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Tuesday, 18 June 2013 12:17

MCC Theater Announces Complete 2013-14 Season Including Maggie Gyllenhaal Starring in THE VILLAGE BIKE














New York, NY – MCC THEATER (Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, William Cantler, Artistic Directors; Blake West, Executive Director) is pleased to announce the addition of Penelope Skinner’s play The Village Bike  and Robert Askins’ Hand to God to its 2013-14 Season, which will now feature four new productions in total.  The North American premiere of Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike, directed by Sam Gold (Circle Mirror Transformation), will star Academy Award® nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart, The Dark Knight) and be performed at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street, NYC) beginning May 21, 2014 with an official opening on June 9, 2014.  The Off-Broadway premiere of Robert AskinsHand to God, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel and starring Steven Boyer (Modern Terrorism, The Wolf of Wall Street), will also play the Lucille Lortel Theatre, beginning on February 20, 2014 with an official opening on March 11, 2014Hand to God originally debuted at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in 2011-2012 where it went on to an acclaimed, extended run.  These plays join the previously announced Broadway premiere of the Mary-Louise Parker-starrer The Snow Geese by MCC alum Sharr White, which is a co-production with Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) set for October 1 through December 15, 2013 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre; and the New York premiere of John Pollono’s Small Engine Repair, set for October 30 through December 8, 2013 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

In Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike, Becky (Gyllenhaal) is pregnant – and friskier than ever. But she can’t seem to get the attention of her husband, who is preoccupied with preparing for the baby’s months-away arrival. So Becky takes matters into her own hands and sets out on an adventure that starts with the purchase of a used bike from a man in town and takes her further than she ever expected she’d go.  Playwright Skinner won the Evening Standard Award Most Promising Playwright for The Village Bike in 2011, which premiered to rave reviews and sold-out audiences at The Royal Court Theatre in London.  Her other plays include Fred’s Diner (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Sound of Heavy Rain (Paines Plough), Greenland (National Theatre), Eigengrau (The Bush) and Fucked (Old Red Lion); current commissions include for The Royal Court and The National Theatre. She writes for the television series "Fresh Meat,” has co-written the film How I Live Now, directed by Kevin Macdonald, and has recently come on board to write the film Mary Stuart for the director Susanne Bier and Working Title. She is also the recipient of the 2011 George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright for The Village Bike.

Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Village Bike) received an Oscar nomination opposite Jeff Bridges in the film Crazy Heart, and had her breakout at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival with her acclaimed performance in Secretary.  Her extensive film credits include:  The Dark Knight, Away We Go, Sherrybaby, Happy Endings, Donnie Darko, Adaptation, Stranger Than Fiction, Mona Lisa Smile, among many others,and the upcoming White House Down opposite Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, and Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank with Michael Fassbender.  Also accomplished on stage, Gyllenhaal starred in Patrick Marber’s award-winning Closer at the Mark Taper Forum; Three Sisters with Peter Sarsgaard, Jessica Hecht, and Josh Hamilton; Anthony and Cleopatra at the Vanborough Theatre in London; Tony Kushner’s play Homebody/Kabul; and alongside Peter Sarsgaard and Mamie Gummer in Uncle Vanya.  Gyllenhaal is a 1999 graduate of Columbia University where she studied Literature.  A full biography appears below.

Director Sam Gold’s (The Village Bike)extensive theater credits include: Picnic (Roundabout at the American Airlines Theatre) and Seminar (Golden Theatre; also Ahmanson, L.A.) on Broadway, as well as The Flick (Playwrights Horizons), Fun Home (The Public Theater), Uncle Vanya (Soho Rep), The Realistic Joneses (Yale Rep., CT Critics Circle Award), The Big Meal (Playwrights Horizons; Lortel Award), Look Back in Anger (Roundabout, Lortel nomination), Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons; Drama Desk nomination, Obie Award), The Aliens (Rattlestick, Obie Award).  Mr. Gold is a graduate of the Juilliard Directing Program, NYTW Usual Suspect, Drama League Directing Fellow, recipient of the Princess Grace Award and Resident Director at Roundabout Theatre Company.

In Hand to God, the good children of Cypress, Texas are taught to obey the Bible in order to evade Satan’s hand. But when students at the Christian Puppet Ministry put those teachings into practice, one devout young man's puppet takes on a shocking personality that no one could have expected. In this hilarious and lightning-paced comedy, a foul-mouthed sock puppet named Tyrone soon teaches those around him that the urges that can drive a person to give in to their darkest desires fit like a glove.

