Culture Project and Rosie O’Donnell to Present the World Premiere of “Motherstruck”
Rick Miramontez/ Lily Robinson/ Patrick Lazour
FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT OF A NEW
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
CULTURE PROJECT AND ROSIE O’DONNELL
TO PRESENT THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
“M O T H E R S T R U C K”
A NEW PLAY
WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY STACEYANN CHIN
DIRECTED BY CYNTHIA NIXON
PREVIEWS BEGIN SEPTEMBER 24th
AT CULTURE PROJECT’S LYNN REDGRAVE THEATER
45 BLEECKER STREET
OPENING NIGHT SET FOR WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7th
New York, NY (June 24, 2015) – From the producers of NIRBHAYA, The Exonerated, Guantanamo and Sarah Jones’ Bridge & Tunnel, Culture Project along with Rosie O’Donnell will present the world premiere of MotherStruck written and performed by Staceyann Chin and directed by Cynthia Nixon, beginning Thursday, September 24th, 2015 at Culture Project’s Lynn Redgrave Theater. Opening Night is set for Wednesday, October 7th.
MotherStruck sets forth Staceyann Chin’s personal journey to motherhood as a single woman, lesbian and activist who does not have health insurance or a “serious, stable financial set up,” but wants to have a child. Told through Chin’s uniquely personal and poetic lens, this solo show explores how the process changed her life and how she makes peace with what she learns from this profound experience.
MotherStruck will play the following performance schedule: Tuesdays through Fridays at 8:00PM, Saturdays at 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM, and Sundays at 5:00PM.
Ticket prices range between $22.50 and $82.50. Tickets are available online at cultureproject.org or via phone by calling OvationTix at (866) 811-4111.
For additional information, please send inquires to email@example.com, or call (212) 925-1806.
Statements from the production team_______________________________________
“I’m so excited about working with Culture Project on this play. Culture Project has always been a space that bellows aloud the stories of the marginalized and dispossessed. Today, Allan Buchman and his team remain committed to supporting the kind of silent voices that are missing from mainstream media and the kind of marginalized existence, which includes, but is not limited to that of a single black lesbian choosing to become a mother through artificial reproductive prophecies.”
- Author and performer Staceyann Chin
“I had been a fan of Staceyann Chin’s since I saw her on Broadway in Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam in 2001 and was knocked out by her incredible facility with the spoken word form and her fantastically ferocious persona. Our paths had crossed casually a number of times since then. I was lucky enough to bump into her in 2009 just as her memoir The Other Side of Paradise was coming out and thank God she handed me a copy. I promptly devoured it and sent her an ecstatic e-mail. When she approached me last year about directing MotherStruck I read it and said yes within a matter of hours. As when I read her memoir, I was stunned by Staceyann’s ability to recall in such depth biographical details of her life, both recent and long ago. She is leading a remarkable life that is fascinating to hear about because of the many seemingly insurmountable obstacles she has overcome, but it is also fascinating because of the way in which she chooses to tell you about it–the humor, the drama, the poetry, the political backdrop, the jaw-dropping specificity–that compels you to listen as long as she is speaking. Staceyann is a national treasure, and I’m so proud and excited to be part of the telling of this most precious chapter in her life.”
- Director Cynthia Nixon
“Staceyann Chin expresses herself in a viscerally poignant and authentically compelling voice. I ‘met’ Staceyann several years ago through her memoir, The Other Side of Paradise. Her account of growing up alone in Jamaica, without parents, of her plucky and deeply funny perspective about her unlikely survival, and of finding her voice in New York City, moved me deeply. It is thrilling to know Staceyann and to be a part of the team bringing the next chapters of her story to a larger audience. Staceyann is an incredibly skilled storyteller whose orations highlight the complexity of being human, activist, woman, and other. MotherStruck is the insightful narrative of one woman embracing the idea of the Modern Family, of Staceyann’s journey towards and through motherhood. Each nuanced twist and related turn reminds us that we are all striving to be better, better to our parents, better to our children, better in the mad rush towards our most beautiful reflective selves.”
- Producer Rosie O’Donnell
“From the moment this brash young woman sat next to me at a downtown poetry slam, I knew I was encountering someone special. Staceyann proceeded to kick a poem that sent shivers up and down my spine. She dug deeper from her well of conviction than any artist I had ever encountered. Only truth remained sacred. The only possible conclusion at the end of the poem was to rise to one’s feet in adoration. In addition to her passion, she wears language in the same way those dressed in Versace wear clothes. Fifteen years ago it was made vividly clear to me that bringing voices such as Staceyann Chin’s to the fore was the very best reason to have a theater.”
- Producer Allan Buchman
Staceyann Chin (Performer/Playwright) is the recipient of the 2007 Power of the Voice Award from The Human Rights Campaign, the 2008 Safe Haven Award from Immigration Equality, the 2008 Honors from the Lesbian AIDS Project, the 2009 New York State Senate Award, and the 2013 American Heritage Award from American Immigration Council. She identifies as Caribbean and Black, Asian and lesbian, woman and resident of New York City. A proud Jamaican National, Staceyann has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Widely known as co-writer and original performer in the Tony award winning, Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, her poetry has seen the rousing cheers of the Nuyorican Poets’ Café, one-woman shows Off-Broadway, writing-workshops in Sweden, South Africa, and Australia. Chin’s three one-woman shows, Hands Afire, Unspeakable Things, and Border/Clash all opened to rave reviews at the Culture Project in New York City. Staceyann is the author of the memoir, The Other Side of Paradise, and is currently in rehearsals for MotherStruck, a new theater piece, in collaboration with her director, Cynthia Nixon, and her producer, Rosie O’Donnell, chronicling her incredible experiences about motherhood, which opens in New York City, in October, 2015.
