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Richard Maxwell's SAMARA Extends at Soho Rep.

In response to critical acclaim and popular demand, Soho Rep., in association with John Adrian Selzer, extends the world premiere, Soho Rep. commission of Richard Maxwell's Samara through May 14.

In a departure, Maxwell, who has directed nearly all 20 of his plays, is handing over the directorial duties to Soho Rep. Artistic Director Sarah Benson. Maxwell's work was seen previously at Soho Rep. in 2001 with Cavemen and in 1999 with Cowboys and Indians.

In Samara, we find ourselves on the fringes of the frontier, where a messenger embarks on an arduous journey to collect a debt from a man he's never met. Friends set out to atone for a mistake that can't be undone. Strangers look for a little bit of comfort wherever they can find it.

Samara marks the Off-Broadway acting debut of legendary singer-songwriter Steve Earle, who has also composed an original score for the production. Joining Earle in the eclectic cast, which spans ages 14-92, are Becca Blackwell, Vinie Burrows, Roy Faudree, Modesto Flako Jiménez, Matthew Korahais, Paul Lazar and Jasper Newell. The company includes musicians Ivan Goff and Anna Wray.

The creative team for Samara includes Louisa Thompson (sets), Junghyun Georgia Lee (costumes), Matt Frey (lights), and Palmer Hefferan (sound), George Hoffmann and Greg Kozatek (props masters), J. David Brimmer (fight director), Annie-B Parson (choreography) and Rachel K. Gross (production stage manager).

Performances of Samara will take place through May 14 (see schedule above) at the Mezzanine Theatre at the A.R.T./New York Theatres, which is located at 502 W 53rd Street).


Richard Maxwell is a playwright, director and the artistic director of New York City Players. He studied acting at Illinois State University and then became a co-founder of the Cook County Theater Department. He is a Doris Duke Performing Artist. Maxwell has been selected for a Guggenheim Fellowship, two OBIE Awards, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant, and was included in the Whitney Biennial. His latest play, The Evening, which premiered in 2015 was a commission by the 2014 Spalding Gray Award. He directed Jackie Sibblies Drury's play, Really, for New York City Players in March 2016. His latest book, Theater for Beginners, was published by Theatre Communications Group.

Sarah Benson has been Artistic Director of Soho Rep. since 2007. Her directing credits for Soho Rep. include César Alvarez and The Lisps's Futurity, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins's An Octoroon, (Soho Rep. & Theater for a New Audience); Lucas Hnath's A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay about the Death of Walt Disney; David Adjmi's Elective Affinities, and Sarah Kane's Blasted. She has also directed at A.R.T., Woolly Mammoth & M.T.C.. She holds a MFA from Brooklyn College. In 2016, Benson was awarded a Vilcek Foundation Prize for Creative Promise.

A protégé of legendary songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Steve Earle (Composer, Actor) is one of today's master musical storytellers, whose songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, The Pretenders, Joan Baez and countless others. Throughout his more than 30-year career, Earle has mined the veins of American roots music: country rock and roll, folk and rockabilly. His debut record, Guitar Town, shot to No. 1 on the country charts, and his Grammy Award-winning albums include The Revolution Starts...Now, Washington Square Serenade and Townes. He is host of "The Steve Earle Show: Hardcore Troubadour" Radio, on Sirius XM Radio.

On June 10, 2016, Earle's collaborative album with Shawn Colvin, Colvin & Earle, was released on Fantasy Records. Colvin & Earle, produced by Buddy Miller, reveals a truly creative partnership between these friends who first met nearly three decades ago. His debut novel, I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive, was published in 2011, and a second novel and a memoir are forthcoming. Earle is also recognized as an actor from his roles on HBO's "The Wire" and "Treme," both created by David Simon, and Leaves of Grass written and directed by Tim Blake Nelson.

Becca Blackwell (Actor) is a NYC based trans actor, performer and writer. Existing between genders, and preferring the pronoun "they," Blackwell works collaboratively with playwrights and directors to expand our sense of personhood and the body through performance. Some of their collaborations have been with Young Jean Lee, Half Straddle, Jennifer Miller's Circus Amok, Richard Maxwell, ShaRon Hayes, Theater of the Two Headed Calf and Lisa D'Amour. Recently seen in Erin Markey's tour of A Ride on the Irish Cream. Becca is a recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Artist Award 2015.

Vinie Burrows (Actor) made her Broadway debut in The Wisteria Trees, starring Helen Hayes. Vinie has appeared in six other Broadway shows, Off Broadway shows, and international theatre festivals in Paris and Berlin. Frustrated with scarcity and quality of roles for the Black actor, Vinie produced her first solo show Walk Together Children, a chronicle of the Black experience in the USA. She became the United Nations representative for an international women's organization speaking in Geneva, Nairobi, Copenhagen and at headquarters in NYC speaking up for women's rights and denouncing apartheid. Vinie continues an active theatre career and her role in the Foundry Theatre production of Good Person of Szechuan starring Taylor Mac brought her back to her revolutionary off-Broadway beginnings in Jean Genet's The Blacks. Among her many honors are AEA's Paul Robeson Award and the Brecht Forum's Bertolt Brecht Award.

