The works are Broken Journey and Wolfpit. Broken Journey will be staged in the fall, with founding members Elise Stone, Craig Smith, Michael Surabian and Angela Madden in the cast. According to the company's website, the play is adapted from the Rynonuske Akutagaawa short story "In the Grove" and the famous Kurosawa film "Rashomon." Both works concern the divergent and conflicting eyewitness accounts surrounding a rape and a murder in a remote wooded area. With each new bit of information, the truth surrounding the incident becomes less easy to comprehend.
The source material informs another Off-Broadway production scheduled for the fall, Michael John LaChiusa's new musical, See What I Wanna See. Formerly titled R Shomon, it will have its New York debut at the Public Theater in the fall.
Phoenix's production of Wolfpit will follow in spring 2006.
To support its upcoming project, the Phoenix will hold two benefit performances. The first is of Dylan Thomas's Under Milkwood. The cast will include Craig Smith, Elise Stone, Michael Surabian, Jason Crowl, Joe Menino, Angela Vitale, Amy Fitts and Brian Costello with music by Ellen Mandel performed by Michael Lydon. The Aug. 1 performance will be at The Pearl Theatre at 80 St. Mark's Place.
An Aug. 8 benefit, meanwhile, will be an adaptation of Margaret Atwood's "Good Bones" by Eileen Glenn and Vincent P. Mahler and starring Eileen Glenn. It will also be at the Pearl. Tickets for both events are $25. Consult www.phoenixtheatreensemble.org.