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THE MAN WHO ATE MICHAEL ROCKEFELLER Gets Off-Broadway Transfer

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THE MAN WHO ATE MICHAEL ROCKEFELLER - Jeff Cohen's play that enjoyed great success during its world-premiere at the West End Theatre off-off-Broadway in Manhattan in the fall - will return for a limited engagement Off-Broadway at the Arclight Theatre (152 W. 71 St.) with previews starting February 2, 2011 prior to a press opening on Wednesday, February 9.

Written by Jeff Cohen and based on a short story by Christopher Stokes, THE MAN WHO ATE ROCKEFELLER is directed by Alfred Preisser -- the founding artistic director of the award-winning Classical Theatre of Harlem -- where he directed acclaimed productions of KING LEAR starring Andre De Shields, a revival of Melvin Van Peebles' AIN'T SUPPOSED TO DIE A NATURAL DEATH, DREAM ON MONKEY MOUNTAIN and ROMEO AND JULIET. Presently, his production of BLACK NATIVITY NOW - which he co-wrote with Tracy Jack -- is playing Off-Broadway.

THE MAN WHO ATE MICHAEL ROCKEFELLER takes a startling and surprisingly humorous, upside-down view of what happens when the Western world intrudes on an ancient, so-called primitive culture, telling the story from the native peoples' point-of-view: set among the Asmat tribe of New Guinea, the play explores the still-unsolved disappearance in 1961 of Michael C. Rockefeller, the 23-year-old son of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and a celebrated anthropologist who collected artifacts from the Asmat culture during two expeditions there.

The Asmat culture - which developed for thousand of years in isolation before being discovered in the mid-20th century, and whose woodcarving traditions are now world-renowned - expresses its revered, centuries-old spiritual relationship between the living and their dead ancestors in rituals such as head-hunting and cannibalism.

When THE MAN WHO ATE MICHAEL ROCKEFELLER debuted in September, The New York Times selected the play as a "Critic's Pick" and called it "smart and briskly entertaining," praising the play's "excellent cast." Theater Online called the play "A rare thinking man's comedy...a sophisticated script...expertly directed." Backstage wrote, "Fornication can be hilarious...at least it is in THE MAN WHO ATE MICHAEL ROCKEFELLER."

The cast that debuted THE MAN WHO ATE MICHAEL ROCKEFELLER last fall will return - intact - for its Off-Broadway run: David Brown, Jr., Shannon Dorsey, Tracy Jack, David King, Daniel Morgan Stanley and Aaron Strand.

The play will be produced Off-Broadway - as its world-premiere was in the fall -- by Dog Run Rep.

Jeff Cohen is the Artistic Director and founder of Dog Run Rep and was the founder and Artistic Director of Worth Street Theater Company, The Tribeca Playhouse, and The RAPP Arts Center (now the Connelly Theatre). He has enjoyed an accomplished career in the theatre as playwright, director and producer. His original plays include THE SOAP MYTH and MEN OF CLAY (Best New Play, 2005 - The Baltimore City Paper). His adaptations of Chekhov include UNCLE JACK (published in the anthology Playing With Canons) and THE SEAGULL: THE HAMPTONS (Ten Best Plays - The Boston Globe) - with various casts including Neil Huff, Marin Hinkle, Tammy Grimes, D.B. Sweeney and Laura Linney. Other adaptations include ORESTES: I MURDERED MY MOTHER, TARTUFFE and the Audelco Award-winning WHOA-JACK! (based on Woyzeck) which featured the professional stage debut of Michael Ealy. Other notable productions include THE NORMAL HEART at The Public Theater (Drama Desk nomination - Best Play Revival), FOUR by Christopher Shinn (Drama Desk nomination, Lortel Award), Tristine Skyler's THE MOONLIGHT ROOM (Ten Best Plays - The New York Times, 2 Lortel nominations, Outer Critics nomination), THE MYSTERY OF ATTRACTION by Marlene Meyer (Obie Award) Tennessee Williams' SMALL CRAFT WARNING (featuring David Greenspan) and The Tribeca Playhouse STAGE DOOR CANTEEN (special 2002 Drama Desk Award).

