Creative Team Set for PCTF's PLAYWRIGHTS FOR A CAUSE This June

Creative teams have been announced for the 2015 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity's Playwrights For A Cause, set to take place at 7:30pm on Sunday, June 14, 2015 at the Sheen Center, located at 18 Bleecker Street.

The evening, which will benefit the non-profit National Coalition Against Censorship, will showcase world premiere one-act plays by four acclaimed playwrights: Israel Horovitz's Breaking Phillip Glass and Erik Ehn's Her Speech, which will be directed by Planet Connections Theatre Festivity founder and PFAC Producing Artistic Curator Glory Kadigan (Israel Horovitz world premiere St. Anne's Soup at CSC, Neil LaBute world premiere Over The River and Through The Woods at Signature Theatre), Halley Feiffer's A Play About New Mexico which will be directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch (Atlantic Theatre Company's Bluebird with Simon Russell Beale and Lucy Thurber's Stay at Rattlestick Theatre), and Neil LaBute's Mohammed Gets a Boner, which will be directed by Marco Calvani (AdA - Author directing Author). Casting will be announced shortly.

"Once again, I'm thankful for the strong creative team we've gathered to support Playwrights For A Cause," said Planet Connections Founder and PFAC Producing Artistic Curator Glory Kadigan. "These four gifted playwrights have donated their scripts and time to raising awareness of the very real problem of arts censorship on a worldwide scale. I cannot thank Erik Ehn, Israel Horovitz, Halley Feiffer and Neil LaBute enough for writing about an issue that strikes directly at the heart of people on all sides of the curtain. And we are very lucky this year to have accomplished directors like Marco Calvani and Gaye Taylor Upchurch joining our effort to bring attention to such a worthy cause."

The Playwrights For A Cause creative team this year includes: Robin Carus (Casting Director), Aaron Gonzalez (Media/Video Design), Rachel Jacquin (Assistant Stage Manager & Rehearsal Stage Manager for A Play About New Mexico and Breaking Philip Glass), Jenna R. Lazar (Production Stage Manager), Dee Dee Katchen (Assistant Producer), Cheryl McCarron (Costume Design), Jacob Subotnick (Sound Design), Susan Tenney (Assistant Director/Rehearsal Stage Manager - Mohammed Gets a Boner and Her Speech), Bradley Wehrle (Scenic Design), Christopher Weston (Lighting Design), and Tyler Winthrop (Assistant to the Producers).

Planet Connections Theatre Festivity is New York's premiere socially-conscious theatre, music and film festival. The entire festival is aligned to help artist shine a light on the issues facing our society and support the organizations working to make a difference. The 2015 Theatre Festivity will run from June 15-July 12 at the Paradise Factory (located at 64 East 4th Street between the Bowery and 2nd Avenue), and will also play host to special events at various locations in New York City's East Village. The full lineup for the Festivity will be announced shortly. For more information on Planet Connections, visit planetconnections.org.

Tickets for Playwrights for a Cause range from $35 to $100, and are available at planetconnections.org or by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111.

CREATIVE TEAM BIOS:

MARCO CALVANI (Director - Mohammed Gets A Boner) Italian born, Marco made his debut as an actor before switching to playwriting and directing. He is the recipient of the Outstanding Playwriting Award from Planet Connections for his production of Oil, English Language premiere presented in the festivity in 2013. Strong Hands was his first play to be performed to great acclaim throughout Europe. Commissions from the Todi Art Festival, the Phoenix Theatre of London, Teatro di Roma, the Théâtre de la Ville of Paris and the Grec Fundaciò of Barcelona followed. Credits as director include: Oil (Teatro India, Roma; English language premier at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity), The city beneath (La MaMa Theatre, NY; Ubud Festival, Indonesia; Sala Beckett, Barcelona), Penelope in Groznyj (Kunsthaus Tacheles, Berlin; Napoli Teatro Festival Italia, Teatro Vascello, Rome), Nails (Fringe Festival Madrid; Galleria Toledo, Naples), I am Dracula (Teatro Fabbricone, Prato), Stockholm by Bryony Lavery which he also translated into Italian (Teatro Belli, Rome). In 2012 he created AdA - Author directing Author with Neil LaBute, for which he wrote Things Of This World and directed Lovely Head written by LaBute (Spoleto Festival, Fringe Festival Madrid, La MaMa Theatre). In 2014 they were back for a second round of the project, for which he wrote The Second Time and directed Happy Hour (Biennale Venice, La MaMa Theatre). He is the founder and artistic director of Mixò (mixonline.eu), an international cultural center that brings together young actors and writers and promotes original works for stage. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the Playwrights/Directors Unit of the Actors Studio, NY.

