Playwrights Horizons and The Parsnip Ship to Launch THE DETOUR SERIES Site-Specific Audio Journeys

The journeys begin at Playwrights Horizons and guide listeners to several locations that coincide with the audio storytelling.

By: Aug. 18, 2022
Playwrights Horizons and The Parsnip Ship to Launch THE DETOUR SERIES Site-Specific Audio Journeys

Playwrights Horizons and play development company The Parsnip Ship present The Detour Series, are premiering two commissioned, site-specific audio journeys through Hell's Kitchen, Playwrights Horizons' neighborhood, September 1-25. Produced in association with Business Lunch Productions and accessible, free of charge, from each participant's mobile device, the journeys begin at Playwrights Horizons (416 West 42nd Street) and guide listeners to several locations that coincide with the audio storytelling. Playwrights Horizons also announces today that it will release Ken Urban's audio work Vapor Trail, directed by Knud Adams and featuring Maulik Pancholy and April Matthis, on September 20, as part of the second season of its acclaimed anthological fiction podcast Soundstage.

The first work launching in The Detour Series on September 1 is West Side Quest, written by Opalanietet and directed by Kathleen Capdesuñer. It will appeal to anyone who has wondered why it has been so difficult finding the food and supplies they need at the local store. Participants will join a rat named Willy on a mystery-solving adventure to discover what has been happening to all the dwindling resources in Hell's Kitchen, turning New York City into a dystopian place even too challenging for Willy's brother and sister rats. Steeped in the tribulations of 2021 that still linger today, West Side Quest is a satirical journey that interrogates what we value, why we value it, and if what we seek is our untimely poison. It features Victor Almanzar as Make/Compe/Poombah, Emma Ramos as Tom, and Albert Ybarra as Willoughby

Also premiering on September 1 is Christin Eve Cato's The Mayor of Hell's Kitchen Presents: A Time Traveling Journey Through NYC's Wild West, also directed by Kathleen Capdesuñer. The work is set in the 8th Dimension, where time-traveling has widely become the biggest trend in tourism because of its unique ability to preserve truth and convey accurate history. After much advocating, the Mayor of Hell's Kitchen has finally agreed to bring her time-travel technology to our earthly dimension. The Mayor of Hell's Kitchen invites participants to accompany her on an exciting journey through the history of Hell's Kitchen, to landmarks and destinations, uncovering the stories that inhabit the places-and maybe even meeting some historical figures along the way. This is all brand-new science, and travelers will be participating in a trial run. They are advised to wear comfortable shoes and expect the unexpected. The Mayor of Hell's Kitchen features Alex Hernandez as Salvador Agron, John Keating as One Lung Curren, and Nidra Sous La Terre as the Mayor of Hell's Kitchen.

The Detour Series includes sound design by Germán Martinez, dramaturgy by Al Parker and Iyvon E. (Dramaturgs), technical direction by Business Lunch Productions, and sound engineering by Ricky Berotti & Luke DiCola. The works were recorded at Red Convertible Recording.

The Detour Series is part of Playwrights Horizons' Lighthouse Series, an eclectic program created to support artists across disciplines. During the pandemic shutdown, the Lighthouse Series included Raja Feather Kelly | the feath3r theory's The KILL ONE Race, an episodic, performance-based work created and filmed at Playwrights; and a Public Art Series conceived and organized by Avram Finkelstein and David Zinn, featuring installations by Jilly Ballistic, Ken Gonzales-Day, Fread Scott, and Jess X. Snow.

Iyvon E., Artistic Director and Host of The Parsnip Ship, said, "Much like the fun and curious journeys crafted for The Detour Series, the process for creating these interactive works has also been one of the most challenging artistic projects The Parsnip Ship has ever done, and we are thrilled to have collaborated with Playwrights Horizons. When Playwrights Horizons offered to support Parsnip in expanding our experimentation with audio storytelling, we jumped at the chance to activate the Playwrights Horizons building and commission writers we knew would love to reimagine a journey through one of the city's most eclectic and theatrical neighborhoods."

