MAC WELLMAN: PERFECT CATASTROPHES

The Flea presents a festival of plays by influential avant-garde playwright Mac Wellman.
August 24 – November 1 at The Flea

Buy tickets HERE.


The Flea Theater presents MAC WELLMAN: PERFECT CATASTROPHES, A FESTIVAL OF PLAYS featuring full productions of five works by Wellman. As a part of the festival, The Flea will hold a symposium examining Mac Wellman's profound impact on the American theater, from October 4 through 6. MAC WELLMAN: PERFECT CATASTROPHES, A FESTIVAL OF PLAYS runs August 24 - November 1. Included are:

SINCERITY FOREVER
Directed by Resident Director Dina Vovsi
August 24 - October 7 in The Siggy, opening September 7.
Sincerity Forever is a comedy about a group of young residents from the fictional southern town of Hillsbottom, a place with a prominent community of Ku Klux Klan members, many of them in their teens. They hang out in their cars on serene nights with friends and crushes, and question, as teens do, absolutely everything.


BAD PENNY
Directed by Associate Artist Kristan Seemel
August 24 - October 7 in The Pete opening September 7.
A man and a woman sit in a park. They appear to be a couple, but aren’t. The man is clutching a car tire. The woman has a penny in her pocket. The mythical Boatman of Bow Bridge is coming. He is coming to take away the person who is in possession of the penny. How do we make choices in the face of the end of the world as we know it?

THE INVENTION OF TRAGEDY
World Premiere
Directed by Guest Artist Meghan Finn
September 7 - October 14in The Sam, opening September 21.
A chorus of students, all alike and all unalike, are trying like the devil to tell a simple story—perhaps the story about the tragedy of the Sandwich Man—with sandwich boards upon which nothing is written, and hence, say nothing. The Invention of Tragedy is Wellman’s examination of the post-9/11 world and America’s general and genial acceptance of the Iraq war.

THE SANDALWOOD BOX *
Directed by Resident Directors Kate Moore Heaney and Tyler Thomas
September 26 - November 1 in The Siggy, opening October 5.
In a surreal landscape on the border between dream and reality we follow the journey of Marsha Gates, a young college student who has lost her voice. On her way to speech therapy, Marsha meets Professor Claudia Mitchell, who captures the most captivating catastrophes of the world and preserves them in a sandalwood box.

THE FEZ*
World Premiere
Directed by Associate Artist Michael Raine
September 26 through November 1 in The Siggy,  opening October 5.
The charmed spell of the theater has somehow absented itself, and something strange
happens. A play that was originally printed on a tee shirt is finally produced!

* The Sandalwood Box and The Fez will be presented on a double-bill as one performance.

BIOGRAPHIES

Mac Wellman’s work includes: The Offending Gesture, directed by Meghan Finn at the Connelly Theater in 2016; Horrocks (and Toutatis Too) Woo World Wu at Emerson College in Boston in 2013 (with Erin Mallon & Tim Sirgusa); Muazzez at the Chocolate Factory (PS122’s COIL Festival) with Steve Mellor, in 2014; 3 2’s; or AFAR at Dixon Place in October 2011, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (with composer David Lang) at Montclair in the fall of 2006 and 1965 UU for performer Paul Lazar, and directed by Stephen Mellor at the Chocolate Factory in the fall of 2008. He has received numerous honors, including NEA, Guggenheim, and Foundation of Contemporary Arts fellowships. In 2003 he received his third Obie, for lifetime Achievement. In 2006 his third novel, Q’s Q, was published by Green Integer, and in 2008 a volume of stories, A Chronicle of the Madness of Small Worlds, was published by Trip Street Press as well as a new collection of plays The Difficulty of Crossing a Field from Minnesota Press. His books of poetry include Miniature (2002), Strange Elegies (2006), Split the Stick (2012) from Roof Books, and Left Glove (2011), from Solid Objects Press. His novel Linda Perdido won the 2011 FC2 Catherine Doctorow Prize for Innovative Fiction. He is Distinguished Professor of Play Writing at Brooklyn College.

