Rattlestick's 20th Anniversary Season Will Feature Julia Stiles Onstage, James Franco Behind the Curtain

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
16 Jun 2014

Julia Stiles
Julia Stiles
Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, the Off-Broadway theatre that has presented more than 60 world premieres in the past 19 years, has announced the lineup for its 2014-15 season.

The season, which marks Rattlestick's 20th anniversary, will include both New York and world premieres by Keith Josef Adkins, Robert Boswell, Sheila Callaghan, Laura Eason, Michael Laurence, Laith Nakli, Scott Organ, Rubén Polendo and Daniel Talbott.

Rattlestick will also present a special summer season that features two plays by film directors making their theatrical directorial debuts. James Franco will direct Robert Boswell's world premiere, The Long Shrift; and Jennifer DeLia will helm Scott Organ's Phoenix.

The season-at-a-glance follows.

World Premiere
The Long Shrift
Written by Robert Boswell
Directed by James Franco
July 7-Aug. 23

Playing at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (224 Waverly Place)
"Robert Boswell has published seven novels, three story collections, and two books of non-fiction. Mr. Boswell most recent book, 'Tumbledown,' was published in 2013. Richard Singer, a dorky teenage boy is accused and thrown in jail for rape, tearing his parents apart. Now, nine years later, Richard is out of jail and his accuser is back in his life."



Phoenix
Co-Production with Poverty Row Entertainment and Rian Patrick Durham
Written by Scott Organ
Directed by Jennifer DeLia
July 28-Aug. 23
Playing at Cherry Lane, Mainstage (38 Commerce Street)

"When Bruce (James Wirt) and Sue (Julia Stiles) meet four weeks after an uncharacteristic one-night-stand, Sue has this to say to him: one, I had a great time with you that night and two, let's never see each other again. Thus begins a 4,000 mile journey well beyond the confines of their carefully structured worlds. Bruce is fueled by an overwhelming but undefined compulsion to join her in Phoenix. Sue is reluctantly charmed by his persistence, but steadfast in her resolve to keep him at bay. Both are forced to consider a whole new world of possibility, though not one free of difficulty and loss. Phoenix is a one-act dark romantic comedy."

Theater: Village, the West Village Theater Festival
Sept. 3-Oct. 5

This year's 2nd annual Theater:Village, presented by Axis Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, New Ohio Theatre, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, is entitled E Pluribus and features four new plays celebrating the diversity of America.
"Theater:Village presents annually a series of new plays in several prominent West Village theater, based around one playwright or common theme. The goal is to involve the collaboration of many producing partners, deepening community engagements and audience experiences. Theater:Village signifies a major shift in the ways theaters work. It challenges the assumptions that we must cut back and compete more fiercely with each other in order to survive as nonprofit arts institutions, and promotes collaboration and community-conscious programming to expose emerging audiences to essential new work they would not otherwise be able to see."

Juárez: A Mythology Documentary
Co-Production with Theater Mitu
Conceived and directed by Rubén Polendo

Playing at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (224, Waverly Place)
"More than two years in development. Over 200 hours of interview footage. Hundreds of conversations. Theater Mitu creates an artful portrait of a community in crisis and transformation. Gangs, cartels, corruption, NAFTA, femicide, the War on Drugs, fear, familial honor, mythology and hope all appear in stories collected from parents, politicians, artists, activists, factory workers, journalists, professors and more."

World Premiere
Pitbulls
Written by Keith Josef Adkins
Directed by Leah Gardiner
Nov. 6-Dec. 13

Playing at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (224, Waverly Place)
"A small black community in rural Appalachia. Pitbull country. Mary and her son Dipper live in a trailer a few miles from their bible-belt, war-loving, dog-fighting neighbors. Despite being the community's pariah, Mary is at peace making and selling wine. However, when a prize-winning pit bull is slaughtered on the Fourth of July, Mary's solitary existence becomes suspect. Pitbulls explores what it costs to be an individual in America."

World Premiere
Shesh Yak
Co-Production with LaiLou Productions
Written by Laith Nakli
Directed by Bruce McCarty
Jan. 15, 2015-Feb. 19
Playing at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (224 Waverly Place)

"In the spring of 2011, five weeks into the civil uprising in Syria, we find Jameel, a 40-year-old Syrian-American writer in his New York apartment waiting for a houseguest to arrive from DC. Haytham, 15 years Jameel's senior, a Syrian ex-patriot and a leader in the anti-Syrian government movement has come to New York on business. Jameel is overwhelmed with excitement to have someone of Haytham's stature in his home and the two share stories from their younger days in Syria. An unclear tension starts brewing between the two leading them into a re-examination of their lives and a revelation of how their different pasts have intertwined and forced them into choices that neither ever imagined."

New York Premiere
Everything You Touch
Co-Production with Boston Court and True Love Productions
By special arrangement with Cherry Lane Theatre
Written by Sheila Callaghan
Directed by Jessica Kubzansky
Feb. 13-April 14

Playing at Cherry Lane, Mainstage (38 Commerce St.)
"Victor is a ruthless fashion designer in the 1970s at the top of his game. Esme, his glamorous protégé and muse, is pushed aside when an ordinary Midwestern woman inspires Victor to make his artistry accessible to the masses. A generation later, a woman grappling with a healthy dose of self-loathing must wrestle her own family demons to find her way back through the world of fashion that won't give her size a second look. Sipping back and forth in time, Everything You Touch is a viciously funny look at the struggle to find an identity that's more than skin deep."

World Premiere
The Undeniable Sound of Right Now
Written by Laura Eason
Directed by Kristen Kelly
March 20-May 2

"It's 1992. Hank is struggling to keep his legendary rock club going amid changing times and changing tastes. When his beloved daughter, Lena, starts dating a rising star DJ, Hank must contend with the destructive power of the next big thing."

World Premiere
Hamlet In Bed
Written by Michael Laurence
Directed by Lisa Peterson
May 14-June 18
Playing at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (224 Waverly Place)

"Michael is a neurotic actor and adoptee obsessed with two things- finding his real mother, and playing the famous Gloomy Dane. His twin fixations collide when he tracks down Anna, a reclusive former actress-turned-barfly; gripped by the notion that she might be his actual birth-mother, he first stalks her from a distance, then lures her into a noirish production of Hamlet playing the role of the queen, his mother. Hamlet In Bed is a twisty and darkly comic story about mothers and sons. About what it means to live a life in the theatre, both a generation ago, and now. And about families — the ones we're born into, and the ones we find along the way."

World Premiere
Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait 
Written and directed by Daniel Talbott
Dates Spring 2015
Location TBA

"American soldiers Smith and Leadem kill time at a worn out desert outpost swallowed by sand on the other side of the world. Dutifully fulfilling their mission, they wait for a sign from the enemy, for further orders, for anything. As their rations shrink and the desert, sky, and sand seem to grow and expand around them, they fight for clarity and sanity, to stay on task, and to serve as they've sworn to do. Is the enemy trying to kill them, or is it the country they've been fighting for that's the real darkness they're running from? As the days fall away it becomes less and less possible to know what is future, past, living, dead, or dream."

Tickets and more information are available by visiting rattlestick.org.