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James Anthony Tyler's Timely Comedy DOLPHINS AND SHARKS to Debut at Labyrinth Theater Company

LAByrinth Theater Company presents the world premiere of the witty and socially poignant production of Dolphins and Sharks by upcoming playwright James Anthony Tyler. The production, which marks Tyler's professional debut, is scheduled for February 9 - March 19 and is directed by Charlotte Brathwaite.

Dolphins and Sharks is a timely and ferocious comedy that grapples with income inequality, gentrification and cut throat capitalism. The play features a dynamic ensemble that includes Tina Fabrique (Amenze Amen), Cesar J. Rosado (Danilo Martinez), and is led by Chinaza Uche (Yusuf Nwachukwu), best known for his role in Mfoniso Udofia's Sojourners; Flor De Liz Perez (Xiomara Yepez) who played Veronica in the London production of The Motherf**ker With The Hat; and Pernell Walker in the robust role of Isabel Peters. Walker made her feature film debut as Laura in the award winning and critically acclaimed film Pariah and will be featured in HBO's THE DEUCE premiering this year.

Protagonist Isabel Peters has a stable job at Harlem Office. Clock in. Clock out. Get paid. But when an overeager new employee gets hired and an ambitious manager becomes the office's overseer, Isabel finds herself at the center of office politics and down to her last nerve. With cutbacks around the corner, soon everyone's fighting to keep their jobs and their sanity. Some, though, will do anything to survive.

Dolphins and Sharks won the 2015 Fire This Time Festival and was developed through staged readings and workshop performances as part of Labyrinth's 2015 Up Next and 2016 Barn Reading Series. The play was also a finalist for the 2016 O'Neill Playwrights Conference.

The Creative Team includes Marsha Ginsberg (scenic designer), Zulema Griffin (costume designer), Kent Barrett (lighting designer), Justin Hicks (Sound Designer), Andrew Schneider (video designer) and Samantha Cotton (production stage manager).

Performances of Dolphins and Sharks will take place February 9 - March 19 (see schedule above) at Bank Street Theater, located at 155 Bank Street in Manhattan. Critics are welcome as of Thursday, February 23 for an official opening on Wednesday, March 1 at 7:00pm. Tickets are $30-$40 and can be purchased by visiting labtheater.org or by calling 212.513.1080.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

James Anthony Tyler (playwright) is an award-winning playwright who has a MFA in Film from Howard University and a MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University where his concentration was Playwriting. His work has been presented by OBIE Award-winning playwright Israel Horovitz at The Cherry Lane Theatre (Hand Held Out), The Sixth Annual Fire This Time Festival (Dolphins and Sharks), and the 4th Annual Beer-Battered New Play Festival (Loveeeeeee Play). His play The Drop Off was featured in The Classical Theatre of Harlem's Playwrights Playground and their Future Classics Series. You're Sitting in the Dark and hop tha A were semi-finalists for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, and hop tha A was featured in Asolo Rep's 2016 Unplugged New Play Festival. James is one of the first recipients of the 2015 First Round Fellowship presented by Open Bar Theatricals to expand Dolphins and Sharks from a ten-minute play to a full-length play. Dolphins and Sharks was presented in staged readings for LAByrinth Theater Company's Up Next and Barn Reading Series, Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Capital Stage's Playwrights Revolution, and was a finalist for the 2016 O'Neill Playwrights Conference. His play Some Old Black Man was presented at La MaMa Theatre as part of the Shadow Festival where it starred Arthur French, and the Berkshire Playwrights Lab will present a full-production of the play this summer that will star Tony Award-winning actor Roger Robinson. His honors include being selected by the OBIE Award-winning 48 Hours in Harlem Festival as one of their 2015 Playwrights, the Paul Robeson Award, and a John Golden Award for Excellence in Playwriting from NYU. He is a proud member of Harlem's Emerging Black Playwrights Group, a 2014-2015 Dramatists Guild Fellow, a 2016-2017 Ars Nova Play Group Resident, a 2016 Working Farm Playwrights Group Resident at SPACE on Ryder Farm. He was awarded The Playwrights Center's 2015-2016 Many Voices Fellowship, a 2016 Theatre Masters Visionary Playwrights Award and is currently a Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Fellow at The Juilliard School.

