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'The Alice Complex' to Star Elbrick and Banes

Tall Story Productions presents the World Premiere of Peter Barr Nickowitz' new play "THE ALICE COMPLEX" at The Cherry Lane Theatre beginning August 8th as part of the 11th annual New York International Fringe Festival – FringeNYC.  THE ALICE COMPLEX stars Obie winner Lisa Banes and Tony Award nominee Xanthe Elbrick with direction by Bill Oliver.    Performances are Friday, Aug. 8 at 4:45; Tuesday, Aug. 12 at 7; Friday, Aug. 15 at 4:45; Saturday, Aug. 16 at 9:30, and Thursday, Aug. 21 at 9:30 PM at the Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street (between 7th Avenue and Hudson Street).   All seats are $15 and available via (866) 486-7619 or

Sally Keating, a professor of Women's Studies, is preparing for a dinner party when one of her students, Rebecca, arrives carrying a white box.  Rebecca tells Sally that she has been raped and hands her the box, which, she insinuates, contains her attacker's penis.  Horrified, Sally tries to call the police, but Rebecca intercedes and ties her up.

Rebecca idealizes Sally for having written The Alice Complex, a seminal book of 1970s feminism, but Sally no longer believes in her former revolutionary ideas.  Feeling betrayed, Rebecca interrogates Sally to find out why she's turned her back on her beliefs.  What's really inside the white box, and what's the real reason Sally doesn't teach The Alice Complex anymore?
The actors who play Sally and Rebecca play eleven different roles, including Margo and Quinn, lovers about to perform together in a play for the first time.  Past, present and future collide in this darkly funny, psychological thriller about inspiration and betrayal between two women of different generations.

Lisa Banes ("Sally") has appeared on Broadway in Rumors, Arcadia and High Society and Off-Broadway in Look Back in Anger (Theatre World Award), My Sister in this House (OBIE Award),and  Isn't It Romantic (Drama Desk nomination), among many others.  Her film and TV credits include The Hotel New Hampshire, Cocktail, and recurring roles on Six Feet Under and Saved. She is a Juilliard graduate and an alumna of The Acting Company.

Xanthe Elbrick ("Rebecca") appeared on Broadway in Coram Boy (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations; Theatre World Award). Her off-Broadway credits include The Beebo Brinker Chronicles (Lily Tomlin, Producer), Mrs. Warren's Profession (Berkshire theatre Festival), and in the UK she appeared in Cabaret, A Doll's House, Oklahoma! (Edinburgh Playhouse), and Vagina Monologues (The Gate).  She trained at RADA.

Playwright Peter Barr Nickowitz is a playwright, screenwriter and poet.  The Alice Complex was work shopped at Dixon Place in New York City and at the Blank Theatre in Los Angeles with Tony Award-winner Harriet Harris and Kate Mara.  His play Backgammon at the Louvre was also produced at the Blank under the direction of Bill Oliver. Lulu, the screenplay Peter co-wrote with Bill Oliver based on the life of silent film star Louise Brooks, was selected for the FIND/LA Screenwriters Lab and optioned by Neve Campbell's First Snow Productions.  Peter and Bill's latest screenplay, The Obit Writer, is a contemporary noir thriller that is being produced by Susan A. Stover and HeadQuarters.  Peter is a graduate of Brandeis University and New York University.  In 2008-09, he will be the Harold Clurman Playwright-in-Residence at Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC.

Director Bill Oliver is a theater and film director.  He graduated from Princeton University, studied film and performance at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York City and was a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute.  He was assistant to James Schamus (CEO of Focus Features and producer of Brokeback Mountain); a story analyst for Paramount Pictures, Hallmark Entertainment, and Sony Pictures Studios prior to attending AFI where he was a Directing Fellow.  His short films have played in festivals worldwide, and have won several awards, including a Jerome Foundation grant.  His most recent film, Guilt, was first-prize winner of the 2007 Christopher Wetzel Award for Independent Film Comedy from the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago.  Other theater credits include:  Backgammon at the Louvre, by Peter Nickowitz, and The Club, by James Christy, presented at the 2008 Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival at Playwrights Horizons in New York City.  Bill is currently developing his first feature film, The Obit Writer.

Shiraz Biggie will producer "THE ALICE COMPLEX" with sets designed by Tania Bijlani, costumes by Cheryl McCarron and lighting by Joyce Liao.  Lindsay Stares will Stage Manage the production.

To reach the Cherry Lane Theatre, take the #1 train to Christopher Street and walk three blocks south on Seventh Avenue to COMMERCE STREET (also called CHERRY LANE, on the West Side of Seventh Avenue). Turn right onto Commerce Street and walk to the end of the street. The theatre will be on your left.

For additional info, visit

Photo by Linda Lenzi.

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