Playwrights Horizons presents Ken Urban's Vapor Trail on September 20, as an episode in Soundstage Season Two, on the heels of a premiere of the work in the 2022 Tribeca Festival's Audio Storytelling series. In Vapor Trail, at a chance meeting at the farmers market, two strangers find a connection rooted in their own unspeakable tragedies. The evening they spend together becomes an encounter they can't forget.

Vapor Trail stars Maulik Pancholy and April Matthis. The work is audio produced and mixed by Daniel Kluger, recorded by Noel Nichols, and edited by Noel Nichols and Christian Frederickson, and features foley by Daniela Hart, additional sound design by Christian Frederickson, and original music by Daniel Kluger and his band Occurrence. Vapor Trail is produced by John Albert Harris.

Soundstage offers "world premieres from world-class playwrights" (The New York Times) that are written specifically for the audio format, not translated or recorded live from the stage. Since its debut season in 2020, it has established itself as a singular, adventurous presence "push[ing] the acoustic envelope" (The New York Times) in both the podcasting and theater worlds. Season Two kicked off on August 2 and includes works by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Agnes Borinsky, Sheila Callaghan, David Greenspan, Dave Harris, and Julia Izumi. Episodes are available for free to listeners on all major podcasting platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

Playwrights Horizons Artistic Director Adam Greenfield commented, "Playwrights Horizons' Lighthouse Series and Soundstage podcast provide playwrights and theater-makers with opportunities to reach toward new horizons, applying their craft to the creation of live experiences that take place outside the physical walls of our building. We're deeply proud to introduce Soundstage listeners around the world to Vapor Trail, Ken Urban's haunting and intimate audio play, expertly acted and directed. And we've been equally proud to partner with The Parsnip Ship to produce The Detour Series, which takes audiences on immersive journeys that are both physical and imaginative.

About the Playwrights and Directors

Christin Eve Cato is a playwright and performing artist from the Bronx. She is affiliated with NYC theater companies including Pregones/PRTT, INTAR Theatre, and the Latinx Playwrights Circle. Cato's artistic style is expressed through Caribbean culture and the Afro-Latinx diaspora, honoring her Puerto Rican and Jamaican roots. Recent Off-Broadway productions include The Good Cop (DUAF 2022). Upcoming productions include Sancocho (Vision Latino Theatre Company/ Destinos, 5th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival) and American Made (Samuel French OOB Festival/ NYC). Publication/Contributor credits include We Are Not Neutral (Amazon Books) and, launching soon, Latinx Actor Training (Routledge). She has developed her work with The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Harlem9, Pregones Theater, Milagro Theatre, Borderlands Theater, Teatro Vivo, Smith College, Indiana University, Texas State University, Cardinal Stage, The Road Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, Piper Theatre Productions, and many others. She is the 2020 Greater Good Commission recipient for Afro-Latinx writers and the 2021 ReImagine New Plays in TYA grant. She is a 2021-2022 PWC Core Apprentice Playwright. An aspiring screenwriter, she is currently represented by 3 Arts Entertainment. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Opalanietet (Ryan Victor Pierce) is a member of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribal nation of New Jersey. Upon graduating from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Opalanietet has performed in workshops and productions at New Dramatists, La MaMa E.T.C., and New York City Opera at Lincoln Center. In November 2020, Opalanietet made history by giving the first-ever Lenape Land Acknowledgement at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC. In 2012, Opalanietet founded Eagle Project, a theater company dedicated to exploring the American identity through the performing arts and our Native American heritage. Through his leadership, Eagle Project has collaborated with and performed at The Public Theater, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and Ashtar Theater in Palestine. In April 2020, Eagle Project collaborated with the American Indian Community House of New York City and First Nations Theatre Guild to create Native Theatre Thursdays, a virtual reading series of new Native work. Opalanietet is currently studying for his doctorate in Theatre & Performance Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center.

