The OBIE Award-winning National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO) - now in its 21st season - presents the Off-Broadway, World-Premiere of JorDan Harrison's play FUTURA, with previews beginning October 23, prior to an official opening of October 26 at the TBG Theater (312 West 36th Street - between 8th and 9th Avenues) in Manhattan. Liz Diamond directs.
FUTURA ponders, among other things, whether a font can change the future. On her first day back at the University, a rogue Professor sets out to avenge her missing husband - and the lost art of ink on paper - by conducting a dangerous lesson on typography. When the Professor's lecture jumps the rails, we peer into a near future where desperate people search for the tangible in an ever more virtual age.
The cast of FUTURA features: Edward Hajj (OMNIUM GATHERUM, THE BEAUTY INSIDE), Mia Katigbak (NAATCO'S THE SEAGULL and LEAH'S TRAIN; AMERICAN HWANGAP), Angela Lin (CORAM BOY, CHINGLISH) and Jon Norman Schneider (A PLAY ON WAR, DURANGO).
Design team for FUTURA is David Evans Morris (Set Design), Olivera Gajic (Costume Design), Raquel Davis (Lighting Design), Matt Hubbs (Sound Design), and Tal Yarden (Projections).
Playwright JorDan Harrison's work include DORIS TO DARLENE (Playwrights Horizons), AMAZONS AND THEIR MEN (Clubbed Thumb), ACT A LADY (2006 Humana Festival, Portland Center Stage), FINN IN THE UNDERWORLD (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), THE MUSEUM PLAY (Washington Ensemble Theatre), KID-SIMPLE (2004 Humana Festival), and FUTURA. He has received commissions from Arden Theatre, Ars Nova, Berkeley Rep/Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cypress Films, the Guthrie Theater/Children's Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, and South Coast Rep. Jordan is the recipient of the 2008 Kesselring Fellowship, the Heideman Award, a Theater Masters' Innovative Playwright Award, Jerome and McKnight Fellowships from The Playwrights' Center, a Lucille Lortel Fellowship, and a NEA/TCG Playwright-in-Residence Grant with The Empty Space Theatre. His plays are published by Playscripts, Inc., Samuel French, Simon Spotlight, Smith and Kraus, and Heinemann. A graduate of the Brown University MFA Creative Writing program, Jordan is a resident playwright at New Dramatists. He has taught playwriting at Brown, The Playwrights' Center, and SUNY Purchase. With Sally Oswald, he edits "Play: A Journal of Plays," dedicated to reinventing the life of plays on the page.
Liz Diamond is a Resident Director of Yale Repertory Theatre, and serves as Chair of the Directing Department at the Yale School of Drama, where she has taught since 1992. At Yale Rep, her productions have included Lucinda Coxon's HAPPY NOW?, Catherine Trieschmann's CROOKED, Marcus Gardley's DANCE OF THE HOLY GHOSTS, Richard Nelson's translation of Strindberg's MISS JULIE; Sunil Kuruvilla's FIGHTING WORDS and RICE BOY; Seamus Heaney's THE CURE AT TROY; Paul Schmidt's translations of Moliere's SCHOOL FOR WIVES, and Brecht's ST JOAN OF THE STOCKYARDS; Suzan-Lori Parks' THE AMERICA PLAY; and Parks' THE DEATH OF THE LAST BLACK MAN IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. A longtime collaborator of Parks, Liz also directed the world premieres of IMPERCEPTIBLE MUTABILITIES IN THE THIRD KINGDOM at BACA Downtown, BETTING ON THE DUST COMMANDER at the Working Theater, and THE AMERICA PLAY at The Public Theater in New York. Nationally, she has directed Lisa Loomer's DISTRACTED, Octavio Solis' GIBRALTAR and new translations of Euripides' THE TROJAN WOMEN at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Racine's PHEDRE at The American Repertory Theatre; and OF MICE AND MEN at Arena Stage. Liz is a winner of the OBIE Award and Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Direction, and has won directing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the SDC Foundations.
FUTURA is produced by special arrangement with The Theatre@ Boston Court, Pasadena, CA and Portland Center Stage, Portland, OR. FUTURA was developed by NAATCO & New Dramatists as part of New Dramatists' Full Stage NYC, a program made possible by New York City's Theater Subdistrict Council and Time Warner.
Now in its 21st season, NAATCO was created to provide opportunities for Asian-American theatre artists - actors, directors, designers - to do work in Western works they might not ordinarily be cast in or hired for in traditional circumstances. To that end, NAATCO has presented a host of classic works and new plays with all Asian-American casts, including last season's Drama Desk nominated A PLAY ON WAR (nominated for Outstanding Music in a Play), and the critically acclaimed THE SEAGULL. Other notable productions include OTHELLO, LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, OUR TOWN, YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, William Finn's FALSETTOLAND, Archibald MacLeish's AIR RAID, Joseph Conrad's TALES OF UNREST, ANTIGONE, IVANOV, THE DISPUTE, and the world premieres of Karen Hartman's LEAH'S TRAIN, Catherine Filloux's EYES OF THE HEART and Michael Golamco's COWBOY V. SAMURAI.
NAATCO will kick off its 2010-11 season with a one-night-only performance of the Stephen Sondheim/ James Lapine musical INTO THE WOODS with an all Asian American cast, directed by Alan Muraoka, on October 11 at Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Ave.).
Scheduled through November 13, performances of FUTURA run Mondays - Fridays at 7:00pm and Saturdays 3:00pm & 7:00pm at the TBG Theater (312 West 36th - btw. 8th & 9th Avenues). Tickets are $20 during previews (through October 26) and $25 from October 27 through November 13. Seats available online at SmartTix.com or by calling (212) 868-4444. For additional details, please visit www.naatco.org.
Photo Credit: William P. Steele