PANGAEA to Open Planet Connections Staged Reading Series

Pangaea, a play by Erik Champney, will open the Staged Reading Series on June 14 at this summer's Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. Presented by Pixie Theory Productions and directed by Shaun Peknic, the reading will feature Elizabeth Inghram*, Ryan Molloy, Misha Osherovich, Susannah Perkins*, and MarRick Smith*. Stage directions will be read by Charity Schubert* and Vanna Richardson will stage manage.

"Pangaea is a poetic narrative of the human dilemma," said director Shaun Peknic. "Erik's writing exposes the anxiety and defense people experience when they are desperate for connection."

Pangaea follows the turbulent path of teenager Ross Kurtz, who has a profound impact on everyone he meets. Using this to his advantage, Ross soon learns that his actions are a catalyst for a hurricane of self-discovery in the lives of the people around him. A breathtaking psychodrama, Pangaeaexplores the loss of personal identity and the terrifying journey back to who we really are.

"Erik's beautifully poetic play has very keen insights into the subtle ways needing people can hurt," said MarRick Smith, who plays the nomadic Ross. "The million little - and not so little - cuts that life requires in our most intimate relationships. Ross is a seventeen-year-old, who probably heard the adage 'no man is an island' and said that is a load of well worded bulls***. It's very Tom in The Glass Menagerie. He is suffocating, or at least he knows he will be soon. He needs to leave and the play, for him, is: how do I get out of here without absolutely destroying everyone around me? However, because he knows he's leaving, there's also a newfound freedom in Ross. A carelessness because he knows he's not going to have to deal with the repercussions of his actions for much longer. This raw honesty is what makes Ross sexy, vicious, unpredictable, charming, and despicable all at once. A beautiful conundrum wrapped in a healthy dose of trouble. Your parents' worst nightmare."

An earlier version of Pangaea received a World Premiere Production at Centenary College of Louisiana in 2010. The play is also the recipient of The Kennedy Center's Commendation for Excellence.

Pangaea will be presented on June 14 at 4:30PM at the Flamboyán Theatre in The Clemente at 107 Suffolk Street, NYC. Admission is free. (The Festivity runs June 12 - July 9 at The Clemente.) Reservations can be made by visiting http://planetconnections.org/2017-staged-readings/pangaea-presented-by-pixie-theory-productions/

This Staged Reading is being produced in part to help raise awareness for RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). www.rainn.org

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Erik Champney (Playwright) is an award-winning dramatist with works developed, commissioned, and produced in such cities as New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and Singapore. Selected plays: Dead Brains (Winner, The National AIDS Fund/CFDA-Vogue Initiative Award for Playwriting, The Kennedy Center), Saitama (Winner, 8th Biennial Playwriting Contest, Theatre in the Raw, BC), and Pangaea (Commendation for Excellence, The Kennedy Center). Most recently, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club presented a staged reading of Omen Road to Starrville (O'Neill Semi-finalist; Top Ten, The Stanley Drama Awards, Wagner College), Potomac Theatre Project (PTP/NYC) presented a concert reading of Crab on Its Back (Semi-finalist, Sundance Theatre Lab; Top Ten, The Stanley Drama Award, Wagner College), and Erik's anthology of one-acts, Blankets and Bedtime: 3 Restless Plays, was honored as the Outstanding Overall Production of an Evening of One-Acts by the 2016 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. This summer, he will join Erik Ehn's Playwriting Retreat at La MaMa Umbria in Spoleto, Italy. Erik received a B.A. in both Theatre and English from Centenary College of Louisiana followed by an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch.

Shaun Peknic (Director) is a theatre director with a focus on the development of new plays and musicals. He is the Associate Director for Once the Musical (Broadway, National Tours, West End, Toronto, Dublin). Select directing credits: Fireflies (Musical Theatre Factory); Fool for Love (Lee Strasberg Institute); Manifest Pussy (Joes Pub/North Carolina Rebel Tour); The Birds/The Receptionist (Cortland Repertory Theatre); I'm A Lot Like You(Salty Brine's Spectacular Living Record Collection); Pulp Vérité (2015 Lee Strasberg Institute Directing Fellow); Sherlock Holmes & the West End Horror (Cortland Repertory Theatre, nominated Best Director 2015 SALT Awards); A Snowfall in Berlin (Nylon Fusion Theatre Company); The Girl With The Red Balloon (The Tank); Must Be The Music (ArsNova); Aimless (Theatre Row); A Streetcar Named Desire (New York University). Shaun is an alumnus of NYU and the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a member of SDC and Musical Theatre Factory, and on the directing faculty at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School/NYU.

