Ghost City Is a Day in the Life of Welsh Town, Making U.S. Debut in NYC June 1-13

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26 May 2004

The Brits Off-Broadway festival of works from the United Kingdom continues June 1-13 with a run of Gary Owen's Ghost City, presented by Sgript Cymru, the National New Writing Company of Wales.

The staging marks the U.S. debut of the company, the play and the playwright. Performances play Theater B in rep with other Brits Off-Broadway shows at 59E59 Theaters, the host venue for the unique fest. Ghost City is directed by Simon Harris. Opening is June 5.

The piece toured throughout Great Britain. It's billed as "a dark and sexy live performance underscored by free jazz and an electronic sound score" that "follows the events of 24 lives, over the course of 24 hours, all linked in a way no one could predict."

The play is "set in the contemporary Welsh capital city Cardiff, and stripped of everything but the people." According to production notes, "Ghost City could be any city, at any time. Buzzing with color, street talk and edgy humor, the play uses monologues and short scenes to convey a city on the brink: A DJ who cracks up on the air… a substitute teacher outwitted by a nine year old… a love affair in the West that ends… a love affair in the East that begins… an old man who remembers the bombing of Dresden and forgets… just a few threads that run through this piece."

Gary Owen won The George Devine Award and The Pearson Best Play Award in 2002 and The Meyer Whitworth Award in 2003. His first play, Crazy Gary's Mobile Disco won the inaugural Theatre in Wales Award for Best New Play and toured the UK in 2001. His second, The Shadow of a Boy was produced by The Royal National Theatre in 2002. The Drowned World opened in 2002 in a Paines Plough production, where it was awarded a Fringe First.



Sgript Cymru commissioned Owen's first Welsh language play, Amser Canser, and his first radio play, The Island of the Blessed.

Sgript Cymru is the national company for contemporary drama in Wales, specializing in new writing by Welsh and Wales-based playwrights. It emerged out of the successful Welsh-language company Dalier Sylw, which enjoyed 10 years of championing a fresh generation of Welsh-language playwrights under the leadership of artistic director, Bethan Jones. Created in 2000, the company receives its main funding from The Arts Council of Wales to be the national and strategic organization for new stage writing in both Welsh and English. In 2002, Simon Harris became the new artistic director, having worked alongside Bethan Jones to create the company.

The Ghost City cast includes Jonathan Floyd, Nia Gwynne, Rachel Isaac and Celyn Jones.

59E59 Theaters is 59 East 59th Street between Madison and Park. The performance schedule is Tuesday-Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM and 8 PM and Sunday at 3 PM and 7 PM.

For details about Brits Off Broadway visit www.59E59.org. For information about Sgript Cymru visit www.SgriptCymru.com.