Megan Byrne, Peter Friedman, David Margulies and More Star in Playwrights Realm's THE HATMAKER'S WIFE, Beg. Tonight

Critically acclaimed theatre company The Playwrights Realm presents the New York premiere of Lauren Yee's new play The Hatmaker's Wife, directed by recent OBIE Award winner Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812). The Hatmaker's Wife marks the first Playwrights Realm production at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 West 42nd Street) in midtown Manhattan, following previous engagements in several downtown Off-Broadway venues. Previews begin tonight, August 27, for an opening Thursday, September 5.

The Hatmaker's Wife will feature Megan Byrne as Wall, Peter Friedman as Meckel, Frank Harts as Gabe, Marcia Jean Kurtz as Hetchman's Wife, David Margulies as Hetchman and Stephanie Wright Thompson as Voice.

In Lauren Yee's whimsical and poignant new play The Hatmaker's Wife, a young woman (Thompson) moves in with her boyfriend (Harts) expecting domestic bliss, but instead has trouble getting comfortable. Her strange new home seems determined to help out - and soon the walls (Byrne) are talking. They reveal the magical tale of an old hat-maker (Margulies) and his long-suffering wife (Kurtz), who runs away with his favorite hat. This sweet, surreal story bends time and space to redefine our ideas of family, home and true love itself.

The creative team for The Hatmaker's Wife includes scenic design by Carolyn Mraz, lighting design by Amith Chandrashaker, costume design byMichael Krass and original music and sound design by Ryan Rumery.

Tickets are on sale now and are priced at $30 for all regular performances. The Playwrights Realm is pleased to offer a special ticketing initiative during preview performances, with tickets for the first preview starting at $1 and increasing by $1 for each preview performance that week (August 27 - $1;August 28 - $2; August 29 - $3; August 30 - $4; August 31 - $5). Tickets for September 3 and 4 are $15.

The Hatmaker's Wife runs through September 21. Performances are Monday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm, with no performance onMonday, September 2.

For tickets, visit www.ticketcentral.com or call (212) 279-4200, noon to 8 pm daily.

The Playwrights Realm, helmed by Artistic Director Katherine Kovner and Producing Director Renee Blinkwolt, is devoted to supporting emerging playwrights along the journey of playwriting, helping them to hone their craft, fully realize their vision and build meaningful artistic careers. To serve this mission, The Playwrights Realm has produced one Off-Broadway play each year since its founding in 2007, giving ample time and support to every playwright who has joined the Realm. Last season, the company produced the world premiere of Ethan Lipton's Red-Handed Otter, which played to packed houses and received rave reviews (New York Post's Year-End Top Ten List, Four Stars from Time Out New York). Other previous Playwrights Realm productions include Jen Silverman's Crane Story (2011), Gonzalo Rodriguez Risco's Dramatis Personae (2010), Christopher Wall's Dreams of The Washer King (2009), Anna Ziegler's Dov and Ali (2008) and Anton Dudley's Substitution (2007). The Playwrights Realm is dedicated to providing comprehensive support to playwrights throughout their creative processes and careers, including its Alumni Playwright Program and Writing Fellows Residency.

Lauren Yee is The Playwrights Realm's second Page One playwright following on the heels of Ethan Lipton (Red-Handed Otter, No Place to Go). Page One is a program that guarantees one playwright a sweep of services for one year to aid in the advancement of his or her career. Page One services include a competitive stipend, health insurance, travel/professional development funds, a full Off-Broadway production, readings of script(s) in development, theatre tickets and midtown office space. More than just a residency for the development of one play, Page One provides a comprehensive tool kit a playwright can use to build his or her entire career. After the year-long residency, the playwright receives continued support through the Realm's Alumni Playwrights Group, which meets monthly and entitles each playwright to a public reading of a new work in the Realm's Next Edition Festival in January.

For more information, visit www.playwrightsrealm.org or call (212) 255-3089. Follow The Playwrights Realm on Twitter @RealmTheatre and on Facebook.

Megan Byrne (Wall). NY credits include Serious Money, No End of Blame (NYIT Award, Best Featured Actress) (PTP/NYC), Alice in War(SPF), Speak Truth to Power (Culture Project), The Voice of the Turtle (Keen Company). Regional: Merrimack Rep, Denver Center (5 plays, Ovation Award Nomination for When Tang Met Laika), O'Neill, Virginia Stage, Geva, Pioneer. Film: Julie & Julia, The Rebound, Ghost Town,Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. TV includes: "Made in Jersey," "The Good Wife," "Nurse Jackie," "Royal Pains," "Blue Bloods," "Kings," "All My Children," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "3 Lbs.," "Ed. "Law & Order" (recurring). MFA, UC Irvine. BA, Middlebury College.

Peter Friedman (Meckel) originated roles in the New York productions of McNally, Ahrens, and Flaherty's musical Ragtime, Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles, Deborah Zoe Laufer's End Days, Annie Baker's Body Awareness and Circle Mirror Transformation, Amy Herzog's After the Revolution and The Great God Pan, Gregory, Madsen and Langs' The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, Simon Gray's The Common Pursuit, Israel Horovitz' My Old Lady, C.P. Taylor's and a Nightingale Sang..., Katchor and Mulcahy's The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island, and Charles Fuller's A Solider Play. He has also appeared in New York revivals of Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men, Donald Margulies' The Loman Family Picnic, Paddy Chayefsky's The Tenth Man, Annie Baker's adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, and the Encores! Productions of Lerner and Lane's On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock. His film work includes The Savages, Safe, I'm Not There, Breaking Upwards, Harvest, The Seventh Sign, Blink, Single White Female, Love and Other Drugs, Side Effects. He has puppeteered on TV's "The Muppet Show" and was a series regular on "Brooklyn Bridge."

