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NAPOLI, BROOKLYN Premieres Tonight at Long Wharf Theatre

Long Wharf Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein and Managing Director Joshua Borenstein, present the world premiere of Napoli, Brooklyn by Meghan Kennedy, directed by Edelstein.

The production will run on the Claire Tow Stage in the C. Newton Schenck Theatre from tonight, February 15, through March 12, 2017. The world premiere was commissioned by, and is a co-production with, Roundabout Theatre Company, where it will play June 9 through September 3, 2017. The press opening will take place on Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30 pm.

The cast includes Shirine Babb (Celia), Alyssa Bresnahan (Luda), Carolyn Braver (Vita), Jordyn DiNatale (Francesca), Jason Kolotouros (Nic), Christina Pumariega (Tina), Ryann Shane (Connie), and Graham Winton (Albert Duffy). The creative team includes Eugene Lee (sets), Jane Greenwood (costumes), Ben Stanton (lights), Fitz Patton (sound), Peter Wolf (production stage manager), and Carrie Gardner (casting - Roundabout Theatre Company).

1960, Brooklyn. The women of the Muscolino family are desperate to find a life beyond their four walls, hiding dreams, loves, and longings. Francesca, the youngest, yearns for her true love; Tina, confidence and friendship, and Vita, the chance to live the kind of life she pleases. Their mother Luda nurses her own quiet pains. Yet, in the quest for happiness, each of these women fights to find her voice. They struggle to hold on to them, and to each other. Napoli, Brooklyn is a poetic and beautiful play about sisterhood, freedom, and forgiveness.

"Napoli, Brooklyn is about an Italian immigrant family struggling to survive, dealing with social and cultural pressures. They are learning how to love each other and take care of each other. It's a really truthful look at three daughters as they try to figure out how to live a happy life," Edelstein said.

Napoli, Brooklyn is based on Kennedy's mother's adolescence growing up in Brooklyn. Kennedy said there was a crucial event during her mother's childhood - not be revealed here - that changed the nature of her neighborhood and her family.

"I'm using that moment in time, in the winter of 1960, and building the story around it. It's also a very personal play. There's a lot of Italian spoken in it. A lot of Italian food. I'm always hungry when I work on it. It makes me ache for my grandmother's meatballs," Kennedy recalled in an interview on the Roundabout Theatre Company blog.

For more information about the show or to purchase tickets, visit longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282. Tickets start at $29.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Shirine Babb

Celia Jones

Shirine recently appeared as Jory in Disgraced ( 2015 CT Critic Circles Nom. ) at Long Wharf . She has Broadway credits that include Macbeth with Ethan Hawke (Lincoln Center Theater). Her Off Broadway credits include Around the World in 80 Days (New Theater at 45th Street), Aliens with Extraordinary Skills (Women's Project), A Role Once Played (29th Street Repertory Theater, AUDELCO Award nomination), and Single Black Female (Duke on 42nd Street). Other credits include Steven Dietz's This Random World (Humana Festival), the title role in Antony & Cleopatra (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, 2015 Theatre Critic Circle Nom.), The Merchant of Venice with Sir Derek Jacobi (The Strathmore) and Measure & Dido with Sir Derek Jacobi (The Kennedy Center/Napa Shakespeare), Julius Caesar (Folger Theatre), Widows (Arcola Theatre, London), The Tempest with Daniel Davis (Hartford Stage), the title role in Bessie: The Life and Music of Bessie Smith (Roxy Regional).She was also seen in the 2010 and 2011 seasons at The Old Globe Shakespeare Festival. Her television credits include "I Love You... But I Lied," "Blue Bloods," "Madam Secretary," and "All My Children." Commercials include Met Life, Amex, Calvin Klein, and Macy's. Ms. Babb holds an MA from East 15 Acting Conservatory, London, and an MFA from the University of San Diego/The Old Globe.

