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FRIEND ART and ENGAGEMENTS Slated for Second Stage Uptown Series

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Second Stage Theatre will present the world premiere of Sofia Alvarez's FRIEND ART, directed by Portia Krieger, and the New York premiere of Lucy Teitler's ENGAGEMENTS as part of the company's fourteenth annual SECOND STAGE THEATRE UPTOWN SERIES this summer.

Both plays will be presented at Second Stage Theatre's uptown home, the McGinn/Cazale Theatre on Broadway at 76th Street. FRIEND ART has set an opening night for May 26 and ENGAGEMENTS has set an opening night for July 28.

Casting for both productions will be announced at a later date.


FRIEND ART

World Premiere

By Sofia Alvarez

Directed by Portia Krieger

Previews Begin Tuesday, May 17

Opening Night is Thursday, May 26

Kevin and Molly are a 30-something couple about to get married. Their best friend Nate just broke up with Lil, his much younger performance artist girlfriend. The group is navigating Gotham living at varying levels of success, which inevitably means attending friends' basement art shows. In this comedy we're confronted with what it means to support the art and decisions your friends make, regardless of what it does to your friendships.

SOFIA ALVAREZ (Playwright) is a playwright and screenwriter. Her plays include Between Us Chickens (SCR, EST LA), Life Drawing, The Fish Bowl, NYLON, Friend Art, The Orphan's Club and Corpse Pose. Work in television includes the first two seasons of "Man Seeking Woman" (FXX) and the first season of "Sirens" (USA). She is currently writing a feature for Sony and working with composer Daniel Roland Tierney on a musical adaptation of William Steig's classic children's book, Amos & Boris, for South Coast Repertory. The project will be developed this spring as part of the Kennedy Center's New Visions/New Voices festival. Sofia is a member of Primary Stages' Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer's Group and an alumna of the Ars Nova Playgroup, New Georges' Jam, and the Royal Court Young Writer's Program in London. She is a graduate of Bennington College and The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. She teaches in the Tisch department of dramatic writing at NYU and has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts.

PORTIA KRIEGER (Director) is a New York-based theatre director who mostly works on new plays and musicals. Recent productions include Caroline V. McGraw's The Bachelors for Lesser America, Gabrielle Reisman's site-specific outdoor King Lear adaptation Storm, Still for Brooklyn Yard, Peggy Stafford's 16 Words or Less, Clare Barron's Baby Screams Miracle for Clubbed Thumb, Caroline V. McGraw's The Vaults for New Georges, and Eager to Lose, a burlesque farce Portia co-created with writer Matthew-Lee Erlbach, director Wes Grantom, and burlesque starlet Tansy for Ars Nova. Upcoming projects: Sarah Einspanier's The Convent of Pleasure for the Cherry Lane Mentor Project. Portia has workshopped new plays with Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage Theatre, Roundabout Underground, New York Stage & Film, Rattlestick, Page 73, Ars Nova, the Lark, the Juilliard School, and many others. She is an inaugural O'Neill/NNPN National Director's Fellow, a 2015-2016 New Georges Audrey Resident, an alumna of the Drama League Directors Project and the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, a former Ars Nova Director-in-Residence, and a co-founder of the New Georges Jam. She's also the Associate Director of Fun Home on Broadway. Education: BA in Theater, Smith College.

ENGAGEMENTS

New York Premiere

By Lucy Teitler

Previews Begin Monday, July 18

Opening Night is Thursday, July 28

It's summer in New England and every weekend is someone else's engagement party. The wildflowers, specialty cocktails, and artisanal appetizers are totally Instagram-worthy, but the people are not quite so perfect. One night, Lauren takes it into her own hands to make sure that her best friend doesn't marry an inadequate suitor - a drunken mistake that incites a cascade of calamities, threatening to expose all of Lauren's secrets. Engagements is a dark comedy about ugly feelings in an age of beautiful self-images.

LUCY TEITLER (Playwright) is a staff writer for the award-winning USA series "Mr. Robot." Additionally, she is a playwright whose most recent production of Engagements was hailed by The Boston Globe as "icy-hot... splendid... the portrait of a fascinatingly complex woman... whip-smart." Her work has been produced in New York at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, where she was a member of the Obie-winning group Youngblood. She is a contributing writer at "VICE Magazine." Her prose has also been published in the "New York Observer," "New York Magazine," "Trop" and "(S)zine."


Four play packages, which include Friend Art and Engagements as well as Dear Evan Hansen and Layover, are available for $140. For more information call the Second Stage Theatre Box Office at (212) 246-4422 or visit at www.2ST.com.

Created as a program to help develop and provide exposure for the voices of a new generation of theatre artists, SECOND STAGE THEATRE UPTOWN (Christopher Burney, Curator & Associate Artistic Director), seeks to develop the skills of emerging playwrights, to provide early-career artists with the support of a major artistic institution, and to create new plays for the American Theatre. Each show has a limited rehearsal period, as well as a streamlined budget. Lead funding for Second Stage Uptown Series is provided by the Time Warner Foundation.

