A Ballgame With Dirty Rules: Big Doolie Gets World Premiere in FringeNYC

News   A Ballgame With Dirty Rules: Big Doolie Gets World Premiere in FringeNYC
Big Doolie, Richard Thompson's black comedy about a grasping sports agent who is finally having a brush with the big time, gets its world premiere this summer in the New York International Fringe Festival.

Underlinen Productions presents the play, billed as "a new pitch-black comedy set in the juiced-up, cutthroat world of sports agents and athletes." Performances play a scattered schedule Aug. 12-25 at the Connelly Theatre in the East Village.

Big Doolie has been seen in recent years in Manhattan developmental readings directed by Jenn Thompson, who is not related to playwright Richard Thompson. Jenn Thompson again pilots the work.

"Struggling sports agent Marty Futch dreams of the big time," according to the producers. "Snagging a major league star is sure to make Futch a 'big doolie,' but in a world of lies and smack-talking egos he'll have to battle merciless competitors, desperate clients — and paralyzing visions of cannibalism that haunt his sleep."

Playwright Thompson is "writing about sports agents and professional athletes, but it's about people trying to achieve greatness in their lives and failing to have it," the director said. "It's universal."

Big Doolie was a finalist at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference and has gone through revisions at the McCarter Theater Writers Retreat, River Rep Theatre Company's New Voices and The Abingdon Stage Company's first readings series. The cast includes Edward James Hyland (Festen), Tim Artz, Evan Thompson (Primary Stages' The Right Kind of People), David Christopher Wells (Lincoln Center Theater's The Rivals), Todd Gearhart, Peterson Townsend and Adina Verson.

Richard Thompson's previous play, Hunting Humans, won five Drama-Logue Awards for its Los Angeles staging and played Off-Broadway and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Director Jenn Thompson is a producing director for River Rep Theatre Company, which has been a leading summer theatre in Connecticut since 1987. She is also a member of the acting company TACT (The Actors Company Theatre) and has appeared on Broadway in the Tony-Award winning revivals of The Heiress and Ah, Wilderness!

The creative team includes Stephen Kunken (set and sound design), Elizabeth Munn (lighting) and Steven Cozzi (costumes).

The Connelly Theatre is at 220 E. 4th Street. Performance dates and times are Aug. 12 at noon, Aug. 16 at 5:45 PM, Aug. 19 at 7 PM, Aug. 23 at 5 PM and Aug. 25 at 9:45 PM.

For more information and tickets ($15) call (212) 279-4488 or (888) FringeNYC or visit www.bigdoolie.com.

The New York International Fringe Festival – FringeNYC is a production of The Present Company and runs Aug. 11–27 in many venues in New York City.

"Struggling Miami sports agent Marty Futch (Edward James Hyland) has spent his career babysitting his flock of mediocre pro-athletes and middling sports personalities while dreaming of hitting the big time by signing sports next super star," according to production notes. "When a chance encounter with up-and-coming college basketball sensation Reggie Banks (Peterson Townsend) propels Marty into the 'pitch of his life,' it seems his dream of being a 'big doolie' is just one signature a way.

"Armed with a hungry young assistant (David Christopher Wells) and a sexy new receptionist (Adina Verson), Marty sets out to impress his young prospect and close the deal. But, Marty's new obsession has left longtime client and fading sports-announcer Jack Mungo (Evan Thompson) feeling neglected. After efforts to negotiate his own contract with a ruthless network executive (Todd Gearhart) push him further into desperation, Jack gets Marty swept into a diabolical plot involving an addled journeyman football player (Tim Artz), a nationally televised car chase and one last frantic shot at glory…"

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