All-Female Cast Set for U.S. English Language Debut of VILLA at PlayCo
Led by Founding Producer Kate Loewald, The Play Company (PlayCo) has announced the casting and creative team for the U.S. English language premiere of Guillermo Calderón's Villa (March 1-April 1), which is set to open on March 12.
The all-female cast includes Crystal Finn, Vivia Font and Harmony Stempel. Chilean artist María Fernanda Videla Urra, who designed Villa's site-specific world premiere in Chile, joins the creative team as production designer for this new production.
PlayCo has a unique commitment to premiering work from around the world to advance a dynamic, international experience of contemporary theater in New York, and that tradition continues this Spring with Villa. Calderon is best known to New York audiences for Neva, which was presented at The Public in 2013, and his 2011 and 2016 appearances in the Under the Radar Festival with his own company Teatro en el Blanco.
Calderón's slyly surprising and gripping play focuses on the demolished site of the Villa Grimaldi, an infamous detention camp located just outside Santiago, Chile. In fact, Villa was first performed on the grounds. In Villa, three women have been tasked with deciding the fate of the historical site, where about 4,500 people were held and disappeared during the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship during the late 1970s. Should the villa be reconstructed, or should a museum be built in its place? Or a park? How do we walk the path from remembrance to renewal? How do we use painful collective memory to move forward as a country? With Villa, Chile's preeminent contemporary writer/director injects wry humor into the complex process of making a new country.
Performances of Villa will take place from March 1 to April 1 at The Wild Project (195 East 3rd Street, Manhattan). Critics are welcome as of Wednesday, March 8 for an official opening on Sunday, March 12.
Tickets are $35 for general admission and $45 for reserved seating, and can be purchased by visiting playco.org or calling 866-811-4111. $15 Student advance tickets are subject to availability (must present ID at box office) and $10 Student rush tickets are available at the box office 30 minutes prior to curtain for each performance, no advance sales, with a valid student ID.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Guillermo Calderón is a playwright and director based in New York. He graduated with a degree in Arts specializing in Acting from the Universidad de Chile and studied abroad graduating from the Della'Arte School of Physical Theater in California, USA. He also has a Master of Liberal Arts with a specialization in Film, from the City University of New York.
His first play as a writer & director was Neva, which won multiple awards including: Best Play of the year in 2006 by the Art Critics Circle of Chile, three Altazor Awards in 2007 and the 2008 Jose Nuez Martin Award. In 2008, he debuted Clase, which also won Best Play of the Year (Art Critics Circle of Chile) and was nominated as Best Playwright for the Altazor Awards. In 2008 he wrote and directed December, which won the 2010 Bank of Scotland Angel Award (Edinburgh International Festival). His recent plays include the duo of Villa and Speech, which premiered in Chile at the international festival Santiago A Mil, and then went on to run at the Memory Museum in Santiago.
Mr. Calderón's plays have extensively toured the world, including Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, Portugal, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, England and of course, Chile. Festival stops have included The Buenos Aires International Theatre Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Seoul Performing Arts Festival, Chekhov Festival in Moscow, Iberoamerica Theatre Festival in Spain, TeatroStageFest, Vienna Theatre Festival, World Theatre Festival in Brussels, The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival, and RADAR L.A., accompanied by the 2011 TCG conference. His commissioned play Gold Rush just premiered at Theater Basel, Switzerland. His screenwriting credits include Violeta (se fue a los cielos), Chile's 2012 Oscar entry in the Foreign Film category, and El Club (2016 Silver Bear Award, Berlin, 2016 Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film) and Neruda (2017 Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film) with director by Pablo Larrain.
Crystal Finn's New York Credits include Kingdom Come (Roundabout), Pocatello, Antlia Pneumatica (Playwrights Horizons), 16 Words or Less, La Brea, Luther, Five Genocides (Clubbed Thumb), Summer Shorts (59E59), Bird in the Hand (Fulcrum). Regional: Cleveland Playhouse, Two River, Trinity Rep, George Street, Dorset Theater. She received her MFA from Brown/Trinity, and her BA from UC Berkeley. She is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb Theater.
Vivia Font's New York Credits include Underneathmybed (Rattlestick), Menders (Gym at Judson), The Collected Wks Billy the Kid (Columbia Stages), The Hummingbird Song (Rep Espanol/INTAR, La Tempestad (Ohio Theatre) Goethe's Faust (Blue Heron Arts Center). Film and TV Credits include Rutherford State Park, Money, Success, Fame..., One Life to Live, Sarbanes Oxley, This is Not My Beautiful Life.
Harmony Stempel has just graduated from the two year conservatory program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio. Over the past decade, Stempel has been active in various theatre and film projects throughout New York City, the northeastern US and abroad. Her work has been seen at The Barrow Group Theater, Theater for the New City, Center Stages, Ars Nova, The New Ohio Theater with terraNOVA Collective's soloNOVA Arts Festival, The New York International Fringe Festival, Baruch College, Yale University, The Philadelphia Fringe Festival and theaters in Prague, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and throughout New Zealand.
María Fernanda Videla Urra studied acting at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Theater School and has worked as a film and stage actress. She has designed several productions in Chile including Teatro a Mil's site specific world premiere of Guillermo Calderon's Villa and Discurso. She is currently an MFA candidate in the design program at Cal Arts.
The Play Company is an OBIE Award-winning Off Broadway theater Production Company. PlayCo has produced 31 new plays from the United States, Germany, Romania, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Japan, India, Mexico, France, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England. Their most recent production is the acclaimed New York premiere of Caught written by Christopher Chen and directed by Lee Sunday Evans. PlayCo develops and produces adventurous new plays from the U.S. and around the world, advancing a dynamic global practice of contemporary theater and expanding the American theater repertoire.
As the only New York company regularly producing outstanding contemporary plays from around the world alongside new American work, PlayCo's distinctive international programming links American theatre with world theater, American artists with the global creative community, and American audiences with a whole world of plays.