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Jo Lampert, Maryann Plunkett and More to Star in THE LUCKY ONES at Ars Nova

Jo Lampert, Maryann Plunkett and More to Star in THE LUCKY ONES at Ars Nova

Ars Nova, piece by piece productions and Z Space present the world premiere of The Lucky Ones, a new musical by The Bengsons (Hundred Days) and Sarah Gancher, commissioned and developed by Ars Nova.

The Lucky Ones features a book by The Bengsons and Sarah Gancher, music and lyrics by The Bengsons, choreography by Emmy-nominee Sonya Tayeh (FOX's So You Think You Can Dance, Moulin Rouge!), and direction by Obie, Lortel, and Drama Desk-winner Anne Kauffman (Marvin's Room, A Life, Mary Jane).

In The Lucky Ones, indie-music duo The Bengsons spin a memory-tale of teenaged passion, ideals lived to the limits, family shattered and faith lost - all in hope of finding a way home again. Through soulful electro-folk songs, this driving, semi-autobiographical story grabs joy and grief ?with? the same hand and holds them tightly, in a radical affirmation of being alive.

The 19-member ensemble cast of The Lucky Ones includes Abigail Bengson, Shaun Bengson, Damon Daunno (Kneehigh Theater, Hadestown), Nina Grollman (The Public's The Winter's Tale), Jo Lampert (Joan of Arc: Into the Fire), Jennifer Morris (The Civilians), Obie-winner Tom Nelis (Indecent, The Visit, Aida), Tony winner Maryann Plunkett (Me and My Girl, Richard Nelson's Apple Family Plays), Myra Lucretia Taylor (Nine, Mule Bone) and Amelia Workman (Tender Napalm, The Shipment). Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

The creative team for The Lucky Ones includes Rachel Hauck (scenic design), Ásta Bennie Hostetter (costume design), Amith Chandrashaker (lighting design), Nick Kourtides (sound design), Noah Mease (prop design), and Amanda Spooner (Production Stage Manager).

Performances of The Lucky Ones will take place March 19-April 21 at The Connelly Theater, located at 220 E 4th Street in Manhattan. Tickets, priced at $45 general and $65 reserved, can be purchased by visiting or by calling 212-352-3101.

Ars Nova's Ticket Initiative, generously supported in part by New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs, underwrites the cost of tickets for all performances, allowing the company to make theater accessible to the next generation of theater-goers. Through that initiative, $25 tickets are available with code TAKEMYHAND for performances March 19-24 and $35 tickets are available with code FOLLOWME for performances March 26-31.


The Bengsons (Book, Music & Lyrics) Married duo The Bengsons have appeared across the country and around the globe. Their compositions were featured in Sonya Tayeh's you'll still call me by name (New York Live Arts), The National Theater of Scotland and The Team's Anything That Gives Off Light (Edinburgh Theater Festival), Sarah Gancher's The Place We Built (The Flea), Rachel Bonds' Sundown, Yellow Moon (Ars Nova/WP Theater) and Anne Washburn's Iphigenia in Aulis (Classic Stage Company) in which they also starred. Currently their musical Hundred Days is playing at New York Theatre Workshop, following a much-lauded production at Public Theater's Under the Radar festival. They have had three singles featured on So You Think You Can Dance (FOX). Abigail Bengson has toured as a member of tUnE-yArDs, including an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Upcoming: Untitled Lincoln Center Theater commission.

Sarah Gancher's (Book) writing has been seen internationally, including London's National Theatre, Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, Steppenwolf, The Public Theater, Seattle Rep, Hartford Stage and Ars Nova. Honors include the NYSAF Founder's Award, the Clifford Odets Commission, a Time Warner Fellowship, and a Drama League Nomination. A member/alum of Interstate 73, The Playwrights Realm Writing Fellows program and Ars Nova's Play Group. Sarah was a co-writer of The TEAM's Mission Drift (Drama League nom, Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize). Current: I'll Get You Back Again at Round House Theater, directed by Rachel Chavkin; Seder at Hartford Stage, directed by Elizabeth Williamson. Upcoming: Hundred Days at NYTW and The Lucky Ones at Ars Nova. She is under commission by Asolo Repertory Theater and Second City Theatricals. MFA: NYU.

Anne Kauffman (Director) Sundown, Yellow Moon (Ars Nova/WP Theater), Hundred Days (NYTW, Z Space, The Know Theater), Mary Jane (NYTW, Yale Rep), Marvin's Room (Roundabout Theatre Company), Assassins (Encores Off-Center), A Life (Lortel nomination, Drama League Nomination), Marjorie Prime (Lortel Nomination, Drama League Nomination); Detroit (Playwrights Horizons); The Nether, Smokefall (MCC); Buzzer (The Public); Belleville (Lortel Nomination, NYTW, Yale Rep); You Got Older (Drama Desk Nomination, P73 Productions) Co-Artistic Director of Encores Off-Center, Resident Director Roundabout Theater, Artistic Associate and Founding Member of The Civilians, Sundance Program Associate, Clubbed Thumb Associate Artist and co-creator of the CT Directing Fellowship, New Georges Associate Artist, Artistic Council of Soho Rep, SDC Executive Board Member. OBIES (Directing and Sustained Excellence), the Joan and Joseph Cullman Award for Exceptional Creativity from Lincoln Center, the Alan Schneider Director Award and two Barrymore Awards.

