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Ars Nova to Kick Off 2014 with GAME PLAY, 1/29-2/8

Ars Nova kicks off 2014 with Game Play, this year's incarnation of Ars Nova's annual Play Group production. Game Play, set to play 10 performances from January 29 - February 8, features original short plays and live music inspired by classic board game titles.

Game Play features new works by Sofia Alvarez, Sarah Burgess, Sarah Gancher, Nick Gandiello, Stephen Karam, Brian Otaño, Daniel Pearle, Max Posner, Erica Saleh, A. Zell Williams and Bess Wohl.

The directors for Game Play are Sash Bischoff, Peter James Cook, Portia Krieger and Andrew Neisler. Game Play includes Costume Design by Tilly Grimes and Daniel Dabdoub, Lighting Design by Richard Chamblin, Sound Design by Anthony Mattana, Projection Design by Caite Hevner Kemp and Prop Design by Noah Mease. Music Direction by Mike Brun and Live Music by Crossfire. The Production Stage Manager is Lisa McGinn. Casting to be announced.

The plays featured in Game Play are as follows (each evening features the full slate of plays):

· Taboo
by Sofia Alvarez, directed by Sash Bischoff
· Settlers of Catan
by Sarah Gancher, directed by Portia Krieger
· Risk
by Max Posner, directed by Portia Krieger
· Snakes & Ladders
by Sarah Burgess, directed by Peter James Cook
· Candy Land
by Nick Gandiello, directed by Sash Bischoff
· Scattergories
by Brian Otaño, directed by Peter James Cook
· Pictionary
by Bess Wohl, directed by Andrew Neisler
· Guess Who?
by A. Zell Williams, directed by Peter James Cook
· Life
by Erica Saleh, directed by Sash Bischoff
· Mousetrap
by Daniel Pearle, directed by Andrew Neisler
· Sorry!
by Stephen Karam, directed by Andrew Neisler

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.

About Ars Nova's Play Group: Twice a month, members of Ars Nova's vibrant and eclectic writers' group, Play Group, gather at Ars Nova to share new work and get peer feedback, affording them the opportunity to develop their plays with peer support, form collaborative relationships, and build a strong sense of community within Ars Nova. Each year, Play Group creates an original production - an evening of short plays with a central theme devised by the group. This annual event debuted with The Wikipedia Plays in 2007.

More recent Play Group productions include Playlist, Missed Connections NYC, The Wii Plays, The Urban Dictionary Plays and last year's The Netflix Plays. Play Group alumni include Joshua Allen, Annie Baker, Mike Batistick, Chad Beckim, Rachel Bonds, Bekah Brunstetter, Evan Cabnet, Jenny Connell, Kara Lee Corthron, Dylan Dawson, Kristoffer Diaz, Zayd Dohrn, Dipika Guha, Ron Fitzgerald, Liz Flahive, Sam Forman, Etan Frankel, Tasha Gordon-Solmon, Amy Herzog, Samuel D. Hunter, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Kyle Jarrow, Jake Jeppson, Nick Jones, Jon Kern, Josh Koenigsberg, Steven Levenson, Barry Levey, Matthew Lopez, Liz Meriwether, Carly Mensch, Molly Smith Metzler, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Michael Mitnick, Gregory Moss, Janine Nabers, Kim Rosenstock, Sharyn Rothstein, Rachel Shukert, Mat Smart, Aurin Squire, Adam Szymkowicz, Joe Tracz, Samuel Brett Williams and Beau Willimon.

About Ars Nova: Ars Nova is committed to developing and producing theater, comedy and music artists in the Early Stages of their professional careers. Its unique development programs are designed to support outside-the-box thinking and encourage innovative, genre-bending work. By providing a safe environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.

