ORANGE JULIUS, F*CK~NG GOOD PLAYS Fest and More Set for Rattlestick's 2016-17 Season
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater announces mainstage picks for the upcoming season and a weeklong September mini-festival of free staged readings entitled F*ck~ng Good Plays Festival.Rattlestick's first presentation, a co-production with Page 73, is Basil Kreimendahl's Orange Julius directed by Dustin Wills (Foundry's O, Earth). In Orange Julius, Nut grew up the youngest child of Julius, a Vietnam vet, in 1980s and 90s working-class America. As Julius suffers the toxic effects of Agent Orange, Nut worries their time together may run out before they can embrace something essential about their relationship. Paging through forgotten photo albums and acting out old war movies about brothers-in-arms, Nut leaps through time and memory, tracing the complex intimacy between father and child when the child is transgender, fighting for a mutual recognition before it's too late. This will be Mr. Kreimendahl's first NY production. Orange Julius previews January 11 for an opening January 22 and runs through February 12. The second production is an Amoralists' production of Ken Urban's Nibbler. In the summer of 1992 in Medford, N.J., Adam and his gang of friends face life after high school. But when the fivesome encounter a mysterious visitor from another world, their lives are forever changed. A dark comedy about that time when everything and nothing seems possible. Urban's The Correspondent was featured at Rattlestick in 2014. Nibbler will run from Feb 23- March 19. Rattlestick's third selection of the season is Martin Zimmerman's Seven Spots on the Sun presented in partnership with The Sol Project, directed by rising Canadian star director Weyni Mengesha. Mr. Zimmerman was inspired to write Seven Spots on the Sun after he went to Argentina in 2007 and interviewed family members of people who were "disappeared" by the junta that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. Seven Spots on the Sun is set in an unnamed Central American country where a civil war changes the people who had to cope with profound violence and loss, and face the conflicts of revenge, justice, and forgiveness. Mr. Zimmerman developed the play with regional productions at Boston Court in Los Angeles (in association with Rattlestick) and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Rattlestick will partner with The Sol Project, a new initiative that advocates for the production of Latino work by off-Broadway theaters. Seven Spots on the Sun will perform in May-June 2017.F*ck~ng Good Plays Festival is exactly what the name declares. "These seven plays are provocative, courageous, complex, and very, very new," said Ms. Topol. "Most of these playwrights have yet to have a world premiere in New York. Almost all of these readings are being presented in partnership with other theaters, demonstrating Rattlestick's commitment to creating alliances with theaters in New York and across the country to launch ambitious new work." These F*ck~ng Good plays include: Saturday, September 10, at 7:00pm- FREEDraw The Circle, written and performed by Mashuq Mushtaq Deen is the funny and deeply moving story of an Muslim immigrant family who must come to terms a child who defies their most basic expectation of what it means to have a daughter as their child transitions from one gender to another. Directed by Chay Yew, Draw the Circle is presented in partnership with Playmakers Repertory Theatre in North Carolina where Deen will have just completed a run of the show.
Sunday, September 11, at 7:00pm- FREEWe Are Among Us written and directed by Stephen Belber is the story about one woman, played by Edie Falco, who is grappling with her culpability in Afghanistan eight years earlier and the friendship that arises between her son and the daughter of the Afghan man she betrayed. Presented in partnership with New York Stage and Film where the play was in workshop this summer.
Monday, September 12, at 7:00pm- FREELady Tattoo by Meg Miroshnik, directed by Margot Bordelon and commissioned by South Coast Rep, is a bloody thriller inspired by the early twentieth century craze for tattoos amongst well-to-do women. Lady Tattoo wrestles with questions about women's agency over their bodies and their art that still resonate today.