GLORY KADIGAN (Director - Breaking Phillip Glass; Her Speech) founded Planet Connections Theatre Festivity and served as the Producing Artistic Director for six seasons. Under her leadership, Planet Connections has raised over six figures for 260 different charitable organizations. She is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, La Mama Directors and Playwriting Symposium and of The Labyrinth Theater Company's Master Class. Ms. Kadigan is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and has been the recipient of the Meritorious Achievement Award in Direction from the Kennedy Center ACTF. Among her directing credits: St. Anne's Soup (Israel Horovitz - World Premiere with Melissa Leo, Mary Beth Hurt and Caissie Levy - PFAC 2014), Over the River and Through The Woods (Neil LaBute - World Premier with Celia Keenan Bolger - PFAC 2013), Two Minute Warning (World Premiere), Falling in Like, Pony of Love, Love at Twenty, Bad Girl (All by LaBute at Gloria Maddox Theater/Nylon Fusion), Other(s) devised with David Diamond at the Esplanade Theatre in Singapore, Oil (by Marco Calvani, English Language premier), Evening with Family (by Vaclav Havel, English Language premier), The Stain by Kristina Poe with Nylon Fusion, Two Rooms (by Lee Blessing at The Workshop Theatre featuring Andy Kelso of Kinky Boots), Before (by Penny Jackson for MT Works with Peter Collier),Golem Stories (by Edward Einhorn), Orange, Hat and Grace (by Gregory Stephen Moss), North of Providence (Edward Allen Baker at Altered Stages), and Serenading Louie (Lanford Wilson at Stella Adler). Upcoming: directing World Premiere by Michael Puzzo. Also a playwright, Ms. Kadigan will premiere a production she wrote entitled When the Party's Over directed by Eric Mercado.

GAYE TAYLOR UPCHURCH (Director - A Play About New Mexico) Previous credits include Winter Miller's This Is How We Do It for Planet Connection's PFAC 2013. At the Atlantic: Nancy Harris's Our New Girl, Simon Stephens's Harper Regan with Mary McCann; Simon Stephens's Bluebird with Simon Russell Beale. Other Off-Broadway: Laura Marks's Bethany with America Ferrera (Women's Project, Lortel nomination for Best New Play and Best Actress); Lucy Thurber's Stay (Rattlestick Theater). Regional: Melissa Ross's Of Good Stock (South Coast Rep); Bethany (Old Globe, San Diego); She Loves Me (UNCSA). Her work has been seen at the Culture Project, La Mama, and Lincoln Center Institute among others, and she has developed new work at New Dramatists, Playwrights Realm, NY Stage & Film, The Kennedy Center, Playwright's Center, LCT Director's Lab, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. She worked with Sam Mendes as his Associate Director for two years on The Bridge Project's productions of The Cherry Orchard, The Winter's Tale, Tempest, and As You Like It (BAM/Old Vic/International tour). She is an alumna of the Women's Project Directors Lab and The Drama League.

PRODUCTION STAFF:

ROBIN CARUS (Casting Director) has been casting for 17 years. Tours: Clifford the Big Red Dog, Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody, TheatreworksUSA (200 national tours) Regional: The State Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company International: Sunfish (dir. Will Pomerantz, Daegu International Theatre Festival), Sarah, Plain and Tall (Eugene O'Neill Theatre Conference) Off-Broadway/Off-Off Broadway: Culture Shock 1911-1922! (Horizon Theater Rep), Woman at the Funerals (IATI Theatre), Pete the Girl (The Living Theatre), Aesop's Fables (dir. Theodore Mann/Circle in the Square), The Last Castrato, Like You Like It (dir. Igor Goldin/Gallery Players), The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks, Seussical (dir. Marcia Milgrom Dodge), Max & Ruby, Henry and Mudge (dir. Peter Flynn), Cam Jansen (dir. Gordon Greenberg), Walk Two Moons (dir: Melissa Kievman); Summer of the Swans, Junie B. Jones (dir. Peter Flynn), Sarah, Plain and Tall (dir. Joe Calarco), Romeo and Juliet. She is excited to be back for a 3rd year with Planet Connections PFAC.

