Baker's Body Awareness, With Clem, Friedman, McCann, Williams, Opens at Atlantic Stage 2

News   Baker's Body Awareness, With Clem, Friedman, McCann, Williams, Opens at Atlantic Stage 2
 
Atlantic Theater Company's commitment to giving voice to emerging writers continues with the June 4 opening of Annie Baker's Body Awareness, a world premiere.
Mary McCann in Body Awareness
Mary McCann in Body Awareness Photo by Doug Hamilton

Jonathan Clem, Peter Friedman, Mary McCann and JoBeth Williams star at the intimate Atlantic Stage 2 space on West 16th Street in Manhattan. Karen Kohlhaas directs the Off-Broadway staging, which began performances May 28. The limited engagement will play through June 22.

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According to Atlantic, in the new comedy, "it is 'Body Awareness Week' at bucolic Shirley State College in Vermont, and all must go according to plan. But when photographer Frank Bonitatibus shows up with his passel of photographs of naked women, things start to go awry."

Playwright Baker makes her Off-Broadway debut here. Her plays have been developed at Atlantic, SoHo Rep, Playwrights Horizons and the Sundance Playwrights Retreat.

Atlantic founding member Kohlhaas most recently directed comedian Judy Gold's Drama Desk Award-nominated one-woman play 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother Off-Broadway following a national tour. She has also staged Harold Pinter's The Hothouse and Keith Reddin's Frame 312 at Atlantic, as well as David Mamet's Boston Marriage at The Public Theater. Body Awareness marks Jonathan Clem's Off-Broadway and professional debut following graduating from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts this year, where he studied at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School.

Tony Award nominee Peter Friedman (Ragtime) makes his Atlantic debut. He most recently appeared in the hit Off-Broadway musical The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island and on Broadway in the acclaimed revival of Twelve Angry Men.

Atlantic founding member Mary McCann comes direct from the world-premiere production of Ethan Coen's Almost an Evening, which played at Atlantic Stage 2 prior to its Off-Broadway transfer. She also appeared in the world premiere of Spring Awakening, The Cherry Orchard and The Night Heron at Atlantic.

Academy Award nominee (for directing the short, "On Hope") and Emmy Award nominee JoBeth Williams is best known for her starring roles in the films "Poltergeist," "The Big Chill" and "Kramer vs. Kramer." On the New York stage, she has appeared Off-Broadway in Marsha Norman's Last Dance, John Guare's Gardenia and The Vagina Monologues. Most recently, she starred in Jane Anderson's The Quality of Life at The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, for which she received a Back Stage West Garland Award. She'll re-create her Quality performance for American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco this fall.

The design team features scenic designer Walt Spangler, lighting designer Jason Lyons, costume designer Bobby Frederick Tilley II and sound designer Anthony Gabriele.

Atlantic Stage 2 is located at 330 West 16th Street, between Eight and Ninth Avenues. Body Awareness is the final production of the 2007-08 Atlantic Stage 2 season at the company's second stage theatre, where two new plays are staged each year.

Body Awareness will play Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM, Saturday matinees at 2 PM and Sundays at 3 PM. All tickets are $45 and are available by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 (www.ticketcentral.com).

For more information visit www.atlantictheater.org.

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Conor McPherson's Port Authority is currently playing Atlantic's mainstage, the Linda Gross Theater, in Chelsea.

Peter Friedman and JoBeth Williams in <i>Body Awareness</i>.
Peter Friedman and JoBeth Williams in Body Awareness. Photo by Doug Hamilton
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