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Half Moon Ten-Minute Play Festival 2013
In the Hudson Valley or hankering to go? On May 17-19, come check out the Half Moon's annual Ten-Minute Play Fest, featuring the premiere of Jenny Lyn's play Pink, Grey, Maroon, set at a Vassar reunion, part of Poughkeepsie 12601, a program of Poughkeepsie-themed plays.
Save the date: May 20, Jenny Lyn will be featured in New York Madness at Urban Stages.
Miss the Jackson Heights Trilogy in Feb-March 2013? Watch the official video here:
THE JACKSON HEIGHTS TRILOGY
* 3 Plays, 18 Playwrights, 37 Actors, 93 Roles, 1 new Theater *
February 8 - March 3 at 777 Theatre
“A sheer delight from beginning to end… adroitly captures the frenetic energy of a neighborhood often called the crossroads of the world.”
—TheaterMania on JACKSON HEIGHTS 3AM
Theatre 167 presented the Manhattan Premiere of THE JACKSON HEIGHTS TRILOGY. The three plays in the trilogy, conceived and directed by Ari Laura Kreith, are:
by Jenny Lyn Bader, Meny Beriro, J.Stephen Brantley, Alvin Eng, Steven Fechter, Jennifer Gibbs, Les Hunter, Anna Kushner, Rehana Mirza, Suzanne Sheptock, and Stefanie Zadravec.
An Indian sweet shop vendor attempts to keep her most ardent suitor at bay, a Dominican manicurist wonders whether her Jewish-Chinese boyfriend will propose before she is deported by the INS, and a Rwandan night nurse attempts to understand the 167 distinct languages spoken in the local Emergency Room.
YOU ARE NOW THE OWNER OF THIS SUITCASE
by Mando Alvarado, Jenny Lyn Bader, Barbara Cassidy, Les Hunter, Joy Tomasko, Gary Winter, and Stefanie Zadravec.
A contemporary magic realist story for all ages! Inspired by folk tales collected on the streets of Jackson Heights — tales hailing from Burma, China, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Korea, Latin America, Mexico, Pakistan, Persia, Thailand, and beyond.
JACKSON HEIGHTS 3AM
by Jenny Lyn Bader, J.Stephen Brantley, Ed Cardona Jr., Les Hunter, Tom Miller, Melisa Tien, and Joy Tomasko.
A Bangladeshi cab driver working the midnight shift yearns for a woman who rises at dawn to bake bread, but does not speak her language. A closeted policeman from Long Island comes to Jackson Heights for a date. Car dispatchers, sex workers, drag queens, gamblers, and insomniacs collide in the colorful world of Jackson Heights after hours.
THE JACKSON HEIGHTS TRILOGY stars Varin Ayala*, Farah Bala*, Cynthia Bastidas*, J.Stephen Brantley*, Arlene Chico-Lugo*, Ross DeGraw*, Jyotsna du Ciel*, Nick Fehlinger, Marcelino Feliciano, Samuel T. Gaines*, Nicholas Gorham, Andrew Guilarte, Israel Gutierrez*, Taylor Hess, Kevin Hoffman, Scott Janes*, Brandon Johnson, Russell Jordan*, Maribel Martinez, Neal Mayer*, Kenneth Maharaj, Nina Mehta, Sorely Muentes-Méndez, Jenny Mercein*, Anthony Merchant*, Dashiell Morss, Elodie Morss, Sergey Nagorny, Flor De Liz Perez*, Orlando Rios*, Alicia Sable*, Claudia Schneider*, Indika Senanayake*, Lipica Shah*, Gen Parton Shin, Fulvia Vergel*, and Nela Wagman*; with dramaturgy and dialect coaching by Angie Sohlberg; and with a production team that includes Abbey Bay (stage manager), James McSweeney (set design), Michelle Leibrock (costumes), Diana Duecker (lighting), Katie Hong (sound), Ross DeGraw (technical director), Max Ward (projections), Zooey Barry (props), and Michael Wilson Morgan (puppets).
