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SUCH THINGS ONLY HAPPEN IN BOOKS Plays The Clurman Theatre 10/6-11/14

Five years after receiving a Drama Desk nomination for Best Revival of a Play for their production of Pullman Car Hiawatha, two short plays by Thornton Wilder, Keen Company (Artistic Director Carl Forsman, Executive Director Wayne Kelton) kicks of their tenth anniversary season with the New York professional premiere of Such Things Only Happen in Books, an evening of short plays by Thornton Wilder directed by Carl Forsman and Jonathan Silverstein. Performances begin on Tuesday, October 6 and run through November 14 at The Clurman Theatre / Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

The evening of shorts includes Such Things Only Happen in Books, in which a domestic life is slowly unwrapped to reveal the complexities at the heart of all families; Cement Hands, about an uncle who attempts to explain to his niece the precariousness of marrying a tight-fisted young fellow; and The Angel That Troubled the Waters, which shows the healer's pain, and how his suffering makes him most human. Also included are In Shakespeare and the Bible and Now the Servant's Name was Malchus. The cast includes Clayton Apgar, Pepper Binkley, Sue Cremin and Kevin Hogan, with two actors to be announced.

Thornton Wilder (Playwright) (1897-1975) is best remembered for his Pulitzer Prize winning plays Our Town (1938) and The Skin of our Teeth (1942). His career on Broadway began with translations of Andre Obey's Lucrece (1932) and Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House (1937). The Merchant of Yonkers, a commercial failure produced shortly after the success of Our Town in 1938, was rewritten and became a success in 1954 under the title The Matchmaker. The play reemerged in 1964 as the basis for the musical Hello, Dolly! by Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman. Wilder was also a successful novelist, winning his first Pulitzer Prize for The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1928).

Carl Forsman (Director) is the Artistic Director of Keen Company and Vermont's Dorset Theatre Festival. His directions for Keen include the world premieres of Heroes, The Conscientious Objector, Pyretown, Can't Let Go, The Journals of Mihail Sebastian and Beasley's Christmas Party, the American premiere of Conor McPherson's The Good Thief, the NY premiere of Theophilus North based on Thornton Wilder's novel, and revivals of In The Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, The Breadwinner, The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden, Voice of the Turtle, Good Morning Bill and Museum. Other directing credits include SIN (A Cardinal Deposed) (OBIE Award, Production) and Everythings Turning Into Beautiful, both for The New Group; Tina Howe's translations of Ionesco's The Bald Soprano & The Lesson for the Atlantic Theater Company; and A Few Good Men (Asolo).

Jonathan Silverstein (Director) is Resident Director of Keen Company. He most recently directed the critically acclaimed revival of The Temperamentals, starring Michael Urie and Thomas Jay Ryan at the Barrow Group Arts Center. His directions for Keen include A.R. Gurney's The Dining Room (Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Director; Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble), Robert Anderson's Tea and Sympathy, and John Patrick's The Hasty Heart. Other New York credits include: Cocteau's Indiscretions (Phoenix Theatre Ensemble), Red Herring (New York International Fringe Festival; Outstanding Director award), Greater Messapia (Queens Theatre in the Park), and The Train Play (Clubbed Thumb). He has been a regular director with The Department of Dramatic Writing at N.Y.U. and has mentored student directors at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. Jonathan is a graduate of the MFA directing program at UCSD and an alumnus of The Drama Leaegue Director's Project. Member, SSDC.

The scenic design for Such Things Only Happen in Books is by Sandra Goldmark; costume design is by Theresa Squire; and lighting design is by Josh Bradford. Live music will be under the direction of Brian Cimmet.

Keen Company produces sincere plays with the belief that theater is at its most powerful when texts and productions are generous in spirit and provoke identification. Inspired by the works of early 20th Century American Playwrights, Keen Company demonstrates that an earnest intent can still be sophisticated and is unafraid of emotional candor, vulnerability and optimism. Keen Company seeks to create a culture of artists, technicians, administrators and audiences who share a desire to invigorate the theater with productions that connect audiences through humor, heart and hope.


The New York professional premiere of Such Things Only Happen in Books, an evening of five shorts by Thornton Wilder presented by Keen Company, plays the following schedule at The Clurman Theatre / Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues): Tuesday at 7pm; Wednesday - Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2pm & 8pm; Sunday at 3:00pm. Tickets are $51.25. Tickets can be purchased through TicketCentral.com or by phone at (212) 279-4200. For more information about please visit www.KeenCompany.org.

 


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