Electric Pear Productions Announces New Season and Wild Project Residency

Electric Pear Productions (Melanie Sylvan and Ashlin Halfnight, Co-Executive Producers) announces its 2008/2009 series and residency at The Wild Project (195 East Third Street, between Avenues A & B), New York City’s first and only eco-consciously designed theater. The season will include:

The Sexual Neurosis of Our Parents: November 6–22: The Wild Project

North American Premiere by Lukas Bärfuss; Translated by Neil Blackadder
Directed by Kristjan Thor
Starring Grace Gummer

When Dora's parents release her from her tranquilizers, they're not prepared for her potent sexual awakening. Discover one of Switzerland's most willful and stimulating playwrights.  After a smash run in London, Electric Pear’s brings a stunning and disturbing new Swiss play to New York for its US premiere.  Called “taboo-busting” by Time Out London, and the London Evening Standard said, “This show makes a splash.”

Synesthesia: February 25–28 : The Wild Project

Entering its third year, Electric Pear’s innovative and fascinating look at the creative process returns.  As always, it brings the brightest lights from a myriad of artistic genres to the stage, microphone, and screen.  Artistic telephone across the genres… pass it on.

Artifacts of Consequence: April 16–May 2: The Wild Project

World Premiere by Ashlin Halfnight; An EPP & Performance Lab 115 Collaboration.
PL115 ("... gorgeously theatrical and consistently striking." – Backstage) will join forces with Ashlin Halfnight (“A playwright who bears watching” - Village Voice) for the first time since their international hit, God’s Waiting Room.
 
EPP kicks off its season by going back to school with The Parent Teacher Conference Plays. Three of the brightest lights in American drama – Ann Marie Healy (Have You Seen Steve Steven), Clay McLeod Chapman (rest area, Hostage Song) and Zayd Dohrn (Haymarket)-will take audience members inside actual classrooms for a trip down memory lane... to a time when backpacks, hall passes, and spelling tests ruled the world.  These 15 minute plays, directed by Kerry Whigham, Francesca Arkus, and Chapman, each give a unique and humorous take on the dreaded meeting that brings fear and anxiety to students, parents and teachers alike.  Audiences will travel from classroom to classroom to see all three shows. This site specific compilation will take place September 24 – 27 8PM at the Village Community School (272 West 10th Street).


Rugrats

Written and Directed by Clay McLeod Chapman
With Rebecca Lingafelter


The Grafton School
By Ann Marie Healy; Directed by Kerry Whigham
With Christian Conn, Erin Felgar and Kathryn Grody


Sex-ed
By Zayd Dohrn; Directed by Francesca Arkus
With Gabriel Field and Nairoby Otero

Halfnight offers: “Both Melanie and I have spent time as teachers, and I’ve taught extensively at Village Community School, the site of the production.  After a conference with a parent one day, it occurred to me that these meetings are inherently dramatic: the suspense... will we find out that Little Johnny is actually an ill-mannered dullard?... The acting on both sides of the table: I'm a good teacher - I know everything and care deeply.  I'm a good parent - I know everything and care even more deeply.  The ups: he understands grammar!  The downs: she's being a bitch to the other girls!  The script: Your child is very excitable.  The subtext: Your child is a pain in the ass.  The tears: I'm doing the best I can!   It's inherently theatrical and dramatic.  It's, frankly, a totally weird little play, thus why we decided to commission three great playwrights and go back to school this fall.”

By setting each play in an actual classroom and having the audience travel, Electric Pear offers both a fresh venue for theater and the chance for people to reconnect to the anxieties and associations from their early days of education.

For more information please visit www.ELECTRICPEAR.org

Electric Pear Productions, founded by Ashlin Halfnight and Melanie Sylvan, is a non-profit theater company committed to deepening the scope of the American performance landscape by supporting, creating and showcasing both "original American plays of superior quality and originality and cross-genre and cross-border collaborative projects for the stage The goal of the company is to be a cultivator, backer and presenter – a true hub – of original and persuasive creative endeavors that find their base in the live theatrical experience, but pull together influences and inspirations from the world at large."
 
Each season the company produces two new plays, one collaborative international piece, and one cross-genre composition.

Clay McLeod Chapman (playwright) is the creator of the rigorous storytelling session The Pumpkin Pie Show. He is the author of rest area, a collection of short stories, and miss corpus, a novel. He teaches writing at The Actors Studio MFA Program at Pace University.

Ann Marie Healy’s play The Legend Of Minnie Willet was recently developed at the National Playwrights’ Conference (Eugene O’Neill Theater Center). Her play What Once We Felt was a finalist for the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award and recently nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. It will be produced this coming season at About Face Theater in Chicago (directed by Ken Rus Schmoll). Have You Seen Steve Steven was developed at the Sundance Theater Institute in 2007 and subsequently produced last fall by 13P, the Obie-award winning collective, directed by Anne Kauffman. (TimeOut NY and FlavorPill picks). The Night That Roger Went To Visit The Parents Of His Old High School Girlfriend premiered in the 2006 EST Marathon of One-Acts plays (directed by Andrew McCarthy). Now That's What I Call A Storm was the recipient of a development fellowship with MCC Theater (directed by Jo Bonney), and produced by Edge Theater Company in 2004, directed by Carolyn Cantor and featuring Marylouise Burke (TimeOut NY picks). Dearest Eugenia Haggis was developed at LAByrinth Theater’s 2004 summer intensive and The Cape Cod Theater Project and published in the anthology: Funny, Strange, Provocative: Seven Plays by Clubbed Thumb.
 
Zayd Dohrn received his MFA from NYU and is currently a Lila Acheson Wallace Fellow at Juilliard. His plays have been produced and developed at Woolly Mammoth, The Alliance, South Coast Rep, the Marin Theatre Company, Kitchen Dog, Southern Rep, ATC, Boston Playwrights', New Jersey Rep, Aurora Theatre, and Alchemy Theatre of Manhattan. He is a recipient of Lincoln Center's Lecomte du Nouy Prize, the NNPN Continued Life of New Plays Fund, the Sky Cooper Prize, the Jean Kennedy Smith Award, an IRNE for Best New Play, and residencies with America-in-Play, Seven Devils, 24Seven, Chautauqua, and The Royal Court Theatre of London.
 
Kerry Whigham just returned from the Hangar Theatre, where he directed The Revolution Will Be Televised by Josh Halloway.  Kerry directed the New York premiere of Jennifer Haley's Neighborhood 3:  Requisition of Doom at NYC's Public Theater as part of Summer Play Festival 2008.  In April, he staged the world premiere of Gregory Moss's punkplay at Brown University.  He has spent two summers at the Williamstown Theater Festival, directing both the Apprentice and Non-Equity companies, and was a Drama League Directing Fellow at the Hangar Theatre in 2007.  In 2006 he was commissioned to create The Revolution Will Be Televised for Syracuse Stage Company.  Kerry is a member of the Drama League's Assistant Directors Program and of the 2006 Lincoln Center Directors Lab.  In 2005, Kerry worked with three-time Obie-award winning playwright Adrienne Kennedy to develop her newest play, an adaptation of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, for which he directed the world-premiere workshop.  He also assisted Douglas Carter Beane on the Broadway production of Xanadu and James Lapine on two workshops of The Nightingale, the new musical by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater.  Other favorite projects include Six Degrees of Separation, Chaucer in Rome, Never Swim Alone, House/Humans, The Blue Room, The Ugly One, and The Argument.  His work can next be seen in the ANT Festival at Ars Nova, where his is directing Nobody Likes the Mormons and Girls I've Like Liked.  Education:  NYU.  www.kerrywhigham.com


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