THE LANGUAGE OF TREES Opens Tonight, 10/29 at Roundabout
Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) presents The Language of Trees, a new play by Steven Levenson, directed by Alex Timbers, featuring Maggie Burke as “Kay Danley,” Natalie Gold as “Loretta Trumble-Pinkerstone,” Michael Hayden as “Denton Pinkerstone,” Gio Perez as “Eben Trumble-Pinkerstone” and Michael Warner as “Bill Clinton.” The Language of Trees will officially open tonight Wednesday, October 29th, 2008. This will be a limited engagement through December 14th, 2008. Previews began tonight, Saturday, October 4th.The Language of Trees is the second production of Roundabout Underground, an initiative launched in 2007 to introduce and cultivate artists in Roundabout’s 62-seat Black Box Theatre, at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street, NYC, NY, 10036). All tickets for Roundabout Underground productions are $20. The inaugural production of Roundabout Underground was a sold-out run of Stephen Karam’s acclaimed play Speech & Debate, which extended twice. The design team includes Cameron Anderson (sets), Emily Rebholz (costumes), David Weiner (lights) and M.L. Dogg (sound).
When an American translator is sent into a U.S. war zone in the Middle East, a friendly neighbor volunteers to help out his wife and young son back at home. As events abroad spiral out of control, the lives of all the characters are turned upside down. The Language of Trees is a boldly theatrical and provocative new play about the fragility of language, the ecology of war and the meaning of neighborliness in an age of terror.Roundabout Underground is an initiative to showcase new plays that will either allow an experienced director to go back to his/her creative roots or give a debut production to an emerging writer or director. Robyn Goodman (Artistic Consultant to the Roundabout), who has significant artistic development experience, is curating the initiative that will be a creative breeding ground for nurturing new talent. The 62-seat Black Box Theatre, below the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre allows Roundabout to take artistic risks that are better suited for a more intimate space. Maggie Burke (Kay Danley). Broadway: 45 Seconds from Broadway, Twilight of the Golds, Café Crown, Brighton Beach Memoirs. Regional: The Last Night of Ballyhoo, The Sisters Rosensweig, The Innocents’ Crusade, A Shayna Maidel. New York: The New Century, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Dutch Heart of Man, Stopless, Pera Palas, Afterplay, A Body of Water, Driving Miss Daisy, Born Guilty, Approaching Zanzibar. Film/Television: Breaking Upwards, Garmento, Six Degrees of Separation, The Lemon Sisters, Husbands & Wives (Dir. Woody Allen), “Law & Order,” “The Vagina Monologues,” “One Life to Live,” As the World Turns.”Natalie Gold (Loretta Trumble-Pinkerstone). Theatre: The Fever Chart (The Public Theatre), Howard Katz (Roundabout), Brendan (The Huntington), Festen (Broadway), Twelfth Night (N.Y.S.F. – Public Theater), Unfold Me (SPF). TV + Film: “Important Things With Demetri Martin,” "Law and Order", "Law and Order: CI", "Six Degrees", “Without a Trace", "Guiding Light", Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, and The International. Michael Hayden (Denton Pinkerstone). A graduate of the Juilliard School, Michael Hayden has been a steady presence on stage, television and film since winning the Theatre World and Drama League awards along with Olivier, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk nominations for his portrayal of Billy Bigelow in the Royal National Theatre/Lincoln Center Theatre production of Rodger and Hammerstein’s Carousel, directed by Nicholas Hytner.
Michael received a Tony award nomination for his portrayal of the German defense attorney Oscar Rolfe, opposite Maximillian Schell, in the National Actor’s Theatre production of Judgment at Nuremberg. Other credits include “Adam Nehemiah” in Dessa Rose and “Prince Hal” in Henry IV both at Lincoln Center, “Frank” in Merrily We Roll Along in the critically acclaimed Sondheim Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, “Chris Keller” in the Roundabout Theatre production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (Drama League Award), “Sparky Watts” in Peter Gurney’s Far East (Drama League Award) at Lincoln Center, “Clifford Bradshaw” in Sam Mendes’ Cabaret at Studio 54, “Chance Wayne” in Sweet Bird of Youth at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC opposite Elizabeth Ashley, “Christy Mahon” in the Guthrie Theatre’s Playboy of the Western World, and “Khonen” in Tony Kushner’s A Dybbuk. He received an American Film Institute Best Actor Award for his performance as “Billy” in Charming Billy. Television credits include two seasons as “Chris Docnovich” on the ABC series Murder One, guest appearances on NBC’s Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, Law and Order CI, Hack, the PBS Great Performance Series adaptation of Far East, the mini-series Bella Mafia, the Fox movie Texas Tragedy, and As the World Turns.Gio Perez (Eben Trumble-Pinkerstone). Theatre: October/November (Established Series B), Amazons & Their Men (Ohio Theater), The Secret Agenda of Trees (Cherry Lane Theater), Kingdom (NYMF), The Bacchae (Warsaw International Theater), Troilus and Cressida (37 Arts), Nerds (ETW Mainstage), Oz (PC II), Bob Fosse Review (Oberhavel, Germany Tour), New Voices 2002 (Paper Mill Playhouse), Little Shop of Horrors (Jay Todd Theater), Cabaret (HTHS Black Box Theater), Being Young (Hudson County School Tour), Book of Days (HTHS Black Box Theater); Film: Two Lovers, Be Kind Rewind, Margaret; Television: “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”.Michael Warner (Bill Clinton). Shows