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Loading Dock Theatre to Present THE TWELFTH LABOR, 9/19-10/11

Loading Dock Theatre presents The Twelfth Labor, a world premiere epic family drama by Leegrid Stevens. Matt Torney directs a cast of eleven, including Cynthia Babak*, Amy Bizjak*, Jed Dickson*, Jonathan Draxton, Dennis Gagomiros*, Shelby Hightower, Michael Huston*, Tanis LePore, Lynne McCollough*, Erin Treadway, and Brian White. Performances will be staged at The Gene Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012 from September 19-October 11, 2014. *Appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association. AEA Showcase.

Steeped in the epic realism of O'Neill, yet stylistically unique, The Twelfth Labor tells the story of a family struggling to survive at any cost. Esther, bereft of her husband, struggles mightily to keep her family afloat as they await their father's return from the war. When her mentally handicapped daughter, Cleo, becomes pregnant Esther is forced to make a series of difficult decisions.

Through Cleo's fragmented memories, prophetic dreams, and swirling language, we begin to understand the price she and her family have paid for a little dignity. All while they await the return of their long absent father, lost in the war, half a world away.

"The Twelfth Labor is based on my family's history. Like Esther in the play, the hardships my own great-grandmother endured to secure a better life cost her much," says playwright Leegrid Stevens. "We are compelled to pursue the American Dream but for many people in this country, my great-grandmother included, that dream is terribly elusive, laying far off, mirage-like, at the end of vast and long labors. I know the mythology states that Hercules ultimately completed the twelve labors, and now rests in the heavens as a God, but I don't believe it. Wherever Hercules is, he's struggling still."

The Twelfth Labor draws from several sources to tell the story of Esther and her family, including James Joyce, Anton Chekhov, the labors of Hercules, as well as Abbott & Costello and Wizard of Oz. The play's style shifts from realism to impressionism to magic realism as the focus of the action shifts from the present to memory to dream. The play explores the incredible landscapes that exist in the human mind, even a damaged mind. Throughout a single day Cleo travels decades, experiencing devastating tragedy, brilliant joy, and persistent labor, a lifetime within twenty four hours.


Matt Torney (director) is a writer and director from Belfast in Northern Ireland. He is the director of programming for Origin Theatre in New York, and an associate director of Rough Magic Theatre Company in Dublin. NY credits include: Stop the Tempo, Tiny Dynamite (Origin Theatre, nominated for a drama desk award), The Dudleys by Leegrid Stevens (Theatre for the New City), The Angel of History (HERE), Sistahs (Collective:Unconscious), The Frankenstein Project (Columbia), and Three Sisters and A Bright Room Called Day (Atlantic Theatre School). Regional credits include: Sherlock Holmes and the Crucifer of Blood, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre), The New Electric Ballroom and The Walworth Farce (Studio Theatre DC, nominated for 3 Helen Hayes awards), Improbable Frequency (Solas Nua, Nominated for a Helen Hayes award for 'Best Choreography'). International credits include: Digging For Fire, Plaza Suite (Rough Magic, National Tour), Angola (workshop at the Abbey Theatre), Paisley and Me, Meeting at Menin Gate (Green Shoot, Belfast), Black Milk (Prime Cut, Belfast), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Making Strange, nominated for an Irish Theatre Award for 'Best Director'), Woyzeck (Rough Magic, nominated for 'Best Production' at the Dublin Fringe Festival) Matt holds an MFA from Columbia University. For more information visit

Leegrid Stevens (playwright) - his plays have been seen in downtown theatres in New York City including HERE Arts Center, Incubator Arts Project, Lark Theatre, Altered Stages, and Theatre for the New City, among others both nationally and internationally. You can find some of his plays in print including Post-Oedipus (Playscripts), Leda's Swan (Stage Tribes, Theater-Verlag Desh Publishers), Sun Stand Thou Still (Plays and Playwrights 2004), and The Dudleys! (Indie Theatre). Leegrid was recently nominated for two New York Innovative Theatre Awards (Script & Sound Design winning the Outstanding Sound Design award) for his work on Spaceman. He grew up in the hill country of Spicewood, TX and moved to New York after attending SMU in Dallas. He lives in Brooklyn. MFA - Columbia.

The Twelfth Labor plays for 16 performances from September 19-October 11. Performances are Wednesdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sunday, September 21st at 1pm and Saturday, October 11th at 2pm. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased by visiting The run time for The Twelfth Labor is 2.5 hours, which includes one intermission.

The Twelfth Labor is presented by Loading Dock Theatre. Director: Matt Torney; Set Designer: Carolyn Mraz; Lighting Designer: Simon Cleveland; Costume Designer: Nichole Wee; Publicist: Paul Siebold/Off Off PR.

Loading Dock Theatre was formed by playwright/director Leegrid Stevens and actor Erin Treadway. The company is based in Brooklyn where they rehearse and build shows. The primary focus of Loading Dock is to create original plays that explore the extremes in human behavior. They produce emotional, character driven plays with an experimental edge.

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