Cannavale, Reuben, Sunjata Join Celeb Line-Up for 'At War' Off-Bway

The Fire Dept will present an expanded and updated version of its acclaimed At War: American Playwrights Respond to Iraq, an evening of alternately moving, haunting, and funny material by noted and emerging American playwrights, woven together to present a kaleidoscope of views on the war.

Staged as a single cohesive evening, the piece is crafted by Fire Dept Artistic Directors Erica Gould, Audrey Rosenberg and Jessica Blank from writing by Ms. Blank and Erik Jensen (The Exonerated), Bathsheba Doran, Cory Hinkle, Rajiv Joseph, Ryan Kelly, Peter Maloney, Obie winner and Oscar nominee Jose Rivera (Cloud Tectonics, References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot), Lynn Rosen, and Jonathan Schaefer. A portion of the proceeds from this benefit event will be donated to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the nation's first and largest group dedicated to the Troops and Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Originally presented as a one-night-only, sold-out presentation at the National Arts Club in June 2007, At War: American Playwrights Respond to Iraq will be remounted at The Bleecker Street Theatre on consecutive Mondays, beginning January 21.

The theatrical material will be the same each evening, but the presentation will feature a rotating repertory of celebrity hosts and guest performers including Bebe Neuwirth, Josh Hamilton, Bobby Cannavale, Derek Phillips, Daniel Sunjata and Fire Dept company members David Strathairn, Janeane Garofalo, Gloria Reuben and Tony Award winner Denis O'Hare.

These celebrity performers will join a core ensemble featuring Jennifer Albano, Jessica Blank, Judith Hawking, Korey Jackson, Erik Jensen, Amanda Marikar, Steven Rattazzi, Jake Robards, Audrey Rosenberg, Jonathan Schaefer, jeremy schwartz, Michael Warner, and Jeremy Webb. AT WAR is produced by Audrey Rosenberg and directed by Erica Gould, with set & lighting by Josh Iacovelli and sound by Jill duBoff.

"Expanded and updated to reflect the ever-changing situation in Iraq, At War: American Playwrights Respond to Iraq explores how our artists are responding to the war, and how their work mirrors and reflects the consciousness of the country. This bold new work paints vivid portraits of diverse people at war, including a soldier in a VA clinic with post-Traumatic stress disorder, an Iraqi émigré professor, two soldiers lost in time on a nameless battlefield, a female suicide bomber, an angel, a 6000-year-old visitor from Mesopotamia, and a manic vet with shrapnel lodged in his head that picks up Al Jazeera," explain press notes, "This acerbic and insightful theatrical presentation will be followed by a discussion with the artists and a pair of noted speakers: writer/activist/Iraq war veteran Paul Rieckhoff and Iraqi poet/novelist/translator Sinan Antoon. Each night audiences will be given the opportunity to engage in a conversation about the theatrical presentation, the issues and perspectives presented by the work, and the speakers' personal experiences."

At War: American Playwrights Respond to Iraq runs January 21 - February 4, Mondays at 7:30PM. The Bleecker Street Theatre is located at 45 Bleecker at the corner of Bleecker and Lafayette Streets). Tickets are $38.50 available at the theater box office Monday - Friday, noon-6pm. or through or 212-239-6200.

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