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DirectorFest Continues With THE LOVER and APPEARANCES At The New Ohio Theatre

DirectorFest Continues With THE LOVER and APPEARANCES At The New Ohio Theatre

The Drama League (Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks, Executive Director Bevin Ross) presents the 36th annual Directorfest, the only festival in the United States dedicated to the art of Contemporary Stage directing. Directorfest began January 10 and concludes on February 4, 2020 at various locations around NYC: The New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher Street), The Drama League Theater Center (32 Avenue of the Americas), LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (31-10 Thomson Avenue), and Joe's Pub (425 Lafayette Street). For festival details and tickets, visit or call (212) 244-9494 x102. Industry/Theatre Professionals may request tickets by

Nothing is as it seems in this double-bill evening! The Lover, Harold Pinter's playful and provocative exploration of modern marriage, is directed by 2019 Drama League Directing Fellow NJ Agwuna, twisting the boundaries of temptation, fidelity, and judgement.

The three-member cast of The Lover features Greg Brostrom as Richard, Maribel Martinez as Sarah, and Charlie Spillers as John, The Milkman. The Stage Manager is Melanie Aponte. Casting by Erica A. Hart.

NJ Agwuna is a theatre and film director. She has worked on a national and international scale exploring classic text, developing new plays, devising, and investigating new ways to explore trauma and mental illness through theatre. Some of NJ's credits include immersive work with Third Rail Projects and Punchdrunk, Harold Pinter's One for the Road as part of the Segal Center's Re-Reading Oppression, Till: A Musical (2019 NYMF Award, Outstanding Direction), Julius Caesar, Theatreworks USA's Freedom Train National Tour, Endangered: the ECO Musical (AD), and What She Found (won Best Drama at FRIGID). She is currently a teaching artist with Tectonic. Directing MFA: Columbia University, SDC Associate.

2019 Drama League Directing Fellow Lindsey Hope Pearlman stages Tina Howe's Appearances, a comic meditation on women and self-image in which the search for the perfect dress is eternal... and sometimes, a job for two! As a customer and a sales clerk form an uneasy alliance, they share their hopes, dreams, and a secret plan for a very important occasion.

The two-member cast features LaVon Fisher-Wilson as Grace, and Kerry Ipema as Ivy. The Stage Manager is Arielle Goldstein. Casting by Stephen DeAngelis.

Lindsey Hope Pearlman is a Brooklyn-based director and writer. As part of her Drama League Fellowship, she served as Assistant Director for On That Day In Amsterdam at Primary Stages. Her directing work has been seen at The O'Neill Theatre Center, The Flea, Connelly Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House, Delaware Theatre Company, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Santa Fe University of Art & Design, The Adobe Rose Theatre, Dixon Place, and Barn Arts Collective. Original plays include Lucy (EST/Sloan Commission) and Viv is for Vengeance (Honorable Mention, American Playwriting Foundation's Relentless Award). Assistant Director: Bandstand on Broadway. SDC Associate Member and 2-time SDC Observer. Co-Artistic Director, Up & Down Theatre Company. Member, BREAD Arts Collective. Graduate, London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) B.A Hamilton College. Up next: MacGyver the Musical.

Performances begin Friday evening, January 31, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. for a limited three performance engagement through Saturday evening, February 1, 2020 at The New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher Street).

The Lover and Appearances play on a double-bill for each performance.

Tickets are priced at $45 Premium Seating | $25 General Seating | $20 Drama League/SDC/AEA/DG Members (a post-show talkback with the director will follow the Saturday matinee performance). Tickets may be purchased ticket by visiting or by calling (212) 244-9494 x102.

For additional information, please visit the website

For its 36th year, the festival includes 27 actors in six fully-staged productions and a concert of a new docu-play with music. Taking place over five weeks in venues across Manhattan, highlights of the festival include all-new stagings of works by Michael John LaChiusa (Hello Again) and Harold Pinter (The Lover), revivals of rarely-seen works by Tina Howe (Appearances) and Marcus Gardley (The Sporting Life of Icarus Jones), and Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson and Daniela Vlaskalic (The Drowning Girls), a concert of songs from the new docu-play with music by Matthew Dean Marsh and Oscar Lopez (Riot Song), and the North American premiere of a new theatrical immersive experience created by Belgian director Christian Bakalov (Pure).

Chosen last spring from over 400 applicants, the directors leading the festival's new productions this year -- NJ Agwuna, Chika Ike, Rebecca Marzalek-Kelly, Lindsey Hope Pearlman, Ben Randle, Hannah Ryan, and Mr. Bakalov -- recently completed their development programs as part of The Drama League Directors Project.

The festival also includes conversations with 2017 Tony Award Winner Rebecca Taichman (Indecent), 2014 Tony Award Winner and 2010 Drama League Founders Award for Excellence in Directing Kenny Leon (A Soldier's Play), and Intimacy Director Claire Warden (HBO's "Mrs. Fletcher").

The creative team for DirectorFest is: Gabriel Stelian- Shanks (Artistic Director), Bevin Ross (Executive Director), Ali Skye Bennet (Artistic Line Producer), Nilan (Associate Artistic Director), Patrick Surillo (Artistic Coordinator), Kate Holland (Production Manager), Cate McCrea (Scenic Designer), Amanda Gladu (Costume Designer), Lois Gordon (Lighting Designer), DJ Potts (Sound Designer), Calvin Stara (Technical Director), Stephen DeAngelis (Casting Director, Hello Again, and Appearances), Gama Valle/Harriet Bass Casting (Casting Director, The Drowning Girls), Erica A. Hart (Casting Director, The Sporting Life of Icarus Jones and The Lover), Justin Ellington (Music Director, The Sporting Life of Icarus Jones), Jesse Kissel (Music Director, Hello Again), Melanie Aponte (Stage Manager, The Lover), Arielle Goldstein (Stage Manager, Appearances), Rachel Kaufman (Stage Manager, The Drowning Girls), Bonnie McHeffey (Stage Manager, The Sporting Life of Icarus Jones), Karen Schleifer (Production Stage Manager, Hello Again), and Evangeline Whitlock (Stage Manager, Pure).

During DirectorFest, the featured directors will join the ranks of the illustrious 350+ alumni of The Drama League Directors Project, including Tony Award winners Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown), Christopher Ashley (Come From Away), Rebecca Taichman (Indecent), Diane Paulus (Jagged Little Pill), Michael Mayer (Little Shop of Horrors), Sam Gold (Fun Home), Pam MacKinnon (The Parisian Woman), John Rando (On The Town), Tony Award nominees Alex Timbers (Moulin Rouge!), Lila Neugebauer (The Waverly Gallery), Moritz von Steulpnagel (Bernhardt/Hamlet), and Mark Brokaw88 (Heisenberg), to name only a few. Many of the nation's prominent theaters are led by Drama League alumni directors including Ms. MacKinnon at San Francisco's A.C.T., Mr. Ashley at La Jolla Play House in San Diego, Ms. Paulus at Boston's American Repertory Theatre, James Bundy of Yale Repertory Theatre, Kevin Moriarty of Dallas Theater Center, Laura Kepley at Cleveland Play House, and many more.

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