Producing credits include: Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy, directed by Rachel Chavkin (now in an Off-Broadway transfer production at Kazino); Eager to Lose, created by Matthew-Lee Erlbach, Wes Grantom, Portia Krieger and Tansy; ANT Fest; Core Values by Steven Levenson, directed by Carolyn Cantor; The Lapsburgh Layover by The Berserker Residents, directed by Oliver Butler; Be a Good Little Widow by Bekah Brunstetter, directed by Stephen Brackett; Now Circa Then by Carly Mensch, directed by Jason Eagan; Bloodsong of Love by Joe Iconis, directed by John Simpkins; Sax & Dixon: We Thee Wed by John Dixon, Peter McNerney and Matt Sax, directed by Peter McNerney; Mel & El: Show & Tell by Melanie Adelman and Ellie Dvorkin, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel; Two Girls for Five Bucks and the Ten Dollar Heartbreakers by Cathleen Carr and Daiva Deupree, directed by Andy Donald; Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar, directed by Sam Gold; boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, directed by Alex Timbers; From Up Here by Liz Flahive, directed by Leigh Silverman; Dixie's Tupperware Party by Kris Andersson, directed by Alex Timbers; At Least It's Pink by Bridget Everett and Kenny Mellman, directed by Michael Patrick King; 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother by Kate Moira Ryan with Judy Gold, directed by Karen Kohlhaas; Holy Cross Sucks! by Rob Nash, directed by Jeff Calhoun; Freestyle Love Supreme by Anthony Veneziale and Lin-Manuel Miranda, directed by Thomas Kail; and The Wau Wau Sisters, by Tanya Gagné and Adrienne Truscott, directed by Trip Cullman.

For more information on Ars Nova's programs, visit Ars Nova was founded in memory of Gabe Wiener. Game Play schedule: January 29 through February 8: Monday - Saturday at 8:00 PM. Tickets go on sale January 6, 2014. Tickets are $15 and are available at, 212-352-3101 or the Ars Nova box office starting 30 minutes prior to each show (subject to availability). Ars Nova is located at 511 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019.

Game Play, Playwright Bios:

Sofia Alvarez's plays include Between Us Chickens, Life Drawing, The Fish Bowl, Nylon and Friend Art. She is a member of the Ars Nova Play Group, New George's JAM and Primary Stages' Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer's Group. She is currently a staff writer for USA's Sirens. Education: Bennington, Juilliard.

Sarah Burgess's plays include Earthsiege: Commence (Steep Theatre workshop, Chicago), FAIL: Failures (ANT Fest), Camdenside (Ground Floor 2013, Berkeley Rep) and Liquidation Play. Writer for The Tenant (Woodshed Collective), The Living Newspaper and Naked Radio. In 2013, Sarah was a Working Farm resident at SPACE on Ryder Farm. BFA NYU Film.

Sarah Gancher's work has been produced/developed at London's National Theatre, Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, Budapest's Quarter6Quarter7 Festival, PS122, Ars Nova, NYC SummerStage and the Great Plains Theatre Conference, among others. She also works as a collaborating playwright with devising ensembles including The TEAM, Hand2Mouth and Telluride Theatre. Winner, 2013 Founder's Award, New York Stage and Film; 2012-2014 Time Warner Fellow at the Women's Project Playwrights Lab.

Nick Gandiello's plays include Oceanside, Sunrise Highway, Black Fly Spring and Off the Realness. He has attended residencies at The Blue Mountain Center, SPACE on Ryder Farm and Page 73's Summer Residency at Yale. Nick is the Literary Manager of Young Playwrights Inc., where he is also a teaching artist. MFA Playwriting, The New School for Drama.

Stephen Karam is the author of Sons of the Prophet (2012 Pulitzer Prize Finalist and winner of the 2012 Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel and Hull-Warriner Awards for Best Play), Speech & Debate, columbinus and Dark Sisters. His new play, The Humans, will premiere in 2014-15.

