U.S. Debut Of A DEAL By Zhu Yi Opens Off-Broadway, 11/20
Urban Stages, Frances Hill, Founding Artistic Director, will kick-off its 34th season with the World Premiere of Zhu Yi's A DEAL, directed by John Giampietro. This limited engagement at Urban Stages (259 West 30th Street), begins performances on November 15, opens on Monday, November 20 and will run through December 10, 2017. Tickets for are $35 ($25 during previews; $50 on opening and $15 student rush) and may be purchased via OvationTix at www.urbanstages.org or by phone at 1.866.811.4111.
Like many new upper-middle-class Chinese families, Mr. and Mrs. Li are proud to give their only daughter a life they could only dream of (an Ivy League degree in art and an apartment in Manhattan), until they realize she's turning into a dangerous stranger. A DEAL is a dark comedy that features a Chinese family's home buying journey in New York in winter 2015, a time of increased real estate property ownership by overseas Chinese and a sharp decline in the value of the RMB against the US dollar. It reveals the ideological conflicts between the East and the West in contemporary society by tracking a little stream of the global cash flow.
International known playwright Zhu Yi has had her work presented by theaters in Canada, Norway, China, Mexico, Italy, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. A DEAL at Urban Stages will be her first Off-Broadway production, and will be simultaneously touring China in Mandarin.
Cast includes: Alan Ariano (Broadway: The King and I; Miss Saigon), Pun Bandhu (Broadway: Wit. NY: The Treasurer), Helen Coxe (Film: Julie & Julia Broadway: Side Man. NY: Tail! Spin!), Lydia Gaston (Broadway: The King and I; Miss Saigon), Wei Yi Lin (Gable Stage: 4000 Miles. TV: "Zero Hour") and Seth Moore (NY: Agnes!). Rebecca Kane (Stage Manager), Rachel Kartiganer (Assistant Stage Manager), Frank Oliva (Set Designer), John Salutz (Lighting and Sound Designer), Audrey Nauman (Costume Designer), Ryan Belock (Projection Designer) and Kim Sharp (Technical Director), Peter Napolitano (Associate Producer), Antoinette Mullins (Development & Literary Director), Olga Devyatisilnaya (Company Manager/Financial Administrator), and Ilanna Saltzman (Program Director).
Zhu Yi (Playwright) is a New York-based playwright and screenwriter, born and raised in Shanghai, China. MFA in playwriting, Columbia University. She received the First Prize at 2015 World Sinophone Drama Competition, and Shanghai Drama Valley's 2015 Outstanding Playwright of the Year Award. She is a 2012-2013 Emerging Artist Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop, a Youngblood alumni at Ensemble Studio Theatre, a member of Ma-Yi Writers Lab, a member of The Royal Court Theatre's International Playwriting Workshop. Stage plays: How Time Flies (National Theatre of China), You Never Touched the Dirt (staged reading, Edinburgh International Festival, UK), Holy Crab! (Wellspring Theater, Taiwan; Círculo de Tiza, Mexico), Apene i Himalaya (Hålogaland Teater, Norway), I Am a Moon (Shanghai Grand Theater, China; National Pioneer Theater, China; Theater Emory, Atlanta, GA; FringeNYC; Edinburgh Festival Fringe, UK; 3LD Art and Technology Center, NYC), It Rained on Shakopee (The Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Duluth, MN), Long Life (Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, China; People's Art Theater, China), Long Distance Affair (Bienal Arte Joven Buenos Aires, Argentina; Edinburgh Festival Fringe, UK), Lifetime Fairytale (Riverside Theatre, NYC). Films: Scrape (Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival; Alcances Film Festival, Spain), Apolitical Romance (Taipei Film Festival; Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival; New York Asian Film Festival; Udine Far East Film Festival, Italy; Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival). zhuyizhuyi.com
John Giampietro (Director) is a Brooklyn based stage director of Opera and Theatre. Recent credits include La feldeltà premiata at The Juilliard School, The Turn of the Screw and Carousel at Chautauqua Institution Festival of Music. He is a frequent director with Youngblood, Ensemble Studio Theater's Obie-award-winning young writers group. At EST John directed the NY Times acclaimed production of Year of the Rooster by Olivia Dufault. Other opera and theatre productions seen at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Vermont Shakespeare Festival, Curtis Institute of Music, The Flea Theatre, and NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He has directed over 20 operas for the Chautauqua School of Music where he is the principal stage director. John is a faculty member in the Vocal Arts department at The Juilliard School. Writing includes new English dialogue versions of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Der Schauspieldirektor. Upcoming, a new English dialogue version of Nicolai's opera The Merry Wives of Windsor for The Juilliard School, in 2018.