*Appearing Courtesy AEA
Born in a neighborhood that speaks 167 languages, Theatre 167 is a multicultural ensemble founded to embrace collaborative work and celebrate community. These three plays were written using Theatre 167’s unique system of creative collaboration, where multiple playwrights share characters and storylines in online documents in real-life meetings and in live research sessions.
January 2013: Premiere of Serious Music a new musical by Jenny Lyn Bader & Ben Morss, at the York Theatre
Actors Explore Diverse Backgrounds and Humanity's Common Ground
Click on the link above to see NY1 segment on How We Are Connected: The Caribbean. The show premiered in fall 2012 at the Museo Del Barrio and the Brooklyn Museum. Its planned performance in Jackson Heights was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. Watch this space for future performance announcements.
New show traces cast DNA tens of thousands of years: How We Are Connected explores Caribbean Heritage
In the Daily News - Read all about How We Are Connected - an upcoming play co-authored by Jenny Lyn Bader + J. Stephen Brantley, to be performed on October 13 at the Museo del Barrio and October 20 at the Brooklyn Museum. More performance dates To Be Announced.
Thanks to all who participated in The Painting Plays at Guild Hall on September 1, 2012, especially director Ari Laura Kreith and actors J.Stephen Brantley, Melissa Errico & Tovah Feldshuh for their beautiful work on The Love Experiment. And of course April Gornik who gave us permission to use her breathtaking painting Mirror Forest in the play.
Jenny Lyn moderates a panel at the New York Public Library about the demise of the hero. Featuring three young authors from Russia, this panel is part of the festival of Russian Arts and is sponsored by the organization Causa Artium.
The Painting Plays
Announced - this Labor Day Weekend at Guild Hall: The Painting Plays
Half Moon Theatre's 10-Minute play festival
June 1-2. Jenny Lyn's newest short play, Anniversary Season, premiered at Half Moon Theatre in Poughkeepsie, among other short works celebrating the theme of "anniversary" in honor of this theatre's fifth.
June 4: Jenny Lyn wrote the Astaire Awards. Liza Minnelli received a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by surprise guest Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Patrica Watt presents a reading of:
"THE LOVE EXPERIMENT"
by Jenny Lyn Bader
Directed by Ari Laura Kreith
with David Alan Basche ("The Exes," upcoming on TV Land),
Alysia Reiner ("A Charity Case," upcoming on Theatre Row),
& Alex McCord ("The Real Housewives Of NYC")
with a performance by Melissa Errico from her new CD,
and featuring songstress Anna Bergman
"AFTER WORDS, A BLACK TIE COMEDY"
Written and directed by Deborah Savadge
with Nicole Kontolefa & Jed Peterson
comedians Gregory Korostishevsky & and Carl Kissin
musical performance by Peter Dizozza
Hosted by Lee Roy Reams
At the Neighborhood Playhouse
340 East 54th St.
btwn First & Second Ave.
Jenny Lyn’s one-woman show, Mona Lisa Speaks: Bemused by the Folly of Men, written for Core Ensemble, premieres in Boston on March 19 at the Berkelee College of Music.
Playing March 11-27: Jenny Lyn is Director of Artistic Development & Writer in Residence at Theatre 167, founded by the creative team behind the sold-out 167 Tongues (Jackson Rep), last seen at Queens Theatre in the Park. Now come see our first family-friendly production, You are Now the Owner of This Suitcase, in Jackson Heights. A collaboratively written magical play for all ages inspired by a melting pot of folktales.
YOU ARE NOW THE OWNER OF THIS SUITCASE
An enchanted story from the streets of Jackson Heights
Conceived and directed by Ari Laura Kreith
Written by Mando Alvarado, Jenny Lyn Bader, Barbara Cassidy, Les Hunter, Joy Tomasko, Gary Winter and Stefanie Zadravec
Please let the small children in your life know it's fun for all ages. Click here for tickets.
77-02 37th Ave.
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Subway: F/E/7/G/R/V to Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Ave
In Flight has been nominated for the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Best Friends was chosen for Best 10-Minute Plays: 2011. Past Lives was a finalist for the 2011 Heideman Award.
