Urban Stages' 31st Season to Include SHATTER, WINTER RHYTHMS 2014 & More

By: Sep. 10, 2014

Frances Hill, Founding Artistic Director of Urban Stages, today announced the 2014-'15 season which will launch with the American Premiere of the award-winning drama Shatter by prolific Canadian playwright Trina Davies.

A world, a town, a romance can shatter in an instant. 1917 Halifax: the largest man-made explosion before Hiroshima hits Nova Scotia, Canada. Devastation unimaginable; the witch-hunt begins for someone to blame. At the center of it all stands Anna Maclean, a teenager whose first romance is threatened when her family considers an enemy within their fold. Shocking and surprisingly relevant to our post-9/11 world, this critically acclaimed Canadian play in its American premiere is an eerie examination of the cycles of fear. Shatter has been hailed as "a thoroughly engrossing, haunting performance, and one that you will be unable to forget or cast aside for some time to come" (Vue Magazine); "an intense, moving, thought-provoking, very human drama" declared the Halifax Herald); and St Albert Gazette said "Shatter unfolds close to the heart, splintering it into a million pieces as it follows the prejudiced upshot of the 1917 Halifax explosion...[the production is] a living, breathing gem."

This limited Off-Broadway engagement will run at Urban Stages (259 West 30th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues) from October 18th to November 16th, 2014 with Opening Night set for Thursday, October 23rd. Director Susan Fenichell (Marion Bridge 2005) returns to Urban Stages for this unique play. Her design team will be Rebecca Phillips (scenic design), Mary Louise Geiger (lighting), Kim Sorenson (costumes), Lucy Mackinnon (projections), and Sean Hagerty (sound designer/composer). The production staff includes Casting Director Daryl Eisenberg, Production Stage Manager Brian D. Gold, Associate Producer Peter Napolitano and Marketing Director Antoinette Mullins. Casting for the production will be announced shortly.

WINTER RHYTHMS 2014 (December 2nd - 14th) will mark the sixth year that Urban Stages has brought noted musical artists to its stage during the holiday period. This acclaimed series, produced and programmed by award-winning musical theatre/cabaret veteran Peter Napolitano, benefits Urban Stages' outstanding Outreach Program, which brings over 300 FREE "arts in education" performances and workshops to libraries and schools throughout the five boroughs. Among the performers, musicians and writers who have donated their time and talent to participate in Winter Rhythms over the years are Leslie Uggams, Karen Akers, Christine Andreas, Karen Ziemba, Lynn Cohen, Robert Cuccioli, Adrianne Lenox, Tonya Pinkins, KT Sullivan, Mark Nadler, Marilyn Maye, Steve Ross, Joe Iconis, Glen Roven, Lauren Flanigan and hundreds more. Special events of past seasons included A Centennial Celebration of Mary Martin, A Salute to Singers/Songwriters of the 1970s, and Sinatra at the Movies. Participating artists and events for the 2014 series will be announced in October.

Urban Stages is located at 259 West 30th Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues). For Shatter, preview performances will be Sat., Oct. 18th at 3pm & 8pm, Sun., Oct. 19th at 2pm & 7pm, , Tues./Wed., Oct. 21-22 at 7pm. Opening night is Thurs., Oct. 23rd. Post-opening performances will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturday at 3pm & 8pm, and Sundays at 5pm, through November 16th. Tickets will be $40, with preview tickets for only $25. Opening Night tickets are available to the public for $50, which includes the performance and a Champagne reception. Student Rush tickets are available for $15 (with valid ID, 15 minutes before curtain, subject to availability). Tickets may be purchased at www.SmartTix.com or by phone at 212/868-4444. For more information about Urban Stages, please visit www.urbanstages.org.

Tickets for Urban Stages Patrons' Night on Tuesday, October 28th, 2013 (6:30pm Cocktails / 7pm Show / 9pm Dinner) is available for $125. For tickets and information, please call 212/421-1380.

