Nylon Fusion Collective Presents Wisdom of Obscurity & Paper Dragon

By: Mar. 23, 2011
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A British drama about people on the fringes of life trying to survive day by day, and an American tale about an extended family looking for love: Wisdom of Obscurity and Paper Dragon are two very different stories about people on both sides of the Atlantic with a desperate need to be recognized, no matter the risks they take or the people they hurt.

The two shows are being presented as part of the Nylon Fusion Collective's Trans-Atlantic Series, in which one theme is explored in two plays and through two perspectives. Both plays will be performed in repertory at Manhattan Theatre Source, located at 177 MacDougal Street, beginning April 14th. On Thursday, March 24th at 7pm there will be a fundraiser for Nylon hosted by John Patrick Shanley with Wynton Marsalis. For tickets: RSVP to ny.lon.fusion@gmail.com or call 347-524-0514.

In Wisdom of Obscurity, Sammy, an angry twenty-something Londoner, has had it with society; especially when his degree in media studies can't land him a job. Pushed over the edge by a price increase at the local chip shop, he begins to lash out in an ever-increasing cycle of violence, helped in part by his encounter with a roguish kindred spirit. At the same time, Sammy's roommates, Amelia & Kes, have problems of their own. Amelia struggles with a form of visual dyslexia, not to mention a fear of mice, while her boyfriend Kes is trying to get her to forgive him for being unfaithful. The three also have to deal with a threatening landlord who has no patience for the younger generation. Written by Elliot Joseph and directed by Mahayana Landowne, the play is a warning about taking for granted what appears to be the truth and where archaic destruction is the path of forbidden fury.

The cast of Wisdom of Obscurity features Nnamudi Amobi*, Mac Brydon*, Jonathan Blakeley, Kaia Foss, Alfred Gingold*, Elliot Joseph, and Lauren Swann. The production is an Equity-Approved Showcase.

Set in a three-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, Paper Dragon looks at the unspoken feelings between a close circle of friends -- all members of what one of them calls "the servant class." There's Walter and his younger sister Ronnie, a lesbian hairdresser; her best friend Eleanor, and Bot, Ronnie's current main squeeze. Bot, who doesn't get along with Eleanor, is furious that her married girlfriend is being deported to Canada. Walter pops pills to ease the pain of his all-too real dreams. He's also talking with his brother Andy's girlfriend, for who he feels much more than friendship, about Andy's obsession with origami; an art form where, once a piece of paper is creased, it can never be uncreased -- just like life. And there's a flasher who lives next door. Over the course of the play, these people will come together and pull apart, all in the name of love, desire and need for contact. As one of the characters quietly pleads: "Pick me".

Written by Alisha Silver and directed by Lori Kee, the cast of Paper Dragon features Caroline Bloom, Jennifer Betit Yen Ivette Dumeng, Justin Maruri*, Kevin Melendez*, Joseph Schommer, Meghan Jones, Jacob Troy. The production is an Equity-Approved Showcase.

Nylon Fusion Collective's creative team includes Brian Saxton (set designer), Lee Terry: (lighting designer), Karen Derby (sound designer), Karla Almendarez (costumes for Paper Dragon), and Lorna Martin-Latner (costumes for Wisdom of Obscurity).

Elliot Joseph (writer, Wisdom of Obscurity) is an actor, writer and co-founder of Nylon Fusion Collective. Previous shorts for film and theatre include: Fragile (Tristian Bate Theatre), Superhero Complex (Off West End) and Truth Or Date (MTG). As an actor he has performed with West End and Off-Broadway productions. In NYC he has worked with Arielle Tepper's Summer Play Festival and at New Dramatists in a world premiere of Parhelia. He also recently completed work on a short film with Ripfest called Ding Dong, directed by OBIE winner Daniel Aukin. TV & Film includes; Eastenders, Hero of The Hour, Kevin & Perry Go Large & Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. In London, Elliot has worked at The Globe Theatre, Hackney Empire and Tricycle Theatre. He is also a member of the UK Film Council Film Lab. With Nylon, Elliot has done various readings at The Actors Centre, London; whilst in NY he has acted & produced A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Fuente Ovejuna. Wisdom of Obscurity, which he wrote in memory of his father, is his first full-length play.

Alisha Silver (writer, Paper Dragon) began her theatrical career at San Francisco State University and got her BA in Drama. She spent two years in San Francisco directing with several local companies and began to adapt poems, short stories and other written works into theatrical pieces with strong dance and movement elements. She continued this work in New York where she produced and directed more than a dozen productions over the last few years. She joined the Michael Chekhov Theatre Company in 2005 and directed several Sam Shepard plays including Fool for Love, Curse of the Starving Class and Angel City. She studies playwriting under Tina Howe at Hunter College. She won the John Golden Award for playwriting (2007, 2008) the Thomas Barbour Memorial Playwrights Award (2009) and was a finalist for the Julie Harris Playwright Award, (2009) and the Trustus Playwright's Festival (2010.) She is a member of TOSOS II and SilverLoop Productions. Alisha is also a member of Nylon Fusion's Writers Collective.

Nylon Fusion is a collective of diverse artists with Trans-Atlantic roots that explores classical and contemporary work through an ensemble approach. Past projects include Lope De Vega's Fuente Ovejuna and William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Coming this fall will be a production of Ben Jonson's The Alchemist. For more information, go to www.Nylonfusion.org.

Wisdom of Obscurity runs from April 14th though April 30th on the following schedule: Thursday, April 14th at 8pm, Friday, April 15th at 7pm, Saturday, April 16th at 8pm, Thursday, April 21st at 8pm, Saturday, April 23rd at 3pm, Wednesday, April 27th at 8pm, Friday, April 29th at 8pm and Saturday, April 30th at 8pm. Opening night for Wisdom of Obscurity is Friday, April 15th.

Paper Dragon runs from April 17th through April 30th on the following schedule. Sunday, April 17th at 3pm, Tuesday, April 19th at 8pm, Wednesday, April 20th at 8pm, Friday, April 22nd at 8pm, Saturday, April 23rd at 8pm, Tuesday, April 26th at 8pm, Thursday, April 28th at 8pm, Saturday, April 30th at 3pm. Opening night for Paper Dragon is Wednesday, April 20th at 8pm

Both Wisdom of Obscurity and Paper Dragon will be performed at Manhattan Theatre Source, located at 177 MacDougal Street (between Waverly Place and West 8th Street). Please note: the theatre is not wheelchair accessible. Tickets are $18.00, $12.00 for students and seniors at the door and $25.00 for opening night(s). Reservations: 866-811-4111 or https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/816355 (Paper Dragon), https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/816345 (Wisdom of Obscurity)



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