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Photo Flash: First Look at Karen Ziemba, Alison Fraser and More in HEARTBREAK HOUSE

The limited Off-Broadway engagement for the Shaw's timely classic comedy Heartbreak House will open Sunday September Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues) and continue through September 29th only. Check out photos of the ensemble in action below!

Artistic Director David Staller directs a cast that features Alison Fraser(The Secret Garden - Tony & Drama Desk nominations, Romance/Romance - Tony nomination, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Gypsy directed by Arthur Laurents, Wicked; March of the Falsettos and In Trousers); Tom Hewitt(Broadway: Billy Flynn in Chicago, Dracula The Musical, Rocky Horror Show- Tony & Drama Desk nominations, Boys from Syracuse, Disney's Lion King as Scar, The Sisters Rosensweig): Jeff Hiller (Bright Colors and Bold Patterns; Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson; The Awesome 80's Prom; Silence! the Musical); Kimberly Immanuel (Off-Broadway: Pacific Overtures - Classic Stage Co, The Fantasticks); Derek Smith (Broadway: The Green Bird - Tony Award nomination, Ring Round the Moon, Getting and Spending, Scar in The Lion King, Jackie, The Government Inspector, Timon of Athens); Raphael Nash Thompson (The Red Letter Plays: Fucking A - Signature Theatre;Pericles, The Merchant of Venice - Theatre For A New Audience; Volpone, The Witch of Edmonton, Edward II, Pericles - Red Bull Theater; Ten Blocks on the Camino Real, The Seagull - Target Margin Theater; Harry and the Cannibals -La Mama), Lenny Wolpe (Bullets Over Broadway, The Drowsy Chaperone, Wicked, The Sound of Music, Mayor the Musical, Copperfield), and Karen Ziemba (Prince of Broadway, Bullets Over Broadway, Curtains - Tony & Drama Desk nominations, Never Gonna Dance - Tony nomination, Contact -Tony Award & Drama Desk Award), Steel Pier - Tony & Drama Desk nominations, Chicago, Crazy For You, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, I Do I Do -Drama Desk nomination, And the World Goes 'Round - Drama Desk Award). The design team includes Brian Prather, scenic design; Barbara A. Bell, costumes; Christina Watanabe, lighting; and Toby Algya, sound.

This new adaptation of Shaw's infamous WWI play is set during the first days of the London Blitz (September 1940). We're in London's Ambassadors Theatre when the sirens go off. With the performance interrupted, the cast and audience have joined together to seek shelter in the theatre's basement. To entertain the crowd, the cast performs Shaw's most vital paean to resistance and perseverance against tyranny, Heartbreak House. Inspired by actual events as lived by Hermione Gingold during the WWII's darkest days, this revelatory approach will make Shaw's masterpiece more timely than ever. After many years struggling as a classical actress, Hermione Gingold became famous during the early days of the war in London performing satirical musical revue sketches. As the bombs fell, she kept the shows going until the explosions came too close for comfort and would bring everyone below the stage for safety. To keep spirits up, she and her co-stars would entertain the group by presenting plays. The most often requested play was Shaw's most ardent plea for us to stand up to the coming storm, Heartbreak House. This production, inspired by GTG's namesake, a long-time friend of GTG Founding Artistic Director David Staller, will recreate one of these lively events.

Heartbreak House, which had its US premiere performed by New York's famed Theatre Guild in 1920, brings a wildly disparate group of people together in the English countryside over a September weekend to make major decisions about their future. No stone is left unturned as each character is forced to come to terms with his or her past while finding a way to move forward in the face of the coming crisis.

Inspired by the artistry and activism of George Bernard Shaw, the Gingold Theatrical Group creates theatre and theatre-related programs that promote Shaw's humanitarian ideals including universal human rights, the freedom of thought and speech, and the equality of all living beings. Programs include full Off-Broadway productions as part of the Shaw New York annual festival, the Project Shaw monthly reading series, outreach and education programs, as well as the cultivation of new plays through GTG's Speakers' Corner writers' group. All of GTG's programming is designed to inspire lively discussion and peaceful activism with issues related to human rights, the freedom of speech, and individual liberty. This was the purpose behind all of Shaw's work and why GTG chose him as the guide toward helping create a more tolerant and inclusive world through the exploration of the Arts.

Founded in 2006 by David Staller, GTG has carved a permanent niche for the work of George Bernard Shaw within the social and cultural life of New York City, and, through the Project Shaw reading series made history in 2009 as the first company ever to present performances of every one of Shaw's 65 plays (including full-length works, one-acts and sketches). GTG brings together performers, critics, students, academics and the general public with the opportunity to explore and perform Shaw's work and to create new work based on the values that Shaw championed. Through performances, symposiums, educational programs, new play development, and outreach, GTG encourages all people to rejoice in the possibilities of the future.

The 13th season of Project Shaw will continue with Shaw's Back to Methuselah (Part 1 - October 22nd, Part 2 - November 19th), and from Shaw's contemporaries: The New Word by J. M. Barrie & O'Flaherty along with Shaw'sV.C. (September 24th), and The Enchanted Cottage by Arthur Wing Pinero (December 17th). All the plays in this series will be presented in a concert-reading format at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street. Tickets are $35 and are available by phone 212/864-5400 or online at Special reserved VIP seating available for $50 by contacting the Gingold office 212/355-7823 or Symphony Space's Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre space is completely accessible. For those interested in lively off-site discourses, each Project Shaw event is followed by a talk-back with cast members. GTG's David Staller and Stephen Brown-Fried also host a monthly Shaw Club discussion group. Always lively, they meet the Monday evening after every Project Shaw event at 520 8th Avenue. For reservations, which are required, call 212/355-7823 or email

Performances for Heartbreak House are Tuesday through Thursdayevenings at 7:30pm, Friday & Saturday evenings at 8pm, and matineesSaturday 2pm & Sunday at 3pm, with one special 2pm matinee Wednesday September 26th. All performances will take place at the Lion Theatre at Theater Row (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and Dyer Avenues). The performance will run two-and-a-half hours, including intermission.

Tickets for Heartbreak House are $69 (including theater restoration fee) and can be purchased online at, by phone at 212-239-6200 or in person at the Theatre Row Box Office.

For more information about Heartbreak House or any of the programs at Gingold Theatrical Group, call 212/355-7823, email, or visit online.

Photo Credit Carol Rosegg

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