LITTLE GEM Makes its US Premiere at The Flea Theater 1/5/2010

The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation and The Flea Theater, with the assistance of Culture Ireland, are thrilled to announce the US premiere of the critically-acclaimed production of LITTLE GEM, written by Elaine Murphy, directed by Paul Meade and produced by the multi award winning Irish company, Gúna Nua, in association with Civic Theatre Dublin. LITTLE GEM begins performances on Tuesday, January 5 for a limited engagement through Saturday, January 16 at The Flea Theater (41 White Street, between Broadway and Church). Press Opening is Thursday, January 7 at 7 PM . The performance schedule is Tuesday - Friday at 7 PM, Saturday at 3 PM and 7 PM; Sunday at 1 PM and 6 PM. Please note, there is no performance on Tuesday, January 12. For tickets, which are $40, call OvationTix at 866-811-4100 or visit www.theflea.org.
Three generations of women. One extraordinary year. LITTLE GEM is a magnificent and heart-warming story of courage, comedy and romance as three generations of Dublin women embark on a wild journey through a year of unexpected - and frequently unwanted - events.

After it's NY premiere, LITTLE GEM goes direct to a run at Dublin's Abbey Theatre, where it is first show by an independent Production Company to be invited to play the stage of Ireland's National Theatre in over a decade.

Hailed by critics in Dublin, where it premiered at the Dublin Fringe, LITTLE GEM received the Dublin Fringe/Fishamble Best New Play Award as well as Best Female Performance Awards for the entire cast and the coveted BBC Northern Ireland Drama Award (A Part of the Stewart Parker Trust). Dublin's Sunday Times said LITTLE GEM was "as hilarious as it is poignant." And the Independent raved, ""Elaine Murphy's debut play LITTLE GEM was just that: a little gem!" Playwright Elaine Murphy and LITTLE GEM just received Best Theatre Script of 2009 award from the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild.

LITTLE GEM went on to the Traverse Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where it again played to critical acclaim, winning the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, the highest honor at the Fringe. The Guardian declared, "Murphy and her brilliant cast make us care about every breath these women take, and make you want to hug them." The Scotsman praised the three actresses for "stunning performances." And the Times described it as a show of "blazing authenticity with the performances to back it up. We all, I fancy, left feeling just that little bit better about life." While London's Time Out succinctly said "Ditch the sambuca and come to Little Gem instead!"

LITTLE GEM stars Hilda Fay, Sarah Greene and Anita Reeves. The design team includes Alice Butler (set and costumes), Mark Galione (lighting) and Karl Kennedy (sound).

Elaine Murphy (playwright) is an actress and writer from Dublin. As an actress she has appeared in numerous Television shows and films including Lenny Abrahamsson's Prosperity, Becoming Jane alongside Anne Hathaway, and the award winning Pure Mule. She has recently wrapped filming on the romantic comedy Happy Ever Afters and will appear in RTE's The Clinic this year as patient Gerri Foley. Bedrock Theatre Company will produce her next play In Dublin set in a lap-dancing club in 2009. Little Gem was her debut play. Winner Fishamble Award for Best New Irish Writing, Dublin Fringe Festival 2008. Nominated for Best New Play, Irish Times Theatre Awards 2008.

Paul Meade (director) is Artistic Director of Gúna Nua Theatre, and is a writer, director, and actor. From Limerick, Paul Trained at the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College, and later received an M.A. in modern drama from U.C.D. For Gúna Nua Paul has co-directed the award-winning Scenes from a Water Cooler as well as Trousers and Taste by David Parnell, and the Irish premiere of The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard. He has also directed The Shawl and Positive Dead People for Bewleys' Café Theatre, Translations for Hands Turn Theatre, Medea for Threshold and Death and the Maiden for Mirage. His work as a writer included Trousers, Thesis, Scenes from a Water Cooler and Skin Deep, which won him the Stewart Parker Trust Award. He has also translated the plays Stop the Tempo, All These Guys and Our Father Who Art in the Supermarket. Most recently he wrote Mushroom for Storytellers Theatre Company. Paul is currently under commission from Gúna Nua and the Irish Council for Bioethics.

Gúna Nua Theatre is an independent theatre Production Company based in Dublin, Ireland. The company has a strong commitment to devising and producing new Irish writing as well as presenting radical interpretations of classic plays. It has established a reputation for innovative, vital and exciting theatre which has received an overwhelmingly positive response from audiences and critics alike. Founded in 1998, Gúna Nua has received seven major awards and twelve nominations for its ground-breaking work, and is now firmly established on the Irish theatre landscape. Gúna Nua Theatre is grant-aided in Ireland by the Arts Council and by Dublin City Council, and by Culture Ireland

The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation was established in 2004 to bring excellent dramatic work from Edinburgh Festival Fringe to the New York audience with the Best Of Edinburgh Award, the top honor at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. To be eligible, the production must receive a four star or better review from The Scotsman and be a US premiere. The mission is to support artists in their desire to be seen and produced. The Foundation provides support for a NY premiere with no future financial or commercial involvement in their success.

The Flea Theater, under Artistic Director Jim Simpson and Producing Director Carol Ostrow, is one of New York's leading off-off-Broadway companies. Winner of a Special Drama Desk Award for outstanding achievement, Obie Awards and an Otto for political theater, The Flea has presented nearly 100 plays and numerous dance and live music performances since its inception in1996. Past productions include the premieres of Anne Nelson's The Guys, five plays by A.R. Gurney (Post Mortem, O Jerusalem, Screenplay, Mrs. Farnsworth and A Light Lunch), Mac Wellman's Cellophane and Two September, Roger Rosenblatt's Ashley Montana Goes Ashore..., Elizabeth Swados' JABU and Kaspar Hauser, Karen Finley's Return of the Chocolate Smeared Woman, Yussef El Guindi's Back of the Throat, Julian Sheppard's Los Angeles, Adam Rapp's Bingo with the Indians, Will Eno's Oh, The Humanity and other exclamations and Dawn by Thomas Bradshaw. Learn more at: www.theflea.org, and find us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at "The Flea Theater".

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world, has been ongoing since 1947. Fringe 2009 featured over 34,000 performances of 2,098 shows in 265 different venues throughout Edinburgh.

 



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