Cynthia Nixon (Director) Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award-winner, made her film debut at 12 in Little Darlings, and her Broadway debut at 14 in The Philadelphia Story, for which she won a Theatre World
Award. At 16 she appeared as Mozart’s terrified maid-turned-informant in the Oscar-winning film Amadeus. In 1984 she famously juggled two roles on Broadway – in the first act of David Rabe’s Hurlyburly and in the second act of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing, both directed by Mike Nichols. She has appeared in plays and films by such varied and distinguished directors as Sidney Lumet, Alan J Pakula, Milos Forman and Robert Altman. Beginning in 1998, Cynthia starred as Miranda Hobbes in HBO’s celebrated series “Sex and the City,” a role that garnered her the first of her two Emmy Awards. She then went on to co-star in the two wildly successful “Sex and the City” films. Nixon earned her first of her three Tony Award nominations for her work in Indiscretions in 1995. She has appeared in over 40 plays, 10 on Broadway. Roles include Harper in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Mary Haines in the Roundabout’s revival of The Women (directed by Scott Elliott) and Becca in David Lindsay-Abaire’s Rabbit Hole, for which she won a Tony Award. In 2012 she played John Donne scholar Vivian Bearing in Margaret Edson’s Wit, for which she was again Tony-nominated. Cynthia was awarded the 2009 Best Spoken Word Grammy for her recording of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. She can currently be seen in Richard Loncraine’s comedy 5 Flights Up opposite Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman. Recently, Nixon appeared in Nikole Beckwith’s Stockholm, Pennsylvania, a drama bought by Lifetime out of Sundance this year. For this project, Cynthia received a Critics’ Choice Television Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Limited Series. This fall she will be seen in Josh Mond’s James White opposite Christopher Abbott, a film that won The Best of Next Audience Award at Sundance 2015. She’s just wrapped shooting Terence Davies’ Emily Dickenson biopic A Quiet Passion, where she plays the reclusive poet. Upcoming is also Pamela Romanowsky’s The Adderall Diaries playing James Franco’s long-suffering book editor. In Fall 2014 she appeared on Broadway in Sam Gold’s production of The Real Thing playing the mother of the character she created on Broadway thirty years ago. This past winter Cynthia made her directorial debut at The New Group with Joel Johnson’s Rasheeda Speaking. Rasheeda Speaking received Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations and cast member Tonya Pinkins won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play and Musical. Nixon returns to the New Group this fall after her successful run with Rasheeda Speaking as the director of Mark Gerrard’s Steve, in its world premiere.
Culture Project (Producer/Venue) was founded in 1996 by its current Producing Artistic Director Allan Buchman. Its courage to create work about challenging topics has paved the way for many mainstream theaters to tackle subjects that may previously have been viewed as too controversial in contemporary terms. Most recently produced was the sold out North American Premiere of NIRBHAYA this spring. A critically acclaimed and award-winning docudrama about the shocking gang rape in New Delhi in December of 2012. As lead producer of The Exonerated in 2002, the show ran for 18 months in NYC, additionally raising well over 1 million dollars for the individuals whose stories were depicted on stage. The play won every award for which it was eligible, both here and abroad. It also won the prestigious Champion of Justice Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In 2004 Culture Project produced Sarah Jones’ Bridge and Tunnel with Meryl Streep, a show that was taken to Broadway where the artist was awarded a special Tony for Unique Theatrical Experience. Guantánamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom was considered so important by the New York Times that it received a full above-the-fold half-page photo in the Arts and Leisure section on the Friday before the Republican convention. Buchman was able to attract Howard Zinn, Samantha Power, Danny Glover and Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu into the cast at various times. Culture Project has three main initiatives that extend outside the realm of traditional theater fare: IMPACT, a festival of political art featuring music, dance, film, theater and conversation. Women Center Stage, a yearly festival focusing on women artists, whose voices contribute to a world in which we would like to live. Blueprint For Accountability, a series that combines theater, film, and conversation about topics mainstream media tends to avoid where by government, corporations and individuals are responsible for their thoughts and deeds. UN General Assembly Hall Concerts – to date Culture Project is the only organization outside of the UN community ever invited to produce and sponsor a UN day concert in the 70-year history of the organization. In 2013, the Culture Project was renamed The Lynn Redgrave Theater.
Rosie O’Donnell (Producer): Through the years Rosie O’Donnell has served as America’s best friend and a special inspiration to women of all ages. She was host and executive producer of the critically acclaimed and Emmy Award winning nationally syndicated talk/variety series “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” and most recently returned to daytime television as co-host of ABC’s The View. On the big screen, Rosie has starred in A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle, Another Stakeout, The Flintstones, Exit To Eden, Now and Then, Beautiful Girls, Harriet the Spy, and Wide Awake. Her stage credits include the Broadway productions of Grease, Seussical, Fiddler on the Roof, Love, Loss and What I Wore, and the Encores! production of No, No, Nanette. Rosie produced the musical Taboo on Broadway. Rosie can currently be seen on her reoccurring role as Rita Henricks on ABC Family’s “The Fosters.” As a tireless crusader for children, she established the Rosie’s For All Kids Foundation, which has awarded more than $27 million dollars in grants to over 1,400 child-related non-profit organizations to benefit low income families across the country. Rosie’s Theater Kids provides free in-school, after-school and summer instruction in musical theater to the public school children of New York. Recently, Rosie received an incredible milestone in philanthropy when she was awarded the prestigious Isabelle Stevenson Award at the 2014 Tony Awards for her dedication, commitment and unconditional generosity towards arts education and New York City’s public schools.
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