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Playwrights Horizons Announces Casting for A COOL DIP IN THE BARREN SAHARAN CRICK

Playwrights Horizons Announces Casting for A COOL DIP IN THE BARREN SAHARAN CRICK

Playwrights Horizons (Tim Sanford, Artistic Director; Leslie Marcus, Managing Director) continues its 2009/2010 Season with the World Premiere of A COOL DIP IN THE BARREN SAHARAN CRICK, a new play by Kia Corthron (Breath, Boom at Playwrights Horizons/PH, Force Continuum), directed by Obie Award winner Chay Yew (Durango at The Public).

Presented as a co-production with The Play Company (Kate Loewald, Founding Producer; Lauren Weigel, Managing Producer) and Culture Project (Allan Buchman, Artistic Director), the production will begin previews on Thursday, March 4 with an Opening Night set for Sunday, March 28 at 7PM. The limited engagement will run through Sunday, April 11 at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 West 42nd Street).

The cast will feature Keith Eric Chappelle (Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway), William Jackson Harper (Ruined), Joshua King, Kianné Muschett (The Brother/Sister Plays) and Myra Lucretia Taylor (Crazy Mary and Fabulation at PH, Nine on Broadway).

In A COOL DIP IN THE BARREN SAHARAN CRICK, an African preacher-in-training (William Jackson Harper) comes to a drought-stricken rural American community to further his studies in religion and water conservation. He stays with a mother (Myra Lucretia Taylor) and daughter (Kianné Muschett) haunted by personal tragedy and takes a special interest in a young orphan (Joshua King) starved for guidance. In the face of all obstacles he maintains an infectious, unstinting optimism determined to battle - by any means necessary - the personal and political forces that threaten the ecology of his new home.

The production will feature scenic design by Kris Stone, costume design by Anita Yavich, lighting design by Ben Stanton and sound design by Darron L West. Production Stage Manager is Kasey Ostopchuck.

A COOL DIP IN THE BARREN SAHARAN CRICK is the result of a Playwrights Horizons' Time Warner commission and has received generous support from the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, Tiger Baron Foundation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and The Carter Fund.

Playwrights Horizons is supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. In addition, Playwrights Horizons receives major support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charina Endowment Fund, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and Time Warner Inc.

The performance schedule for A COOL DIP IN THE BARREN SAHARAN CRICK will be Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2PM & 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2PM & 7PM. Beginning Wednesday, February 3, tickets, $50, may be purchased online via, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily), or in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues). 

A ticketing initiative created as part of the theater company's Arts Access program, LIVEforFIVE makes available $5 tickets for the first preview performance of each Playwrights Horizons production through a lottery via the company's website. The LIVEforFIVE Lottery for A COOL DIP IN THE BARREN SAHARAN CRICK will be for tickets to the first preview on Thursday, March 4 at 7:30 PM. Details for the lottery are as follows: beginning Wednesday, February 24 at 10AM, theatergoers can enter the lottery by filling out an entry form at Entries will be accepted until Monday, March 1 at 12 Noon. Winners of the lottery will be notified via email no later than 3PM on Monday, March 1 with instructions on how to book their $5 tickets. Unclaimed tickets will be offered via email starting at 12 Noon on Tuesday, March 2 on a first-come, first-served basis. One or two tickets may be purchased for $5 each. A total of 40 tickets will be available for Sharp shows via the lottery.

Reflecting Playwrights Horizons' ongoing commitment to making its productions more affordable to younger audiences, the theater company will offer HOTtix, $20 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before showtime to patrons aged 30 and under. Proof of age required. One ticket per person, per purchase. STUDENT RUSH, $15 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before curtain to full-time graduate and undergraduate students. One ticket per person, per purchase. Valid student ID required.

LIVEforFIVE, HOTtix and STUDENT RUSH are some of Playwrights Horizons' popular Arts Access initiatives, which allow the institution to reach out to those who may not be able to afford the cost of a full-price theater ticket. This program is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The McGraw-Hill Companies and the Elroy and Terry Krumholz Foundation.

In addition, special Post-Performance Discussions have been scheduled. Discussions with members of the cast and creative team will take place immediately after the following three performances: Friday evening, March 5 at 7:30 PM, Wednesday evening, March 10 at 7:30 PM and Sunday matinee, March 14 at 2PM.

On Sunday, April 11, author and journalist Alex Prud'homme (My Life in France with his aunt, Julia Child) will read from his new book Clean, Clear, and Cold, following the 2PM matinee. The book concerns the challenges of fresh water today, from polluted tap water and the bottled water wars, to record floods and droughts. The event is free and open to the public. Please call (212) 564-1235, ext. 3152 or email to make a reservation.

For more information regarding special events during the run, please check the A COOL DIP IN THE BARREN SAHARAN CRICK production blog at

For subscription and ticket information to all Playwrights Horizons productions,
call TICKET CENTRAL at (212) 279-4200, Noon to 8PM daily,
or purchase online at the Playwrights Horizons website at


Kia Corthron's (Playwright) plays Breath, Boom and Life By Asphyxiation were produced by Playwrights Horizons. Her other plays, which include Force Continuum, The Venus de Milo Is Armed, Slide Glide the Slippery Slope, Digging Eleven, Moot the Messenger, Splash Hatch on the E Going Down, Seeking the Genesis, Light Raise the Roof, Wake Up Lou Riser and Come Down Burning, have been produced by New York Theatre Workshop, Atlantic Theater Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, American Place Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Minneapolis's Children's Theatre Company, Mark Taper Forum, Goodman Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Baltimore's Center Stage, New York Stage and Film, Hartford Stage, Delaware Theatre Company and elsewhere. Currently she is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council and of the Writers Guild, and is a New Dramatists alumnus.

