Josh Hecht directs Mandy Siegfried, Mia Barron and Kathryn Grody in the production by 13P (Thirteen Playwrights, Inc.) at the Mint Space, 311 W. 43rd Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. Opening is Nov. 22. This is the first production of 13P's new season.
"It's the last weekend of summer on the Jersey shore," according to production notes. "Rain (Mandy Siegfried) wants nothing more than her best friend, Ashley (Mia Barron), to want her. Ashley's mother Maggie (Kathryn Grody) is determined she marry Rich, a brilliant lawyer. Desire should have stopped there."
The play is billed as "a comedy about things that aren't funny and the one person who should've been off limits."
Rob Handel, 13P's managing director, said in a statement, "I told Winter Miller to 'bring me your most outrageous play, the one no theatre would touch.' When you see The Penetration Play, you'll know that she took me seriously."
Winter Miller is currently collaborating with Daphne Rubin-Vega on a new rock musical. Her plays include Something's Wrong with Amandine, Home Economics and Cake and Ice Cream. Her work has been produced or presented by The Culture Project, The New Group, Rattlestick, Dixon Place, Hourglass, The Daryl Roth 2, The Miller Theater and HERE. Her non-fiction is published in The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Ms. Magazine. She graduated from Smith College and earned an MFA from Columbia University in 2003. In addition to 13P she is a member of the New Group's Associates and The Civilians.
"The play certainly comes out of a fantasy world — what if this happened, and then this happened — how far would these characters go in these circumstances?" playwright Winter Miller told Playbill On-Line.
"I tend to be a particularly verbal writer, so part of my intention was to work with characters who were unable to say outright what they want from each other, so that physicality and gesture would have an immense role in determining how they interacted — and I think we see this a lot in adolescent boys, but less so in young women in their 20ss — Ash and Rain have a complicated friendship and the boundaries are not entirely clear, nor are they spoken. The other underlying question that I was puzzling over with this play, is the notion of biology as a determinant of sexuality — meaning to what extent do we as humans have a choice about whether we love and fall in love with someone of the same or opposite sex? Sure, we know nurture can hinder some people from expressing their sexuality at all, and we know ostracism and violence are deterrents from expressing homosexuality — but is there a piece in all of us that is innately geared (as Kinsey wondered) towards one sex or another? And what about people who fall somewhere in the middle and in a more tolerant world might lean towards homosexuality, but it's simply easier to be in a heterosexual relationship? ...The struggles of these characters to define themselves and to get what they want led to a broader question of genetics' influence on sexuality."
Josh Hecht's recent directorial credits include Victor Lodato's Slay the Dragon (O'Neill Theater Conference); Ann Marie Healy's The Night That Roger Went to Visit the Parents of His Old High School Girlfriend (Ontological); Joe Hortua's Two (New York International Fringe Festival—Best in Fringe); Kristen Andersen's The Relinquishing Tree (adobe), among others.
Designers are Robin Vest (set), Paul Whitaker (lighting) and Eric Shim (sound). Dan Fields serves as producer.
The members of 13P (www.13p.org) are four veterans of Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival, three veterans of the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, two Manhattan Theatre Club Fellows, two Princess Grace Award winners, a Helen Merrill Award winner, a Susan Smith Blackburn Award Winner, a Whiting Fellow, and a Jerome Fellow. 13P includes Sheila Callaghan, Erin Courtney, Madeleine George, Rob Handel, Ann Marie Healy, Julia Jarcho, Young Jean Lee, Winter Miller, Sarah Ruhl, Kate E. Ryan, Lucy Thurber, Anne Washburn and Gary Winter.
The performance schedule for 13P's The Penetration Play will be Thursdays through Mondays at 8 PM. There will be two additional performances Nov. 23 and Dec. 8, both at 8 PM. There will be no performances Nov. 25-26.
All tickets are $15. For information, call (212) 868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com.
13P made its debut with The Internationalist in 2004.
Two special guest hosts for Q&As following performances of The Penetration Play will be Daphne Rubin Vega (Nov. 23) and Gloria Steinem (Dec. 6).