URBAN STAGES (Producer) is an award-winning, not-for-profit, Off-Broadway Theatre Company founded in 1984 by current Artistic Director Frances Hill. For over 30 years, Urban Stages has produced dozens of world, American and NYC premieres including Pulitzer Prize Finalist Bulrusher (2007) by Eisa Davis. We have been honored with awards, nominations and recognition from the Drama Desk, Obie Awards, Audelco, Outer Critics Circle and much more. Our world premiere of the musical Langston In Harlem by Walter Marks (music and book) and Kent Gash (book and direction) garnered a Drama Desk Nomination, a Joe A. Calloway award and 4 Audelco awards including Best Musical Production of 2010. More recently, we've hand critically acclaimed hits with Mabel Madness by Tony-winner Trezana Beverley (2016), Communion by Daniel MacIvor (2016) and Angry Young Man by Ben Woolf (2017) which transferred to the John Drew Theatre at Guild Hall in East Hampton. Unseamly by Oren Safdie (2015) was a NY Times Critics Pick. Jim Brochu Character Man (2014) was nominated for a Drama Desk and an Outer Critics Circle award for Best Solo performance andHonky (2013) by Greg Kalleres saw a regional run at San Diego Rep and was televised nationally on PBS in late 2015. After production, most plays move on to larger venues. Men on The Verge Of A Hispanic Breakdown by Guillermo Reyes and Minor Demons by Bruce Graham both moved to commercial theatres. Chili Queen, a play by newscaster Jim Lehrer, transferred to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (1989). My Occasion of Sin (2012) by Monica Bauer won critical acclaim when it moved to Detroit Rep. Bill Bowers has toured the United States and the world with his two Urban Stages premieres blending mime and theatre - Beyond Words (2012) and Under A Montana Moon (2002)! Some Urban Stages premieres have even been developed into film and television projects such as Scar by Murray Mednick, Conversations with The Goddesses by Agapi Stassinopoulos, and Cotton Mary by Alexandra Viets. In addition to plays and musicals, annually we hold a music festival - Winter Rhythms - that features famous and up-and-coming Cabaret, musicians, lyricists and other music artists. In 2016, Winter Rhythms was honored with the Bistro Award for Outstanding Series, and in 2015, it received the Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Series MAC Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs.
Frances Hill (Founding Artistic Director) began her theatrical career in California as an actress. Since 1983, Ms. Hill has overseen more than 600 staged readings/workshops and 90 productions of new works for the stage. She has directed over 30 workshops and productions. Her favorite directing credits include: Gino DiIorio's Apostasy, Roma Greth's Our Summer Days, Jim Lehrer's Chili Queen, (directed at Urban Stages and Kennedy Center), John Picardi's Seven Rabbits on a Pole and The Sweepers (directed at Urban Stages and Capital Rep); Comfort Women by Chungmi Kim (Urban Stages 2004), 27 Rue De Fleurs and My Occasion of Sin. Two of her plays have been produced, Our Bench and Life Lines. Under the guidance of Ms. Hill, Playwrights' Preview Productions/Urban Stages have moved two plays into commercial Off-Broadway successes. Minor Demons opened the new Century Center Theater and Men on the Verge of His-Panic Breakdown won an Outer Critic's Circle Award while playing to capacity audiences at the 47th Street Theater. Urban Stages' African American Poets as Playwrights won eight Audelco Nominations and Coyote On a Fence received two Drama Desk nominations and a Pilgrim's Project Award. Eisa Davis's Bulrusher was one of three nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. 2010 production of Langston in Harlem won several drama desk nominations, a John Calloway award, and several Audelco nominations including a win for best music production of the year (2010), along with several other awards. Recently Character Man by Jim Brochu (2014) was nominated for a Drama Desk and Outer Critic's Circle award andMabel Madness by Trezana Beverley (2016) was nominated for an Audelco award.