Ayckbourn, Lichtenstein Plays Set for Brits Off Broadway

News   Ayckbourn, Lichtenstein Plays Set for Brits Off Broadway Alan Ayckbourn's Intimate Exchanges and Jonathan Lichtenstein's Memory will play the Brits Off Broadway festival at 59E59 Theatres beginning in May.

Intimate Exchanges, which Ayckbourn also directs, will make its New York premiere during the week of May 28 on a date to be determined, and will run through July 1. Ayckbourn returns to the festival where his play Private Fears in Public Places was a hit in 2005.

Memory, directed by Terry Hands, will begin during the week of May 7 and will close May 27.

The two plays are the festival's Theater A shows. The remaining lineup will be announced in the coming weeks.

In Intimate Exchanges, "one character’s dilemma — to smoke or not smoke — kicks off eight separate plays with 16 different endings," according to press notes.

The play was first performed in Scarborough in 1984 and transferred for a seven-month run in the West End, culminating in a Best Comedy Olivier Award nomination. The play received a revival in 2006 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, England, where Ayckbourn is the long-serving artistic director. According to press notes, Memory "is a powerful dramatization of the power and failure of memory. Crossing between two generations, Memory links the events of the Holocaust with the modern-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Sir Alan Ayckbourn is the author of more than 60 plays, most of which premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Works include Comic Potential, Absurd Person Singular, Communicating Doors, Relatively Speaking, How the Other Half Loves, House and Garden, The Norman Conquests, Bedroom Farce, Woman in Mind, A Small Family Business and, with Andrew Lloyd Webber, the musical By Jeeves.

Lichtenstein is the author of The Pull of Negative Gravity. Hands is the former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and is currently the artistic director of the Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Wales. His Broadway directing credits include Much Ado About Nothing, Cyrano de Bergerac (with Derek Jacobi) Macbeth (with Kelsey Grammer) and Carrie.

59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues. For tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.ticketcentral.com.