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Tuesday, 01 May 2012 12:00

FEBRUARY HOUSE Begins Performances Tuesday, May 8 at the Public Theater

The Public Theater
The Public Theater

Begins Previews For
The World Premiere Musical

FEBRUARY HOUSE
Tuesday, May 8

Music and Lyrics by Gabriel Kahane
Book by Seth Bockley

Directed by Davis McCallum

May 1, 2012 – The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Patrick Willingham) will begin previews for the world premiere production of FEBRUARY HOUSE, with music and lyrics by Gabriel Kahane and book by Seth Bockley, on Tuesday, May 8 in The Public’s Martinson Theater. Directed by Davis McCallum, FEBRUARY HOUSE runs through Sunday, June 10, with an official press opening on Tuesday, May 22. Tickets are on sale now at (212) 967-7555, www.publictheater.org, or in person at The Public Theater box office.

The complete cast of FEBRUARY HOUSE features Stanley Bahorek (Benjamin Britten), Ken Barnett (Peter Pears), Ken Clark (Reeves McCullers), Julian Fleisher (George Davis), Stephanie Hayes (Erika Mann), Josh Lamon (Understudy, George Davis),Erik Lochtefeld (W. H. Auden), Kacie Sheik (Gypsy Rose Lee), A.J. Shively (Chester Kallman), and Kristen Sieh (Carson McCullers).           

The Public Theater will also present post-show discussions following select performances with the artists from FEBRUARY HOUSE on Wednesday, May 16 and Wednesday, May 23. The talkbacks following these performances are included with the price of admission.

Visionary and flamboyant editor George Davis transforms a dilapidated Brooklyn boarding house into a bohemian commune for the leading lights of 1940s New York. Residents include novelist Carson McCullers, composer Benjamin Britten, poet W.H. Auden, and the infamous Gypsy Rose Lee. The luminaries of  7 Middagh Street form a tumultuous and remarkable makeshift family, and search for love, inspiration, and refuge from the looming war in Europe. Inspired by true events, this powerful and funny new musical marks the first commission of The Public’s Musical Theater Initiative and is presented in association with Long Wharf Theatre.

“Gabriel Kahane has confected nearly two dozen exquisite songs to tell the story of a ragtag Brooklyn Heights town house that once served—ever so fleetingly—as a kind of all-star artists’ commune. Along with Seth Bockley,

who fashioned the equally compelling ‘February House’ book, Mr. Kahane, it seems clear, will be one of the artists

nudging musical theater in new directions in the 21st Century.”—Sylviane Gold, New York Times

FEBRUARY HOUSE features scenic design by Riccardo Hernandez, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design by Leon Rothenberg, and choreography by Danny Mefford.    

DAVIS McCALLUM (Director) recently directed the world premiere of Quiara Hudes’ Water By The Spoonful at Hartford Stage. His New York credits include Sam Hunter’s A Bright New Boise (Partial Comfort; Drama Desk Nomination) and Five Genocides, Michael Mitnick’s Sex Lives of Our Parents, Greg Moss’s punkplay, Chuck Mee’s Queens Boulevard, Quiara Hudes’ Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue (Pulitzer Prize Finalist), Henry, Jane Eyre, The Tempest, and The Turn Of The Screw. He has directed at regional theaters such as the Guthrie, the Old Globe, Humana, OregonShakespeare Festival, Williamstown, AllianceTheater Company, Chautauqua Theater Company,The O’Neill, Playmakers Rep, Two River, New YorkStage & Film, and others. His honors and awards include the Drama LeagueFellowship (2001); Phil Killian Fellowship (2003);NEA/TCG Career Development Program (2007); Boris Sagal Fellowship (2010), and a Princess Grace Honoree (2011). He has taught directing at Princeton University and the New School for Drama. He trained at LAMDA and studied at Princeton and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

STANLEY BAHOREK (Benjamin Britten) appeared on Broadway in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. HisOff-Broadway credits include Queen of the Mist and See Rock City. He has appeared in the world premieres of Ordinary Days; Mormons, Mothers and Monsters; St. Ex, and Up in the Air at The Kennedy Center.         

KEN BARNETT (Peter Pears) appeared on Broadway in Wonderful Town and Julie Taymor’s The Green Bird. His Off-Broadway credits include Manon/Sandra, La Ronde, Debbie Does Dallas, Christmas Carol, and Whore of Sheridan Square. His film and television credits include Welcome to People, Friends with Kids, Puccini for Beginners, “Mad Men,” “In Plain Sight,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Entourage.”

KEN CLARK (Reeves McCullers) has appeared in the National Tour of La Cage Aux Folles and has been seen regionally in Urinetown, Guys and Dolls, Sweeny Todd, and Rent.

JULIAN FLEISHER (George Davis). His Off-Broadway credits include the world premiere of Coraline and he has composed original music for John Cariani’s Off-Broadway play Almost, Maine. As a singer/songwriter he has collaborated with Ana Gasteyer, Molly Ringwald, Diana Krall and Martha Plimpton, among others. His albums include Rather Big and Finally.

