HUMAN RITES, Written by Seth Rozin, Broadens Your Perceptions at Phoenix Theater

Academia. Culture. Anthropology. In-depth study. Research. Data collection. These hardly seem the buzz words for an impactful and insightful play, yet each of those weighty words holds sway in HUMAN RITES, which is currently playing at Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis…

However, I have saved the best key phrase for last because this powerhouse play centers on two pivotal words: female circumcision. Or is it female genital mutilation? That is the heated and impassioned debate sparked in the close office of Michaela Richards, played by Milicent Wright. This debate unfolds in a riveting fashion that is both jarring and eye-opening as only three characters never cease discussing its many twists, turns, and viewpoints.

It is very clear that the actors in this production made a study of the people they portrayed, for which I am very grateful. As an audience member, you have to watch these individuals talking for 90 straight minutes. And yet, I was never once tempted to look at the clock because I felt like the unwitting scientist who puts his or her subject of study under a microscope and is caught off guard by what awaits…

HUMAN RITES is a fast-paced and riveting invitation to see how deeply perception dictates our reality. Be prepared to have your own eyes opened, your own pre-conceived notions debunked, and your head left spinning with some inevitable questions: who would I be in this debate? And did I win?…

With the flow of HUMAN RITES never stopping and considering the deep, gritty content of the show, I was exhausted as just an audience member by the time it finished. The show covers the cultural view of the practice of female circumcision in explicit detail, so be aware of that before coming in. The constant banter of the actors makes it feel like you are in the room, taking side with the mere three actors.

Not only was I greatly impressed by the acting, but also the sheer stamina it takes to perform this show by Seth Rozin is beyond amazing. Zero stops, zero scene changes, zero costume changes, and pure emotion make this show different than any I have ever seen, which made it all the more impressive.

Read the full stunning review from Broadway World here.

LEAF CUTTER By Yasmine Rana is Finalist in City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting

Center, Yasmine Rana (Playwright). Left, Margaret Ledford (Artisitic Director), and right, Susan Westfall (CoFounder and Literary Director).

LEAF CUTTER, written by Yasmine Rana (center, above), was a finalist for the City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting. It was awarded a staged reading at the Olympia Theater in Miami at the CityWrights 2017 launch, and directed by Artistic Director Margaret Ledford (above, left).

‘TL;DR: THELMA LOUISE; DYKE REMIX’ Book and Lyrics by EllaRose Chary

“TL;DR: Thelma Louise; Dyke Remix” is a parody sequel, queer rock musical that asks the question “why do strong female characters always gotta die?” and turns the death as freedom narrative for women on its head. It starts mid-air in a Thunderbird convertible suspended over the Grand Canyon.

Starring Alison Lea Bender (Academia Nuts NYMF) and COURTNEY DANIELS (Shrek; National Tour) as T and L, TL;DR is backed by a band of badass rockstars. Loud and proud, TL;DR resists the idea that queer/lesbian narratives have to live in subtext and defies the “bury your gays” trope by giving our heroines the ending they deserve. TL;DR takes on the patriarchy, the gaytriarchy, and anything else standing in the way of T and L’s love.

TL;DR has a book and lyrics by EllaRose Chary and music and lyrics by Brandon James Gwinn (Dramatist Guild Fellows, Ars Nova Uncharted Residents, Feinstein’s/54 Below). The production is directed by Sash Bischoff (BWAY The Visit, On The Town, How to Succeed) and musically directed by ELLEN WINTER. The production features Scenic Design by Ann Beyersdorfer, Costume Design by JUSTIN NAKO, and is managed by CHRISTINE J. COLONNA. The band features SAM KASETA (Bass), WES RUIZ (Drums), and JULIET GARRETT (Guitar). NATE BERTONE produces the production.

This show is being produced as part of The Tank’s annual PrideFest 2017! Over the course of two weeks, The Tank is opening the floor to a wide variety of performances and discussions surrounding the topics of sexuality, gender, and equality. The works presented will celebrate this community, address challenges that are still faced as we strive for equal civil rights, and evoke or give way to new ideas and perceptions on how we define ourselves, individually, within our own community, and in the global community at large. Whether through unity or discordance, these performances and discussions, workshops and forums, ought to shed light on the dynamic individuals and groups who make up the vibrant LGBTQIAP community.

For tickets and more information, visit www.thetanknyc.org. Performances are July 6, 2017, 9:30 p.m., July 7, 2017, 7 p.m., July 14, 2017, 7 p.m., and July 15, 2017, 9:30 p.m.  From Broadway World.

Mark St. Germain Adapting John Updike HAMLET Prequel for the Stage; Reading Set for Orlando!

Orlando Shakespeare Theater (Orlando Shakes) in Partnership with UCF continues to expand its mission to bring thought-provoking new theatrical works to Central Florida through a commission with playwright Mark St. Germain to write an adaptation of John Updike’s bestselling novel, Gertrude and Claudius.

A staged reading of the play will be featured at the Theater’s annual play festival, PlayFest 2017 presented by Harriett’s Charitable Trust, and is scheduled to receive a world premiere in 2019 as part of Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s 30th season.

Gertrude and Claudius is a New York Times and Washington Post best seller and has received national and global acclaim.

Read the full article from Broadway World here!

