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Storm Theatre and Blackfriars Rep Present THE TIDINGS BROUGHT TO MARY Mar. 13 - Apr. 4

The Storm Theatre and Blackfriars Repertory Theatre present THE TIDINGS BROUGHT TO MARY by Paul Claudel, the first show of The Paul Claudel Project, beginning March 13, 2009 at Paradise Factory, 64 E. 4th Street, NYC. Tickets are $20 and are available at, 212-868-4444.

This is the first time that THE TIDINGS BROUGHT TO MARY has been seen in NYC since the Broadway premiere in 1922 / 1923. Set in 15th century France, Paul Claudel's THE TIDINGS BROUGHT TO MARY is a mystery play that follows the tale of two sisters, one dedicated to the spirit and the other to the flesh.

In 1922, T.R. Ybarra wrote in The New York Times: "Paul Claudel, since last year French Ambassador to Japan, and for years one of the most discussed and most baffling of present-day writers, makes his bow to New York for the first time this Christmastide as a playwright. His medieval miracle play The Tidings Brought to Mary serves as his dramatic card of introduction. ... It is safe to say that New Yorkers never saw anything quite like this play in the whole of the theatrical history of their city. For Claudel's work is in a class by itself." A poet, dramatist, diplomat and strong Catholic, Claudel is best known for his verse dramas, which often convey his devout faith.

Next season, The Storm Theatre will present two more works by Claudel: The Satin Slipper and Break of Noon, continuing The Paul Claudel Project. The Storm Theatre has left its home of nine years at 46th Street and will stage THE TIDINGS BROUGHT TO MARY at Paradise Factory. "The relaxed and intimate setting of Paradise Factory is ideal for the reflective nature of these pieces," Mr. Dobbins said.

"THE TIDINGS BROUGHT TO MARY is an introduction to the work of one of the 20th century's greatest geniuses. In the three plays that we will present, Claudel explores the natures, differences and interactions of human and divine love, and how the resulting conflicts serve a greater plan. The Satin Slipper and Break of Noon each tell stories of divine grace and adulterous passion in completely different styles and settings," said Peter Dobbins, artistic director of The Storm Theatre.

Set design by Czerton Lim, costume design by Jessica Lustig, lighting design by Michael Abrams and Stage management by Charles Costano. Directed by Peter Dobbins. With Erin Teresa Beirnard as Violaine, Laura Bozzone as Mara, Gerard Adimando, Rita Cronin, Jim Dunlap, Jenny C. Green, Sawyer Mastrandrea, Ed Schiff, J. Max Sullivan, Douglas Taurel, and Harlan Work. Produced by The Storm Theatre and Blackfriars Repertory Theatre.


Since 1997, when it was established as a not-for-profit company, The Storm Theatre has drawn upon the resources of its founders, some acting friends and a growing cadre of professional associates whose commitment to theatre has been enhanced by the creative freedom fostered here; as a consequence, utilizing established classics, under-acknowledged gems from the world repertory and vigorous, new visions of life today, The Storm Theatre has succeeded in offering audiences compelling documentation of what it means to be human. In 2007, The Storm Theatre was selected as one of's "People of the Year."

Storms are variously identified with disturbances of the natural atmosphere as well as the landscape of the soul. They can encompass explosions of both an electrical and a passionate nature and have been represented as assaults, sometimes violent, upon fortified citadels or secret, internal retreats. A storm grows from elemental forces and, inevitably, explodes one reality in to another; it is a journey through catharsis to regeneration. Just as the Globe and The Rose portrayed the breadth and complexity of the lives Shakespeare uncovered on those stages, so The Storm was an apt choice to reflect the theatre experiences they hoped to project for their audiences; a reawakening to the awe-inspiring truths of our shared humanity, its beauty and potential.

Peter Dobbins (director) is a cofounder and Artistic Director of The Storm Theatre, and has directed such Storm productions as T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral, Dion Boucicault's The Shaughraun, and Arrah na Pogue, John Regis's Stavrogin's Confession, Stewart Parker's Spokesong, William Shakespeare's As You Like It, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night, Karol Wojtyla's The Jeweler's Shop, Jeremiah, and Our God's Brother, the North American Premiere of House of Desires by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, and the world premieres of The Last Starfighter by Skip Kennon and Fred Landau and Linnea by John Regis. As an actor, he has been seen as T. E. Lawrence in Terence Rattigan's Ross, Alfred Evelyn in Edward Bulwar Lytton's Money and Lolo in Pirandello's Henry IV and has played many leading roles in various regional theatres. He received a B.A. in Communications and Theatre from Temple University and attended Southern Methodist University's Professional Actors Training M.F.A. program. Most recently he directed The Time of Your Life by William Saroyon.


Blackfriars Repertory Theatre, an apostolate of the Dominican Friars of the Province of Saint Joseph , was founded in 1998 by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., as a revival of Blackfriars Theatre (1940-1972)-the first professional religious theatre ever tried in New York City and the oldest continuous Off-Broadway theatre in American stage history. Blackfriars provided the proverbial great first break to several acclaimed theatre artists including playwright Robert Anderson, and actors Geraldine Page, Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa, Darren McGavin, and Shelley Berman. Like the original Blackfriars, Blackfriars Rep carries on the mission of "producing plays of artistic merit that reflect the spiritual nature of man and his eternal destiny." In its ten years of existence, Blackfriars Repertory Theatre has staged over twenty productions in New York City, regionally, and on tour in its commitment to "theatre dedicated to the human drama."

THE TIDINGS BROUGHT TO MARY will performed from March 13 - April 4, 2009 at Paradise Factory, 64 E. 4th Street, NYC, with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:00pm. Additional performances on Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $20 and are available at, 212-868-4444.


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