STEPHANIE HAYES (Erika Mann) has worked as an actor, writer, and musician in Sweden, the UK, and Canada. Her credits at the Yale School of Drama include The Seagull, Eurydice, Much Ado About Nothing, Homebody/Kabul, and Orestes. Her written plays include Rigor Mortis, Exit, Commander Kitty! and Vaska Vaska Glöm: A Tale of Foreigners and Fish.

JOSH LAMON (Understudy, George Davis) will be seen in the upcoming Shakespeare in the Park production of Into The Woods. He was also seen in the Broadway revival of HAIR as well as the recent national tour. He has also appeared in the national tour of Wicked, Little Shop of Horrors, and A Year With Frog and Toad.

ERIK LOCHTEFELD (W.H. Auden) has appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning play Metamorphoses. He has also appeared Off-Broadway in The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci and regionally in Candide, Ethan Frome, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, and the world premiere of Richard Nelson’s How Shakespeare Won the West. His television credits include “All My Children,” “Third Watch,” and “Law & Order.”

KACIE SHEIK (Gypsy Rose Lee) has appeared in the Shakespeare in the Park, Broadway, West End, and National Tour productions of The Public’s revival of HAIR. Her film and television credits include Julie & Julia, and “Law & Order.”

A.J. SHIVELY (Chester Kallman) recently made his Broadway debut in the revival of La Cage Aux Folles. His other select theater credits include The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks, The Sound of Music, Brigadoon, Things to Ruin, and Little Airplanes of the Heart. 

KRISTEN SIEH (Carson McCullers) has performed in New York, nationally, and internationally with Elevator Repair Service’s GATZ, The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928), and Shuffle. She has also appeared in New York in Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, Architecting, An Oak Tree, Saint Joan of the Stockyards, and The Women of Lockerbie. Her television credits include Louise on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” and “Law & Order.”

GABRIEL KAHANE (Music and Lyrics). His most recent recording as a singer-songwriter is Where are the Arms, which was released in 2011. As a composer of concert works, he has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet, American Composers Orchestra, the Caramoor Festival, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, for whom he serves as Composer-in-Residence from 2011-2013 through a Music Alive! grant from Meet-the-Composer. He has performed and/or recorded with, among others, Sufjan Stevens, Chris Thile, Brad Mehldau, and composer/conductor John Adams. In October, he makes his Carnegie Hall solo debut in a concert devoted to his music. He was also a MacDowell Colony Fellow in 2010 and 2011.

SETH BOCKLEY (Book). Seth’s plays include Ask Aunt Susan (featured at the Goodman’s New Stages Amplified series in November 2011); The Twins Would Like To Say (Dog & Pony); and Laika’s Coffin, Winter Pageant 2010, and Boneyard Prayer (Redmoon). His adaptations include Jon and CommComm (from shortstories by George Saunders) and directing credits include The Ugly One by Marius von Mayenburg (SideshowTheater); Civilization (all you can eat) by JasonGrote (Clubbed Thumb); 1001 by Jason Grote;and Jon, winner of the 2008 Jeff Citation for Best NewAdaptation (Collaboraction). He is a recipient ofTheater Communication Group’s “New Generations”and “On The Road” grants, and teaches at theUniversity of Chicago.

ABOUT THE PUBLIC THEATER’S DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION

The revitalization of The Public Theater’s downtown home will physically manifest the Company’s core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences by dramatically opening up its landmark building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. Designed by Ennead Architects, the project encompasses enhancements to the building’s interior and exterior while preserving the historic structure. Key elements of the design include infrastructure updates to the 158-year old building, as well as construction of new exterior entry stair and glass canopy; installation of ramps for improved accessibility; an expanded and refurbished lobby; the addition of a mezzanine level with a new lounge, designed by the Rockwell Group; expansion and remodeling of restroom facilities; and comprehensive exterior restoration, ensuring stability of the landmark façade.

THE PUBLIC THEATER (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, Executive Director)was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation’s preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals, and productions of classics at its downtown home and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public Theater’s mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day onstage and through extensive outreach programs. Each year, more than 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe’s Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theater’s productions have won 42 Tony Awards, 158 Obies, 42 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. Fifty-four Public Theater productions have moved to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; For Colored Girls…; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring In ‘da Noise, Bring In ‘da Funk; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Passing Strange; the revival of HAIR; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venicewww.publictheater.org.

#  #  #

TICKET INFORMATION FEBRUARY HOUSE begins performances on Tuesday, May 8 and runs through Sunday, June 10 in The Public Theater's Martinson Theater, with an official press opening on Tuesday, May 22. Post-performance talkbacks will be held following the performances on Wednesday, May 16 and Wednesday, May 23. Member tickets, priced at $40, are on sale now. Single tickets for FEBRUARY HOUSE, beginning at $80, are on sale now and can be purchased at (212) 967-7555, www.publictheater.org, or in person at The Public Theater box office. The performance schedule is Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.; and Sundays at 7 p.m. (There is no performance on Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m.) The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street. For more information, visit www.publictheater.org.

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