Frank Harts (Gabe) is a graduate of The Juilliard School with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater. After making his Broadway debut in A Raisin In The Sun he went on to star in the title role of the Off-Broadway production Nelson, which garnered critical acclaim. Most recently he appeared in the Lincoln Center Theater (LCT3) production of Luck Of The Irish. Harts's film credits include roles in the new Jack Ryan, directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh, the new Marc Lawrence/Hugh Grant Project, and Gigantic, directed by Matt Aselton. Television credits include a recurring role on "Hope & Faith" and appearances on "Law & Order," "30 Rock," "Unforgettable" and "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia." As a teenager, Hart's began his television career on "Early Edition," filmed in his home state of Illinois on location in Chicago.

Marcia Jean Kurtz (Hetchman's Wife). Theater: The Loman Family Picnic (Obie Award), When She Danced (Obie Award, Drama Desk nomination), Everett Beekin, The People Next Door, Taller Than a Dwarf, Execution of Justice, The Chinese and Dr. Fish, Heart of the City, The Dybbuk (dir. Joseph Chaikin). Film: Tower Heist, Inside Man, Big Fan, Arranged, In Her Shoes, One True Thing, The Panic in Needle Park,Darren Aronofsky's BLACK SWAN, The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream, Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon, Night Falls on Manhattan, Running On Empty, Find Me Guilty and Before The Devil Knows You're Dead. TV: "Recount," "Law & Order," "100 Centre Street," "Sex & the City." Directing credits: You Belong to Me (Daniel Reitz, EST), Time on Fire (Evan Handler, Second Stage), Uncle Philip's Coat (Matty Selman/Larry Block, American Jewish Theater), Name Dropping (David Rothenberg, The Mint), and Kurtz's play Between Two Worlds (HB Playwrights). Member: Lincoln Center Director's Lab, Ensemble Studio Theater.

David Margulies (Hetchman) first appeared on Broadway in the 1973 revival of The Iceman Cometh. Additional Broadway credits include: Comedians (1976), The West Side Waltz (1981), Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983), Conversations with My Father (1992), Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Perestroika (1993), 45 Seconds from Broadway (2001), and Wonderful Town (2003 revival), among others and numerous Off-Broadway credits. Film credits include All That Jazz, Dressed to Kill, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Ishtar, Running on Empty, 9 ½ Weeks, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and A Stranger Among Us. Among Margulies's television credits are "Kojak," "Tales from the Darkside," "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd," "Chicago Hope," "NYPD Blue," "Northern Exposure," "Touched by an Angel," four episodes of "Law & Order," and eight episodes of "The Sopranos."

Stephanie Wright Thompson (Voice). Biopic Project; Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War; The Tremendous Tremendous (The Mad Ones); Mission Drift (The TEAM); Trade Practices (HERE Arts); The Bird and the Two-Ton Weight (EST); Habit (PS122); 1Rove (The Bushwick Starr); Tigers Be Still (Partly Cloudy People); Have You Seen Steve Steven? (13P); Woody Guthrie Dreams (Theatre for the New City); Another Part of the Forest (Peccadillo Theater); Michael and Edie (Greenpoint Division); Girl's Room (Queens Theatre in the Park); The Children (NYMF). Regional: Six Years, Neon Mirage (Humana Festival); A Midsummer Night's Dream, Christmas Carol, Dracula (Actors Theatre of Louisville); tempOdyssey (New Jersey Rep.); Wallflower (Stages Rep.). She is Co-Artistic Director of The Mad Ones.

Lauren Yee (Playwright) was selected for the O'Neill Playwriting Conference this summer with her play Samsara, which was nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award. Ms. Yee has been a Dramatists Guild fellow, a MacDowell fellow, a MAP Fund grantee and a member of The Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group. She is a three-time Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Playwriting Award winner and received Kumu Kahua Theatre's Pacific Rim Prize. Her work has been published by Samuel French and she is currently under commission from Lincoln Center Theatre/LCT3 and Encore Theatre Company (with support from the Gerbode Foundation). Ms. Yee's full-length work has been produced at AlterTheater, Artists at Play, City Lights Theatre Company, Company One, fu-GEN, the Hub Theatre, Impact Theatre, Moxie Theatre, Mu Performing Arts, Pan Asian Rep, and others.

Rachel Chavkin (Director) is joining the creative team of The Hatmaker's Wife fresh off of directing Dave Malloy's Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (Kazino - commercial transfer; World Premiere: Ars Nova - New York Times, Time Out New York and New York Post Critics' Picks and Top Ten 2012), for which she recently received an OBIE Award and a Drama Desk nomination. Ms. Chavkin is the founding Artistic Director of the TEAM and directed/co-authored eight of their works, including Mission Drift (Winner 2011 Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize, Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel, Best of 2011 The Guardian) and Architecting (co-produced by The National Theatre of Scotland, Winner 2008 Scotsman Fringe First, Top Ten 2009 Portugal's Publico). Her other credits include Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duffy, and Dave Malloy's Three Pianos (A.R.T., NYTW, Ontological Incubator Series - 2011 OBIE Award) and collaborations with playwright/performer/activist Taylor Mac, including his extravaganza The Lily's Revenge (World Premiere, Act II at HERE Arts Center, 2010 OBIE Award).

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos



Related Articles View More Off-Broadway Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You