The series was among the first established by a prominent Off-Broadway institution to help nurture and advance the careers of young up and coming playwrights. Since its founding in 2002 the Uptown Series has showcased the works of several established playwrights including Rajiv Joseph (Gruesome Playground Injuries and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, "Nurse Jackie"), Leslye Headland (Bachelorette), Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Good Boys and True, HBO's "Big Love" and "Looking," "Glee"), Adam Bock (A Small Fire, The Drunken City), and Brooke Berman (Hunting and Gathering); actors Gavin Creel, Ari Graynor, Marin Hinkle, Halley Feiffer, Rosemarie DeWitt, Lorenzo Pisoni, Tracie Thoms and Tracee Chimo, among many others; and directors Davis McCallum, Trip Cullman, Carolyn Cantor, Evan Cabnet and Jackson Gay.

The series premiered in 2002 with three new American plays: ...in the absence of spring..., written and directed by Joe Calarco; The Notebook, by Wendy Kesselman and directed by Evan Yionoulis; and Hunt Holman's Spanish Girl, directed by Erica Schmidt. Second Stage Theatre Uptown was on hiatus in 2003 due to theatre repairs. The 2004 season saw the New York premiere of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's The Mystery Plays, as well as Brooke Berman's The Triple Happiness, starring Ally Sheedy. In 2005, the series presented the New York premiere of the critically acclaimed comedy Swimming in the Shallows, by Adam Bock and starring Logan Marshall-Green, as well as the world premiere of Dan O'Brien's The Dear Boy. The 2006 series featured two world premiere comedies: Getting Home, by Anton Dudley and directed by David Schweizer, and Rajiv Joseph's All This Intimacy, directed by Giovanna Sardelli. The 2007 series featured Marisa Wegrzyn's The Butcher of Baraboo, directed by Judith Ivey, and Joshua Tobiessen's Election Day, directed by Jeremy Dobrish. The 2008 series featured Carly Mensch's Len, Asleep in Vinyl, directed by Jackson Gay, and Rajiv Joseph's Animals Out of Paper, directed by Giovanna Sardelli. The 2009 series presented two world premiere plays: Zakiyyah Alexander's 10 Things To Do Before I Die, directed by Jackson Gay, and Lila Rose Kaplan's Wildflower, directed by Giovanna Sardelli. The 2010 season's series featured the New York premiere of Michael Golamco's Year Zero, directed by Will Frears, and the New York premiere production of Leslye Headland's critically acclaimed hit comedy Bachelorette, directed by Trip Cullman. The 2011 season featured two world premiere comedies: Michael Mitnick's Sex Lives of Our Parents, directed by Davis McCallum and Anna Kerrigan's The Talls, directed by Carolyn Cantor. The 2012 season brought The Bad Guys by Alena Smith and Warrior Class by Kennth Lin to Uptown. The 2013 series brought the world premiere of The Tutors by Erica Lipez as well as the off-Broadway transfer, Murder for Two by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair. The 2014 series featured Bess Wohl's American Hero, directed by Leigh Silverman, and Tanya Saracho's Mala Hierba, directed by Jerry Ruiz. The 2015 series featured two world premiere productions: Emily Schwend's The Other Thing, directed by Lucie Tiberghien, and King Liz by Fernanda Coppel, directed by Lisa Peterson.

Under the artistic direction of co-founder Carole Rothman, SECOND STAGE THEATRE produces a diverse range of premieres and new interpretations of America's best contemporary theatre, including 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey; 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Water By The Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes; The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown; Dogfight by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Peter Duchan; By The Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage; Trust and Lonely, I'm Not by Paul Weitz; The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz; Everyday Rapture by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott; Let Me Down Easy by Anna Deavere Smith; Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo; Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl; The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane; Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin; Jitney by August Wilson; Jar the Floor by Cheryl L. West; Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein; Crowns by Regina Taylor; Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim; Afterbirth: Kathy & Mo's Greatest Hits by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy; This Is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan; Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants by Ricky Jay; Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe; A Soldier's Play by Charles Fuller; Little Murders by Jules Feiffer; The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry; and Tiny Alice by Edward Albee.

The company's more than 130 citations include the 2009 Tony Awards for Best Lead Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley, Next to Normal) and Best Score (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Next to Normal); the 2007 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed); the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (Rachel Sheinkin, ...Spelling Bee) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Fogler, ...Spelling Bee); the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (Mary Zimmerman for Metamorphoses); the 2002 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, 27 Obie Awards, seven Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Clarence Derwent Awards, 12 Drama Desk Awards, nine Theatre World Awards, 17 Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Critics Circle Award, and 23 AUDELCO Awards.

In 1999, Second Stage Theatre opened its state-of-the-art, 296-seat theatre at 43rd Street, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. The Theatre supports artists through several programs that include residencies, fellowships and commissions, and engages students and community members through education and outreach programs. For subscriptions, tickets and more information, visit www.2ST.com.

In 2015 Second Stage Theatre purchased the historic Helen Hayes Theatre, located at 240 W. 44th Street. With this new home, Second Stage will be the only theatre company on Broadway dedicated exclusively to the development and presentation of contemporary American theatrical productions. The company will continue to lease and operate their original theatres on the city's Upper West Side and in Midtown Manhattan. Second Stage Theatre has enlisted David Rockwell and The Rockwell Group to make renovations and updates to the 103 year old landmark building. They will begin renovations on the theatre in 2016 and plans for its first Broadway production to be staged in the Hayes during the 2017-18 season.



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