Sonya Tayeh (Choreographer) is a NYC-based choreographer and director. Selected credits: you'll still call me by name, a dance-symphony commissioned by New York Live Arts; Martha Graham Dance Company's Lamentation Variations; Hundred Days (Public Theater/Dir. Anne Kauffman); The Skin of Our Teeth (TFANA/Dir. Arin Arbus); Andrew Lippas' The Wild Party (City Center Encores!/Dir. Leigh Silverman); Iphigenia in Aulis (CCS/Dir. Rachel Chavkin); Kung Fu (Signature Theatre/Dir. Leigh Silverman); The Last Goodbye (Old Globe/Dir. Alex Timbers). She has gleaned accolades for her versatile work, including two Emmy nominations for Fox's So You Think You Can Dance, and the Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards for "Outstanding Choreography." Upcoming projects include: Hundred Days (Winter 2018/New York Theatre Workshop/Dir. Anne Kauffman); Moulin Rouge! (Spring 2018/Dir. Alex Timbers).

Damon Daunno has toured throughout Russia and Europe on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. Acting Credits: Kneehigh Theater Co.'s The Tin Drum (International Tour), Brief Encounter (B'way, International Tour); Tristan and Yeseult (US Tour); Wild Bride (St. Ann's Warehouse, Berkeley Rep); BEARDO (Pipeline); Hadestown (NYTW). TV: The Following (Fox). He is a multi-instrumentalist and has composed scores for films, and co-conceived and starred in his own original short film Steve and Dave: Storm Chasers.

Nina Grollman The Public: The Winter's Tale. Other theater credits include Marisol at The Juilliard School. TV/film: Red Oaks. Nina has a BFA in acting from The Juilliard School. She is also a musician/comedian and has performed in venues such as the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Ars Nova, iO West in LA and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.

Jo Lampert Selected Off-Broadway: Hundred Days (NYTW), Joan of Arc: Into the Fire (Public Theater, Lortel Nomination), Rimbaud in NY (BAM), New York Animals (New Ohio), Iphigenia in Aulis (CSC), Dance, Dance Revolution (Ohio). Selected regional: Marie Antoinette (A.R.T./Yale REP), Prometheus Bound (A.R.T.), The Last Goodbye (Williamstown Theater Festival). Film & TV: The Path, Orange is the New Black. International: Nikki Nack world tour with tUnE-yArDs, The La Mama Cantata by Liz Swados (Japan).

Jennifer Morris is a founding associate artist of the OBIE award-winning company, The Civilians. Work with Civilians includes: Mr. Burns, Gone Missing, and YOU BETTER SIT DOWN, which she conceived and co-wrote. YBSD ran off-Broadway and was then expanded online through partnerships with The Huffington Post and NPR/WNYC. Morris produced the documentary Mentor (Amazon/iTunes); the short films Buzzer, Tiffany (PBS), and Unknown Seven. She has written/hosted shows on Food Network and WE and created digital series for ABC/Disney & Fremantle Media. Additional work at Soho Rep., PS122, Cherry Lane, Barrow Street, Williamstown, The Public and A.R.T.

Tom Nelis Broadway: INDECENT, The Visit, Enron, The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, Aida. Off Broadway: The Vineyard, The Public Theater, NYTW, MTC, TFANA, Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theater, The Talking Band, Ripe Time, BAM, En Garde Arts. International: The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Suzuki Company of Toga, Siti Company, Laurie Anderson, Richard Foreman. Awards: Eliot Norton Outstanding Performer (The Tempest), OBIE (THE MEDIUM), San Diego Critics Ensemble Award, (WINTERTIME). Founding member of Siti Company, MFA, UC San Diego.

Maryann Plunkett is a Tony, Obie & Drama Desk Award winning actress who most recently performed in the ensemble of Richard Nelson's three "Gabriel Plays" and his four "Apple Plays" which played The Public Theater, the Kennedy Center and toured the world and were, all seven, filmed and broadcast in the US on PBS/WNET television. She has starred on Broadway in Me and My Girl, The Crucible, Saint Joan, Sunday In The Park With George, Agnes Of God and many others. Recent TV and Film credits include Mad, Youth In Oregon, Family Fang, Squid And The Whale to name just a few.

Myra Lucretia Taylor Broadway: NINE (Tony Award, Best Revival), Macbeth, Electra, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Mule Bone, A Streetcar Named Desire. Off-Broadway: School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (MCC), upcoming, Familiar (Playwrights Horizons), Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle nominations, Best Featured Actress. Regional: Where Storms Are Born (Williamstown Theatre Festival). TV: Atlanta (FX), GIRLS (HBO). Film: The Big Stick, Catfight. Web Series: The Best Thing You'll Ever Do (Indie Web, Best Featured Actress nomination). Ms. Taylor is a Fox Fellow.

