To celebrate SWAN Day a few days later, Urban Stages invites 6 playwrights to write plays inspired by op-eds. Want to find out what happened? Come see THE OPINION PIECES. Including Jenny Lyn's macabre comedy ADVANCE COPY. Directed by Julie Kramer. Starring Laura Woyasz and Betsy Johnson. Tuesday March 19 at 7pm. Doors open at 6:30. Free. For more info just click on the blinking header or footer.
Athena Theatre Fellowship
Jenny Lyn is thrilled to be one of the Athena Theatre's 2019 playwriting fellows and to be among them in a cohort and in this handy-dandy collage
Exactly 105 years after the thief of the Mona Lisa was arrested the West End Theatre Club sponsored a free performance of Jenny Lyn's
Equally Divine: The Real Story of the Mona Lisa
by Jenny Lyn Bader
directed by Julie Kramer
November 2018: Recently in Paris... Theatre Fridays: a series created by Big Funk in partnership with Mona Bismarck Center. A reading of Anniversary Season at the Mona Bismarck Center.
Cafe Play at Cornelia Street Café
Conceived and directed by Erin B. Mee
Written by Jenny Lyn Bader, Jessie Bear, Erin B. Mee, and Colin Waitt
Choreography by Jonathan Matthews
This Is Not A Theatre Company presents the latest Café Play at the historic Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village. An immersive experience including a 3-course meal and an audio cameo by Kathleen Chalfant.
An immersive and interactive wonderland, offering a unique glimpse into the lives of New Yorkers – from the waitress to the cockroach to the teacup on the table.
NY International Fringe Festival 2018
October 2018: The Subway Plays are featured in the NY International Fringe Festival.
Jenny Lyn's International Local: 7 is one of three subway plays that invite audiences to participate in a multi-sensory, site specific experience. You can download the Subway Plays app on your phone and then listen to the play, round-trip, on the 7 train (local) between Times Square and Jackson Heights — beginning at either location. On this app you will also find plays set on the "L" and "N" trains written by Colin Waitt and Jessie Bear. These plays were featured in the NY International Fringe Festival in October 2018 but you can listen to them anytime on your way to wherever you're going.
August 2018: American Dream contest winner
Jenny Lyn's play Communal Table is the recipient of the ProConnect 10-minute play contest on the theme of the American dream. Gratitude to Ken Davenport and anyone else who read it along the way.
Sunday, June 24th at 3pm
The June Plays
at Urban Stages
259 W. 30th Street
between Seventh and Eighth Avenue
—Featuring short plays written for the occasion by Jenny Lyn Bader, Barbara Bleier, Stephanie Keys, Lily Rusek, Melissa Skirboll, Bara Swain
June is a month ripe with national events, local observances and meaning from June weddings to June graduations to the even more important Doughnut Day. See how five women playwrights use the first month of summer as a springboard to think outside the box. Join us for an afternoon of new staged readings written in celebration of SWAN DAY (Support Women Artists Now).
No reservations necessary.
Light refreshments will be served following the performance.
July-August, 2017: None of the Above production in Redding, California
July 22-August 12 Theatre 167 presents Singing Beach by Tina Howe
June 22-July 1 Found & Lost premieres in Live Girls! Quickies Volume 17, "Lost & Found," Annex Theatre, Seattle
June 10-11: Core Ensemble presents Equally Divine on June 10 at 7:30pm, June 11 at 2pm at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Lake Worth, Florida in a premiere workshop presentation. Free.
June 1-10: A Complete Set premieres in Theatre Inspirato one act festival, Mainstage, Toronto
May 28: Mixed Communication Madness, a collaboration between NY Madness and Theatre 167, a full-length play created in one week by Jenny Lyn Bader, David Adam Gill, Nico Grelli, Penny Jackson, Lindsay Joy, Philip Christian Smith, Joy Tomasko, Kathleen Warnock, and Joshua Young premieres in the 7th Season of NY Madness at the Kraine Theatre, 85 E. 4th St.