Alyssa Bresnahan

Luda Muscolino

Long Wharf Theatre: A Moon For The Misbegotten, The Front Page (Dir. Gordon Edelstein). Broadway: War Horse (Rose Naraccott, Lincoln Center Theater). Off Broadway: Measure for Measure, Hamlet (Theater for a New Audience); Necessary Targets (Variety Arts). UK Tour/ Denver Tantalus (co-production RSC and Denver Theater Center). Regional: A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Night of the Iguana, A Moon For The Misbegotten (Hartford Stage). The Rose Tattoo (Jefferson award nominee); Heartbreak House (The Goodman Theater). Film: "Sollers Point" (2017 release), "The Wrestler," "27 Dresses." TV: "Blacklist," "Law and Order." Multiple award- winning Audio Book Narrator (Recorded Books Inc. and others). Education: NYU, Experimental Theater Wing.

JORDYN DiNATALE

Francesca

Jordyn DiNatale is thrilled to be making her Long Wharf Theatre debut in Napoli, Brooklyn! This is her second Regional Theatre appearance, her first also being in New Haven at Yale Repertory Theatre. Being born in New Haven and raised in a town just minutes away, Jordyn feels blessed to be on stage again in a city she calls home. Off- Broadway: Recall. Regional: Brundibar and Comedy on The Bridge. TV: "Shades of Blue" (NBC), "Inside Amy Schumer" (Comedy Central), "Eye Candy" (MTV). Film: "Truth Slash Fiction" (Awarded Best Actress in a Comedy, iTVFest and SeriesFest), "Jamie Marks is Dead," "How Far She Went" (Awarded Student Director's Guild of America, Best Film). Upcoming films: "Lez Bomb," "Fry Day," "Central Park." Many thanks to all of my family and friends for your love, support, and help memorizing lines! Special thanks to Mom, Dad, and C.J., I would not be where I am today without you. Love you more!

Jason Kolotouros

Nic Muscolino

Last seen in the American Premiere of Sam Shepard's Particle of Dread at the Signature Theatre in New York City. Other New York credits include: Her Majesty the King (HERE Arts Center); Blue Window (MCC); Killing Hand (EST Marathon); and Home Section (Lincoln Center Drama League). Regional credits include: Cassius in Chicago Shakespeare's acclaimed Julius Caesar; The Persian Quarter (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); Messugah (McCarter Theatre); Macbeth and The Servant of Two Masters (Venture Theatre). Television credits include: "Person of Interest," "Blue Bloods," "Damages," "The Good Wife," "Nurse Jackie," "Rescue Me," "Delocated," "Law & Order" and "Sex and the City." Film credits include: "BounTy Hunter," "Bride Wars," "College Road Trip," "Man on a Ledge," and "My Man Is a Loser." Mr. Kolotouros received his MFA in acting from Temple University.

Christina Pumariega

Tina Muscolino

Broadway: Seminar. Off Broadway: The Comedy of Errors (Public Theater), Coriolanus, Volpone, The Witch of Edmonton (Red Bull), Uncle Vanya (u/s, Soho Rep), Catch-22 (Lucille Lortel), All Eyes and Ears (INTAR). Other NY Theater: Enfrascada (Clubbed Thumb), Sousepaw (FringeNYC), AliceGraceAnon (New Georges). Regional Theater: Huntington Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Shakespeare Theatre DC, Hartford Stage, Barrington Stage, Merrimack Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville. Television/Film: "Bloodline," "The Family," "Elementary," "Nunsense," "With Friends Like These," "Maggie Black," "Notes on Being Young," "Just Cause 3." CCC award, NYIT and IRNE nominations. Education: MFA, NYU Graduate Acting Program. For Rose and Ciro Buttacavoli.

RYANN SHANE

Connie Duffy

Ryann Shane is thrilled to be back on stage in Long Wharf Theatre's Napoli, Brooklyn after years away working in television and film. Her recent work has included a series regular role on Cinemax's "Banshee" and the lead in Kyra Sedgwick's directorial debut, "Story of a Girl," set to premiere this spring.

