Electric Pear Productions Kicks off Season 'The Parent Teacher Conference Plays' Starting Tonight, 9/24
Electric Pear Productions kicks off its season by going back to school with The Parent Teacher Conference Plays. Three of the brightest lights in American drama – Ann Marie Healy (Have You Seen Steve Steven), Clay McLeod Chapman (rest area, Hostage Song) and Zayd Dohrn (Haymarket)-will take audience members inside actual classrooms for a trip down memory lane... to a time when backpacks, hall passes, and spelling tests ruled the world. These 15 minute plays, directed by Kerry Whigham, Francesca Arkus, and Chapman, each give a unique and humorous take on the dreaded meeting that brings fear and anxiety to students, parents and teachers alike. Audiences will travel from classroom to classroom to see all three shows. This site specific compilation will take place September 24 – 27 8PM at the Village Community School (272 West 10th Street).
Written and Directed by Clay McLeod Chapman
With Rebecca LingafelterA tormented teacher meets with the parents of a little boy who has brought her to the edge of insanity. The Grafton School
By Ann Marie Healy; Directed by Kerry Whigham
With Christian Conn, Erin Felgar and Kathryn GrodyTwo determined parents interview with the principal of an exclusive--and elusive--girls' school with a dark secret.Sex-ed
By Zayd Dohrn; Directed by Francesca Arkus
With Gabriel Field and Nairoby OteroA young mother with a past conferences with her teenage daughter's sex-ed teacher.Halfnight offers: "Both Melanie and I have spent time as teachers, and I've taught extensively at Village Community School, the site of the production. After a conference with a parent one day, it occurred to me that these meetings are inherently dramatic: the suspense... will we find out that Little Johnny is actually an ill-mannered dullard?... The acting on both sides of the table: I'm a good teacher - I know everything and care deeply. I'm a good parent - I know everything and care even more deeply. The ups: he understands grammar! The downs: she's being a bitch to the other girls! The script: Your child is very excitable. The subtext: Your child is a pain in the ass. The tears: I'm doing the best I can! It's inherently theatrical and dramatic. It's, frankly, a totally weird little play, thus why we decided to commission three great playwrights and go back to school this fall."
By setting each play in an actual classroom and having the audience travel, Electric Pear offers both a fresh venue for theater and the chance for people to reconnect to the anxieties and associations from their early days of education.
Tickets are $18 and can be purchased by phone by calling 212-352-3101 or online at www.electricpear.org
Clay McLeod Chapman (playwright) is the creator of the rigorous storytelling session The Pumpkin Pie Show. He is the author of rest area, a collection of short stories, and miss corpus, a novel. He teaches writing at The Actors Studio MFA Program at Pace University.
Zayd Dohrn received his MFA from NYU and is currently a Lila Acheson Wallace Fellow at Juilliard. His plays have been produced and developed at Woolly Mammoth, The Alliance, South Coast Rep, the Marin Theatre Company, Kitchen Dog, Southern Rep, ATC, Boston Playwrights', New Jersey Rep, Aurora Theatre, and Alchemy Theatre of Manhattan. He is a recipient of Lincoln Center's Lecomte du Nouy Prize, the NNPN Continued Life of New Plays Fund, the Sky Cooper Prize, the Jean Kennedy Smith Award, an IRNE for Best New Play, and residencies with America-in-Play, Seven Devils, 24Seven, Chautauqua, and The Royal Court Theatre of London.
Kerry Whigham just returned from the Hangar Theatre, where he directed The Revolution Will Be Televised by Josh Halloway. Kerry directed the New York premiere of Jennifer Haley's Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom at NYC's Public Theater as part of Summer Play Festival 2008. In April, he staged the world premiere of Gregory Moss's punkplay at Brown University. He has spent two summers at the Williamstown Theater Festival, directing both the Apprentice and Non-Equity companies, and was a Drama League Directing Fellow at the Hangar Theatre in 2007. In 2006 he was commissioned to create The Revolution Will Be Televised for Syracuse Stage Company. Kerry is a member of the Drama League's Assistant Directors Program and of the 2006 Lincoln Center Directors Lab. In 2005, Kerry worked with three-time Obie-award winning playwright Adrienne Kennedy to develop her newest play, an adaptation of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, for which he directed the world-premiere workshop. He also assisted Douglas Carter Beane on the Broadway production of Xanadu and James Lapine on two workshops of The Nightingale, the new musical by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater. Other favorite projects include Six Degrees of Separation, Chaucer in Rome, Never Swim Alone, House/Humans, The Blue Room, The Ugly One, and The Argument. His work can next be seen in the ANT Festival at Ars Nova, where his is directing Nobody Likes the Mormons and Girls I've Like Liked. Education: NYU. www.kerrywhigham.com