Working Theater to Premiere Adam Kraar's ALTERNATING CURRENTS as Part of Five Boroughs/One City Initiative
Working Theater (Mark Plesent, Producing Artistic Director) will present the World Premiere of Adam Kraar's Alternating Currents, directed by Kareem Fahmy (James Scruggs's 3/Fifths at 3LD) as part of their Five Boroughs/One City Initiative with performances in Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island, and Brooklyn, April 26-May 27.
When two newly married electricians, Luke and Elena, move to Electchester everything seems perfect: spacious apartment, low rent, friendly neighbors and an incredibly close-knit community. But as they settle in, they discover how much they may need to give up in order to really belong. Alternating Currents is both a love letter to the community spirit of Electchester and a cautionary tale about the difficulties of creating community in the face of increased diversity.
The Five Boroughs/One City Initiative launched in the fall of 2014 with the commissions of five teams of writers, directors, and installation artists, supported by designers, dramaturgs, and community liaisons. Each team's goal was to create a piece of theater rooted in a neighborhood in each of the five boroughs of New York City by engaging a specific community as both source and resource in the creative process. The work being created is for, inspired by, and in response to each community and adheres to Working Theater's mission to create theater for and about working people. The initiative is led by long-time Working Theater collaborator Tamilla Woodard. Alternating Currents will be the third full touring production to come out of the initative, following the World Premiere of Dan Hoyle's The Block in 2016 and the World Premiere of Ed Cardona, Jr.'s Bamboo in Bushwick in 2017.
Alternating Currents will receive preview performances in Queens on Thursday, April 26 at 7pm, Friday, April 27 at 7pm, and Saturday April 28 at 2pm & 7pm at Local 3, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (158-11 Jewel Avenue) followed by performances in Manhattan on Tuesday, May 1 at 7pm, Wednesday, May 2 at 7pm, Thursday, May 3 at 7pm, Friday, May 4 at 7pm, Saturday, May 5 at 2pm & 8pm, Sunday, May 6 at 3pm, Tuesday, May 8 at 7pm, Wednesday, May 9 at 2pm & 7pm, Thursday, May 10 at 7pm, Friday, May 11 at 7pm, Saturday, May 12 at 8pm, and Sunday, May 13 at 3pm at Urban Stages (259 West 30th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues). Staten Island performances will take place on Tuesday, May 22 at 7pm, Wednesday, May 23 at 7pm, and Thursday, May 24 at 7pm at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center (1000 Richmond Terrace). The production will close out its run in Brooklyn on Saturday, May 26 at 2pm & 8pm and Sunday, May 27 at 12pm at the RiseBoro Youth Center (1474 Gates Avenue). Performances in The Bronx are TBA.
In anticipation of the production of Alternating Currents, Working Theater will host two community engagement events in each borough. The first event, The Community Shine, was created to celebrate local artists in each of the neighborhoods in which we are performing. Residents will join together at an open mic to present their individual talents in a community setting and to find out more about Alternating Currents. The second event will be a Community Dialogue focusing on the dominant theme of the play; how communities deal with increasing diversity. These events are aimed at directly serving each neighborhood and deepening the cross-borough conversations generated by the play and the Five Boroughs/One City Initiative.
ADAM KRAAR (Playwright) Adam's work includes a quartet of plays about American families living in Asia, and a play inspired by the Civil Rights Movement's Freedom Summer. His plays have been produced and/or developed at Primary Stages, The Public Theatre, Theater for the New City, Theatreworks U.S.A., The New Group, New York Theatre Workshop, Cherry Lane, LaMama, Geva Theatre, Performance Network and many others. Fellowships from: Manhattan Theatre Club, Bogliasco Foundation, Millay Colony, New River Dramatists and Sewanee Writers' Conference. Adam's plays are published by Dramatic Publishing, Smith & Kraus, and Applause Books (including six BEST AMERICAN SHORT PLAYS anthologies). Recent work includes Dancing on the Edge (Theatre Novi Most); Green-Wood (Theatre East); Empire of the Tress (Wizard Oil Productions at Abingdon Theatre; NY Innovative Theatre Awards' Outstanding Script Nominee); New World Rhapsody (Manhattan Theatre Club commission; Bloomington Plays Project); Wild Terrain (EST Marathon of One-Act Plays) and Freedom High (Queens Theatre in the Park). Adam is an Affiliated Writer of The Playwrights' Center and a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre. He was previously a Playwrights' Workshop Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center, a Featured Artist at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference, and was twice a resident playwright at the Inge Center for the Arts. Adam grew up in India, Thailand, Singapore and the U.S. He earned an M.F.A. at Columbia University, has taught theatre at the University of Rochester, Adelphi University, and Hampshire College, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Karen. www.adamkraar.com
Kareem Fahmy (Director) Kareem is a Canadian-born director of Egyptian descent who focuses on new play development. He is a 2017-2018 National Directors Fellow with The O'Neill/NNPN/The Kennedy Center/SDC. He has directed and co-conceived a number of World Premiere productions including James Scruggs's 3/Fifths (3LD, New York Times 5 Must-See Shows), Sevan K. Greene's This Time (Rising Circle, New York Times Critics' Pick), and Victor Lesniewski's Couriers and Contrabands (TBG Theatre). Other recent: Rohina Malik's The Mecca Tales (Voyage Theater Company), Nikkole Salter's Indian Head (Luna Stage). He's developed plays with organizations including New York Theatre Workshop, MCC, Second Stage, Soho Rep, New Dramatists, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Sundance Institute Theatre, Partial Comfort Productions, The Civilians, and Berkeley Rep. Kareem is currently a Resident Director at The Flea Theater, and is an alumnus of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, the Van Lier Directing Fellowship, and NTYW's Emerging Artist Fellowship. NYTW Usual Suspect. MFA: Columbia. www.kareemfahmy.com
Tamilla Woodard (Artistic Director, Five Boroughs/One City Initiative) is the co-founder of PopUP Theatrics, a partnership creating immersive and participatory theatre for audiences in Europe, South America, Mexico and the US since 2007. She is newly named the Associate Artistic Director of WP Theater and also serves as Artistic Director of Working Theater's Five Boroughs/One City. She is an alumnus of The Lincoln Center Director's Lab and a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, a graduate of The Yale School of Drama's Acting program and a recipient of The Josephine Abady Award from The League of Professional Theatre Women.
Great theater strives to tell stories that illuminate, challenge and alter our perceptions, which show us who we are and transform us in the process. WORKING THEATER believes this transformative experience should not be a privilege or a luxury, but a staple. We recognize that we live in a society that is often polarized by economic, cultural and class differences and that these differences can be divisive. However, what makes us different is sometimes the most interesting thing about us. We want working people - Americans working in the industrial and service economies - who may be unable to afford commercial theater prices or feel that it does not resonate with their lives and experience, to make play-going a regular part of their cultural lives. Toward that goal, we offer low ticket prices and tell stories that reflect a diverse population of the working majority (the executive assistants, postal workers, domestic workers, building attendants, restaurant workers, and bus drivers who make our country run), that acknowledge their complexity and oft-denied power in an increasingly complex world, which we hope will unite us in our common humanity. http://theworkingtheater.org