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“PLAYING ON AIR” RETURNS TO BRIC HOUSE

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NEW SEASON OF SHORT PLAYS RECORDED LIVE FOR PUBLIC RADIO ON OCTOBER 20, 27 & DECEMBER 1

CASTS INCLUDE AMY RYAN, MICHAEL URIE, HARRIET HARRIS, JOHN CULLUM, FRANK WOOD, LISA EMERY, MARSHA MASON AND TONYA PINKINS IN PLAYS BY LANFORD WILSON, DAVID AUBURN, PAUL RUDNICK, WARREN LEIGHT, LESLIE AYVAZIAN, KIM MERRILL AND WILLY HOLTZMAN

Playing on Air, a public radio show featuring recordings of select contemporary short American plays, returns to BRIC House for a new season of performances. Nine short plays by notable American playwrights (three per evening) will be recorded live at BRIC House, 647 Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn on October 20, 27 and December 1 at 7:30pm.

The live performances feature, among others, Amy Ryan, Michael Urie, John Cullum, Tonya Pinkins, Lisa Emery, Steven Boyer, Marsha Mason, Lisa Emery, Frank Wood, Jeanine Serralles, David Furr, Harriet Harris, Peter Jacobson, Cezar Williams, Geoffrey Cantor and Matthew Maher. The plays are by Kim Merrill, David Auburn, Lanford Wilson (October 20); Leslie Ayvazian, Lanford Wilson, Paul Rudnick (October 27); and Willy Holtzman, Warren Leight and David Auburn, (December 1). Each play is followed by an interview with its playwright, director and cast. The evenings are moderated by Claudia Catania, Playing on Air’s founder and producer.

Since launching in June of 2012, Playing on Air has produced 17 programs, recorded both in studio and live, and recorded 45 plays. Aired on a current total of 43 public radio stations across the country, the programs are distributed by PRX, the public radio exchange for independently produced radio content. “Our goal is to share theater’s best practitioners with all people including those with limited access, time or cash, and expand the audience for quality contemporary theater,” says Catania. “We want to showcase a wide variety of voices. The short play form, which is rarely produced professionally, jives perfectly with the rhythms of radio and internet listening.”

Playing on Air has produced plays by Lynn Nottage, Beth Henley, Christopher Durang, David Lindsay-Abaire and David Ives, among others. A sparkling roster of actors has taken part so far — Bobby Cannavale, Chris Cooper, Hope Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, John Leguizamo, Jane Krakowski, Audra McDonald, Debra Monk, Rosie Perez, Jerry Stiller, to name just a few. Together its participants are the recipients of dozens of major awards, including Pulitzer Prizes, Tony Awards and Oscars. A full production history can be found at playingonair.org, and select episodes are available to stream for free.

The distinguished theater sound designer John Kilgore, who has been creating unique sound designs for many of the plays, will also adapt his process to the live setting. Original music is composed for every play and the series composer is Tom Kochan. “Radio performance invites its audience’s imagination,” Catania notes. “We think the wedding of radio and theater, which certainly has an illustrious history, can be reinvented via the short play form which reflects the rhythms and habits of tech-savvy consumers today.”

“Ultimately we want to cultivate future audiences for the theater as well as future artists,” Catania adds.  Playing on Air’s assistant producer is an award-winning public radio producer, Julia Wetherell.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door for each of the Playing on Air evenings on Mondays, October 20, 27 and December 1 at 7:30pm. To purchase tickets call 718.683.5600, or visit bricartsmedia.org. BRIC House is located at 647 Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

Performance Schedule

October 20 at 7:30pm
Tasha Walks by Kim Merrill; director Brian Mertes with Steven Boyer and Marsha Mason
Fifth Planet written and directed by David Auburn with Matthew Maher and Amy Ryan
Breakfast at the Track by Lanford Wilson; director Caitriona McLaughlin with David Furr and Jeanine Serralles

October 27 at 7:30pm
24 Years by Leslie Ayvazian; director Peter Hedges; Cast TBA
A Betrothal by Lanford Wilson; director Bruce McCarty with Lisa Emery and Frank Wood
My Husband by Paul Rudnick; director Claudia Weill with Harriet Harris and Michael Urie   

December 1 at 7:30pm
Forward Observer by Willy Holtzman; director Anne Kauffman with John Cullum and Tonya Pinkins
Section 310, Row D, Seats 5 & 6 by Warren Leight; director Fred Berner with Geoffrey Cantor, Peter Jacobson and Cezar Williams
Damage Control written and directed by David Auburn; Cast TBA

About BRIC

In the 35 years since its founding as a not-for-profit organization in 1979, BRIC has been the driving force behind a number of Brooklyn’s most widely renowned and beloved arts and media programs. In the borough that is now this country’s foremost creative hotbed, BRIC is unparalleled in its combination of artistic excellence, programmatic breadth and genuine accessibility.

BRIC presents live music and performing arts (the Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival and BRIClab), contemporary art exhibitions and programs (until 2013 at BRIC Rotunda Gallery and throughout the borough), and community media programs (Brooklyn Free Speech Television and Brooklyn Independent Media) that reflect Brooklyn’s creativity and diversity.

Emphasizing creative expression as varied and groundbreaking as the borough it serves, BRIC provides opportunities and platforms for Brooklyn artists and media makers to create and present new works. The organization champions the creativity of Brooklyn and work that expands the boundaries of artistic disciplines. BRIC’s highly accessible exhibitions, performances, television programs and educational programs serve more than one million Brooklyn residents, including some 4,000 school children, each year. Learn more at BRICartsmedia.org.

Support for BRIC House

BRIC’s programs benefit from generous public funding from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; New York State Senator Martin J. Golden; New York State Assembly Members James F. Brennan, Karim Camara, Joan L. Millman, Walter Mosley, Félix Ortiz, and Annette Robinson; Mayor Bill de Blasio, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and New York City Council Members Inez D. Barron, Robert Cornegy, Laurie Cumbo, Mathieu Eugene, Vincent J. Gentile, Brad Lander, Stephen Levin, Darlene Mealy, Mark Treyger, Jimmy Van Bramer, and Jumaane Williams.

Additional private support is provided by Astoria Federal Savings; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; Bay and Paul Foundations; Bloomingdale’s Fund of the Macy’s Foundation; Con Edison; The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; The Ford Foundation; Forest City Ratner Companies; The Hearst Foundations; Laurence W. Levine Foundation; New York Community Trust; Oppenheim Family Foundation; and Verizon, Cablevision, and Time Warner Cable; as well as numerous individual supporters.

Probably written by one our amazing StageLight staff writers!