In the middle of its acclaimed Cino Nights series, which runs through April 2012, Rising Phoenix Rep presented a workshop on Sunday, March 27th of Maya Macdonald's new play The Really Important People, directed by RPR artistic associate Julie Kline. The workshop featured Stephen Brown, Laura Ramadei, Amy Staats, and Ali Stroker, and will be followed by a full production at the Seventh Street Small Stage at Jimmy's No. 43 in July.
Playwright Macdonald describes The Really Important People: Lucie created a blog. A really important blog, for women. The subjects of the blog, Lynn and Clarissa, go out and find men to screw(over), then Lucie rewrites them and makes them blog-worthy. They play the game before it is played on them. They win, they blog. But now that Clarissa has passed on (i.e. gotten married), the girls put out an ad on craigslist seeking a new Friend. When they interview Abageal, a former sex columnist, at a bar in the East Village, Lynn and Clarissa slam into a difference of opinion about what it is to be a Strong Woman, and everything is thrown into limbo.
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Maya Macdonald is a playwright, actor and native of New York City, who grew up creating and performing new work in all sorts of mediums. Her plays include Through the Bars of a Rhyme (Blue Heron Arts Center), MUTT (MCC Young Playwrights LAB), 72 Hours, Mermen and Global Warming, and FORK (Surf Reality). Her play Leave The Balcony Open was a Semi-Finalist for the 2009 Page 73 Fellowship, and a finalist for the 2010 Mabou Mines Artist Residency. Her play in progress; burned in the last was a semi-finalist for the 2011 Page 73 Fellowship. This summer, Maya was a resident playwright at Tofte Lake Center's Emerging Artists Residency, hosted by Liz Engelman. Recently, Maya's play Standing By was produced by Seattle based theatre company The Heroes, was commissioned to write Dead on the Inside for the 6th Annual One-Minute Play Festival, and developed Simple Sauce and Tiger Lily for Find Your Voice. Her play The Really Important People, a sight-specific commission for the 7th Street Small Stage, will be produced by Rising Phoenix this coming spring. Her acting credits include HELP by Neena Beber (Cherry Lane), CHURCH by Young Jean Lee (Public Theatre), A Light Lunch, (World Premiere A.R. Gurney, The Flea), Pass it On by Joshua Conkel, Till the Eagle Grins by Jon Kern, and American Shotgun Wedding by Eli Clark (Youngblood, EST), A Moment Defined by Cusi Cram (Williamstown), Cheap Dates (Upright Citizen's Brigade), Living Wage (Space on White), and her one-woman show MUTT (MCC Theater). She originated the role of The Mute in the long-running "cult hit" MONO by Steven Tanenbaum (Another Urban Riff). Other projects with AUR include: BLINK (FringeNYC), and GYM (Surf Reality), which she co-wrote. Maya is a graduate of Bennington College, a New Georges Affiliated Artist, and a member of the Dramatist's Guild of America. She attempts optimism daily and believes in making magic on and off stage.
Director Julie Kline's acting credits include Alternative Methods (NY/DC Fringe Festivals), Birthday, Three Sisters, Fall Forward, Don't Pet the Zookeeper, The Ride (Rising Phoenix Rep), Moment of Zen (Women's Project), Sometimes After Dinner (EST), The Eliots, transFigures (Stillpoint Productions), Secret Rendezvous (HERE Arts Center), Remedies (solo show - Ontological-Hysteric Theatre & Estrogenius Festival), No Place Like Home (Steppenwolf). Directing Credits: The Stray Dog (Rising Phoenix Rep/Cino Nights), The S(He) Experiment - Tour Production (Roots&Branches Theater), The Really Important People (Workshop - Rising Phoenix Rep). Assistant Director: Lady (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), Rabbi Rabino (PS 122/Rattlestick), Too Much Memory (RPR/New York Theater Workshop). Julie is a Literary Associate of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, an Artistic Associate of Rising Phoenix Rep, and Associate Director with Roots&Branches Theater. BFA in Acting, The Theatre School, DePaul University, Chicago.
Founded in 1999 by Artistic Director Daniel Talbott, Rising Phoenix Repertory began by producing an ongoing reading series of new plays and has continued to add workshops, festivals, and highly praised productions of new plays. Recent productions include the acclaimed, sold-out Off-Broadway runs of Slipping, produced with Piece by Piece Productions and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and Too Much Memory (also with Piece by Piece Productions) which transferred to the New York Theatre Workshop's Fourth Street Theatre after winning the FringeNYC award for Outstanding Play in 2008. Other recent productions include Ceremony, Afterclap, Birthday and Don't Pet the Zookeeper (Seventh Street Small Stage); 365 Days/365 Plays (Jimmy's No. 43 and The Public Theater); What Happened When (HERE Arts Center); Fall Forward (part of the Sitelines/River to River festival produced by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council); The Telling Trilogy (including The Ride, 2006 NYIT Award Nominee - Outstanding Original Short Script- Crystal Skillman), Rules of the Universe (Winner, 2007 NYIT Awards for Outstanding Original Short Script - Daniel Reitz and Director - Daniel Talbott), and Three Sisters (both at the Seventh Street Small Stage); Gift by Mark Schultz and Ponies by Mike Batistick (FringeNYC). In September 2010, Rising Phoenix Rep began its Cino Nights series of twenty new plays commissioned for the Seventh Street Small Stage, all fully produced on half a shoestring, running now through April 2012.
Photo Credit: Daniel Talbott
Ali Stroker, Amy Staats, Julie Kline, Stephen Brown, Laura Ramadei, and Maya Macdonald
Julie Kline, Stephen Brown, and Ali Stroker
cast of The Really Important People
Playwright Maya Macdonald
Stephen Brown, Ali Stroker, Amy Staats, Laura Ramadei
Playwright Maya Macdonald and director Julie Kline
Maya Macdonald, Julie Kline, and Ali Stroker
Stephen Brown and Amy Staats
Amy Staats, Ali Stroker, Julie Kline, and Laura Ramadei
Director Julie Kline
Ali Stroker and Stephen Brown
Ali Stroker, Amy Staats, and Laura Ramadei
Ali Stroker, Stephen Brown, Amy Staats, and Laura Ramadei
Ali Stroker, Stephen Brown, and Amy Staats
Amy Staats and Laura Ramadei
Laura Ramadei, Amy Staats, and Ali Stroker