Theatre 167 to Premiere PIRIRA at The Chain, 10/17-11/10

THEATRE 167 has announced the world premiere production of J. Stephen Brantley's PIRIRA, directed by Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith (The Jackson Heights Trilogy). PIRIRA will play a limited engagement at The Chain (21-28 45th Road, Long Island City, NY 11101). Performances begin Thursday, October 17 and continue through Sunday, November 10. Opening Night is Friday, October 18 (8 p.m.).

As the tiny African nation of Malawi erupts in riots around them, American aid workers Jack and Ericka take shelter in the storage room of a struggling NGO in Lilongwe. At the same time half a world away, Malawian student Gilbert and his gay co-worker Chad begin another day in the back room of a Manhattan florist.

While these two seemingly separate stories take place 7,000 miles apart, all four of the play's actors share the same intimate physical space. The play is inspired by actual events that took place on July 20, 2011. Theatre 167's production explores how our lives are inextricably linked across cultures, continents, language, and time.

The production stars Adrian Baidoo, J.Stephen Brantley*, Todd Flaherty (Fresh Kills, 59E59) and Flor de Liz Perez* (In the Time of the Butterflies, Repertorio Español). *Appearing Courtesy of Actors' Equity Association. Equity Approved Showcase.

The production features scenic design by Brendan Flaherty with costume design by Samantha Newby and lighting design by Josh Benghiat. Sydney Lant is the production stage manager. Publicity by Katie Rosin/Kampfire PR.

PIRIRA plays the following regular schedule through Sunday, November 10: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8p.m.; Sundays at 3p.m. Tickets are $18 and are available online at or via the Chain Theatre at (646) 580-6003. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the theater ½ hour prior to performance. Running Time: 70 min.


J.Stephen Brantley* (Playwright / Jack) is an actor and playwright whose work has been commissioned by Performance Space 122, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and East Hampton's Guild Hall. His plays Blood Grass, Break, Furbelow, The Jamb, Nevertheless, Shiny Pair Of Complications, and Struckhave been performed across the U.S. and in Canada and Ireland. His Eightythree Down, winner of the Georgia Theatre Conference Award, was nominated for six 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Awards and is published by Indie Theatre Now as part of their Best Of 2011 Collection. Brantley has performed with Big Dance Theatre, CapsLock, Cucaracha, The Directors' Company, Horse Trade, Jewish Plays Project, Neo-Political Cowgirls, and Theatre 167, and at venues including 59E59, HERE, Queens Theatre, Metropolitan Playhouse, Performance Space 122, Soho Rep, East Hampton's Guild Hall, and Provincetown Theatre. He received the Micheál Mac Liammóir Award for Best Actor at the 2013 Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival and a 2013 NYIT award nomination for his role in That's Her Way. J.Stephen is a graduate of NYU's Experimental Theatre Wing, a company member of Theatre 167, and Artistic Director of Hard Sparks. An excerpt of his work for Theatre 167's Jackson Heights 3am was published in the Lincoln Center Theater Review.

ARI LAURA KREITH (Director) conceived and directed The Jackson Heights Trilogy: 167 Tongues, You Are Now The Owner Of This Suitcase, and Jackson Heights 3AM, featuring 93 characters speaking 11 languages, written by 18 playwrights, performed at 4 venues in Queens and Manhattan. The Jackson Heights Trilogy will be published by Indie Theatre Now and featured in the Queens Museum International in 2014. Ari's recent premiere of Alex Kip's My Other Voice in Ann Arbor was named 'Best of the Best' by Detroit Free Press and is slated for production in New York this spring. NYC credits: How We Are Connected(Brooklyn Museum/El Museo Del Barrio), Double Vision (NYC Fringe/Fringe 'Encores' Selection), Memory Play (Women's Project Directors Forum, starring Eli Wallach), Trip (Provincetown Playhouse; Jig Cook Award Winner), The Golden Aurora (NYC Fringe), 2Gether (Six Figures; a multi-writer drama inspired by a note found on the subway). Musical theatre: Myths and Hymns (European premiere) and Dreamhouse, which she also co-created. Ari is a Yale graduate, a member of Lincoln Center Directors' Lab and SDC, and Artistic Director of Theatre 167.

ADRIAN BAIDOO (Gilbert) was born in the U.K. and raised in Ghana, London, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh. He just graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA in musical theatre and, like his character, is a newcomer to New York. Regional credits include: St. Louis MUNY, Music Theatre of Wichita, and West Virginia Public Theatre.

TODD FLAHERTY (Chad) Off-Broadway: Fresh Kills (59E59). New York: Sleep No More (Punchdrunk/Emursive), We Are Nebeneinander (American Laboratory), Lord of the Flies (Teatro la Tea). Regional: Slap and Tickle (Provincetown Theatre, Dir. David Drake). Film/TV: The Fuzz (Puppet Web Series for Yahoo Screen), upcoming Pretty Girls. Todd is thrilled to be working with J.Stephen again after presenting readings of the playwright's work Godhead and The Jamb. B.F.A. NYU/Tisch: Atlantic.

FLOR DE LIZ PEREZ* (Ericka) NY Theatre: ensemble member/performer with the NY Neo-Futurists in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind; premiere of In the Time of the Butterflies (Repertorio Español); The Jackson Heights Trilogy (Theatre 167); Another Part of the House (Hero Theatre). Regional includes: world premiere of Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England (Two River Theater); In the Continuum, Nicholas Nickleby (PlayMakers Repertory). Film: The House That Jack Built (written by the late Joseph Vasquez and directed by Henry Barrial; now playing at select festivals). TV: The Good Wife; NYC 2-2; Made in Jersey; Gurland on Gurland (pilot). MFA-Acting: UNC Chapel Hill. Volunteer with the 52nd Street Project. Proudly AEA/AFTRA/SAG

THEATRE 167 (Producer) (Ari Laura Kreith, Artistic Director; Jenny Lyn Bader, Artistic Producer) Born in a community where 167 different languages are spoken, Theatre 167 creates, cultivates, and supports new work by artists of wide-ranging backgrounds, traditions, and beliefs. Our process is deeply collaborative, and we are particularly interested in investigating intersections, boundaries and borders?both cultural and artistic?and exploring how the telling of our individual and collective stories inspires us to appreciate a multiplicity of voices. We bring our community together to share innovative, generous and entertaining theatrical events?events that deepen and enhance our understanding of one another and of the role of theater in our civic dialogue.

THE CHAIN (Venue) The Chain Theatre, established in 2012, is a 2-story black box events venue in Long island City, NY. The Chain believes in providing a space for artists to produce work and hone their craft. With fully equipped performance spaces, a gallery space, rehearsal rooms, and reading areas, the Chain serves as a home for multidisciplinary work. Long Island City's newest space for innovative performance, The Chain is home to Variations Theatre Group and the Unchained Theatre Festival.

Related Articles

Off-Off-Broadway THEATER Stories | Shows

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...