Ars Nova At Greenwich House Launches With World Premiere Of MRS. MURRAY'S MENAGERIE

By: Feb. 12, 2019
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Ars Nova, "one of the most adventurous Off-Broadway companies" (New York Times), under the leadership of Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan and Managing Director Renee Blinkwolt, is proud to kick-off Ars Nova at Greenwich House with the world premiere commission of Mrs. Murray's Menagerie, created by The Mad Ones and Phillip James Brannon, Brad Heberlee, Carmen M. Herlihy and January LaVoy. Directed by Lila Neugebauer, Mrs. Murray's Menagerie marks The Mad Ones' first production since their critically acclaimed play Miles For Mary and celebrates 10 years of "triumphantly original" and "skillfully acted" (New York Times) theater that is saturated with "precision, invention, and richness" (Time Out New York). The Mad Ones has been Ars Nova's Company-in-Residence since 2015, developing Mrs. Murray's Menagerie and Miles For Mary.

In Mrs. Murray's Menagerie, the creators of a 1970's children's television program have commissioned a focus group to probe the parents of the show's target audience. Over stale coffee and donuts, a group of strangers navigates the murky waters of American belief and perception.

Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan remarked, "Since discovering The Mad Ones in ANT Fest 2009, it's been one of my greater pleasures to watch them grow as artists and human beings. With Mrs. Murray's Menagerie, their uniquely collaborative process paired with an unending curiosity has once again elevated them to new creative heights. As Ars Nova's Company-In-Residence since 2015, it's thrilling to have their commission launch Ars Nova at Greenwich House, our new second home."

The cast for Mrs. Murray's Menagerie includes The Mad Ones' company members Marc Bovino, Joe Curnutte, Michael Dalto and Stephanie Wright Thompson who are joined by Phillip James Brannon, Brad Heberlee, Carmen M. Herlihy and January LaVoy,

The creative team includes You-Shin Chen & Laura Jellinek (Scenic Design), Ásta Bennie Hostetter (Costume Design), Mike Inwood (Lighting Design), Stowe Nelson (Sound Design), Emmie Finckel & Noah Mease (Prop Design), Alfreda "Fre" Howard - Face by Fre, LLC (Wig & Makeup Design), Sarah Lunnie (Dramaturg), Raja Feather Kelly (Core Artistic Collaborator), Lauren Port (Casting Consultant), John C. Moore (Production Stage Manager) and Bryan Bauer (Assistant Stage Manager).

Performances of Mrs. Murray's Menagerie will take place March 26-April 27 at Ars Nova at Greenwich House (27 Barrow Street) with an opening night of April 8. Tickets, starting at $35, go on sale February 26. Mighty and Super Novas will have pre-sale access to the cheapest tickets. ARSNOVANYC.COM for more info.

Ars Nova's Ticket Initiative, generously supported by New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs, Con Edison and the Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation, underwrites the cost of tickets to all performances. Acknowledging that a major barrier to arts access is cost, the Ticket Initiative removes this barrier by making general admission tickets to our Off Broadway Premiere Productions $35 for every performance during the initial run, without any hoops to jump through. Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of theater artists and, through the Ticket Initiative, makes it accessible to the next generation of audiences - all while also paying those artists a living wage!

The Mad Ones are a New York City-based company that creates ensemble-driven new work. The Mad Ones consist of Co-Artistic Directors Marc Bovino (writer/performer), Joe Curnutte (writer/performer), Stephanie Wright Thompson (writer/performer), Lila Neugebauer (writer/director), Associate Director Michael Dalto (writer/performer) and company members Laura Jellinek (sets), Ásta Bennie Hostetter (costumes), Mike Inwood (lights), Sarah Lunnie (dramaturgy) and Stowe Nelson (sound). The Mad Ones' plays include Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Tremendous Tremendous, The Essential Straight & Narrow and Miles for Mary. The Mad Ones have received significant accolades and critical praise, including multiple New York Times Critics' Picks, Five Star Time Out New York reviews, Drama Desk, and Lucille Lortel Nominations and multiple New York Innovative Theatre Awards. The Mad Ones are company-in-residence at Ars Nova.

Marc Bovino (Performer/Writer/co-Artistic Director) The Mad Ones: Miles for Mary (Lucille Lortel Outstanding Featured Actor Nominee), The Essential Straight & Narrow, Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Tremendous Tremendous and Inspector Pennywhistle... New York: Be The Death of Me (The Civilians, Irondale Center) Trade Practices, Lush Valley, Rus(h) (HERE). Regional: A Christmas Carol, Dracula (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Uncle Sam's Satiric Spectacular (Humana Festival), A Christmas Carol (Hartford Stage).

