THE RUSSIAN & THE JEW To Receive World Premiere at The Tank
The Tank (Meghan Finn and Rosalind Grush, Artistic Directors) in association with Anna & Kitty, Inc. will present the World Premiere of The Russian & The Jew, a political fairy tale about anti-semitism and female friendship in the Soviet Union in 1968, co-written by Liba Vaynberg and Emily Louise Perkins and directed by Ines Braun at The Tank (312 West 36th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues), December 4-20.
Performances will be on Tuesday, December 4 at 7pm, Wednesday, December 5 at 7pm, Thursday, December 6 at 7pm, Friday, December 7 at 2pm & 7pm, Saturday, December 8 at 2pm & 7pm, Sunday, December 9 at 2pm & 7pm, Tuesday, December 11 at 7pm, Wednesday, December 12 at 7pm, Thursday, December 13 at 7pm, Friday, December 14 at 7pm, Monday, December 17 at 7pm, Tuesday, December 18 at 7pm, Wednesday, December 19 at 7pm, and Thursday, December 20 at 7pm. Tickets ($50 VIP; $25 General; $15 Student) are available for advance purchase at www.thetanknyc.org.
The performance will run approximately 2 hours, with an intermission.
The Russian & the Jew is a political fairy tale that explores anti-Semitism and misogyny through a female friendship in the Soviet Union in 1968. The first public presentation of this play was a 2017-2018 BluePrint project, as part of the Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations (COJECO) and incubated by the Tank. The play underlines the eternal question of fidelity oneself, to one's partner and to one's country. Drawing on autobiographical and historical material, this piece blends and revisits Russian fairy tales, literature and politics through the eyes of two women. Drawing on themes from Anna Karenina alongside ubiquitous Vysotsky bootlegs of the time, the play begins when Jews in the former USSR started to apply for coveted exit visas in the late '60s when the first letters from America and Beatles tapes started to break through the borders. This piece investigates what it meant (and what it continues to mean) to be a Jew, a woman and a citizen.
A post-show talkback series will follow select performances and feature Gal Beckermann (author of When They Come For Us, We'll Be Gone), and conversations with the Museum of Jewish Heritage, The Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations, The Manhattan JCC, and LABA at the 14th Street Y, all featuring playwright and actor Liba Vaynberg, COJECO fellow.
The cast will feature Sophie Sorensen (US Premiere of The Report), Terrell Wheeler* (Fly with New Victory Theatre), Jordan Bellow* (The Feels at The New Ohio), MOTI MARGOLIN* (That Poor Dream, The Assembly), Liba Vaynberg*(New Amsterdam on NBC, Scheiss Book, Best One-Woman Show at the United Solo Festival), and Emily Louise Perkins* (Bekah Brunstetter's The Oregon Trail) with Lighting Design by Cha See (Honors Students at The Wild Project), Set Design by Sara C. Walsh (Wealth From the Salt Seas with The Chocolate Factory), Costume Design by Dina Abd El Aziz (Pay Attention to the Girl with Target Margin), Sound Design by Asa Wember (Selkie with Dutch Kills) and Dramaturgy by Erin Capistrano (Waterwell). *Appearing courtesy of the Actors' Equity Association.
Liba Vaynberg (Co-Writer) was described by the New York Times as "wonderfully real and raw," Liba is bilingual in English and Russian. She studied Molecular Biology & International Studies at Yale before getting her MFA from Columbia. Plays include Scheiss Book which premiered at the United Solo Festival at Theatre Row where it won Best One-Woman Show as well as the Backstage Magazine Audience Choice Award. Scheiss Book was also produced by Dixon Place and Stonewall Inn. She is working on a sequel Queen's Quest that was a 2018 SPACE on RYDER FARM finalist. Her play Round Table (Gary Marshall Theater New Works Semi-Finalist 2018) was programmed as part of Fault Line Theatre's new work series IRONS IN THE FIRE and will be produced by 59E59 and Fault Line Theater in 2019. She is currently collaborating with Dina Vovsi on a new piece about the Brighton Beach Community through the Five Boroughs 1 City Initiative with Working Theater. Her play The Oxford Comma will be receiving an educational premiere at Xavier University. As a performer, she has recurred on "Madam Secretary" (CBS), appeared on "Billy & Billie" (DirecTV) and "The Deuce" (HBO) and will recur on "New Amsterdam" (NBC). New York acting highlights include Black Milk at Classic Stage Company, Bekah Brunstetter's Oregon Trail at the Women's Project, Novaya Zemlya at HERE, and Golem of Havana at La Mama. Regionally, she has worked at Yale, Williamstown Theater Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Huntington Theatre, Penguin Rep and Miami New Drama. www.libavaynberg.com
Emily Louise Perkins (Co-Writer) is a writer, actor and voiceover artist. As a writer Emily has co-authored I Will Look Forward to This Later with Obie-award winning playwright Kate Benson With The Assembly Theater Project, in collaboration with IRT & The New Ohio Theater as a part of the 2016 Archive Residency. With the Assembly Emily has also collectively devised HOME/SICK (premiered at The Living Theater & remounted recently at Brooklyn's JACK & LA's Odyssey Theater) and That Poor Dream at The New Ohio.
