New York Premiere of Richard Strand's BUTLER at 59E59 Theaters 

59E59 Theaters (Elysabeth Kleinhans, Artistic Director; Peter Tear, Executive Producer; Brian Beirne, Managing Director) is thrilled to open the 2016/2017 5A Season with New Jersey Repertory Company (Artistic Director Suzanne Barabas, Executive Producer Gabor Barabas) and the NYC premiere of BUTLER, directed by by Richard Strand, directed by Joseph Discher.

BUTLER begins performances on Thursday, July 14 for a limited engagement through Sunday, August 28. Opening Night is Wednesday, July 27 at 7 PM. The performance schedule is Tuesday - Thursday at 7 PM; Friday at 8 PM; Saturday at 2 PM & 8 PM; Sunday at 3 PM. There is an added performance on Sunday, July 17 at 7 PM. Single tickets range from $25 - $70 ($25 - $49 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.59e59.org

It's the start of the Civil War and lawyer Benjamin Butler was just promoted to the rank of Major General at Fort Monroe, a Union hold-out in the state of Virginia. Shepard Mallory, an escaped slave, seeks sanctuary at the fort. However, the law of the land has not yet changed - slaves still are considered property and must be turned over to their "rightful owners." Does Butler follow the letter of the law or make a game-changing move that could alter the course of U.S. history?

Based on actual events, this powerful comedic-drama, called "splendid" by The New York Times during its run at New Jersey Repertory Company, arrives at 59E59 for its NYC premiere.

The cast features Ames Adamson (Caesar and Cleopatra with Project Shaw), John G. Williams (Romeo & Juliet with Pulse Ensemble Theater), David Sitler (Frost/Nixon national tour), and Ben Sterling (The Royal Family at Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey).

The design team includes Jessica Parks (scenic design and props); Jill Nagle (lighting design); Patricia Doherty (costume design); Steven Beckel (sound design); and Leah J. Loukas (wig design). The fight choreographer is Brad Lemons. The Production Stage Manager is Rose Riccardi.

Richard Strand (playwright) wrote his first play in 1976, a one act entitled Harry and Sylvia. That play won two national awards, was published by Hunter Press and a full length version of that same play, entitled Clown, premiered at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. Since that time he has had premieres at Geva Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Performance Network, New Jersey Repertory Company, Detroit Repertory Theatre, The Z Collective and a number of other venues. His plays are published by Samuel French, Dramatists Play Service and Applause Books. Two of his plays, The Bug and The Death of Zukasky premiered at The Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. The Bug has been translated into German, Italian, French, Greek, and Spanish. His play Butler premiered at New Jersey Repertory and was the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. Mr. Strand currently lives in California with his wife, Mary Lynn. He is a professor, technical director and set designer at Mt. San Antonio College where he teaches Stagecraft, History of Theater and Playwriting.

Joseph Discher (director) directed the world premiere of Butler at New Jersey Repertory company. He has been directing, casting and producing for over twenty years. Selected directing credits: The Diary of Anne Frank, Wittenberg, Our Town, The Grapes of Wrath, Henry IV, Part I, To Kill A Mockingbird, Arms and the Man, The Tempest, Amadeus, Of Mice and Men, Galileo, Cymbeline, A Midwinter Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, Scapin, Travels With My Aunt, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Butler (Barrington Stage Company and Majestic Theatre), One Man, Two Guvnors (Florida Studio Theatre), The Weir, Red and As You Like It (Theatreworks),Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis). Mr. Discher is currently working with author Christopher Moore on a stage adaptation of his best-selling novel Fool.

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From This Author Marianka Swain

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