THE BRIGHTNESS OF HEAVEN to be Presented at APAP Next Month

THE BRIGHTNESS OF HEAVEN to be Presented at APAP Next Month

After an acclaimed Off-Broadway engagement, THE BRIGHTNESS OF HEAVEN, a new play by best-selling author Laura Pedersen, directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser, will soon be presented in regional productions, and will start the new year with two presentations at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at the Hilton NY Midtown (1335 Avenue of the Americas) in the Regents Parlor (scheduled for 4:40 PM and 11:25 PM). Regional productions will be announced in the new year. More information and updates can be found atwww.TheBrightnessofHeaven.com.

A witty drama about Family, Faith, and the ties that bind, THE BRIGHTNESS OF HEAVEN is set in 1974 Buffalo. The play follows the Kilgannons, who are as typical an Irish family one would expect to find during the era -- when the world outside the home was changing fast, and the generation gap inside the home was widening just as fast . . . and the future was up for grabs.

The upcoming Buffalo engagement marks a homecoming for playwright and acclaimed author Laura Pedersen. "Buffalo was 80% Catholic when I was growing up there in the 1970s," says Ms. Pedersen. "It was a hotbed of anti-abortion protests, church basement Bingo and Friday night fish fries. While the church was still reeling from the Second Vatican Council, society was being rocked by the Vietnam War, Watergate, birth control, a recession, an oil crisis, and various progressive movements championing African-Americans, women, Native Americans and the environment. It was a time of religious, political, and cultural upheaval that placed young people in opposition to their elders more than at any other moment in recent history. Hair length alone was responsible for thousands of dinner table fights. Almost all the families I knew were struggling to find their way forward and make sense of a way of life that was unraveling before their eyes. It turns out that mood rings, smiley faces, pet rocks and fuzzy dice affect people in all sorts of different ways."

Laura Pedersen began her career as the youngest person, at age 20, to become a partner in a Wall Street trading firm. Glamour magazine named her one of ten "Outstanding Young Working Women" in 1990. Her first book, Play Money (1991), about being the youngest trader on the floor of the American Stock Exchange, became a bestseller, and she appeared on CNN, "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Good Morning America," "The Today Show," "Primetime Live," "David Letterman," and other television programs. In 1994, President Clinton honored Ms. Pedersen as one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans. She was a columnist for The New York Times from 1995 to 2002, and the host of her own television show on the Oxygen Channel from 1999-2002. She is the author of several best-selling and award-winning books, including the Hallie Palmer Series: Beginner's Luck, Heart's Desire, The Big Shuffle; and Best Bet; as well as Going Away Party; Last Call; Fool's Mate; The Sweetest Hours; Buffalo Gal; Buffalo Unbound; and most recently, Planes, Trains, and Auto-Rickshaws. Her first children's book, Unplugged: Ella Gets Her Family Back, was published in 2012 and became a Mom's Choice Awards Gold recipient; another children's book, Ava's Adventure, has just been released. Ms. Pedersen's one-act play A Dozen Perfect Moments was performed as part of the 2012 Midtown International Theatre Festival at the June Havoc Theatre. The play was also a winner of the Doc Jim Martin Playwright Competition and a semi-finalist in the Drury University One-Act Playwriting Competition. Other stage works include the one-act play Living Arrangements and the full-length musical This Will All Be Yours (music and lyrics by Charles Bloom). Visit www.laurapedersenbooks.com and www.facebook.com/LauraPedersenWriter.

THE BRIGHTNESS OF HEAVEN is directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser, whose other credits include: Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night in London's West End; three productions at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival; the premiere of Gregory Murphy's The Countess, which ran Off-Broadway for 634 performances and in the West End; Rona Munro's Bold Girls at the 29th St. Rep.; the NYC premiere of Otho Eskin's Duet, a new play about Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse; the North American premiere of Leaves of Glass by Philip Ridley, as part of Origin's First Irish Festival, Derek Murphy's A Short Wake; As It Is In Heaven by Arlene Hutton, produced by 3 Graces Theater Co. at The Cherry Lane Theatre; A Dozen Perfect Moments, The Brightness of Heaven, Living Arrangements and This Will All be Yours by Laura Pedersen; the Off-Broadway production of Final Analysis by Otho Eskin at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box theatre at the Pershing Square Signature Center. Ludovica is the Founder of Works by Women, and has served on the Board of The League of Professional Theatre Women. Visit www.ludovicavillarhauser.com.

THE BRIGHTNESS OF HEAVEN was the finalist in the Maxim Mazumder New Play Competition, a finalist in the Ashland New Plays Festival, and a finalist in The Hudson Valley Writers' Center New Play Reading Series. It was first staged as a developmental production, directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser, presented at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in 2012. The play made its Off-Broadway premiere at the Cherry Lane Studio Theatre (38 Commerce Street, NYC), where it was performed October 16th through December 14th, 2014 (Opening on October 26, 2014).

The Off-Broadway cast of THE BRIGHTNESS OF HEAVEN featured Mark Banik, Emily Batsford, Peter Cormican, Bill Coyne, Paula Ewin, James Michael Lambert, Kate Kearney-Patch, Kendall Rileigh, as well as Kendra Jo Brook, who provided live music. The production had set and costume design by Meganne George, lighting design by Natalie Robin, and sound design by Janie Bullard. Amy Stoller was the dialect designer.

The Off-Broadway cast of THE BRIGHTNESS OF HEAVEN will perform during the APAP presentations.

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