New Light Theater Project Presents World Premiere of THE AMERICAN TRADITION

By: Dec. 11, 2018
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New Light Theater Project Presents World Premiere of THE AMERICAN TRADITION

New Light Theater Project is thrilled to present the world premiere of THE AMERICAN TRADITION written by Ray Yamanouchi and directed by Axel Avin, Jr. THE AMERICAN TRADITION begins performances on Friday, January 25 for a limited engagement through Saturday, February 16.

The performance schedule is Wednesday - Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 3 PM & 7:30 PM, and Sunday at 3 PM. Please note the following schedule adjustments: there are no matinee performances on Saturday, January 26 and February 16; the Sunday, January 27 performance is at 7 PM; there is an added performance on Tuesday, January 29 and Monday, February 11 at 7:30 PM. Performances are at 13th Street Repertory Company (50 West 13th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues). Tickets are $25. To purchase tickets, visit

Set in Antebellum America with an absurd and Brechtian twist, fictitious characters Eleanor-cross-dressing as a white planter-and her husband, Bill-pretending to be her loyal servant-attempt to escape to the free state of Pennsylvania. Their operation is running smoothly until they meet Walsh, a drunk planter and member of the Not All Slavers organization, who steals Bill at a rest stop. Armed with a Glock-19 and her fair skin, Eleanor sets out to rescue him by any means necessary.

THE AMERICAN TRADITION won the 2018-2019 New Light New Voices Award, now in its third season, which is a development platform designed to support dynamic playwrights who are based in New York City. Past winners include Breeders and Strange Country.

The cast of THE AMERICAN TRADITION features Sydney Cole Alexander (She's Gotta Have It dir. Spike Lee, on Netflix); Hunter Canning (Warhorse at Lincoln Center, '68 with LAByrinth); Tabatha Gayle (Misogynoir at Ars Nova; Alex Herrald (Life and Times with Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Obie Award; These Seven Sicknesses at The Flea); and Martin K. Lewis (TADA! Youth Theater alum, Off Broadway debut).

The design team includes Brian Dudkiewicz (scenic design); Elaine Wong (lighting design); Samantha Rose Lind (costume design); Enrico de Trizio (sound design); Leila Ben-Abdallah (prop design). The fight director is Leighton Samuels. The production stage manger is Chelsea Friday.

Ray Yamanouchi (playwright) was born in Queens, raised on Long Island, and received a BA in film and theatre from Hunter College in Manhattan. His plays include Tha Chink-Mart (PlayPenn 2018), Impact (Semi-finalist, National Playwrights Conference 2017), and The American Tradition (Rising Circle Theater Collective INKtank 2017). He has developed work with WT Theatre, Mission to (dit)Mars, The Blank Theatre, Rising Circle Theater Collective, and Ars Nova. You can find him online @NotoriousYAMs, or as the host of RE:, a NYC theatre talk show (

Axel Avin, Jr. (director) is a NYC based director and actor. Directing credits: Stella Adler Conservatory, New York Theater Workshop, Rising Circle Theater Collective, National Black Theater, Poetic Theater Company, 48 Hrs. in Harlem, The Movement Theater Company, Columbia University, Subjective Theater Company, Horsetrade Theater Company, and the 24 Hr. Musicals. Acting credits: TV: The Night Of. Off Broadway: Ruined (MTC), Streamers (Roundabout). Regional: Baltimore CenterStage, Virginia Stage Co., A.C.T., Lorraine Hansberry Theater. Web Series: Splinter Cell: Extinction and Sh*tty Fabulous Lives. M.F.A American Conservatory Theater.

Led by Artistic Director Sarah Norris and Producing Director Michael Aguirre, New Light Theater Project is an ensemble-driven theater company, supporting independent and emerging artists by providing and promoting growth opportunities through exposure to new audiences. Since 2013, NLTP has mounted over 25 productions that have received critical praise including Best of Theater 2014 (The L Magazine for Picture Ourselves in Latvia), TimeOut NY Critics' Pick (Bubba and Breeders), recipients of the The Flea Theater's Anchor Program, Woodstock Byrdcliffe Residency Fellowship, Chicago Dramatists Grafting Project, and the Access Theater Residency Program. NLTP is a 501(c)3 organization.=