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THE SPIDER to Make American Premiere at Fringe Festival, 8/9-16

The Drama League (Executive Director, Gabriel Shanks), in conjunction with The Present Company, will present the American premiere of The Spider, the award-winning production from Bulgarian company Theatre B+, written and directed by Dimitar Dimotrov and Jordan Slaveykov, with music by Alexander Kalanov and Jordan Borisov, as part of the 17th Annual New York International Fringe Festival - Fringe NYC, the first Bulgarian theatrical event in the 25-year history of the festival. The acclaimed Bulgarian cast will include Penko Gospodinov and Anastassia Liutova.

Performances are scheduled for August 9-16, 2013 at the Celebration of Whimsy (COW) Theatre (formerly the Living Theatre) at 21 Clinton Street (between Houston and Stanton Streets).

The Spider, written and directed by Dimitar Dimitrov and Jordan Slaveykov, tells the story of conjoined twins - a brother and sister -- spending a last birthday together the night before the operation that will separate them forever. Both loving and hating their existence, they struggle to face this momentous decision: should they remain together, or separate? Should they escape into freedom or cling to the reality they have always known?

The Spider has toured internationally and received multiple awards, including Best Actress and Best Theatrical Experiment from the 2012 St. Petersburg ArtOkraina Festival, Best Theatrical Duo from the 2013 Slavs Crown Festival in Moscow, and Bulgaria's prestigious A'Askeer Prize.

Dimitar Dimitrov and Jordan Slaveykov (Co-Playwrights and Directors) founded Theatre B+ in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2009 (www.bplius.com) Their directing credits together include Actresses Against Violence: Behind The Door, The Spider, The Pillowman, The Three Sisters, Don Juan, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Seagull and more. Mr, Dimitrov and Mr. Slaveykov taught together for four years at the private art school Montfiz.

Bulgarian director Mr. Dimitrov had this to share when told his acclaimed production would be presented here in the U.S., "We are proud to be a part of the New York International Fringe Festival. Because our play is the first Bulgarian play ever selected, a lot of people in our country envy us." He ended with, " Thank you for being there - we are coming!"

Tickets are priced at $15 and may be reserved online at www.fringenyc.org.

SPECIAL FREE EVENT: The Drama League Theater Center will host "The Spider Speaks: Theater in Eastern Europe" on Monday afternoon, August 12 at 2:00 p.m. (32 Avenue of the Americas).

The cast and creators of The Spider will join Drama League Executive Director Gabriel Shanks and Artistic Director Roger Danforth to discuss the creation of this unique play, the challenges of performing in multiple countries for audiences who speak different languages, the collaborative process used during the rehearsal process, and how theater in Eastern Europe compares to American theater.

The Drama League Directors Project's U.S./Bulgaria Stage Directors Exchange, a partnership with Art Office/Sofia, develops research, production, and collaboration opportunities for American and Bulgarian directors in both countries via international exchanges and residencies.

The U.S. premiere of The Spider is produced by The Drama League of New York, with funds provided in part by The Trust For Mutual Understanding, Art Office Sofia, and the America For Bulgaria Foundation.

Since its founding in 1984, The Drama League Directors Project has grown to become the preeminent development program for theatre directors - providing talented young artists with career-changing experiences in the professional theatre. The Directors Project enhances young directors' artistic growth, broadens their knowledge, and hones their skills by providing opportunities to work with and learn from leading theatre artists around the country; provides opportunities for young directors to present their work for the professional community; augments the network of professionals to whom new directors can turn for counsel, support, and employment; and accelerates the process through which new directors gain acceptance within the professional community, bringing their unique skills and vision into the working life of the American theatre.

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