The Cell Theater Extends Sold Out COMMUNION Again

Performances, which began September 22, will now run through October 8.

By: Sep. 29, 2023
The Cell Theater Extends Sold Out COMMUNION Again

Due to continued audience enthusiasm, Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre in association with Spin Cycle has announced yet another added week of performances of their developmental production of COMMUNION, written and performed by Matthew Labanca and directed by Kira Simring. Performances, which began September 22, will now run through October 8.

Ripped from the headlines, COMMUNION is a one-man show about a gay Catholic school teacher who is fired when the church discovers that he married a man. His termination causes a crisis of faith, not only for himself but for his entire community. Based on the real-life story of Broadway actor and playwright Matthew Labanca, COMMUNION spotlights themes of delusion, spiritual trauma, and hope, reminding those who would use religion to discriminate against LGBTQ people that the most basic tenet of spiritual life is that we are called to love one another.

COMMUNION will run September 29 at 8pm, October 1 at 2pm, October 6 & 7 at 7pm, and October 8 at 3pm. Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre is located at 338 W. 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011. Running time is 65 minutes. Tickets are $20, available at the link below.

COMMUNION features projection, music and sound by Julianne Merrill; additional projections by Ryan Belock; set and costumes by Rodrigo Hernandez; lighting and technical direction by Julian Singer-Corbin; and production stage management by Richard Urquiza. Brian Reager is Associate Director and Mara Jill Herman is Associate Producer.

Matthew Labanca performed on Broadway in the original companies of Young Frankenstein, White Christmas, and A Christmas Carol. His solo show Good Enough played Off Broadway at the United Solo Festival, winning the festival's Best Musical Award in 2014. Matthew's controversial termination from the Diocese of Brooklyn in 2021 led to a media firestorm, and is the inspiration for his new solo show, Communion. His story is also portrayed in the documentary May All Be Wed, which makes its debut on the film festival circuit this autumn. Matthew's TV credits include Broad City, Live from Lincoln Center, and the upcoming season of Severance on Apple+. In addition to performing, Matthew is a proud NYC elementary music teacher at PS151 in Woodside, Queens.

Kira Simring is the Artistic Director of Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre in NYC, where she has developed and directed new works since 2006. Directing credits include the world premieres of What Kind of Woman by Abbe Tanenbaum, The Women Who Rode Away by Natalia Zukerman (the cell and Off the WALL), Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom (Irish Rep), Crackskull Row by Honor Molloy (New York Times Critics' Pick) and Hard Times: An American Musical by Larry Kirwan (New York Times Critics' Pick). Kira is a three-time Origin Theatre 1st Irish Award Winner for Best Director.

Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre (Artistic Director Kira Simring) is a not-for-profit dedicated to the incubation and presentation of new work across all artistic disciplines. Founded in 2006, the cell has provided a developmental home in the heart of Chelsea for works in progress by artists ranging from early career to established staples. Originally established as a 21st century salon, the cell has evolved into a cultural hub for the performing arts, food artists, musicians, installation artists, choreographers and more. Past performances include I'm Gonna Marry You Tobey Maguire, The Final Veil, the revival of Elizabeth Swados' Nightclub Cantata, Fruma-Sarah (starring Jackie Hoffman), The Evolution of Mann, Bastard Jones (a Drama-Desk Award nominee), Crackskull Row, Rady & Bloom's Peter/Wendy, The McGowan Trilogy, Horse Girls, Hard Times: An American Musical (which became the Tony-nominated Paradise Square). New work developed at the cell has been seen on Broadway, Irish Rep, MCC, Rattlestick, New World Stages, Cherry Lane, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Portland Stage, Toyohashi Arts Theatre, Kino Theater, Edinburgh Fringe, Carnegie Stage, Carnegie Museum of Art, and Art Basel Miami.




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