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Theater for the New City to Present Evening of Short Plays LIFE MASKS


"Life Masks," an evening of new works by Lorinne Vozoff and Eduardo Machado, celebrates that even though you might now be of "a certain age," you still can fight for what you believe. Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., presents the evening September 29 to October 15.

Machado and Vozoff will co-direct the evening, which is comprised of three short, insightful and humorous plays. Machado's play, "Acting," imagines an offstage showdown in 1924 Pittsburgh between Eleonora Duse and Sarah Bernhardt. The other two plays are by Vozoff, "Speak to Me" and "What's Mine." In the first, a forgotten contemporary actor finds a willing audience of one in an old lady on a park bench. The second offers a present-day love rivalry in which a senior chanteuse and her longest, best girlfriend discover they are sharing a Don Juan...again. The playwrights appear as actors throughout the bill.

All three plays are full of the humor of people who, aged like good leather or fine wine, look at life as a glass half full. In "Acting" by Machado, Eleanora Duse and Sarah Bernhardt attempt to resolve politely which of them will have the exclusive right to play Marguerite in "The Lady of The Camellias." They might be artistic polar opposites, but they want the same things out of their craft. In "Speak to Me" by Vozoff, an elderly actor has burdened his soul with guilt during a time of great loss, but finds himself redeemed by a strange old lady on a park bench who, upon hearing the sound of his voice and meeting him, rejoices. In "What's Mine" by Vozoff, two hot-blooded women, now passing middle age, conduct love affairs and rivalries just as they did in the blush of youth. They revel in both their well-tried friendship and their amours and fight like coquettes for everything they want out of love.

Besides Ms. Vozoff and Mr. Machado, the ensemble is joined by Sharon Ullrick in two principal roles.

Lorinne Vozoff is author of a series of one act plays ("A Sense of Time," "Rendezvous," "Heritage" and "Released" and "Sin The Seven Deadly") produced at Theatre Group Studio in LA, "The Working Women," which was published by Equal Opportunity Forum, and a two-act play, "The Assassination of Heinrich Reinebach" with songs by Kurt Weill. She wrote the films "Cosmopolitan" and "Going Up," directing the first one and acting in the second. She has appeared in award winning stage productions of "Medea" by Robinson Jeffers, "Fefu and Her Friends" by Maria Irene Fornes, "The Jewish Wife" by Bertolt Brecht, "Ghosts" by Henrik Ibsen and "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams. She was featured in the films "Shining Through" with John Gielgud, "Heart and Souls" with Robert Downey, Jr., "Number 6" with Ron Perlman and "Jack the Bear" with Danny DiVito. On TV, she has guest starred in "NYPD Blue," "Star Trek:Voyager," "Six Feet Under," "The Mentalist," "American Horror Story" and "Tyrant." She has a thirty year background in teaching the Stanislavski System and is founder/Artistic Director of Theatre Group Studio in Los Angeles.

Eduardo Machado was born in Cuba and came to the USA when he was nine. He is author of over forty plays, including "The Cook," "Havana is Waiting," "The Modern Ladies Of Guanabacoa," "Fabiola," "Broken Eggs" and "Stevie Wants to Play the Blues." His TNC productions include "Don Juan in New York," "Havana Journal" and "Worship." His plays have been produced at TNC, Seattle Repertory, the Goodman, Hartford Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Mark Taper Forum, Long Wharf, Hampstead Theatre in London, The Cherry Lane Theatre, Repertorio Español and many others. His TV writing credits include Starz's "Magic City" and HBO's "Hung." He is a Professor of Playwriting at NYU/Tisch and was Artistic Director of INTAR from 2004 to 2010. Machado's acting resume includes works by Brecht, Lorca, and Elmer Rice and world premieres of plays by Maria Irene Fornes, John Steppling, Megan Terry, and Neena Beber at such venues as TNC, INTAR, The Mark Taper Forum, and The Padua Hills Playwrights Festival. Recent appearances include "Outcry" by Tennessee Williams at NAATCO, NYC and his own production of "Mariquitas" in 2013 at TNC. He has directed numerous plays, including his own works and those of emerging writers. His plays are published by Samuel French and TCG.

Sharon Ullrick was in the original Broadway cast of "Crimes of the Heart," Off-Broadway in "Vanities" and Off-Off in"Worship" by Eduardo Machado at TNC as well as regional appearances at Denver Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum, Cleveland Playhouse and the Long Wharf. Her films include "The Last Picture Show" and "Before and After." Her TV credits include "All in the Family" and "Tales from the Darkside."

Vozoff, Ullrick, and Machado met in a 1978 production of "Fefu and Her Friends" by Maria Irene Fornes at the Padua Hills Playwrights Festival which subsequently transferred to the Pasadena Community Arts Center. Machado was Assistant Director; the two women were actors in the cast.

Lighting design is by Alexander Bartenieff. Costume design is by Michael Bevins. Set design is by Tamara Loew. Stage manager is Fran Acuña-Almiron.

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