PlaywrightRobert Askins (Hand to God) was born in Cypress, Texas in 1980. He moved to New York in 2005.  In 2009 his play Princes of Waco was produced by EST/Youngblood. His one act play Matthew and the Pastor's Wife was a part of Marathon 2010 at EST and The Love Song of the Albanian Sous Chef won a Dallas Outer Circle Critics award in 2011.  Most recently Rob’s Obie Award-winning play Hand to God enjoyed three sold out runs at EST in 2011-12.  Mr. Askins is proud to be an alumnus of I-73, Youngblood, and a member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre.  He has received two E.S.T./Sloan grants, an Arch and Bruce Davis Award and is one of the 2012 recipients of the Helen Merrill Award for emerging playwrights. 

Director Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Hand to God) is the Artistic Director of Studio 42. New York directing credits include Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ars Nova, Rising Phoenix Rep, poortom, Red Fern, FringeNYC, Vital, Drama League, Culture Project, Chashama, HERE, and others. Regional: Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Kennedy Center, Millbrook Playhouse, American Stage Festival, Red Barn, Allentown Shakespeare, and Boston Playwrights. Moritz has also helped develop new plays at the Lark, NYTW, Playwrights Horizons, Vineyard Theatre, Dramatists Guild, Ma-Yi, the Kennedy Center, New River Dramatists, Partial Comfort, 2G, TBTB, Williamstown, Astoria Performing Arts Center and Young Playwrights. He is a frequent collaborator with the Youngblood writers’ collective at EST. He was the associate director for Broadway’s Tony-nominated Cry-Baby. He has been a Resident Director at Playwrights Horizons, The Acting Company, and the Huntington Theatre Company. 2005: Drama League’s Fall Directing Fellowship; 2007: Boris Sagal Fellowship at Williamstown. Moritz is an adjunct instructor at Fordham University, and has been a guest director at over a dozen universities, including Juilliard, NYU, Boston University, Fordham, University of Rochester, and Connecticut College.

Actor Steven Boyer has appeared on Broadway in I’m Not Rappaport and Off-Broadway’s The Explorers Club (MTC), Modern Terrorism (Second Stage), Hand to God (OBIE Award, Ensemble Studio Theatre), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Encores), Motel Cherry (Clubbed Thumb), The Ugly One (Soho Rep), School for Lies (Classic Stage Co), The Coward (LCT3), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (The Public). TV/Film: upcoming Martin Scorsese film The Wolf of Wall Street, “Louie,” “Person of Interest,” “Law & Order,” “Ed”, Did You Hear About The Morgans?, The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best. Training: Julliard. Member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre. Steven also stars in the new independent sitcom pilot from Emily Chadick Weiss, “The Share.”

As previously announced in a joint statement with MTC, MCC will also partner with Manhattan Theatre Club to co-produce the world premiere Broadway production of The Snow Geese by Sharr White (The Other Place) and starring Tony® and Emmy® Award-winning Mary Louise Parker (Proof, Showtime’s “Weeds,” HBO’s “Angels in America”), set for an 11-week strictly limited engagement at the Samuel Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street).  Tony® Award winner Daniel Sullivan is set to direct, having previously worked with Parker on David Auburn’s ProofThe Snow Geese begins previews on October 1st and opens on October 24th.  This production marks the second collaboration between MTC, MCC, and playwright Sharr White. In Winter 2013, MTC produced the acclaimed Broadway premiere of White’s play The Other Place, starring Laurie Metcalf, which had its world premiere at MCC Theater in 2011.

The Snow Geese begins with World War I raging abroad.  Newly widowed Elizabeth Gaesling (Mary-Louise Parker) gathers her family for their annual shooting party to mark the opening of hunting season in rural, upstate New York. But Elizabeth is forced to confront a new reality as her carefree eldest son comes to terms with his impending deployment overseas and her younger son discovers that the father they all revered left them deeply in debt.  Together, the family must let go of the life they’ve always known. 

In addition to The Village Bike and The Snow Geese, MCC previously announced the New York premiere of Small Engine Repair by John Pollono, to be directed by Jo Bonney (Neil LaBute's The Break of Noon, Some Girl(s), Fat Pig).  Small Engine Repair, which had previously been scheduled for MCC’s 2012-13 Season, will be performed at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street, NYC) beginning October 30th with an official opening on November 18th.

In Small Engine Repair, former high school buddies Frank, Swaino and Packie meet off-hours in Frank’s out-of-the-way repair shop under cloudy circumstances that only Frank has a handle on. Enter Chad, a plugged-in, privileged college jock, whose arrival sets off an explosion of long-simmering resentment in this taut, twisty, comic thriller.

A hit at L.A.’s Rogue Machine Theatre, where it received its world premiere in 2011, Small Engine Repair now makes its New York Premiere at MCC Theater with a new production by John Pollono, whose dazzling play took home nearly every theater award in the city of angels, including the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Playwriting.

