Press Release: 3 Days/27 Companies = 1 Off-Broadway Prelude Weekend

The second annual Prelude to Off-Broadway weekend will once again enable audiences to preview the city's vibrant Off-Broadway scene in just three days at one place. From October lst to 3rd, the CUNY Graduate Center's Martin E. Segal Theatre Center will team up with the Alliance of Resident Theatres (A.R.T)/New York to host twenty-seven exciting and diverse companies presenting free samples of their work. In addition, the weekend will offer three panel discussions, beginning with one on September 30, plus a series of breakout sessions. A complete schedule is attached, and updated details can be found at http://web.gc.cuny.edu/MESTC or http://www.theatermania.com

All events are free and will be held at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue (34th Street). Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis, although a guaranteed ticket for each program may be reserved for a $5 donation per event through the Graduate Center's Office of Continuing Education and Public Programs at 1-212-817-8215, or continuinged@gc.cuny.edu.

All of the companies, selected by lottery, are members of A.R.T./New York and represent New York's distinctive non-profit Off-Broadway community. The presentations will include works being developed for the upcoming 2004-5 season and beyond. In the span of a weekend, Prelude to Off-Broadway offers theatre-goers a rare chance to preview the eclectic work of several companies at once and engage in dialogue with the presenters. In addition, Prelude provides a much needed forum for emerging artists' work.

Prelude to Off-Broadway programs include readings of new plays, live rehearsals, and process workshops. Panel discussions --- aimed at theater participants --- will cover the history of Off-Broadway theatre, getting one's work noticed, and working in international venues. Topics of the breakout sessions, led by artistic directors and theatre related professionals, include African-American Theatre, Caribbean Theatre, Dramaturgy, Graduate Theatre Studies, and Translation.

Prelude to Off-Broadway is being co-sponsored by The Lucille Lortel Foundation and TheaterMania. Further information on all the sponsors is also attached.


Prelude to Off-Broadway --- Program
September 30 to October 3
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue

Thursday, September 30th

Kick-off Panel, 7:00 pm
Illuminating the History of Not for Profit Off Broadway Theatre: A Retrospective with Ellen Stewart, Founder and Director of La Mama e.t.c.
This fascinating evening will consist of a short film about La Mama e.t.c's history, followed by a conversation with Ellen Stewart. A seasoned non-profit professional, Ms. Stewart has been producing theatre pieces for 43 years at La Mama e.t.c. in New York City, and abroad. This off-Broadway theatre icon will reflect upon her experiences and offer insights about changes in the producing landscape, from artistic choices, to funding, to theatre reviews.

Friday, October 1

Breakout Session 1: Moving Up to Off-Broadway, 2pm
Breakout Session 2: Black Theatre, 2PM

CAP21 (Collaborative Arts Project 21):
Six Of One
4pm (Proshansky Auditorium)
CAP21 is presenting the first act of a new musical, Six Of One, with music by Paul Loesel and book and lyrics by Scott Burkell and staring Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley. CAP 21's Artistic Director Frank Ventura has assembled a brilliant cast for this quirky and contemporary musical comedy about six eccentric friends living in New York City. It explores living with the family of friends that we choose in our adult life ­ those who love us unconditionally. It explores the relationships, which are complex and zany. It explores adaptation and change. It explores expectations and love. It searches for the tender appreciation of an ordinary day. (The actors in this presentation are subject to availability)

CAP21 dedicates itself to the creation of new work, the development of new talent and the building of new audiences. Our goal is to create programs to achieve substantial and lasting contributions to the future of the arts. Every CAP21 endeavor embraces the following values: collaboration; an exchange between emerging and accomplished artists; a nurturing support system; an infusion of the traditional with the innovative and a commitment to serving and cultivating a diverse audience.