AARON GONZALEZ (Media/Video Design) Aaron is a Director, Actor, Designer, AEA Stage Manager, and graduate of the UNCSA Directing Program. Projection Design - John Leguizamo's Ghetto Klown (Lyceum & HBO). Resident Director/ASM - Billy Elliot (National Tour). Assistant Stage Manager - Time Stands Still (MTC & Broadway). Planet Connections award nominee for Projection/Media design 2012. www.aarongonzalez.info.

RACHEL JACQUIN (Assistant Stage Manager; Rehearsal Stage Manager for A Play About New Mexico and Breaking Philip Glass) began working with Planet Connections last season as a Production SM and PM for Other(s), an international Planet Connections production also presented in Singapore. She was the ASM for last year's PFAC event. This year she is on staff as the Director of Special Events. Rachel is also the Assistant Stage Manager for the American Repertory Ballet.

JENNA R. LAZAR (Production Stage Manager) has been working on Planet Connections PFAC since its inception. She has been involved with over 60 projects in New York as both a stage manager and production manager, and is currently in her third season as Technical Director for Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. Jenna is also the Company Manager for Oberon Theatre Ensemble. Member AEA.

DEE DEE KATCHEN (Assistant Producer) is thrilled to be returning to Planet Connections for her second PFAC Benefit. Select stage management credits include: PFAC 2013 featuring plays by Neil LaBute, John Patrick Shanley and Winter Miller; Angels in America (Signature Theater); Frankenstein the Musical (37 Arts); Othello, Much Ado About Nothing (Oberon Theater Ensemble); Ensemble); Our Town, Henry V, Cymbeline, Julius Caesar (The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey). Love Gone Bad Benefit (Nylon Fusion/Glory Kadigan). Film/TV credits include: PAN AM, Gossip Girl, Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, TMNT, CSI: NY, Very Good Girls. AEA Member.

CHERYL McCARRON (Costume Design) has designed costumes for over 100 theatre, dance and film productions. Her work has been seen at Boomerang Theatre, Penguin Repertory Theater, Dorset Theatre Festival, the American Globe Theatre, Amas Musical Theater, Saratoga Shakespeare, NYMTF, and the Take Dance Company. She earned her MFA from Brandeis University. www.cherylmccarron.com

JACOB SUBOTNICK (Sound Design) Jacob is a New York based sound designer and composer, and a proud New Mexico expatriate. He has designed over 70 Off and Off-Off-Broadway productions. Planet Connections award winning Sound Designer. Jacob received his Bachelor of Music from New York University. www.jacobsubotnick.com

SUSAN TENNEY (Assistant Director/Rehearsal Stage Manager - Mohammed Gets a Boner; Her Speech) is a Director/Choreographer whose work has been seen both nationally, in Europe, and in film. She is the 2013 recipient of the Planet Connections award for Outstanding Choreography, and its 2014 recipient of the award for Best Director of a Staged Reading. Her most recent commission L?Orange was performed at Princeton Arts Council. She is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. She is delighted to be co-directing with her brother/playwright Steven Tenney for his Cygnus ISA Summer Con5t3ll4tion in this year's Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, and a staged reading of their new musical Something Sudden 5wept 0v3r Me.

BRADLEY WEHRLE (Scenic Design) is a New York based scenic designer. His work has been seen in the US and England. He received his MFA from Ohio University. www.BradleyWehrle.com

CHRISTOPHER WESTON (Lighting Design) New York theaters include Signature, Alvin Ailey, Kitchen, John Houseman, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 59E59, Cherry Lane, 3LD, 45th Street Theatre, Abingdon, Queens Theatre in the Park, Dixon Place, and many more. Regional theaters include Penguin Rep, Actors Shakespeare Company, Hangar Theatre, NJ Rep. International: European Biennial in Athens, Greece. Chris was awarded Outstanding Lighting Design by the Planet Connections Awards for the Greatest Pirate Story (N)Ever Told!, which then ran Off Broadway for over a year. He is a Teaching Artist for Roundabout Theatre Company.

TYLER WINTHROP (Assistant to the Producers) New York credits: What To Do When You Hate All Your Friends, Slaughterhouse-Five (FringeNYC), Cupid and Psyche, Rockabye Hamlet, what do you mean (59e59, Edinburgh Fringe). MFA in Stage Management, Rutgers University. Other credits: Eurydice, La Dispute, An Evening of Clifford Odets, Another Part of the Forest.



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