HARD TIMES will play a limited engagement as a mainstage production of the fifth annual 1st Irish Festival, the only theatre festival in the world dedicated to Irish playwrights. New YorkÂ’s Origin Theatre Company (George C. Heslin artistic director) hosts and coordinates 1st Irish. The month-long event showcases 1st-class productions from Ireland and the U.S. of plays by new Irish playwrights at venues across the city. 1st Irish 2012 runs from September 3 to October 1. HARD TIMESperformances will take place at the cell (338 West 23rd Street New York, NY 10011). Performances begin Thursday,September 13 and run through Sunday, September 30 Opening Night is Saturday, September 15 (8 p.m.).
Hard Times is a soulful musical of clashing Irish and Afro-American cultures, written by Larry Kirwan of Black 47. Through a re-imagining of Stephen Foster's songs, Kirwan conjures the creation of tap dance and explores the troubled life of the "father of American Music" against the backdrop of New York City's Civil War draft riots.
Hard Times stars Jed Peterson as Stephen Foster, Erin West as Jane Foster, Almeria Campbell as Nelly Blythe, Phillip Callen as Michael Jenkins, Stephane Duret as Thomas Jefferson and John Charles McLaughlin as Owen Duignan.
The production features scenic and prop design by Dara Wishingrad, lighting design by Gertjan Houben and costume and hair design by Sara Hinkley. Niall OÂ’Leary is the Irish Dance Consultant Tim Eliot is the fight director. The dramaturg isSamantha Keogh, casting director and associate producer is Jason Najjoum, marketing by Katie Rosin/Kampfire PR.
STEPHEN FOSTER (Music) known as the "father of American music", was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century. His songs Â— "Oh! Susanna", "Camptown Races", "Old Folks at Home" ("Swanee River"), "Hard Times Come Again No More", "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair", and "Beautiful Dreamer" Â— remain popular over 150 years after their composition. He was a resident of New YorkÂ’s infamous Five Points during the Draft Riots of July 1863 and died exactly six months later at the age of 37 with 38 cents in his pocket.
LARRY KIRWAN (Playwright) is leader of the Irish-American rock band, Black 47. Black 47 has released fourteen CDs and appeared on Leno, Letterman and OÂ’Brien. Kirwan has written a dozen plays and musicals, five of which were collected in the book Mad Angels. The best known, Liverpool Fantasy, has been produced twice Off-Broadway and at the Dublin Theatre Festival. He has written a memoir and two novels. His new novel, A Raving Autumn, will be published in 2013. He hosts and produces Celtic Crush for SiriusXM, and writes a weekly column for The Irish Echo.
KIRA SIMRING (Director) is the Artistic Director of the cell, A Twenty 1st Century Salon Â™, alongside Nancy Manocherian, Founding Artistic Director. Kira directs many of the cell's productions and is the resident director for The Center for Contemporary OperaÂ’s Atilier Series. She has developed and directed many new plays off Broadway and off-off Broadway, including Â“GuiltyÂ” at the Acorn Theater and Â“BlackoutÂ” at the Kirk Theatre. She has also directed Shakespeare regionally with New Village Arts Theatre in San Diego and Handel at the Connecticut Grand Opera. Kira earned her MFA in Directing at the Actors Studio Drama School of New School University where she received a Shubert Fellowship, and her BA in Anthropology at Smith College.
About the cell: A Twenty 1st Century SalonÂ™
Since its inception in 2006, the cell: A Twenty 1st Century SalonÂ™ (Nancy Manocherian, Founding Director; Kira Simring, Artistic Director) has been, and continues to be, an incubator for creative projects. Through its strong commitment to cultivate undiscovered artists, the cell has created residencies for diverse groups including the Tandem Reading Series, Center for Contemporary Opera and The Blackboard Reading Series. the cell is located in the heart of Chelsea, New York City. For more information, please visit www.thecelltheatre.org.
Told from the perspective of Tiresias, a blind, half-man half-woman prophet from Greek mythology, The Waste Land is a dramatic and bitter meditation on social catastrophe. The Straddler's staging—performed by an African American Tiresias, an overeager nautical sidekick, and a seedy musician—will combine elements of vaudeville, melodrama, and the minstrel show as it explores the comedy and absurdity of a text that continues to illuminate our times.
About the Company: The Straddler
The Straddler is an interdisciplinary organization founded with the intent of examining and transforming culture. Looking as much to the past as to the present for insights into an age where repetition and cultural diminishment are the norm, The Straddler seeks to sift through illuminated bits of western and American culture. Pieced together, The Straddler believes these fragments offer images of the potential for a more dignified cultural future.
Curious Frog Theatre Company's latest initiative in collaboration with the Cell in Manhattan! Our 'new works' initiative invites one established playwright and one early career playwright to have their works presented on the same evening before an audience who are then encouraged to comment on the works and interact with the playwrights and actors in a talkback.
