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'What Are You Doing Here?' Debuts June 4

An actress whose professional demeanor is upended at the absolute worst possible moment because her ex-boyfriend is sitting in the audience in What Are You Doing Here?, Maria Alexandria Beech's painfully funny tale of colliding lives, broken hearts and the ultimate symbiotic relationship. Starring Maggie Surovell & Kelley Jackson Garcia and directed by Michelle Bossy, What Are You Doing Here? will begin performances on June 4th at the Gene Frankel Theatre, located at 24 Bond Street as part of the 2011 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.

While onstage, an actress' performance is brought to a screeching halt by the sight of her ex-boyfriend sitting in the audience. Throwing the play aside, she begins directly addressing the man who quite literally broke her heart. But the character she's playing - a Southern Cajun woman who has lost her home and everything in it - won't be upstaged. To heal their hurts and tell their stories, the actress and her character must share the spotlight as they realize that they're more alike than either of them ever imagined.

Running through June 12th, What Are You Doing Here? will be performed at the Gene Frankel Theatre, located at 24 Bond Street (between Bowery and Lafayette). Show times are Saturday, June 4th at 5pm, Sunday, June 5th at 3pm, Monday, June 6th at 6pm, Tuesday, June 9th at 8pm, Saturday, June 11th at 9pm and Sunday, June 12th at 1pm. Running time is approximately 90 minutes. Members of the press are invited to all performances.

The creative team for What Are You Doing Here? includes Katie Fergerson (Stage Manager), Benjamin Bonnema (Composer and Sound Design), Emily McGillicuddy (Lighting Design), Patrick Lovejoy (Projection Designer), Sophia Lidz (Costume Designer) and Timothy Greenway (Set Designer).

Proceeds from What Are You Doing Here? will benefit the Hogar Bambi, a Venezuelan orphanage. Created in 1992, Hogar Bambi is focused on the total care of under nine year-old children who are deprived of their family environment by creating a home, with a stable structure to grow up; where love, food, education and medical care are the prime objectives; and to guide biological or adopted families in order to reinsert children in a social-family environment based on safe and stable conditions. The orphanage takes care of 110 children, who are referred by Venezuelan state institutions. These children temporarily come to live in Hogar Bambi until the cause for their intervention is settled. Then they can either join their original families or be legally given to foster parents or in adoption by the legal authorities.

Maria Alexandria Beech has been a member of The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages Theater in New York for the past four seasons. Alex's plays include Little Monsters, The Soft Room, Lima Beans, Breaking Roses, Bat in Iraq, Your Face, Designer X, The Time, The Inventor of Manatees, Saving The Lives of Strangers, Charity Bonds, Little Monsters and Cast Aside. In 2006, her play Breaking Walls was produced at The Cherry Lane Theatre as part of its Cherry Pit Late Nite Series. Her first musical, You Can't Sing, was presented at the Bowery Poetry Club in October 2010. As a translating playwright at the Lark Play Development Center's US/Mexico Exchange Program in 2008 and 2009, Alex translated Luis Ayllon's The Camels and Hitler In My Heart by Noe Munoz Morales. Alex is a member of the US/Mexico Advisory Committee at the Lark and The Leadership Council at The Women's Project. In 2009 Maria was the recipient of The Aspen Theatre Master's Visionary Playwright's Award.

Michelle Bossy is the Associate Artistic Director of Primary Stages. Most recently, she directed the world premiere of Little Monsters by Maria Alexandria Beech at the Brandeis Theater Company. In addition, she produced the World Premiere of Dread Awakening and directed and produced the premieres of South Beach Rapture (by David Caudle); I Love You, I Think (by Bekah Brunstetter); Sarajevo's Child; Cumberland; Low Brow; and Missing Mike Vitelle. Upcoming: Eat Your Heart Out by Courtney Baron (Perry Mansfield), Bicycle Girl by Rogelio Martinez, and Carve by Molly Smith Metzler. Over the last eight years at Primary Stages, she has produced the work of Athol Fugard, Christopher Durang, Horton Foote, A.R. Gurney, Lee Blessing, Michael Hollinger, Lanie Robertson, and many others.

Kelley Jackson Garcia is a New York based actor, originally from Texas. She has performed leading roles Off-Off Broadway in Inhale and Memento Mimi at The Gallery Players, in staged readings of new plays at INTAR, and in a production of Blue Window at MFS. Television Credits Include: Law & Order: SVU, The Whitest Kids You Know, The Onion News Network. Film Credits: That's What She Said, Sins Of The Father, The Gardener, The Key of D (Best Picture NYC Filmmakers Festival, Official Selection Stony Brook Film Festival). She trained with Maggie Flanigan in NYC, studied at The Actors Center, and is a devotee of The Lucid Body.

Maggie Surovell is an actor, writer and dialect coach. She has performed Off-Broadway in New York Magazine's Top Pick Warning Signs at Cherry Lane Theatre's Cherry Pit Late Nite, at The Public in Susan Lori Parks 365/365 Festival, and in the Choir in Young Jean Lee's Church at The Public's Under The Radar. She has performed Off-Off Broadway in Les Freres Corbusier's Hell House at Saint Anne's Warehouse, in Surrender at The Ohio Theatre with The International WOW Theatre Company, in I Kreon with Roust/New Moon Repertory at Soho Repertory. Maggie was an artist is residence at IRT Theater for her indie rock musical Oh My!.

Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Inc. is New York's premiere eco-friendly/socially conscious not-for-profit theatre festival. Fostering a diverse cross-section of performances, the festival seeks to inspire artists and audiences both creatively and fundamentally, in a festive atmosphere forming a community of like-minded artists. At the heart of the Festivity are individuals striving to create professional, meaningful theatre, while supporting organizations, which give back to the community at large. Tickets are $18. For tickets, schedules and information, visit www.planetconnections.org.



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