with The Atlantic, Keen Company, Synapse, The Fire Dept, Soho Rep, among many others. Boy Steals Train (Fringe First, Best Ensemble), Edinburgh Fringe. TV: “Law and Order,” “L&O: Criminal Intent,” “As The World Turns,” “The Knights of Prosperity.” MFA, Rutgers.Steven Levenson (Playwright). Steven Levenson's plays include The Language of Trees, Girls Day, and Almost Stuck. His work has been seen and developed by Roundabout Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Dramatists, Brown/Trinity Playwrights Repertory Theatre, and Ashland New Plays Festival. Steven is a member of Youngblood Playwrights Group at EST and Play Group at Ars Nova. He is a graduate oF Brown University. Alex Timbers (Director). Alex Timbers is an OBIE Award-winning director and Artistic Director of Les Freres Corbusier. Recent Directing credits include: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Center Theatre Group, LA; co-written with Michael Friedman), Gutenberg! The Musical! (Drama Desk nom.- Best Director of a Musical), Hell House (Drama Desk nom.- Unique Theatrical Experience; St. Ann's Warehouse), underground (BAM; International Tour), A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant (OBIE Award, New York Theatre Workshop; two Garland Awards including Best Director, Los Angeles), Boozy (also writer; "Ten Best of 2005" by the New York Daily News and Time Out New York), Boom and Dixie's Tupperware Party (both at Ars Nova), Heddatron. Workshops: Disney Theatricals, Playwrights Horizons, New York Stage and Film, Sh-K-Boom Records. Directing Fellowships: Williamstown, Drama League, Sundance. Alex is currently directing Beyond Therapy for Williamstown Theatre Festival and Bay Street Theatre, as well as developing an original half-hour comedy pilot for 20th Century Fox. TICKET INFORMATION:Tickets are available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212)719-1300, online at www.roundabouttheatre.org or at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre box office (111 West 46 Street). The ticket price is $20.00 for all seats. All tickets for The Language of Trees will be issued as General Admission passes for first-come, first-served seating on the show date.PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:The Language of Trees will play Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 7:00PM with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 1:30PM.The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre opened on March 17th, 2004 allowing Roundabout to continue its mission to produce new plays by established writers and lesser-known classic plays in the 425-seat Laura Pels Theatre. The inaugural production at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre was Intimate Apparel, a new play by Lynn Nottage, directed by Daniel Sullivan (2004 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award Best Play, Outer Critics Circle Award Best Play, Outer Critics Circle Award John Gassner Award Best Play, PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for Lynn Nottage, American Theatre Critic’s Association's Francesca Primus Award Best Play, Steinberg New Play Award, Audelco Dramatic Production of the Year). Prior to the launch of Roundabout Underground in October 2007, the 62-seat Black Box Theatre has been used by Roundabout’s education department for its activities including student productions and professional development workshops. Lead support for Roundabout’s new play fund generously provided by: The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Jodi and Daniel Glucksman, The Laura Pels Foundation, Laura S. Rodgers, Stephen and Ruth Hendel, and The Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation.Roundabout Theatre Company is one of the country's leading not-for-profit theatres. The company contributes invaluably to New York's cultural life by staging the highest quality revivals of classic plays and musicals as well as new plays by established writers. Roundabout consistently partners great artists with great works to bring a fresh and exciting interpretation that makes each production relevant and important to today's audiences.Roundabout Theatre Company currently produces at three permanent homes each of which is designed specifically to enhance the needs of the Roundabout's mission. Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics. Roundabout's Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions. Together these three distinctive venues serve to enhance the work on each of its stages.Roundabout Theatre Company productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; New York State Council on the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. The Westin Hotel is the official hotel of the Roundabout Theatre Company.Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2008-2009 season also includes Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, starring Frank Langella, directed by Doug Hughes; Rodgers & Hart’s Pal Joey, starring Stockard Channing, Christian Hoff & Martha Plimpton, directed by Joe Mantello; Bob Fosse’s Dancin’; Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, starring Mary-Louise Parker, directed by Ian Rickson; David Rabe’s Streamers, directed by Scott Ellis and Lisa Loomer’s Distracted featuring Cynthia Nixon, directed by Mark Brokaw.Roundabout’s sold out production of Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps is now playing at the Cort Theatre.Roundabout Theatre Company’s critically acclaimed Broadway production of Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men is currently booking the third year of its multi-award winning tour. Twelve Angry Men is directed by Tony-nominated director Scott Ellis (Curtains).
Photo Credit Ben Strothmann