THE HAPPY GARDEN OF LIFE Opens At New Ohio Theatre, October 18
How do we as artists respond to the times we live in? Director Jenna Hoffmann (NYU Directing graduate) and playwright Anna Jastrzembski (Columbia University Playwriting graduate) had this question in mind when setting out to create a theatre piece that could engage with the political and environmental challenges facing the world today. The show that emerged, The Happy Garden of Life, will have its world premiere at the New Ohio Theatre from October 18-27.
The Happy Garden of Life is inspired by a Kurt Vonnegut short story from 1962 about population control. Although decades have passed since the story's publication, Vonnegut's work continues to have a scary relevance in contemporary society. The Happy Garden of Life, set in a near-future, highly regulated utopia, follows the lives of various citizens caught up in a system of government-encouraged suicide. Through multiple storylines that converge in a hospital waiting room where a woman is about to give birth to triplets, the play considers how one person's worth can be qualified over another's.
The full-length play has been in development for two years and an early version (A Modest Proposal) played at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre in January 2019 for a three-night, sold-out run. The team is proud to present the new full-length version at the New Ohio theatre. The production features Briana Archer, Elizabeth Chappel, Nicolette Ellis, Heather Holmes, Lizzy Jarrett, Thomas Morris, Erin Noll, Uma Paranjpe, Joe Rivera, and Brian Sanchez, and the creative team, along with director Jenna Hoffmann and playwright Anna Jastrzembski, is made up of Emily Erickson, Composer/Music Director; Matthew Imhoff, Scenic Designer; Christina Tang, Lighting Designer; Jacob K. Robinson, Sound Designer; Halla Tryggvadottir, Producer; Yannik Encarnação, Assistant Director; Cara Cincione, Production Stage Manager; Cara Kienitz, Rehearsal Stage Manager.
Tickets are only $25 and are available at NewOhioTheatre.org and the team's Kickstarter page (bit.ly/HappyGardenKickstarter), where people can support the production while also getting tickets to this new play.
The Happy Garden of Life opens on October 18 and runs through October 27 at the New Ohio Theatre in West Village (154th Christopher Street in New York).