As an actor Emily is best known as the voice of "Goldie" in Nestle's Raisinets webseries and Tatum in Crayola's "Pop Art Pixie" Campaign. She can be seen in numerous cartoons, but will most likely be found downtown developing a new play. Favorite credits include The Atlantic Theater Company and O'Neill Playwrights Center workshop productions of Bekah Brunstetter's The Oregon Trail, fully staged production of the same at The Women's Project, the world premiere of Caroline V. McGraw's The Vaults (New Georges), Salamander Leviathan (Joe's Pub @ The Public) and The Confidence Man (Woodshed Collective). Stage collaborations include work with The Playwrights Realm, The O'Neill Theater Center, Rattlestick, New York Theater Workshop, The Public's Joe's Pub, The Lark Play Development Center, Theater Row, The Women's Project, Ars Nova, Soho Rep, Playwrights Horizons and The Culture Project. www.emilylouiseperkins.com
Ines Braun (Director) is a stage and film director from Buenos Aires. A graduate of the Universidad del Cine in Argentina, as a film director she wrote and directed several shorts. Her feature film La Ronda, was selected to participate at Berlin International Film Festival and Shanghai International Film Festival among many others, allowing her to travel the world and broaden her horizons. In 2014, Ines left her country and her career as a film director and moved to New York City to start an MFA in Theater Directing at Columbia University. She made her debut with Trial by Fire, an ensemble-devised play which exposes the hardships endured by Brecht's female collaborators. She also directed Chekhov's Ivanov and Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice, with an original score.
As her thesis, she directed Euripides' Alkestis in a translation by Anne Carson. After graduating in 2017, she focused on teaching theater workshops for teenagers at Rikers prison and was appointed by Gregory Mosher to direct William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life at Hunter College. During her years in New York, Ines has assisted directors Robert Woodruff and Martha Clarke. Last summer Ines directed the new play Dumpster Fire by Emily Comisar at the Connelly Theater as part of the She NYC Theater Festival. Upcoming projects include developing and revisiting her ensemble-devised play Trial By Fire.
Anna & Kitty: for & by women Our mission is to present the diverse, intellectually engaging and language-rich work by female- identifying artists. We seek to develop and produce productions that attempt to make the world better through artistic interrogation. We do not limit the subject matter of the plays we produce but rather seek to elevate the voices of underrepresented female artists by providing them with first productions and crucial development opportunities. We are drawn to bold works that contain empathy and complexity, and, as a small company, we are committed to the curation of brave and progressive work, pinpoint what the female-identifying artist needs to best manifest their ideas and work towards that goal. By continuing to shine a light on under-represented artists we can give these incredible artists crucial support and raise the artistic standard of American theater.
The Tank is a non-profit arts presenter and producer. Our mission is to remove economic barriers from the creation of new work for artists launching their careers and experimenting within their art form, and to do so in an environment that is inclusive and accessible. We serve over 2,000 artists every year in over 800 performances, and work across all disciplines, including theater, comedy, dance, film, music, puppetry, and storytelling. The heart of our services is providing free performance space in our two-stage theater complex Manhattan, and we also offer a suite of other services such as free rehearsal space, promotional support, artist fees, and much more. We support work at all phases of development, from readings and residencies to fully-produced world premieres. We keep ticket prices affordable and view our work as democratic, opening up both the creation and attendance of the arts to all.
Recent Tank-produced work includes Drama Desk-nominated productions Ada/Ava (2016), youarenowhere (2016), The Paper Hat Game (2017), the ephemera trilogy (2017), and The Hunger Artist (2018), as well as New York Times Critics' Picks The Offending Gesture by Mac Wellman, directed by Meghan Finn (2016) and Red Emma & The Mad Monk by Alexis Roblan, directed by Katie Lindsay (2018). Since its founding in 2003, artists who have come through The Tank include Alex Timbers, Amy Herzog, Lucy Alibar, Kyle Jarrow, Reggie Watts, Kyle Abraham, Andrew Bujalski, We Are Scientists, and tens of thousands of others. www.thetanknyc.org