Trina Davies is based in Vancouver BC Canada. Her award-winning plays include Multi User Dungeon, Shatter, The Auction and Waxworks. Her latest play, The Romeo Initiative, was a finalist for Canada's top dramatic literature prize, the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama in 2012. Her plays have been performed across Canada and in a number of other countries. She is currently working on a new play entitled The Bone Bridge examining the culpability of nationalism and leadership through the lives of people who survive war for a large regional theatre in Canada; as well as researching for a new play commissioned by another large regional theatre, entitled Silence about the lives of Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell. She is a member of the Alberta Playwrights Network, the Playwrights Theatre Centre and the Playwrights Guild of Canada. For more information on Trina and her work, check out www.trinadavies.com

Susan Fenichell is a freelance director and Artistic Director of Hopeful Monsters, an award-winning collaborative performance group. She has directed new plays and classics both in New York and at regional theatres across the country ((MCC, Paper Mill Playhouse, La MaMa, NYSAF, Urban Stages, NYU-Tisch, Juilliard, Huntington Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center, Studio Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The O'Neill Center, etc.) She was Associate Artistic Director at the Intiman Theater (Seattle), where in addition to directing numerous mainstage productions, she created new play development programs and an acting internship company. She has directed several operas (Curtis Institute, Philadelphia) and her production of Stravinsky's A Soldier's Tale was performed with both the Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Symphony. Currently, her Carnegie Hall productions are performing around the country and internationally. Other work abroad includes the Ilkholm Theatre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She has been a Guest Artist/Lecturer /Director at NYU-Tisch, Juilliard, Yale, Williamstown Theater Festival, Princeton, UNCSA, University of Texas, University of Washington, and The National Theatre Conservatory, among others.

Urban Stages enters its 2014-15 Off-Broadway season right after a very successful 30th anniversary season that saw Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Jim Brochu's Character Man (Spring 2014). It also saw the return of New York Times Critics Pick and Audelco Award nominated Honky by Greg Kalleres, which will soon have its regional premiere this fall at the San Diego Rep. Founded in 1984 by Artistic Director Frances Hill, award-winning Urban Stages has produced countless plays and musicals (mainly world premieres) as well as other performance events. Most notably this has included the award-winning musical Langston in Harlem by Kent Gash, Walter Marks with Langston Hughes poetry. Langston in Harlem received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Actress, a John Callaway Award for Best Choreography and four Audelco Awards including Best Musical. Honky received a New York Times Critic's Pick and an Audelco Nomination for Best Actor. However, Urban Stages' impact on theater and performance art has been even more wide reaching. The 2007 World Premiere of Eisa Davis' Bulrusher (2007) received a Pulitzer Prize nomination in drama. The World Premiere of My Occasion of Sin by Monica Bauer (2012) has led to a run at Detroit Repertory Theatre. The New York Premiere of ReEntry by KJ Sanchez and Emily Ackerman produced in 2010 is currently touring military bases and regional theatres across the country and the 2008 world premiere of the Joe Iconis musical ReWrite was critically acclaimed. Urban Stages' 2011 Musical Legends and its annual Winter Rhythms music festival have garnered rave reviews and multiple MAC (Manhattan Assoc. of Cabarets and Clubs) nominations and awards. Productions of Men On The Verge Of A Hispanic Breakdown by Guillermo Reyes, and Minor Demons by Bruce Graham subsequently moved to commercial theatres. Chili Queen, a play by newscaster Jim Lehrer, transferred to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (1989). The majority of works developed at Urban Stages have had further productions commercially, regionally, and abroad. In addition, numerous projects developed at Urban Stages have been adapted into film and television projects, including Scar, by Murray Mednick, Conversations with the Goddesses, by Agapi Stassinopoulos, and Cotton Mary, by Alexandra Viets. Our history demonstrates a commitment to cultivating new perspectives that reflect our diverse and heterogeneous society. We have been recognized for this commitment through multiple nominations and awards (Drama Desk, Obie, etc), Proclamations from the Mayor of New York City and the President of the Borough of Brooklyn, among many others honors.

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 Chugmi 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' 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, several Audelco nominations including a win for best music production of the year (2010), along with several other awards.


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