World Premiere of Handbook for an American Revolutionary Begins July 19 at Off-Broadway's Gym at Judson

By Michael Gioia
July 19, 2013

Form Theatricals in association with Judson Arts presents the world premiere of Handbook for an American Revolutionary, written and performed by Matthew-Lee Erlbach, beginning July 19, prior to an official press opening July 22, at The Gym at Judson.



Following the sold-out reading and discussion at 92YTribeca, the fully staged, Off-Broadway production is directed by Drama Desk nominee Tony Speciale (Unnatural Acts, upcoming Barry Manilow musical Harmony).

"I'm thrilled to be working with Matthew-Lee Erlbach, a young playwright whose work I've been following closely in recent years," said director Speciale in an earlier statement. "Handbook for an American Revolutionary is an inspiring, brutal and (often times) humorous look at the various ways Americans live, survive and collaborate together in the 21st Century. In addition to being a remarkable writer, Matthew is an extraordinary actor. His portrayal of the 12 diverse characters that inhabit Handbook is nothing short of virtuosic, and I am honored to be shepherding this important and timely project from page to stage."

Inspired by Erlbach's travels around the United States, Handbook, according to producers Anthony Francavilla and Zachary Laks, "is a raw, incendiary, and darkly comic play giving voice to a panorama of ordinary citizens in extraordinary circumstances whose battles are reshaping 21st-century America. As he blazes through a powerful spectrum of diverse Americans, Erlbach gives voice to the voiceless from coal power to white power, K Street to Bourbon St, and the prophets and profits of today's America. The twelve dynamic characters in Erlbach's play are the face of America's turbulent present and a hand to its hopeful future—the 99%."

Other members of the creative team include Nicholas Houfek (lighting designer), Nina Segal (associate producer), David Bruin (dramaturg) and Jerry Marsini and Derek Rippe (graphic designers).

Erlbach's projects include Eager to Lose, a Farce in Rhyming Verse, which will open Ars Nova's fall season (October 2013); Kevin Lamb, currently in development with Tony winner Michael Berresse; and King George, III, Parts One and Two.

The Gym at Judson is located at 243 Thompson Street. For more information and tickets, visit HandbookNYC.com.