Vanna Richardson (Stage Manager) Working on her third year in New York, Vanna has had the pleasure of working on several shows in the indie theatre community. Her credits include stage managing the world premiere of Quit the Road Jack and two staged readings of a musical influenced by P!nk's music catalogue. She has also been working with Astoria Performing Arts Center since November 2015 as a part of their stage management team. There she assisted on the world premiere of Cheryl Davis's Carefully Taught and Christina Quintana's Evensong, among several other shows. She has also been able to apprentice with the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. Recently, she had the pleasure of working on APAC's Raisin. Vanna is delighted to be working with Erik. Shaun, and this amazing cast. You can find more information about her projects at www.VannaRichardson.com

Elizabeth Inghram* (Lang) Favorite NYC productions: The Great Divide (Metropolitan Playhouse), After the Ball (Irish Repertory Theatre), Busker Alley (York Theatre), Macbeth, Twelfth Night, The Clean House and NY Fringe Festival, NYMF, and Planet Connections shows. Regional favorites: Goodspeed Opera House, Gateway Playhouse, Virginia Stage Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina & National Tours (Annie, Cats, Strike up the Band, Hello, Dolly!). Film and TV includes: Girl Most Likely (opposite Kristen Wiig), Person of Interest, Black List, Royal Pains, Gossip Girl, and I Love You, But I Lied. Upcoming TV: Gypsy (w/Naomi Watts) and My Affair. @einghram / www.elizabethinghram.com

Ryan Molloy (Phillip) A native Bostonian, Ryan received his BFA in Theatre from Hofstra University. Select NYC/Surrounding area credits include: King Richard II (Richard II, Hudson Shakespeare), Malvolio/Sebastian (Twelfth Night, Hudson Shakespeare), Messenger (Black Garden, dir. Artur Makaryan, Columbia Univ. MFA Directing Candidate), Daniel/Steve/Pete/Jimmy (Almost Maine, Hudson Shakespeare), Narrator (A Play About Drew Carey, WalkUp Arts). Ryan is very much drawn to plays able to convey as much fragile truth as Pangaea brings forth. He feels very enthused to be working on such a play with such passionate people.

Misha Osherovich (Georgie) Previous credits include- La MaMa: Omen Road to Starrville; Marin Shakespeare Festival: Twelfth Night; Virginia Shakespeare Festival: Antony & Cleopatra, All's Well That Ends Well; Cape May Stage: Moon Over Buffalo, Streetlight Woodpecker; Martha's Vineyard Playhouse: Henry IV. Film- The Prey. TV- SyFy Channel, Discovery Channel. Web Series- History, Rocky Times.

Susannah Perkins* (Gertrude) has appeared on the New York stage in The Wolves (Playwrights Realm), Sisters On The Ground (PHTS/Clubbed Thumb), and Every Angel Is Brutal (Clubbed Thumb). Regional credits include Night Of The Iguana (A.R.T.) and The Wolves (New York Stage & Film). BFA: NYU Tisch.

Charity Schubert* (Stage Directions) is a New York-based actress. She has performed in numerous Off-Off-Broadway productions such as Outfoxed with FullStop Collective, The Illusion of Kindness with Native Aliens Theatre Collective, Parting Company as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival, and Civilization! as part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. She can be seen in the comedic short film PEER REVIEW at www.peerreviewthefilm.com. Charity received her B.A. in Theatre from Centenary College of Louisiana and has trained at the Einhorn School of the Performing Arts (Primary Stages) and with Louis Scheeder and Darci Picoult in NYC.

MarRick Smith* (Ross) Broadway: Fun Home: Roy(U/s); Film: The Lennon Report, One Stop Away, Uncovering Eden (Short). Off Broadway: Wild Goose Dreams (The Public), Pretty Filthy (Civilians), The Underclassman (The Duke), Revolution... (Minetta Lane), Fun Home (The Public). Regional: Fiddler (The MUNY). Workshops: Teeth (Sundance), Alice by Heart (Sheik and Sater), Love's Labors Lost (Alex Timbers) Wolf Play(Page 73). Playwright: Behind the Badge (NYC Fringe) Follow @marricksmith

*Appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association



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