Amelia Workman Company member of The New Museum's pop up repertory company X-ID; Simon Stephenson's On The Shore of the Wide World (Atlantic); Susan Lori Parks's The Death Of The Last Black Man In The Whole Entire World (Signature); Leslye Headland's The Layover (Second Stage); Laura Jacqumin's Residence (Humana Festival); By The Way Meet Vera Stark (Goodman Theatre); Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (Ars Nova). Original company and international touring company of Young Jean Lee's The Shipment.

Ars Nova is committed to developing and producing theater, comedy, and music artists in the early stages of their professional careers. Our unique development programs are designed to support outside-the-box thinking and encourage innovative, genre-bending work. Dubbed by The New York Times as a "fertile incubator of offbeat theater," Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. With our feverish bounty of programming, we are the stomping ground and launching pad for visionary, adventurous artists of all stripes. By providing a safe environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.

Ars Nova has been honored with an OBIE Award and a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics' Circle for sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work. Notable past productions include: Time Out New York Critics' Pick, KPOP, created by Jason Kim, Max Vernon, Helen Park and Woodshed Collective, directed by Teddy Bergman; "Best New American Theatre Work" Obie Award-winner and New York Times' "Best of 2016" Underground Railroad Game by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard with Lightning Rod Special, directed by Taibi Magar (now on international tour); "Outstanding Musical" Lortel Award-winner FUTURITY, by César Alvarez with The Lisps, directed by Sarah Benson; The New York Times' and New York Post's "Best of 2015," Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl, directed by Rachel Chavkin (now touring the US after a return engagement Off Broadway); Time Out New York's "Best of 2014," JACUZZI by The Debate Society, directed by Oliver Butler; the Tony Award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy, directed by Rachel Chavkin; Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar, directed by Sam Gold; the world premiere of the 2009 season's most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, directed by Alex Timbers; the show that put Bridget Everett on the map, At Least It's Pink by Everett, Michael Patrick King, and Kenny Mellman, directed by King; and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail's first New York production, Freestyle Love Supreme by Anthony Veneziale and Miranda, directed by Thomas Kail.

piece by piece productions is a not-for-profit producing organization that was started in 1999 by Wendy vanden Heuvel. Productions have included: Medea directed by Deborah Warner with Fiona Shaw on Broadway (associate producer); The Tricky Part (2004 OBIE award and two Drama Desk nominations including "Outstanding Play") by Martin Moran; All The Rage (Lucille Lortel Award, "Outstanding Solo Show 2013") by Martin Moran produced with Rising Phoenix Repertory and The Barrow Group; The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh; Mabou Mines DollHouse, Emma Rice's Brief Encounter and Let The Right One In, all in association with St. Ann's Warehouse; My Name is Rachel Corrie in association with The Royal Court Theatre; Slipping in association with Rising Phoenix Repertory and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; Elective Affinities with Zoe Caldwell by David Adjmi, co-produced with Rising Phoenix Repertory and Soho Rep.; Lee Breuer's La Divina Caricatura in association with St. Ann's Warehouse, La Mama ETC, Mabou Mines, and Dovetail Productions; and Hundred Days by The Bengsons, co-produced with Z Space (TBA Outstanding New Musical 2014). piece by piece productions has been a producer with co-creators Brian Mertes and Melissa Kievman on The Lake Lucille Chekhov Project since 2010 (Ivanov, Seagull). Film: The Rest I Make Up: Documenting Irene directed by Michelle Memran (a documentary about the life and work of the playwright Maria Irene Fornes), I Am A Seagull: The Lake Lucille Chekhov Project directed by Brian Mertes. Most recently piece by piece productions co-produced Martin Moran's The Tricky Part and All the Rage with A.C.T at The Strand Theater in San Francisco, and co-presented Noche Flamenca's Antigona and The Wooster Group's The Town Hall Affair with Z Space. Wendy lives in San Francisco with her husband Brad Coley and their daughter Lila Blue.

Z Space, based in the Mission District of San Francisco, is one of the nation's leading laboratories for the development of new works. Led by Executive Artistic Director Lisa Steindler since 2007 and founded by David Dower in 1993, Z Space celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2018, continuing its mission to empower artistic risk, collaboration and camaraderie amongst artists and audience in the service of commissioning, developing, and producing new work.

Keystone initiatives include New Work, a development, production, and presentation program that supports artists and ensembles from conception to realization of unique works; Word for Word, a resident theater company that transforms works of literature verbatim to the stage; Youth Arts, an arts education program promoting literacy and creativity; and the subsidized rental program which opens our venues for use by a variety of other art groups.

Operating two venues, an 83-seat black box and a 244-seat main stage, Z Space fills an essential role in the Bay Area's arts ecology and continues to raise its profile and partnerships both regionally and nationally. Eschewing traditional theater models with fixed seasons and subscription packages, Z Space chooses to remain flexible, to focus on artists' needs, and to facilitate the time and resources necessary to develop each project fully.

Photo Credit: Cade Martin

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