None of the Above — the world's first comedy about the S.A.T. — has received Off-Broadway, local and student productions in New York, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Virginia, Indiana, Iowa, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas (forthcoming) and Wisconsin.
18 City Blocks. 10 Playwrights. 39 Actors.
a play about 1 diverse community. Our shows in Jackson Heights were completely sold out. So were our performances at Queens Theatre in the Park. But you may not have heard the end of 167 Tongues! Just saying.
Around the country: Shows in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Indiana, California, Oregon:
Suburban Revolutionaries is the first musical featured in the Reston Players' New Play Project, in Reston, VA, April 24 - with book by Jenny Lyn Bader & music and lyrics by Kathy King Wouk • None of the Above comes to Theatre on the Square in Indianapolis in April-May • None of the Above runs at Sacramento's Three Penny Theatre in April, produced by Another Square Production • Best Friends will be performed at Pine Crest H.S. in Ft. Lauderdale in April-May • Manhattan Casanova will be produced by the Worthington Players at The Shawnee Playhouse in Shawnee on Delaware, PA in May. • None of the Above comes to Eugene, Oregon in May • 167 Tongues, a collaboratively written work created by Jenny Lyn and ten other playwrights under the artistic direction of Ari Laura Kreith runs at Jackson Rep May 7-28. • Doing a show not listed here? Send it in... More details to come.
The Recent Past:
February. Best Friends was staged at the Nantucket Short Play Festival, in their evening "Cupid's Nightmare."
September 26. New Georges Performathon features Jenny Lyn's 3-minute movie "What To Expect When You're Performathoning." At the Room/New Georges, 520 Eighth Ave., Ste. 326.
On June 27, the North American Actors Association did a public staged reading of IN FLIGHT: a comedy in verse at the Bridewell Theatre in London, in the festival "Crossing the Divide".
On May 5, the Young Mirror Rep does a one-night-only benefit performance of OUT OF MIND at the Julia Miles Theatre.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the concert performance... featuring Zina Anaplioti, Lauren Blumenfeld, Bhavna de Montebello, Anthony Fazio, Sas Goldberg, Devon Jackson, Max Jenkins, Erin Krakow, Rocco Natale, Nicole Pacent, Dan Pfau, Alysia Reiner, Max Shulman, and Kate Taney. Directed by Julie Kramer in no time flat. Jenny Lyn is now the resident playwright at Mirror Rep which plans to produce one of her plays next season... watch this space for details!
February 9: Jenny Lyn's "Best Friends" is performed in the LOVE plays... Starring Emmanuel Chriqui, John Lloyd Young, and Sabine Singh. Directed by Abby Epstein. At the annual Love benefit for W.E.T.
February 8: Jenny Lyn's plays "Valentine's Play" and "Kissogram" are performed in the FALLING IN LOVE plays at Jackson Rep. With Irene Longshore, Kari Geddes, Michael Anderson, and Jenny Mercein. Directed by Jackson Repertory Theatre's new Artistic Director, Ari Laura Kreith.
Happy New Year! The Lark Play Development Center hosts an extremely private reading of Jenny Lyn's new musical with songs by Kathy King Wouk. Directed by Daniella Topol.
Jenny Lyn finds holiday shopping tips in the Talmud. In a piece for nextbook.
Jenny Lyn is featured in Stageworks/Hudson's Play by Play 2008: Opposites at Proctor's in Schenectady.
The New York Times "Week in Review" has questions about Kafka's porn collection.
Jenny Lyn has answers!
Jenny Lyn read from her new play at Kathleen Warnock's cool reading series Drunken! Careening! Writers! At KGB Bar in the east village.
Best 10 Minute Plays for Three or More Actors: 2007 (Smith & Kraus) hits bookstores. The collection, edited by Lawrence Harbison, has three of Jenny Lyn's plays in it: The Third First Blind Double Date, Past Lives, and One Night at Your Local Superstore.
2Gether — a play written by a group of writers and put together by director Ari Laura Kreith — was performed in the Six Figures festival in New York.
