Category 7 in association with La Salle Academy and Nativity Mission announces the cast and creative team for Stand-Up Tragedy, Bill Cain's searing 1991 play about a Lower East Side middle school, where an idealistic young teacher sets out to save one of his students from an abusive family and the streets. Directed by Nicholas Minas, performances begin at Nativity Church (44 2nd Avenue - between 2nd & 3rd Streets) on Saturday, April 12, 2013 and will continue through May 4.
Stand-Up Tragedy chronicles a year in the life of the fictional "Trinity Mission School," a middle school on New York City's Lower East Side modeled on the real-life Nativity Mission School, where playwright Bill Cain taught in the late 1980s. Jammed with rambunctious kids and jaded teachers, the school welcomes Griffin, an idealistic recent college grad who is ready to shake things up and change the world. When a student of his, Lee, shows a talent for creating comic book art - as well as signs of abuse - Griffin takes the boy in. The play takes us into Lee's mind as he creates a world of comic book heroes and villains to fight his battles. Set to a hip-hop soundscape, Stand-Up Tragedy is a funny, moving portrait of children lost in America, and one school's quest to find them. Twenty-five years later, this staging returns to the community that inspired Cain's original work to ask: What has changed? What hasn't changed? What can't be changed?
The cast features Carlos Ibarra, Tom Littman, John Mazurek, Charles Baran, Goran Ivanovski and Sean Carvajal, as well as LaSalle Academy students Jonathan Santiago, Tyler Rodriguez, Virgilio Ruiz and Avery Miller.
The creative team is comprised of Elyse Handelman (sets), Sylvia Greiser (costumes), Austin Smith (lights), Mark Kleback (sound), Ephrat "Bounce" Asherie (choreography), Steve Bryant (original music), Nick Demeris (assistant director) and Rick Veich (illustration & poster art) with LaSalle Academy students Michael Muyalde (press apprentice), Wilfredo Cueto (sound apprentice) and Manny Skerret (illustrations apprentice). Alaina Sciascia is Production Stage Manager.
Stand-Up Tragedy will play the following performance schedule: Saturday, April 13th at 8:00p.m., Monday, April 15th at 8:00p.m., Tuesday, April 16th at 8:00 p.m. and then Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. and Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. through May 4th. Tickets are $18 and are available by visiting www.categoryseven.org.
Bill Cain (Playwright) taught language arts and reading for four years at Nativity School, on New York's Lower East Side. Prior to that, he was the founder and Artistic Director of Boston Shakespeare which he ran for seven years, directing most of Shakespeare's canon. He is the author of How To Write a New Book for The Bible, which premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre. It will be seen this season at South Coast Rep and Round House Theatre. His play 9 Circles was awarded the Sky/Cooper Prize by Marin Theatre Company where it received its world premiere production. It has gone to production around the country including theaters in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, and upcoming in DC. His play Equivocation received its world premiere production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and its New York premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club, as well as being produced at the Geffen Playhouse (Ovation Award for Best Play), Seattle Rep, Marin Theatre and Arena Stage. Equivocation and 9 Circles received the 2009 and 2010 Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association Award, making Bill the first playwright ever to win the award two years in a row. He has spent five summers at the Ojai Playwrights Conference developing his plays. His first play, Stand-Up Tragedy, was produced at the Mark Taper Forum (where it earned six LA Critics Awards, including Best Production and Distinguished Writing), Arena Stage, Hartford Stage and ultimately Broadway, a production that earned him the Joe A. Callaway Award. For television he created the ABC series "Nothing Sacred" and wrote the films Thicker Than Blood, Clover, Sounder and Nightjohn. He is a Jesuit priest.