CONVERSATIONS ON RUSSIAN LITERATURE Makes Its NY Premiere

CONVERSATIONS ON RUSSIAN LITERATURE Makes Its NY PremiereBlue Coyote Theater Group is proud to present the NY premiere of David Johnston's CONVERSATIONS ON RUSSIAN LITERATURE PLUS THREE MORE PLAYS, directed by Kyle Ancowitz, Gary Shrader and Stephen Speights. CONVERSATIONS ON RUSSIAN LITERATURE PLUS THREE MORE PLAYS begins previews on Wednesday, February 11 for a limited engagement through Saturday, March 7. Opening Night is Saturday, February 14 at 8 PM. The performance schedule is Wednesday - Saturday at 8:00 PM. Performances are at the Access Theater (380 Broadway, just north of White Street). Tickets are $18 ($10 during previews) and are available by calling SmartTix at 212-868-4444 or online at www.smarttix.com.

Playwright David Johnston returns to Blue Coyote with the New York premieres of four short plays: CONVERSATIONS ON RUSSIAN LITERATURE, PLAY RUSSIA, FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE LIVED IN FRANCE and MOTHRA IS WAITING. Each play examines the romanticism, idealism and absurdism of journeys to other countries (and sometimes other planets) through the prism of David Johnston's "fertile imagination" and his "trademark off-kilter sensibility" (New York Times).

In PLAY RUSSIA-a must-see for theater nerds-Mr. Johnston upends the most revered Russian playwright, Chekhov, with hilarious results. MOTHRA IS WAITING finds two middle-aged chanteuses waiting for the cult-horror-classic bug Mothra to rescue them from their meaningless lives in Bridgeport to become Goddesses on Infant Island. The Francophile desires of Henry Kissinger, Mary Queen of Scots and modern-day American Lunelle Snead converge in FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE LIVED IN FRANCE. In CONVERSATIONS ON RUSSIAN LITERATURE, we return to Russia where post-Cold War espionage and intrigue collides with Russia's literary masters.

The cast features Frank Anderson, Laura Desmond, Tracey Gilbert, Carter Adams Jackson, David Lapkin, Jonna McElrath, Katherine Puma, Amanda Ronconi, Jane Titus and Matthew Trumbull.

David Johnston's (playwright) plays have been performed and read at the New Group, Moving Arts, Rude Guerrilla, the Neighborhood Playhouse, Henry Street Settlement, and Ensemble Studio Theatre. He was named one of Time Out's Playwrights to Watch. Recent productions include the premiere of The George Place at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre. New York productions: with Blue Coyote Theater Group a new adaptation of TheOresteia (Time Out Best of 2007); Busted Jesus Comix (GLAAD nominee 2005); A Bush Carol, or George Dubya and the Xmas of Evil; The Standards of Decency Project. With director Kevin Newbury: Candy & Dorothy (GLAAD winner, 2006, also at Wellfleet Harbor) and The Eumenides. Publications: The Eumenides (Playing With Canons, published by New York Theatre Experience, Inc.) and Leaving Tangier (Samuel French, produced by Blue Coyote). Playwriting awards include Theater Oxford, Turnip Festival, Playwright Residency at the University of Cincinnati, Berrilla Kerr Foundation Grant, Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation and the Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation. Education: College of William and Mary, Circle in the Square. Member: Actors Equity, Dramatists Guild, Charles Maryan's Playwrights/Directors Workshop, WHAT Playwrights Alliance and Blue Coyote Theater Group.

Gary Shrader (director, CONVERSATIONS ON RUSSIAN LITERATURE) is a founding member of Blue Coyote Theater Group. He has received training at the Drama Studio, London, at Berkeley; the Steppenwolf Theater; and Notre Dame University, among others. He has appeared in numerous Off-Off Broadway productions, including the cult-hit serial play, Blair Fell's Burning Habits. For Blue Coyote Theater Group, he has directed Roots in Water, Busted Jesus Comix, Leaving Tangier, A Bush Carol, The Americans, Paradise and three one-acts each for The Standards of Decency Project and Happy Endings. He has appeared in Nebraska, Psychopathia Sexualis, Kingfish, Dimly Perceived Threats to the System, Leaving Tangier, A Bush Carol, The Most Wonderful Love and The Oresteia. In 2008 he directed the premiere of David Johnston's The George Place at Wellfleet Harbor Actor's Theater.

Kyle Ancowitz (director, PLAY RUSSIA and FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE LIVED IN FRANCE) is a founding member of Blue Coyote Theater Group. After settling in New York City, he worked as a directing resident at Playwrights Horizons, participating in such productions as The Uneasy Chair by Evan Smith and Betty's Summer Vacation by Christopher Durang, assisting Nicholas Martin. Directing credits with Blue Coyote include Brilliant Traces; Wanda's Visit; The Author's Voice; Nebraska; Psychopathia Sexualis; Kingfish; Wanda's Visit; Dimly Perceived Threats to the System; A Phone Call From Washington State, Late at Night; Saturday with Martin; The Great Escape; The Most Wonderful Love; for The Standards of Decency Project: A Funeral Home in Brooklyn, What To Do To A Girl, Something Decent; Departures; for Blue Coyote's Happy Endings: Peep Show, The White Swallow, The Guest; and When Is A Clock. For the Brick Theater: Matthew Freeman's Trayf and An Interview with the Author. He currently serves as Technical Director for Access Theater. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College.

Stephen Speights (director, MOTHRA IS WAITING) is a founding member of Blue Coyote Theater Group and the Producing Director of Access Theater. Directing credits include premieres of The Oresteia by David Johnston (Time Out NY's Best of 2007); Brian Dykstra's Two Totally Naked Guys Standing Around Talking About Blasphemy Without Getting All That Violent About It; Boo Killebrew's True Love Waits and Pulling Teeth; and David Foley's Switch. His work as a composer/lyricist with playwright David Johnston includes A Bush Carol (2003) and the upcoming Effie Jean in Tahiti. Graduate MFA Rutgers' Mason Gross School of the Arts.


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