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Wendy Beckett's A BETTER PLACE Heads Off-Broadway This Spring


The Directors Company, in association with Pascal Productions, will present A BETTER PLACE, a new work by playwright Wendy Beckett (Anaïs Nin: One Of Her Lives, A Charity Case) and directed by Evan Bergman (Love Therapy), will play a limited six-week engagement this spring at The Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET project (229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues).

A BETTER PLACE will begin performances Wednesday, May 4 and open Sunday, May 15, running through Sunday, June 12 only.

A BETTER PLACE is a hilarious new play about Manhattanites' lust for real estate. A male couple is transfixed by their neighbors; they can't tear themselves away from the window. The lifestyle over there is sumptuous, and they have a quirky daughter whose tastes run to exhibitionism. Speculation begins...where did they get all that wealth? And what about the kooky brokers who regularly visit them? Who are these funny people in the glorious glass box? We all want what they have! Could it be they have attained - A BETTER PLACE?

The creative team includes David Arsenault (scenic design), Russell H. Champa (lighting design), and Valerie Marcus Ramshur (costume design).

A BETTER PLACE marks Wendy Beckett's sixth of ten plays written for production in New York City over a ten-year period. The play also reunites Beckett with director Evan Bergman (Love Therapy) and scenic designer David Arsenault (A Charity Case).

Casting will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets will go on sale beginning Tuesday, March 15 and can be purchased through, by calling 646-223-3010, and in person at the Duke on 42nd Street box office (229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues). Tickets for all performances are $55.

WENDY BECKETT (Playwright) has written more than 25 theatre plays and directed more than 40. She has also written biographies, radio plays for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, books, librettos, articles of academic study and journalism. Her literary mentor was author Lawrence Durrell of The Alexandria Quartet. At 22 she founded a theatre company, ColoursInc, in Adelaide, Australia, where she was the playwright and company director with a staff of 50. On ABC Radio she conducted interviews with some of the best minds of our time - Gore Vidal, Leonard Bernstein and Paul Bowles. Her academic background includes literature, psychology and science, and she has lectured in universities in theatre, creative writing, literature and psychology. She brings all these enthusiasms to her writing. Her books and plays are collected by the Australian National Library in Canberra. For ten years now she has been writing, directing and producing her own work. She attracts and works with eminent Australian artists and has a passion for writing and staging biographical plays. For The Love Of Alma Mahler was performed at the Sydney Opera House. Her other areas of interest in playwriting range from domestic dramas to artistic, psychological and political dramas. Her first play performed in the USA, Anaïs Nin: One Of Her Lives opened at the Beckett Theatre, NYC in 2006.

EVAN BERGMAN (Director). For NTW: The Director with John Shea and The Last Five Years. Recent: world premieres include The M Spot by Michael Tucker, starring Emmy Award winner Jill Ekinberry (NJ Rep). New York/Regional: Love Therapy with Alison Frazer (Daryl Roth Theatre); Jack Canfora's Jericho (NY Times Critic Pick, 59E59); the critically acclaimed New York and Los Angeles production of The Director starring John Shea (Arc Light); Gryzk (Ensemble Studio Theater); The Glass House, with David Strathairn, Hope Davis, Laila Robbins and Geraint Wyn Davies (Connecticut and Barrington Stage); New York with Harris Yulin (three nominations including Best Actor and Best Ensemble, Clurman Theatre); A View of the Mountains by Pulitzer and Tony Award nominee Lee Blessing (NJ Rep).Workshop productions: Goodnight Sister by James Lapine (Cherry Lane Theater); reading with Christopher Walken in The Cootie Huff Story (MTC);Tough Cookie with Judd Hirsch and David Schwimmer (Playwrights Horizon).