Phillip James Brannon (Performer/Writer) Broadway: Junk (Lincoln Center). Off-Broadway: The Antipodes (Signature Theatre); Bootycandy (Obie Award; Playwrights Horizons), Tiny Beautiful Things, ToasT (The Public); The City of Conversation (Lincoln Center); Nat Turner in Jerusalem, Love and Information, Belleville (New York Theatre Workshop); We Are Proud To Present... (Soho Rep.). Regional: A Confederacy of Dunces (Huntington); Bootycandy (Wilma, Woolly Mammoth); The Brother/Sister Plays, The March (Steppenwolf); Court Theatre; Kansas City Rep; numerous productions at The Goodman and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. TV: "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Elementary," "Law & Order: SVU," "The Plug." Film: Contagion. BFA in Acting from DePaul University.

Joe Curnutte (Performer/Writer/co-Artistic Director) The Mad Ones: Miles for Mary, The Essential Straight & Narrow, Samuel & Alasdair, The Tremendous Tremendous and Inspector Pennywhistle and the Nefarious Case of the Sweet Shop Murder. Also a writer/actor of Unnatural Acts (CSC, multiple Drama Desk nominee). TV: The Get Down (Netflix), American Odyssey (NBC), Person of Interest (CBS) and the upcoming series HALF LIFE. Featured in Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption II.

Michael Dalto (Performer/Writer/Associate Director) The Mad Ones: Miles for Mary, The Essential Straight & Narrow, Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Tremendous Tremendous. Regional: Pride and Prejudice, Shipwrecked! The Amazing Adventures of Louis De Rougemont (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Brink! (Humana Festival), Man of La Mancha, A Christmas Carol, Romeo & Juliet (Virginia Stage Co.), Lemony Snickett's The Composer is Dead (Virginia Symphony Orchestra), Pericles, Robin Hood (Georgia Shakespeare Festival).

Brad Heberlee (Performer/Writer) Most recently appeared in Bess Wohl's Make Believe at Hartford Stage. Off-Broadway: A Life (Playwrights Horizons), Small Mouth Sounds (Ars Nova), Peter Pan (Bedlam), These Paper Bullets! (Atlantic), This Beautiful City (Vineyard/Civilians), Vanity Fair, The Bald Soprano (Pearl), The Thugs (Soho Rep). Regional: Yale Rep, Geffen Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, Actors Theatre of Louisville, ART, Huntington, Denver Center, Center Stage. Television: White Collar, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Person Of Interest, Unforgettable. Education: Yale School of Drama.

Carmen M. Herlihy (Performer/Writer) Select Credits Include - Theater: Kingdom Come (Roundabout), Top Girls (Huntington Theatre), The Tomb of King Tot (Clubbed Thumb), crooked (Women's Project; Lucille Lortel Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress), The Piano Teacher (Vineyard Theatre); TV: Mrs. Fletcher, High Maintenance, Madam Secretary; Film: The Trouble with Cali, The Switch, The Rebound, Burn After Reading, Morning Glory, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, My First Kiss and the People Involved; Training: NYU Tisch, RADA, The Public Theater Shakespeare Lab. For Judes.

January LaVoy (Performer/Writer) Broadway: ENRON. Off-Broadway: Wakey, Wakey, Funnyhouse of a Negro, Two Trains Running, Home (Signature); Measure for Measure (TFANA); Wings (2ST); Coraline (MCC). Selected Regional: Native Guard (Alliance Theatre), Joe Turner's Come and Gone (Mark Taper Forum), Benny & Joon (Old Globe), Good People (Pittsburgh Public), A Streetcar Named Desire, Lobby Hero, The Merchant of Venice (Denver Center). TV: Blue Bloods, Law & Order, Noelle Ortiz on One Life to Live. VO: 200+ audiobooks, multiple Audie Awards.

Lila Neugebauer (Director/Writer/co-Artistic Director) Recent Off-Broadway: Albee's At Home at the Zoo, Annie Baker's The Antipodes, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Everybody, Albee's The Sandbox, Fornes' Drowning and Kennedy's Funnyhouse of a Negro, Gurney's The Wayside Motor Inn (Signature Theatre); Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves (Lincoln Center, Playwrights Realm); Zoe Kazan's After the Blast, Abe Koogler's Kill Floor (LCT3). With The Mad Ones: Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Essential Straight and Narrow, and Miles for Mary (Playwrights Horizons). Upcoming: Tracy Letts' Mary Page Marlowe (Second Stage), Peace for Mary Frances (The New Group), Carson McCullers' The Member of the Wedding (Williamstown). OBIE, Drama Desk and Princess Grace Award winner.

Stephanie Wright Thompson (Performer/Writer/co-Artistic Director) The Mad Ones: Miles for Mary, The Essential Straight & Narrow, Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Tremendous Tremendous. Other credits: The Messenger (Clubbed Thumb), The Subtle Body (59E59), The Hatmaker's Wife (Playwrights Realm), Mission Drift (The TEAM), Habit (PS122), The Bird and the Two-Ton Weight (EST), Have You Seen Steve Steven? (13P). Regional: Six Years and Neon Mirage (Humana Festival), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Actors Theatre of Louisville).