The Play Company's 15th Anniversary Season to Feature Milisavljevic's ABYSS, SLEEP & More

The Play Company (PlayCo), led by Founding Producer Kate Loewald and Executive Producer Lauren Weigel celebrates its 15th Anniversary season with programming that exemplifies its unique commitment to premiering plays from around the world, including the U.S., to advance a dynamic, international experience of contemporary theater as part of the American repertoire.

The season will open with celebrated German playwright Maria Milisavljevic's Abyss, directed by Maria Mileaf- a poetic thriller about a young woman's disappearance within an immigrant community. The season continues with a new as yet untitled rock-theater-event by Brooklyn indie-rock band Sky-Pony, co-produced with Ars Nova anddirected by Tony nominee Sam Buntrock. The season concludes with Christopher Chen's Caught, a new cross-genre piece confronting issues of artistic freedom and authenticity in today's globally interconnected culture.

Co-founders Kate Loewald, Mike Ockrent and Jack Temchin launched The Play Company (PlayCo) in 1999, to contribute a progressive, global program of new work to New York City's theater landscape. PlayCo was created to nurture artists and produce new work from a global perspective. PlayCo presented a public play reading series in its first year, and its first show in the 2000/2001 season. Today, under the leadership of Founding Producer Kate Loewald and Executive Producer Lauren Weigel, PlayCo's annual activity has grown to three Off-Broadway productions, alongside ongoing artistic project development, commissions, artist residencies, and community events. PlayCo has introduced artists and plays from Mexico, Japan, Sweden, India, China, the Ivory Coast, France, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, Poland, Russia, Romania and the United States, and in 2007 received an OBIE Award for its "unique contributions to the Off Broadway community."

Loewald remarked, "It's humbling for me to step back and look at the extraordinary 15-year roster of artists from around the world who have created new works with us so far. This year's season keeps us reaching, with our first musical show (rock 'n' roll of course), and artists from Europe and San Francisco, new to New York, who push language and form to beautiful and unexpected new ground."

PLAYCO 2015-16 SEASON PROGRAMMING

The Play Company presents Abyss (U.S. Premiere)
Written and translated by Maria Milisavljevic (Germany)
Directed by Maria Mileaf
Theaterlab (357 W. 36th Street, Manhattan)
November 7 - December 6, 2015

"An emotionally powerful thriller that rustles and whispers about loss." - Der Spiegel

PlayCo is pleased to present the U.S premiere of Abyss by award-winning German playwright Maria Milisavljevic. Karla's been missing since Monday. The police are indifferent, so her friends launch a search of their own. But soon secrets surface and threaten the safety they've worked so hard to find in a new home. This poetic thriller, winner of the prestigious Kleist Award, leads us through a world where people make their own justice, to the brink of irrevocable loss.

Born in Arnsberg, Germany, Maria Milisavljevic is an award-winning playwright, theatre creator and director. She has worked with various theatres and companies across Germany and in London's West End. Milisavljevic is currently Tarragon Theatre in Toronto's first international Playwright-in-Residence.

Maria Mileaf's directing credits include the New York premieres of Lee Blessing's Going to St. Ives at Primary Stages, Kira Obolensky's Lobster Alice at Playwrights Horizons, Vijay Tendulkar's Sakharam Binder and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran for The Play Company, Oren Safdie's Private Jokes Public Places at the Center For Architecture, Neena Beber's Hard Feelings at the Women's Project and her Tomorrowland for New Georges, Erik Ehn's Maid for the Lincoln Center Festival, Julia Cho's 99 Histories at the Cherry Lane, Brighde Mullins' Those Who Can Do at Clubbed Thumb, Jeannie Hutchins' Laugh I Thought I'd Die at P.S. 122 and Dawn Saito's HA at DTW. Regionally she has worked at the La Jolla Playhouse, The Geffen, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Theatre X, Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival and New York Stage and Film. This summer she directs Lucy Prebble's The Sugar Syndrome for the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Abyss will take place November 7 through December 6 at Theaterlab located at 357 W. 36th Street, Manhattan.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on September 21. At that time, $20 Preview, $35 General Admission, and $45 Premium Reserved tickets can be purchased by visiting playco.org or calling 212.352.3101. PlayCo will also be offering a $75 season Play Pass that will grant the buyer one ticket to each of 15-16 season shows. Tickets are now available for groups of 10 or more. Please email Keisha Salmon at ksalmon@playco.org for more information.

For more information and updates please visit playco.org.

