Two Bridge workshops, a few re-writes, a dozen actors and the hard work and perseverance of playwright Jennifer Lane and director/designer Robin A. Paterson have led to a much deserved showcase production of Psychomachia, featuring founding Bridge members Ashlie Atkinson and Jennifer Laine Williams, as well as Broadway veterans Frank Deal and Arthur French. The limited engagement, presented by Artistic New Directions in association with Shetler Studios and Theatres, will run December 2-19 at Theatre 54 (244 West 54th Street, 12th Floor).
From the press release:
ARTISTIC NEW DIRECTIONS
Artistic Co-Directors, Janice L. Goldberg & Kristine Niven
THEIR 26th ANNIVERSARY SEASON OF CREATIVE EXCELLENCE
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF JENNIFER LANE’S HEART-WRENCHING PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA
a soul-to-soul, fight to the finish between a pair of twenty-something twins
presented in association with Shetler Studios & Theatres
ROBIN A. PATERSON
LIMITED ENGAGEMENT: DECEMBER 1 – DECEMBER 19, 2010
THEATRE 54 @ SHETLER STUDIOS
Artistic New Directions (Artistic Co-Directors, Kristine Niven & Janice L. Goldberg) will present the World Premiere of Jennifer Lane’s heart-wrenching psychological drama, “PSYCHOMACHIA,” as their 26th Anniversary Season’s first production, in association with Shetler Studios & Theatres.
Directed by Robin A. Paterson and starring Ashlie Atkinson, “PSYCHOMACHIA” is a soul-to-soul, fight to the finish between a pair of twenty-something twins.
Preview performances begin Wednesday, December 1st and continue through Friday, December 3rd at THEATRE 54 @ SHETLER STUDIOS (244 West 54th Street, 12th FLOOR, between Broadway & Eighth Avenue).
Opening Night is Saturday, December 4th.
Featured in the cast are Ashlie Atkinson, Cynthia Mace, Frank Deal, Arthur French, Kyle Groff, John Calvin Kelly, and Jennifer Laine Williams.
Set & Lighting by Robin A. Paterson. Music by Trystan Trazon. Costumes by Nicole Montemarano.
ABOUT THE PLAY
The connection between Johnny and Lydia Mercer was as profound as it was personal until Johnny took his own life, leaving his sister immediately alone and painfully confused. Desperate to find out why her beloved twin would commit suicide, Lydia buries herself in his journals, becoming so obsessed she does not notice that he is seducing her from the “other side” to join him in death as they were in life. Theirs is a war played out on a battlefield that is reserved for struggles of epic proportions. He is fighting for his sister’s soul. She is desperately determined to survive. So much so her battle cries become screams for help. It is a riveting struggle that will leave the audience stunned. This is spellbinding theatre at its best.
ABOUT THE TITLE
From the Greek, psychomachia means the struggle between the spirit and the flesh, the struggle of the soul. The battle between vice and virtue.
ABOUT ASHLIE ATKINSON
A graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse and a 2005 Theatre World Award winner (as well as a Lortel and Outer Critics’ Circle nominee) for her performance as Helen in Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig (Off Broadway), Ashlie was also in Roundabout Theatre’s The Ritz (Broadway), Second Stage’s Butcher of Baraboo (Off Broadway), and the Bridge Theatre Company’s Making Marilyn (Theatre 54), as well as multiple cycles of The 24 Hour Plays. Her film and television appearances include Inside Man, The Invention of Lying, Another Gay Movie, Rescue Me, The Unusuals, Quid Pro Quo, Margot At the Wedding, Hungry Years, Law & Order, and the upcoming thriller All Good Things. Ashlie is currently playing Phoebe in As You Like It and Juno in The Tempest for The Bridge Project, directed by Sam Mendes and touring internationally, including stops at BAM in New York and The Old Vic in London’s West End. Ashlie has played the role of Lydia in all three workshops of Psychomachia.
ABOUT CYNTHIA MACE
Cynthia Mace has created world premiere roles for playwrights Tony Kushner (original Harper in Angels in America), Murray Schisgal (We Are Family), Lee Blessing (Eleemosynary), Oliver Mayer (Ragged Time), and John Mighton (The Little Years). She played Stevie opposite Brian Kerwin in Edward Albee’s The Goat or Who is Sylvia? at The Mark Taper Forum (Ovation winner: Best Play, Garland Award winner: Best Actress, Ovation nomination: Best Actress). Ms. Mace played Sally opposite Lynn Redgrave in the second of Ms. Redgrave’s family trilogy The Mandrake Root. She played Miss Prism to Redgrave’s Lady Bracknell for the Papermill and stood by her in her one woman show Nightingale last season at MTC. Recent credits include Sean Cullen’s Safe Home for director Chris Henry at Women’s Interart Center, and Lillian Hellman’s The Autumn Garden for director David Jones at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Film includes The Alphabet Killer, Michael Clayton Fearless, Blast from the Past, and Icebound.
ABOUT FRANK DEAL
Broadway: August: Osage County. Theatre: The Most Fabulous Story… (Minetta Lane), One Neck (Atlantic), Mr. Roberts (Kennedy Center), Side Man (Guthrie), NYTW, Soho Rep, Humana, Yale Rep, etc. Film: Deception, Flannel Pajamas, The House Is Burning, Body/Antibody (Best Supporting Actor, LI Int’l), etc. TV: Fringe, The Sopranos, Law & Order: SVU, etc. Faculty: Juilliard, NYU, Purchase.
