Steve Yockey's BLACKBERRY WINTER to Play New Rep Theatre This Spring

New Repertory Theatre announces the National New Play Network (NNPN) Rolling World Premiere of BLACKBERRY WINTER, March 26-April 17, 2016 in the Charles Mosesian Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA. The press opening will be Monday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $30-$59 and may be purchased by calling the New Rep Box Office at 617-923-8487 or visiting Student, senior, and group discounts are available. Below, see details below about other programs and special events during the run of BLACKBERRY WINTER sponsored by Mass Humanities and in collaboration with the Watertown Library.

"New Repertory Theatre is strongly dedicated to the development and production of new works," says Artistic Director, Jim Petosa. "As a member of the National New Play Network, we're thrilled to present Steve Yockey's witty new play, BLACKBERRY WINTER. Steve's ability to find humor and warmth in the direst of situations is evidence of his immense talent as a playwright and is on full display in this work. We hope New Rep audiences will join us for this remarkable NNPN Rolling World Premiere production."

"New Rep audiences will be delighted to see the return of all three BLACKBERRY WINTER cast members to our stages," says Managing Director, Harriet Sheets. "Adrianne Krstansky returns after her acclaimed performances in Imagining Madoff, Holiday Memories, and Three Viewings. Plus, Paula Langton, most recently of The Testament of Mary, will be teaming up once again with Ken Cheeseman, last seen together in Bakersfield Mist, the perfect ensemble for this humorous and touching premiere production."

Success, meticulous planning, and an eye for detail have in no way prepared Vivienne for the news inside that little white envelope. Even with the aid of a creation myth of her own imagination and her insomnia-driven baking, apprehension takes hold as she comes to terms with her mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis. A National New Play Network (NNPN) Rolling World Premiere, BLACKBERRY WINTER is a charming and witty new work.

Originally commissioned and developed by Out of Hand Theater in Atlanta, GA, BLACKBERRY WINTER will receive seven productions with eight NNPN Member Theaters, a record number of partners for a Rolling World Premiere.

This is Mr. Yockey's fourth Rolling World Premiere with NNPN and includes Core Members Salt Lake Acting Company (Salt Lake City, UT, September 18-October 25, 2015), Actor's Express in a co- production with Associate Member Out of Hand Theater (Atlanta, GA, November 6-22, 2015), New Repertory Theatre (Watertown, MA, March 28-April 17, 2016), and Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas, TX, May 20-June 26, 2016), as well as Associate Members Capital Stage Company (Sacramento, CA, March 19-April 17, 2016), Oregon Contemporary Theatre (Eugene, April 15-May 7, 2016), and Forum Theatre (Silver Spring, MD, May 22-June 11, 2016).

BLACKBERRY WINTER Special Events and Programs:

Sponsored by Mass Humanities PLAY READING
Blue Monday by Meridith Friedman
directed by Adrienne Boris

Tuesday, March 15 at 6:30pm - Watertown Public Library | 123 Main Street, Watertown
Hosted by Watertown Public Library in partnership with Playwrights' Reading Room

An aspiring oil painter is devastated when her husband, a talented poet and her former professor, develops semantic dementia. As he begins to lose the semantic meanings of words and objects, painting becomes a way for him to recall mental pictures without the mediation of language. A silent rivalry soon develops as his paintings start to garner attention.

Playwrights' Reading Room brings readings of exciting new plays to local libraries, providing communities with access to new work and playwrights with development opportunities.

I Remember Better When I Paint, a film by Eric Elle?na and Berna Huebner
Tuesday, March 29 at 7pm - Watertown Public Library | 123 Main Street, Watertown

I Remember Better When I Paint, narrated by Olivia de Havilland, is the first international documentary about the positive impact of art and other creative therapies on people with Alzheimer's and how these approaches can change the way we look at the disease. Among those who are featured are noted doctors and Yasmin Aga Khan, president of Alzheimer's Disease International and daughter of Rita Hayworth, who has Alzheimer's. A film by Eric Ellena and Berna Huebner, presented by French Connection Films and the Hilgos Foundation.

Meet the Playwright: Steve Yockey
Sunday, March 27 following the 4pm matinee - Charles Mosesian Theater

A conversation about process and production with the playwright.

Fading Memories: The Loss of Self and Personal Identity
Sunday, April 3 following the 2pm matinee - Charles Mosesian Theater

Area academics and experts explore how memory can affect how we see ourselves. The Symposium will be moderated by Kyna Hamill, PhD, Boston University, with panelists Andrew E. Budson, MD, Associate Director for Research at the Boston University Alzheimer's Disease Center; Bradford Dickerson, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School; Gail Leichtman, MEd, LSW, Professional Geriatric Care Manager; and Paul Raia, Ph.D, Former Director of Patient Care and Family Support at the Alzheimer's Association, Massachusetts.

An Evening with New Yorker Cartoonist Roz Chast
Monday, April 11 at 6:30pm - Charles Mosesian Theater - SOLD OUT!

This special Spotlight Symposium will feature Ms. Chast speaking about her memoir, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, as it relates to the themes of Blackberry Winter.

Artistic Bios:

KEN CHEESEMAN* (Gray Mole) returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in The King of Second Avenue, Bakersfield Mist, and Race. Local credits include: Choice, Ether Dome, Prelude to a Kiss, All My Sons, and A Civil War Christmas (Huntington Theatre Company); We Won't Pay, We Won't Pay, Doctor's Dilemma, Othello, Three Farces and a Funeral, and The Merchant of Venice (American Repertory Theater); Marvin's Room and One for the Money (Trinity Rep). Off-Broadway credits include The Master Builder (Brooklyn Academy of Music); Measure for Measure and A Midsummer Night's Dream (New York Shakespeare Festival); King Lear (La MaMa); and Amphitryon, Scapin, The Cherry Orchard and Dr. Faustus (Classic Stage Company). Regional credits include The Misanthrope (Long Wharf Theatre); Scapin (Yale Repertory Theatre); Travels with My Aunt and The Cherry Orchard (Baltimore's Center Stage). Feature film roles include Joy, Shutter Island, Mystic River, Leaves of Grass, Malice, and Next Stop Wonderland and TV guest appearances on Monk, Law and Order, and Olive Kitteridge (HBO). Mr. Cheeseman is a Senior Artist in residence at Emerson College.

