SUMMER IN SANCTUARY NY Opens At Abingdon Theatre Co, Opens 4/3

Abingdon Theatre Company concludes its 2010-2011 Season with the New York premiere of SUMMER IN SANCTUARY- A new play by Al Letson, host of NPR's "State of the Re:Union"
Directed by Rob Urbinati (BORDER/CLASH)

"Letson is a powerful performer!" - Karen Houppert, The Baltimore Sun

Abingdon Theatre Company -- which has produced more than 60 new American plays in its 17-year history -- concludes its 2010-2011 Season with the New York premiere of SUMMER IN SANCTUARY, a new play by Al Letson, noted poet, playwright and host of NPR's "State of the
Re:Union" about one man's attempt to connect with disadvantaged youths using words and poetry, with previews set to begin March 25, prior to its official press opening on April 3 at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex's Dorothy Strelsin Theatre (312 West 36th Street) in Manhattan. Directed by Rob Urbinati, best known for his direction of Staceyann Chin's BORDER/CLASH.

Told through monologue, song, poetry, and multimedia, SUMMER IN SANCTUARY is an autobiographical play written and performed by Al Letson. "Def Poetry Jam" alumnus, Letson, challenges perceptions about race and class as he recalls a summer spent working at the Sanctuary on 8th Street, a community center in an economically challenged neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida. SUMMER IN SANCTUARY explores the heart of a community and gives theatergoers a better understanding of the world.

In a marriage of old and new forms, Letson weaves his story, in the style of Spaulding Gray, while adding his own flair with slam poetry, videos of his time spent with the kids, and musical accompaniment by hip-hop producer Willie Evans, Jr.

Soul-stirring, interdisciplinary work has garnered Al Letson national recognition, critical acclaim and devoted fans. His plays include ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL, GRIOT: HE WHO SPEAKS THE SWEET WORD, and JULIUS X. Early in his career, Letson established himself as a heavyweight in
the Poetry Slam Movement, performing on HBO's "Def Poetry Jam" and as part of CBS's "2004 Final Four Pre-Game." He hosts National Public Radio's "State of the Re:Union," which travels to an American city or town to discover what people are doing to create community and transcend their circumstances, while placing focus on vital cultural narratives. One of the fastest growing shows on public radio, broadcast on more than 200 stations, "State of Re:Union" is currently in its second season and is being developed for television.

Director Rob Urbinati's credits include Kirk Wood Bromley and Jessica Grace Wing's award-winning Off-Broadway musical LOST; Staceyann Chin's BORDER/CLASH; the premiere of Eric Bogosian's GRILLER for Lincoln Center Directors Lab; MINSTREL SHOW OR THE LYNCHING OF William Brown; and THE MAN WITH THE FLOWER IN HIS MOUTH for Classic Stage Company.
For Abingdon Theatre Company, he has directed Jan Buttram's THE PRESIDENT AND HER MISTRESS and James Armstrong's FOGGY BOTTOM. He is Director of New Play Development at Queens Theatre in the Park.

Abingdon Theatre Company's 2010-11 Season productions are Equity Approved Showcases.

Performances of SUMMER IN SANCTUARY run March 25-April 17 at Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex's Dorothy Strelsin Theatre (312 West 36th Street): Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:00pm; Fridays at 8:00pm; Saturdays at 2:00pm and 8:00pm; and Sundays at 2:00pm (with the
following exception: special opening night performance, Sunday, April 3 at 5:00pm; no 2:00pm that day). Tickets are $25; or 212-868-2055.

For more information, visit

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