Metropolitan Playhouse:
Getting Under the "Redskin"
4pm (Martin E. Segal Theatre)
Metropolitan Playhouse will present a participatory rehearsal and exploration of a scene from Metropolitan's first mainstage production of the 2004-05 season, the popular 19th century melodrama Metamora. Metamora is a tale of colonial and Native American conflict on the American frontier that is notable for its pertinent modern themes as well as its period stereotypes. In this workshop/rehearsal we will delve into the central question that informs all of Metropolitan's groundbreaking work: How do you both respect a modern audience and honor a play's original intent when you revive an important work from our theatrical past? Audience members will be invited to participate in every step of the rehearsal as Metropolitan company members critique the script, dissect the characters, investigate the play's history, and stage the scene.

Metropolitan Playhouse explores and enriches American Theatrical heritage and its place in World Theater. The Playhouse presents lost American plays, new plays inspired by American literature and history, and selected plays from around the world that resonate with the American canon.

Young Playwrights, Inc.:
The Future Is Now
4pm (Elebash Recital Hall)
Young Playwrights Inc. (YPI) will present a reading of one of the winning plays from the 2004 National Playwriting Competition. Founded by Stephen Sondheim, Young Playwrights Inc. develops the works of playwrights 18 or younger through Off-Broadway production and curriculum based education programs. Throughout its 23-year history, YPI has unearthed such talents as Kenneth Lonergan, Rebecca Gilman, and Madeleine George. Following the reading, a YPI teaching artist will lead the audience through a selection of exercises from its WRITE A PLAY! Curriculum. These exercises can be used to ignite the imagination of playwrights young and old.

Young Playwrights Inc. mission is to nurture playwrights aged 18 or younger through professional development and presentation of their work; to develop new work for the theatre; to promote the arts as a part of basic education by facilitating the integration of playwriting into the curriculum; to develop and serve audiences that reflect the complex makeup of our society; and to serve as an advocate for young people regardless of ethnicity, gender, physicality, sexual orientation, or economic status.

Abingdon Theatre Company:
Developing New Work for the Stage
6pm (Proshansky Auditorium)
Abingdon Theatre Company will demonstrate the company's process of script development. The demonstration will include selected readings from our fall mainstage production, God's Daughter by Barton Bishop. After years away from home, author Cory Archer returns to Florida to find her father locked in the grip of Alzheimer's disease. Cory can either leave or finally confront the truth of her past. Performances run from October 22 through November 21, 2004. This script has gone through each stage of our development process and is an excellent example of a mature script ready for full production. The playwright will be present to share his experiences and observations as an emerging theatre artist. Audience members will be able to ask questions of the playwright, director and cast members as well as contribute through their feedback to the presented material.

Abingdon Theatre Company develops and produces new works by American playwrights. Under the artistic direction of Jan Buttram and Pamela Paul, the company provides a home in which playwrights collaborate with other theatre artists and receive audience feedback by utilizing First Readings, Staged Readings, Workouts, Stage II Productions and Mainstage Productions.

Mind The Gap Theatre:
Homeground
6pm (Martin E. Segal Theatre)
Mind The Gap Theatre presents a staged reading of Homeground by Glen Supple (abridged to fit in time allotted). Directed by Paula D'Alessandris and Featuring: Victor Villar-Hauser, Christine Rendel, Jonathan Tindle, Angela Scowen & Louise McCabe. Homeground is the story of an office boy, Jason, who awakes one morning to discover his life has seized up. Not least of his concerns is the cold hearted treatment dished out by his neurotic boss, Lynn. When his elderly colleagues, Kate and Harry, suggest all their lives might considerably improve if Lynn were killed, Jason find he has little choice but to accept the role of assassin. The outcome of his actions will open new doors to all involved.

Mind The Gap Theatre New York (MTG) seeks to fund and oversee the development, performance, and appreciation of contemporary British drama in America. To that end, Mind The Gap provides a permanent home for new British theatre in the United States. Mind The Gap also organizes and conducts a number of educational activities to promote cultural, historical and political understanding between the people of Britain and the United States.

Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble:
Dim Sum SA
6pm (Elebash Recital Hall)
The Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble will perform several short improvised works, discuss how they create material, what it means to work as an ensemble and what's next for the company. Strike Anywhere is a multi-disciplinary performance ensemble comprised of jazz musicians, modern dancers, actors and visual artists. The company creates original work through improvisation and an ensemble-based process. The work often addresses important socio-political themes through humor and a kaleidoscopic, abstract style termed by some as "3-D Jazz".

