World Premiere by A.R. Gurney and More Slated for The Flea This Fall

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The Flea Theater's Artistic Director Niegel Smith and Producing Director Carol Ostrow the fall 2016 season, which will include an A.R. Gurney World Premiere and a new look at the Greeks by Ellen McLaughlin.

Says Smith, "Long time Flea collaborator A.R. Gurney has written us an evening of incendiary one-acts inspired by The Greeks that will play in both our upstairs and downstairs theaters and we are thrilled to welcome director Stafford Arima to lead our company. And Ellen McLaughlin returns to The Flea with a timely look at the plight of refugees through the text of The Trojan Women. It seems that in election years, The Greeks still have a lot to say about democracy."

Adds Ostrow, "This will be our last fall season in our current location. Our intention is to be true to our roots and keep both of our theaters hopping until we close our doors and move to our new digs."

August 24 - September 26
The New York Premiere THE TROJAN WOMEN adapted by Ellen McLaughlin,
directed by Anne Cecelia Haney
Euripides' The Trojan Women is the first anti-war play in the Western canon, written to make Greece consider the consequences of perpetual warfare. Ellen McLaughlin's adaptation is lean, tense, lovely and brutal. This production, which introduces Flea Resident Director Anne Cecelia Haney, will make abundant use of music, movement, and ritual to explore how living in wartime affects every member of a community. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 9PM and Sunday at 3PM. Tickets will go on sale to Flea Members on June 28th and to the General Public on July 11th. All tickets are general admission. Prices range from $15 to $20, with the lowest priced tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis.

October 10 - November 21
The World Premiere of TWO CLASS ACTS by A.R. Gurney, directed by Stafford Arima
Gurney's ninth world premiere production at The Flea is an evening of two One-Acts. In SQUASH, Gurney turns his eye to the fluidity of sexuality on a college campus in the 70's before gender was upended. And in AJAX, an actress turned teacher allows a rousing performance of an ancient text to reveal her true self. The Flea welcomes Stafford Arima to direct our last production in our home on White Street. SQUASH will play in our upstairs theater and AJAX will perform in our downstairs space. Audiences can see the shows at staggered curtain times. Performances are Wednesday through Mondays at 7PM or 8PM and Sunday at 2PM or 3PM. Tickets go on sale to Flea Members on June 28th and to the General Public on August 1st. All tickets are general admission. Prices range from $35 to $75 with the lowest priced tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis.

July 14-16 and 21-23, September 15-17 and 22-24, November 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19
Late night serial madness continues with monthly cycles of SERIALS @ THE FLEA and new Bat producers Rachel Lin and Colin Waitt. Now counting 35 sold-out cycles, this raucous late night play competition features The Bats and some of NYC's hottest young playwrights.
SERIALS @ THE FLEA plays Thursday through Saturday at 11PM. Cycle 36 plays July 14-23, Cycle 37 plays September 15 - 24, and Cycle 38 plays November 3 - 19. Tickets are $12 and include a free beer. Tickets will go on sale to Flea Members on June 28th and to the General Public on July 5th.

The Flea Theater continues its commitment to creating theater that is accessible to all. In keeping with this spirit of inclusion, every production at The Flea will have a limited number of $15 tickets available on a first-come-first-served basis.

The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street between Church and Broadway, three blocks south of Canal, close to the A/C/E, N/R/Q, 6, J/M/Z and 1 subway lines. Purchase tickets by calling 212-352-3101 or online at

Ellen McLaughlin is an award-winning playwright and actor. Her plays include Tongue of a Bird, A Narrow Bed, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Trojan Women, Infinity's House, Helen, The Persians, Oedipus, Ajax in Iraq, Kissing the Floor, Septimus and Clarissa, Pericles and Penelope. Her work has been performed Off-Broadway in New York, as well as regionally and overseas. Producers include The Public Theater, National Actors Theatre, Classic Stage Co., New York Theatre Workshop, The Guthrie, The Intiman, The Mark Taper Forum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and The Almeida Theatre in London. Among her honors are the Susan Blackburn Prize and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writer's Award. She has taught playwriting at Barnard College since 1995. Other teaching posts include Princeton University and Yale School of Drama. As an actor, she is most well known for having originated the part of the Angel in Tony Kushner's Angels in America, appearing in all workshops and productions of the play through its Broadway run in 1993-94.