Infinitheatre, Presenting a Play by Oren Safdie, Sheds Light On Middle East Conflict Through Poignant Farce

MR. GOLDBERG GOES TO TEL AVIV 2017 at the St. James Theatre – January 30th to February 19th, 2017.

Four Time New York Times Critics’ Pick Playwright Oren Safdie Returns to Infinitheatre to Deliver a Jaw-rattling Ride Through the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict.

Montreal, January 18th, 2017 – Every year Infinitheatre touts Quebec’s finest playwrights in their season and Oren Safdie’s Mr. Goldberg Goes To Tel Aviv is no exception. Safdie is a four time New York Times Critics’ Pick playwright who brought Infinitheatre the controversial hit Unseamly in 2014, a nervy play that dealt with sexual harassment in the garment industry. Even bolder, Mr. Goldberg Goes To Tel Aviv is a fast-paced poignant farce that jumps headlong into a jaw-rattling ride through the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, where allegiances constantly shift, religion is irreverent, and politics is a matter of survival.

Mr. Goldberg tells the story of an award-winning, Jewish Canadian gay author named Tony Goldberg, played by critically acclaimed performer David Gale, who arrives in Tel Aviv to deliver a blistering attack on the Israeli government to the country’s left leaning literate. But before he leaves his hotel room, the conflict in the Middle East comes to him.

Mr. Goldberg is not only a hilarious joy ride on the back of an inveterate conflict, it is a play that reaches out to everyone with one message.  As Safdie puts it, “if you think you can understand the complexities of the situation in the Middle East and make a judgement from reading a few articles or watching a couple of documentaries, you’re doing yourself a disservice.”  Safdie is well positioned to tackle the presumptions many outsiders have regarding the reality of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.  He’s a celebrated Montreal playwright who was born to Israeli parents.  His mother, originally from Poland, spent the war in hiding and his father, a descendant from Aleppo, Syria, was born in Haifa before Israel became a state.  In fact both of Safdie’s parents were living in Palestine when it became the state of Israel in 1948. Safdie traveled to Israel every summer as a boy to visit relatives and completed a three-month service with the Israeli pre-army. His family had a house in the Jewish Quarter in the Old City and Mr. Goldberg Goes To Tel Aviv springs from this life experience in Jerusalem. While Safdie is technically an Israeli citizen by way of his father, he doesn’t consider himself a “true Israeli” because he’s exempt from doing a mandatory three-year military service… He instead has the option of going to Montreal where the biggest disputes have to do with language.

Infinitheatre’s Artistic Director and the Director of Mr. Goldberg Goes To Tel Aviv, Guy Sprung, is also sensitive to the material. In fact, Sprung hosts discussions after certain shows in the lobby where audience members can voice their enjoyment or displeasure of the piece presented. “We want to use the delicious comedy that Oren has orchestrated as a gateway to understanding,” says Sprung. He goes on to explain that “it is critical that each character, from each side, is fully drawn in a three-dimensional manner. Conflict is part of human nature and it is important that we not forget how to disagree with one another with integrity,” Sprung maintains. It may be only the equivalent of a drop of water in the Mediterranean, but Infinitheatre hopes, in some small way, to contribute to peace from the ground up. Sprung draws out the humanity in each of the three characters in the play while exploring their respectively entrenched opposing political/religious views. He has intentionally cast a Jewish actor, Howard Rosenstein, in the role of a Palestinian and an Arab actor, Mohsen El Gharbi, in a Jewish role as a symbolic testament to our universal humanity.

Infinitheatre is Quebec’s premiere English-language theatre producing original Quebec works. Notably, both Mr. Goldberg and Unseamly were finalists in Infinitheatre’s hallmark annual playwriting competition Write-On-Q!. Each year, finalists from the competition receive a public staged reading through Infinitheatre’s The Pipeline series and often production in upcoming seasons. In addition to these initiatives, Infinitheatre provokes and nurtures the best in contemporary Quebec playwriting, and has pushed the craft to the next level by founding the Quebec Playwright’s Unit in 2014 (aka: The Unit). Infinitheatre challenges writers to develop their craft to its highest level and ensures that Quebec English-language plays are produced and celebrated in theatres across Canada and internationally.

Infinitheatre: developing, producing, and brokering new Quebec work.

Infinitheatre presents:
MR. GOLDBERG GOES TO TEL AVIV AT THE ST. JAMES THEATRE
Jan. 30th- Feb 19th, Tues-Sat. at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm
At St. James Theatre, 265 Rue Saint-Jacques, Montreal, QC H2Y 1M6
Tickets: Regular: $25, Students/Seniors: $20, Groups: $17, Infinitheatre 6Packs available (6 tickets for $100), all tickets +tax.
Box Office: 514 987-1774 ext. 104; Box-Office@Infinitheatre.com or www.Infinitheatre.com

Infinitheatre is generously supported by: Season sponsors CN and Hydro-Quebec

Infinitheatre gratefully acknowledges the support of Ezio Carosielli and the Rialto and St. James Theatres. Infinitheatre also thanks our production sponsor Hotel Le Cantlie Suites

To interview Infinitheatre Artistic Director Guy Sprung or Writer Oren Safdie and/or any participant of Mr. Goldberg Goes To Tel Aviv –
Media Relations: Gen Blouin, gen@genesispr.com (514) 887-8187