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Mark H. Dold, James Lloyd Reynolds and Jeff Talbott to Lead Reading of New Play RIPTIDE

Paul Barnes, co-founder and former producing and artistic director of Minnesota's Great River Shakespeare Festival, directs an encore free reading of Michael Raver's new play, RIPTIDE, at Pearl Studios (519, eighth avenue, 12th Floor) on April 18th at 3:30 & 6 pm.

"It is incredibly gratifying that our first reading of RIPTIDE generated as much positive response and interest as it did. I'm really happy to have a second opportunity to direct a reading of Michael's latest work and to share it with people who couldn't get to the October reading or who'd like to hear the play again."

The first public reading of RIPTIDE was presented at Manhattan Theatre Club's Creative Center last October, with Mark H. Dold, Michael Potts, James Lloyd Reynolds and Raver himself performing the play.

"RIPTIDE is characterized by Michael Raver's remarkable gift for writing dialogue that sounds like what real people actually say," says Barnes. "That, plus Michael's natural intuition, devilish wit, and understanding of the human heart make his plays a pleasure to direct."

Performing the reading are Mark H. Dold (Off-Broadway: Freud's Last Session), James Lloyd Reynolds (Goodspeed's La Cage aux Folles), Jeff Talbott (Broadway: Sly Fox and Fortune's Fool) and Michael Raver (How We Built the Bomb) with stage directions read by Kurt Hellerich.

It's Labor Day weekend and George (Reynolds) and Nathan (Talbott) have just purchased their first home together, a house in Fire Island Pines. Their celebratory weekend is halted when George's ex-, the brilliant and handsome Daniel (Dold) appears on the beach. Old wounds are opened and sexual boundaries are pushed to the limit as Bash (Raver), Daniel's new young love interest, shows up, challenging everyone to question their relationships, as well as their own definition of what love -- and commitment -- is.

Actor/Director/Playwright Austin Pendleton says this about the play: "I think RIPTIDE is a terrific play. It's humorously and heart-breakingly about relationships, it's utterly contemporary and yet seems timeless and universal at the same time."

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Raver's adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray was produced by Sonnet Repertory Theatre at the Signature Theatre Center in 2012, and a reading of his pre-WWII adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull was seen at the Pearl Theatre Company. His play, Fire on Babylon, was nominated for The Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Foundation Award for Playwriting, as well as being named a semifinalist for The O'Neill Conference in 2015. He is also a judge for the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction and regularly contributes cultural arts journalism for Classical TV, as well as pieces for New York Monthly, Dance Magazine, Cool Hunting and Nature's Post.

Paul Mason Barnes is an award winning director whose work has been seen at major regional theaters and festivals, and at leading training programs across the country. The founder of the Oregon Cabaret Theatre and the Great River Shakespeare Festival, Barnes has been Conservatory Director/Associate Artistic Director at PCPA Theaterfest and Education Director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, where he makes his home. Recent/upcoming directing credits: Georama, a new musical by West Hyler, Matt Schatz, and Jack Herrick (Great River Shakespeare Festival); Macbeth (Chesapeake Shakespeare Company); Peter Pan (Syracuse Stage); Of Mice and Men (Clarence Brown Theatre); The Glass Menagerie (GRSF); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis).

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