Jenny Lyn was a guest speaker at Villanova University, where she spoke at two classes and in a public lecture, and the students asked great questions. Any more questions, please feel free to drop a line!
In February Jenny Lyn was delighted to participate in the LOVE benefit for Women's Expressive Theatre (W.E.T.) where short plays about love were performed, including the very first reading ever of Jenny Lyn Bader's Valentine's Play starring Neil Patrick Harris and Ricki Lake, directed by Abby Epstein.
NONE OF THE ABOVE was produced at the Lion Theatre on Theatre Row in fall 2007, produced by South Ark Stage (Artistic Director, Rhoda Herrick). Directed by Julie Kramer. Starring Halley Feiffer and Adam Green. Production Stage Manager Sarah Butke. Set Design by Lauren Helpern.
In 2006 Manhattan Casanova premieres at Hudson Stage, "Westchester's answer to Off-Broadway." Read about the play in the New York Times here! (or scroll down if the link doesn't work...)
Where a Casanova Meets His Match
If “Manhattan Casanova” had been written in 1959 as a Doris Day-Rock Hudson movie, it would go something like this:
An attractive but emotionally defensive psychiatrist who disapproves of impetuous romantic behavior learns that four women she knows (a patient, a former patient, a friend and a waitress) have all been seduced by the same man. When the psychiatrist meets the man, she falls head over heels in love with him, too.
They banter, they parry, he gives up his promiscuous ways, and she lets her hair down. By the time the credits roll, she has given up her career and turned warm and fuzzy, thanks to a wedding band and possibly a powdery-fragranced baby.
But Jenny Lyn Bader, who was not born when Doris and Rock were playing virgin-and-the-wolf games on screen, wrote “Manhattan Casanova” in the 21st century and for the stage. And gender stereotypes are two of her least favorite things.
“I don’t think it’s a play about how men are idiots,” said Ms. Bader in a telephone interview from her apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. But female characters are crucially important to her.
“I don’t like the divide between ingénue and character actress,” she said. “You always have one woman who’s lovely and one woman who’s funny. Or one who’s smart and one who’s dumb. I’m interested in getting beyond stereotypes like that.”
So in “Manhattan Casanova,” which opens on Friday as the fall mainstage production at Hudson Stage in Briarcliff Manor, the characters behave a little differently.
Dr. Charlotte Kaplan (Elizabeth Hess) and John Casey (James Kiberd) are equally forceful, verbally gifted and commitment-phobic. They meet at a neighborhood cafe where she is sitting alone, reading Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” She resists his efforts to strike up a conversation.
John: “Your hostility is dazzling.”
Charlotte: “Your approach is transparent.”
John: “You’re the first person to notice that.”
Charlotte: “You must meet a lot of blind people.”
John isn’t a bad guy, really. He sincerely loves women and knows how to make them happy: by doing romantic things (e.g., reciting French poetry) and trying to be whoever their ideal man is. Unfortunately that rings hollow for him (since he’s not being himself), which may be why his attentions are short-lived. Thus the title.
“The label tells you one thing about the person, but it’s not a totally derogatory term,” says Dan Foster, a Hudson Stage co-founder. “You would never call it ‘Manhattan Womanizer.’ Casanova is a more benevolent term.”
Yes, Ms. Bader’s play does seem to be conceived from a woman’s mindset, he said, “but it’s an enlightened woman’s point of view.”
Olivia Sklar, another Hudson Stage co-founder, is pleased with the production, which recently moved rehearsals from Manhattan to Westchester.
“It feels like the first really sexy piece we’ve done,” she said. She describes it as a “delicious, witty romantic comedy” but hastens to add that the play is also deep, as all good comedy is.
Sometimes the laughs come from the pain. “Manhattan Casanova,” like some other works of popular culture (HBO’s “Sex and the City” comes to mind), does not present the urban singles game as particularly pleasant.
“It says that it’s a jungle out there,” Mr. Foster said. New York may be so huge that the relationship possibilities seem endless, he added, but “you do have to make an emotional leap, putting yourself out there to be judged” over and over again.
