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Actors' Shakespeare Project to Present GOD'S EAR, 3/25-4/12

Actors' Shakespeare Project brings the language of love and loss to center stage in Jenny Schwartz's play God's Ear, March 25-April 12, 2015, at The Davis Square Theatre, 255 Elm Street, Somerville. Performances are Wed. (March 25 only)-Fri, 7 pm; Sat., 2 pm; (except March 28) & 7 pm; Sun., 2 pm. (Press performance Saturday, March 28 at 7pm; please RSVP to jbpr@comcast.net.) Tickets are $28-$50; $15 student rush. For tickets and information, visit www.actorsshakespeareproject.org or call 617-776-2200 x225.

Language works as equal parts shield and sword in the verbal warfare at the center of God's Ear. As married protagonists Mel (Tamara Hickey) and Ted (Gabriel Kuttner) try to hold together a marriage unraveling after the accidental death of their son, words stream forth in torrents as both deflect their own pain by inflicting more. The battle plays out in a world with its own surreal lexicon-where the Tooth Fairy sings, transvestite flight attendants keep people safe, and GI Joe offers family counseling.

For such a verbose production, award-winning playwright Language works as equal parts shield and sword in the verbal warfare at the center of God's Ear. As married protagonists Mel (Tamara Hickey) and Ted (Gabriel Kuttner) try to hold together a marriage unraveling after the accidental death of their son, words stream forth in torrents as both deflect their own pain by inflicting more. The battle plays out in a world with its own surreal lexicon-where the Tooth Fairy sings, transvestite flight attendants keep people safe, and GI Joe offers family counseling.

For such a verbose production, award-winning playwright Jenny Schwartz leaves the physical realm to be interpreted by director Thomas Derrah and his creative team. "Ironically, because I was trained as a director, I am extremely hands-off," says Schwartz. "I am incredibly exacting and precise with regard to the sounds of the words, but I purposefully include few stage directions or descriptions of design elements. I enjoy my role, and want the director and designers to bring as much of themselves to the play as I have."

Director Thomas Derrah reflects, "I think this play is a perfect fit for ASP as it's a company whose stated emphasis is on the ACTOR. I can't think of a contemporary piece of writing that would appeal to an actor's curiosity more. God's Ear is also a perfect fit for a company of actors devoted to LANGUAGE (Shakespeare!) Sometimes we have only our words and sometimes they betray us when we need them most...what a profound exploration for a company of artists who rely on the spoken word to heal, inspire and communicate."

Derrah directs ASP resident acting company members (RAC) Marianna Bassham* (Lenora) and John Kuntz* (Flight Attendant/GI Joe), with additional cast members Ann Carpenter (Tooth Fairy), Josephine Elwood (Lanie), Tamara Hickey* (Mel), Gabriel Kuttner* (Ted), and David Rich (Guy).

The design team includes Cristina Todesco**(scenic), Jeff Adelberg** (lights), Gail Astrid Buckley **(costumes), and Edward Young (sound).

Jenny Schwartz's (Playwright) plays include God's Ear, Somewhere Fun and Cause for Alarm. Somewhere Fun premiered last season at the Vineyard Theatre. God's Ear was produced in New York by New Georges and the Vineyard Theatre, and nationally and internationally from Lisbon, Portugal to Boise, Idaho to Sydney, Australia. With Todd Almond, Jenny was the 2012 recipient of the Frederick Loewe Award for Musical Theatre for the development of their musical play Iowa. Iowa has been developed at Playwrights Horizons, Sundance/ MASS MoCA, Williamstown Theatre Festival, New Dramatists and The Flea Theatre. Other awards and honors include the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Benjamin H. Danks Award in Drama, a Kesselring honor, two grants from Lincoln Center's Lecomte Du Nuoy Foundation and Soho Rep's Dorothy Streslin Playwriting Fellowship. God's Ear and Somewhere Fun were both finalists for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Jenny co-chairs the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. She received an MFA in Theatre Directing from Columbia University, is a graduate of Juilliard's playwriting program and is a member of New Dramatists.


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