Roy Faudree (Actor) with Sheena See started NO THEATER in Northampton, MA in 1974. NO has created new works for the stage with theaters in Paris, London, Manchester, Rotterdam, Ghent, Linz, Munich, Berlin, Tokyo and Melbourne, and occasionally brings productions to New York. Most recently it performed Caveman by Richard Maxwell at the Performing Garage in 2013 and End of the Road with the Young@Heart Chorus at St. Ann's Warehouse in 2010. Previous performances in New York include Dupe, Last Resort, DFS (de fiancé suction), and NO's original 1974 production of Faudree's The Elephant Man. Roy has performed in several Wooster Group Productions.

Modesto Flako Jiménez (Actor) is a Dominican-born, Bushwick-raised theater director, writer, poet, actor, producer, and educator. Winner of The Princess Grace Honoraria in Theater for 2016, ATI & HOLA Award Winner for 2015 and 2016, NY Times and Wall Street Journal profiled, 'Flako' is best known for original productions and three signature festivals - Ghetto Hors D'Oeuvres, One Catches Light, and Oye! Avant Garde Night! - produced with his company Brooklyn Gypsies Collective. Flako has appeared on TEDxBushwick, Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", NY 1 and NPR.Favorite: Early Shaker Spirituals (Wooster Group), Last Night At The Palladium (Bushwick Starr/3LD), Yoleros (Bushwick Starr), Conversations Pt.1: How To Make It Black In America (JACK), Oye For My Dear Brooklyn (The Performance Garage/Wooster Group), Furry by WilLiam Burke (Bushwick Starr).

Matthew Korahais (Actor) is an actor and playwright originally from Queens. He was an ensemble member in The Nature Theater of Oklahoma's Life & Times (OBIE, Guardian Best Theater Pick), appeared as the Coffin Salesman in Pedro Reyes' DOOMOCRACY, presented by Creative Time and directed by Meghan Finn, performed in 600 Highwaymen's The Total People at the FIAF Tilt Kids Festival, and was most recently seen as Richard in Sarah DeLappe's Richard in 9 Poses for Clubbed Thumb. Upcoming: Take Me Through This On The Ground, a collaboration with visual artist Joey Hauk Weiss, and Zarina Shea's Stella Stein: A Parable.

Paul Lazar (Actor) co-foundedBig Dance Theater in 1991 with Annie-B Parson and Molly Hickok. His work with Big Dance includes conceiving, directing and/or performing in such works as Comme Toujour Here I Stand, PLAN B, andMac Wellman's Antigone. Big Dance has received BESSIE and OBIE awards. Paul has directed plays by Young Jean Lee, Christina Masciotti and Suzanne Bocanegra. He has performed in The Wooster Group's North Atlantic, Brace Up, Emperor Jones, The Hairy Ape, and North Atlantic. Mr. Lazar also acts in plays, movies and television shows. His most recent piece is a solo dance with text by John Cage text and live music by Lea Bertucci called Cage Shuffle.

Jasper Newell (Actor) is a 14-year-old actor growing up in the East Village of NYC. He made his 2015 Off Broadway debut in Gob Squad's, Before Your Very Eyes at The Public Theater and spent a few years traveling the world with the Oliver Award winning Einstein on The Beach as The Boy. Other credit highlights -Film: We Need To Talk About Kevin (Kevin), The Drowning (Danny), Imaginapped (Desmond), Meet The Small Potatoes (Jasper). Television: "Primetime: What Would You Do?" (ABC), "Small Potatoes" (Disney Jr.), "Dora The Explorer" (Nick Jr.), "The Wonder Pets" (Nick Jr.) You can also find him working on his jump shot at Basketball City.

Soho Rep. is a leading hub for innovative contemporary theater in New York City. We are dedicated to artistic excellence by supporting distinctive, diverse, and pioneering theater. We empower artists to make their boldest work and invite audiences to share in that intimate and transformative live experience. Soho Rep. creates a dynamic context for both artists and audiences that promotes and sustains conversation in the field and the cultural fabric of the city.

Soho Rep. is a very big, small theater. We have five full-time staff members, and our annual budget is $1.6M. At the same time, our outstanding reputation and recent accomplishments far exceed the size of our company.

Soho Rep. was honored with a 2014 Drama Desk Award for Sustained Achievement citing "nearly four decades of artistic distinction, innovative production, and provocative play selection," and we were named The Village Voice's 2015 Best Off Broadway Theater. Our productions have been recognized with 18 OBIE Awards; the 2016 Lucile Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical for César Alvarez and The Lisps' FUTURITY; nine Drama Desk nominations; two Kesselring Awards; and The New York Times Outstanding Playwriting Award for Dan LeFranc's Sixty Miles to Silverlake. In 2016, Artistic Director Sarah Benson was also named one of three recipients of the prestigious Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Theatre.

Many of our most acclaimed productions have been Soho Rep. commissions, were generated in the Writer/Director Lab, and/or developed in weeklong Studio workshops. They include: Annie Baker's Uncle Vanya, David Adjmi's Marie Antoinette, Anne Washburn's 10 out of 12, and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' An Octoroon, which transferred to Theatre for A New Audience's 299-seat space in 2015.

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