Alfred Preisser, from 1999 - 2009, was the Founding Artistic Director of The Classical Theatre of Harlem, where he created a wide and distinguished body of work noted for its physicality, originality, and use of music and dance. Award-winning highlights include his 2009 production of ARCHIBISHOP SUPREME TARTUFFE starring André De Shields (four Audelcos); Melvin Van Peebles' AIN'T SUPPOSED TO DIE A NATURAL DEATH (seven Audelcos); and his 2006 production of KING LEAR with André De Shields, which opened the 75th Anniversary season at The Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C. He has created critically acclaimed original adaptations of MEDEA, THE TROJAN WOMEN and ELECTRA. After a twice-extended run at La MaMa's Ellen Stewart Theatre this Spring, Caligula Maximus -- an outrageous theatrical extravaganza, combining elements of a circus, a play with music, and a nightclub installation, co-written by Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner and directed by Preisser -- is slated for a commercial run this Fall. His work has been recognized with the American Theatre Wing Award (Outstanding Artistic Achievement), Drama Desk Award (Artistic Achievement), Lucille Lortel Award (Outstanding Body of Work), two Obie Awards (Sustained Achievement and Excellence in Theatre) and numerous Audelco Awards.

Christopher Stokes teaches fiction writing in Dallas. He is currently working on a novel. His short story was selected in the prestigious anthology Best New American Voices, 2008 and subsequently published in McSweeney's, 23. The New Statesman called it "...a subversive reworking of American history." Publisher's Weekly called it "... a stand-out example (of) a deftly original story that defies easy categorization." And The Independent called it "A fabulous fictional account."

Among his many Off-Broadway credits, David Brown, Jr. played Robert Earl Hayes in the award-winning and acclaimed play THE EXONERATED and reprised the role in the film as well. Shannon Dorsey has appeared at the Kennedy Center in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Helen Hayes Award) and CARMEN (Helen Hayes Nomination), Tracy Jack (who is also the production's choreographer) has recent credits that include Melvin Van Peebles' SWEET SWEETBACK'S BAADASSSS SONG (Paris, France), André De Shields' MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY, Diane Paulus and Randy Weiner's BEST OF BOTH WORLDS (Cambridge MA) and Alfred Preisser's ARCHBISHOP SUPREME TARTUFFE. David King's recent Off-Broadway credits include BLACK ANGELS OVER TUSKEGEE and Caligula Maximus. Daniel Morgan Shelley's credits include the title role in OTHELLO (Theatre Row), SATURNALIA directed by Daniel Fish, BLACK RUSSIAN directed by Marion McClinton, Mercutio in ROMEO & JULIET and Brutus Mohammad in JULIUS X, both directed by Alfred Preisser. He is a graduate of the Julliard School. Aaron Strand last appeared Off-Broadway as Jesus in Alfred Preisser's Caligula Maximus.

The design team THE MAN WHO ATE MICHAEL ROCKEFELLER includes Heather Wolensky (sets), Jay Scott (lights), and Kimberley Glennon (costumes). Ms. Wolensky's credits include EQUUS starring Alec Baldwin at Guild Hall and both she and Mr. Scott were part of the design team for last summer's world premiere of Mr. Cohen's THE SOAP MYTH. Ms. Glennon's extensive credits include numerous credits with Classical Theatre of Harlem, including ARCHBISHOP SUPREME TARTUFE starring Andre DeShields and THE THREE SISTERS starring Roger Guenveur Smith.

Dog Run Rep (formerly the Worth Street Theater Company) has presented acclaimed and award winning work including premieres of Christopher Shinn's FOUR, and Tristine Skyler's THE MOONLIGHT ROOM, the celebrated revival of Larry Kramer's THE NORMAL HEART, and the post 9/11 Drama Desk Award-winning series THE TRIBECA PLAYHOUSE STAGE DOOR CANTEEN.

Scheduled through March 13, THE MAN WHO ATE MICHAEL ROCKEFELLER will perform Wednesdays through Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 and $55 and can be purchased by calling SmartTix at 212 868 4444 or online at www.smarttix.com. For more information about the play, visit www.dogrunrep.com.


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