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Monday, 02 April 2012 16:01

Primary Stages New Production, THE MORINI STRAD, Opens Tomorrow, Tue, Apr 3







Tuesday, April 3 is opening night for Primary Stages (Casey Childs, Founder & Executive Producer; Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director; Elliot Fox, Managing Director) final production of their  27th season with the New York premiere of The Morini Strad, a new play by Willy Holtzman (Sabina).  Directed by Casey Childs, the cast features Michael Laurence (Krapp39, Broadway’s Talk Radio, Opus at Primary Stages), Tony® nominee Mary Beth Peil (“The Good Wife,” “Dawson’s Creek,” The King and I), and celebrated violin soloist Hanah Stuart (Chicago Symphony, Zankel Hall).  The limited engagement runs through April 28 at Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters.

{module ad_left_body}Inspired by the true New York story of concert violinist Erica Morini and her legendary Stradivarius violin, The Morini Strad is a delicate duet between Erica, a difficult former child prodigy, and Brian, a stubbornly independent violin maker she hires to restore and then sell her beloved Strad. As Brian makes the arrangements, the question of what will become of the priceless instrument threatens to destroy their unexpected friendship. Through classical music and fiery confrontations, Brian and Erica must face the choices they’ve made about their music and their lives.

“Primary Stages has enjoyed a long and productive relationship developing and producing the plays of Willy Holtzman,” says director and Primary Stages Founder and Executive Producer Casey Childs.  “With his new work, The Morini Strad, Willy challenges us to examine the commitment of artists to society and to themselves. The script is a magical concerto about the nature of friendship and being true to one’s artistic potential.”

The Morini Strad features a set design by Neil Patel, costume design by David C. Woolard, lighting design by Mary Louise Geiger, original music and sound design by Lindsay Jones, and projection design by Jan Hartley.

LISTINGS INFORMATION: The Morini Strad plays a limited engagement through April 28 at Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7:00pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 2:00pm & 8:00pm, with a Sunday matinee at 3:00pm on April 8. There will be a special matinee on Wednesday April 11 at 2:00pm. Single tickets are priced at $45 for preview performances (March 20 – April 1) and $65 for all performances after April 3. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200, online at, or in person at the 59E59 Theaters Box Office.    Group Tickets (10+) are $35 each for preview performances and $45 each for all performances after April 3,  and are available by calling (212) 840-9705, ext. 204.  Please visit the website at, or call (212) 840-9705 for additional information.

For theater patrons 35 and under, Primary Stages offers specially priced $20 tickets (maximum two tickets per valid ID).  Advance tickets are available through Ticket Central using code PS35.  Failure to present a valid ID will result in an additional fee. All tickets are subject to availability.


MICHAEL LAURENCE previously appeared at Primary Stages in Opus by Michael Hollinger. He is the playwright and performer of Krapp,39, which ran for six months Off-Broadway and in London and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award (“Best Solo Performance” 2009). Other recent acting credits include the Broadway revivals of Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio and Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms, the Off-Broadway premiere of Dael Orlandersmith’s Horsedreams (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), the Off-Broadway premiere of Diary of a Teenage Girl (New Georges/3LD), the Off-Broadway revival of Two Rooms by Lee Blessing (Platform Group), John Proctor in The Crucible (Hartford Stage), Starbuck in The Rainmaker (Arena Stage), Eric Bogosian’s Humpty Dumpty (McCarter), Tooth of Crime and Book of Days (Signature Theater, NYC). TV: “The Good Wife”, “Person of Interest”, “Third Watch”, “Johnny Zero”, “FX”, “GhostStories”, “As the World Turns”, “What’s Not To Love?” for Showtime. He recently played the recurring roles of Barry the Homeless Man on the FX series “Damages”, and of Cutter The Vet on “The Heart She Holler” for Adult Swim. Film: One for the Money (w/ Katherine Heigl), Man on a Ledge (w/ Sam Worthington & Ed Harris), Vijay & I (upcoming), Second Child, The Operator, Follow Me Outside, Room 314, Escape Artists, Claire Dolan, Torte Blume, Tell Me The Truth, The Chase, Standing In the Current, Love God, The Minister’s Black Veil, Particles of Truth. As a playwright, Michael is the author of the plays Krapp39, The Escape Artist, Virgil’s Cauldron, and the co-creator (with playwright-performer Edgar Oliver) of Chop Off Your Ear. He also wrote and directed the independent feature film Escape Artists. His latest play, Hamlet In Bed, is currently in development. He is a graduate of NYU’s Experimental Theatre Wing.

 MARY BETH PEIL. Broadway: Follies, Women on the Verge…Sunday in the Park with George, Nine(Outer Critics Circle nom.), The King and I (Tony nom.). Off Broadway: The Room, Frame 312, Missing Persons/Obie, Hedda Gabler, First Lady Suite, As Thousands Cheer, Laterlife, Cheever Evening/Obie, Sylvia, Finding the Sun, Naked Truth/Obie.  Regional: Third Story, 33 Variations/Helen Hayes Nom., Month in the Country, Mproust (Jefferson Nom.), The Cocktail Hour, Madagascar, Wit, Sweeney Todd, Hayfever, Hamlet.  Film: Mirrors, Flags of our Fathers, Stepford Wives, Odd Couple 2.  Television: “The Good Wife”, “Dawson’s Creek”, “Fringe”, “Law & Order: SVU”, “Law & Order”, “The Reagans”, “Summer and Smoke” (PBS Great Performances).  Young Concert Artists Alum; Metropolitan Opera National Company; New York City Opera; Atlantic Theater Company Ensemble Member.