Strike Anywhere's mission is to promote empathy, free-thinking, and greater social awareness through provocative theatre and educational outreach.

Golden Fleece, Ltd.:
Wake of the Essex
8pm (Elebash Recital Hall)
The one-act play Wake of the Essex, written by Lou Rodgers and starring Robert Manzari as Captain George Pollard Jr., chronicles the hollowing story of the whale ship Essex, stove by a whale in the Pacific in 1820. It follows the psychological journey of the shipwrecked captain's guilt and survival, true events that inspired Herman Melville's Moby Dick. In Hair of the Dog, a fifteen-minute curtain raiser, a man comes to discover the meaning of love, observing the relationship between two dogs. Original music by Jon Rodgers and Lou Rodgers is performed by Jon Rodgers.

Golden Fleece's mission is to provide exposure for emerging American writers, primarily of music theater and opera, but also of nonmusical plays as demonstrated in our Argonaut series, consisting of playwrights and poets from their works in progress.

Teatro I.A.T.I.:
Playwright Laboratory Showcase
8pm (Martin E. Segal Theatre)
Teatro I.A.T.I. will present five scenes from works in progress by five different playwrights. All of them will be in Spanish with an English synopsis available. This showcase will present different aspects of reality: Alejandro Aragón focuses on characters between dumbness and geniality in an atmosphere of ghosts and miracles; Diana Chery deals with relationships in an urban space, and how close and how far we are from each others intimacy; Berioska Ipinza's play is about deep and unbreakable affections and how you deal with the ghost thoughts that you have in your mind; Eva Cristina Vásquez researched her African-Caribbean roots and it's value in a contemporary world; Pablo Garcia-Gamez writes about women who are tough and vulnerable, they make efforts to spread "culture" against their daily life.

International Theatre Arts Institute (Teatro I.A.T.I) is a non-profit theatre organization established in 1968 dedicated to the production of theatre works in Spanish for children and adult audiences. Teatro I.A.T.I specializes in the performance and promotion of contemporary Latino/Hispanic playwrights through play readings, workshops, tertulias, and full theatrical productions. At the same time Teatro I.A.T.I. appeals to non-Hispanics who cherish a high quality, thought-provoking contemporary theater experience.

Thirteenth Night Theatre Company:
The Portable Virgins
8pm (Proshansky Auditorium)
The Portable Virgins is an adaptation of three short stories by Irish writer Anne Enright. They each tell the tale of a seemingly ordinary woman ­ a shopgirl, a housewife and factory worker ­ who are in fact extra ordinary. Sad and funny, these pieces combine the wit and honesty of the original stories with techniques of physical theatre to form three short compelling dramas. Adapted by the cast and the company's Artistic Director, Kit Thacker, they are being performed at London's Bridewell Theater before coming to New York.

Thirteenth Night Theatre Company's classical and contemporary repertoire celebrates the complexities of relationships and the versatility of individuals. Through its committed ensemble of directors, actors, and designers, the Company showcases how people adapt to their ever-changing roles in society, as well as how they influence and interact with others. In addition, the Company encourages audiences to understand the progress, centrality, and strength of women by providing female actors with greater access to prominent roles.

Saturday, October 2

HERE Arts Center:
Hybrid Work at HERE Arts Center
12pm (Proshansky Auditorium)
Excerpt from Electric Junkyard Gamelan featuring Robin Burdulis, Terry Dame, Mary Feaster, Lisa Frisari & Julian Hintz. Composed & created by Terry Dame. Using the Rubarp, Sitello, Terraphone, and an arsenal of percussion instruments fashioned from metal basins, turntable platters and truck springs, Electric Junkyard Gamelan plays original music on invented and object instruments. 2: Excerpt from: Disposable Men, created by James Scruggs and directed by Kristin Marting, a richly interactive videoscape in which images of King Kong and Frankenstein collide with tales about theme-restaurants that feature lynching with the dessert course and men dancing at bar mitzvahs in suits made out of fried chicken. A discussion with HERE resident artists and executive director to follow.