ABOUT ARTHUR FRENCH
Arthur French has appeared regularly on and off Broadway and in movies and television for more than forty years. In 1965, French appeared in Douglas Turner Ward’s Day of Absence, out of which the Negro Ensemble Company evolved in 1967. During his career, French has performed in plays by Lonne Elder III, Ron Milner and August Wilson; a list which, including Ward, encompasses many contemporary African American playwrights. While French’s broad body of work in theatre includes acting in everything from Death of a Salesman with George C. Scott and Shakespeare’s King Lear to Melvin van Peebles’ Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death, he has also appeared in films including Malcolm X, Crooklyn, Car Wash, Round Midnight, Kinsey, and on television programs such as Law and Order, as well as in commercials. Along with Audience Development Committee nominations and much critical acclaim, French won the Obie for Sustained Excellence of Performance in 1997.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Jennifer Lane, a current MFA candidate at the Columbia University School of the Arts, is a Michigan-born playwright and fiction writer. She has written a number of plays, one of which (Does Anyone Know Sarah Paisner?) was hailed as “saucy and unapologetic… running the gamut from the comedic to the truly macabre” by The Review Zoo (dir. Elyzabeth Gorman). Her short plays, Uriel’s Garden (dir. Carin White) and A Fever in the Feast (dir. Anna Brenner) were workshopped with Anne Bogart. Most recently, her one-act The Would-Be Room enjoyed two runs, one in New York City at the Schapiro Theatre (dir. Greg Cicchino) and the other at Gorilla Tango Theatre in Chicago (dir. Jacob Miller). Last fall, Jenny participated in a generative piece based on the work of Franz Kafka with Jess K. Smith and a number of other remarkable artists, creating a piece about the writer’s tumultuous relationship with his art. In the spring, her newest play, Harlowe, received a reading at Columbia. Jenny has studied with such remarkable people as Chuck Mee, Kelly Stuart, Lucy Thurber, Sheila Callaghan, Anne Bogart, Frank Pugliese, and Maria Mileaf. She is currently in her third and final year in the School of the Arts MFA Playwriting program, and Sarah Ruhl is her mentor. She is a Sarah Lawrence College graduate and a published poet.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Robin A. Paterson’s international career spans more than 150 productions. Active in the creation of new works as a director, designer and producer, he has collaborated on more than 40 premieres. New York directing credits include the premiere of Stress Positions (SoHo Playhouse); the premiere of Fallout (Manhattan Repertory); the premiere of Warning: Adult Content (Theatre 54); the American premiere of Humans Anonymous (Bridge Theatre Company); the premiere of Zarathustra Said Some Things, No? (Infinitheatre); the premiere of Making Marilyn starring Ashlie Atkinson; and Plunge (Bridge Theatre Company). Robin is a frequent guest director at the Department of Dramatic Writing at New York University. Recent designs include Monster (P.S. 122); Flyovers (Artistic New Directions); Anais Nin, One of Her Lives (Theatre Row); Pizza Man, under the direction of Austin Pendleton; the premiere of Vampire University at the Obie award-winning Ice Factory Festival; A New Television Arrives, Finally, starring Tom Pelphrey; That Dorothy Parker (Artistic New Directions); the German tour of Mozart A Milano; A Night in November, under the direction of Peter Hinton; and Endgame, at the Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre. Since September 2006, Robin has been the Managing Artistic Director of Shetler Studios & Theatres in New York.
ABOUT ARTISTIC NEW DIRECTIONS
Artistic New Directions (AND) supports performing artists, writers, directors and their projects from inspiration to production. As a not-for-profit organization, AND does this by: Providing vitally needed rehearsal and performance space; Creating development opportunities through workshops and production resources; Offering an original education program at subsidized prices; and Connecting actors, writers and directors with each other and with world-class instructors and mentors. www.artisticnewdirections.org
ABOUT SHETLER STUDIOS & THEATRES
Shetler Studios & Theatres is a theatrical complex comprising 21 upscale rental studios in the heart of New York’s Theatre District, offering a unique infrastructure that supports projects from audition through rehearsal to performance. Music, dance and acting studios are complemented by 2 theatres and 3 recital halls. Professional facilities, an inspired environment and expert industry staff combine to provide the New York artist with an unparalleled studio experience
Theatre 54 @ Shetler Studios
244 West 54th Street, 12th floor
(between Broadway & Eighth Avenues)
THE PLAYING SCHEDULE
DEC. 1 PREVIEW: 8pm
DEC. 2 PREVIEW: 8pm
DEC. 3 PREVIEW: 8pm
DEC. 4 OPENING: 8pm
DEC. 5 8pm
DEC. 8 8pm
DEC. 9 8pm
DEC. 10 8pm
DEC. 11 8pm
DEC. 12 3pm (matinee)
DEC. 13 8pm
DEC. 15 8pm
DEC. 16 8pm
DEC. 17 8pm
DEC. 18 8pm
DEC. 19 3pm (matinee)
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