DARK WATER to Explore the Effects of An Oil Spill with Manhattan Theatre Works, 3/14-29

DARK WATER to Explore the Effects of An Oil Spill with Manhattan Theatre Works, 3/14-29

MANHATTAN THEATRE WORKS (MTWorks), in association with the Theater Series at the 14th Street Y, is pleased to announce the world premiere of MTWorks Co-Artistic Director David Stallings' DARK WATER, directed by Heather Cohn. DARK WATER, a play about the ramifications of the Gulf oil spill, will play a three week engagement at The Theater at the 14th Street Y (344 East 14th Street at 1st Avenue). Performances begin Friday, March 14 and continue through Saturday, March 29. Opening Night is Monday, March 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets now on sale at www.mtworks.org/darkwater.

Award-winning playwright Stallings was "inspired from the many emotions that raged through me after the 2010 Louisiana oil spill. DARK WATER takes place mostly underwater and with animals as the primary characters, because I feel they are the true victims. The other victim being the environment, which we as a human race abuse without remorse. The earth does not belong to humans alone, we share her resources with other living beings.

The allegory in DARK WATER involves the animals, dealing with the tragedy, acting as humans do: dividing land amongst themselves, drawing lines where other animals cannot pass, exhibiting forms of racism and abusing religion to promote self-power. One animal in particular, a seagull named Gullet, kills more than he can eat in
order to hoard food for himself. He has learned this from watching the humans. On the other hand, Daedalus the dolphin, does not blame humans and is in fact in love with a rescuer whom he wishes could help more with the spill. Like every good story there is love and there is hope--like that of turtles Weed & Foam and frogs Lily & Pad. The true heart of the play is Barnacle the turtle, who is seeking shelter for her children. We follow her through the depths of the gulf as she is aided and misguided by other animals."

In DARK WATER, the swampland of Louisiana is hit with the most massive oil spill known to history. Barnacle, an old sea turtle, fights against man's destruction, nature's wrath, and her enemies of the wild to save her children trapped in the spill. Poetry, allegory, music, puppetry and movement create this magical world as the animals of Louisiana face the ultimate threat to their lives.

The effects of the Gulf oil spill among other spills continue to jeopardize our oceans. DARK WATER humanizes the animals affected by the spill giving a voice to the true defenseless victims. The play also deals with other poignant issues such as immigration, religion and politics.

DARK WATER plays Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. & Sundays at 2 p.m. from Friday, March 14 through Saturday, March 29. There is an additional opening night performance on Monday, March 14 at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $18 ($15 Students/$12 Seniors) and are available online at www.MTWorks.org or by calling 866-811-4111. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the theater ½ hour prior to performance. Running Time: 90 min. One intermission. Tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/928089. The Theater at the 14th Street Y is located on 344 East 14th Street (at 1st Avenue). By Subway: L to 1st Avenue. By Bus: M14 or M15 to 14th and 1st.


David Stallings (Playwright) migrated from the South (Georgia, Texas and New Mexico) to NYC over ten years ago and has been working consistently as a playwright and actor both in the city and regionally. The author of 15 full- length plays and numerous shorts, David's plays have reached audiences across the US. Most recently, Barrier Island, his play about the 2008 Hurricane Ike that hit his hometown of Galveston, TX, received its regional debut at Acadiana Repertory Theatre in Lafayette Louisiana. His play about the Louisiana oil spill, Dark Water, is slated for its World Premiere in NYC in March 2014 with MTWorks at the 14th Street Y. As a writer, David is influenced by his Southern roots and contemporary politics. For example, his play, The Re-Education of Arizona, deals explicitly with the effect of Arizona's brutal profiling policies and their immediate influence on the local Hispanic communities. As well as bringing an informed Southern voice to theater, David also focuses on female protagonists and relationships
within family dynamics--with a dash of poetry and magical realism for good measure. He has worked with several theater companies including The Culture Project, Intravenous Theatre, Prospect Theater Company, Boo-Arts and Oberon Theater Company as well as having had readings of his work across the country from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Boston, Massachusetts. In 2006, he co-founded Maieutic Theatre Works (now Manhattan Theatre Works) with his play, Folie a Deux: Insanity in Pairs as their inaugural production. Brandon Voss of HX Magazine called the play, "Riveting" and named Stallings as the "playwright and actor to watch". Other plays include Ana?s Nin Goes to Hell (1st Prize Winner Boston Theatre Works Unbound Festival 2007, Winner of the Arthur W. Stone New Play Award Louisiana Tech University 2009, Semi Finalist for the Princess Grace Award 2008), Arpeggio (produced Fall '07 at the 45th Street Theater, NYC), The Stranger to Kindness (Winner of Planet Connections Playwriting Award Short Form and Best Production of a One Act Play for the 2011 production at The Robert Moss Theater), and The Family Shakespeare (produced Spring 2011 at the June Havoc Theater, NYC). On MTWorks' 2008 NYC Fringe production of Anaïs Nin Goes to Hell, the Village Voice said, "Thank the gods for David Stallings' 'Anaïs Nin Goes to Hell'... a uniquely polished presence at the Fringe", and The New York Press said, "For a play about women but written by a man, it captured the greater female psyche." David has a BFA in Theater from the College of Santa Fe, NM. He is also a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Heather Cohn (Director) is a co-founder of Flux Theatre Ensemble and currently serves as the Producing Director. Directing credits for Flux include Johnna Adams' Sans Merci; Erin Browne's Menders, August Schulenburg's The Lesser Seductions of History (nominated for Best Director, New York Innovative Theatre Awards) and Other Bodies (FringeNYC Excellence Award for Outstanding Direction); staged readings of Jose Rivera's Sueño and Adam Szymkowicz's Pretty Theft, August Schulenburg's Channeling and Bekah Brunstetter's Missy Lilly Gets Boned. Outside of Flux, Heather recently directed David Stallings' The Stranger to Kindness (Outstanding Overall Production of a One-Act, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Awards, also nominated for Outstanding Direction Award). Heather has also directed for the EstroGenius Festival, On the Square Productions, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Artistic New Directions, and Crossroads Theatre Project. Member - Women's Project Producers' LAB (2008-2010). By day, Heather is the Director of Development for Epic Theatre Ensemble. She is a graduate of Vassar College.

MANHATTAN THEATRE WORKS (MTWorks) Dedicated to discovering new plays that challenge our perception of diversity (ethnic, economic, gender, sexuality or creed). We foster today's innovative playwrights that boldly take risks in theme, structure, time-period and location by collaborating with exceptional theatre artists to develop their plays through our Living Room Series, National NewBorn Festival and Mainstage productions. Originally known as Maieutic Theatre Works, started producing thought provoking new plays in the Fall of 2006 with Folie A Deux: Insanity in Pairs written by Co-Founder and current Co-Artistic Director David Stallings, directed by Co-Founder and former Executive Director Cristina Alicea, produced by Co-Founder and current Co-Artistic Director Antonio Minino. What started as a trio of like-minded artists has grown into a family of over 50 talented MTWorkers dedicated to developing new ground breaking diverse plays from around the world. MTWorks Productions have received great press notices, awards and nominations including The New York Innovative Theatre Awards and Planet Connections Theatre Awards.

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