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The Platform Group's ROUGHLY SPEAKING to Benefit NYC's Homeless

"It's about giving back to a community most people don't want to take notice of," explained The Platform Group's Artistic Director Shara Ashley Zeiger about the decision to donate $3.00 from each ticket sold to the group's upcoming production of Roughly Speaking to help purchase backpacks for New York City homeless people.

"Our play is based on interviews with the homeless, and giving that population a platform, so we wanted to do something tangible for them, to help make a difference," she added.

Written by Shara Ashley Zeiger and based on over 200 interviews with New York City's homeless at Xavier Mission Welcome Table Soup Kitchen, Roughly Speaking will have its run at Tada Theater, located at 15 West 28 Street, from October 29 - November 20, 2016. The Platform Group previously presented a successful staged reading of the work this past June at Manhattan Theatre Club. The production will be directed by Celine Rosenthal.

All tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling 212-868-4444 or at The show's cast and full creative team will be announced shortly.

Roughly Speaking is a new play with rap based on over 200 interviews with the homeless. See a world we often walk by through the eyes of Lightning Bolt, a rapper bound only by his wheelchair and a cast of diverse characters on a not so typical day at the soup kitchen. An existential struggle of survival begs questions of love, loss, and what's next. Roughly Speaking is a drama about those who are caught in a system which exists more to maintain the status quo, rather than offer a way out.

Shara Ashley Zeiger is the founder and Artistic Director of The Platform Group, where she acted in and produced Savage in Limbo, and The Ladder Series. Her play The Dark Place was part of the 2014 Emerging Artist Theater's New Works Festival. As a devised work teaching artist she has developed 10 new plays with The Queens Theatre. Shara's theatre acting credits include the National Tour of Moliere's Imaginary Invalid and appearances at La Mama E.T.C., PS 122, Theater for the New City, Kitchen Theatre, Bristol Riverside Theatre and Buck's County Playhouse. She is on the reader selection committee for The O'Neill Center's National Playwrights Conference and sits on the board for NY's Educational Theater Association.

Celine Rosenthal is a Tony-nominated producer (Leap of Faith, Seminar), an NYU Tisch alum, and graduate of The New School for Drama's MFA Directing Program. She is a founding member of Neela Theatre Project in Mumbai, and a Musical Theatre Factory Board Member. Her work has been seen at NYMF, New York City Center, MMAC, 54 Below, 59E59 and in the Broadway's Future Songbook Series at Lincoln Center. Recent projects include Rajiv Joseph's Gruesome Playground Injuries, David Grieg's Yellow Moon, and Bekah Brunstetter's Little Man.

The Platform Group was formed in early 2010 as a call to action by Artistic Director Shara Ashley Zeiger. Their mission is to create work that challenges, inspires and provides a place to stand on. They seek to elevate both their audiences and creators. In early 2011 they produced a sold-out Off-Broadway run of John Patrick Shanley's Savage in Limbo. In 2012 they produced The Ladder Series, a staged reading series of 9 new full length plays, working with over 80 theatre artists, which lead to further development, world premieres, and publishing of some of the works.

Funding for Roughly Speaking is made possible through a very successful Kickstarter campaign and a grant from The Puffin Foundation. The production team is currently fielding various funding sources and hopes to take the play to a future life once the Tada run is finished.

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