MCC Theater will offer subscribers the opportunity to book 3-Play (all 3 Off-Broadway productions at the Lortel) or 4-Play (all Lortel productions plus Broadway’s The Snow Geese) Subscriptions, as well as a First-Look Subscription (access to one of the first 10 performances of each production), Under 30 Tickets, and Flex Tickets.  Regular ticket prices are $69 and $89.

MCC Theater – founded in 1986 as Manhattan Class Company – is committed to developing and producing new work that challenges artists and rewards audiences.  Our mission is carried out through an annual season of world, American, and New York premieres, literary development programs for emerging writers, and ground-breaking education programs that enable more than 1,000 New York City high school students to find - and use - their own unique voice each year through the creation and performance of original theater pieces.  Notable MCC Theater highlights include: the New York premiere of The Other Place starring Laurie Metcalf (which transferred to Broadway during the 2012-13 Season); the 2008 Tony Award-nominated Reasons to Be Pretty by Neil LaBute, The Pride, Fifty Words, the 2004 Tony-winning production of Bryony Lavery’s Frozen, Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig,Rebecca Gilman’s The Glory of Living, Marsha Norman’s Trudy Blue, Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit, Tim Blake Nelson’s The Grey Zone, Alan Bowne’s Beirut, The Submission, winner of the inaugural Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for new American plays, and last season’s newly reworked and fully re-imagined production of Carrie, the musical.  Over the years, the dedication to the work of new and emerging artists has earned MCC Theater a variety of awards.

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MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL is one of the great young actresses of today.  She gained critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for "Best Supporting Actress" for her portrayal of Jean Craddock in Crazy Heart alongside Jeff Bridges, further exemplifying her talent and versatility as an actress.  After receiving rave reviews out of the 2002 Sundance competition for her starring role opposite James Spader in Lion’s Gate’s Secretary, she went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical”, an Independent Spirit Award nomination for “Best Actress”, a Chicago Film Critics’ Award for “Most Promising Performer”, A Boston Film Critics’ Award for “Best Actress”, a National Board of Review Award for “Breakthrough Performance” and an IFP/ Gotham “Breakthrough Performance” Award. 

Maggie made her feature film debut in 1992, alongside Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke in Waterland.  This was followed by a memorable performance as “Raven”, the Satan-worshipping make-up artist in John Waters’ quirky Hollywood satire, Cecil B. Demented, which led her to a co-starring role in Donnie Darko, a fantasy-thriller about disturbed adolescence. 

Years later, back at Sundance in 2007, Maggie starred in Sherrybaby; she played a female convict struggling to overcome her drug addiction and regain custody of her daughter.  The film was well-received by critics and garnered her second Golden Globe nomination, this time for Best Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama.  Gyllenhaal was also nominated for a 2006 Independent Spirit Award for her role in Don Roos’ Happy Endings, opposite Lisa Kudrow and Tom Arnold.

She was Rachel Dawes in the Warner Bros. box office hit Dark Knight directed by Chris Nolan. She was also seen in Sam Mendes’s Away We Go.

In August 2006, Maggie was seen in Trust the Man with Julianne Moore, Billy Crudup and David Duchovny and in Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center with Maria Bello and Nicholas Cage.  She also starred in Marc Forster’s Stranger Than Fiction with Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah and Emma Thompson.  In the past few years, she appeared in John Sayles’ Casa De Los Babys with Daryl Hannah and Lily Taylor and Mike Newell’s much-anticipated Mona Lisa Smile in which Maggie co-starred with Julia Roberts, Julia Stiles and Kirsten Dunst.  She was also seen in Criminal with Diego Luna and John C. Reilly as well as Spike Jonze’s Adaptation.

Also accomplished on stage, Gyllenhaal starred as “Alice” in Patrick Mauber’s award-winning Closer at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles for director Robert Egan, and previously at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.  She has also appeared in Anthony and Cleopatra at the Vanborough Theatre in London.  In 2004, Maggie starred in Tony Kushner’s play Homebody/Kabul, which ran in both Los Angeles and at B.A.M.   Maggie also appeared alongside Peter Sarsgaard and Mamie Gummer in Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov.

In August 2010, Maggie was seen in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang with Emma Thompson. In 2011, Maggie appeared in the Anton Chekhov play Three Sisters alongside Peter Sarsgaard, Jessica Hecht and Josh Hamilton and also starred alongside Hugh Dancy in the romantic comedy, Hysteria. In 2012, Maggie starred in the drama, Won’t Back Down alongside Viola Davis and directed by Daniel Barnz.

Maggie will next be seen in White House Down, directed by Roland Emmerich in which she will star alongside Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. She recently completed production on Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank, also starring Michael Fassbender, set to be released later in 2013.

Gyllenhaal is a 1999 graduate of Columbia University where she studied Literature.