North American Premiere of LOVE By Alexander Zeldin Announced At Park Avenue Armory

Next month, Park Avenue Armory presents the North American premiere of LOVE by playwright/director Alexander Zeldin in his New York debut.

By: Jan. 13, 2023
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Park Avenue Armory will open its 2023 Drill Hall season with the North American premiere of LOVE by British playwright and director Alexander Zeldin. Set in the run-up to Christmas, the work depicts several families and individuals who have lost their homes and are placed into a cramped temporary housing facility.

This group of strangers-a middle-aged man and his elderly mother, a young family with a baby on the way, a newly-arrived woman from Sudan, and a Syrian refugee-are forced together as they navigate the daily bureaucracy of their welfare system. Developed by Zeldin in dialogue with individuals with firsthand experience and originally presented by The National Theatre in London, this play invites audiences to bear close witness to an intimate family story for our times.

"LOVE invites us into the lives of those who are often unseen, but doing so with love in a way that ignites our compassion and empathy," said Pierre Audi, the Armory's Marina Kellen French Artistic Director. "Zeldin's thoughtful craftsmanship achieves this goal through careful research and direct engagement with institutional disenfranchisement, while breaking through traditional theatrical forms to create deeply textured, civically provocative theatrical experiences."

"This outstanding play has great resonance for New Yorkers-and, in fact, all Americans-given our tenuous social safety net and the seemingly inescapable crisis of housing insecurity," added Rebecca Robertson, the Adam R. Flatto President and Executive Producer of Park Avenue Armory. "Zeldin has crafted a groundbreaking and highly compelling experience that furthers the Armory's commitment to nurturing the next generation of talent who spotlight important societal issues through their unique artistic perspectives."

Following a five-week premiere run at The National Theatre in 2016, LOVE has toured across eight European countries, and was adapted into a film by the BBC. LOVE is part of Zeldin's trilogy of plays The Inequalities, which together explore the human impact of austerity in Great Britain. Beyond Caring, which premiered in 2014 and had its U.S. premiere at Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre in 2017, shares the stories of "zero-hours" temporary cleaners at a meat factory; and Faith, Hope and Charity, which opened to acclaim at The National Theatre in 2019, goes inside a rundown community center and its reliance on individual hope and generosity to continue operations.

LOVE is part of Park Avenue Armory's full 2023 season. Additional upcoming Drill Hall programming at the Armory includes: the North American premiere of Robert Icke's play The Doctor, starring acclaimed actress Juliet Stevenson in an exploration of medical ethics across lines of identity; the world premiere of Doppelganger, a theatrical staging of Schubert's Schwanengesang performed by renowned tenor Jonas Kaufmann and directed by acclaimed German opera director Claus Guth; Mutant;Destrudo, a world premiere, multidisciplinary commission from groundbreaking pop sensation Arca; and a restaging of Pina Bausch's iconic The Rite of Spring, performed by an ensemble of dancers from across Africa and paired with common ground[s], a new work by Germaine Acogny and Malou Airaudo.

Previous theatrical productions at the Armory include Robert Icke's repertory productions of Hamlet and Oresteia, as well as his interactive adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's classic morality tale Enemy of the People; Sam Mendes' hit production of The Lehman Trilogy which transferred to Broadway (2022 Tony Award recipient for Best Play) and has toured internationally, adapted by Ben Power and starring Adam Godley, Ben Miles, and Simon Russell Beale; Antigone, an acclaimed production that flooded the Drill Hall with water as it mixed the foundational principles of Greek tragedy, Japanese Noh theater, Indonesian shadow play, and Buddhist philosophy to tell the classic Greek tale; Macbeth, directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, and starring Branagh and Alex Kingston for which the Wade Thompson Drill Hall was transformed into a bloody, rainy Scottish heath; Ivo van Hove's chilling staging of The Damned; Simon Stone's critically acclaimed, Obie Award-winning, and four-time Drama Desk-nominated production Yerma, starring Billie Piper and performed within a glass encasement intersecting the audience; Obie Award-winning and eight-time Drama Desk-nominated play The Hairy Ape, directed by Richard Jones and starring Bobby Cannavale in a production where the audience was surrounded by a massive revolving stage; Christopher Shinn's adaptation of Judgment Day, directed by Richard Jones and starring Emmy Award-winning actor Luke Kirby; Obie Award-winning A Room in India (Une chambre en Inde) with Le Théâtre du Soleil under the direction of Ariane Mnouchkine; and the unprecedented residency of the Royal Shakespeare Company with five productions in repertory over six weeks in association with Lincoln Center Festival.

