World Premiere of Christopher Oscar Peņa's A Cautionary Tail Begins May 29 at The Flea

By Michael Gioia
May 29, 2013

The Flea Theater presents the world premiere of Christopher Oscar Peña's a cautionary tail, commissioned by NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' Graduate Acting Production (Mark Wing-Davey, artistic director), beginning May 29 at the company's Off Off-Broadway home.



Directed by Flea resident director Benjamin Kamine (Job), the cast features The Bats as well as actors from recent Flea shows such as These Seven Sicknesses, Job and Restoration Comedy, including Alton Alburo, Barron Bass, Matt Bovee, Maxx Brawer, Madeleine Bundy, Jenelle Chu, Sasha Diamond, Karen Eilbacher, Bobby Foley, Aaron Parker Fouhey, Alex Gould, Cleo Gray, Alex Grubbs, Marlowe Holden, Christine Lee, Evan Maltby, Bonnie Milligan, Jacquelyn Revere, Stephen Stout and Tony Vo.

Performances continue through June 30.

The work is described as "a play of impossible choices - set in a world of magical characters. First generation Chinese-Americans growing up in New York City, Vivienne and Luke confront a confused tangle of family, a diverse array of friends, and their rampant sexuality. In our digital age, how can they navigate the traditional expectations of their mother with their American culture of individuality?"

"In a time when very few Latino playwrights seem to grace the stages of New York theatre, identity politics are often severely over-simplified. After a year of shocking and offensive yellow-facing on some of the world's most prominent stages, I couldn't be more thrilled to be having the world premiere of a cautionary tail happen at The Flea with diverse cast of actors who represent not only New York, but what America looks like to me," added playwright Peña in a statement.

The creative team for a cautionary tail includes set designer David Meyer, lighting designer Jonathan Cottle, costume designer Andrea Lauer, sound designer Jeremy S. Bloom and movement director Laura Brandel.

Peña's plays include maelstrom, l(y)re, i wonder if it's possible to have a love affair that lasts forever? or things i found on craigs list, icarus burns, the suicide tapes, alone above a raging sea and TINY PEOPLE (or, it gets better). His work has been developed or seen at The Public Theater, Two River Theater, New York Stage and Film with The Lark, Ars Nova, NYU Grad, INTAR, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Flea Theater, The Ontological Hysteric Incubator, art.party, American Theater Company (Chicago), Son of Semele (L.A.) and The New York Theatre Workshop, among others.

The Bats are the resident acting company members of The Flea Theater. They perform in extended runs of challenging classic and new plays and have recently appeared in premieres by A.R. Gurney, Will Eno, Adam Rapp, Beau Willimon, Mac Wellman, Elizabeth Swados, Thomas Bradshaw, Itamar Moses, Sheila Callaghan, Julian Sheppard, Ken Urban, Tommy Smith, Jonathan Reynolds, Trista Baldwin, Laurel Haines, Qui Nguyen, Sean Graney and Amy Freed.

The Flea is located at 41 White Street between Church and Broadway, three blocks south of Canal. For more information and tickets, call (212) 352-3101 or visit TheFlea.org.