Tuesday, September 13, at 7:00pm- FREETalkin' to this Chick Sippin' Magic Potion by Juilliard playwright James Anthony Tyler, directed by Sandra Daley, is the tale of Jornay, a recent divorcee who decides to save enough money to purchase a fabulous high school graduation gift for her daughter Tiffany. She then loses her job. Determined to make good on her promise, Jornay becomes a cuddle buddy who soon has a regular client that needs more than her touch.
Thursday, September 15, at 7:00pm - FREE (yes, we skipped Wednesday 'cause it's a special celebration...see below)Radio Island by Liza Birkenmeier, is the story of a professional crisis negotiator who returns home to take care of her injured mother. While there, an international hostage situation bends and blurs with her rural reality. Finalist for the Relentless Award, Radio Island, is directed by ClauDia Weill, and presented in partnership with New Georges.
Friday, September 16, at 7:00pm- FREEHow to Catch Creation by Christina Anderson, presented in partnership with American Conservatory Theatre, centers on a wrongly convicted man, played by Keith Randolph Smith, who is released from prison after 25 years. As he settles into a new life he begins the quest to become a father in a system that denies him. Directed by Daniella Topol.
Saturday, September 17, at 7:00pm- FREEGhetto Baptism is David Zheng's dual love story for the ghetto. Stacks tries to fight his way out while Chino fights to stay and survive. Mr. Zheng is an active member in Middle Voice, Rattlestick's Apprentice Company. This play is directed by David Mendizabal.
Now, back to Wednesday, September 14, at 7:00pm. It's a celebration entitled Alumni Jam and features excerpts of new plays by Rattlestick Alumni Writers including Martyna Majok (Ironbound), Laith Nakli (Shesk Yak), Dael Orlandersmith (Horsedreams), Adam Rapp (The Hallway Trilogy), Jonathan Tolins (Buyer and Cellar, Last Sunday in June), and Lucy Thurber (The Hilltown Plays). Some of the excerpts include: Martyna Majok's Cost of Living, which was just produced at Williamstown and will be seen at Manhattan Theatre Club later on this season. Jonathan Tolins will share an excerpt from Connecticut with Broadway and television veteran John Cullum. Award-winning solo performer Dael Orlandersmith will share an excerpt from Until the Flood, an incisive one-person play about Ferguson where she plays multiple roles and perspectives post-Ferguson. Zachary Quinto will Emcee. Tickets are $50. Also this fall, Rattlestick incubates new works with a workshop production of Agnes by Catya McMullen presented by Middle Voice, Rattlestick's Apprentice Company; a workshop of Ken Urban's Inappropriate Sexual Relations directed by Lee Sunday Evans; a holiday satire Nurse Nora Menorah Strikes Again with Morgan Gould & Friends; and Come Together Now, a theatrical walking tour of the West Village with artists Cusi Cram, Carlo D'Amore, Neil Goldberg and Danya Taymor. Leading artists Kathleen Chalfant, Sandra Coudert Graham, Trip Cullman, Wendy vanden Heuval, Lisa Kron, Brian MacDevitt, Dael Orlandersmith, Andrew Polk, Adam Rapp, Zach Quinto, Kyra Sedgwick, Leigh Silverman, Molly Smith, and Justin Townsend have recently joined Rattlestick's Advisory Committee. All the mainstage plays and the F*ck~ng Good Plays Festival take place at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 224 Waverly Place. For reservations for the mainstage, the reading, and the benefit, e-mail email@example.com, call 212 627 2556 or just go to the website, www.rattlestick.org. The F*ck~ng Good Plays Festival is generously supported by Peter Emch. The mission of RATTLESTICK PLAYWRIGHTS THEATRE is to develop and produce diverse and challenging plays that otherwise might not be produced and to foster the future voices of American theater. We have produced the first plays and the early works of some of today's leading voices, including Annie Baker (The Aliens), Sheila Callaghan (That Pretty Pretty), Jesse Eisenberg (The Revisionist), Samuel D. Hunter (The Few), Adam Rapp (The Hallway Trilogy), Lucy Thurber (The Hilltown Plays).