Mystery School, Paul Selig's one-woman show that was workshopped at the Sundance Institute in summer 1997, began performances Mar. 1 at NY's Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts, following a run at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT. The show's official opening night in NY is Mar.11.
The director is Doug Hughes, Long Wharf's new artistic director.
The play is a co-production of Long Wharf and NY's En Garde Arts; the workshop at Sundance was developed with the support of The Sundance Institute Theatre Laboratory and Showtime Networks, Inc.
Mystery School is made up of five monologues about five diverse women, each of whom is deeply spiritual. Characters include a Christian fundamentalist, an alcoholic, a hostess of a New Age cable TV public access call-in show, an idealistic speaker at a college graduation, and a widow narrating a slide show "filled with signs and symbols pointing to the end of the world and the birth of the next." Late last summer, playwright Selig told a conference of the American Theatre Critics Association, "I did the piece in New York last year, with myself acting all the roles. It was such a revelation when Tyne came down [to the Sundance Festival] and already knew the script and was ready to work."
Selig is no stranger to En Garde Arts. He wrote one of the first shows produced by the 11-year-old theatre: Terminal Bar (1986). Other Selig works include the chamber opera trilogy Three Visitations and the plays Never Enough and The Pompeii Traveling Show.
For tickets to the NY performances of Mystery School, which is scheduled to run through April 19 at the Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts, 172 Norfolk St., call (212) 239-6200. The Orensanz Center is actually a synagogue, built in 1850 by architect Alexander Saeltzer.