Animus Theatre in association with The Dirty Blondes Present The New York Premiere Of Leslye Headland's SURFER GIRL

Article Pixel

Animus Theatre Company (Jonathan Judge-Russo, Founding Artistic Director), an artist-driven company whose mission is to explore and illuminate the resilience of the human spirit, is thrilled to announce that its 2018-2019 programming will kick-off this April with the New York premiere of Surfer Girl by acclaimed screen & playwright Leslye Headland (Assistance, Bachelorette). Performances of this exciting New York premiere will take place on Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 7:00pm (doors open 7:00pm, performance begins 7:30pm)beginning April 10 and continuing through May 30, 2018, at The Foley Gallery (59 Orchard Street, between Grand and Hester), located in Manhattan's esteemed Lower Eastside gallery district.

What happens when we disappear in order to survive; softening our edges and blurring our outlines to the point of invisibility so the people around us will, well...keep us around? Surfer Girl, Ms. Headland's one- woman play exploring the sin of sloth, and part of her "Seven Deadly Plays" cycle, tackles these questions. Not exactly homeless, never quite broke, always ready to become whomever she needs to be in order to stick around just that little bit longer, Surfer Girl chronicles a young woman's affectless journey through life as she combats that passively inert state of mind that gives rise to her loss of self and to...couch surfing.

Animus is thrilled to announce, joining in to lend their support for the playwright and this production of Surfer Girl is the female led, critically lauded as "raw, contemporary and edgy" company, The Dirty Blondes. As a company dedicated to breaking down all human stereotypes,The Dirty Blondes are proud to support the works of female playwrights such as Leslye Headland. Animus could not be more excited to present Surfer Girl in association with this company and its nuanced, feminist mission.

Though previously presented as a typical theatrical experience, Animus Theatre Company will remove Surfer Girl from its intended setting by placing it in a conceptual performative environment - the art gallery - and featuring eight actresses under the direction of four different directors across its 16 performances. By showcasing multiple actors and directors the company aims to give each performance a unique interpretation of the same sin, sloth. No matter what social class, geopolitical demographic, race or sexual preference, by contrasting our differences and highlighting our similarities, the company hopes this production will serve to emphasize how the human struggle is ultimately the same regardless of these differences, and how we as humans are all susceptible to the same "sins."

The company is excited to announce that the four directors of Surfer Girl, who will each work with two different actors and showcase their directions over four performances, will include Alex Correia (Where's My Money?), Noah Himmelstein (I Am Anne Hutchinson & I Am Harvey Milk at Lincoln Center), Taphat Tawil (The Sky is The Gap), and Jen Wineman (My Heart is in the East). In addition, Animus is thrilled to announce that company members Courtney Shaw, Erin Leigh Schmoyer, Amy Northrup, and Sara Canter will make up half of the ensemble of eight performers, each of which will work with one director for two performances. The names of four guest artists and the specifics of whom each director is working with will be announced at a later date.

Performances of Surfer Girl will take place at The Foley Gallery (59 Orchard Street, between Grand and Hester) on Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 7:00pm (doors open 7:00pm, performance begins 7:30pm) beginning April 10 and continuing through May 30, 2018. Tickets are available for $30 each by visiting For more information about Animus Theatre Company and its production of Surfer Girl, please visit

ABOUT Leslye Headland

Leslye Headland began her career writing and directing the Seven Deadly Plays series at IAMA Theatre Company in LA. Her Off-Broadway plays include Bachelorette, Assistance and The Layover. Bachelorette was the basis for her 2012 directorial film debut starring Kirsten Dunst, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Other film credits include writing the 2014 remake of About Last Night starring Kevin Hart and writing/directing Sleeping with Other People starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie which also premiered at Sundance in 2015. TV credits include: pilots for HBO, Netflix and NBC, Terriers, Blunt Talk and Heathers. Headland's Sin Cycle is currently onstage at IAMA in LA, with the world premiere of the seventh and final play in the cycle, Cult of Love ("pride"), in a full production at IAMA in May 2018. Headland is currently working on her new show for Netflix, Russian Doll.


ALEX CORREIA is a New York City based freelance theatre director, educator, and actor. He served as Resident Director at INTAR Theatre in New York City from 2007 to 2009 and Director of INTAR's Actors Collective from 2006 to 2009. He has developed new plays at INTAR, The Lark Play Development Center, the MFA Dramatic Writing Program at New York University, and the MFA Playwriting Program at Hunter College. His Directing Credits include: Song for the Disappeared by Tanya Saracho at The Passage Theater (NJ), Where's My Money? by John Patrick Shanley at The Cherry Lane Theater; Leak by Fernanda Coppel at INTAR, Three to a Session by Desi Moreno-Penson at INTAR; Thorny Bushes - a staged musical radio play at the Daryl Roth Cabaret Theatre; I Am Yours by Judith Thompson at Center Stage NY; and Othello by Shakespeare at the John Houseman Theatre. His Assisting Directing Credits include: Robin Hood directed by Joel Sass at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; The Cherry Orchard directed by Andrei Belgrader at the Classic Stage Company (NY); Design for Living directed by Gregory Boyd at the Williamstown Theater Festival; Lysistrata directed by Andrei Serban at A.R.T (Boston); Scapin directed by Chris Bayes at Intiman Theater (Seattle) and The Court Theater (Chicago). Education: Alex holds a BFA in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College and is a graduate of The Juilliard School Directing Program, where he received the three-year Andrew W. Mellon Directing Fellowship.

