June Ballinger's REMEMBRANCE DAY Will Premiere on 9/11
13th Street has - once again - become synonymous with cutting-edge powerful pieces focusing on the human experience. The latest is a great work of drama about one of the unsung heroes of history.
Remembrance Day, written and performed by June Ballinger, premiering at 13th Street opens on another remembrance day, September 11.
An 80-year-old former Bletchley Park code breaker, holding her oath of silence for over 50 years, attends a Remembrance Day ceremony in England. Now, today, what will happen if she voices her secrets to her daughter?
Inspired by the letters and personal diary of Nancy Annan Ballinger and discovered by her daughter, June (the writer and lone figure on this stage) after her death, Remembrance Day is a story about the cost of secrecy and how much one woman is willing to pay.
Bletchley Park was the central site for Britain's code-breakers during World War II. The most famous of the cipher systems to be broken at Bletchley Park was the Enigma. And then there was Colossus, the world's first electronic computer that could decode personal messages sent by Hitler to his top battlefield commanders. Many believe today that the success of Colossus shortened the war by at least 2 years. Nancy Annan (Ballinger) worked with the team that created Colossus. She and all engaged in code-breaking had to sign the Official Secrets Act. While most of that information was declassified in the late 1970s, many men and women were never comfortable with "telling all" and were proud to be remembered as "Churchill's geese that never cackled."June Ballinger joined the Passage Theatre in 1995, and assumed artistic leadership in 1996. Dedicated to developing new plays for the American theatre, June has introduced Trenton audiences to premiere works by William Mastrosimone; Leslie Ayvazian; Seret Scott; Yusef Komunykaa; Russell Davis; Caridad Svich; David Lee White and others. Prior to becoming Artistic Director, she performed in many new works at theatres nationwide such as New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, Primary Stages, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and The Kennedy Center. She was a founding ensemble member of the Magic Carpet Play Company in San Francisco for ten years, and was also in the original Broadway cast of Pack of Lies starring RoseMary Harris. She currently divides her time between acting and producing.
In 1995, following her longtime association with New York's 52nd Street Project, June came to Trenton to create the State Street Project for Passage Theatre. Now under the direction of Associate Artistic Director and playwright in residence David Lee White, the State Street Project has successfully served hundreds of young people in Trenton, demonstrating how commitment to community is essential to any theatre's success. During her tenure in Trenton, June has worked to contribute to Trenton's resurgence by promoting cultural tourism and keeping the arts relevant in the lives of the community by continuing Passage Theatre's emphasis on producing original works that create new and interesting experiences in our community. June is a member of New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Actors Center. She serves on the Executive Board of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. Ms. Ballinger is a 2003 Fellow of Leadership Trenton where she lives with her family.
Remembrance Day, written and performed by June Ballinger, will have a special series of six performances at 13th Street Repertory (50 West 13th Street): Sunday, September 11 @ 3pm; Monday, September 12@7pm; Thursday, September 15@ 7pm; Sunday, September 18 @ 3pm; Monday, September 19 @ 7pm; and Thursday, September 22 @ 7pm.
Talks of a national tour are in progress at press time.