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New Perspectives Theatre Co Presents JUSTIFIED 9/26-10/2

New Perspectives Theatre Company (NPTC) has announced JUSTIFIED, the 4th Annual Women's Work Festival running from Sunday, September 26th to Sunday, October 2nd at NPTC Studio, 456 West 37th Street. NPTC celebrates its 20th Anniversary Season this year, and offers an expanded festival that includes four original short plays developed in our Women's Work LAB, along with an Opening Panel/Forum and readings of four original full-length scripts from the last four years of the LAB.

On September 25, 2011 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm, the festival opens with Shouting from the Rooftops!: Supporting Women's Voices, a forum/panel looking at the experiences of women playwrights and why it matters that our voices are supported and heard. The event is moderated by Maxine Kern, and features guest speaker Harriet Fraad, along with playwrights past and present from NPTC's Women's Work Project. A cocktail hour from 6:00pm to 7:00pm leads into a reading of Tunnel Vision by Andrea Lepcio, directed by Melissa Maxwell.

From Monday, September 26 to Saturday, October 1st, four short plays will run in repertory at 6:00pm and 8:30pm (in two programs, A and B). Artistic Director Melody Brooks asked new LAB members to tackle the theme of JUSTIFIED back in mid-May, inspired in her choice by multiple happenings this year-from the death of Bin Laden and intervention in Libya, to the antics of far right politicians and an ever-expanding police state. Writers shared thoughts on what the term meant for them, and came back to the LAB with a first draft. Development through the summer resulted in plays as unique and diverse as the writers who created them.

In the farce Bright Lights, Tent City by France-Luce Benson directed by Jenny Greeman, a Haitian refugee camp turns into a three-ring circus of celebrity presidential candidates and A-list movie stars to-the-rescue, causing local residents to compete for attention as well as scarce resources. Marisa Petsakos' Nothing Left to Steal (directed by Elysa Marden) examines one middle-aged woman's struggle with leaving her home in the face of government flooding and fearing her future as a "stranger in a strange land" when she leaves all that she has ever known behind. Cynthia Robinson channels a bit of "Imitation of Life" in Peola's Passing, directed by Melody Brooks. Set in 1964, two sisters from Jackson, MS-one "passing" and the other about to risk her life for change-confront the realities of the color bar on the eve of the Civil Rights Act. In An Apple A Day by Heather Violanti, directed by Celia Braxton, two women from two different eras-the present-day and the 1890s-find common ground in this surreal exploration of what it means to be sane, and the murky line between lost and found. Meganne George serves as Set Design consultant, Athena Roque is Costume Designer. Shannon Martha is Stage Manager and Sound consultant.
The festival concludes with readings of three more full-length scripts from the Women's Work Project: Shamhat by Rosebud Ben-Oni (Saturday, Oct 1st at 2:00pm), MOTHER OF GOD! by Michele Miller (Sunday, October 2nd at 1:00pm) and Marla and Her Prayers by Kim Merrill (Sunday, October 2nd at 5:00pm).

NEW PERSPECTIVES THEATRE COMPANY is an award-winning, multi-racial company performing in the Theatre District and communities throughout New York City. Now in its 20th season, notable productions have included Richard III, starring Austin Pendleton; The Taming of the Shrew (OOBR Award for Excellence), Exhibit #9 by Tracy Scott Wilson (Audelco Award); Jihad by Ann Chamberlain (OOBR Award for Excellence); Admissions by Tony Velella (10 Best Plays Citation, Backstage); the premiere of The Shaneequa Chronicles by OBIE-Winner Stephanie Berry (with Blackberry Productions); Anatomy of a Love Affair by Deirdre Hollman (Optioned by Essence Entertainment); and innovative productions of Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, Othello, and Julius Caesar. The Company's mission is to develop and produce new plays and playwrights, especially women and people of color, to present classic plays in a style that addresses contemporary issues, and to extend the benefits of theatre to young people and communities in need. Our aim is not to exclude, but to cast a wider net.