Chay Yew (Director) won an Obie Award for his direction of Julia Cho's Durango at The Public. He's also earned a Drama-Logue Award for Direction. His other directing credits include productions at New York Theatre Workshop, Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, Goodman Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse, Empty Space, Portland Center Stage, Cornerstone Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, East West Players, National Asian American Theatre Company, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, Gala Hispanic Theatre, Singapore Repertory Theatre, Smithsonian Institute, among others. His opera credits include the world premieres of Osvaldo Golijov and David Henry Hwang's Ainadamar (co-production with Tanglewood Music Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Los Angeles Philharmonic) and Rob Zuidam's Rage D'Amors (Tanglewood). An alumnus of New Dramatists, he serves on the Executive Board on the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and was the director of the Mark Taper Forum's Asian Theatre Workshop for 10 years. As a playwright, his works include Red, Porcelain, A Language of Their Own, Wonderland and A Beautiful Country.

Keith Eric Chappelle (Tich/Seyoum). Broadway: Cyrano de Bergerac. Regional: Ion (Shakespeare Theatre of DC), The Gabriels (SPF), The Brothers Size (McCarter and The Abbey Theatre). TV: "Law & Order" (defense attorney Gavin Edlund), "Great Performances: Cyrano de Bergerac" (PBS). Graduate of The Juilliard School.

William Jackson Harper (Abebe). Off-Broadway: Ruined (MTC), Rich Boyfriend (The New Group's Naked series), Paradise Park, Queens Boulevard (the musical) (Signature Theatre) and The Children of Vonderly (Ma-Yi Theater). New York: Stomp and Shout (Babel Theatre Project); Neglect, Bike Wreck, 100 Most Beautiful Names of Todd and The Unwritten Song (The Ensemble Studio) and Full Bloom (Vital Theatre). Film/TV: All Good Things, "The Electric Company," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

Joshua King (Tay). Theater: Medea (Stella Adler Studio/NYU). Film/TV: The Order, "Kings" (NBC), "All My Children," "Z Rock," "Gravity" (upcoming on Starz), "The Daily Show," as well as numerous appearances on "Saturday Night Live" and "Late Show with David Letterman." Joshua is also a talented harmonica player and has studied and performed with world-class musicians.

Kianné Muschett (HJ) most recently appeared as Oya/Osha in The Brother/Sister Plays at The Public Theater. Recent credits: In the Red and Brown Water (Alliance), The Engagement (The Wings Theatre), Our Lady of 121st Street, Ella and Anton in Show Business (Circuit Playhouse). TV: "One Life to Live" (recurring), "All My Children," "Guiding Light." MFA: Rutgers University.

Myra Lucretia Taylor (Pickle). Playwrights Horizons: Crazy Mary, Fabulation. Broadway: Nine, Macbeth, Electra, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Mule Bone, A Streetcar Named Desire. National tour: Wicked (Madame Morrible). Regional: Native Son (Intiman), Safe in Hell (Yale Rep), The Old Settler (McCarter/Long Wharf, world premiere), Williamstown Theatre Festival. Member of the Royal Shakespeare Festival, performed with the company in London and Stratford-upon-Avon. TV: "Law & Order" (all three shows), "Oz." Film: The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, The Understudy, Changing Lanes, Unfaithful, Everyone Says I Love You.

Playwrights Horizons, under the leadership of Artistic Director Tim Sanford and Managing Director Leslie Marcus, is a writer's theater dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American Playwrights, composers and lyricists, and to the production of their new work. In its 39 years, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of more than 375 writers and has received numerous awards and honors, most recently being honored with a special 2008 Drama Desk Award for "ongoing support to generations of theater artists and undiminished commitment to producing new work." Notable productions include four Pulitzer Prize winners: Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles (1989 Tony Award, Best Play), Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George, as well as Annie Baker's current hit Circle Mirror Transformation, Melissa James Gibson's recent This (2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist), Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens (three 2007 Tony Awards), Craig Lucas's Prayer For My Enemy and Small Tragedy (2004 Obie Award, Best American Play), Adam Rapp's Kindness, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins, Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone, Bruce Norris's The Pain and the Itch, Lynn Nottage's Fabulation (2005 Obie Award for Playwriting), Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero, David Greenspan's She Stoops to Comedy (2003 Obie Award), Kirsten Childs's The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (2000 Obie Award), Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey's James Joyce's The Dead, William Finn's March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, Richard Nelson's Goodnight Children Everywhere and Franny's Way, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's Once on This Island, Jon Robin Baitz's The Substance of Fire, Scott McPherson's Marvin's Room, A.R. Gurney's Later Life, Adam Guettel and Tina Landau's Floyd Collins and Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet.

The Play Company is dedicated to advancing an international view of contemporary playwriting, linking New York City artists and audiences to a whole world of plays, and placing American work in a global context. Play Co. produces unusual, ambitious work that reflects and responds to the issues and events that shape our time. Recent productions include Lloyd Suh's American Hwangap, the U.S. premieres of Przemyslaw Wojcieszek's Made In Poland (Poland); Robert Farquhar's Bad Jazz (England), directed by Mr. Cullman; Vijay Tendulkar's Sakharam Binder (India); Yoji Sakate's The Attic (Japan); and The Presnyakov Brothers' Terrorism (Russia); as well as world premieres of the American plays Smashing by Brooke Berman and High Dive by Leslie Ayvazian. Play Co. received a 2007 Obie Award for its "unique contribution to the theatre community." The Play Company is under the guidance of Kate Loewald, Founding Producer, and Lauren Weigel, Managing Producer.


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