Casting Announced for Team Awesome Robot's World Premiere of THAT TRUE PHOENIX

Casting Announced for Team Awesome Robot's World Premiere of THAT TRUE PHOENIX

Team Awesome Robot will present the World Premiere of Daniel John Kelley's That True Phoenix, directed by Christopher Diercksen (Assistant Director, Brittany Ayers), April 21-May 7 at the Access Theater (380 Broadway between White and Walker Streets, 4th floor), with performances on Friday, April 21, Saturday, April 22, Thursday, April 27, Friday, April 28, Saturday, April 29, Wednesday, May 3, Thursday, May 4, Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6 at 8pm, Sunday, April 23, April 30, and May 7 at 2pm. Tickets ($20) may be purchased in advance here or by calling 1-800-838-3006.

The cast will feature Siho Ellsmore*, Kayla Jackmon, Isaiah Tanenbaum*, Samantha Fairfield Walsh, Sarin Monae West, and Curry Whitmire* as Lorenzo Da Ponte with Costume Design by Caitlin Cisek, Sound Design by Beth Lake, Lighting Design by Chelsie McPhilimy, Projection Design by Chet Miller, and Properties Design by Jennifer Neads. The production Stage Manager will be Lauren Schatten. *Actor appearing courtesy of the Actors' Equity Association.

That True Phoenix is the story of Lorenzo Da Ponte: the most interesting man you've never heard of. Far more than just the Librettist for Mozart's greatest Operas, Da Ponte still ended up as a mere footnote in history. Based on his own highly embellished memoirs, That True Phoenix chronicles Da Ponte's life from exiled revolutionary schoolteacher in Venice, to disgraced court poet in Vienna, to Pennsylvania grocery story owner, to Columbia University Professor in New York City and tells the true story of a perpetual immigrant who changed his story to become the true embodiment of the American Dream.

That True Phoenix is Team Awesome Robot's long-term script development project with playwright, Daniel John Kelley. Their upcoming production will be the culmination of a year of investigation into the improbable life of Lorenzo Da Ponte

DANIEL John Kelley (Playwright) is a playwright, opera nerd and Brooklyn native. His plays and musicals have been produced and developed in the New York International Fringe Festival, and by MCC, Resonance Ensemble, Open Gate Theatre, Northwoods Ramah Theatre, the Gallery Players, the Irondale Center, the Brooklyn Lyceum and others. His work has also been seen in far away places such as Ireland, Australia and Nepal. He received his BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and his MFA in playwriting from Hunter College, where he studied with Tina Howe.

CHRISTOPHER DIERCKSEN (Director) develops and directs new plays. As Artistic Director for Team Awesome Robot: Rush by Callie Kimball. Selected past credits: The Unlikely Ascent of Sybil Stevens by Kari Bentley Quinn; Get Me A Guy by Israela Margalit; By Rights We Should Be Giants by Nadia Sepsenwol and Tim Van Dyck. As Managing Director for New Voices Project at The Secret Theatre: The Tragedies by Sarah Bernstein; Encryption by August Schulenberg; The Unlikely Ascent of Sybil Stevens by Kari Bentley Quinn. As Literary Manager for Lunar Energy Productions: Dreams of the Penny Gods by Callie Kimball; In Antarctica Where it is Very Warm by Jona Tarlin. Chris is an alumnus of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Theater Institute and is a frequent guest artist for their Young Playwrights Festival.

TEAM AWESOME ROBOT is a Theatrical Collaboration Initiative with a focus on New Plays. We are storytellers drawn to character driven narratives that are best experienced in the present moment. Our goal is to extend the spirit of collaboration to our audience- fully embracing that whatever world we are making, it is made better together. Visit for more information.

Pictured: Curry Whitmire as Lorenzo Da Ponte. Photo by Pat Cartelli.

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