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The Mentor Project's STRAY Plays Final Performance at Cherry Lane Theatre, 3/27

Cherry Lane Theatre's 12th annual Mentor Project's production of Ruth McKee's STRAY, directed by Giovanna Sardelli (BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO) and mentored by David Henry Hwang, will play its final performance on March 27th. Up next is Nate Rufus Edelman's THE BELLE OF BELFAST, directed by Eric Tucker (CLOSER) and mentored by Charles Fuller, performing April 27th through May 8th; and Winter Miller's PATERNITY, mentored and directed by celebrated playwright Craig Lucas, performing May 18th through May 29th, all at the Cherry Lane Theatre Studio Theatre (38 Commerce Street).

Winner of an American Theatre Wing Award, a Village Voice Obie Award and the Dramatist Guild's James Kirkwood Award for fostering new work by contemporary playwrights, Cherry Lane Theatre's Mentor Project each year pairs a new writer with an established playwright for a season of script development, casting, rehearsal and world-premiere productions of their works for the stage. Mentor Project has become an important national launching pad for new writers and their plays: later this year, Mentor Project playwright Sheila Callaghan's play LASCIVIOUS SOMETHING will be presented Off-Broadway in a co-production between Cherry Lane Theatre and the Women's Project, and just last year Cherry Lane presented an Off-Broadway engagement of Deidre O'Connor's critically-acclaimed play JAILBAIT at its third and newest performance space, The Cherry Pit in Greenwich Village.

STRAY by Ruth McKee

Mentored by David Henry Hwang - winner of the 1988 Tony Award for Best Play for M BUTTERFLY, and a Tony nominee in 1998 for GOLDEN CHILD - Ruth McKee's racially charged play STRAY concerns James and Rachel, who seem like the perfect parents: well-educated, successful, middle-class...white. But when their adopted son from Uganda is threatened with expulsion from school, they are confronted with the real challenges of parenting a traumatized child in suburban America. Directed by Giovanna Sardelli, STRAY has a cast which includes Emily Ackerman (ReENTRY, THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY), Brianne Bergson, Antony Hagopian (FROST/NIXON), Petronia Paley (ON THE WAY TO TIMBUKTU, "Guiding Light"), and Lisa Ramirez (EXIT CUCKOO).

THE BELLE OF BELFAST by Nate Rufus Edelman

Mentored by Charles Fuller, who won the Pulitzer Prize for A SOLDIER'S PLAY and is the author of the plays ZOOMAN AND THE SIGN and THE BROWNSVILLE RAID, Nate Rufus Edelman's sharp and darkly witty play THE BELLE OF BELFAST is about seventeen-year-old Anne Malloy, who is lost and angry after the tragic killing of her parents to a terrorist's bomb. Like many who suffered and survived during Ireland's "Troubles", she turns to the comforts of her local parish. However, her passion is not for the Church, but for her confessor and confidant Father Reilly, forcing both to re-evaluate where one finds solace and faith during a time of conflict. Directed by Eric Tucker, THE BELLE OF BELFAST has a cast which includes Evan Thompson (CITY OF ANGESL, 1776), Elvy Yost ("Bandslam" with Lisa Kudrow and Vanessa Hudgens), Katie Fabel (The Irish Rep's ERNEST IN LOVE), Sam Redford (Academy Award-nominated THE HURT LOCKER), and Terry Donnelly (THE YEATS PROJECT).

PATERNITY by Winter Miller

Mentored by Craig Lucas - author of the plays PRELUDE TO A KISS, RECKLESS and THE DYING GAUL, and a Tony nominee for his book of the musical A LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA - Winter Miller's chaotically funny play PATERNITY is about a woman who wants to have a baby and be a single mother, and the man who happens to love her madly and challenges her decision. In addition to mentoring Ms. Miller's play, Mr. Lucas will also direct PATERNITY. Two time Tony Award-nominee Daphne Rubin Vega will portray Tina (the youg woman who wishes to become a single mother), additional casting is TBA.

The design team for all three mentor project plays is: Kina Park and John McDermott (Set Design); Rebecca Bernstein (Costume Design); Pat Dignan (Lighting Design) and Daniel Kluger (Sound Design).

Chosen annually from scripts submitted by the Cherry Lane National Nominating Committee, and selected by the 2010 Mentor playwrights themselves, the Mentor Project fellows work one-on-one with their advisers, have private and public readings of their plays, attend workshops and receive 12 performance showcase runs at Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce St. in NYC) each spring.

Previous Mentor Project playwrights whose work has been produced subsequent to their tenure at Cherry Lane: Rajiv Joseph, "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" (Center Theater Group); David Adjmi, "Stunning" (Lincoln Center Theater 3); Katori Hall, "The Mountaintop" (London's Battersea, West End); Jakob Holder, "Bedtime Solos" (Old Red Lion Theater, England); Colin McKenna, "The Secret Agenda of Trees" (Wild Project, NYC); Allison Moore, "Slasher" (Humana Festival); Christopher Shinn and Sam Forman.

The Mentor Project continues Cherry Lane Theatre's long and rich history of presenting works by both emerging and seasoned playwrights that reveal the social consciousness of our ever-changing world. Now 83 years old, and New York's longest, continuously-running Off-Broadway theatre, Cherry Lane is known as "the birthplace of Off-Broadway," and since the 1920's has been home to such iconoclastic writers as O'Neill, Saryan, Auden, Albee, Odets, Orton, Mamet, Lanford Wilson, and many others.

Angelina Fiordellisi is Founder and Artistic Director of Cherry Lane Theatre; James King is Executive Director..

Tickets to Mentor Project performances are $18 ($11 with valid student ID), and are available by calling TeleCharge at 212-239-6200 or visiting, at The Cherry Lane Theatre box office (38 Commerce Street) in New York or online at

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