Artistic director Jim Simpson and producing director Carol Ostrow announced the project on Aug. 7, when they unveiled details of the Flea's 2009-10 season Off-Off-Broadway. They "commissioned six gifted writers to create ten-minute plays that explore the impact of the economic crisis on their generation."
The Great Recession will feature short plays by Thomas Bradshaw, Sheila Callaghan, Erin Courtney, Will Eno, Itamar Moses and Adam Rapp, "all writers recently nurtured by The Flea."
The plays will be performed by The Bats (the core acting company at The Flea), with roles "especially for the talents" of the troupe.
Performances will play Nov. 20-Dec. 30. Opening is Dec. 10.
The season will launch with the world premiere of The Oldsmobiles, a one-act by political pundit Roger Rosenblatt, to open in early October. Previously, The Flea produced the world premiere of Rosenblatt's Ashley Montana Goes Ashore in the Caicos. According to the new announcement, "Perched on top of the Manhattan Bridge, Mr. and Mrs. Oldsmobile, a couple who are aging but not yet old, who are still in great shape contemplate what's left to come and if it is worth living for."
Previews will begin Oct. 1 toward an opening of Oct. 17. The run will end Nov. 14.
In January 2010, The Flea plays host to "The Best of Edinburgh" — the to-be-announced winner of The Carol Tambor Award for best new play, which will be selected this August at the Edinburgh Fringe in Scotland. To be eligible for this award a show must have received a four- or five-star rating in The Scotsman. The Flea is delighted to be chosen as the venue for the future performance.
The production will begin during the week of Jan. 4, 2010, and run through Jan. 31.
The centerpiece of the 2010 spring season will be The Vultures, written in 1882 by iconoclast playwright Henri Becque. "Brilliantly exposing everything from human avarice to institutional fraud, the play is incredibly timely," according to Flea note. A cast of 16 will be directed by Simpson. The Vultures will be performed in repertory in two parts, for six weeks by a combination of emerging actors chosen from The Bats and established names.
The Vultures Part One begins previews Feb. 25, 2010. The Vultures Part Two begins previews Feb. 26, 2010. Opening for both shows is Feb. 28, and the plays run in repertory through March 27.
The final show of the season is The Parents' Evening by Bathsheba Doran. Her plays include, among others, Fifteen Minutes, Odes and Gameshows, The War Play and Feminine Wash. She has been produced at the Edinburgh Festival, The Atlantic Theatre in New York City, The Old Vic Theatre and the Drury Lane in London. The new play was a part of the Mentors Project series at the Cherry Lane Theatre in 2003.
In The Parents' Evening, "Mother and Father confront conflicted views about parenting and the boundaries of love." It will run April 16, open May 6 and continue to June 12.
Throughout the season The Flea will continue to present its free and ongoing music and dance series, Music With A View and Dance Conversations. There will also be programming in Downstairs @ The Flea, the theatre's 40-seat late-night venue.
The Flea is located at 41 White Street between Church and Broadway, three blocks south of Canal. For tickets and more information, call (212) 352-3101 or www.theflea.org.
Off-Off-Broadway's Flea is winner of a Special Drama Desk Award for outstanding achievement, Obie Awards and an Otto for political theatre. It has presented over 80 plays and numerous dance and live music performances since its inception in 1996. Past productions include Anne Nelson's The Guys, A.R. Gurney's O Jerusalem, Screenplay, Mrs. Farnsworth, Post Mortem and A Light Lunch, Roger Rosenblatt's Ashley Montana Goes Ashore..., Kate Robin's The Light Outside, Elizabeth Swados' JABU and Kaspar Hauser, Talking Band's The Parrot, Karen Finley's Return of the Chocolate Smeared Woman, Glyn O'Malley's A Heartbeat to Baghdad, Yussef El Guindi's Back of the Throat and much more.