LOVE

February 25 - March 25, 2023

A Zeldin Company

North American Premiere

North American Premiere

By Alexander Zeldin

Direction Alexander Zeldin
Set and Costume Design Natasha Jenkins
Lighting Design Marc Williams
Sound Design Josh Anio Grigg
Movement Marcin Rudy
Casting Jacob Sparrow
Associate Director Elin Schofield

With Alex Austin, Amelda Brown, Naby Dakhli, Janet Etuk, Amelia Finnegan, Oliver Finnegan, Nick Holder, Hind Swareldahab, and Grace Willoughby

A Park Avenue Armory and A Zeldin Company Production

Original Production by National Theatre of Great Britain, in co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre and produced for European touring by Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe and A Zeldin Company.

PERFORMANCES

Monday - Thursday at 7:30pm

Friday at 8:00pm

Saturday at 2:00pm and 8:00pm

TICKETS

Tickets start at $30 for previews and $45 for performances and can be purchased at armoryonpark.org / (212) 933-5812

Park Avenue Armory

643 Park Avenue at 67th Street, New York, NY

ARTIST TALK: LOVE

Thursday, March 9 at 6:00pm

Tickets: $20

SPONSORSHIP

Bloomberg Philanthropies is the Armory's 2023 Season Sponsor.

Support for Park Avenue Armory's artistic season has been generously provided by the Charina Endowment Fund, the Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Foundation, the Marc Haas Foundation, the Leon Levy Foundation, the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, GRoW @ Annenberg, the Richenthal Foundation, and the Isak and Rose Weinman Foundation. Additional support has been provided by the Armory's Artistic Council.

Alexander Zeldin is a writer and director for theater and film. He made work in South Korea, the Middle East, and Russia, as well as at the Naples Festival, before developing a number of his own works as a teacher at East 15 Acting School at the University of Essex between 2011 - 2014. At this time, he also worked as an assistant director to Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne.

Zeldin's critically acclaimed play Beyond Caring had its world premiere at the Yard Theatre in Hackney in 2014, before transferring to the Temporary Theatre at The National Theatre in 2015. Beyond Caring toured the U.K., and a new U.S. production was redeveloped and produced by Lookingglass Theater, which opened in Chicago in 2017. In 2015, Zeldin was appointed as Associate Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, and his play LOVE opened at The National Theatre in 2016 before transferring to Birmingham Rep. In 2018, LOVE was presented as part of Festival D'Automne by Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe and was made into a film by the BBC and Cuba Pictures.

Zeldin was the Artist in Residence at The National Theatre in 2017, and Faith, Hope and Charity, the third and final part of The Inequalities trilogy, opened to widespread acclaim at The National Theatre in 2019. In 2020, Zeldin formed A Zeldin Company to internationally tour and produce his work, which has toured extensively throughout Europe since 2021. His most recent and first French-language production, Une Mort Dans La Famille, opened to high praise at Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe's Ateliers Berthier in February 2022, and will tour in 2023. A German version of Beyond Caring opened at the Schaubühne in Berlin in April 2022.

Zeldin is currently an Associate Director at The National Theatre, the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe in Paris, the Théâtres de la Ville du Luxembourg, and the Centre Dramatique National de Normandie-Rouen. Honors include the Quercus Trust Award (2015) and the Arts Foundation 25th Anniversary Fellowship for Literature (2018).




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