Missed the spring 2017 world premiere of White House Fairy Tale? Watch the video here:
An afternoon of staged readings in celebration of SWAN DAY (Support Women Artists Now). Six women authors premiered short plays inspired by a slogan: If You See Something, Say Something by Jenny Lyn Bader, Imagination at Work by Barbara Bleier, Oh, The Possibilities by Stephanie Keys, Taking Care of Business by Dara O'Brien, Home of the Whopper by Lily Rusek, and Can You Hear Me Now? by Bara Swain. Directors: Joan Kane, Shellen Lubin, Aliza Shane, and Melissa Skirboll. At Urban Stages (Founding Artistic Director, Frances Hill), 259 W. 30th St.
Jenny Lyn's play was directed by Joan Kane and featured Mariana Cardenas, Nic Grelli, and Sarah Sirota.
Jenny Lyn's play THE INTERNATIONAL LOCAL was broadcast in a vintage subway car for visitors at the NY Transit Museum's Platform Series. A site-specific podplay set on the 7 train, it is one of the three SUBWAY PLAYS, a series conceived and directed by Erin Mee and soon to be an app coming to a device near you.
Articulate Theatre Company presents the world premiere of White House Fairytale as part of Tales in Time
April 24-27, 2017
Gloria Maddox Theatre
@ T. Schreiber Studio
151 W. 26th St, 7th Floor
New York, NY
9 Muses Theatre presents None of the Above in Panama City, Florida
March 5, 7-8, 2017: The One Minute Play Festival is back in New York City! This time the theme is "America Is..." and it features Jenny Lyn's play Humanitarian Aid
Directed by Pete Boisvert. With Duane Ferguson and Morgan Zipf-Meister.
At the New Ohio Theatre.
Sunday, February 5, 2017: Jenny Lyn's piece featured in Schoolhouse in the City (a series of short politically charged pieces) at the Dramatists Guild Fund Music Hall
November 22nd, 2016: Jenny Lyn featured in One Minute Play Festival: Our Response/Our Country, at the Brick Theatre in Brooklyn
Theatre 167 brings an immersive adaptation of Marina Budhos' novel Watched to Jackson Heights, directed by Ari Laura Kreith and produced by Jenny Lyn Bader
June 22, 2016: As Theatre 167 Artistic Producer, Jenny Lyn produces two immersive plays by Tina Howe at the Transit Museum in Brooklyn:
September 2015: Show and Tell premieres at 8 in 48 in Idaho
March 23, 2015
League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) Networking Mondays Roundtable Discussion: Writing Plays By, For and About Women held at TheaterLab.
Miss it? Click on the caption to read the edited transcript.
Pictured Left to right: LPTW Board Member/LPTW Networking Committee Co-Chair/ Actress/Playwright Richarda Abrams, Playwright Fengar Gael, Playwright Lee Hunkins, LPTW Co-President/Dramaturg/Playwright/Moderator Maxine Kern, Playwright Caridad Svich, Playwright Kara Lee Corthron, Playwright/Performer Dael Orlandersmith, Playwright Jenny Lyn Bader, LPTW Board Member/LPTW Networking Committee Co-Chair/Actress/Playwright Romy Nordlinger
photo © Lizzy Bryce
February 20-March 15, 2015
When our differences easily divide us, how do we find our way back to one another? Believers and skeptics, activists and addicts, seekers and lost souls come together in the Church of Why Not by Camilo Almonacid, Jenny Lyn Bader, and J.Stephen Brantley. Conceived & Directed by Ari Laura Kreith: A new play inspired by the interfaith community at the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew and staged in the very space that inspires it. Theatre 167's world premiere play explores the multiplicity of faiths, cultures, and service organizations in the Upper West Side landmark.
The Church of Why Not stars these wonderful people:
SATURDAY, JAN 31ST at 5:00PM & SUNDAY, FEB 1ST 2015 at 5:00PM
AT: CITY CENTER STAGE II
131 WEST 56th STREET
All Tickets $20
Even with all these plays, less than 90 minutes — Super Bowl Sunday, home well before half-time!
