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THE DRESSMAKER'S SECRET Gets Exposed Tonight at 59E59 Theaters


59E59 Theaters welcomes The Simon Studio and Amanagion LLC with THE DRESSMAKER'S SECRET by Sarah Levine Simon and Mihai Grunfeld, directed by Roger Hendricks Simon. THE DRESSMAKER'S SECRET begins performances tonight, February 8, for a limited engagement through Sunday, March 5. Press opening is Tuesday, February 14 at 7:30 PM.

The performance schedule is Tuesday - Thursday at 7:30 PM; Friday at 8:30 PM; Saturday at 2:30 PM & 8:30 PM; and Sunday at 3:30 PM. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). Tickets are $25 ($17.50 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or go to

1963. 19-year-old Robi longs to escape communist Romania for the United States. But, the one person who can help Robi is a man his mother, Maria, is desperate to keep from him. During World War II, Maria was engaged to a Hungarian army officer, but fell in love with Zoli, a Jewish man whom she hid from the Nazis. The officer discovered Zoli, who was sent to Auschwitz, but spared the newly pregnant Maria's life. Two decades later, the officer returns. Will the painful secrets of their past change the course of Robi's future? THE DRESSMAKER'S SECRET is a heart-wrenching drama that examines the oppression of the police state, the defiant endurance of the human spirit, and the healing power of love.

The cast features Bryan Burton (HBO's The Night Of), Robert S. Gregory, Caralyn Kozlowski (Dirty Dancing national tour), and Tracy Sallows (The Audience on Broadway).

The design team includes Stephen T. Jones (set and lights) and Molly R. Seidel (costumes). The Production Stage Manager is Bethany Clark.

Mihai Grunfeld (playwright) published his autobiography Leaving - Memories of Romania in 2008. In 2011 the book was translated into Spanish and published in Spain as Irse. Grunfeld finished work on the novel The Dressmaker's Son, and together with Sarah Levine Simon adapted it to the play The Dressmaker's Secret. He also finished translating and editing the memoir Inherited Words by Roth Zoltán, a Romanian Holocaust survivor. Grunfeld obtained his Ph.D. from University of California at Berkeley. He is a professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature at Vassar College where he teaches in the Hispanic Studies Department. At Vassar he has periodically served as chair, directed the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Spain, Vassar's Summer Language Program in Oaxaca, Mexico, and was an assistant director of The Spanish School at Middlebury College. His research focuses on modern Latin American poetry, especially the Avant-Garde, and the intersection between literature and the visual arts as expressed, for example, in the Mexican muralism. He published Antología de la poesía latinoamericana de vanguardia (1995), and articles on modernismo and the Avant-Garde, as well as creative short stories.

Grunfeld was born in Cluj, Romania where he lived with his family until he was eighteen. In January 1969 he and his older brother traveled to Czechoslovakia and from there escaped to Austria. This was the beginning of a long journey, which took him to Israel, Italy, Sweden, and Canada in search of a home in the West. Eventually he settled in the United States.

Sarah Levine Simon (playwright) has enjoyed a dual career as a musician (opera singer) and writer. She has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States and Europe singing difficult soprano repertory such as Bach Cantata No. 51, Lukas Foss' Time Cycle and the lyric soprano operatic repertory. Writing began as a way to access the literary texts she sang and led to her create her own narratives. Writing credits include: Bernardo's Farewell and Mouse Music, stories for actors and orchestra, produced with a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts, narrated by actress Tovah Feldshuh, among others. The Portrait, written as a radio play for National Public Radio in 1983, received a full production by the Ad Lib theater company at Theater 54 in New York City to critical acclaim in 2014. She has written two plays on commission for Plays for Living.

Her three debut novels Winger Victory, a young adult novel, Locked Out, a mystery thriller, and Murder in the Coffee Exchange, a thriller, are under contract to Black Opal Books for release in the spring of 2017.

Sarah has taught writing at Brooklyn College, The New York Institute of Technology and Dutchess Community College and is always happy to run writing workshops or lead book club discussions.

Roger Hendricks Simon (director) has directed John Travolta, John Lithgow, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Samuel L. Jackson, Bibi Andersson, and Tovah Feldshuh among others in highly acclaimed productions including London, NYC, and international premieres by Tennessee Williams, John Guare, Sam Shepard, David Hare, Michael Weller, Terrence McNally, Lanford Wilson, and William Saroyan. He has produced, directed and acted for TV and radio (including his National Endowment award winning drama series Simon Studio Presents for National Public Radio, Sirius/XM Radio and Time Warner Cable). Other international TV and film projects include those for PBS, BBC, Thames TV, and Metromedia TV. For The Simon Studio he has produced and directed a number of site specific historical plays commissioned by and for the city of Poughkeepsie, NY where he lives and was the co-producer/director with his son Dan Simon for his wife Sarah Levine Simon's Bread Today, a promotional film series produced for Emerging Pictures' live telecasts of LaScala and other international opera productions in USA movie theaters.

As an actor, he was recently seen in Oliver Stone's Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps (Blue Ray DVD) opposite Michael Douglas and Josh Brolin. He received critical acclaim playing the lead role in The Sublet, the Best Feature award winner at several international film festivals and screenings in L.A. and NYC. He is currently producing the soon to be released TV film documentary The Boys Of Late Summer. A graduate of Yale School of Drama and founding member of Robert Brustein's Yale Rep Co. in '67, he was elected to Notable Names in American Theatre and has directed, produced, and acted for Yale Rep, Joe Papp's N.Y. Shakespeare Festival, London's Royal Court Theatre, Dublin's Abbey Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Lincoln Center, BAM, Edinburgh Festival, Nancy Festival du Monde, the Eugene O'Neill and Aspen (Co.) Playwrights Conferences, Juilliard (Opera and Theatre), LaMama, and the Roundabout Theatre among others.

For the past 38 years, Mr. Simon has been Artistic Director of The Simon Studio in NYC, an award winning training, development and production center for theatre and film that recently developed The Dressmaker's Secret in their On Camera Professional Lab. The studio was recently the 2016 recipient of the Smart Family Foundation grant and has received previous grants from the National Endowment of the Arts and National Public Radio. Mr. Simon was also Founding Artistic Director of the L.A. Classical Theatre Lab in L.A. now in it's 28th year. He has directed, acted, and taught actors, writers, directors, and public speakers in NYC, L.A., London, and throughout the USA, Europe, India, Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria, and South Africa.

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