Ripe Time and The Play Company present
Haruki Murakami's Sleep
Adapted for the stage byNaomi Iizuka
Devised and Directed by Rachel Dickstein
Work-in-Progress Japan Society (333 East 47th Street, Manhattan)
February 26 - 28, 2016

PlayCo launches a new collaboration with Ripe Time to adapt Haruki Murakami's iconic short story, for a new physical theater piece. In Sleep, insomnia turns the routine life of a Japanese housewife upside down, opening a window into a haunting and beautiful sleep-deprived world. Ripe Time's award-winning Artistic Director, Rachel Dickstein, leads a trailblazing creative team including text by Japanese-American playwright Naomi Iizuka, set design by Mimi Lien (Enjoy, The Golden Dragon and The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise) lighting design by Jiyoun Chang (The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise), costumes by Ilona Somogyi, projection design by Hannah Wasilewski and an original score by the NewBorn Trio (Katie Down - The Golden Dragon). The premiere is planned for PlayCo's 16/17 season.

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949. Following the publication of his first novel in Japanese in 1979, he sold the jazz bar he ran with his wife and became a full-time writer. It was with the publication of Norwegian Wood - which has to date sold more than 4 million copies in Japan alone - that the author was truly catapulted into the limelight. Known for his surrealistic world of mysterious (and often disappearing) women, cats, earlobes, wells, Western culture, music and quirky first-person narratives, he is now Japan's best-known novelist abroad. Nine novels, four short story collections and two works of non-fiction are currently available in English translation.

Naomi Iizuka's plays include 36 Views; Polaroid Stories; Anon(ymous); Language of Angels; Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls; Tattoo Girl; Skin; Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West; Ghostwritten; At the Vanishing Point; Hamlet: Blood in the Brain (a collaboration with CalShakes and Campo Santo + Intersection for the Arts), and 3 Truths (a collaboration with Cornerstone Theater Company.) Her plays have been produced by Berkeley Rep, the Goodman, the Guthrie, Intiman, Children's Theater Company, the Kennedy Center, the Huntington Theater, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, GeVa, Portland Center Stage, the Public, Dallas Theatre Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music's "Next Wave Festival," and Soho Rep. Iizuka is the recipient of a PEN/Laura Pels Award, an Alpert Award, a Joyce Foundation Award, a Whiting Writers' Award, a Stavis Award from the National Theatre Conference, a Rockefeller Foundation MAP grant, an NEA/TCG Artist in Residence grant, a McKnight Fellowship, a PEN Center USA West Award for Drama, Princeton University's Hodder Fellowship, and a Jerome Fellowship.

Rachel Dickstein devised, choreographed, and directed the world premieres of the critically acclaimed The World Is Round (BAM-Fisher, Obie Award, Special Citation, Finalist for 2014 Richard Rodgers Award, based on Gertrude Stein), Septimus and Clarissa (Joe A. Calloway, Drama Desk, Drama League nominations, adapted by Ellen McLaughlin from Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway) at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, Fire Throws (based on Antigone) at 3LD ART & Technology Center, Innocents at the Ohio Theatre (based on Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth), Betrothed (based on stories by Jhumpa Lahiri, Chekhov and S. Ansky) at the Ohio Theatre. Artist in Residence at the Drama League. Nominated for the 2014 Alan Schneider Award and twice for the Doris Duke Impact Award. Commissions from NYSCA, the Rockefeller MAP Fund, P.S. 122 and the NEA/TCG Director's Fellowship.

There will be three public performances of this work-in-progress from February 26 - 28, 2016: February 26 and 27 at 7:30pm and February 28 at 2:30 at Japan Society. $20 general admission tickets and $18 Japan Society member tickets are on sale now and can by purchased by visiting japansociety.org or calling 212.832.1155.

For tickets and additional information, please visit JapanSociety.org.

Ars Nova and The Play Company present
A New Rock-theater-Event
By Sky Pony(World Premiere)
Text by Kyle Jarrow & Lauren Worsham
Songs by Kyle Jarrow
Performed by Sky-Pony
Directed by Sam Buntrock
Ars Nova (511 West 54th Street, Manhattan)
February/March 2016

PlayCo joins forces with award-winning, adventurous Ars Nova and Brooklyn-based indie-rock band Sky-Pony on a new rock-theater-event, directed by Tony nominee Sam Buntrock. A collaboration between singer/actress Lauren Worsham, and her musician/writer husband Kyle Jarrow, Sky-Pony is beloved for its lush, cheeky sound and high energy performance style. Step into the world of Sky-Pony!