THE DIRECTORS COMPANY (Michael Parva, Artistic Producer / Leah Michalos, Managing Director) is an award-winning, not-for-profit theatre company with a mission to develop and produce groundbreaking new plays and musicals. For over twenty-five years, The Directors Company (TDC) has supported new theatre artists and their projects in the development of original theatre works from inception to production. Among the works TDC has developed and produced: Irena's Vow, by Dan Gordon, starring Tovah Feldshuh, directed by Michael Parva, which received an extended Off-Broadway run before transferring to the Walter Kerr Theater on Broadway, where it was honored with an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding New Broadway Play. Other recent Off-Broadway productions include Almost Home by Walter Anderson, On a Stool at the End of the Bar by Robert Callely, The Road to Damascus by Tom Dulack, Jericho and Poetic License (by Jack Canfora, directed by Evan Bergman) and Murder in the First (by Dan Gordon, directed by Michael Parva). Additional major productions developed or produced by TDC: Bat Boy: The Musical, with music by Larson Award-winner Laurence O'Keefe (Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best New Musical); The Milliner by Suzanne Glass; The Passion of Frida Kahlo, featuring Tony Award-winning actress Priscilla Lopez; Kilt by Jonathan Wilson (GLAAD Media Award nomination); AVOW by award-winning playwright Bill C. Davis; Tony Phelan and Joan Rater's Good Will, which was optioned for a major motion picture; Bad Girls, adapted by award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates from her own short story; The Ballad of Little Jo (Richard Rodgers Award and a Kleban Award for Sarah Schlesinger's libretto); Drifting Elegant by Stephen Belber (first ever Development Grant awarded by The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays); and Once Upon a Time in New Jersey, a Richard Rodgers and Kleban Lyricist Award-winning musical by Susan DiLallo and Stephen Weiner.

DAVID L. ARSENAULT (Scenic Design). Select NYC: H2O (GroundUP at 59E59), Sense of an Ending (59E59), the NY Times Critic's Picks Handle With Care (Westside Theatre), The Awake (59E59), and Long Story Short (Prospect). International: English Theatre Berlin, Germany. Outside NYC: Bay Street Theatre, Kitchen Theatre Company, Geva Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Northern Stage, Merry Go Round Playhouse, Gulfshore Playhouse, Urban Arias, Bucks County Playhouse, and others. Broadway (Associate): The Color Purple (current revival), King Charles III, and Constellations. Upcoming: Peer Gynt (Classic Stage Company). Member: United Scenic Artists 829. Education: Ithaca College.

RUSSELL H. CHAMPA (Lighting Design). Current and recent projects include: School for Scandal (Red Bull Theater), Rain (Old Globe Theater), The Unfortunates (American Conservatory Theater), An Opening In Time (Hartford Stage), Desire (59E59/The Acting Company), The Light Years (NYSAF/The Debate Society), The Qualms (Playwrights Horizons), Brownsville Song (Long Wharf and Philadelphia Theater Company), Thresh:Hold (Pilobolus). Broadway: China Doll (Schoenfeld Theater), In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play (Lyceum Theater/Lincoln Center), and Julia Sweeney's God Said "Ha!" (Lyceum Theater). New York Companies: Lincoln Center Theater, NYSF/The Public Theater, Second Stage, MTC, The Vineyard, Atlantic, New York Stage And Film. Regional: Steppenwolf, Arena Stage, Wilma, CalShakes, Trinity Rep, Mark Taper Forum, and Kennedy Center.

VALERIE MARCUS RAMSHUR (Costume Design). Lucille Lortel nominee and critically acclaimed costume designer, and associate costume designer. Broadway credits: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, A Behanding in Spokane, The MotherF**ker with the Hat, Lombardi, Carolyn Or Change, Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam, Bobbi Boland and Nice Work If You Can Get It. Other work: Madonna Rebel Heart Tour, Victoria Martin Math Team Queen, Tuesdays With Morrie, Till The Break Of Dawn, Meshugah, The Glass House, and Ruined.

THE NEW 42ND STREET. Founded in 1990, the NEW 42ND STREET is an independent nonprofit organization charged with the continuous cultural revival of 42nd Street between 7th and 8thAvenues. Committed to the transformational power of the arts, the NEW 42ND STREET builds on the foundation of seven historic theaters to make extraordinary performing arts and cultural engagement part of everyone's life. The NEW 42ND STREET fulfills this purpose by ensuring the ongoing vibrancy of 42nd Street's historic theaters; maintaining and fully using the NEW 42ND STREET Studios and The Duke on 42nd Street to support performing artists in the creation of their work; and through The New Victory Theater, New York's premier theater for kids and families.

THE DUKE ON 42ND STREET. The Duke on 42nd Street is an intimate black-box performance space in the heart of the theater district, which is available for rental to both nonprofit and commercial organizations. Featuring a gallery along all four walls and a custom, state-of-the-art seating system, The Duke on 42nd Street is a fully-staffed facility that offers full light, sound, and support systems in various configurations. Some performing arts companies have called The Duke on 42nd Street their home, including Primary Stages, Transport Group, Theatre for a New Audience and Lincoln Center Theater LCT3, while other acclaimed companies have performed on its stage, including The Royal Court Theatre, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Armitage Gone! Dance, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Naked Angels, Classical Theater of Harlem and the National Theater of Great Britain.

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