HERE Arts Center supports artists' independence within an interdependent community. The HERE community provides the artist with access, arts management innovation, and non-profit enterprise. We measure our success by the lively, active exchange that occurs in our spaces daily. With this in mind, our seasons are driven by the needs of our community.

NeoPack:
Workshop Presentations of RED/BLUE and REASONS
12pm (Martin E. Segal Theatre)
NeoPack will conduct workshop presentations of scenes from two new plays currently in development. An open forum for feedback and audience response will follow each presentation. Red/Blue by Steve Rousseau, directed by Tom Wojtunik, is a new play that follows the disparate narratives of three individuals--a reality TV star, an 18-year old basketball phenomenon, and a female presidential candidate. The juxtaposition of their separate worlds underlines the idea that in American media culture, a negative is often positive. Reasons, written and directed by Luke Hancock, was developed through a series of intensive improvisation sessions held this past spring between the director and a group of six actors. It follows the story of a group of friends whose lives are altered due to the unexpected loss of a friend.

NeoPack is a company of fresh, enthusiastic, and versatile artists with a thirst for the development and production of new work. We also embrace the challenge of infusing a new flavor into the classic and contemporary, our ultimate goal being a contribution to the continuing evolution of theatrical storytelling ­ using the language of yesterday and today in an effort to inform the idiom of tomorrow.

Pan Asian Repertory Theatre:
Mom, Dad, I'm Living with a White Girl
12pm (Elebash Recital Hall)
Pan Asian Rep, New York's Pioneering Asian American Theatre Company now in their 28th Season, presents a sneak preview and discussion with Asian-Canadian playwright, Marty Chan, from the play, Mom, Dad, I'm Living with a White Girl. The play which was a hit throughout Canada is a clever, fast-paced satire dealing with interracial dating that leaps back and forth between reality and film noir fantasy. The play will be given its official US premiere by Pan Asian Rep on October 9th and runs until November 7th.

Pan Asian Repertory Theatre's mission is to celebrate the artistic expressiveness of Asian and American theatre artists under the highest standards of professional theatre and professional productions.

Breakout Session 3: Caribbean Theatre, 2 PM
Breakout Session 4: U.S. Graduate Programs in Theatre, 2PM

Black Moon Theatre Company:
Expressionistic Realism
2pm (Martin E. Segal Theatre)
Artistic Director Rene Migliaccio will hold a workshop demonstrating his internationally acclaimed signature style coined "Expressionistic Realism." "Expressionistic realism" builds on the techniques of realistic acting, then combines that reality with heightened emotion and physicality past naturalism into an expressionistic style. Thoughts and emotions are exposed in a specific way by articulation of different body parts and by working intensely on the expressions of the face and the intensity of the eyes. Audience is encouraged to actively participate with trained company membersŠ Come wearing comfortable clothes. For more details about the workshop check the website at www.blackmoontheatrecompany.org under workshop.

Black Moon Theatre Company is dedicated to the on-going research and use of a physical performance style called Expressionistic Realism. Along with this internationally-acclaimed style of gesture, mask and movement, Black Moon Theatre Company brings together the mediums of traditional theatre, non-Western dance techniques, visual arts and music to create a new perspective on classic literature, from Greek tragedy to modern drama and comedy. We believe that by creating a home for an ethnically-diverse community of actors who work with international choreographers, designers, and composers, Black Moon Theatre Company will discover a new aesthetic in performance and expand the cultural consciousness of its audience.

The Dream Theatre:
Baptiste and Miriam
2pm (Proshansky Auditorium)
The Dream Theatre will present selections from its 2004-05 seasons' world premiere of Baptiste and Miriam by Marcia Haufrecht. Based on a true story, this play explores the powerful and violent romance between a Pulitzer prize-winning African-American poet and a struggling Jewish dancerŠa stunning dissection of the challenges of inter-racial love in the 50's -70's. The play was inspired by Haufrecht's mentor, Charles Gordone, the first African-American playwright to win the Pulitzer Prize for No Place to Be Somebody in 1968. Starring LeLand Gantt and Andrea Leigh, directed by Keith Bulla, production design by Maya Kaplun, stage management by Emily Speer.

