Friday, November 07, 2008

Rising Phoenix Repertory Announces Its First Off-Broadway Transfer

Daniel Talbott, you rock.

RISING PHOENIX REPERTORY
AND
PIECE BY PIECE PRODUCTIONS

PRESENT

TOO MUCH MEMORY

A CONTEMPORARY RETELLING OF ANTIGONE
BY KEITH REDDIN AND MEG GIBSON

BEGINNING TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2
AT FOURTH STREET THEATRE

OPENING SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 9
LIMITED ENGAGEMENT THROUGH DECEMBER 22

ALL TICKETS $20

POLITICAL FORUMS
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6 AND SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21
FOLLOWING 5PM PERFORMANCES
FEATURING AMY GOODMAN OF DEMOCRACY NOW
AND KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL OF THE NATION

Rising Phoenix Repertory has been joined by Piece by Piece Productions to remount the world premiere of Too Much Memory, written by Keith Reddin and Meg Gibson, and directed by Ms. Gibson, beginning Tuesday, December 2, at 8:30pm at Fourth Street Theatre, 83 East 4th Street. The opening is scheduled for Tuesday, December 9, at 8:30pm. Too Much Memory is a project of New York Theatre Workshop's Jonathan Larson Lab.

Too Much Memory played at the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival where it won the festival’s Overall Excellence Award for Outstanding Play and played to sold-out houses.

A theatrical explosion of myth and revolution, Too Much Memory retells the classic Greek story of Antigone and sets it firmly in the present. A timeless drama of family conflict and social turmoil, the play is a contemporary collage of mythology and modernity incorporating texts by Richard Nixon, Tom Hayden, Peter Brook, Anne Carson, Pablo Neruda, Susan Sontag, and Hannah Arendt.

A first time collaboration between husband and wife— playwright Keith Reddin (Human Error/Atlantic Stage 2, Black Snow/Yale Rep, Life and Limb/Playwrights Horizons), and actress/director Meg Gibson (The Ride Down Mt. Morgan/Public Theater), Too Much Memory features Laura Heisler as Antigone (recently named an Off-Broadway Best by the Village Voice; Coram Boy, Stunning, Everything Will Be Different) and Peter Jay Fernandez as Creon (Pain and the Itch, Thunder Knocking on the Door, Henry IV).

The production will feature most of the rest of the original Fringe Festival cast including Aria Alpert (Four Women and a Waitress), MacLeod Andrews (Somewhere in the Pacific), Martin Moran (Spamalot, Cabaret, The Tricky Part), Seth Numrich (Iphigenia 2.0), Jamel Rodriguez (Yale MFA 2008), Ray Anthony Thomas (Kindness, Human Error, Half Nelson), and Wendy vanden Heuvel (Not I, Mud, Resurrection Blues).

The production will expand on the Fringe Festival production and be accompanied by two political forums following the 5pm performances on Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 21, with featured guests to include Amy Goodman (Democracy Now), Katrina vanden Heuvel (The Nation), Michael Ratner (President, Center for Constitutional Rights), Patricia J. Williams (prominent professor and law critic), JoAnn Wypijewski (columnist – Mother Jones and The Nation), Jared Bernstein (Economic Policy Institute), as well as leading theatre artists including playwright Wallace Shawn.

Piece by Piece Productions has previously produced the Broadway production of Deborah Warner’s Medea, starring Fiona Shaw; The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh in association with St. Anne’s Warehouse; The Tricky Part by Martin Moran; and My Name is Rachel Corrie (associate producer with Royal Court Theatre). Rising Phoenix Repertory has commissioned and produced several award-winning world premiere productions in New York and is the recipient of the 2007 New York Innovative Theatre Awards’ Caffe Cino Fellowship. Too Much Memory was presented this summer by the New York International Fringe Fesitval, a production of The Present Company.

Keith Reddin has written and acted in numerous plays with many local, regional, Off-Broadway, and Broadway theatres. As a writer, Reddin made his debut with the dark comedy Life and Limb in 1984. In addition Reddin's canon includes Rum and Coke, Highest Standard of Living, Life During Wartime, Big Time, Nebraska, Brutality of Fact, Black Snow, The Innocents Crusade, Almost Blue, Synergy, All the Rage, Can't Let Go, Frame 312, But Not for Me, Prophets of Nature, Human Error, and The Missionary Position. In 1993, Black Snow won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production of the year. In 1998, Reddin became a playwright in residence at The Goodman Theater in Chicago. His plays have been produced at Manhattan Theater Club, Playwrights Horizons, The New York Shakespeare Festival, Atlantic Theater, Primary Stages, as well as regionally and in London and Berlin. Adaptations include; Bulgakov's Black Snow, Shatrov's Maybe (with Vanessa Redgrave), Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid, Thorton Wilder's Heaven’s my Destination, and F. Scott Fitzgerald's Rich Boy. For film, Reddin has written the successful screenplays It's the Rage and The Alarmist, both of which were adapted from his plays. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1993 television film, The Hearts of Justice. In addition to writing for film, he has also appeared in several films including Lolita, The Doors, Reversal of Fortune, Crossing Delancey, and Big.