Brian Otaño's plays include The Ocean at Your Door, What We Told the Neighbors, Between The Sandbar and the Shore and Zero Feet Away. His work has been developed and workshopped with New Dramatists, ArsNova, Atlantic Theater Company, LAByrinth Theater Company, The Amoralists and the LARK. Brian is a 2012-2013 New Dramatists Van Lier Fellow.

Daniel Pearle's plays include: A Kid Like Jake (LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater; 2013 Laurents/Hatcher Award; 2013 Laurie Foundation's Theatre Visions Fund Grant), The Prodigies, Freefall, Plunder (2008 Loeb Drama Center's Phyllis Anderson Prize) and The Truth About Christmas (2011 Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival Winner). He earned his BA from Harvard University and his MFA from The New School for Drama.

Max Posner's plays include The Thing About Air Travel, The Famished, Snore, Gun Logistics and Judy. Produced or developed at Playwrights Horizons, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Page 73, Soho Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Hangar Theatre, Curious Theatre Company and Production Workshop. Recipient of the 2012 P73 Fellowship, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, the Heideman Award from Actor's Theatre of Louisville and the Lila Acheson Wallace Fellowship at Juilliard. Alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. BA: Brown University.

Erica Saleh's plays have been produced and developed by theaters including Ensemble Studio Theatre, The 52nd Street Project, Studio 42, 3 Graces and The Claque. She is the recipient of a Michener Fellowship and commissions from the EST/SLOAN project and Dramatics Magazine. Erica is a member of Ars Nova Play Group, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, and an alumna of Youngblood. She is a graduate of the Michener Center at the University of Texas and Brown University.
A. Zell Williams is the recipient of The Terrence McNally New Play Award, NYU's Goldberg Playwriting Award, The National New Play Network's Smith Prize and the David C. Calicchio Award. His plays include The Urban Retreat, Down Past Passyunk, The Audacity, Carroll Gardens and The Biggest Valley.

Bess Wohl's plays have been produced around the country. Most recently, her play, American Hero (begun in Ars Nova Play Group), had its world premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, directed by Leigh Silverman. She has received various commissions (MTC, CTG) and is a MacDowell Fellow. She also writes for film and TV.

Director Bios:

Sash Bischoff: Broadway: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (AD). National tours: Shrek. Off-Broadway: Mine (Chautauqua), A Social Event (Atlantic), Cold and Seven Categories (Williamstown), Urinetown and She Loves Me (PST). Assisting includes The Mound Builders (Signature), All in the Timing (Primary Stages), Core Values (Ars Nova). Upcoming: Some Freaks (film), Guys and Dolls (concert). 2011 SDC Traube Fellow, Princeton graduate.

Peter James Cook is a Brooklyn-based writer, director and performer. Recent NY directing: Just Right, Just Now (Lesser America), Raptured (Play Co.), TRAVIS (Ars Nova), Never Sleep Alone (Joe's Pub), The Tempest (Porpentine), Sailor Man (NY Int'l Fringe - Outstanding Play), Straight Up Vampire (Joe's Pub), The Nosemaker's Apprentice (The Brick). Drama League directing fellow.

Portia Krieger's recent directing credits include Eager to Lose (Ars Nova), Baby Screams Miracle (Clubbed Thumb), The Place We Built (Strasberg). Upcoming: The Vaults at New Georges. Portia is an alumna of the Drama League Directors Project and the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, a former Ars Nova Director-in-Residence, and a co-founder of the New Georges Jam.

Andrew Neisler is a Brooklyn based theatre-artist. Recent directing credits: Byuioo (Pipeline Theatre Company, Judson Church), Charlatan (Ars Nova), Shoot the Freak (Paradise Factory), Tape (Strasberg Institute), Clown Bar (Pipeline), Folk Wandering (Ars Nova/Joe's Pub), Bebe Zahara Benet's Creature (XL Cabaret). Artistic Director, Political Subversities. Co-Founder/Co-Director, Fresh Ground Pepper. BFA, NYU/Tisch.

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