Kyle Jarrow is a writer and musician based in Brooklyn, NY, who writes for the stage as well as film and television. He won an OBIE Award for his Off-Broadway hit play A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant, which has subsequently been produced all over the U.S. Kyle wrote the film Armless, adapted from his play of the same name, which was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. Other stage plays include Whisper House(with Tony-winner Duncan Sheik, record available from RCA/Victor), Love Kills, Trigger, Raptured, The Consequences (with Nathan Leigh), Hostage Song(with Clay McLeod Chapman), Gorilla Man, and President Harding is a Rock Star. Current theatrical works in progress include Noir with Duncan Sheik; Ana and the American Dream with Josh Schmidt; and Fallout with Nick Blaemire. He was a Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle Award nominee, runner-up for the Princess Grace Playwriting Award, and a recipient of a Boris Segal Fellowship and a John Golden Prize.

Lauren Worsham is a Brooklyn-based actress and singer who made her Broadway debut originating the role of Phoebe in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder for which she garnered a Tony nomination, Drama Desk award and Theatre World award. Other roles include Lisa in Dog Days at Montclair Peak Performances, Fort Worth Opera and LA Opera (dir. Robert Woodruff), Flora in Turn of the Screw at New York City Opera (dir. Sam Buntrock), Amy in Where's Charley at New York City Center (dir. John Doyle), Cunegonde in New York City Opera's Candide, and Olive in the first National tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Lauren also performs in concert frequently, including shows at Carnegie Hall, Caramoor, Merkin Hall, Oregon Bach Festival, Joe's Pub, Galapagos Art Space and New York City Opera's VOX Program. Lauren was the 2009 second-place award winner of the Kurt Weill Foundation's Lotte Lenya competition. She is the co-founder and executive director of the downtown opera company,The Coterie, along with librettist Royce Vavre.

Sam Buntrock directed the acclaimed revival of Sunday In The Park With George, (London Fringe, West End and Broadway) for which he received nominations for Olivier, Tony and Drama Desk awards for Best Director. Other directing credits include Turn of the Screw (New York City Opera at BAM); the European tour of The Rocky Horror Show (since 2008); Daniel Goldfarb's Cradle and All Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club; Take Flight, Travesties and Are You There McPhee? (all McCarter Theater); Much Ado About Nothing (Two River), The A to Z of Mrs P (Southwark Playhouse), A Maze (New York Stage and Film), Michael Mitnick's Ed, Downloaded (Denver Center), Lenny Henry's Cradle to Grave (UK tour) and Marcus Brigstocke's one man shows God Collar (Edinburgh, UK Tour and West End) and Get a Life and Help Yourself (both in Edinburgh and UK tour).

Exact dates and ticket information will be released nearer the date. For updates please check playco.org.

The Play Company presents
Caught(New York Premiere)
Written by Christopher Chen
May/June 2016

PlayCo is pleased to present the New York Premiere of Christopher Chen's Caught, an irreverent new genre-bending piece that spotlights Chinese dissident artist Lin Bo. Featuring a special appearance by Bo himself, Chen explores the notion of art that lives only in the mind, rather than the tangible world, to achieve true artistic freedom, and interrogate the value of authenticity in today's globally interconnected culture.

Christopher Chen is a San Francisco based playwright whose full-length works include Mutt, The Window Age, Into The Numbers, The Hundred Flowers Project, and Aulis: An Act of Nihilism In One Long Act. His plays have been produced and developed across the United States and abroad, including at the American Conservatory Theater, Asian American Theater Company, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Beijing Fringe, Central Works, Crowded Fire, Cutting Ball Theater, Edinburgh Fringe, Fluid Motion, hotINK Festival, InterAct Theatre, Just Theatre, Lark Play Development Center, Magic Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, Silk Road Rising, Sundance Theatre Lab, Theatre Mu and The Vineyard. Honors include: the Sundance Institute/Time Warner Foundation Fellowship for theater; the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, through which he was playwright in residence at The Vineyard Theatre in New York; the Glickman Award; the Rella Lossy Playwriting Award; a Ford Foundation Emerging Writer of Color Grant; finalist for the PONY and Jerome Fellowships.

Exact dates and ticket information will be released nearer the date. For updates please check playco.org.

About The Play Company (PlayCo)

The Play Company is an OBIE Award-winning Off Broadway theater production company. Now in its fifteenth season, PlayCo has produced 28 new plays from the United States, Germany, Romania, Poland, Sweden, Japan, India, Mexico, France, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England. PlayCo develops and produces adventurous new plays from the U.S. and around the world, advancing a dynamic global practice of contemporary theater and expanding the American theater repertoire.

As the only New York company regularly producing outstanding contemporary plays from around the world alongside new American work, PlayCo's distinctive international programming links American theatre with world theater, American artists with the global creative community, and American audiences with a whole world of plays.



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