The Dream Theatre presents both new plays and classics that explore all nature of violence in a world that dreams of peace. We hope to transform, uplift, and inspireŠand to elevate the art form of the theatre, to return it to its original mission as a sacred rite, a place for spiritual rejuvenation and catharsis. We especially honor and encourage plays written by or about women.

Jean Cocteau Repertory:
Dames at Sea
2pm (Elebash Recital Hall)
Jean Cocteau Repertory will perform songs from its 2004-2005 season production of the classic star-is-born musical, Dames at Sea. Producing Artistic Director David Fuller will be on hand to discuss the other productions of the season in more detail, as well, and then members of the Cocteau company will lead a brief acting workshop for audience members.

Jean Cocteau Repertory remains dedicated to its original mission to: produce a broad range of timeless works of classic scope and vision; present productions in a rotating repertory format; nurture and challenge the artistic growth of a resident acting company; reach out and perpetuate a culturally diverse audience; and introduce the passion of live classic theatre to audiences of the future through educational programming.

American Renaissance Theatre (ARTC):
A Celebration of Thirty Years of Collaboration
4pm (Elebash Recital Hall)
ARTC is excited to have this opportunity to present a retrospective of work developed over the past 30 years. Board member, former co-artistic director and playwright Elisabeth Karlin will discuss her experience as a playwright as well as ARTC's unique workshop process. Presentations will include an excerpt from Sunflower, a solo work based on the life of suffragette, Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Co-founder Elizabeth Perry directed by James Alexander Bond; a scene from Lawn Chairs by Broadway playwright Nancy Hasty, directed by co-artistic director Elowyn Castle; and scenes from works currently in development by active members including Ian Cohen and Terri Campion. Q&A will follow, moderated by ARTC Dramaturg Victoria Sullivan.

ARTC's mission is to develop new plays in a nurturing workshop environment that encourages a creative collaboration of writers, actors, and directors. To expand the skills of our Professional Membership in all facets of the theatre arts, actors are encouraged to try writing and directing, directors are encouraged to write and act, writers are asked to read scenes or possibly direct.

Six Figures Theatre Company:
Baghdad Burning ­ Girl Blog from Iraq
4pm (Martin E. Segal Theatre)
Six Figures presents excerpts and tidbits from the upcoming season, including readings from the adaptation of Baghdad Burning - Girl Blog from Iraq, and selections from Voom - a hodgepodge of short pieces which crack open the naughtiness of humanity through an exploration of archetypes - featuring the political burlesque of Victoria Libertore ("HowlingVic") and Becca Blackwell, directed by Kimberly I. Kefgen. Performances to be followed by informal discussion and snacks!

Six Figures was founded in 1990 by six women who found that their experience and sensibilities were underrepresented in the canon of commercial theatre, and committed themselves to developing plays and supporting voices that might not otherwise be heard. We are dedicated to providing opportunities for women theatre artists, developing quality theatrical work by women and other underrepresented artists, and ensuring that the community as a whole is aware of the opportunity to hear these new voices and see exciting, original performances. In 1999, the company became a part of the West End Theatre Consortium where it continues to make its artistic home.

Messenger Theatre Company:
The Adventures of Baba Yaga
4pm (Proshansky Auditorium)
Messenger Theatre Company presents their first foray into children's theater with The Adventures of Baba Yaga: Little Girl Stew (directed by Emily Davis) a contemporary re-telling of Baba Yaga ("Old Woman"), a ubiquitous figure in Russian folklore. The story centers around the life of an old crone who flies around in a mortar and pestle and lives in a house that walks around on chicken legs. In this magical tale, Vassilissa's stepmother sends her into the dark forest to fetch some light from the terrifying Baba Yaga. With her doll's help, she arrives at Baba Yaga's house where she discovers light in a skull atop a squeaky gate made of bones. Vassilissa will have to complete the tasks Baba Yaga sets for her or be turned into stew! The production explores the darkness of the forest and the broad archetypal relationships through shadow puppetry and large full­faced masks, created by Shannon Harvey.