ADRIANNE KRSTANSKY* (Vivienne) returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in On the Verge, Imagining Madoff, Holiday Memories, Three Viewings, afterlife: a ghost story, 2.5 Minute Ride and Frozen. Other area credits include Come Back Little Sheba (Huntington Theater Company); Tribes and Body Awareness (SpeakEasy Stage Company); Legally Dead (Boston Playwrights' Theatre); The New Electric Ballroom and Round and Round the Garden (Gloucester Stage Company); Othello (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company); Paradise Lost and Britannicus (American Repertory Theater); among others. New York credits include 365 plays/365 days (Public Theater); and Luck, Pluck and Virtue (Atlantic Theater Company). Regional work includes performances at Steppenwolf Theater Company and La Jolla Playhouse. Film credits include Olive Kitteridge (HBO) and The Company Men. Ms. Krstansky earned her MFA at the University of California, San Diego, is originally from Chicago, and resides in Newtonville. She is an Associate Professor of Theater Arts at Brandeis University.

PAULA LANGTON* (White Egret) returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in The Testament of Mary, Assassins, On the Verge, Amadeus, and Bakersfield Mist. Recent credits include Love's Labour's Lost and Mother Courage (Shakespeare & Company); A Taste of Honey, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Good, and Monster (Boston Center for American Performance); A Question of Mercy (Potomac Theatre Project); The Glass Menagerie (Olney Theatre Center); Trojan Barbie and Donnie Darko (American Repertory Theater); Walking the Volcano and Daughter of Venus (Boston Playwrights' Theatre); and Romeo and Juliet, Middletown, Twelfth Night, Othello, The Winter's Tale, King Lear, Measure for Measure, Henry V, All's Well That Ends Well, and Richard III (Actors' Shakespeare Project). She has also performed with Boston Theatre Works, Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company, Charles Playhouse, Nora Theatre, Gloucester Stage Company, Coyote Theatre, Hasty Pudding, New York Theatre Workshop, and others. Ms. Langton serves as Head of Acting at Boston University's School of Theatre.

BRIDGET KATHLEEN O'LEARY (Director) joined New Rep in 2008. Most recently, she has directed New Rep's productions of Scenes from an Adultery, Muckrakers, Pattern of Life, Lungs, Fully
Committed, Collected Stories, DollHouse, boom, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and Fool for Love. Other directing credits include Othello (Actors' Shakespeare Project); The Flick (Gloucester Stage); Reconsidering Hanna(h) and The Devil's Teacup. (Boston Playwrights' Theatre); The Other Place (The Nora Theatre and Underground Railway Theater); and Recent Tragic Events and Aunt Dan and Lemon (Whistler in the Dark). In 2007, she assisted Artistic Director Wendy C. Goldberg at the National Playwrights' Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and worked as an assistant on new plays by Rebecca Gilman and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Before moving to Boston, Bridget worked in Washington, DC with the Olney Theatre Center, Theater Alliance, Cherry Red Productions, Charter Theater, Studio Theatre Second Stage, and Phoenix Theatre DC, of which she was a founding member. She is the Chair of the Literary Committee for the National New Play Network and a member of the New England New Play Alliance. Bridget received her MFA in directing at Boston University.

STEVE YOCKEY (Playwright) is a Los Angeles based writer with work produced throughout the country, Europe, and Asia. His plays afterlife: a ghost story, Octopus, Large Animal Games, CARTOON, Subculture, Very Still & Hard to See, The Fisherman's Wife, Wolves, Disassembly, and Niagara Falls & Other Plays are published and available from Samuel French. He was selected for the first US/Australia playwright exchange in February 2013 for his play Pluto, sponsored by the National New Play Network and Playwriting Australia. This season, Blackberry Winter will be an NNPN Rolling World Premiere with productions at Actor's Express/Out of Hand, Salt Lake Acting Company, New Rep, Forum, Kitchen Dog, Capital Stage Company, and Oregon Contemporary Theatre. Steve holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He currently contributes issues to the Zenescope comic book series Grimm Tales of Terror and writes on HBO's The Brink.

New Repertory Theatre is the award-winning, professional theatre company in residence at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA. For over 30 years, New Rep has been a leader of self-produced theatre in greater Boston, producing contemporary and classic dramas, comedies, and musicals in both the 340-seat Charles Mosesian Theater and the 90-seat Black Box Theater. Annually, New Rep serves over 40,000 patrons, including 2,000 season subscribers. In addition to its mainstage productions, New Rep produces Next Voices, a program dedicated to developing new plays with four playwrights through three staged readings and one world premiere production. Under its Lifelong Enrichment Arts Programs (LEAP), New Rep also produces its Classic Repertory Company, Page To Stage, Insider Experiences, and Spotlight Symposium Series.

New Repertory Theatre produces plays that speak powerfully to the essential ideas of our time. Through the passion and electricity of live theater performed to the highest standards of excellence, New Rep expands and challenges the human spirit of both artists and audience. New Rep presents world premieres, contemporary and classic works in several intimate settings. We are committed to education and outreach, including special dedication to the creation of innovative in-school programming and providing access to underserved audiences. New Rep is an active advocate for the arts and a major voice in the national dialogue defining the role of theater in our culture.

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