Not everyone involved can speak from recent experience. Mr. Foster, who lives in Croton-on-Hudson, has been married for 21 years to the actress Liz Callaway (she originated the role of the wife in “Miss Saigon” and replaced Betty Buckley in “Cats”). Ms. Sklar, who also lives in Croton-on-Hudson, has been married for more than 30 years to Dr. Peter Powchik, a psychiatrist (who, she said, is looking forward to seeing his profession portrayed in a comedy). Ms. Bader is celebrating four years of marriage to Roger Berkowitz, a political studies and human rights professor at Bard College.
Ms. Bader met her husband online, incidentally, but points out that she had already written a draft of “Manhattan Casanova” before she met him. Any resemblance to former boyfriends living or dead is out of the question.
Directed by Richard Caliban, “Manhattan Casanova” is something of a departure for Hudson Stage, which was founded in 1999 by three actors. (Mr. Foster, who now directs, refers to himself as a “recovering actor.” Denise Bessette is the third co-founder.)
“We wanted to kind of break the mold a little bit,” Mr. Foster recalled, describing the company’s goal as “making challenging choices but remembering that you are there to entertain.”
Their first plays were presented in what is now the Julie Harris Theater at the Clear View School in Briarcliff Manor. A year and a half ago, Pace University invited Hudson Stage to become a company-in-residence and renovated a space for its productions. The Woodward Hall Theater, on the Pace campus in Briarcliff Manor, is the company’s present home.
The founders stress that they consider a season’s balance important. The last mainstage production was Gina Barnett’s “After All,” a futuristic social drama set in postapocalyptic New York. The spring 2007 play is “The Retreat From Moscow,” William Nicholson’s portrait of the end of a marriage.
Hudson Stage also does staged readings throughout the year. The next, on Dec. 8, is Jeff Wanshel’s “Modern Entrepreneurs,” described as two one-acts about manipulative relationships. In January, a project involving Briarcliff High School students will be directed by a Bard student. In April, the Tony Award-winning actress Judith Ivey will direct a reading of Kathryn Rossetter’s “Starving, Hysterical, Naked,” which deals with second-class citizenship and contemporary culture’s obsession with winning.
For the moment, though, the mood onstage is dark, brittle comedy. “Manhattan Casanova” pits a compulsive seducer against a woman whose idea of pillow talk is, “I don’t need morning-after maintenance.”
© The New York Times Company
After the play premiered in Westchester, it was selected for the International Centre for Women Playwright's (ICWP) 2007 Chicago: Her-Rah Festival: "A Festival of The World's Best Women Playwrights and Their New Plays." Linda Roberts directed it in Chicago at the Around the Coyote Arts Complex that June... Thanks to Wendy Wasserstein for convincing me to send the play to the O'Neill Conference, to Lloyd Richards for putting me on the right track, to Max Wilk for saying what was funny, to Joe Pintauro for introducing me to the reading series people in the Hamptons, to Patty Watt for making it happen there, to Mercedes Ruehl for agreeing to star in the workshop in East Hampton, to Josh Gladstone for deciding to break (or revisit) history and do a play at Guild Hall, to Tony Shalhoub for starring in the reading in Los Angeles, to Barnet Kellman for getting Tony Shalhoub to do it and for comparing it to Schnitzler, to Arthur Kopit for the dramaturgical insight on the time-space continuum, to Richard Caliban for directing it so beautifully at HSC that I didn't even need to fix the transitions there why he just created them from slides music and magic, to Richard Hamburger for bravely directing the, um, three-act version at the O'Neill. Yes Richard, it's two acts now. (Who did I think I was? George S. Kaufman?)
Thanks to everyone who participated in the development process of this play, at its readings, staged readings, “premiere” readings, lab readings, excerpt presentations, and book-in-hand “special presentation"- workshop-readings at The New Group, New Georges Performathon, O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Patsy Southgate Reading Series at Mulford Barn, Joint Theatre Co. at CBS Studios in Los Angeles, Manhattan Drama Collective at The Neighborhood Playhouse, L.A. Stage and Film at the Falcon Theatre, John Drew Theatre - Guild Hall in East Hampton, and The Ultimate Female Protagonist Project/Mae West Fest in Seattle.
