Penguin Rep Theatre Announces 2019 Season

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Penguin Rep Theatre Announces 2019 Season

The acclaimed Tony Award and Olivier Award-winning comedy, Art, followed by a thought-provoking look back at RFK in Kennedy: Bobby's Last Crusade, kicks off the newly announced four-show 2019 mainstage season at Penguin Rep Theatre in historic Stony Point (Rockland County), New York.

Three special events also are scheduled for the new season, headlined by a return performance of the internationally renowned jazz violinist Regina Carter on October 26. Season subscriptions are on sale now; individual tickets go on sale beginning April 24.

"At this time of turmoil and mistrust, we're excited to share enduring stories that dig deep into the heart and offer a wide canvas of emotions, from joy and surprise to tears and laughter," says Penguin's founding artistic director Joe Brancato. "Our four productions, along with four new play readings and the three very special events - all chances to connect to universal hopes, challenges and dreams."

The Stony Point-based professional Equity theatre under the leadership of Brancato and executive director Andrew M. Horn, is entering its 42nd season May 17 in its home theatre - a repurposed 1880s hay barn - with the following lineup:

Art, Yasmina Reza's provocative play about long-time friends who come to laughs - and blows - over the value of an expensive painting. Mr. Brancato will direct.
Kennedy: Bobby's Last Crusade, about Robert F. Kennedy, brother and adviser to a President and junior Senator from New York, written and performed by David Arrow, directed by Eric Nightengale, will follow in June and July.

For the season's third production in August, Penguin will present the world premiere of The Sabbath Girl, a contemporary romantic comedy with heart, by Cary Gitter, directed by Joe Brancato.

Mr. Parker, a new play by Michael McKeever, reunites the Carbonell Award-winning playwright with director Brancato who staged McKeever's Daniel's Husband and After at Penguin and Off Broadway. Mr. Parker, which will be seen for the first time in New York starting in September, offers a potent look at love and lust, life and loss.

Mr. Brancato also announced two special shows this summer: A Brooklyn Boy, co-written by Stephen Prescod and Moises Roberto Belizario, and performed by Mr. Prescod, which is the riveting portrayal of coming of age in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighborhood; and Heart Like a Wheel, a musical tribute to Linda Ronstadt performed by Broadway star Rita Harvey, a resident of Nyack.

Come October 26, SUNY Rockland Community College's 500-seat Cultural Arts Theatre in Suffern, New York will be the venue for Penguin's presentation of Regina Carter in Concert. Dubbed "the finest jazz violinist of her generation" by The New York Times, Ms. Carter made history by being the first non-classical musician and first African American invited to play Genoa's legendary Guarneri violin.

Ms. Carter, who has accompanied such greats as Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, and Dolly Parton, studied violin with Itzhak Perlman and Yehudi Menuhin, and has issued six CDs of her award-winning music.

This season, Penguin's popular Play With Your Food series will feature readings of new plays with a bite to eat on summer Mondays: June 24, August 12, August 26, and September 16.

Performances and readings are scheduled at Penguin's intimate, 108-seat theatre, located at 7 Crickettown Road. "The converted barn, circa 1880, has never been more inviting" (The New York Times). Says Mr. Horn, "it's theatre so close you can feel it, with comfy upholstered seats and no seat more than 30 feet from the stage." The theatre is air conditioned, handicapped accessible, and has plenty of free parking.

Performances on the mainstage take place: Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m., with matinees on Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

"Joe Brancato dreamed it ... and now Penguin Rep celebrates 40 plus seasons of incomparable productions of new works," says Sarah Jessica Parker, actress, producer and designer. "Penguin has a gorgeous pastoral setting in the Hudson Valley only 50 minutes from Manhattan."

Says Ann Dowd, Emmy and Critics' Choice Award winner for The Handmaid's Tale, who has starred in four productions at Penguin, "I've loved every experience I've had there, every wonderful play, every wonderful role, in that beautiful theatre in the country."


May 17 - June 9 - Art, by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton, directed by Joe Brancato

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and three long-time friends come to laughs - and blows - over the value of an expensive painting. A wickedly witty portrait of modern art that asks how much truth and honest can a friendship endure. By the author of God of Carnage. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play and the Olivier Award for Best Comedy.