Graham Winton

Albert Duffy

Broadway: Cyrano De Bergerac, A Man For All Seasons, The Tempest, Two Shakespearean Actors. Off Broadway: The Public Theatre: ten productions including, Henry VI, The Winter's Tale, Twelfth Night. Theatre For A New Audience: King Lear, Macbeth, Othello, The Taming Of The Shrew, All's Well That Ends Well, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing, Don Juan, Pericles. CSC: Hamlet, Richard II, Richard III, Age Of Iron. Roundabout: The Doctor's Dilemma. Regional: Long Wharf Theatre, Yale Rep, Shakespeare Theatre D.C., Guthrie, Hartford Stage, Arena Stage, Syracuse Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Of New Jersey. Film: "My Sassy Girl," "Gettysburg," "Blonde Fist." Television: "The Good Wife," "Louie," "Veep," "Public Morals," "The Americans," "The Black List," "Blue Bloods," "Law And Order" (All), "Brooklyn South," "New York Undercover," "Swift Justice."

Meghan Kennedy

Playwright

Meghan's play Napoli, Brooklyn will have a world premiere co-production by Long Wharf Theatre and the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City in 2017. It is also the recipient of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Grant. Meghan's play Too Much, Too Much, Too Many premiered at the Roundabout Underground in 2014 and was published by Dramatists' Play Service. Meghan is currently under commission from The Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theater Festival and The Geffen Playhouse. Her play Light is the winner of the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize. Meghan's plays have been produced around the U.S., Ireland and Sweden. She is an alum of Page 73 and Ars Nova Play Group. She was a writer for the TV show "Falling Water" (USA) and is currently a writer for the upcoming TV show, "Gethsemane" (Netflix). She lives in Brooklyn.

Gordon Edelstein

Artistic Director

Mr. Edelstein is in his fifteenth season as Artistic Director of Long Wharf Theatre. Earlier this year, he directed Endgame starring Reg E. Cathey and Brian Dennehy, and the world premiere of Steve Martin's Meteor Shower, a hit both at Long Wharf Theatre and The Old Globe, where it set box office records. Later this season, he will also direct the world premiere of the musical Table, with book and lyrics by Adam Gopnik and music by David Shire.

His other recent Long Wharf Theatre credits include Disgraced, The Second Mrs. Wilson, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Our Town, The Last Five Years, The Shadow of the Hummingbird, The Underpants, Ride the Tiger, Curse of the Starving Class, Satchmo at the Waldorf (which transferred Off-Broadway), My Name is Asher Lev (which also transferred Off-Broadway, winning an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway play), Shirley Valentine, and his own adaptations of A Doll's House and Uncle Vanya. His acclaimed Long Wharf Theatre production of The Glass Menagerie played the Roundabout and the Mark Taper Forum and was the recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Revival. He has a continued artistic association with Athol Fugard, directing the world premieres of The Shadow of the Hummingbird, Have You Seen Us?, and Coming Home as well as the East Coast premiere of The Train Driver.

Gordon has also directed Audra McDonald in A Moon for the Misbegotten at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and the Broadway production of Fugard's The Road to Mecca for the Roundabout Theatre Company. Among Mr. Edelstein's countless plays and workshops for Long Wharf Theatre include Julia Cho's BFE, The Day the Bronx Died, A Dance Lesson, and The Times, as well as The Blue Album, We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!, A New War, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Anna Christie, The Front Page, and Mourning Becomes Electra.

As a director of an extremely diverse body of work, he has garnered three Connecticut Critics Circle Awards and under his artistic leadership, Long Wharf Theatre has received 17 additional Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, including six best actor or actress awards in plays that he directed. He is also the recipient of the organization's Tom Killen Award, given annually to an individual who has made an indelible impact on the Connecticut theatrical landscape.

ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO)

An award-winning, not-for-profit company founded in 1965, Roundabout has been recognized for its varied work on five stages on and off Broadway, reaching more than 700,000 theatergoers and 18,000 students each year. Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the production of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate and engage all audiences. Roundabout Underground, the company's program for early-career playwrights, was launched in 2007, and debuted Meghan Kennedy's Too Much, Too Much, Too Many in 2013. Napoli, Brooklyn is the result of a commission provided to Roundabout Underground playwrights and will be presented Off-Broadway in the Laura Pels Theatre as part of Roundabout's 2017-2018 season. More information on Roundabout's mission, history and programs can be found at roundabouttheatre.org.


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