RATTLESTICK PLAYWRIGHTS THEATER  ANNOUNCES IT’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON

The 2014-2015 season will include New York and world premieres by Keith Josef Adkins, Robert Boswell, Sheila Callaghan, Laura Eason, Michael Laurence, Laith Nakli, Scott Organ, Rubén Polendo, and Daniel Talbott.

The Rattlestick 2014-15 Season opens with:
The Long Shrift
Written by Robert Boswell; Directed by James Franco
July 7-August 23, 2014
Playing at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (224 Waverly Pl)
Featuring: Allie Gallerani, Scott Haze, Brian Lally, Ahna O’Reilly, Ally Sheedy

Richard Singer, a dorky teenage boy is accused and thrown in jail for rape, tearing his parents apart. Now, nine years later, Richard is out of jail and his accuser is back in his life.

Robert-BoswellRobert Boswell (Playwright) has published seven novels, three story collections, and two books of nonfiction. The Long Shrift is his second play. Tumbledown is his most recent novel. His work has earned him two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Iowa School of Letters Award for Fiction, a Lila Wallace/Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, the PEN West Award for Fiction, the John Gassner Prize for Playwriting, and the Evil Companions Award. The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards was a finalist for the 2010 PEN USA Award in Fiction. What Men Call Treasure was a finalist for the Western Writers of America Nonfiction Spur Award. Both the Chicago Tribune and Publisher’s Weekly named Mystery Ride as one of the best books of the year. The London Independent picked The Geography of Desire as one of the best books of the year. Virtual Death was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award and was named by the Science Fiction Chronicle as one of the best novels of the year. Boswell has published more than 70 stories and essays. They have appeared in the New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, Pushcart Prize Stories, Esquire, Colorado Review, Epoch, Ploughshares, and many other magazines and anthologies. He teaches at the University of Houston, where he shares the Cullen Endowed Chair in Creative Writing with his wife, Antonya Nelson. They live in Houston, Texas, and Telluride, Colorado.

Phoenix
Presented by Nicholas Jabbour
Co-Production with Poverty Row Entertainment, and Rian Patrick Durham
Written by Scott Organ; Directed by Jennifer DeLia
Performances start July 28, 2014 Playing at Cherry Lane, Mainstage (38 Commerce St)
Staring Julia Stiles and James Wirt

When Bruce (James Wirt) and Sue (Julia Stiles) meet four weeks after an uncharacteristic one-night-stand, Sue has this to say to him: one, I had a great time with you that night and two, let’s never see each other again. Thus begins a 4,000 mile journey well beyond the confines of their carefully structured worlds. Bruce is fueled by an overwhelming but undefined compulsion to join her in Phoenix. Sue is reluctantly charmed by his persistence, but steadfast in her resolve to keep him at bay. Both are forced to consider a whole new world of possibility, though not one free of difficulty and loss.  PHOENIX is a one-act dark romantic comedy.

Scott OrganScott Organ (Playwright) is from Virginia and lives in Brooklyn, NY. PHOENIX premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays. His plays can be found in New Playwrights – The Best Plays 2010, Humana Festival 2010 – The Complete Plays, New American Short Plays 2005, Best American Short Plays and Great Short Plays Volume 9. His work has been commissioned by The Atlantic Theater Company, developed by The New Group, Page 73, and The Barrow Group, and has been performed and work-shopped throughout the United States. A film based on his play PHOENIX is in pre-production, to be directed by Amy Redford.