Kathleen Capdesuñer is a Florida-grown, immigrant-raised, Cuban-American director, producer, and generative artist working in theatre and film. She collaborates in English, Español, and Spanglish. Capdesuñer is an aluma of The Civilians R&D Group (2019/20), Roundabout Director's Group Inaugural member (2019/20), The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals Directing Cohort (2019), Manhattan Theatre Club John Alper Directing Fellowship (2019), The Roundabout Directing Fellowship (2018/19), and McCarter Theatre Center Directing Apprenticeship (2017/18). She has developed work on and Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally, at Roundabout, Repertorio Español, Atlantic Theatre Company, Yale University, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Noor Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, and in the Fringe circuit. Capdesuñer is currently in residence at Fault Line Theatre developing a reimagining of the classic Greek play Iphigenia. She is also a Van Lier Directing Fellow at Repertorio Español, where she is directing plays in Spanish. Capdesuñer's first film, meet me with a mask on, will be screened at various festivals this year.

Ken Urban is a playwright and screenwriter. His plays include A Guide for the Homesick (Huntington Theatre Company, Trafalgar Studios in the West End), The Remains (Studio Theatre), Sense of an Ending (59E59 Theatres, Theatre503), Nibbler (The Amoralists and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), The Correspondent (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), The Awake (59E59 Theatres, First Floor Theater), and The Happy Sad (The Public Theater/Summer Play Festival). Awards include EST/Alfred P. Sloan Science & Technology Project Commission, Weissberger Playwriting Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Independent Reviewers of New England's Award for Best New Script, Headlands Artist Residency, Dramatist Guild Fellowship, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship, and a three-time MacDowell Fellowship recipient. He is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and affiliated writer at the Playwrights' Center. Ken wrote the screenplay for the feature-film adaptation of The Happy Sad, directed by Rodney Evans. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service. He leads the band Occurrence, and their latest album I Have So Much Love to Give dropped last August. His first TV pilot The Art of Listening was optioned by Madison Wells Media. He lives in Washington Heights with his partner Johnny.

Knud Adams is a NYC-based director of artful, innovative new plays. He is currently directing Gracie Gardner's I'm Revolting at The Atlantic. His previous world-premiere productions include Bodies They Ritual with Clubbed Thumb, Private at The Mosaic Theater, English with The Atlantic/Roundabout (Drama League and Drama Desk nominations), The Headlands at LCT3, Paris at The Atlantic, Notes on My Mother's Decline with PlayCo, The Workshop with Soft Focus, Tin Cat Shoes with Clubbed Thumb, and Asshole at JACK. Adams is an alumnus of the Drama League directing fellowship, the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, a Playwrights Horizons directing residency, the Ojai Playwrights Conference, and Kenyon College.

About Playwrights Horizons

Playwrights Horizons is a writer's theater dedicated to the development of contemporary American Playwrights, and to the production of innovative new work. In a city rich with cultural offerings, Playwrights Horizons' 50-year-old mission is unique; the organization has distinguished itself by a steadfast commitment to centering and advancing the voice of the playwright. It's a mission that is always timely, and one that's necessary in the ongoing evolution of theater in this country.

Playwrights Horizons believes that playwrights are the great storytellers of our time, offering essential contributions to civic discourse and illuminating life's greatest paradoxes. And they believe in the singularity of a writer's voice, valuing the broad, eclectic spectrum and diversity of American writers. At Playwrights Horizons, writers are supported in every stage of their growth through their New Works Lab, POP Master Class series, Soundstage audio program, the Lighthouse Project, and Almanac, their digital magazine.

Playwrights Horizons presents a season of productions annually on their two stages, each of which is a world, American, or New York premiere. Much like Playwrights Horizons' work, their audience is risk-taking and adventurous; and the organization is committed to strengthening their engagement and feeding their curiosity through all of its programming, onsite and online.

About The Parsnip Ship

The Parsnip Ship (Iyvon E., Artistic Director and Host) is a play development company that amplifies bold stories and storytellers. The Parsnip Ship's theatrical experiences are eclectic, intentional, and personal to serve writers and the artistic community to create transformative, accessible work for Brooklyn and beyond. Iyvon E. co-founded The Parsnip Ship in 2015 as a passion project rooted in bringing back a rarely produced form of theater-radio plays-and has developed into a platform rooted in innovation, community development, and collaboration. The Parsnip Ship will return to live monthly episode recordings in Fall 2022, and current episodes are available on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher.

2023 Regional Awards


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