Fantasia Comes to 59E59 Theaters as SMALL WORLD Imagines a Meeting Between Walt Disney and Stravinsky
59E59 Theaters (Val Day, Artistic Director; Brian Beirne, Managing Director) is thrilled to host The New York City premiere of SMALL WORLD, written by Frederick Stroppel and directed by Joe Brancato. Produced by Penguin Rep, SMALL WORLD begins performances on Wednesday, September 13 for a limited engagement through Saturday, October 7. Press opening is Sunday, September 17 at 7:15 PM. The performance schedule is Tuesday - Thursday at 7:15 PM; Friday at 8:15 PM; Saturday at 2:15 PM & 8:15 PM; and Sunday at 3:15 PM & 7:15 PM. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). Tickets are $25 - $35 ($24.50 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.59e59.org.When Walt Disney hears "The Rite of Spring," he envisions the creation of the earth, volcanoes and, of course, dinosaurs! But composer Igor Stravinsky has another vision altogether. In this "provocative comedy" (The New York Times), we go behind the scenes of Disney's classic Fantasia, where the dinosaurs aren't the only ones doing battle. The cast features Stephen D'Ambrose (August: Osage County national tour) as Stravinsky and Mark Shanahan (Broadway's The 39 Steps) as Walt Disney. The design team includes James Fenton (scenic designer); Christine Watanabe (lighting designer); Patricia E. Doherty (costume designer); and William Neal (sound designer).Frederick Stroppel's (playwright) theater work includes the full-length comedy Fortune's Fools, produced off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theater in 1995, and the musical Tales From The Manhattan Woods, based on "Die Fledermaus", staged by Opera NY in 2004 at the Wings Theatre. Other plays include Actor!, The Christmas Spirit, A Good Man, Lucky Me, and The Hunter's Moon. An earlier version of Small World was produced by the Stray Kats Theatre Company in Newtown, CT in 2013. For film, he has written the screenplays for A Brooklyn State of Mind, Dark Side of Genius, and the short film Glacier Bay, which has won over a dozen festival awards including Best Screenplay. He is the creator of the comedy web series Suburban Legends, for which he was written and directed all 22 episodes. He is also a veteran children's television writer, having served as the head writer for Oswald and Wow Wow Wubbzy!, both for Nickelodeon. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writers Guild of America East. His website is www.frederickstroppel.com. Joe Brancato (director) was cited by The New York Times as "one of America's most insightful directors." His Off Broadway credits include the critically acclaimed productions of Michael McKeever's Daniel's Husband, which transferred from Penguin Rep Theatre to Primary Stages at the Cherry Lane Theatre; Erasmus Fenn's Drop Dead Perfect at Theatre at St. Clements; The Devil's Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Off Broadway Alliance & Audelco Award nominee), which he also staged at the Montreal Jazz Festival; Tom Dudzick's Miracle on South Division Street; Fall to Earth and Freed (Audelco Award nominee); Tryst (Outer Critics nomination for Best Play) at the Promenade and at Irish Rep; Cobb (Drama Desk winner) produced by Kevin Spacey and Melting Pot in NYC and LA; From Door To Door at the Westside Theatre; One Shot, One Kill at Primary Stages; Two and a Half Jews; My Italy Story; Ricky Ian Gordon's The Matter of Minutes; at Naked Angels, Escape from Happiness (starring Marsha Mason), The Big Swing (starring Madeline Kahn, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Marisa Tomei) and Dr. Valentine's Waltz (starring John Turturro, Laura Linney, Jane Alexander); Hold the Wedding, produced by Joseph Papp. Regional credits: Royal Manitoba Theatre Center, George Street Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Cleveland Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Houston's Alley Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, Westport Playhouse, Capital Rep, Florida Repertory, Boston's New Rep, Hartford Theatreworks, The Cape Playhouse, Rubicon Theatre, Passage Theatre and Florida Stage. As founding artistic director of Penguin Rep he has directed 150 productions there including premieres by Arthur Laurents, Lanie Robertson, William Mastrosimone, James Sherman, Steven Dietz, Richard Vetere, Allan Knee and Tom Dudzick. He commissioned (with Andrew M. Horn) and directed the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan, which is the basis for the Broadway musical and film Finding Neverland. Joe was named Best Director by L.A. Scene for Santa Claus is Coming Out (The Santa Closet) and received two Rockland County Executive Awards for artistic excellence. His staging of Tryst at Merrimack Repertory Theatre garnered New England's IRNE Award nominations for Best Director and Best Production. www.joebrancato.com.