Cast Announced for New Middle East-Set Play, Sand, at Women's Project

News   Cast Announced for New Middle East-Set Play, Sand, at Women's Project
Trista Baldwin's Sand, a new play about three young American soldiers in "a wind-swept, ever-shifting Middle East desert," will have its world premiere at Women's Project in Manhattan Feb. 1, 2008.

Daniella Topol will direct a cast that includes Alec Beard (Roundabout's Tartuffe, Public's As You Like It, Playwrights Horizons' A Feminine Ending), Angela Lewis (Cherry Lane's HooDoo Love) and Pedro Pascal (Public's Macbeth, Terrence McNally's Some Men).

Opening is Feb. 10 at Women's Project's home at the Julia Miles Theatre, 424 W. 55th Street. Performances play to March 2.

According to Women's Project, "Through Sand, Ms. Baldwin explores the current American crisis of spirit. Alone in the middle of a desert, three young American soldiers are ordered to guard an abandoned gas station. Trapped in a confusing, boring, often terrifying occupation, the three confront powers foreign and domestic, secular and divine, real and imagined."

Baldwin said in a statement, "Sand is not about whether the war itself is right or wrong or whether our strategies are right or wrong, it is about the soul of our country."

The designers are Anita Fuchs (sets), Clint Ramos (costumes), Traci Klainer (lights) and Daniel Baker (sound). Baldwin lives in Minneapolis, where she is a professor of playwriting at St. Cloud State University. Her work has been produced and developed around the country by groups including New Georges, HERE, Urban Stages, The Guthrie, The Production Company, and HB Playwrights' Foundation. Recent projects include Doe at the Tokyo International Festival, Falling Up at Perishable Theatre Company in Providence and Patty Red Pants at Seattle's Live Girls! Her work is published through Playscripts and Heinnemann. She is the recipient of two recent Jerome Fellowships and a 2006-07 McKnight Advancement Grant.

Director Daniella Topol's directing has focused primarily on new writers and new plays. New York productions include Sheila Callaghan's Dead City at New Georges, Zakiyyah Alexander's Sick at the Summer Play Festival and Snow Queen at Urban Stages. Topol is a member of the Women's Project Directors Lab.

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Women's Project "produces theatre created by women, providing a forum for women's perspectives on political, social, and cultural topics. Founded in 1978 to address the conspicuous under-representation of women in the American theatre, countless artists have achieved significant recognition at WP, including Anne Bogart, Eve Ensler, Lynn Nottage, Maria Irene Fornes, Leigh Silverman, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Anna Deavere Smith. In its 30 years, WP has staged over 570 productions, and in 1998, WP purchased a historic Off-Broadway venue — the Julia Miles Theater — making WP the first and only women's theatre company to hold the keys to its own stage."

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