THE EAST RIVER HOTEL Premieres 12/28 at Theater for the New City


Theater for the New City, Crystal Field, Executive Director presents the world premiere of The East River Hotel. Written and directed by Jeff Randall Wiseman, the production opens at Theater for the New City (155 First Avenue, NYC) on Friday, December 28, 2012 and runs through Sunday, January 13, 2013. The play performs Thursday through Saturday at 8PM and Sunday at 3PM.

The East River Hotel is an absurd romp through the looking glass of New York nostalgia set in an extravagant extended-stay hotel in lower Manhattan. The return of Via Michelle, mythical icon of the silver sixties, leads lunatic Hotel Consultant Jonny Lightning and hardboiled General Manager Sue Satu to plot a devious grand marketing scheme. It's up to Hector Blanco, the Bell Captain with the mysterious past, to avert a sensational sex scandal - but first, he seriously needs to find his headband.

The play is written and directed by Jeff Randall Wiseman, whose credits include several major collaborations with Ping Chong and the award-winning multimedia plays Flicker (P.S. 122) and Shelf Life (Kraine Theatre). The East River Hotel includes a video installation designed by Dmitry Torgovitsky and sets by Mark Marcante. In addition to Wiseman, the cast includes Tania Asnes, Ryan Downey and Victoria Linchong.

Theater for the New City (TNC) is one of New York City's leading Off-Off Broadway theaters. Founded in 1971 by Crystal Field, TNC produces 30-40 new plays per year, as well as an Annual Summer Street Theater, the Annual Village Halloween Costume Ball and the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts. Past productions include the world premiere of Buried Child by Sam Shepard, as well as several plays by Maria Irene Fornes (Danube, Mud, Conduct of Life), Romulus Linney (Heathen Valley, Gint, True Crimes), Eduardo Machado (Fabiola, Cuba and the Night, Havana Journal) and Charles Busch (The Divine Sister, Shanghai Moon). Other notable theater artists who have been nurtured and supported by TNC's commitment to new American theater include Moises Kaufman, Tim Robbins, Richard Foreman, Eduardo Machado, Caridad Svich, and Betty Shamieh. TNC productions have been awarded 43 Village Voice OBIE Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was voted "Best Theatre Company in Manhattan" by New York Press in 2003.

The East River Hotel is supported by Marie-José Malis, Artistic Director of Compagnie La Llvantina, France. Marie-José is a former pupil of the École Normale Supérieure. She has worked on texts by authors such as Hölderlin, Godard, Straub and Huillet. For her production of Le Prince de Hombourg, she worked with French philosopher and playwright Alain Badiou. She is a Villa Medicis Hors les Murs Prize winner and a former resident artist of Le Centquatre, Paris. Marie-José is a companion artist of Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse, France, who has produced three of her shows, based on Pasolini, Kleist and Pirandello texts. Théâtre Garonne has supported artists such as Tadeusz Kantor, Maguy Marin, François Tanguy, Christof Marthaler, Richard Maxwell, Big Art Group and Miguel Gutierrez.

"The play tells the story of a New York hotel. There is the owner, a figure imagined from 70's New York, forged from Warhol muses, a survivor who would have gone through disillusion, drugs, and would have converted herself to a new capitalism of images and services. And there are her employees, crossed by dilemmas, those generated by liberalism, efficiency, profitability, concurrence, cynicism and disaffection. At the same time, the Town, its history, its myths are at work and manage to make their utopian aims heard. Hospitality and dehumanization collide. But in all of this, the characters escape from a fatal negativity. To the America of the winners, to the Occident of the strong, they propose new destinations: hospitality, fragility, innocent and burlesque, a way of living without giving up desire. They are an ability to build a minority and revolutionary position. The fracture points of a civilization, its violence, and its alienations are shared with humor, with a total confidence in the intelligence of the audience. There is a sweetness, not as a dodge, but as a political choice." - Marie-José Malis

Jeff Randall Wiseman is an internationally acclaimed writer, director and performer, whose work has appeared in 30 cities in 11 countries including several major multimedia collaborations with Ping Chong, among them Truth and Beauty, which was published by American Theatre Magazine, and Blind Ness, which premiered at LaMama Theatre. Other notable productions include Big Art Group's Shelf Life, a multidisciplinary work using an experimental hybrid of cinema and theatre dubbed "Real Time Film" technique, which toured throughout the U.S, and Europe. Wiseman continued to experiment with Real Time Film in Flicker, which premiered at P.S. 122 and toured for three years internationally. His work has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, NY State Council on the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Shubert Foundation, MetLife Foundation, DNA Project, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller MAP Fund, and Pew Charitable Trusts.

Associate Director Victoria Linchong is best known for producing five plays by the great American writer James Purdy. Other notable producing credits include Williams' Guignol, the world premiere of two of Tennessee Williams' last short plays with Bill Rice and Sam Trammell, and Stop the War: A Festival for Peace in the Middle East (Obie Citation). Acting credits include Jeff Weiss' Hot Keys (Naked Angels/Obie Citation), Sketching Utopia (Theater for the New City), Lee/Gendary by Soomi Kim (Asian American Theater Festival) and Degeneracy written and directed by Kevin Cunningham (3 Legged Dog). She recently produced, directed and acted in Paper Angels by Genny Lim, which won Best of the San Francisco Fringe. She studied acting with Sanford Meisner and at the British American Drama Academy at Oxford University in England. Victoria is the Artistic Director of Direct Arts, an intercultural theater and film company.

THE EAST RIVER HOTEL runs December 28 to January 13, Thursday - Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm. Theater for the New City is located at 155 First Avenue, between 9th and 10th Street, accessible from the L train at 1st Avenue and the 6 train at Astor Place. Tickets are $15 for General Admission, $10 for Students and Seniors. For tickets and information, call 212-254-1109 or visit Run time is approximately 80 minutes including a 10-minute intermission.

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