UP Theater Presents the First Play of Their 2016-17 Season The World Premiere of MERCIFUL FATHER

By: Oct. 03, 2016
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Atar Hadari's penetrating new play, Merciful Father will open UP Theater's seventh season. The World Premiere of Merciful Father will run November 1st through November 12th in Northern Manhattan. Merciful Father is a provocative new take on Sholem Asch's scandalous Yiddish play God of Vengeance:

A brothel owner commissions the creation of a Torah scroll to win a respectable husband for his daughter. His daughter instead chooses ill repute.

God of Vengeance opened on Broadway at the Apollo Theatre in 1923 and featured Broadway's first lesbian kiss, after which the actors and producers were arrested for immorality. That production is the inspiration for Paula Vogel's new play, Indecent which premiered last year at the Vineyard Theatre.

Merciful Father is directed by UP's Artistic Director, James Bosley who has premiered three of his plays with UP, including the critically acclaimed productions of Broad Channel, and Epic Poetry.

In addition to the play, each evening will feature a rotating line-up of opening acts, a diverse mix of vaudeville-esque performances that may include music, poetry, stand-up, clowns, jugglers, and puppeteers, etc., many of whom will be recognizable as regulars of UP's Showing UP Artist's Salon.

UP Theater's 2016-17 season will also include the World Premiere of Lost/Not Found by Kirby Fields in Spring 2017. Kirby Fields is currently one of seven playwrights selected to be part of LAByrinth Theatre Company's Up Next Reading Series. Ashé (previously produced by UP) playwright Ricardo Perez Gonzalez was also selected to take part in the prestigious series. UP's season will also include their annual benefit Onward & UPward in early 2017, Showing UP Artist's Salons throughout the year, and Dead of Winter Reading Series which takes place over four Sundays each January.

The cast of Merciful Father features Mary Albert (AMDA), Matt Antar (Juliana/The Duplex), Elizabeth A. Bell (R & J & Z/New Ohio Theatre), Lauren Capkanis (Harper Reagan/T. Schreiber Theatre), Bill Christ (The Miracle Worker/Broadway), Jonathan Ellers (Pyramus & Thisbe Puppet Cabaret/The Metropolitan Room), Richard Grunn (Project Cliff/Independent Film), Sarah Kiefer (Epic Poetry/UP Theater), Heather Michelle (Play or Be Played/Graforsha Productions), and Nikole Williams (A Raisin in the Sun/Compass Rose Theater).

The creative team includes set design by Samuel Vawter, costume design by Brenna McShane, lighting design by Duane Pagano, sound design by David Margolin Lawson, graphic design by Dean Heagle, and stage management by Elizabeth Ramsay. The production team includes Executive Director Lonnie EJ Cooper, Managing Director Laura F. Bosley, and Producing Director Rik Walter.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for students/seniors, and can be purchased at www.mercifulfatherup.bpt.me Performances take place at The Garret at Fort Washington Collegiate, 729 W 181st St, New York, NY 10033. Subway: across the street from the A train at 181st. Running time: 80 minutes - includes pre-show.

Show Dates:

Tuesday, November 1st @ 8:00 pm

Wednesday, November 2nd @ 8:00 pm

Thursday, November 3rd @ 8:00 pm

Friday, November 4th @ 8:00 pm

Saturday, November 5th @ 8:00 pm

Tuesday, November 8th @ 8:00 pm

Wednesday, November 9th @ 8:00 pm

Thursday, November 10th @ 8:00 pm

Friday, November 11th @ 8:00 pm

Saturday, November 12th @ 8:00 pm

More information is available at www.uptheater.org

Atar Hadari (Playwright) trained as an actor at the University of East Anglia before winning a scholarship to study playwriting with Derek Walcott at Boston University. His plays have won awards from the BBC, Arts Council of England, National Foundation of Jewish Culture (New York), European Association of Jewish Culture (Brussels), and the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he was Young Writer in Residence. Plays have been staged at the Finborough Theatre, Wimbledon Studio Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum (Los Angeles), Nat Horne Studio Theatre (New York) and West Yorkshire Playhouse. He recently won a Pen Translates award for his translations of Israel's greatest playwright, "Lives of the Dead: Poems of Hanoch Levin" which will be published by Arc Publications in 2017.

James Bosley (Director) is the artistic director of Northern Manhattan's UP Theater Company where his plays All The Best Ingredients (2011), Broad Channel (2014), and Epic Poetry (2015) have all been given world premieres. His play Fun, first developed at the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, was given its first production at MCC in NYC, and has had many subsequent productions in the U.S and abroad and is published by Dramatic Publishing Company. The film version of Fun, for which he wrote the screenplay (IFP Spirit Award Nomination), was shown at Sundance and other festivals, and opened commercially at the Film Forum in NYC. His plays have also been produced by MCC Theater, The Williamstown Theatre Fringe Festival, Qwirk Productions, Emerging Artists, Fay Simpson Dance Theatre, and more.

UP Theater Company (James Bosley, Artistic Director) was founded in 2010 by Inwood theater artists who endeavored to bring professional productions to their neighborhood of Northern Manhattan. Eschewing crowd-pleasing chestnuts, UP produces provocative new work by contemporary playwrights. After six years and eight full productions, including Ashé, Broad Channel, Epic Poetry, and last year's critically acclaimed production of An American Drum Circle; UP has established a reputation for being gritty, rambunctious, and irreverent.