BOB Begins Performances at Abingdon Theatre Tomorrow

BOB: Blessed Be The Dysfunction That Binds, a new American play based on the true story of one Rhode Island family's experience with mental illness and the United States healthcare system, will receive its New York premiere at The Abingdon Theatre. Performances begin September 5, 2013.

When mental illness comes home, the whole family has special needs. It's the afternoon of Bob's first visit to Anne's Lower East Side apartment. Bob is Anne's special needs brother, and Anne needs help. Writer Anne Pasquale invites us to meet her Rhode Island family and share their true story of sanity, insanity, laughter, tears and triumph through two decades in the American healthcare system. BOB is a true story of struggle - of budget cuts and red tape, abuse and neglect, surprising heroes and unexpected villains - that presents a complicated look at healthcare in the United States.

Each performance of BOB will be followed by a post-performance talkback with leading figures from the healthcare and patient advocacy industries, clinical professionals, teachers and theater artists. A complete schedule can be found below.

BOB is written and performed by Anne Pasquale. A founding member of John Strasberg's Accidental Repertory Theater and a member of The Actors Studio, Pasquale's credits include productions with The Actors Studio and New Dramatists as well as Lincoln Center's production ofA View from the Bridge. She recently received the Young Audiences New York's Roster Artist of the Year Award.

BOB is directed by Mary Anne Hay. Scenic design is by Allison McGrath. Lighting design is byMarika Kent. Sound design is by Emily Auciello. Lynn Laurence is the costume coordinator. BOB is produced by Keith Herron and KanDu Productions.

BOB was conceived and written in June 2011. Scenes were developed in the Accidental Repertory Theater Workshop and the production was workshopped at Polaris North and the 78thStreet Theatre in 2011 and 2012. It was performed as part of the When Worlds Collide conference at Teachers College Columbia University in March 2012. Out of town performances were held at Artists' Exchange in September 2012, Cardinal Cushing Centers in November 2012, Growthways in April 2013, with a return to Artists' Exchange in June 2013. Excerpts from BOBwere presented at The Guggenheim Museum in September 2012 and benefit performances were given at St. Malachy's The Actors Chapel and Fordham University.

BOB has received support from Fountain House (www.FountainHouse.org), VSA Massachusetts (VSAMass.org), VSA Arts Rhode Island (www.VSArtsRI.org), Cardinal Cushing Centers (CushingCenters.com), Spurwink|RI (SpurwinkRI.org), Fordham University's Future Child Advocates of Fordham, Fractured Atlas and St. Malachy's The Actor's Chapel (www.ActorsChapel.org).

Performances will begin on Thursday, September 5, 2013 and continue through October 6. Performances will be held Thursdays through Saturdays at 7pm and Sundays at 2pm.

Tickets ($30, with $18 tickets available for healthcare workers) are available by visiting www.SmartTix.com.

Photo by Peter Welch and Keith Herron


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