Peculiar Works Project to Present 3CHRISTS, Opening 9/7

Peculiar Works Project has announced the world premiere of their next site-specific theatrical event, 3CHRISTS, written by SM Dale & Barry Rowell, and directed by Kelly O'Donnell. Based on The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, a psychological study by Milton Rokeach, 3CHRISTS will be performed in the sanctuary of Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South, at Thompson St.). Performances begin on Friday, September 5 for a limited engagement through Sunday, September 28. Opening Night is Sunday, September 7 at 7 PM. The performance schedule is Thursday - Sunday at 7 PM. Tickets, which are $18, are available by calling 866-811-4111 or online

What happens when three paranoid schizophrenic patients-each believing they are Jesus Christ-are confronted with each other's conflicting identities?

Based on a true psychiatric case study conducted at Michigan's Ypsilanti State Hospital from 1959-61, 3CHRISTS tells the story of a pioneering doctor and his three institutionalized patients: Clyde Benson, an elderly farmer and alcoholic with a history of violence; Joseph Cassel, a shipping clerk who yearned to be a writer; and Leon Gabor, a college dropout and war veteran. Research psychologist Dr. Milton compels these men to live together for two years in the hope of curing their delusions. But what happens when the very core of your identity is challenged?

A poignant, amusing, and at times disturbing play about a doctor's compulsion to save a trio of delusional patients, 3CHRISTS is a story about belief, identity and the need to play God.

The cast features Christopher Hurt, Catherine Porter, Donald Warfield, Arthur Aulisi, Daryl Lathon, and Mick Hilgers.

The design team includes Angela Harner (costumes), Kia Rogers (lighting), Rebecca Phillips (sets), and Harrison Adams (sound). Heather Olmstead is the production stage manager.

Kelly O'Donnell (Director) is a co-founder and Creative Partner at Flux Theatre Ensemble. For Flux, she has directed their recent production of Jane the Plain. Other directing credits include Hearts Like Fists (NYIT Nomination for Excellence in Directing), Dog Act, Jacob's House, Honey Fist, Riding the Bull, Rue, and Life is a Dream. Kelly has worked as an actor or director at The Pennsylvania, Orlando and Utah Shakespeare Festivals, the Walnut Street Theatre, Alchemy Theatre Company, the West End Shakespeare Players, the Cape Playhouse, The Orlando Fringe Festival, Arden Theatre, The Museum of Sex, and has directed several readings for various downtown theatre companies in New York. She has worked as an assistant director to Broadway director, John Rando. Kelly graduated from DeSales University and is originally from Philadelphia.

SM Dale (Co-Playwright) has adapted scripts for several Peculiar Works projects, including 2012's performed installation Spring Pictures of the Floating World in the basement under La MaMa's Annex Theater as well as the original workshop of 3Christs in 1998 with co-writer Barry Rowell in the balcony of Judson Church. Also with PWP: Wallpaper, adapted from Charlotte Perkins Gilman's classic short story; and Privileged & Confidential in BIG ART in Small Places at Judson House, Rat(FEST)ation at the Ohio Theatre; culminating in the coast-to-coast videoconference, performed simultaneously at Los Angeles Theater Center/LA and Gertrude Stein Rep/NYC (Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art and NYFA's TechTAP awards). Other writing projects include Over the River and Through the Woods, a children's musical based on the Thanksgiving poem; a multi-media, science-fiction solo work based on Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea; and a dance-theater version of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. Dale grew up in North Carolina and resides in Manhattan, NYC.

Barry Rowell (Co-Playwright) has written or directed several Peculiar Works Project productions, including the 2013 epic promenade performance, Manna-Hata at the James A. Farley post office. With partners Ralph Lewis and Catherine Porter, he created the OBIE Award-winning OFF Stage: the West Village Fragments and its companion, the East Village Fragments. In 2014, Barry was part of the artistic team that developed the promenade performance workshop and performance, Imagining America, at the Varna International Theater Festival in Bulgaria. He is one of eleven playwrights who each adapted one of the tablets that make up the Sumerian epic, Gilgamesh, for The Forge performance group. His play Floydada was a finalist in the 2011 Texas Playwrights Festival; his Before I Wake was presented by Theatre of NOTE in Los Angeles, and his 10-minute play, Dialogue in 3 Parts, was a finalist in the Creative Mechanics' inaugural Stage This! festival and is available in the published collection on Amazon. Barry directed S.M. Dale's Privileged & Confidential at the Los Angeles Theater Center as part of bi-coastal video conference performance with actors in both L.A. and New York City; Ruth Margraff's Gat Him to His Place at HERE arts center; and Kurt Weill's opera The Protagonist at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall for the American Symphony Orchestra. He is a graduate of Texas Christian University and studied postgraduate theatre history and criticism at the University of Texas at Austin.

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