HANAH ELIZABETH STUART, born in the USA in 1987, began studying the violin at age five. She graduated from The Juilliard School with her Masters in May 2011 under David Chan. Miss Stuart was a featured artist soloing with the 2011 Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra this past season under Meastro Nicholas McGegan. Hanah has also been featured in Masterclasses internationally including gala performances at the 2010 Keshet Eilon Mastercourse and the 2009 Kronberg Academy Masterclass, playing for Christian Tetzlaff and Gidon Kremer. She made her Chicago Symphony Center debut at age 16 and has since been an international performer.

WILLY HOLTZMAN (Playwright) Plays include:  The Morini Strad (Portland Stage Company, City Theatre, developed at PlayPenn and Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival), The Real McGonagall (Portland Stage Company, New Harmony Project - Wangerin Award), Something You Did (Primary Stages, People’s Light and Theatre, Theatre J, commissioned by Baltimore Center Stage), Sabina (Primary Stages, New Jewish Theatre),  Hearts  (People's Light and Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Asolo Theatre, New Jewish Theatre of St. Louis; received the Barrymore Award, the inaugural Arthur Miller Award, and was anthologized in Smith and Kraus Best New Plays),  Bovver Boys (Primary Stages, Cleveland Play House, Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Curtain Theatre),  The Closer (GeVa Theatre - Davie Award; The Working Theatre), Inside Out (commissioned and produced by Theatre for a New Audience, Portland Stage Company, Nebraska Rep), The Last Temptation of Joe Hill (The Working Theatre), Blanco (Goodspeed Opera House Norma Terris Theatre), White Trash (West Bank Cabaret),San Antonio Sunset (published in Best Short Plays and produced in New York, Los Angeles, London, Dublin, Mumbai).  Voices in Conflict (created with Wilton, CT high school students and presented at The Public Theatre, The Vineyard Theatre and The Culture Project). Willy wrote the independent film, Edge of America, (2004 Sundance Film Festival Opening Night selection, Tribeca Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival, Hamptons Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival – Best Picture) for which he received the Peabody Award, the Humanitas Prize, and the Writers Guild Award.  He was the Lila Wallace Resident Playwright at Juilliard.  He has worked with young writers through the 52d Street Project in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen and on the Navajo Reservation.  He serves on the board of New Dramatists (where as a member he received the Calloway Award) and Harlem Stage Company. 

 CASEY CHILDS (Director/ Founder and Executive Producer, Primary Stages)  founded Primary Stages in 1984 and has directed many productions for the company. He served as the Artistic Program Director for the New Dramatists from 1981 until 1985 and has directed other new plays off-Broadway including Lanie Robertson’s Woman Before a Glass at the Promenade Theatre.  Casey is the recipient of the Carnegie-Mellon University Commitment to New Playwrights’ Award, as well as two Emmy Awards and many nominations for his extensive work in television. He is a past Vice President of the Directors’ Guild of America and a past trustee of The National Association of Television Arts and Sciences. He has taught at many universities including Columbia’s School of Film, New York University and Duke, and is currently an associate fellow at Calhoun College at Yale University. Casey has a BFA in acting and an MFA in directing from Carnegie-Mellon University.

PRIMARY STAGES is an Off-Broadway theater company dedicated to inspiring, supporting, and sharing the art of playwriting. Under the leadership of Founder and Executive Producer Casey Childs, Artistic Director Andrew Leynse and Managing Director Elliot Fox, we operate on the strongly held belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights and giving them the artistic support needed to create new work. Primary Stages produces new plays at 59E59 Theaters, where we have been the Resident Theater Company since its inauguration in 2004. Since our founding in 1984, we have produced more than 100 new plays, including Charles Busch’s Olive and the Bitter Herbs; A.R. Gurney’s Black Tie; Horton Foote’s Dividing the Estate (Two 2009 Tony Award® nominations); Brooke Berman’s Hunting and Gathering (one of New York Magazine’s Top Ten Plays of 2008); Terrence McNally’s Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams (starring Nathan Lane and Marian Seldes) and The Stendhal Syndrome (featuring Isabella Rossellini and Richard Thomas); Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter’s In the Continuum (which went on to tour the U.S., Africa, and Scotland); David Ives’ All in the Timing; and Conor McPherson’s St. Nicholas (which marked the playwright’s U.S. debut). In 2008, Primary Stages was honored with the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, which encompasses much more than the plays we produce for the stage. Primary Stages supports playwrights and develops new works through commissions, workshops, readings, and our two flagship programs: The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group and the Marvin and Anne Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA).  Through these programs, Primary Stages advocates for our artists, helping them make important—and often transformative—connections within the theater community. For more information about Primary Stages, visit