MCC Theater Announces The New York Premiere of COLLECTIVE RAGE: A PLAY IN 5 BETTIES

MCC Theater Announces The New York Premiere of COLLECTIVE RAGE: A PLAY IN 5 BETTIES

MCC Theater (Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, William Cantler, Artistic Directors; Blake West, Executive Director) announced the New York Premiere production of Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties, written by Jen Silverman, and directed by MCC alum Mike Donahue (The Legend of Georgia McBride). The new comedy will begin previews at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street) on Thursday, August 16th, with an official opening night set for Wednesday, September 12th. For more information, please visit www.mcctheater.org.

Meet five different women named Betty: one rich, one lonely, one charismatic, one lovelorn, and one who keeps working on her truck. Oh, and one has decided to stage a production of that play-within-a-play by... that old English guy, what's his name? Ah, forget it. In Jen Silverman's unpredictable comedy Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties, five women collide at the intersection of rage, love, and the "thea-tah," provoking each other to take a look in the mirror and face the person they didn't know they could be. Directed by Mike Donahue (The Legend of George McBride), this New York premiere invites us all to be a little braver, live a little louder, laugh a little harder, and unleash our inner Betty.

The full title of the play is Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties; In Essence, A Queer and Occasionally Hazardous Exploration; Do You Remember When You Were In Middle School And You Read About Shackleton And How He Explored the Antarctic? Imagine the Antarctic As a Pussy and It's Sort of Like That.

Casting and the full creative team for the production will be announced at a later date. Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties replaces the previously announced Reasons to Be Pretty Happy.

Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties originally premiered at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC in September 2016 under the direction of Mike Donahue which Broadway World called "[...] a perfect balance between the really absurd and the absurdly real," and DC Metro Theater Arts said was, "Told with a singular, wholly original voice that evokes Albee, Suzan Lori-Parks, and even the poetic lyricism of Ntozake Shange. And it is very, very funny."

Jen Silverman is a New York-based writer. Born in the U.S., she was raised across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Her theatre work includes The Moors (Yale Repertory Theatre premiere, off-Broadway with The Playwrights Realm, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist); The Roommate (Actor's Theatre of Louisville Humana world premiere, multiple regional productions including South Coast Rep, SF Playhouse and Williamstown Theatre Festival, upcoming at Steppenwolf); Phoebe In Winter (Off-off Broadway with Clubbed Thumb); Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties (Woolly Mammoth premiere); and all The Roads Home, a play with songs (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park premiere). Jen is a member of New Dramatists, a Core Writer at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, an affiliated artist with SPACE on Ryder Farm, and has developed work with the O'Neill, New York Theatre Workshop, Playpenn, Portland Center Stage, The Ground Floor Residency at Berkeley Rep, and the Royal Court in London among other places. She's a two-time MacDowell fellow, recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, the Helen Merrill Award, an LMCC Fellowship, and the Yale Drama Series Award. She was the 2016-2017 Playwrights of New York (PoNY) Fellow at the Lark. Jen has a two-book deal with Random House for a collection of stories, The Island Dwellers, pub date May 1, 2018) and a novel. Education: Brown, Iowa Playwrights Workshop, Juilliard. More info: www.jensilverman.com

Mike Donahue is a New York-based director. NYC credits include: world premieres of Matthew Lopez's The Legend of Georgia McBride (MCC, The Geffen and Denver Center, Joe A. Callaway Award, Outer Critics Circle Nomination, Ovation Award Nomination); Jordan Seavey's Homos, Or Everyone In America (Labyrinth); Jen Silverman's The Moors (Playwrights Realm - NYC premiere), Phoebe in Winter (Clubbed Thumb) and The Hunters (Cherry Lane Mentor Project); and Ethan Lipton's Red-Handed Otter (Playwrights Realm). Regionally, world premieres of Jen Silverman's Collective Rage (Woolly Mammoth) and The Roommate (Humana, Williamstown); Rachel Bonds' Curve of Departure (South Coast Rep, Studio Theatre), The Wolfe Twins (Studio Theatre) and Swimmers (Marin); and Matthew Lopez's Zoey's Perfect Wedding and Lauren Feldman's Grace, or The Art of Climbing (Denver Center). Mike is a recipient of a Fulbright to Berlin, the Drama League Fall Fellowship, The Boris Sagal Fellowship at Williamstown, and was the artistic director of the Yale Summer Cabaret for two seasons. Mike is a graduate of Harvard University and the Yale School of Drama.

MCC Theater broke ground on its first permanent home- a two-theater complex on West 52nd Street and 10th Avenue-on March 22, 2016. Set to open in 2018, the space will unite MCC's diverse roster of programs under one roof for the first time in the company's three-decade history. The new facility will also allow MCC to expand its programming and establish it as a cultural anchor within the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood. The project is funded by a public-private partnership between the Theater and the City of New York.

About MCC Theater

MCC is one of New York's leading nonprofit Off-Broadway companies, driven by a mission to provoke conversations that have never happened and otherwise never would. Founded in 1986 as a collective of artists leading peer-based classes to support their own development as actors, writers and directors, the tenets of collaboration, education, and community are at the core of MCC Theater's programming. One of the only theaters in the country led continuously by its founders, Artistic Directors Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, and William Cantler, MCC fulfills its mission through the production of world, American, and New York premiere plays and musicals that challenge artists and audiences to confront contemporary personal and social issues, and robust playwright development and education initiatives that foster the next generation of theater artists and students.

MCC Theater's celebrated productions include Jocelyn Bioh's School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play; Penelope Skinner's The Village Bike; Robert Askins' Hand to God (Broadway transfer; five 2015 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play); John Pollono's Small Engine Repair; Paul Downs Colaizzo's Really Really; Sharr White's The Other Place (Broadway transfer); Jeff Talbott's The Submission (Laurents/Hatcher Award); Neil LaBute's Reasons to Be Happy, reasons to be pretty (Broadway transfer, three 2009 Tony Award® nominations, including Best Play), Some Girl(s), Fat Pig, The Mercy Seat, and All The Ways To Say I Love You; Michael Weller's Fifty Words; Alexi Kaye Campbell's The Pride; Bryony Lavery's Frozen (Broadway transfer; four 2004 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play, Tony Award® for Best Featured Actor); Tim Blake Nelson's The Grey Zone; Rebecca Gilman's The Glory of Living (2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist); Margaret Edson's Wit (1999 Pulitzer Prize); and the musicals Coraline, Carrie, and Ride the Cyclone. Many plays developed and produced by MCC have gone on to productions throughout the country and around the world.

Blake West joined the company in 2006 as Executive Director. MCC will open its first permanent home in 2018 in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, unifying the company's activities under one roof for the first time and expanding its producing, artist development, and education programming.

Photo Credit: Jessica Fallon Gordon

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