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The Flea Premieres A CAUTIONARY TAIL, Previews Begin May 29

The Flea Theater will present the world premiere of a cautionary tale by playwright christopher oscar peña. Directed by Flea Resident Director Benjamin H. Kamine (Thomas Bradshaw's Job), previews begin May 29 with opening night set for June 10.

a cautionary tail - a play of impossible choices - is set in a world of magical characters. First generation Chinese-Americans growing up in New York City, Vivian and Luke confront a confused tangle of family, a diverse array of friends, and their rampant sexuality. In our digital age, how can they navigate the traditional expectations of their mother with their American culture of individuality?

"In a time when very few Latino playwrights seem to grace the stages of New York Theater, identity politics are often severely over-simplified. After a year of shocking and offensive yellow-facing on some of the worlds most prominent stages, I couldn't be more thrilled to be having the world premiere of a cautionary tail happen at The Flea with diverse cast of actors who represent not only New York, but what America looks like to me," says christopher oscar peña.

The cast features The Bats, the resident Acting Company at The Flea: Alton Alburo, Barron Bass, Matt Bovee, Maxx Brawer, Madeleine Bundy, Jenelle Chu, Sasha Diamond, Karen Eilbacher, Bobby Foley, Aaron Parker Fouhey, Alex Gould, Cleo Gray, Alex Grubbs, Marlowe Holden, Christine Lee, Evan Maltby, Bonnie Milligan, Jacquelyn Revere, Stephen Stout, and Tony Vo. The creative team features set by David Meyer (LAByrinth Theater Company), lighting by Jonathan Cottle (Flea Resident Designer), costumes by Andrea Lauer (American Idiot, Bring It On: The Musical), sound design by Jeremy S. Bloom (Flea Resident Designer), and movement direction by Laura Brandel (Hit The Wall).

A cautionary tail was commissioned by NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' Graduate Acting Program (MarK Wing-Davey, Artistic Director).

Christopher oscar peña received his B.A. in Dramatic Arts from U.C. Santa Barbara where he studied with Naomi Iizuka and holds an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His plays include maelstrom, l(y)re, i wonder if it's possible to have a love affair that lasts forever? or things i found on craigs list, icarus burns, the suicide tapes, alone above a raging sea, and TINY PEOPLE (or, it gets better). His work has been developed or seen at The Public Theater, Two River Theater, New York Stage and Film with The Lark, Ars Nova, NYU Grad, INTAR, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Ontological Hysteric Incubator, art.party, American Theater Company (Chicago), Son of Semele (LA) and The New York Theatre Workshop, among others. With Vayu O'Donnell, he is the creator and co-star of 80/20, a new series for the web, which was named an Official Selection at the 2013 New Media Film Festival in LA. An alumni of INTAR's Hispanic Playwrights Lab, he has also been an Emerging Artist Fellow at NYTW, a Writing Fellow with The Playwrights Realm, and was a recipient of the Latino Playwrights Award from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He has been a visiting fellow at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the Sewanee Writers Conference in Tennessee, featured in the Crossing Borders Festival with Two River Theater and has also been in residence at the Orchard Project. In 2011, christopher traveled to London as part of the T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange with the Old Vic New Voices where his play however long the night premiered on the Old Vic stage. He was the Lark Play Development Centers 2012 Van Lier Fellow, and is currently working on a commission for the Goodman Theatre.

Benjamin H. Kamine recently directed the world premiere of Thomas Bradshaw's Job at The Flea Theater (Timeout Critics' Pick, "a jolting treat" - Ben Brantley, New York Times). Other directing credits include Medea's Got Some Issues by Emilio Williams (Best International Show 2012, United Solo Festival at TheaterRow), Why Me? by Leah Nanako Winkler (Asking for Trouble at EST), The Man Under by Paul Bomba (59E59), and an immersive audio theater piece with Tommy Smith called Nectarine EP. He is a resident director at The Flea Theater and at the Jewish Plays Project and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. He has developed work with The New Group, The Flea Theater, EST/Youngblood, Barefoot Theatre Company, Primary Stages, and the Jewish Plays Project, directing readings and workshops of plays by Bekah Brunstetter, Robert Askins, Nick Jones, and Trish Harnetiaux, among others. He also works throughout New York as a sound, lighting, and projection designer, and is a Guest Artist at the Lab School for Collaborative Studies.

The Bats are the resident Acting Company members of The Flea Theater. Each year over a thousand actors audition for a place in this unique company. The Bats perform in extended runs of challenging classic and new plays. The Bats have recently appeared in premieres by A.R. Gurney, Will Eno, Adam Rapp, Beau Willimon, Mac Wellman, Elizabeth Swados, Thomas Bradshaw, Itamar Moses, Sheila Callaghan, Julian Sheppard, Ken Urban, Tommy Smith, Jonathan Reynolds, Trista Baldwin, Laurel Haines, Qui Nguyen, Sean Graney, and Amy Freed.

The Flea Theater, under Artistic Director Jim Simpson and Producing Director Carol Ostrow, is one of New York's leading off-off-Broadway companies. Winner of a Special Drama Desk Award for outstanding achievement, Obie Awards and an Otto for political theater, The Flea has presented over 100 plays and numerous dance and live music performances since its inception in 1996. Past productions include the premieres of Anne Nelson's The Guys, seven plays by A.R. Gurney (O Jerusalem, Screenplay, Mrs. Farnsworth, Post Mortem, A Light Lunch, Office Hours and Heresy), Cellophane and Two September by Mac Wellman, Ashley Montana Goes Ashore... and The Oldsmobiles by Roger Rosenblatt, JABU and Kaspar Hauser by Elizabeth Swados, Bingo with the Indians by Adam Rapp, Oh, The Humanity and other exclamations by Will Eno, Dawn and Job by Thomas Bradshaw, The Great Recession, Girls in Trouble by Jonathan Reynolds, Looking at Christmas by Steven Banks, the Drama Desk nominated She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen, the Drama Desk nominated These Seven Sicknesses by Sean Graney, I Hate Fucking Mexicans by Luis Enrique Gutiérrez Ortiz Monasterio, Amy Freed's Restoration Comedy and Hamish Linklater's The Vandal.

A cautionary tail runs May 29 - June 30, dates and times vary. The Flea is located at 41 White Street between Church and Broadway, three blocks south of Canal, close to the A/C/E, N/R/Q, 6, J/M/Z and 1 subway lines. Tickets are $15 - $30 at 212-352-3101 or online at www.theflea.org.




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