECT, and Jane in The Shortchanged Review at The Company of Angels for which she won a DramaLogue Award, as well as other leading roles at the Zephyr, Coronet, etc. She won raves for playing a feisty 93-year-old in Les Belles-Soeurs at ECT, and has toured with her one-woman show, A Hymn to Love.
Neva Small's signature role is as Chava in the film version of Fiddler on the Roof. Recently, she starred with Michael Feinstein in Now & Then at Carnegie Hall, released her first solo CD, My Place in the World, and was a guest artist with the Walla Walla Symphony. Since making her stage debut at age 10 in The Ballad of Baby Doe with Beverly Sills at NY City Opera, Neva has played leading roles on Broadway in Henry Sweet Henry, The Prince of Grand Street, Something More, The Threepenny Opera, Styne After Styne, Something's Afoot, The Impossible Years, Show Me Where the Good Times Are, and Leonard Bernstein's Mass. Her Off-Broadway credits include Hannah 1939 (Vineyard Theatre), Bebop with Dizzy Gillespie, and Yentl (Brooklyn Academy of Music). Regionally she has been seen in Hoagy and Bix (Mark Taper Forum), Houdini (Lenox Arts Festival), and Jesus Christ Superstar at Paper Mill Playhouse. Television appearances include "Law & Order," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," and the Emmy-nominated "The Hijacking of the Achille Lauro."
Pamela Hall directed the long-running Off-Broadway musical Picon Pie at the Lamb's Theatre and DR 2 Theatre, as well as last season's original musical, Trolls at Actors Playhouse.. She was nominated for L.A.'s highest theatre honor, the Ovation Award, for her direction of the Los Angeles premiere of The Taffetas. Regionally, she has directed the West-Coast premiere of Jeff Daniels' eccentric black-comedy Shoe Man, as well as Mr. Allen, Mr. Allen, an original comedy about legendary wit Fred Allen that starred TV's Jack Riley. Additional credits include the original musical Crazy Words, Crazy Tunes at the Geffen Playhouse (Los Angeles) that also toured, playing Santa Barbara's Lobero Theatre as well Loretta Lynn's Ozark Theatre in Branson, Mo. Other premiere productions include Hand in Hand: The Un-Musical, the first musical created and performed by the acclaimed Tony-nominated Deaf West Theatre. As an actor, Ms. Hall has appeared on Broadway as Philia in A Funny Thing Happened... with Phil Silvers, Nina in Dear World with Angela Lansbury, Martha Jefferson in 1776 with William Daniels and Howard Da Silva and was featured in the all-star Sondheim: A Musical Tribute at the Shubert Theatre. Also in NY, Pamela was Associate Producer of the hit Off-Broadway play, Panache, at the Players Theatre.
Performances of Anulla will be Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00, with matinees Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM. Opening Night is set for Sunday May 14th at 7:00 PM. Tickets to all performances will be $45.00 and are available through Telecharge.Com at 212/239-6200. For group sales, call (212) 265-8500. The Theatre at St. Luke's is located 308 West 46th Street, just west of 8th Avenue.