Messenger Theatre Company is dedicated to the art of simple storytelling through collaboration. We strive to integrate actor-based performances with masks, puppetry, movement, live music and visual arts. We create bold and innovative original works inspired by venerable sources such as myth and classical stories. Our interest lies in bringing these tales to life with magic, wit and beauty.

The Actors Theatre Workshop, Inc.:
Script Analysis ­ Bringing the Play to Life; A Lecture and Demonstration by Thurman E. Scott
6pm (Elebash Recital Hall)
The Actors Theatre Workshop's Artistic Director and Founder Thurman E. Scott will offer creative insights into the steps theatre artists must take to bring a play to life and develop a performance. Named by his mentor Stella Adler as "Š the inheritor of the Stanislavski legacy and of my legacy, (whose) work advances acting technique for the next generationŠ", Mr. Scott will demonstrate his original creative technique to bring a play to life. This powerful, organic process allows actors, writers, teachers and directors to find impressions, images and ideas that reveal the action and big idea of the play. Mr. Scott will also lecture on how the choices actors make in life affect the creative choices they make in the process of bringing a character to life on the stage.

The Actors Theatre Workshop is an established pioneer in non-profit theatre committed to producing classical and contemporary plays, developing new dramatic works, training and developing actors, writers, and directors while making a difference in the lives of homeless children in the community at large.

Banana Boat Productions:
Mama Decemba
6pm (Martin E. Segal Theatre)
Mama Decemba, by Nigel D. Moffatt, directed by Merlina Rich, is a bitter sweet play about an older West Indian woman living in England during the late mid-eighties, who finds herself widowed, jobless, and deserted by her children. Her attempts to cope involve hauntingly honest, sometimes humorous, and often painful reflections of her past, raising larger questions about the nature of life-long relationships. This award-winning play has been described as "an aching slice of a life run aground."

Through our readings and fully-staged plays, Banana Boat Productions hopes to bring more thoughtful Caribbean theater to a larger audience, an audience that will be able to more easily recognize and appreciate both the complexities and the simple elegance of the struggles and the resolutions as well as the humor and the sadness that are all part of the indomitable spirit of Caribbean life.

Juggernaut Theatre Company:
Scenes from Juggernaut's upcoming season
6pm (Proshansky Auditorium)
Juggernaut Theatre Company will present a reading of several short dramatic pieces that were written during Juggernaut's playwriting workshop 2004 using the in-class writing techniques developed by British playwright Bernard Kops. There will also be a discussion of Kops technique and nn ArtsGym lecture demonstration on the basic principles of Rudolf Laban's movement and voice training utilized by Joan Littlewood and her Company the Theatre Workshop. This work is the foundation of the Littlewood Project which is currently in development in a HERE Arts Center Residency.

Juggernaut Theatre Company was formed in 1994 by a group of Julliard graduates interested in taking new approaches to theatre while maintaining the integrity of their classical training. Our approach to theatre is three-fold: we write and produce full-scale plays; develop training programs for theatre practitioners; and produce scholarly readings and symposiums for the theatre community as well as the public

Panel Discussion 2, 8 pm
How to Know Where to Go
Learn from a panel of theatre critics, web-masters, artistic directors and Theater Professors about how New York Theatre companies in a changing environment reach out to new audiences. Academic reviews, independent websites, flyers and festivals are part of the new tools for a new audience.

Sunday, October 3

Boomerang Theatre Company:
Theatre Goulash: Selections from Season 2004
12pm (Elebash Recital Hall)
Boomerang Theatre Company will present scenes and excerpts from work presented in the 2004 season, including a scene from Irvine Welsh's You'll Have Had Your Hole, a scene from Kelly McAllister's Burning The Old Man, a scene from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and readings of scenes from works in progress Giant-N-Variation by Francis Kuzler and Hollis McCoy & The Elves by James Pinkowski.

The Boomerang Theatre Company is dedicated to challenging audiences through live theatre. Through utilizing the classic system of rotating repertory, we offer audiences and actors alike the opportunity to see new, classic, and neglected plays of different styles and genres. By this, we hope to move both playgoer and performer on an emotional level and an intellectual level, while maintaining high entertainment value.