Rattlestick’s 20th Anniversary Season will continue with:

Theater:Village, the West Village Theater Festival
September 4-October 5, 2014
Juárez: A Documentary Mythology
Co-production with Theater Mitu
Conceived and created by Theater Mitu Directed by Rubén Polendo
Playing at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (224 Waverly Pl)

More than two years in development. Over 200 hours of interview footage. Hundreds of conversations. Theater Mitu creates an artful portrait of a community in crisis and transformation. Gangs, cartels, corruption, NAFTA, femicide, the War on Drugs, fear, familial honor, mythology and hope all appear in stories collected from parents, politicians, artists, activists, factory workers, journalists, professors and more.

ruben_polendo - for websiteTheater Mitu is a permanent group of collaborators committed to expanding the definition of theater through methodical experimentation with its form. Driven by a theory we call WHOLE THEATER, the company investigates global performance as a source for our training, work, and methodologies. Founded in 1997 and led by Founding Artistic Director Rubén Polendo, Theater Mitu researches a wide variety of performance traditions, exploring theatrical form and supporting the growth of its members through company training. Its considerable body of work includes development with some of the world’s leading theatrical innovators; productions in conjunction with universities and conservatories; engagement with non-theatrical communities; and international research and training with its company members. Most recent research and training initiatives have led the company to travel to Egypt, Yemen, Chile, Sudan, Nepal, India, Jordan, Mongolia, Peru, Japan, Bali, Mexico, the UAE and more. This has led to intensive training sessions and collaborations with some of these cultures’ most important performance masters. Mitu’s work has been developed and presented at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco; the McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ; the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles; The Alliance Theater in Atlanta, GA; The Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati; Patravadi Theater in Bangkok, Thailand; UNAM/CUT in Mexico City; Fundación Grupo Imperial in Cd. Juárez, Mexico; Black Box Theater in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Mansion in Beirut, Lebanon; The Perseverance Theater in Alaska; The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival; Lincoln Center Theater’s Director’s Lab; INTAR; The Juilliard School; New York University; NYU Abu Dhabi; NAATCO; The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts; and New York Theatre Workshop.

Pitbulls
Written by Keith Josef Adkins; Directed by Leah C. Gardiner
November 7-December 13, 2014
Playing at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (224 Waverly Pl)

A small black community in rural Appalachia. Pitbull country. Mary and her son Dipper live in a trailer a few miles from their bible-belt, war-loving, dog-fighting neighbors. Despite being the community’s pariah, Mary is at peace making and selling wine.  However, when a prize-winning pit bull is slaughtered on the Fourth of July, Mary’s solitary existence becomes suspect. Pitbulls explores what it costs to be an individual in America.

Keith Josef AdkinsKeith Josef Adkins (Playwright) is an Ohio-born, New York-based playwright.  His plays include PITBULLS, SAFE HOUSE which will receive its world premiere Fall 2014 at Cincinnati Playhouse and a subsequent production at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis in Winter 2015. His play THE LAST SAINT ON SUGAR HILL received its world premiere at MPAACT Theater in Chicago, garnering a Best New Work nomination at the 2012 Jeff Awards.  The Last Saint received its New York premiere at the National Black Theatre in 2013.  Other plays include THE PEOPLE BEFORE THE PARK, SUGAR AND NEEDLES, THE FINAL DAYS OF NEGRO-VILLE, THE BUG PODS.  His works have been produced and/or developed at the Public Theater, LaMama, Lark Play Development Center, Epic Theatre Ensemble, New York Theater Workshop, Alliance Theater, Hansberry Project, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Classical Theater of Harlem, among others.  Keith is the co-founder and artistic director of The New Black Fest, a festival of new and provocative playwriting, music and discussion from the African Diaspora.  The New Black Fest recently curated Facing Our Truth: Ten-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege that’s being produced at theaters around the country.  Keith penned THE DISAPPEARING, a sci-fi feature film script, for Simon Says Entertainment (Blue Caprice, Mother of George, Gun Hill Road).  His sci-fi webseries, THE ABANDON, is currently being developed into a feature film with executive producer and Emmy-Award winning actor Eriq LaSalle.

