The Play Company, the not-for-profit theatre founded in 1998 by Kate Loewald, Jack Temchin and the late Mike Ockrent, concludes its script-in hand New Work/New World series Oct. 30-Nov. 4 with award-winning American playwright Brooke Berman's Smashing.
Tickets to the plays in the series are $5, with 7:30 PM performances at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre — the troupe's home for the season — at Broadway and 76th Street in Manhattan. The company develops and produces new American plays alongside new work from other countries and cultures. Its mission is to "create an international theatre for New York City, celebrating the rich variety of new writing from around the world." Beyond the readings, a new full staging is planned for early 2002, along with other projects.
Smashing is directed by Michael John Garces. In it, "21-year-old Abby, globetrotting daughter of a New York literary lion, discovers she is the undisguised subject of the sexy and scathing best-seller written by her former lover."
Berman is a winner of the Helen Merrill Award (2000) and a two-time winner of the Francesca Primus Award, first in 1998 for Wonderland and again in 2000 for Playing House. Berman's 10-minute play Dancing with a Devil is a co-winner of the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville and was presented as part of the 1999 Humana Festival. Dancing with a Devil was nominated for the American Theater Critics Best New Play award in 1999. Her plays have been produced at the Humana Festival, HERE, One Dream, Naked Angels, Urban Empire at Playwrights Horizons, and Nada. She is a member of the MCC Playwrights coalition, rising Phoenix Rep and the Dramatists Guild.
* The fall 2001 New Work/New World Series included Key West by Dan O'Brien (United States) and Monsieur Ibrahim et les Fleurs du Coran by Eric Emmanuel Schmitt (France), translated by Stephane Laporte, Bintou by Koffi Kwahulé (Ivory Coast) and Bread of Winter by Victor Lodato (United States).
The Play Company co-produced the world premiere of the comedy High Dive with MCC and the Long Wharf in February 2001. Other fall 2001 activity includes a benefit reading of the new book "The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan" performed by Malcolm McDowell on Nov. 5 and a Public Reading Series of plays and literature "from around the world and across the decades." The season will continue with a winter 2002 production of Alexander Cunningham's new play, No. 11 (Blue & White).
For Play Company information or reservations, call (212) 206 1515.
— By Kenneth Jones