The play, according to press notes, "is based on real events surrounding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S.S. West Virginia on December 7, 1941. For as long as three weeks after the attack, sailors survived aboard the sunken battleship waiting to be rescued. At the bottom of the sea, trapped under impossible conditions, they struggle to keep hope - and themselves - alive."
Purple Hearts was awarded the Special Services Award from the U.S. Army, a "Best of the Fest" Award from the Edinburgh Festival and was named "Best Play" by the National Association of Speech and Dramatic Arts.
For the New York premiere, David Epstein will direct a cast featuring Ryan Serhant, Dan Patrick Brady, Anneka Fagundes, Rebecca White, Cecilla Frontero and Kevin T. Collins.
The design team for Purple Hearts includes Elisha Schaefer (set design), Joe W. Novak (lighting design), Jennifer Raskopf (costume design) and Peter Wood (sound design).
Playwright Burgess Clark is the Director of Education at the North Shore Music Theatre. His other works include Down Came the Rain, Relative Strangers and Island of the Blue Dolphins. Mr. Clark was honored at the 15th Annual William Inge Theatre Festival as the "New Voice in American Theatre." Purple Hearts will run Sept. 5-22 at the Gene Frankel Theatre (24 Bond Street, between Lafayette Street and The Bowery) in Manhattan. Tickets can be reserved by calling (212) 387-8440.