Shesh Yak
Co-Production with LaiLou Productions
Written by Laith Nakli; Directed by Bruce McCarty
January 15- February 22, 2015
Playing at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (224 Waverly Pl)

In the spring of 2011, five weeks into the civil uprising in Syria, we find Jameel, a 40-year-old Syrian-American writer in his New York apartment waiting for a houseguest to arrive from DC. Haytham, 15 years Jameel’s senior, a Syrian ex-patriot and a leader in the anti-Syrian government movement has come to New York on business. Jameel is overwhelmed with excitement to have someone of Haytham’s stature in his home and the two share stories from their younger days in Syria. An unclear tension starts brewing between the two leading them into a re-examination of their lives and a revelation of how their different pasts have intertwined and forced them into choices that neither ever imagined.

Laith NakliLaith Nakli (Playwright) is a Syrian-British actor/writer who began his acting career 14 years ago in NYC. He graduated from the prestigious William Esper Studio Professional Actor Training Program and quickly became one of the most sought after Arabic-speaking actors in the US. Laith made his stage debut in War at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Company. Other credits include Cry of the Reed –Huntington, Inana – Denver Center, Aftermath – NYTW, Lidless – Page 73 and Food & Fadwa  – NYTW. Over the years, he has worked with many acclaimed directors in film, television and on stage. He portrayed Nasim in Thomas McCarthy’s award winning film The Visitor which premiered at Sundance. He also co-stared in the award-winning film Arranged. Co-Director, Stefan Schaffer, later wrote a leading role with Laith in mind for My Last Day Without You with Nicole Behari and Ken Duken.  Other film credits include Recalled, directed by Mike Connors and Sam & Amira which recently premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival to rave reviews. Laith’s credits in TV include such series such as as I Just Want My Pants Back, Without A Trace, Traveler, Third Watch, The Sopranos, L&O: CI and Rescue Me,  among others. As a writer, Laith has written many short pieces for the Annual Arab American Comedy Festival, which recently celebrated its 9th year.  He has also written 11 screenplays including Wudu, which is slated to begin production later this year. Finally, he is a founding member of the sketch comedy troupe “Sketchy Arabs,” which produces short videos and presents live comedy. Laith is thrilled to have the world premier of Shesh Yak at the Rattlestick.

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, True Love Productions and
The Theatre @ Boston Court
Present
Everything You Touch
Written by Sheila Callaghan; Directed by Jessica Kubzansky
January 28th-March 29th, 2015
Playing at Cherry Lane, Mainstage (38 Commerce St)

Victor is a ruthless fashion designer in the 1970s at the top of his game. Esme, his glamorous protégé and muse, is pushed aside when an ordinary Midwestern woman inspires Victor to make his artistry accessible to the masses. A generation later, a woman grappling with a healthy dose of self-loathing must wrestle her own family demons to find her way back through the world of fashion that won’t give her size a second look. Sipping back and forth in time, Everything You Touch is a viciously funny look at the struggle to find an identity that’s more than skin deep.

Callaghan Sheila.Garfield Park6462833473  Contact6462833473Sheila Callaghan’s plays have been produced and developed with Soho Rep, Playwright’s Horizons, South Coast Repertory, Clubbed Thumb, The LARK, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, New Georges, The Flea, Woolly Mammoth, Boston Court, and Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre, among others. Sheila is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for emerging artists, a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis, a MacDowell Residency, a Cherry Lane Mentorship Fellowship, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, and the prestigious Whiting Award. Her plays have been produced internationally in New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Germany, Portugal, and the Czech Republic. These include SCAB, CRAWL FADE TO WHITE, CRUMBLE (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake), WE ARE NOT THESE HANDS, DEAD CITY, LASCIVIOUS SOMETHING, KATE CRACKERNUTS, THAT PRETTY PRETTY; OR, THE RAPE PLAY, FEVER/DREAM, EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH, ROADKILL CONFIDENTIAL, ELEVADA, and WOMEN LAUGHING ALONE WITH SALAD. She is published with Playscripts.com and Samuel French, and several of her collected works are published with Counterpoint Press. She has taught playwriting at Columbia University, The University of Rochester, The College of New Jersey, Florida State University, and Spalding University. Sheila is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb and a member of the Obie winning playwright’s organization 13P. Sheila is also an alumni of New Dramatists. In 2010, Callaghan was profiled by Marie Claire as one of “18 Successful Women Who Are Changing the World.” She was also named one of Variety magazine’s “10 Screenwriters to Watch” of 2010.

