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ROPE Swings Into The Zipper Theatre November 21

Drama Dept. (Douglas Carter Beane, Artistic Director and Michael S. Rosenberg, Executive Director) and The Zipper are pleased to announce the first of three co-productions: a revival of Patrick Hamilton's 1929 thriller, ROPE.  Directed by David Warren, ROPE will begin performances at The Zipper Theatre (336 West 37th Street) on Monday, November 21, 2005 and will play a limited, eight-week engagement (through January 15, 2006).  Opening night is scheduled for Sunday, December 4 at 7 p.m.

ROPE tells the story of two young Oxford/>/> men who attempt "the perfect murder" to prove that they are above ordinary people.  After killing a college friend, Brandon and Granillo hide the body in a trunk in their living room and host a cocktail party, serving dinner off of the trunk.  The play has many similarities with the Leopold and Loeb murder case from Chicago/>/>.  Alfred Hitchcock adapted the play (which, originally titled Rope's End, opened at The Theatre Masque in September 1929) for his celebrated 1948 film.  In keeping with Drama Dept.'s mission of rediscovering neglected works, this production will mark the first revival of the play in New York/>/> in more than 40 years.

The cast of ROPE includes Ginifer King (Steel Magnolias), John Lavelle (The Graduate), Zack Orth (Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda) and Sam Trammell (Tony nominated for Ah, Wilderness! at Lincoln Center).  The remainder of the cast will be announced shortly (casting by Jodi Collins, CSA).

ROPE will have scenic design by James Youmans, costume design by Gregory Gale, lighting design by Jeff Croiter and sound design by Kai Harada.  The Production Stage Manager is Adam Grosswirth.

Tickets for ROPE, which are priced from $35 - $55, will go on sale on Monday, October 10 via Telecharge.com (212-239-6200), or in-person at The Zipper Theatre Box Office (hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 12 Noon to 5 p.m., and one hour prior to curtain beginning November 21).

The performance schedule for ROPE is Tuesday – Friday at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Holiday/> Schedules:
Thanksgiving Week (November 21-27) – Monday – Wednesday at 8p.m., Thursday – DARK, Friday at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Christmas Week (December 19 -25) – Monday – Friday at 8 p.m., Wednesday and Friday at 3 p.m.

New Year's Week (December 26 – Jan. 1) – Monday – Saturday at 8 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday at 3 p.m.

ROPE marks the first of three planned collaborations between the critically acclaimed Drama Dept. and The Zipper.

Drama Dept. was conceived in a cheap rental car during the summer of 1994 and birthed in a Sardi's banquet room as a non-profit theater collective of actors, writers, directors, designers and stage managers.  What began as a gathering of a committed "Who's Who" is now an enthusiastic VIP list of 102.  More than a decade after founding the company, the award-winning team of Artistic Director Douglas Carter Beane and Executive Director Michael S. Rosenberg continue to nurture their vision of a community theater in a professional theater community.  Drama Dept.'s mission is the development and production of new and neglected works of American Theater.  The company brings together a diverse group of artists in a collaborative environment to present highly entertaining work at affordable prices. To date, this partnership of art and commerce has resulted in the production of 19 acclaimed works including Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown, David & Amy Sedaris' The Book of Liz, Isaac Mizrahi's Les Mizrahi, the Moss Hart/Irving Berlin musical As Thousands Cheer, Charles Busch's Shanghai Moon and the Tribeca Theater Festival with Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff. The high point/>/> of the Festival was Drama Dept.'s production of The Downtown Plays, a production of nine short plays by such writers as Neil LaBute, Kenneth Lonergan, Paul Rudnick, David Henry Hwang and Wendy Wasserstein.  Most recently, Drama Dept. produced the new musical The Big Time at the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

The Zipper is a renovated zipper factory that has featured theatrical productions, special events, comedy and live music since its opening in 2001.  The Zipper is thrilled to add the Drama Dept. to an esteemed list of artists that have created and performed in this unique space, which includes Bebe Neuwirth, Roger Rees and Ann Reinking (Here Lies Jenny); Alan Cumming, Stephen Spinella and Vivienne Westwood (Elle); Barry Humphries (Sir Les Patterson Unzipped) ; Henry Rollins (Caught in the Zipper); Lypsinka (The Passion of the Crawford);  Sarah Silverman (Jesus is Magic); BETTY and Michael Greif (BETTY Rules); as well as Rosie O'Donnell, Lewis Black, Bob Balaban, Mark Lundholm,  John Cameron Mitchell, the Scissor Sisters, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Euan Morton, Tom Wopat, Michael Cerveris, Adam Pascal and Marshall Crenshaw.

David Warren (Director).  Broadway credits include Philip Barry's Holiday/> at Circle In The Square (Outer Critics Circle Nomination: Best Revival); Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke and Misalliance at the Roundabout.  He also directed Hobson's Choice at Atlantic Theatre Co.  (Lucille Lortel Award nomination: Best Revival).  Premieres include Matt & Ben (also Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto and on tour); Drumstruck (currently at Dodger Stages); Richard Greenberg's The Dazzle, Hurrah at Last (both for Roundabout), Night and Her Stars, and his adaptation of Pal Joey; Nicky Silver's Eros Trilogy, Raised in Captivity, Pterodactyls (Obie Award), The Altruists, and Fit to be Tied; Tom Donaghy's Minutes From The Blue Route and From Above; and the new musical Harmony by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman.  His regional credits include work at Long/> Wharf/>/>, Hartford Stage, Goodspeed, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, and others.  He has received an Obie, an LA Weekly, and three Dramalogue awards, and an LA Drama Critic's Circle nomination.  He was the recipient of a National Endowment For The Arts directing fellowship and was the Alan Schneider directing fellow at the Juilliard/> School/>/>.  He is a founding member of Drama Dept.

Patrick Hamilton (Playwright).  English novelist and playwright, whose best-known works were Rope (1929) and Gas Light (1938), both adapted into films.   As a novelist Hamilton/>/> made his debut at the age of nineteen with the Dickensian Monday Morning (1925). It was followed by Craven House (1926), a story of the inmates of a boarding-house. It established his reputation on both sides of Atlantic/>.  Hamilton/>'s first theatrical success was Rope (1929), produced in the United States/>/> as Rope's End.  Gaslight in 1938 gained a huge success and ran in the United States/>/> for almost three years (1942-44).  Patrick Hamilton died on September 23, 1962.

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