For 25 years Meg Gibson has worked on stage in New York and regionally as well as in film and television. She appeared in the New York premiere of Arthur Miller’s The Ride Down Mt. Morgan at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre and in From Above at Playwright’s Horizons. She directed Hysteria by Terry Johnson and Big Love by Charles Mee in Salt Lake City. Too Much Memory is her debut in New York City as a director. She will soon be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s feature film Guerrilla.

The set design for Too Much Memory is by Ola Maslik; costume design is by Clint Ramos; lighting design is by Joel Moritz; sound design is by Eric Shim and Brandon Epperson; video design is by Joe Tekippe; fight direction is by Joseph Travers.

Founded in 1999 by Artistic Director Daniel Talbott (named one of nytheatre.com’s People of the Year in 2006), Rising Phoenix Repertory began by producing an ongoing reading series of new plays and has continued to add workshops, festivals, and highly praised productions of new plays. Recent productions include Don’t Pet the Zookeeper at Seventh Street Small Stage, 365 Days/365 Plays at Jimmy’s No. 43 and The Public Theater, What Happened When at HERE Arts Center, Fall Forward in the Sitelines/River to River festival produced by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Telling Trilogy (including The Ride, 2006 NYIT Award Nominee – Outstanding Original Short Script), Rules of the Universe (Winner, 2007 NYIT Awards for Outstanding Original Short Script (Daniel Reitz) and Director (Daniel Talbott), and Three Sisters at the Seventh Street Small Stage at Jimmy’s No. 43. Too Much Memory was Rising Phoenix Repertory’s third production with FringeNYC, following Gift by Mark Schultz in 2005 and Ponies by Mike Batistick in 2003.

Piece by Piece Productions is a not for profit organization that was started in 1999 by Wendy vanden Heuvel. Its mission is to produce film and theater that is socially, politically, and spiritually relevant to our times. Piece by Piece is also very interested in supporting the development of theatre artists and their original work through workshops, readings, and the productions of new plays. Productions have included: Medea directed by Deborah Warner with Fiona Shaw, The Tricky Part by Martin Moran, Ode to the Man Who Kneels by Richard Maxwell, in association with the NY City Players, and The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh, as well as the upcoming 2009 "comeback" of Mabou Mines DollHouse, both in association with St Anne's Warehouse. Films: Fierce Grace: Ram Dass by Mickey Lemle, and The Rest I Make Up: Documenting Irene by Michelle Memran (a documentary about the life and work of the playwright Irene Fornes). Wendy vanden Heuvel also served as co-artistic director with Rosemary Quinn of The Other Theater; her past producing and associate producing credits include: Three by Beckett '94 and '96 directed by Joseph Chaikin, Mud by Irene Fornes, Women. War. Comedy. by Thomas Brasch, Springtime by Irene Fornes, Counting the Ways by Edward Albee, and My Name is Rachel Corrie (with Royal Court Theatre).

Born from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's challenge grant and created in 2001, the Jonathan Larson Lab is a memorial to the creator of Rent that gives emerging and established theatre artists essential resources, a nurturing creative environment, and an open canvas for exploring their ideas and developing their work. Participants are often given a grant, a venue, and the support of New York Theatre Workshop’s (NYTW) artistic staff. Project participants are paid for their work and the development phase is designed to serve the need of the artists. Some of these works go on to receive full productions at NYTW or at other theatres around the country. The works developed at the Jonathan Larson Lab over the past few seasons have included Will Power's The Seven; Thaddeus Phillips's ¡El Conquistador!; Martha Clarke's KAOS; Beckett Shorts; Elevator Repair Service's The Sound and the Fury, and The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, a new play by Kate Moira Ryan and Linda S. Chapman.

Too Much Memory plays Mondays and Tuesdays at 8:30pm, Fridays at 9:30pm, Saturdays at 5:00pm and 9:30pm, and Sundays at 5pm through December 22 at New York Theatre Workshop’s Fourth Street Theatre, 83 East 4th Street (between Second Avenue and Bowery). Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by phoning SmartTix at 212 868-4444 or by visiting http://www.smarttix.com/. Tickets may only be purchased at the box office 30 minutes prior to the advertised performance time on the day of the performance. Tickets purchased at the box office may only be purchased with cash. For more information about Too Much Memory, visit http://www.risingphoenixrep.org/.

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