Meghan Finn is the Artistic Director of The Tank. She previously directed the World Premieres of Mac Wellman's The Offending Gesture (The Tank/3LD) and 3,2's; or AFAR (Dixon Place) as well as several other productions of his work. Other highlights include:  WHEN WE WENT ELECTRONIC by Caitlyn Saylor Stephens (The Tank); Manufacturing Mischief: A Noam Chomsky Puppet Play (Pedro Reyes at The Tank, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, The Power Plant Art Gallery/Canadian Stage, Serpentine Gallery London, Museo Jumex Mexico City, Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, The Night of Philosophy at the Brooklyn Public Library, the Savannah College of Art and Design); DOOMOCRACY (Pedro Reyes for Creative Time); American Power by Mitch Epstein and Erik Friedlander (V&A London, The Wexner Center), The Service Road by Erin Courtney (Adhesive Theater Project); CHARLESES by Carl Holder (The Tank); Sam's Tea Shack by Sam Soghor and Ben Gassman (The Tank). www.thetanknyc.org

Dina Vovsi is a New York-based director and theatermaker. Current and upcoming: The Only Ones (Working Theater 5 Boroughs 1 City commission co-created with Liba Vaynberg). Recent: Drive (The Civilians' R&D Group), Iphigenia and Other Daughters (LIU Post), Untitled Parlor Play, or, For Home Amusement (Access Residency), First by Faith: The Life of Mary McLeod Bethune (United Solo, Best Educational Show), The Bastard (Dixon Place), Visiting Hours (TheaterLab). Dina has developed new work at The Culture Project’s Women Center Stage, The Barn Arts Collective, FringeNYC, Working Theater, Atlantic Acting School, Pipeline Theatre Company, Fresh Ground Pepper, Theatre 167, The Flea. Assistant directing: Broadway, off-Broadway, and regionally, with Roundabout, Playwrights Horizons, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Spoleto Festival USA. Dina is a Resident Director at The Flea and a member of the 2018-2019 Civilians R&D Group. She has been a Robert Moss Directing Fellow at Playwrights Horizons, the recipient of an SDC Foundation Observership, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab, an O'Neill National Directors Fellowship Finalist, and a Mass MoCA Assets for Artists Grantee. www.dinavovsi.com

Kristan Seemel, before coming to New York, was a freelance director in Oregon for the better part of a decade. While on the other coast, he worked for eight seasons at Portland Center Stage, first as a Literary Associate and later as Corporate Development Associate during the organization’s transition into the historic Armory Theater, a world-renowned Green Building project. Kristan came up in the theater working on new plays, serving as dramaturg on a score of premiere productions and developmental workshops. He recently directed HYPE MAN: a break beat play (The Flea). His passion for new American writing is clear from his direction of premiers such as Mary-Kate Olsen is in Love by Mallery Avidon and The Electric Lighthouse by Ed Himes (The Flea). Other new plays Kristan has directed include Mutt by Lava Alapai (Many Hats Collective) and The Verspiary by Matthew Zrebski (Stark Raving Theatre) as well as NW regional premieres of Carlos Murillo’s Mimesophobia (Sand & Glass Productions), The Long Christmas Ride Home by Paula Vogel (TheatreVertigo) and Mac Wellman’s A Murder of Crows (defunkt theatre). He has developed new plays with Playwrights Horizons/Clubbed Thumb (SuperLab), The Lark, Brave New World Repertory Theater, Spookfish and The Barn Arts Collective. Kristan is a graduate of the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA program. Kristan’s staging of Gertrude Stein’s Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights (defunkt theatre) garnered him a Portland Dramatic Critics Circle award (Drammy) for Outstanding Direction. Kristan is a proud alumnus of the 2012/13 Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and  the SDCF Observership Program. www.kristanseemel.com

Kate Moore Heaney is a NYC-based director, producer, and dramaturg committed to promoting empathy and investigating social, political, and human rights issues through theatre. Kate is Artistic Producer at Noor Theatre, Co-Program Director of the Amoralists’ ‘Wright Club, and a Resident Director at The Flea.  She has directed with the Amoralists, The Civilians’ R&D Group, The Shakespeare Society, The PIT, Theatre 4the People, Directors’ Gathering Jam, and more. She has worked, trained, and/or assistant directed with Ibex Theatricals/The New Vic, McCarter Theatre, Second Stage, Clubbed Thumb, CRY HAVOC, Yale Institute for Music Theatre, Théâtre du Châtelet, and 24 Hour Plays on Broadway. BA: Yale. www.katemooreheaney.com