Charlotte Brathwaite (director) is a New York based independent Canadian/Barbadian/UK stage director known for her unique approach to staging classical and unconventional texts, dance, visual art, multi-media, site-specific installation, performance art and music events. Her work has been seen in the Americas, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia and ranges in subject matter from the historical past to the distant future illuminating issues of race, sex, power and the complexities of the human condition. She was recently named as one of the "up-and-coming women in theatre to watch" by Playbill. Upcoming projects include: Shasta Geaux Pop by Ayesha Jordan at Bushwick Starr; (BE)LONGING, composed by Byron Au Young and written by AaronJaffaries produced by Arktype; and CAN I GET A WITNESS conceived and composed by Meshell Ndegeocello. She is also Associate Director for the dance work FLEXN directed by PeterSellars and Reg Rocc Gray.Charlotte is recipient of several awards and citations including the Princess Grace Award and the Julian Milton Kaufman Prize (Yale), a Rockefeller Residency, and the National Performing Network Creation Fund. She received her MFA at Yale School of Drama and has been a Visiting Professor at Amherst College, a Visiting artist at Williams College and is currently assistant professor of Theater Arts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Tina Fabrique (Amenze Amen) recently performed the role of Ethel Mae Brooks in The Apollo Theaters "The First Noel" and won the 2016 Audelco Award for her performance., Broadway/Nat'l Tour & Off Broadway credits include: Ragtime, Bring in Da Noise, How to Succeed, Once on This Island, The Wiz, Dessa Rose, ELLA, Gospel at Colonus, Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, 70 Girls 70 etc. Regional: Informed Consent, Comedy of Errors, Sunshine Boys, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom The Old Settler, Trouble in Mind, Glass Menagerie etc. Ms. Fabrique is best known for her portrayal of Ella Fitzgerald in the award-winning bio musical "Ella", earning her the Kevin Kline, Carbonell, Acclaim Awards and a Helen Hayes nomination for this show that toured over 20 theaters around the country. TV: Law and Order - SVU, Person of Interest, Law and Order - Criminal Intent. Sings theme for the Reading Rainbow PBS TV show www.tinafabrique.com

Flor De Liz Perez (Xiomara Yepez) LAByrinth Theater Company: Debut. International: The Motherf**ker with the Hat (National Theatre, London). Off-Broadway: The Comedy of Errors, Pericles (The Public); Sense and Sensibility (Bedlam); Los Monologos de la Vagina (Westside Theater); In the Time of the Butterflies (Repertorio Español). Regional: The House that will notStand (Berkeley Rep/Yale Rep); Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England (Two River Theater); In the Continuum, Pride and Prejudice, All My Sons, Nicholas Nickleby (PlayMakersRep). Film: The House That Jack Built. Television: The Good Wife, Elementary (CBS). www.flordelizperez.com

Cesar J. Rosado (Danilo Martinez) is a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of the Middle Voice Theater Company at Rattlestick. Cesar is an alumnus of the Atlantic Theater Company Conservatory and received his BFA at The Mason Gross School of the Arts, at Rutgers University. His latest works include: The Orchard dir. Sean B Leo (Sun Strange Theater Co.); Dolphins and Sharks dir. Nelson Eusebio (The Berkshire Playwrights Lab at the Mahaiwe Theater); The Invincible Ones dir. Jenna Worsham (Columbia University MFA Playwrights showcase at the Signature Theater); Lights Over Philo dir. Lee Sunday Evans (Rutgers Theater Company); Exposure dir. Victor Cervantes (Middle Voice Theater Company); Henry V dir. Michael Sexton (Rutgers Theater Company); Henry V dir. Tim Walker (The London Shakespeare's Globe Education); and, An Evening of Odets dir. Moritz von Stuelpnagel Rutgers Theater Company).

Chinaza Uche (Yusuf Nwachukwu) will be next seen in the Remount of Sojourners at New York Theatre Workshop. Off-Broadway: Sojourners (Playwrights Realm), This is How itEnds (59E59), Three Days To See (Transport Group). Regional: Brownsville Song (Seattle Rep), The Brothers Size (The Everyman Theater). Film and TV credits include: "Ricki and the Flash," "Mother Of George," "Terry Richardson's Last Hours," " Golden Boy," "Deception" and "Blue Bloods." Training: NYU. www.Chinazauche.com. Grateful to Labyrinth, the whole artistic team and the cast for this opportunity!

Pernell Walker (Isabel Peters) is grateful and excited to collaborate with brilliant theater artists and crew on Dolphins and Sharks at The LAByrinth Theater Company. Pernell Walker is a Bronx born Actress with a M.F.A in acting from Actor's Studio Drama School, formerly at the New School. Ms. Walker seamlessly navigates and bring life to roles in film television and theater. She made her Off-Broadway debut in SEED by Rhada Blank directed by Niegel Smith (Artistic Director of The Flea). Pernell made her feature film debut as Laura in the award winning and critically acclaimed film, Pariah directed by Dee Ree's (Bessie). Ms. Walker has also starred alongside Forrest Whitaker and Cuba Gooding Jr in Lee Daniel's The Butler. Pernell can be seen in the premier episode (season 2) of the hilarious Netflix comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as Titus' ex-wife, Vonda and Gwenn Craig in ABC'S Mini-series When We Rise in 2017. Ms. Walker continues to work with the best in the business. Cast in her latest role by Michelle Maclaren, (Breaking Bad) and David Simon (Show Me a Hero, The Wire) for HBO's THEDUECE premiering 2017. www.pernellwalker.com

LAByrinth Theater Company (Artistic Director Mimi O'Donnell) is a home for diverse artists who have changed the face of American theater through groundbreaking productions of provocative new plays. Founded in 1992 by a group of actors who wanted to push their artistic limits and tell new, more inclusive stories that expanded the boundaries of mainstream theater, Labyrinth has grown into an award-winning, nationally renowned company of actors, directors, playwrights and designers from a wide array of cultural perspectives. Over the past 20 years, Labyrinth has developed hundreds of original works and premiered 58 new American plays here in New York including Jack Goes Boating, Jesus Hopped The A Train, Sunset Baby, Nice Girl,Empanada Loca, Homos, or Everyone in America and the Company's multi-Tony nominated Broadway debut, The Motherf**ker With The Hat.


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