For Tickets click here: http://www.nycitycenter.org/events/
With brand-new one-minute plays by these SEVENTY-THREE great writers: Mallery Avidon, Sofia Alvarez, Jenny Lyn Bader, Trista Baldwin, Clare Barron, Neena Beber, Eliza Bent, Bekah Brunstetter, Hilary Bettis, Eleanor Burgess, Helen Banner, Katie Baldwin Eng, Barbara Cassidy, Emily Chadick Weiss, Kim Davies, Emily DeVoti, Meghan Deans, LaShea Delaney, Susan Soon He Stanton, Gina Femia, Lauren Feldman, Stephanie Fleischmann, Lauren Ferebee, Lindsey Ferrentino, Dipika Guha, Tasha Gordon-Solmon, Anna Greenfield, Julia Holleman, Karen Hartman, Sarah Hammond, Trish Harnetiaux, Amina Henry, Elizabeth Irwin, Barbara Fox, Krista Knight, Carson Kreitzer, Claire Kiechel, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Andrea Lepcio, Kimber Lee, Erin Mallon, Cheri Magid, Winter Miller, Anna Moench, Chiori Miyagawa, Deb Margolin, Wendy MacLeod, Rosemary Moore, Momoko Ogata, Kristen Palmer, Julia Pearlstein, Normandy Raven Sherwood, Molly Rice, Lynn Rosen, Emily Bohannon, Heidi Armbruster, Jen Silverman, Jenny Schwartz, Sarah Sander, Caitlin Saylor Stephens, Ariel Stess, Saviana Stanescu, Riti Sachdeva, Cori Thomas, Liz Thaler, Melisa Tien, Leah Nanako Winkler, Lauren Yee, Jenny Rachel Weiner, Brenda Withers, Barbara Wiechmann, Valerie Work, Kathryn Walat, & Anna Ziegler
Directed by ELEVEN winning directors: Tea Alagic/Lyto Triantafyllidou, Kathleen Amshoff, Jessica Bauman, Morgan Gould, Morgan Green, Portia Krieger, Sarah Krohn, Annie Levy, Colette Robert & Annie Tippe
Curated by the one & only Dominic D’Andrea
Thanks to all who came to the Turn to Flesh Productions gala! Watch this space for more on their premiere of IN FLIGHT in 2015.
The cast and playwright at The League of Professional Theatre Women's developmental reading series, Julia's Reading Room:
Alysia Reiner, Amy Wilson, Jon Krupp, and David Alan Basche, and Jenny Lyn Bader
The very first reading of Jenny Lyn's newest play... at Julia's Reading Room. Julia’s Reading Room (JRR) is named for Julia Miles, who was the League of Professional Theatre Women's founding member and first chair as well as the founder of the Women's Project. Julia co-founded the JRR series with Maxine Kern and Gail Kriegel and hosted it in her home during its first five years of existence. The series provides the unique opportunity for any member of the League of Professional Theatre Women to hear and observe their work in its early stage. For more information, visit theatrewomen.org.
September 2014: Theatre 167's I Like To Be Here. Written by Jenny Lyn Bader, J.Stephen Brantley, Ed Cardona Jr., Les Hunter, Tom Miller, Melisa Tien, and Joy Tomasko. Conceived and directed by Ari Laura Kreith. Opening at the New Ohio Theatre this fall!
I Like To Be Here is the newest, edgiest piece from the company that created The Jackson Heights Trilogy ("an epic song of America's most diverse neighborhood"—Theatermania). In the span of one very late night, new faces encounter existing characters and re-imagined scenes from the Trilogy. A Bangaladeshi cab driver working the night shift yearns for a woman who rises at dawn to bake bread but does not speak her language. A closeted Long Island cop comes into town for a date. Drag queens, car dispatchers, underslept parents, gamblers, insomniacs, and dreamers find one another on the streets of Jackson Heights. Part of the 2nd annual OBIE-winning Theatre:Village Festival.
Queens Theatre has put together an amazing evening of short plays in honor of the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the New York World's Fair. Theatre 167 has created three new pieces, written by Camilo Almonacid, Jenny Lyn Bader, and J.Stephen Brantley, directed by Ari Laura Kreith; they interweave through the event, featuring plays by Todd Almond, Mashuq Deen, Kristoffer DIaz, Halley Feiffer, Craig Lucas, Wendy MacLeod, Harrison Rivers, Caridad Svich, and Lauren Yee. Performed by Eric Aviles, Rajesh Bose, Arlene Chico-Lugo, Diane Ciesla, Molly Anne Coogan, Tanya Everett, Claire Fort, Grace Gardner, Azhar Khan, Alex Kip, Christiana Little, Emma Orelove, Caleb Shoemaker, Marshall Spann, and Jesse Thurston. A New York Times Critics' Pick!