Tyler Thomas is a NYC-based theater maker, focused primarily on ensemble-driven, multidisciplinary work reframing marginal space, narrative, and event. Her work has been shown at Signature Theatre, The New Ohio, The Flea, New York Musical Festival, HERE Arts Center, Paradise Factory, and various theaters across NYU. She is a former SDCF Observer, member of the  Lincoln Center Directors' Lab, Visiting Artist at the Athens Conservatoire in Greece, and current Resident Director at The Flea Theater. As an assistant director, she has worked with Lear deBessonet, Taibi Magar, Jo Bonney, Niegel Smith, Lee Sunday Evans, Katie Brook, and as associate dramaturg for The Builders Association. Tyler holds a BFA in Drama and MA in Arts Politics) from NYU Tisch. She is a native of Louisiana.

Michael Raine is a NYC based director and choreographer. A long-time rabble-rouser at the Flea, Michael joined the Resident Director program in 2014. During his time at The Flea, Michael has directed the Grand-Guignol classic The System, Catya McMullen’s LOCKED UP BITCHES and two installments of Flea Fridays: Appropriation, Inspiration and Representation, written by Liz Morgan and How Color Brave Are You? co-directed with Niegel Smith. Michael is currently the artistic producer of SERIALS, where he has directed dozens of episodes, including recent hits The Factory by Brian Kettler and Cats: In the Original Dialect, also with Liz Morgan. A life-long tap dancer at heart, Michael’s choreography has been seen regionally and around New York, including Yale Rep, Joe’s Pub, Theater for a New City, NYMF, and the Folksbiene, five seasons at the Weston Playhouse and the Japanese tour of Rent. Michael has choreographed productions for Juilliard Drama, CAP21, Brooklyn College and University of Miami as well as over 20 productions as a member of the faculty for NYU’s graduate acting department, where he has been teaching un-gendered social and ballroom dancing.

The Bats are the resident acting company members of The Flea Theater. Each season, hundreds of actors audition for a place in this unique company. The Bats perform in extended runs of challenging classics, as well world premieres of new plays. They are the lifeblood of The Flea.

The Flea Theater, under Artistic Director Niegel Smith and Producing Director Carol Ostrow, is one of New York's leading Off-Off-Broadway companies. Winner of several Obie Awards, a Special Drama Desk Award for outstanding achievement and an Otto Award for political theater, The Flea has presented over 100 theatrical, musical and dance performances since its inception in 1996. Past productions include premieres by Steven Banks, Thomas Bradshaw, Erin Courtney, Bathsheba Doran, Will Eno, Karen Finley, Amy Freed, Sarah Gancher, Sean Graney, A.R. Gurney, Jennifer Haley, Hamish Linklater, Enrique Gutiérrez, Ellen McLaughlin, Ortiz Monasterio, Itamar Moses, Anne Nelson, NSangou Njikam, Qui Nguyen, Adam Rapp, Jonathan Reynolds, Kate Robbins, Roger Rosenblatt, Todd Solondz, Elizabeth Swados, and Mac Wellman. Successes include Drama Desk nominated She Kills Monsters, New York Times Critics’ Pick Inanimate, Syncing Ink, These Seven Sicknesses, Restoration Comedy, The Mysteries and ten World Premiere productions by A.R. Gurney, including the WSJ Best New Play of 2013, Family Furniture.

MAC WELLMAN: PERFECT CATASTROPHES, A FESTIVAL OF PLAYS runs August 24 through November 1, Thursdays through Mondays at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets start at $37 with a limited number of $17 tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Flea Theater is located at 20 Thomas Street between Church and Broadway, three blocks north of Chambers, close to the A/C/E, N/Q/R/W, 4/5/6, J/M/Z and 1/2/3 subway lines. Purchase tickets by calling 212-352-3101 or online at www.theflea.org.