The inaugural event of Curious Frog @ the Cell features noted playwright James Farrell (Shorts: Black&White&Blue, Transplant, Donnie, A Believer of Those Things..., Donnie ) and an award winning talented new playwright Kevin Daly (In Kings and Fools).
Enjoy an evening of wine, music, appetizers and of course, our actors as they bring poignant characters to life through memorable works, and then stay for a conversation with our playwrights in a talkback.
For more information and playwright bios. visit: http://www.curiousfrog.org/new_works.php
FREE & OPEN to public. Seating is limited. RSVP email@example.com
ANCHOR WOMEN is showing as part of the Women On The Edge series @the cell in New York City at 338 West 23rd Street. For further information, please visit www.thecelltheatre.org. Tickets are available for $10 at the door.
PERFORMANCE DATES: February 25th at 8pm; February 26th at 8pm; February 27th at 8pm
ABOUT THE CELL: Since its inception in 2006, the cell (Nancy Manocherian, Founding Director; Kira Simring, Artistic Director) has been, and continues to be, an incubator for creative projects. Through its strong commitment to cultivate undiscovered artists, the cell has created residencies for diverse groups including the Tandem Reading Series, Center for Contemporary Opera and The Blackboard Reading Series. the cell is located in the heart of Chelsea, New York City. For more information, please visit www.thecelltheatre.org.
The Hypochondriac takes place in a swank Manhattan apartment awash with art, and filled with pill bottles, bedpans and medical paraphernalia. â€¨The story revolves around Mr. Argan, a wealthy and eccentric hypochondriac, who is plagued by a gold-digging wife, an insolent maid, a rebellious young daughter and an infestation of drug-peddling, incompetent doctors. Although Argan is actually in fine health, he is so doped up that the side effects alone have him convinced that he is dying. Through a series of hilarious tricks and outrageous disguises, Argan’s fast-talking maid and exasperated brother work furiously to cure him of his true malady.
Written by Walt Whitman – Among one of the most influential American poets, Whitman is often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection “Leaves of Grass” which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality.
Conceived and Directed by Jeremy Bloom – Directing and assistant directing credits include Metropolitan Opera, The Flea, NY Fringe, NYU Grad, The Tank, The Access Gallery, Midtown Festival (award winner), and Planet Connections. Bloom is an alum of Northwestern's Performance Studies program and Resident Artist at the cell.
Produced by the cell – Since its inception in 2006, the cell (Nancy Manocherian, Founding Director; Kira Simring, Artistic Director) has been, and continues to be, an incubator for creative projects. Through its strong commitment to cultivate undiscovered artists, the cell has created residencies for diverse groups including the Tandem Reading Series, Center for Contemporary Opera and The Blackboard Reading Series.
--R.W. Browne, LIC Times, THE CHEAP SEATS
“[Matthew A.J. Gregory’s] version of The Imaginary Invalid is Molière updated… the bedside circus surrounding Argan, a man with a mysterious illness, is truly big top–worthy.”
--Ronni Reich, BackStage
THE IMAGINARY INVALID is the perfect send-up of our nation’s beleaguered healthcare system and the cure for the affliction from which we all suffer: A malnourished sense of humor!
After a wildly popular presentation was cut short ironically due to illness, Deadline Productions is triumphantly remounting this new adaptation of Molière’s THE IMAGINARY INVALID in Manhattan’s The Cell Theatre this summer.
A contemporary re-imagining of Molière’s last play, this production satirizes today’s pill-popping culture and profit-driven health care system. The play takes place in a swank Manhattan loft apartment, awash with art that’s now overflowing with pill bottles, bed pans and medical paraphernalia. The original musical interludes in the play are now replaced by faux pharmaceutical commercials which promote questionable drug treatments and their unpleasant side effects.
The story revolves around Argan, a wealthy and eccentric hypochondriac, who is plagued by a gold-digging wife, an insolent maid, a rebellious young daughter and an infestation of drug-peddling, incompetent doctors. Argan is actually in fine health but is so doped up that the side effects alone have him convinced that he is dying. Through a series of hilarious tricks and outrageous disguises, Argan’s fast-talking maid and exasperated brother work furiously to cure Argan of his true malady: his doctors are the real disease.
ARGAN - Jeremy Lawrence*
TOINETTE - Tiffany Denise Turner
BELINDA - Cate Bottiglione
ANGELIQUE - Christen Gee
LOUISE - Taryn Turney
BARRY - Travis Stroessenreuther*
CLAY - Matthew Schatz*
DR. PURGON - Kirsten Anderson
DR. DIAFOIRUS - Sheila Jones
THOMAS - Kyle Haggerty
MS. FLEURANT - Hailey McCarty
*denotes actors appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.
Artistic Staff and Crew:
Matthew A.J. Gregory – Producer, Director, Co-adaptor
Greg Tito – Producer and Co-adaptor
Chris Harcum – Co-adaptor
Shira Gregory – Co-adaptor
Katy Moore – Production Stage Manager
Justin Couchara – Scenic Designer
Natalie Robin – Lighting Designer
Mary C. Hunt – Costume Designer