Ergo Theatre Company:
From This Day Forward
12pm (Proshansky Auditorium)
From This Day Forward, a new musical featuring the music and lyrics of Stephen Schwartz, is a unique and challenging piece of new musical theatre using over 70 Stephen Schwartz songs interwoven and reinterpreted to tell an original plot-driven story following four twenty-somethings who are living discontentedly in New York City. Members of Ergo Theatre Company will present excerpts from this "work in progress" followed by an open discussion with the cast and creators about the remarkable process of creating a new musical theatre form and the road blocks faced in exposing this show to a wider commercial audience.

Ergo Theatre Company was founded in 1997 to develop workshops and produce new theatrical works and revamp revivals. Ergo does not run on a regular season schedule but rather on a per-project basis. Ergo also strives to help jump start the careers of actors, playwrights, composers, designers, and directors working in New York City.

The Hypothetical Theatre Company:
The Action Against Sol Schumann
12pm (Martin E. Segal Theatre)
The Hypothetical Theatre Company will present excerpts from their upcoming season including Jeffrey Sweet's, The Action Against Sol Schumann, winner of the 2002 American Theatre Critics Award. Set in Brooklyn in 1985, the play centers on Sol Schumann, a NY Jew and Holocaust survivor. When Sol is accused of unspeakable crimes committed years earlier, his family and community must navigate through a maze of legal, personal and moral issues surrounding the fall of their hero. Other season selections include: Don Nigro's My Sweetheart's the Man in the Moon - the riveting story of the love triangle of architect Stanford White, starlet Evelyn Nesbit and aristocrat Harry Thaw, and Jennifer Maisel's The Last Seder - a comedy about a dysfunctional family finding hope in a holiday. The casts will include Broadway and Off-Broadway veterans directed by Artistic Director Amy Feinberg.

The Hypothetical Theatre Company is an ensemble of actors, playwrights, and directors. HTC premieres cutting-edge, contemporary productions of heightened theatricality, exploring human issues and themes that emerge uniquely through character and story. HTC also offers arts-in-education programs, community outreach, and tours productions to lower income areas.

Breakout Session 5: Translation, 2 PM

Freestyle Repertory Theatre:
Spontaneous Broadway
2pm (Martin E. Segal Theatre)
Spontaneous Broadway, an improvised musical theater work (songs, lyrics, dance and all!), is the most enduringly popular show ever created by Freestyle Repertory Theatre. The entire evening is inspired by song titles offered by the audience, transformed into complete songs by the cast and eventually woven into a fully improvised one act musical. Syd Steinhardt (offoffonline.com, June 2004) wrote, "Freestyle [is] close to being civic treasure. Spontaneous Broadway is worth seeing just to watch these pros strutting their improvised stuff." The "pros" in the cast include company members Mike Durkin, Natalie Ellis and Shaundra Noll. Freestyle's Artistic Director Laura Livingston superbly guides the intricacies of creating a spontaneous musical and composer Ben Toth provides musical inspiration and guidance from the piano.

Freestyle Repertory Theatre's mission is to foster interest in improvisational theatre and to promote the improvisational skills of cooperation, spontaneity and creative risk-taking.

Hamm & Clov Stage Company:
Of Pubs and Parishes
2pm (Proshansky Auditorium)
Three young Irish immigrants, Niamh Joyce (County Galway), Jimmy Kerr (County Antrim), and Denise Lyons (County Kerry), have collaborated as playwrights with John Redmond (County Wesford), 4-time All-Ireland winner on the button accordion, and theatre director Holly Villaire to create a new play with music, to be given a concert reading by the playwrights themselves and five other Irish immigrants: Maureen Brady (County Sligo), Tony Casey and Mike Diggins (County Kerry), Jo Kinsella (County Kilkenny), and Una McGillicuddy (County Dublin). Inspired by the lives of the playwright/performers and the "indomitable Irishry," this is the newest of Hamm & Clov Stage Company's Anam Project, which develops and produces new theatrical material in immigrant communities. Anam means "soul" in Gaelic.

