Second Stage Cancels Previews and Delays Modern Terrorism Opening Due to Actor Illness

Actor illness has forced Second Stage Theatre to cancel several preview performances of the world premiere of Jon Kern's dark comedy Modern Terrorism, or They Who Want To Kill Us and How We Learn To Love Them, which began previews Sept. 21 Off-Broadway.

Utkarsh Ambudkar and William Jackson Harper
Utkarsh Ambudkar and William Jackson Harper (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Peter DuBois ( Becky Shaw, Trust, All New People) directs the play that skewers the difficulties of being a terrorist in the 21st century. The play earned Kern the Laurents/Hatcher Award.

Performances, which have been canceled since Sept. 30, will resume Oct. 4 with a rescheduled opening now set for Oct. 18. The play was originally slated to open Oct. 15. Performances will continue through Nov. 4 as scheduled.

The cast features Utkarsh Ambudkar ( Animals Out of Paper, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety), Steven Boyer ( Hand to God), William Jackson Harper ( Ruined) and Nitya Vidyasagar ( The Glorious Ones, "Sesame Street").

According to 2ST, "In the spirit of Dr. Strangelove comes Modern Terrorism, or They Who Want To Kill Us and How We Learn To Love Them, a provocative satire about a rogue group of 21st Century terrorists and their darkly comic misadventures. As a young bomber develops feelings for his beautiful, secretive conspirator, he is torn between his duty and his heart. When his hipster neighbor accidentally gets caught up in the plans, circumstances spiral out of control."

The production has scenic design by Alexander Dodge, costume design by Mimi O’Donnell, lighting design by Russell Champa and sound design by M.L. Dogg. Modern Terrorism, or They Who Want To Kill Us and How We Learn To Love Them was selected as the second recipient of the Laurents/Hatcher Award – named in honor of late Tony Award-winning playwright Arthur Laurents ( Gypsy, West Side Story, Home of the Brave, "The Way We Were") and his late partner Tom Hatcher. The annual award provides the winning playwright with a $50,000 cash prize and $100,000 in funding towards the production cost of the play's premiere, which must take place within a year of the award's announcement.

Kern is a member of the Ars Nova Playgroup, the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and the Civilians R&D Group. He is a graduate of Columbia University's MFA program in playwriting and the University of Chicago.

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