Ruhl's PASSION PLAY Extends Thru 6/5 At The Irondale Center

New York's OBIE Award-winning Epic Theatre Ensemble (Zak Berkman, Melissa Friedman, Ron Russell, Founding Executive Directors) today announced that Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play (In The Next Room... or the vibrator play), directed by MarK Wing-Davey (The Singing Forest), will extend for an additional week. Performances began April 27 and will now continue through June 5, 2010. The production opened Wednesday, May 12 and is performed in the site-specific environs of the Irondale Center, a converted Sunday school inside the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church (85 South Oxford Street) in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Inspired by the historic festivals where everyday citizens came together to elevate their communities by staging the death and resurrection of Christ, Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play transports audiences first to 16th century England, where Queen Elizabeth threatens to shut down a small town's production; then to Nazi Germany, where Adolf Hitler's arrival at the famous Oberammergau Passion Play influences the lives of its cast and finally to Spearfish, South Dakota in 1984, as a local production becomes a campaign stop for a famous actor-turned-President running for re-election. MarK Wing-Davey returns as director following his highly acclaimed productions of Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play at the Goodman Theatre and Yale Repertory Theatre, but is re-envisioning the play for this site-specific New York premiere.

The full cast includes Hale Appleman, Brendan Averett, Dominic Fumusa, Polly Noonan, Daniel Pearce, Alex Podulke, Keith Reddin, Godfrey L. Simmons Jr., T. Ryder Smith, Kate Turnbull and Nicole Wiesner.

Scenic Design is by Allen Moyer and Warren Karp, Costume Design is by Gabriel Berry and Antonia Ford-Roberts, Lighting Design is by David Weiner, Additional Music is by David van Tieghem, Movement Direction is by Jim Calder, Fight Direction is by David Anzuelo and Dialect Coach is Deborah Hecht.

Hailed by The New Yorker's John Lahr as "extraordinary" and full of "verve and daring", Ruhl's three-play cycle will be the centerpiece of an unforgettable Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play Festival, a series of performances, panel discussions, workshops, and education programs highlighting the intersection of art, politics, sexuality, and religion.

Performances are Wednesday - Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting Epic's website at www.epictheatreensemble.org.

Epic is thrilled to be partnering with a coalition of creative thinkers, art makers, academic institutions and Fort Greene community members to create the Passion Play Festival, which will surround this production with fun and fascinating events and activities that range from dance parties, concerts and free food, to family workshops, new play readings and Epic's trademark Forum Series. The Passion Play Festival is an ever expanding and organic community endeavor, so please be sure to check www.epictheatreensemble.org often for up-to-the-minute programming and scheduling information. Reservations for all Passion Play Festival events should be made through emailing passionplaynyc@gmail.com.

Epic Theatre Ensemble is an OBIE, Lucille Lortel, and OTTO Award-Winning artist-run company. Founded in 2001 to create theatrical events Off-Broadway and in the New York City Public Schools that inspire vital dialogue about social issues, Epic is best known for their premieres of No Child... by Nilaja Sun, Palace of the End by Judith Thompson, and Hannah and Martin by Kate Fodor, as well as their groundbreaking Shakespeare Remix after-school program that received a 2009 Coming Up Taller Award from First Lady Michelle Obama at a White Ceremony this past November.

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