World Premiere Of SAFE SPACE Opens In Previews Tomorrow

By: Jun. 24, 2019

World Premiere Of SAFE SPACE Opens In Previews Tomorrow

Bay Street Theater is pleased to announce the World Premiere of SAFE SPACE begins tomorrow, June 25, and runs through July 21. This is a new play by Alan Fox; directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien (All My Sons, Henry IV, Hairspray, The Coast of Utopia).

The play stars Mercedes Ruehl (Torch Song, upcoming film Hustlers, Bay Street's Viva la Vida!), Sasha Diamond (Blindspot, The Romanoffs, Murphy Brown) and Rodney Richardson (The Day Shall Come, CBS's FBI, Somebody's Daughter). Single tickets are now on sale as well as 2-play subscriptions for this show and the upcoming ANNIE GET YOUR GUN that starts July 30. Call the Box Office at 631-725-9500 or online at The Box Office is open daily day 11 am - show time.

A special "Pay What You Can" performance sponsored by Sotheby's International Realty will take place on June 25. A limited number of seats will be available at the Box Office beginning at 11 am that day.

SAFE SPACE is set at an elite university and explores political correctness and the reaction to triggers on campus in America today. When a star African-American professor (Rodney Richardson) faces accusations of racism from a student (Sasha Diamond) the head of the college (Mercedes Ruehl) must intervene, setting off an explosive chain of events where each of them must navigate an ever-changing minefield of identity politics, ethics, and core beliefs.

"We are so excited to share this new World Premiere play with the Bay Street audience, the second world premiere of this season," says Scott Schwartz, Bay Street Theater's Artistic Director. "It is an extraordinary group of artists creating this riveting play about pressing issues in American academia today, and under the leadership of legendary director Jack O'Brien, I know they will deliver a production that will be thought-provoking and spark lively debates on the East End all summer long!"

The creative team includes: Tony Award winner David Rockwell (Scenic Designer), Tony Award winner Jane Greenwood (Costume Designer), Tony Award winner Bradley King (Lighting Designer), Tony Award winner John Gromada (Sound Designer), Jeff Sugg (Projection Designer), Andrew Diaz (Props Designer), and Chris De Camillis (Production Stage Manager). Casting by Will Cantler at Telsey & Company.

Alan Fox was born in Oak Ridge, North Carolina. He was an all-state basketball player and began his college career playing for UNC-Greensboro. After an injury forced him into season-ending surgery, he left college, moved to New York and began modeling. He has shot for brands such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Adidas, and Men's Health, and appeared in the Taylor Swift video Fifteen. He returned to school and graduated magna cum laude from Hunter College in the Spring of 2016. SAFE SPACE is his first full length play. He is currently working on his first novel A Mannequin Life and is represented by CAA.

Jack O'Brien is a three-time Tony & Drama Desk Award-winning director, member of the Theatre Hall of Fame, and author of Jack Be Nimble, a memoir published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2013. Jack won the Tony for Best Direction of a Musical and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical for his 2003 Broadway production of Hairspray. He received the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play for Henry IV and The Cost of Utopia I, II, & III. Most recently, Jack directed the Spring 2018 Broadway revival of Rogers & Hammerstein's Carousel, and the Fall 2018 production of Tom Stoppard's new play The Hard Problem at Lincoln Center. Additional Broadway credits include Porgy & Bess (Tony & Drama Desk Nom.), Damn Yankees, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, The Full Monty (Tony Nom. & Drama Desk Winner), Tom Stoppard's Inventions of Love (Drama Desk Winner), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony Nom.), Catch Me If You Can, Dead Accounts, Macbeth, It's Only a Play, The Front Page, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Off-Broadway, Jack directed Two Shakespearean Actors (Tony Nomination), Hapgood (Lucille Lortel Award Winner), and Pride's Crossing - all at Lincoln Center - as well as More to Love at the O'Neill, Manhattan Theater Club's Labor Day, and City Centre Encores! production of St. Louis Woman. He has also directed various operas, such as Il Trittico (Metropolitan Opera), Mozart's The Magic Flute (San Francisco Opera), Puccini's Tosca (Santa Fe Opera), Aida and Cosi Fan Tutti (Houston Grand Opera). Jack's work as Artistic Director of San Diego's Old Globe Theatre includes Love & Hours, Nora Ephron's Imaginary Friends, Twelfth Night, Tom Stoppard's The Seagull (original by Chekov), The Magic Fire, The Hostage, The Doctor is Out, Hamlet, Uncle Vanya, The Cocktail Hour, and he is responsible for creating the Globe's annual musical How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, which boasts a wildly successful transfer to Broadway and beyond.

For PBS's American Playhouse television series, Jack directed An Enemy of the People, I Never Sang for My Father, All My Sons, Painting Churches, and Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth, which aired live from the stage of The Old Globe. His production of The Good Doctor and Broadway revival of Most Happy Fella were also produced for PBS, and Jack's Street Scene was televised on Live from Lincoln Center. Jack directed Annette Bening and Tracy Letts in the current 2019 Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons.