Hamm & Clov Stage Company was established in 1972 for the development, production, and exchange of theatrical works by playwrights, musicians, dancers, and media arts from around the world. During the last three years the company has been nurturing and producing writers and performing artists in immigrant communities in Westchester and New York City.

Xoregos Performing Company:
Repertory Treasures
2pm (Elebash Recital Hall)
The Xoregos Performing Company thrust lies forward in commissioning new pieces and backward in performing historical dances and play classics. For its October 3 presentation, the company will perform a program titled Repertory Treasures. Jennie & The Jujuman by Grace Cavalieri (2004), How The Cookie Crumbles by Ade Ademola (1998) and Protected by Robert E. DiNardo (2003) are the three short plays, and Turning and Zahn Street choreographed by Shela Xoregos to Kristof Penderecki's music and to poems of Curtis Zahn respectively are the two dances. Additionally, Grace Cavalieri, poet and playwright and Dr. Eugene Abrams, Musical Director, will speak on writing and choosing music for theatre. Participants are actors Carin Murphy, Peter Johnson and Rodney Sheley and dancers Caron Eule, Erin Hunter, Mike Neal and Matthew Wagner. An additional surprise from the repertoire will be given. The program will be fully costumed and performed.

Xoregos Performing Company's mission is to present unusual combinations of text, music, dance and discover new theatre written and lost classics.

Panel Discussion 3, 4 pm
New York Theatre Companies and International Theatre
Artistic directors of non-profit Off-Broadway theatre companies will discuss their experiences with touring, translating, and presenting internationally, as well as their work in the U.S. with foreign playwrights and directors.

Prelude Weekend Sponsors

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (MESTC) is a non-profit center for theater, dance and film that is part of the City University of New York Graduate Center and is affiliated with its Ph.D. Program in Theatre. Originally founded in 1979 as the Center for Advanced Studies in Theatre Arts (CASTA), it was renamed in March of 1999 in recognition of one of New York City's outstanding leaders of the arts‹Martin E. Segal. Strategically positioned on Fifth Avenue and 34th Street near the heart of Manhattan's theater district, MESTC functions as a catalyst for artistic collaboration. The Center's primary focus is to bridge the gap between the academic and professional performing arts communities by providing an open environment for the development of educational, community-driven, and professional projects in the performing arts.

The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York) is the leadership organization for the nation's largest, most artistically influential, and most culturally diverse theatre community: Off Broadway. Founded in 1972 by 49 Off Off Broadway theatre companies to serve and promote a growing community of not-for-profit theatres, A.R.T./New York's membership now consists of 400 theatres and theatre-related organizations throughout New York City. We serve our members by providing low-cost office and rehearsal space, cash grants, loans, technical assistance workshops, one-on-one and group consulting, seminars, online audience development, and advocacy on behalf of the industry. Our members directly serve more than 2.4 million theatregoers annually, constitute the single largest source of new work entering the American repertory, and have produced 18 winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The Graduate Center is the doctorate-granting institution of The City University of New York. The only consortium of its kind in the nation, The Graduate Center draws its faculty of more than 1,600 members mainly from the CUNY senior colleges and cultural and scientific institutions throughout New York City. According to the most recent National Research Council report, more than a third of The Graduate Center's rated Ph.D. programs rank among the nation's top 20 at public and private institutions.

The Lucille Lortel Foundation's mission is to sustain and advance Off-Broadway theatre by supporting not-for-profit theatre companies and the service organizations that promote their development and welfare.

TheaterMania.com is the nation's leading online source for theater information, tickets and special offers. Founded in July, 1999, TheaterMania.com has over 1 million visitors each month and 300,000 registered members perusing its theater news and reviews and purchasing full price and discount tickets. TheaterMania.com makes theater accessible to a mass audience and serves the theater industry by providing marketing, promotion, box office support and editorial coverage. TheaterMania.com is the proud sponsor of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the FringeNYC festival, the Drama Desk Awards, public radio, the MAC Awards, ART/NY and many other not-for-profit organizations.
 

Submitted on: SEP 1, 2004

Category: Events, Press Room