Tony-nominated actress Tovah Feldshuh performs Mona Lisa Speaks in a one-night only staged reading.
Sunday June 29 at 7:30pm at Guild Hall in East Hampton.
Tickets start at $30, or $28 for Guild Hall members. Box Office: (631) 324-4050; for online box office, follow the link below.
A series of plays paying homage to the occultism of the Hudson Valley and the spirit of Ed Wood, Paranormal in Poughkeepsie features Jenny Lyn's one-act Supernatural Seminar.
Theatre 167 presents 167 Block Party — new works at various stages of development by artists & friends—including performances by Jenny Lyn of Mona Lisa Speaks in a workshop production directed by Julie Kramer, on May 27 and June 4.
On Sunday, January 19, 2014, Jenny Lyn served as one of the lead artists for the Jackson Heights Trilogy Immersive Experience, where multiple scenes from The Jackson Heights Trilogy were staged throughout the Queens Museum during the closing weekend of its international.
January 2014: Jenny Lyn's playlet Four Chairs is featured in the First International George Sand One-Minute Play Festival.
The uptown comedy travels north in November '13! It's the international premiere of the comedy None of the Above
Jenny Lyn performed her solo play in the One Woman Standing Festival at Emerging Artists Theatre in October 2013. Save the dates for the next presentation: Tuesday May 27 in NYC, and Sunday June 29 at Guild Hall in East Hampton.
Pink, Grey, Maroon, which premiered at Half Moon Theatre in May, is chosen for Best 10-Minute Plays: 2014.
Jenny Lyn's writing is featured at the Astaire Awards, June 3, at NYU's Skirball Center.
Jenny Lyn is elected to the Board of the League of Professional Theatre Women.
At the Anne Frank Center USA. Jenny Lyn appears opposite Scott Schafer in her piece Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library about Hannah Arendt.
In an evening called "More Jewish Women You Should Know," curated by author Cindy Cooper.
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.
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.
After its run in Jackson Heights, JH 3AM had a run at Queens Theatre.
Other Recent Events:
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.
June 2011: Jenny Lyn's play "The Joint Collection" was featured in 7th Inning Stretch at Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, NJ. Directed by Chris O'Connor.
Monday May 23, 2011, at 7pm: the first public reading of Suburban Revolutionaries at the JCC on the upper west side! A brand new musical in process. Book by Jenny Lyn Bader, Music & Lyrics by Kathy King Wouk. Can a small group of housewives transform American politics? Can a girl grow up in the 1960's and miss the entire thing? Can you break up with your mother? Suburban Revolutionaries: A show about growing up during the peace movement and making peace with your family...
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.
A new chamber music theatre work for solo actress and onstage music trio of cello, piano and percussion set in Paris during the years 1911-1913.
The Mona Lisa is stolen from the Louvre by Italian worker Vincenzo Peruggia and held captive in his squalid apartment before being released in Florence in 1913. During this captivity, the Mona Lisa comes to life and in narrative and song, reveals her feelings and perspectives on the men who have possessed and obsessed over her for hundreds of years.
Ensemble: Core by Stravinsky, Satie, Poulenc, Weill and Marjorie Merryman. Actress: Dara Seitzman.
Saturday, March 19th 7PM
Click here for tickets.
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.
Jenny Lyn's one-act Oppression and Pearls was featured in the January performances of Standing on Ceremony, an event to benefit marriage equality in L.A. using a rotating roster of plays. See the pretty invite below.
At Elmhurst Hospital alone, there are 167 languages translatable by staff... that's just the beginning of the rich variety of voices in this collaboratively written work.
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.
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.
-including one-acts by Jenny Lyn Bader, Jon Robin Baitz, Neil Labute, William Mastrosimone, Paul Rudnick, Shel Silverstein, and more.
OUT OF MIND: 7 Short Plays with Some of the People Missing
by Jenny Lyn Bader
directed by Ari Laura Kreith
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
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: