Packawallop Productions (Scott Ebersold, Artistic Director; Jay Aubrey, Producing Director) will present the world premiere of Kari Bentley-Quinn's Paper Cranes at the Access Theater (380 Broadway, 4th Floor). Previews begin April 15th before an official opening on April 17th at the Access Theater. Directed by Scott Ebersold, the production stars Susan Louise O'Connor.
Paper Cranes follows five people in a modern American town who are connected through a chain of surprising relationships, each desperate to break free from a haunted past in order to find a better future.
Maddie is a rebellious and precocious young woman, balancing the social implications of her burgeoning sexuality with the responsibility of supporting her bereft mother, a woman who finds solace in the folding of origami paper cranes. Maddie escapes the confines of her stifling home-life by entering into a tumultuous relationship with Julie, an older woman. Julie's best friend and one-time lover Amy, in a renewed search for true love, enters into a dangerous S&M relationship with a mysterious man protecting a dark secret.
Like the precise folds of a paper crane, the characters wrap around each other, culminating into a play about lives that are at once fragile, surprisingly resilient and, after much work, breathtakingly beautiful.
Playwright Kari Bentley-Quinn has seen her plays presented at or developed with Packawallop Productions, Effable Arts, Pace University and the Play Development Collective. Her play The Permanent Night made its World Premiere at FringeNYC in 2008 to sold-out audiences.
Paper Cranes reteams director Scott Ebersold and actress Susan Louise O'Connor for their fourth theatrical collaboration, having previously worked together on Children of Play with Collaboration Town (named one of The Advocate's Top 10 LGBTQ Plays of 2009) and Packawallop's Nerve and the silent concerto, for which Ebersold received the FringeNYC Outstanding Director Award. Ebersold has also directed Alejandro Morales' plays the october crisis, marea, and expat/inferno (Best Overall Production Award, FringeNYC), all for Packawallop.
Susan Louise O'Connor was the recipient of a Theatre World Award and received an Outer Critics Circle nomination for her 2009 Broadway debut in Blithe Spirit. Her Off-Broadway credits include Apostasy & Marion Bridge, Walk Two Moons, Never Swim Alone, See Bob Run and St. Scarlet. She was the New York Innovative Theatre Award Outstanding Actress winner for Packawallop's silent concerto.
Rounding out the Paper Cranes cast are Melissa Hammans (And the World Goes 'Round tour), Sarah Lord (Bhutan), Eric T. Miller (Sweet Storm), and Cynthia Silver (Bridezilla Strikes Back!, Outstanding Solo Show 2005 FringeNYC). The production team includes JarEd Rutherford (scenic design), Jennifer Paar (costume design), Scott Bolman (lighting design), and Ryan Maeker (sound design).
For 15 years, Packawallop Productions has created visually charged original productions of new plays that spotlight cultural and sexual identity. In bringing the company's diverse cultural backgrounds to each project, Packawallop explores how an individual relates to society, be it through their ethnicity, nationality, sexuality or gender.
Paper Cranes runs April 15 - May 8 at the Access Theater (380 Broadway, 4th Floor at White Street; Subway: N/R or A/C/E to Canal St.). Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 pm, with additional performances Sunday, April 17 at 7:00; Wednesday, April 20 at 7:00 pm; Sunday, May 1 at 7:00 pm; Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, May 8 at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $18 at www.packawallop.org or (212) 352-3101.
Photo Credit: Lauren Fritz