Those were all lovely events leading up to this one.
Readings are wonderful up to a point. But then the difference between a reading and a production becomes like the difference between a striptease and a good date.
-and the difference between a staged reading and a world premiere production-like the difference between a lap dance and a fulfilling relationship.
Okay I lied. I had no updates one day and so I labeled this page a blog. And really meant to start one...
It's not exactly a blog. More like a thought of the day.
Today I am perplexed by arrest of the insider-trading beverage guy at Coca-Cola.
What does it say about the FBI? They didn't figure out when the terrorists were coming. Rumor has it that for the most part they still dress like they did in the 50's and most of them don't even have e-mail. And yet they are expert at foiling a potential soda copyright heist...
Out of Mind...
NYU Practicum Company Presents
OUT OF MIND: 7 SHORT PLAYS WITH SOME OF THE PEOPLE MISSING
by Jenny Lyn Bader
directed by Julie Kramer
Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute
115 East 15th Street (between Park Ave. and Irving Pl.)
Relationships are never what they seem — especially in this play cycle about people who are invisible, missing, or barely there. As the characters search for the perfect date, babysit under mysterious circumstances, meet their idols, recover from heartbreak, and learn to sleep, these comedies celebrate love, revel in human connection, and offer a glimpse of the unseen: Don’t believe your eyes.
Neighborhood Playhouse one-act festival, featuring The Popcorn Sonata and One Night at Your Local superstore.
Plus other comedies, dramas, stand-up, music, mayhem
Produced by Patricia Watt.
Mon April 10 at 8pm, Tues April 11 at 8pm
The Neighborhood Playhouse
340 East 54th St (First & Second Ave.)
At Seattle's Hugo House, a performance of Manhattan Casanova was part of the Ultimate Female Protagonist Project, produced by the Mae West Fest.
Afterlife: Short plays about life after death, including Jenny Lyn Bader's Past Lives, at Las Vegas Little Theatre Nov 11-20... part of the Insomniac Project for anyone staying up late in Vegas...
2004: Best 10-Minute Plays for 2 Actors is available, with short plays for oh, every occasion two actors might have. It includes The Popcorn Sonata.
...Under Thirty: Plays for a New Generation is now out from Vintage books. It is a collection for actors in their teens and twenties looking for challenging and varied roles. The full script of None of the Above appears here.
None of the Above will be also be excerpted in Great Monologues for Young Actors, Volume III (Smith & Kraus, 2005)
White Bird Productions presents...
BORO TALES: MANHATTAN
-Workshop Productions of Grimm Fairy Tales set in Manhattan, including: Briar Rose by Len Jenkin & Zoe Jenkin, directed by Steve Mellor, and The Fisherman's Wife by Jenny Lyn Bader, directed by Daniela Varon
At the HERE Arts Center
145 Sixth Avenue (between Spring & Dominick)
Thanks to all who attended the workshop production of Boro Tales: Manhattan (especially the little boy in the first row who spontaneously shouted encouraging comments). Details about its next incarnation will be posted here.
SPRING 2004 - In Connecticut
Out of Mind was presented in the 5th Annual Fringe Festival (March 2-March 28, 2004) at the Rich Forum, Stamford Fringe Festival. Thanks to Victoria Maxwell and George Moredock.
Relationships are never quite what they seem to be — especially in this play cycle about people who are invisible, missing, or barely there! The characters search for the perfect date, recover from heartbreak, baby-sit under mysterious circumstances, meet their idols, and learn to sleep... but nothing goes as planned. These tender comedies celebrate love, revel in human connection, and offer a glimpse of the unseen: Don't believe your eyes.
Summer Shorts at City Theatre
-including one-acts by Jenny Lyn Bader, Jon Robin Baitz, Neil Labute, William Mastrosimone, Paul Rudnick, Shel Silverstein, and more.
The play cycle about invisible characters. Why can't we just see everyone all the time? And what does it mean to be seen?
presented at the Henlopen Theater Project, Summer 2003