Photo Flash: First Look at BIRDS OF EAST AFRICA at Kitchen Theatre Company
Kitchen Theatre Company kicks off 2017 with the world premiere of Wendy Dann's poignant and poetic Birds of East Africa, directed by Rachel Lampert, now through February 12th. Previews began Sunday January 29th with Opening Night tomorrow, February 2nd. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below!
Following the unexpected death of her husband, Marion, an accomplished ornithologist, finds herself without a place that feels like home. Not knowing where to land, she arrives on the doorstep of her college friend Stephen and his husband Nick but is quickly caught in the middle of their unraveling marriage. Stephen's career is all consuming, leaving Little Room for Nick, who has a chronic illness with symptoms that have begun to accelerate. The three mid-40's friends discover they are standing at a crossroads, and that what once seemed permanent and secure in their lives is now fragile and vulnerable. In a series of tightly wrought scenes moving back and forth in time, with dancers transforming into the birds so central to Marion's life, Wendy Dann's new play explores how we heal, find hope and move on.
Kitchen Theatre Company's Birds of East Africa cast includes just one Kitchen Theatre Company veteran: Lena Kaminsky* (Marion), who played Donna in the 2014-2015 production Swimming in the Shallows. Joining her are NYC-based actors Daniel Pettrow* (Stephen), Gabriel Marin* (Nick), and Jacob Goodhart (Daniel). Ithaca College student Jeremiah Porter and New York City-based Jeremy Swift are actor/dancers who round out the cast playing various roles, including the gorgeous birds that Marion has spent her professional life studying. (*Member, Actors' Equity Association)
Playwright Wendy Dann is a writer and director based in Ithaca. She is the co-author of the musical Sammy & Me (MusicalFare Theatre, Hangar Theatre, ALLIANCE THEATRE, National Black Theatre Festival and New Vintage Theatricals). Her play The Strangest Thing was a finalist for the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and her short play Brother Love was a finalist for the Arts & Letters Prize in Drama and was published in Stone Canoe. Her work has been developed and produced by the Hangar Theatre Pilot Series, the Civic Ensemble and Cherry Arts. Wendy is a recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting. Regional directing work includes Dallas Theater Center, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, ALLIANCE THEATRE, Syracuse Stage, Capitol Repertory Theatre, Kitchen Theatre Company (including last season's Buyer & Cellar), and seven seasons as associate artistic director at the Hangar Theatre.
The creative team includes scenic designer Alexander Woodward (What I Thought I Knew, Waiting for Spring at KTC), lighting designer Steve TenEyck (Buyer & Cellar, Bed & Sofa, Perfect Ganesh among many others at KTC), costume designer Lisa Boquist (Hand to God, Precious Nonsense, Paloma among many others at KTC), and, making his KTC debut, Sound Designer and composer Grant Carey. Jen Schilansky is production stage manager.
Tickets are available by calling (607) 272-0570 or on line at www.kitchentheatre.org. Season subscriptions are available over the phone at (607) 272-0570, or in person at the Kitchen offices (409 W. State St.) Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM and at the theater (417 W. State St.) Saturday-Sunday, 12:00-4:00 PM. Birds of East Africa is recommended for ages 14+.
Photo Credit: Dave Burbank
Jeremiah Porter and Jeremy Swift
Lena Kaminsky and Jeremiah Porter
Lena Kaminsky and Daniel Pettrow
Daniel Pettrow and Gabriel Marin
Lena Kaminsky and Jacob Goodhart