Modern Fable SIMON DAWES BECOMES A PLANET Makes World Premiere at Access Theater Tonight
The world premiere of award-winning playwright Alex Moggridge's unique & compelling new play with music Simon Dawes Becomes a Planet will get a limited engagement at Access Theater (380 Broadway, 4th Fl.) beginning tonight, September 23 through Saturday, October 8 (Opening Night is Saturday, September 24 at 8pm).
The play, which is directed by Michael Lluberes (The Boy in the Bathroom, Peter Pan: The Boy Who Hated Mothers), was a semi-finalist for the American Blues Theater's 2016 Blue Ink Playwriting Award & also received a workshop production as part of Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor Series in 2015. With the unique new work, emerging playwright Alex Moggridge examines the nature of happiness & loss in unexpected ways, creating an "epically small", abstract, theatrical world as captivating & provocative as anything else on stage.
Equal parts fable, music hall panto, and modern farce, Simon Dawes Becomes a Planet is the most unusual & compelling piece of live theater you'll see this season. The play, which consists of three acts, each with a different style, is about a boy born the size of a pea who grows to cosmic proportions. Blessed with a strange and haunting singing voice, Simon weaves his way through a world where healthy & beautiful is not enough, encountering a parade of family, friends, lovers, and eccentrics, discovering fame, obscurity, and maybe just a little bit of happiness along the way. In Act One, we meet Simon Dawes, a human the size of a thimble. Because he is so small, we never actually see him. We only watch the way others interact with him. In Act Two, now as a normal sized man, Simon finds himself traveling the world, searching for a way to escape his grief. In Act Three, Simon is so enormous, we see only him. We hear, but cannot see, the rest of the characters. The production features live music by "The Saw Lady" Natalie Paruz & original music by composer Jared M. Dembowski.
The cast will feature Broadway veteran J. Anthony Crane (Sight Unseen; Butley; The Winslow Boy; The Country House; National Tour: The Lion King; Spamalot), Meagan Kimberly Smith (Lincoln Center Education's production of Rouge, the upcoming Tale of Four directed by Oscar-nominee Gabourey Sidibe), Marilee Talkington (one of only two legally blind actresses in the country to earn an M.F.A. in Acting), Chris French, Maya Jackson & Henry Vick (Important Hats of the 20th Century at Manhattan Theatre Club).
Playwright Alex Moggridge's The Squirrel was seen Off-Broadway in New York's Summer Play Festival, and his play Manatee appeared in the New York International Fringe Festival. He is a two-time recipient of the Playground Emerging Playwrights award in San Francisco. Alex has also written for documentaries, industrial films and commercials.
Produced by Time Shared (Lead Producer Tony Hagopian, who has appeared on Broadway in Frost/Nixon, Betrayal, and The Realistic Joneses), the play has Set Design by Stephan Moravski, Lighting Design by Scot Gianelli, Costume Design by Ryan Park (Broadway associate: Fiddler on the Roof; The King and I; The Father), and Production Stage Manager is Sydney Golden (PA on Fiddler on the Roof and American Psycho).
Director Michael Lluberes is the recipient of The American Harmony Prize, a NEA New Artist Initiative Award/Hambidge Residency, a Virginia Center for The Creative Arts Residency, the Anna Sosenko Trust Award and is a Richard Rodgers Award Finalist.
Simon Dawes Becomes a Planet will play a limited engagement at Access Theater (380 Broadway, 4th Floor) beginning Friday, September 23 through Saturday, October 8 with performances Thur-Sat at 8pm, Sun at 2pm, Wed. 10/5 at 8pm and Sat. 10/7 at 2pm. Tickets are $18 and are available online at simondawes.brownpapertickets.com.