Mercedes Ruehl is an award-winning stage, film and television actress. She won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, as well as a Chicago Film Critics Award and Los Angeles Film Critics Award for her role as Anne Napolitano in Terry Gilliam's film The Fisher King. Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers earned Ruehl Tony, Helen Hayes, and Drama Desk Awards. She received Tony nominations for her roles in The Shadowbox and Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize winning The Goat, or Who is Sylvia. She won Obie Awards for Woman Before A Glass, a one-woman show about the life of actress Peggy Guggenheim, as well as Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo.

She was awarded The Clarence Derwent Award for creating the role of Kate in Other People's Money, and a Drama Desk nomination for the role of Serafina opposite Anthony LaPaglia in Tennessee Williams' The Rose Tattoo. Mercedes starred in the 2nd Stage Off-Broadway revival of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song earlier this year, and recently starred in the production which moved to Broadway with a November 1, 2018 opening and closed January 6, 2019. Ruehl recently wrapped shooting STX's upcoming feature Hustlers starring J Lo and Constance Wu.

She starred in Richard Greenberg's The American Plan at the Manhattan Theatre Club and in the premiere of Edward Albee's The Occupant as Louise Nevelson at The Signature Theatre. At The Old Vic in London she co-starred with Jeff Goldblum in Neil Simon's Prisoner of Second Avenue. She revived Full Gallop, a one-woman show about Diana Vreeland at The Old Globe in San Diego.

Ruehl came to popular attention with her portrayal as the gun-toting wife of a Mafia don in 1988's Married to the Mob, which earned her a National Society of Film Critics Award. Her other film credits include Big opposite Tom Hanks; the romantic drama For Roseanna opposite Jean Reno; Gurinder Chadha's What's Cooking?, More Dogs than Bones, Another You, Heartburn; 84 Charing Cross Road; Leader of the Band; The Secret of My Succe$s; Slaves of New York, Crazy People, and Chu and Blossom.

Her television credits include guest & recur roles on Bull, Life in Pieces, NCIS, Mysteries of Laura, Two Broke Girls, Power, Luck (series regular), Law & Order: SVU, Subway Stories: Tales from The Underground, Indictment: The McMartin Trial, North Shore Fish, Psych, Monday Mornings, A Girl Like Me, Frasier, & starred in HBO's Golden Globe and Emmy-winning telefilm Gia.

Bay Street Theater audiences will remember Ruehl playing Frida Kahlo in Viva la Vida! and her role in Dinner.

Sasha Diamond made her Broadway debut in Significant Other. Off Broadway includes Teenage Dick (The Public Theater), Bobbie Clearly (Roundabout Theatre), Kentucky, Double Suicide at Ueno Park! (Ensemble Studio Theatre), The Wong Kids (Ma-Yi Theatre Company). Regional credits include: A Doll's House, Part 2 (Long Wharf Theatre), The Birds, peerless (Barrington Stage Company), The Winners (HotCity Theatre). TV includes Murphy Brown (CBS), Blindspot (NBC), The Romanoffs (Amazon), High Maintenance (HBO), Half Life (Outta Brooklyn). Film includes Trick (directed by Patrick Lussier). Diamond is a proud member of Ensemble Studio Theatre.

Rodney Richardson has recent works including a supporting role in Chris Morris's feature The Day Shall Come opposite Anna Kendrick that premiered at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival. Other recent work includes a recurring arc on the CBS drama FBI for Dick Wolf, a Guest Lead in the CBS Pilot Evil, and guest leads on Instinct, Elementary, Law & Order: SVU, The Good Wife and a recurring arc on the FX comedy series, Sex, Drugs & Rock & Roll. Richardson has appeared in Second Stage's production of Somebody's Daughter, the NY Times Critic Pick Squash by A.R Gurney at The Flea Theatre, and a leading role in The Tempest opposite Sam Waterston in Central Park for The Public Theatre. Rodney received his MFA from NYU.

The 2019 Mainstage Season is sponsored in part by New York State through the generosity of Assemblyman Fred Thiele and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle; the New York State Council on The Arts, a State Agency; Town of Southampton; The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; The Shubert Foundation; and fully or partially funded with support from Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming and Diana Cherryholmes from the Suffolk County Film and Cultural Affairs and with support from Suffolk County Department of Economic Development & Planning. Support for new work comes from The New Directions Fund, Joseph Stein New Musical Fund, Age Focus Medical Management, Twin Forks Pest Control, and Yave Tequila. Previews are sponsored by Peconic Landing. ANNIE GET YOUR GUN sponsored in part by Baron's Cove and The Shed. "30 Under 30" tickets sponsored by Corcoran.

Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts is a year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. It serves as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists.

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