Noah Himmelstein - Andrew Lippa's I Am Anne Hutchinson & I Am Harvey Milk (Lincoln Center, Strathmore, Nourse Theatre, Disney Hall, Bellco Theatre), Michael John LaChiusa and Ellen Fitzhugh's Los Otros and J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls (Everyman), Jonathan Tolins'sThe Forgotten Woman (Bay Street). Additional directing: Fredericia Teater (Denmark), NY Philharmonic, Weston Playhouse, Goodspeed, New Dramatists, American Opera Projects. Asst. Director to James Lapine and Bartlett Sher. Associate Artistic Director of Baltimore's Everyman Theatre. Upcoming: Karen Hartman's The Book of Joseph.

TAPHAT TAWIL - Theater work includes: with Roebuck Theatrical: An Act of God (Booth Theater); The Play That Goes Wrong (Lyceum Theater); with Animus: The John Patrick Shanley Festival & The Leslye Headland Sin Cycle (Circle In The Square Theatre); Where's My Money? by John Patrick Shanley (The Cherry Lane Theater); Asst. Director to Alan Langdon; Dutch Heart of Man by Bob Glaudini; The Seagull by Anton Chekov, After The Fall by Arthur Miller. Film work includes: The Sky is The Gap (Dir. Rachel Rossin) a VR New Frontiers Selection at Sundance 2017;Sangre De Mi Sangre (Dir. Christopher Zalla) Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner and multi-Indie Spirit Award nominee; Tie A Yellow Ribbon (PBS), Bird People (Pascale Ferran), Cannes Film Festival; The Borne Ultimatum and Fair Game. TV includes: Damages, Gossip Girl and Lip Sync Battle. As Art Director of The Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge: directing, curating & producing exhibitions and multi-media performances for visual, film, music and performance artists including Chuck Close, John Lurie, Jihae Kim & 3MB Collective. Executive Producer for The Dirty Blondes.

Jen Wineman is a Brooklyn-based director/choreographer. New York: My Heart is in the East(La Mama); Fable (NYMF), The King's Whore (Walkerspace); F#%king Up Everything (Elektra Theater); Estrella Cruz [The Junkyard Queen] (Ars Nova). Regional: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Asolo Rep & Miami New Drama); Shakespeare in Love (Virginia Rep); Into the West(Tantrum Theater); Baskerville (Dorset Theatre Festival); Sweeney Todd (Playmakers Rep); The 39 Steps, Shipwrecked (Triad Stage). Tours: Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Asolo Rep). B.A. Vassar, M.F.A. Yale.


Animus Theatre Company is an artist-driven company whose mission is to explore and illuminate the resilience of the human spirit. Animus Theatre Company (Amy Northup, Assoc. Artistic Director; Karen Sours, Literary Director) produced its first play, John Patrick Shanley's Where's My Money? at the Cherry Lane Theatre, in 2012. Notable productions include Collected Shorts by Tennessee Williams (Moony's Kid Don't Cry, The Pink Bedroom, Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen, and The Long Goodbye), Pericles, Prince of Tyre by Shakespeare, and two 12-Hour Reading Festivals featuring the Sin Cycle works of Leslye Headland (The Accidental Blonde,Assistance, Bachelorette, Cinephilia, Reverb, and Surfer Girl) and John Patrick Shanley (The Big Funk, Defiance, Italian American Reconciliation, Moonstruck, The Red Coat, Sailor's Song,Savage in Limbo, Women of Manhattan) at Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre.

Notable artists who have worked with Animus Theatre Company include playwrights Lesyle Headland, Theresa Rebeck, John Patrick Shanley, Bob Glaudini; directors Pamela Adlon, Edward Berkeley, Matthew Lillard, Andrew Lippa, Alan Langdon; and stage & film actors Alexis Bledel, Ben Foster, Andre Holland and Margo Seibert, among others.


The mission of the NY based theater company, The Dirty Blondes, is feminist in nature, with a goal to break down stereotypes and encourage a nuanced, inclusive dialog. Founded by Artistic Director Ashley Jacobson and Executive Director Elizabeth Sarkady in 2012, the company seeks to explore the nature of all human prejudice, subverting face value perception with sophisticated and subtle shades of distinction.

Notable productions include the Off-Broadway premiere of Jacobson's (Winner, Overall Excellence in Playwriting, 2015 FringeNYC) The American Play at the Soho Playhouse;The Resister Project, a week long, ACLU fundraising festival, held during the first days of the Trump presidency; SEX by Mae West, a staged reading spotlighting the icon's famously banned play with panel discussions featuring sex workers and feminist historians; and Detroit, NY a short play festival featuring seven Detroit-based playwrights, aiming to shed light on Detroit's shifting culture and state of bankruptcy.

The Dirty Blondes are resident artists at Horse Trade Theater, producing in its celebrated downtown venues Under St. Mark's and The Kraine Theater. For details about The Dirty Blondes and the upcoming season visit:


Foley Gallery, located in the heart of the LES gallery district, has been focused primarily on drawing, cut paper, painting and photography. Its new space in the historic landmark "Pink Building" at 59 Orchard St, is allowing the gallery to expand its horizons and to feature a wider variety of mediums and hosted events.

Related Articles View More Off-Off-Broadway Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You