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and Women’s Project Theater present
The Undeniable Sound of Right Now
Written by Laura Eason; Directed by Kirsten Kelly
March 19-May 2, 2015
Playing at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (224 Waverly Pl)

It’s 1992. Hank is struggling to keep his legendary rock club going amid changing times and changing tastes. When his beloved daughter, Lena, starts dating a rising star DJ, Hank must contend with the destructive power of the next big thing.

Laura EasonLaura Eason (Playwright) is the author of twenty plays (original work and adaptation), a musical book writer and screenwriter. Productions in ‘14/’15 include SEX WITH STRANGERS at Second Stage, NYC; Brisbane Theatre, AU; Signature Theatre, D.C. (previously at Steppenwolf Theatre; Sydney Theatre, AU; published by Overlook Press); the premiere of the musical DAYS LIKE TODAY, music and lyrics by Alan Schmuckler, commissioned and produced by Writers’ Theatre, Chicago; the premiere of THE UNDENIABLE SOUND OF RIGHT NOW at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, NYC;  and AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS in an encore production at the New Vic and Royal Exchange in the UK (previously at Lookingglass Theatre, Chicago; Baltimore Centerstage; KC Rep; New Vic; published by Broadway Play Publishing). She was a staff writer on season two and is currently a story editor on season three of the Netflix show HOUSE OF CARDS. Laura is an Ensemble Member of Lookingglass Theatre (2011 Regional Tony Award) and served as Artistic Director for six years. In New York, she is a member of Rising Phoenix Rep, New Georges, and a Women’s Project Playwright’s Lab alumna. A longtime Chicagoan, she lives in Brooklyn with her family. More information about past productions, current commissions and other things in the works is available at lauraeason.com or @LeasonNYC on twitter.

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and piece by piece productions present
Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait

Written and Directed by Daniel Talbott
Dates May 21 – June 27, 2015
Playing at The Gym at Judson (55 Washington Square South)

In a not so distant future where children have never known a world without war, resources are vanishing and what’s left is controlled by minuscule factions. Soldiers still train and wait for battle, but there seem to be no enemies left to fight and no one, especially those in charge, seems to know who has won. American soldiers Smith and Leadem kill time at a worn out desert outpost swallowed by sand on the other side of the world. Dutifully fulfilling their mission, they wait for a sign from the enemy, for further orders, for anything. As their rations shrink and the desert, sky, and sand seem to grow and expand around them, they fight for clarity and sanity, to stay on task, and to serve as they’ve sworn to do. Is the enemy trying to kill them, or is it the country they’ve been fighting for that’s the real darkness they’re running from? As the days fall away it becomes less and less possible to know what is future, past, living, dead, or dream.

daniel talbottDaniel Talbott (Playwright & Director) is an actor, director, playwright, producer, literary manager of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and the artistic director of the Lucille Lortel and NYIT Award-winning Rising Phoenix Rep. Recent directing work includes Gin Baby (IRT), Scarcity (Rattlestick), Mike and Seth (Encore), Slipping (Rattlestick), AZAK (Rattlestick/Encore), Lake Water (Neighborhood Productions), Eightythree Down (Hard Sparks), Much Ado About Nothing (Boomerang), Squealer (Lesser America), and The Umbrella Plays (the teacup company/FringeNYC – Overall Excellence Award: Outstanding Play). His plays include Slipping (The Side Project, Rattlestick), Yosemite (Rattlestick), AZAK (Encore/Rattlestick), What Happened When (RPR/HERE), Someone Brought Me (Quince Productions), Mike and Seth (Quince, Encore, upcoming at The Side Project), Extraordinary Things (Rising Phoenix Rep), and Grey. He is a graduate of Juilliard and of Solano College Theatre’s ATP, teaches at Primary Stages/ESPA, and is a proud member of Lesser America.