June 21 - July 7 - Kennedy: Bobby's Last Crusade, by David Arrow, directed by Eric Nighengale

What if Robert F. Kennedy, brother and adviser to a President and junior Senator from New York, had never been assassinated? Would he have gone on to win the White House in 1968 and to bring our troops home from Vietnam? Would he have been the voice of moral clarity to bind Americans together? David Arrow's virtuoso performance gives us 90 minutes to dream ... of what might have been.

August 2 - August 25 - The Sabbath Girl, by Cary Gitter, directed by Joe Brancato
Angie Mastrantoni has a lot going for her: A job at a hip art gallery. A new apartment on the Upper West Side. But not much time for relationships. But then her neighbor Seth, a divorced Orthodox Jew with a knish store on the Lower East Side, knocks on her door. A contemporary romantic comedy with heart about the loneliness of big-city life and the possibility of finding love next door. World premiere.
September 13 - October 6 - Mr. Parker, by Michael McKeever, directed by Joe Brancato

From the author of After and Daniel's Husband comes a potent look at love and lust, life and loss. Terry Parker is at a crossroads -suddenly single and unable to adjust to a world that has moved on without him - when he embarks on a journey of self-discovery in this funny, touching new play about learning to let go of the past and embracing the future. New York premiere. For mature audiences.

Special Presentations at the Barn:
July 12 & July 13 @ 8 p.m. - A Brooklyn Boy, co-written and performed by Stephen Prescod, co-written and directed by Moises Roberto Belizario
A riveting one-man show that portrays Steven Prescod's coming-of-age story in Brooklyn's Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood, taking audiences on a journey from adversity to personal triumph.

August 25 @ 7 p.m. - Heart Like a Wheel: A Tribute to the Music of Linda Ronstadt, performed by Rita Harvey

In this musical tribute to Linda Ronstadt, hear the timeless classics that made her one of America's most beloved performers ("You're No Good," "Blue Bayou," "When Will I Be Loved," "Desperado," "Heat Wave," among others) - and the stories behind the songs - as performed by Rita Harvey, Broadway star of Phantom of the Opera and Fiddler on the Roof.

Special Event at SUNY Rockland Community College, Suffern, New York:
October 26 @ 8 p.m. - Regina Carter in Concert

For Regina Carter, recipient of a MacArthur Genius Fellowship and Doris Duke Artist Award, the violin isn't simply a musical instrument, but a passport to a myriad of cultures and sounds. Dubbed "the finest jazz violinist of her generation" by The New York Times, she made history by being the first non-classical musician and first African American invited to play Paganini's legendary Guarneri violin. Her work draws upon a wide range of musical influences, including Motown, Afro-Cuban, swing, bebop, folk and spirituals, and her repertoire ranges from Debussy to Duke Ellington, from "After a Dream" to "Chattanooga Choo Choo."

Subscriptions to the 2019 season are on sale now. Prices start as low as $124 for the four plays, a savings of 25 to 35% off the cost of individual tickets.

"The very best seats in the house go to subscribers before single tickets go on sale," says Mr. Horn. Other subscriber benefits include a discount on the purchase of additional tickets and ticket insurance for lost or forgotten tickets.

For no charge, he says, patrons can select a value-added subscription series that includes post-performance discussions among the artists and audience, and pre-show tastings supplied by local restaurants. An additional incentive, says Horn, "is to dine out at a discount, with select restaurants offering special benefits to Penguin subscribers".

Individual tickets for mainstage productions are priced at $48 (including facility fee and service charge). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more and young people (30 and under).

Tickets are $20 for Play With Your Food readings, or available by subscription to all four readings at $60.

Tickets for A Brooklyn Boy are $30 each ($25 for Penguin subscribers).
Tickets for Heart Like a Wheel are $35 each ($30 for subscribers).
Tickets for Regina Carter in Concert are $40 each ($35 each for Penguin subscribers).
To order tickets or for further information, visit Penguin Rep's website at or call 845-786-2873.

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