Slaughterhouse-Five, Simonson's Adaptation of Absurdist Vonnegut Classic, Gets NYC Premiere

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11 Jan 2008

Eric Simonson's adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's novel, Slaughterhouse-Five or: The Children's Crusade, directed by Joe Tantalo, makes its New York City premiere Jan. 11 at 59E59 Theaters.

The limited engagement of Godlight Theatre Company's production plays through Feb. 17. Opening night is Jan. 22.

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According to Godlight, "Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic, adapted by the Tony-nominated and Oscar-winning Eric Simonson, Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden. With this significant event as the climax of this satirical and horrifying anti-war story, Slaughterhouse-Five carries a unique poignancy — and humor. A best-seller when released in 1969, the novel brought Vonnegut to prominence as a major voice in American fiction."

The cast includes David Bartlett, Ashton Crosby, Darren Curley, Gregory Konow, Deanna McGovern, Dustin Olson, Nick Paglino, Aaron Paternoster, Michael Shimkin and Michael Tranzilli.



The production team includes Maruti Evans (scenic, lighting and costume design), Andrew Recinos (original music and sound design), Josh Rendree (fight choreography) and Hachi Yu (movement direction and choreography). The production stage managers are Amy Vonvett and Nick Tochelli.

Eric Simonson (playwright) is an ensemble member of the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company who has received Tony, Emmy and Oscar nominations. His film documentary "A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin" won the 2006 Oscar for Documentary Short. He was also nominated for an Oscar for his documentary "On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom" in 2001. Other films include "Hamlet" (co-directed with Campbell Scott) for Hallmark Entertainment, and an independent feature, "Topa Topa Bluffs." Simonson's directing and writing credits in theatre include work at Steppenwolf Theatre, The Huntington Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Kansas City Rep, The Kennedy Center, Pasadena Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Milwaukee Rep, Arizona theatre, San Jose Rep and Court Theatre in Chicago.

His work at Steppenwolf includes the premiere adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. His The Song of Jacob Zulu received six Tony nominations including Best Director. His several plays include published works Bang the Drum Slowly and Work Song (co-written with Jeffrey Hatcher). Both have been produced at theatres across the country. A revision of his play Carter's Way will premiere at Steppenwolf in 2008.

Joe Tantalo (director) has been the artistic director of Godlight Theatre Company since 1994.

The performance schedule is Tuesday-Saturday at 8:30 PM and Sunday at 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM. Single tickets are $25 ($17.50 for 59E59 members) and are available by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or online at www.ticketcentral.com. The 59E59 Theaters complex on East 59th Street in Manhattan. For more information visit www.59E59.org or visit www.godlighttheatrecompany.org.