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Jenny Bacon and Charlie Pollock to Lead MDR Reading of Matt Schatz's THE BURDENS

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Jenny Bacon and Charlie Pollock to Lead MDR Reading of Matt Schatz's THE BURDENS Midtown Direct Rep (MDR) kicks off its 2016-17 newly renamed staged reading series, Theater at The Woodland, with a presentation of THE BURDENS, written by Matt Schatz and directed by Mark Armstrong.

This staged reading will be performed for one night only on Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 7pm at The Woodland (60 Woodland Rd. Maplewood, NJ), where MDR is the resident theater company. The reading is $15 and open to the public. Student/Senior discounts are also available. Tickets can be purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets (midtowndirectrep.bpt.me) by clicking the direct link HERE OR by calling 1-800-838-3006.

The cast will feature MDR company members Jenny Bacon (Broadway: Misery; Off-Broadway: My Name is Asher Lev, Heartless, In The Wake) and Charlie Pollock (Broadway: Violet, 9 to 5: The Musical; Off-Broadway: David Bowie's Lazarus). Additional cast to be announced.

In THE BURDENS, Mordy is a struggling musician living in Los Angeles. His older sister Jane is a successful attorney and a mother of three in New Jersey. But when their widowed mother's life becomes emotionally and financially taxed by her terrible, centenarian father, these two adult siblings are drawn together into an elaborate plot to relieve their mother's burden and their own. Told almost entirely via text messages, The Burdens is a dark, family comedy about how technology helps keep us close, while still enabling us to keep our distance. It's sometimes easier to type something than it is to say it face to face. But please, be careful of auto-correct. It can be murder.

Matt Schatz is a writer and composer. He won the 2012 Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre for Love Trapezoid (Astoria Performing Arts Center). Other plays and musicals include The Burdens (2016 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference), Dunkfest '88 (Ars Nova) Georama (St. Louis Rep, GRSF), I Battled Lenny Ross (EST), Oh, Gastronomy! (Humana Fest), The Tallest Building in the World (Luna Stage), An Untitled New Play By Justin Timberlake (Playwrights Union First Peek), and Where Ever It May Be (EST/Sloan Commission). Matt has been a finalist for the P73 Playwriting Fellowship, Jonathan Larson Award, Fred Ebb Award, and the O'Neill National Music Theatre Conference. Member: ASCAP, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Playwrights Union, and Writers Guild of America, West. Alum: Youngblood and Interstate 73 writers groups and the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. MFA: Carnegie Mellon. BFA: University of the Arts. Also a TV writer, Matt has written pilots for Fox Television Studios, the USA Network, and TBS and is currently working on a musical series for the streaming site Fullscreen. Matt was born in Camden, New Jersey and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Midtown Direct Rep's Theater at The Woodland is a series of readings of new plays and musicals in development, presented on Sunday evenings in the Parlor at The Woodland, right in the center of Maplewood Village. The readings include lively post-show discussions with the cast and creative team, fostering a fun and collaborative environment that allows the audience to be a part of the development of vital new works. Many of the plays presented by this reading series have gone on to major productions off-Broadway, in regional theaters, and beyond. Additional readings for the 2016-17 season will be presenting on November 20th, December 11th, and February 12th.

Midtown Direct Rep (MDR), the resident theater company of The Woodland in Maplewood, NJ, is a professional, ensemble-based theater company of over 100 working Broadway actors and theater professionals who call South Orange and Maplewood home. Midtown Direct Rep is dedicated to developing and presenting new plays and musicals focusing on work that reflects our diverse community. Midtown Direct Rep is also the local presenter of the hugely successful event Listen to Your Mother, which showcases local writers and performers each year around Mother's Day. Company members include two-time Tony Award-winner Norbert Leo Butz, Tony Award-winner Michele Pawk, Tony Award-nominees Stephanie J. Block, Megan Lawrence, and Christiane Noll, plus Sebastian Arcelus, Joel de la Fuente, Bradley Dean, and many others. Guest actors have included James McDonald, Michelle Hurst, Geoffrey Arend, and Academy Award-winner Olympia Dukakis. Recent projects include work by Kate Moira Ryan, Y York, Jack Canfora, Peter Flaherty, Jeremy Desmon, Chad Hardin, James Hindman, Chisa Hutchison, David Johnston, Kait Kerrigan, Kara Lee Korthron, David Myers, Sandy Rustin, John Walch, Douglas J. Cohen, Zoe Samuel, and others. The Company is led by Managing Director Aliza Wassner, Artistic Producer Steven Tabakin, Literary Manager Marni Raab, and Artistic Advisor Sandy Rustin. For more information, visit www.middirrep.org.


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