THE UMBRELLA PLAYS Set for Limited Run at The Tank, 3/31-4/10

By: Mar. 05, 2011

Written by Stephanie Janssen and directed by Daniel Talbott (art. dir. Rising Phoenix Rep, Keep Your Baggage With You (at all times)), The Umbrella Plays connects six snap-shot-sized plays, each offering a glimpse into the lives of a disparate (and sometimes desperate) cast of characters, as they work their ways through inclement weather of the literal and figurative variety, searching for shelter in whatever form it can be found. The smallest and most common-place of objects, the simple umbrella, becomes the entry point into these stories, reminding us that there is more than meets the eye in the most innocuous-seeming pieces of a life, and the most fleeting of moments. Storms crash in and leave their marks, lovers are sought and lost and found again, ambitions jump the tracks and hopes get renewed, and in the swirl of these six stories, an umbrella is never, ever just an umbrella.

The original production of The Umbrella Plays received the award for Outstanding Play at the New York City Fringe Festival, 2008. The team is thrilled to have been invited to be part of the 2010-2011 theatre season at The Tank (45th St. in NYC), and to have the opportunity to revive the piece.

The Company:

M acleod Andrews (Slipping at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), M att Dixon (Coast of Utopia at Lincoln Center), Natalie Gold (The Umbrella Plays, Rubicon), Jan Leslie Harding (The Umbrella Plays, The Green Bird on Broadway), Stephanie Janssen (The Umbrella Plays, Mrs. Warren' s Profession at Roundabout), Chris Stack (One Life to Live), Samantha Soule (Gabriel at The Atlantic)

Production team:

Hannah Woodward (Stage Manager), Rose Ginsberg (Assistant Director), Eugenia Furneaux-Arends, (set), Brad Peterson (lighting), Tristan Raines (costumes) 

Daniel Talbott's most recent work as an actor includes the Theatre for One project in Times Square and around NYC, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis), Master Builder (Irish Rep), Rocket City (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Tartuffe (McCarter Theatre/Yale Rep), Marat/Sade (Classical Theatre of Harlem) and the feature films Pretty Bird and Dreaming American, and "The Big C" on Showtime. Recent directing work includes Keep Your Baggage With You (at all times) (Theater for the New City). His play Slipping was produced at Rattlestick with Piece by Piece Productions (namedone of the top 10 plays of 2009 by The Advocate), premiered in Chicago at The Side Project, was part of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, and was published this year by Dramatists Play Service.

He received a 2007 New York Innovative Theatre Award for directing, a Drama-Logue Award, two
Dean Goodman Choice Awards and a Judy Award for acting, and was also named one of the 15 People of the Year 2006 by He is a member of MCC Theater's Playwrights' Coalition, of last year's 24Seven Lab, and of TOSOS. He is a graduate of Juilliard and of Solano College Theatre's ATP, and teaches at the Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA). He is one of the literary managers of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and the artistic director of Rising Phoenix Rep (recipient of the 2007 NYIT Caffe Cino Fellowship Award).

Stephanie Janssen is an actress and a playwright. Her most recent work includes the world premiere of Map of Heaven at the Denver Center Theatre, and Mrs. Warren's Profession at the Roundabout Theatre. She also authored and appeared in The Umbrella Plays, which received the award for Outstanding Play at the New York International Fringe Festival. Other theatre credits include P.T.S.D. (Ensemble Studio Theatre) Beirut Rocks (Barefoot Theatre and Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York Innovative Theatre Awards - Best Actress Nominee), Absalom (by Zoe Kazan, Actor's Theatre of Louisville/ Human Festival), Against the Rising Sea (w/ Elizabeth Franz at Queens Theatre in the Park), Sarah Kane's Crave (Potomac Theatre Project), The Secret of Madame Bonnard's Bath (Gloucester Stage Company). TV and Film credits include: Law & Order, Everything is Ordinary. Stephanie has a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.F.A. from New York University's Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts.


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