NAATCO Presents A PLAY ON WAR, 2/12-3/6

Following its critically acclaimed production of THE SEAGULL earlier this season, the National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO), in collaboration with Theater Mitu, presents the World-Premiere of A PLAY ON WAR, by Jenny Connell and Rubén Polendo

Directed by Rubén Polendo

Featuring an all Asian-American cast including -- Mia Katigbak ("The Seagull," "Dogeaters"); Jon Norman Schneider (NAATCO's "Blind Mouth Singing"); Nikki Calonge (NAATCO's "The House of Bernarda Alba") Orville Mendoza ("Adrift in Macao," "The Seagull"); Marcus Ho ("The Seagull"), Brian Hirono, Nathan Elam, and Bushra Laskar

February 12 through March 6 at the Connelly Theater (220 East 4th Street)

The OBIE Award-winning National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO) - now in its 20th season - in collaboration with Theater Mitu, presents the World-Premiere of Jenny Connell and Rubén Polendo's new play A PLAY ON WAR, with previews beginning February 12 prior to an official opening of February 16 at the Connelly Theater (220 East 4th Street) in Manhattan. The production is directed by Rubén Polendo. Mr. Polendo previously directed NAATCO's production of Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas' play BLIND MOUTH SINGING.

Jenny Connell and Rubén Polendo's World-Premiere play A PLAY ON WAR -- inspired by Bertolt Brecht's MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN -- incorporates abstractions of musical theatre, Arabic clowning, and Peking opera to create a new ferocious comedy about a war-torn landscape populated by characters on bicycles, all desperate to survive.

A PLAY ON WAR comes fresh on the heels of NAATCO's acclaimed production this fall of THE SEAGULL, a vaudevillian-style revival -- with an all Asian-American cast directed by Gia Forakis -- that brought a whole new light to Anton Chekhov's classic of love and loss. The New York Times called it, "a lively production punctuated by touches of vaudeville and the grotesque." And said, "With its wonderfully acted performances and astute direction, this vibrant production is certainly unlike any Chekhov you've seen before. With graceful, determined, exuberant gestures, the characters seem to bounce across the stage. On this Dr. Seuss-ian landscape, there's no room for naturalism, and humor crackles through slapstick physical comedy."

The all Asian-American cast of A PLAY ON WAR features: Mia Katigbak, Jon Norman Schneider, Nikki Calonge, Orville Mendoza, Marcus Ho, Brian Hirono, Nathan Elam, and Bushra Laskar. Design team is: Justin Nestor (set design), Kate Ashton (lighting design), Candida K. Nichols (costume design), with original compositions and live music by Adam Cochran.

Director Rubén Polendo is artistic director of Theater Mitu; recently applauded as "one of the ten top, hot companies in New York" and "exciting...outside the boundaries of standard Western drama" (The New York Times). He has written and directed several works with his company including: THE LEGEND OF THE KINNAREE; THE RAMAYANA; THE MAHABHARATA; THE ODYSSEY; FOUR SAINTS IN MEXICO; CATHOLICA; BUT ABOVE ALL.... Adaptations include HAMLETMACHINE; THE SHAKESPEARE PROJECT; THE NOH CYCLE; THE TUTOR (based on texts by Brecht and Büchner), DHAMMASHOK. This past year, Mitu presented Arthur Miller's DEATH OF A SALESMAN and DR. C (OR HOW I LEARNED TO ACT IN EIGHT STEPS), a new work conceived and directed by Mr. Polendo.

Richard Eng and Artistic Producing director Mia Katigbak founded NAATCO in 1989. Now in its 20th season, it is one of the country's leading theatre companies providing a stage for the talents of Asian-American theatre artists. NAATCO presents classical works, adaptations of this repertory by Asian American Playwrights, and original work by non-Asian American Playwrights, all with all Asian-American casts. NAATCO produces these plays to challenges the pervasive stereotypical representation of Asian Americans in the theatre.

Earlier this season, NAATCO presented a critically acclaimed production of THE SEAGULL. Other notable NAATCO productions since 1990 include OTHELLO, LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, OUR TOWN, YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, William Finn's FALSETTOLAND, Archibald MacLeish's AIR RAID, Joseph Conrad's TALES OF UNREST, ANTIGONE, IVANOV, THE DISPUTE, and the world premieres of Catherine Filloux's EYES OF THE HEART and Michael Golamco's COWBOY V. SAMURAI.

Performances of A PLAY ON WAR run Mondays - Fridays at 7:00pm and Saturdays 2:00pm &7:00pm at the Connelly Theater (220 East 4th Street). Tickets are $15-20, and available online at or by calling TheaterMania at 212-352-3101 or 866-811-4111. For additional details, please visit

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