The Working Theater, the Manhattan company devoted to plays about the workplace and working people, will present Mike Batistick's timely Port Authority Throw Down as its fall 2006 production. This is the play's first full production following workshops and readings.
Working Theater artistic director Connie Grappo will direct Port Authority Throw Down, to run at Culture Project at 45 Below (45 Bleecker at Lafayette), Oct. 20–Nov. 19. Opening is Oct. 26.
The Oct. 20-22 performances are a part of the citywide Impact Festival for politically oriented theatre curated by Culture Project.
According to The Working Theater, Port Authority Throw Down "follows a Pakistani cab driver as he struggles to understand why his brother, a Port Authority newspaper salesman, has been taken away by the authorities. This funny, provocative new play brings together the two Pakistani brothers, a homeless alcoholic and a Christian missionary from Akron, Ohio, in a social, racial and religious clash of cultures at the crossroads of the world. The play challenges our notions of humanity and homeland security in a post 9/11 New York City."
The cast will include Debargo Sanyal as Pervez (the cabbie), Annie McNamara as Barb, Edwin Lee Gibson as Nnate and Aladdin Ullah as Nawaz (the newspaper seller). Mike Batistick's play Ponies was produced Off-Broadway by Studio Dante (Michael Imperioli, artistic director) in October 2004 and subsequently named a "Best of 2004" by Entertainment Weekly. Studio Dante will produce his work again in Winter 2007, when Chicken makes its world premiere starring Michael Imperioli and Sharon Angela.
Director Connie Grappo became the artistic director of the Working Theater in 2005 after a long history with the company. With the Working Theater, she directed the Drama Desk Award-winning TableTop by Rob Ackerman in 2001; Rob Ackerman's Disconnect, Annie Weisman's Hold Please (Drama Desk nomination for Best Supporting Actress) and Bruce Graham's Belmont Avenue Social Club.
Port Authority Throw Down was originally part of The Working Theater's First Stage Presentations, a workshop program inaugurated last season to develop and stage new plays in a safe developmental environment. The play is the first piece in this new program to move on to full production. Port Authority Throw Down was previously workshopped by the Cape Cod Theatre Project and the Julliard School.
Performances will run Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 7 PM, Saturday at 2 PM. Tickets are $20-$25 for students/seniors/union members with ID and can be purchased by calling Theatermania at (212) 352-3101 or by going to www.theatermania.com.
All matinees are pay-what-you-can (at the door).
The Working Theater "is dedicated to producing culturally diverse plays that explore the lives of working people." Their mission is twofold: "to create theatre about and for working people. In a nation where the economic divide continues to widen, the Working Theater is committed to creating theatre that can transcend such a separation and create art that will inspire all people. They strive to expose labor and traditional audiences to some of the best theatre being created while making it financially accessible." Mark Plesent is producing director and Connie Grappo is artistic director.