PAGE 73 PRODUCTIONS (Liz Jones & Asher Richelli, Executive Directors) will present the New York premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's Lidless, recipient of a "Fringe First" at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and winner of the 2009 Yale Drama Series Award and the Keene Prize for Literature (from the University of Texas, Austin). This Off-Broadway limited engagement at WalkerSpace (46 Walker Street) begins Tuesday, September 20th and continues through Saturday, October 15th only. Opening Night is set for Wednesday, September 28th.
Tea Alagi? directs a cast that includes Danielle Skraastad (All My Sons on Broadway; The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide..., Public/Signature; The Wake, Public); Laith Nakli (Aftermath, NYTW; War, Rattlestick); Thom Rivera (Distracted, Oregon Shakespeare; Much Ado About Nothing, NY Classical Theatre); Maha Chehlaoui (Aftermath, NYTW; Peer Gynt, Guthrie); and Emma Galvin (David Cromer's Our Town Off-Broadway; The Power of Birds, 3Graces Theatre). Lidless will have scenic design by Scott Bradley, costume design by Jessica Pabst, lighting design by Tyler Micoleau, sound design by Daniel Kluger and fight direction by Thomas Schall.
Fifteen years after serving at Guantanamo Bay, Alice has medicated away her memories of Gitmo and nested with her husband and daughter in the Midwest. But when Bashir, a former Gitmo detainee, finds his way to Alice's flower shop, his demands force Alice to reconcile their shared past, splintering the civilian life she's so carefully arranged.
Lidless explores the nature of trauma, the conflicting eroticism and brutality of violence, and the blurry line between revenge and redemption. The human body is the central staging ground of this drama: from the abuses of prison and the power of sex to the ravages of disease and the physical toll of shame and guilt, Lidless maps a nation's political actions onto the private bodies of its citizens and enemies.
"Frances is a dynamic young writer who has received acclaim through prizes (The Yale Drama Series, Keene Prize) and commissions (South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep) but is largely unknown to New York audiences," said Executive Director Liz Jones. "For her New York premiere, Frances was eager to work with director Tea Alagic, known for her athletic and visually complex productions. We're thrilled about their collaboration, which will bring an intense physical life to Lidless to complement Frances' lyrical language and further explore the play's take on the ramifications of our nation's policies at Guantanamo Bay," added Executive Director Asher Richelli.
Playwright Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig received a Fringe First Award at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival for Lidless. Her plays have been produced at Trafalgar Studios 2 on the West End, Interact Theatre, and the Contemporary American Theatre Festival; and developed at the Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, Seattle Rep, PlayPenn, the Alley Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Ojai Playwrights Conference, the Playwright's Foundation and Yale Rep. She won the 2009 David C. Horn Yale Drama Series Prize and UT Austin's Keene Prize for Literature for Lidless. She has been a finalist for the Blackburn Prize, received residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, Ragdale, and the Santa Fe Art Institute, and is under commission from South Coast Rep and Seattle Rep. Frances received an MFA in Writing from the James A. Michener Center for Writers at UT Austin, a BA in Sociology from Brown University, and a certificate in Ensemble Created Physical Theatre from the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Her work has been published by Glimmer Train, Methuen Drama, and Yale University Press. Frances was born in Philadelphia, and raised in Northern Virginia, Okinawa, Taipei and Beijing. She recently completed her tenure as a National New Play Network Playwright-in-Residence at the Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley, California.
Tea Alagi?'s Off-Broadway directing credits includes The Brothers Size by Tarell McCraney (Under the Radar Festival, and the world premiere at The Public Theater in NYC; The Abbey Theater in Dublin; and The Studio Theater in Washington, DC); Aliens With Extraordinary Skills by Saviana Stanescu (Woman's Project, NYC), and Binibon, by Jack Womack with music by Elliot Sharp (The Kitchen, NYC). Tea's regional credits include Zero Hour, a personal exploration of the impact of the Balkan war which Tea wrote and directed (Yale University Theater, CT); Speaking Our Mind by eight young playwrights (part of the Carlotta Festival at Yale's New Theater, CT); and Woyzek by George Buchner, Self-Accusation by Peter Handke, Preparadise Sorry Now by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Baal by Bertolt Brecht (Ensemble Company for the Performing Arts, as Associate Artistic Director). Tea is part of the Women's Project Directors Lab and Soho Rep Lab, as well as a member of the Board of Advisors for the Czech Cultural Center in NYC. Tea earned a BFA in acting from Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, and an MFA in directing from Yale School of Drama where she received the Julian Milton Kaufman Prize in Directing. She is a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and lives in NYC.
PAGE 73 PRODUCTIONS (Liz Jones & Asher Richelli, Executive Directors) has made a name for itself as a home for the development and production of new work by early-career playwrights who have yet to receive substantial production opportunities in New York. Page 73 developed and produced the world premiere of Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue by Quiara Alegría Hudes (2007 Pulitzer finalist - directed by Davis McCallum), the New York premiere of 1001 by Jason Grote (Time Out New York's Top 10 of 2007 - directed by Ethan McSweeny), the world premiere of Sixty Miles to Silver Lake by Dan LeFranc (co-produced with Soho Rep - directed by Anne Kauffman; earned LeFranc the 2010 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award), the world premiere of Creature by 2009 P73 Playwriting Fellow Heidi Schreck directed by Leigh Silverman at the Ohio Theatre (co-production with New Georges), the world premiere of Samuel D. Hunter's Jack's Precious Moment directed by Kip Fagan, and the world premiere of Eliza Clark's Edgewise directed by Trip Cullman at Walkerspace (co-production with The Play Company).
Each year Page 73 awards the P73 Playwriting Fellowship to one early-career playwright; during that year, the company serves as that fellow's artistic home and offers a cash grant and development support to the writer. Past fellows are Kirsten Greenidge, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Jason Grote, Krista Knight, Tommy Smith, Heidi Schreck and Eliza Clark; the current fellow is Janine Nabers. Page 73 also hosts a yearlong writing group called "Interstate 73″ and a weeklong summer residency at Yale for 3 or 4 early-career playwrights. Visit www.p73.org for more information.
Performances will be at WalkerSpace (46 Walker Street, two blocks south of Canal Street, between Broadway and Church) and will play Monday through Saturday evenings at 7:30pm, beginning Tuesday, September 20th through Saturday, October 15th. Tickets are $25 for general seating, $35 for reserved seating for all performances.
To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.p73.org or call 212/352-3101.
PHOTO CREDIT - Richard Termine
BWW Hi-Res Gallery - Original Version