Theater for the New City Presents KEEP YOUR BAGGAGE WITH YOU, 8/8

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Theater for the New City has announced that Keep Your Baggage With You (at all times), written by Jonathan Blitstein and directed by Daniel Talbott, will begin performances Sunday, August 8 at 2pm at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets. Keep Your Baggage With You (at all times) is being presented as part of the DreamUp New Plays Festival.

What happens when your best friend decides he likes boys and your girlfriend decides she likes girls? Told in seven scenes that take place over seven years, Keep Your Baggage With You (at all times) examines the devolution of a friendship between two young New York men whose bonds are compromised by the stresses of career, family, relationships, and 21st century sexual mores in a complex digital age in which we ask too many questions, but don't have enough answers.

The cast of Keep Your Baggage With You (at all times) is Dan Abeles, Nate Miler, Laura Ramadei, and Molly Ward.

A Chicagoan, Jonathan Blitstein began performing with local Apple Tree Theater as a kid actor, singer and dancer. He graduated NYU Film School in 2004. After pouring many coffees for people like Christine Vachon, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Aaron Eckhart, at 23 years-old he was one of the youngest film school grads ever to write/produce/direct and edit a 35mm feature length film. It was made possible with donated negative from Kodak and maxed-out credit cards. It became the 2008 indie film Let Them Chirp Awhile starring Brendan Sexton, Justin Rice and Laura Breckenridge (Finalist NYU Richard Vague Award, Winner - East Lansing Film Festival, Opening Night Woodstock Film Festival). This past year he sold two original screenplays. Jonathan studied acting and writing at The Second City, The Piven Theater, LAByrinth and Primary Stages. Keep Your Baggage With You (at all times) is his first play to be produced in New York.

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 film Pretty Bird and The Big C on Showtime. Recent directing work includes Footprint by Mac Rogers (part of +30NYC for Red Fern Theatre), Afterclap by Daniel Reitz, Birthday and Nobody, both by Crystal Skillman (Rising Phoenix Rep at the Seventh Street Small Stage at Jimmy's No. 43), The Umbrella Plays (the teacup company-FringeNYC, Overall Excellence Award: Outstanding Play), Fall Forward (Sitelines/River to River Festival produced by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council), and The Reaching (Rising Phoenix Rep). His play Slipping was produced at Rattlestick last summer with Piece by Piece Productions (named one of the top ten plays of 2009 by The Advocate), premiered in Chicago at The Side Project in Chicago, was part of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, and will be published this year by Dramatists Play Service. His play What Happened When was produced at HERE Arts Center and The Side Project and was published as part of the Plays and Playwrights 2008 anthology. 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 nytheatre.com. He is a member of this year's 24Seven Lab, a graduate of Juilliard and of Solano College Theatre's ATP, and a teacher at the Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA). He is one of the literary managers of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and is the artistic director of Rising Phoenix Rep (recipient of the 2007 NYIT Caffe Cino Fellowship Award).

The set and prop design for Keep Your Baggage With You (at all times) is by Eugenia Furneaux-Arends; costume design is by Tristan Raines; lighting design is by Benjamin Tevelow; sound design is by Nancy Valladares. It is produced by Brian Miskell.

Keep Your Baggage With You (at all times) performs at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets, at the following times: Sunday, August 8 at 2pm; Monday, August 9 at 7pm; Wednesday, August 11 at 7pm; Friday, August 13 at 7pm; and Saturday, August 14 at 5pm. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at www.ovationtix.com. The running time is 90 minutes. For more information about Keep Your Baggage With You (at all times) and the DreamUp Festival, visit www.dreamupfestival.org or www.theaterforthenewcity.net.



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