SF's ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S BIG GAY DANCE PARTY Plays 13th NY Int'l Fringe Festival 8/14-30

The San Francisco Playhouse, BlueRare Productions, and PlayGround team to present the SF Playhouse's critically acclaimed production of Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party, by Aaron Loeb, directed by Chris Smith, as part of the 13th Annual New York International Fringe Festival, thus furthering an SF Playhouse goal to deliver productions that can succeed on a national level. Performances will be held at HERE Arts Center (Mainstage Theater - Venue #17), 145 6th Avenue (between Spring and Broome).

The original SF Playhouse Company - featuring Velina Brown, Joe Kady, Lorraine Olsen, Mark Anderson Phillips, Michael Phillis, and Brian Degan Scott - will be joined by Kate Castillo (replacing Sarah Mitchell) in New York for this East Coast premiere. Choreography by Kimberly Richards and Tom Segal, original music by Chris Houston, sets by Bill English, costumes by Victoria Livingston Hall, stage manager Tatjana Genser.

SF Playhouse Artistic Director Bill English says, "I thought when I first read this script, that there was something absolutely unique about it and it will be wonderful to be able to share this "one of a kind' gem with the East Coast." Playwright Aaron Loeb adds, "It is a genuine thrill to be able to re-mount the SF Playhouse world premiere of Abe at the New York Fringe. The actors, directors and producers of the production are all involved in bringing the production to a new city. San Francisco audiences embraced our show so warmly; we can't wait to show-'em-what-we-got in the Big Apple."

In this new comedy of political values, Honest Abe's hometown puts a teacher on trial for asking "Was Lincoln gay?" Told in three acts - the audience decides the order - we see the events surrounding the "Trial of the Century" through the eyes of the prosecution, the defense and the big city reporter.

The SF Playhouse world premiere production of the play, originally commissioned by PlayGround, received the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best New Play and made three year-end Bay Area Top 10 Lists. Variety called it an "ambitious mashup of burlesque anarchy, elaborate narrative intrigue, serious sociopolitical themes and campy dance interludes. . . . It shouldn't all hold together. Yet somehow this frequently ingenious, hilarious contraption does."

Aaron Loeb (Playwright) received BFAs in Dramatic Writing and Dramatic Literature from NYU, is a member of the Dramatists' Guild of America and is also the chief operating officer of Planet Moon Studios, a leading developer of next-generation Wii, PSP and PC games. His play, First Person Shooter, was named a Top 10 (2007) by The San Francisco Chronicle and The Oakland Tribune and won the Bay Area Theater Critic Circle Award for Best New Play.

Chris Smith (Director) directed Charles Grodin's The Right Kind of People (Primary Stages/59E59 and Magic Theatre) and several dozen other world premieres, including works by Edna O'Brien, David Ives, Joyce Carol Oates, Romulus Linney, Joe Pintauro, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Frank D. Gilroy. He is the former Artistic Director of San Francisco's Magic Theatre and Youngblood, Ensemble Studio Theatre's company of emerging playwrights, in New York City.

BlueRare Productions is a venture company dedicated to the power of live performance.

San Francisco Playhouse has garnered multiple awards for its productions, including the SF Weekly 2007 Best Theatre Award and Bay Guardian's 2006 Best Off-Broadway Theatre Award. SF Playhouse strives to create works that celebrate the human spirit and provide a creative home and inspiring environment where actors, directors, writers, designers and theater lovers converge.

PlayGround has helped to identify some of the leading emerging writers in the Bay Area and, at the same time, create a community of theatre artists, bringing together more than one hundred Bay Area actors, directors and playwrights.

For more information about the Fringe Production, visit www.abrahamlincolnsbiggaydanceparty.com.

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