Anne Cecelia Haney is a Brooklyn-based director, translator, and musician. Blending a text-based approach with a subtle, surrealist vision, she develops new work that draws on classical and historical influences, while exploring new modes of storytelling and responding to contemporary political and social happenings. Anne's work has been presented in NYC at Dixon Place, The Bushwick Starr, Cloud City, The Flea Theater, The Brick Theater, IRT, The Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, Emerging Artists Theater, Columbia University, and the NYU Department of Dramatic Writing; in LA at Highways Performance Space; and in various warehouses, bookstores, kitchens, and living rooms across the country. She assisted director Michael McQuilken on productions for BAM's Next Wave Festival and the Prototype Festival, and writer/director Adam Rapp on productions at The Flea and The Atlantic Theater Company. She is the Artistic Director of Crown Heights 20/20 Arts, a network of existing Brooklyn storefronts repurposed as free rehearsal and performance spaces for artists of all types, and a collaborator with Old Sound Room Performance Ensemble. Anne holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Virginia.

A.R. ("Pete") Gurney was born in 1930 in Buffalo, New York. He graduated from Williams College in 1952, served as an officer in the Navy, and afterwards attended the Yale School of Drama. For many years, he taught literature at M.I.T., but moved to New York in 1982 to devote more time to writing for the theatre. He has won a fair amount of awards during his career, and is now a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and is a 2016 recipient of the Obie Lifetime Achievement Award. Gurney has been married to his wife Molly for 59 years. They have four children and eight grandchildren, and now live in Roxbury, Connecticut and New York City.

Stafford Arima was nominated for an Olivier Award for his direction of the West End premiere of the musical, Ragtime, and he recently directed the Broadway production of Allegiance. Upcoming: Poster Boy (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Selected work includes: Altar Boyz (received the Best Musical Outer Critics Circle Award, was nominated for a Drama Desk for Outstanding Musical), Carrie (Off-Broadway revival; nominated for 5 Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Revival of a Musical and an Outer Critics nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Musical; MCC Theater); The Secret Garden (David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center); Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living In Paris (Stratford Shakespeare Festival); Total Eclipse (TSP Theatre, Toronto); The Tin Pan Alley Rag (nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award as Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical, Roundabout Theatre Company); Candide (San Francisco Symphony); Marry Me a Little (Cincinnati Playhouse); and Abyssinia (Goodspeed Musicals). Arima graduated from York University (Toronto), and is an Adjunct Professor at UC Davis. He serves as Artistic Advisor for the Broadway Dreams Foundation and is a proud member of SDC.

The Bats are the resident Acting Company of The Flea Theater. Each year over a thousand actors audition for a place in this unique company. The Bats perform in extended runs of challenging classics and new plays. Major as well as up-and-coming writers vie to have The Bats tackle their work. As performers, these actors are known being fearless not feckless and bring verve and vision to the written word. Stage and Cinema calls The Bats "Always charming and energized," and Ben Brantley calls them "fresh-faced," which is "...good news, especially for New York casting agents."

The Flea Theater, under new Artistic Director Niegel Smith and Producing Director Carol Ostrow, is one of New York's leading off-off-Broadway companies. Winner of several Obie Awards, a Special Drama Desk Award for outstanding achievement, and an Otto Award for political theater, The Flea has presented over 100 theatrical, musical and dance performances since its inception in 1996. Past productions include premieres by Steven Banks, Thomas Bradshaw, Erin Courtney, Bathsheba Doran, Will Eno, Karen Finley, Amy Freed, Sarah Gancher, Sean Graney, A.R. Gurney, Jennifer Haley, Hamish Linklater, Enrique Gutiérrez Ortiz Monasterio, Itamar Moses, Anne Nelson, Qui Nguyen, Adam Rapp, Jonathan Reynolds, Kate Robbins, Roger Rosenblatt, Elizabeth Swados, and Mac Wellman. Successes include Drama Desk nominated She Kills Monsters, These Seven Sicknesses, Restoration Comedy, The Mysteries and eight World Premiere productions by A.R. Gurney, including the WSJ Best New Play of 2013, Family Furniture.

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