2011 WOMEN'S WORK LAB WRITERS
FRANCE-LUCE BENSON is a two-time recipient of the Shubert Foundation Fellowship Award and her feature length screenplay, Healing Roots, was awarded the $10,000 prize from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Her play Fati's Last Dance received the Lorraine Hansberry Award for Playwriting from the Kennedy Center (Honorable Mention), was one of six plays selected for the inaugural Ignition Festival at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, a finalist for the Theodore Ward prize given by Columbia College, and the winner of the Mary Marlin Fisher Award given by Carnegie Mellon University. Ms. Benson holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon in Dramatic Writing, and a BFA from Florida International University in Theatre.

MARISA PETSAKOS is an actor and writer whose solo work has appeared at Midtown International Theatre Festival (Nominee for Outstanding Production of a Short Subject), EAT's Illuminating Artist Festival, The Double Helix ONE Festival, Estrogenius, Caroline's and Metropolitan Playhouse, where she participated in the Alphabet City Project in her piece FIREMAN (featured in the NY Daily News).

CYNTHIA G. ROBINSON's play Ascension, a selected project of Tribeca All Access Open Stage (Tribeca Film Institute, 2004), received a Best New Play IRNE nomination in 2006 and was performed at FringeNYC (2008) and the National Black Theatre Festival (2009). Other plays include Thunder: A Musical Memoir (FringeNYC 2007), The Panacea (Thomas Barbour Memorial Playwright's Award, finalist, 2008), and Leading Lady: Coretta Scott King, among others. Her work has been presented at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Bleeker Street Theatre, The Cherry Lane, Boston Center for the Arts, and the University of NC School of the Arts. She is a member of The Dramatist's Guild and Co-founder/Artistic Director of Robinson Williams Productions. Cynthia holds an M.A. in English Education from NYU, a B.A. in English from Syracuse University, and has done post-graduate work at Trinity College, Oxford University. She currently teaches literature and modern drama at Westchester Community College.

HEATHER JEANNE VIOLANTI is thrilled to be part of the Women's Work Lab! Heather's plays have been produced at Manhattan Theatre Source, the DR2 Lounge, the Westside YMCA, Camino Real Playhouse (California), Hygienic Theatre's 24 Hour Playwriting Festival (Connecticut) and MusicalFare Theatre (in her hometown of Buffalo, NY). She won the Brinly-Hardy Fellowship for Playwriting at the Mary Anderson Center and was a member of the Groundbreakers Playwrights' Group at terraNova Collective. She works as a dramaturge and development associate for the Mint Theater. Heather is a member of the Dramatists' Guild and holds an MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from Yale School of Drama.

SCHEDULE: (Press Performances September 27 to October 1)

JUSTIFIED SHORT PLAY PERFORMANCES
Program A: (Bright Lights, Tent City; Nothing Left to Steal)
Program B: (Peola's Passing; An Apple a Day)
Monday, September 26, 6:00pm
Monday, September 26, 8:30pm
Tuesday, September 27, 8:30pm
Tuesday, September 27, 6:00pm
Wednesday, September 28, 6:00pm
Wednesday, September 28, 8:30pm
Thursday, September 29, 8:30pm
Thursday, September 29, 6:00pm
Friday, September 30, 6:00pm
Friday, September 30, 8:30pm
Saturday, October 1, 8:30pm
Saturday, October 1, 6:00pm

STAGED READINGS

Tunnel Vision by Andrea Lepcio
Shamhat by Rosebud Ben-Oni
Sunday, September 25th, 7:00pm
Saturday, October 1st, 2:00pm
MOTHER OF GOD! by Michele Miller
Marla and Her Prayers by Kim Merrill
Sunday, October 2nd, 1:00pm
Sunday, October 2nd, 5:00pm

Location:
All performances at New Perspectives Studio, 456 West 37th Street (at 10th Avenue)
Panel Location To Be Announced

Tickets:
$18 for Program A and Program B; $15//students and seniors w/ID, TDF accepted
SPECIAL DISCOUNT: $25 for both programs
Advance Sale at http://www.newperspectivestheatre.org/programs/womenswork/JUSTIFIED.htm


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