Friday, November 14, 2008

The New Kids on the Block

Last night I had the privilege of seeing AFTER ASHLEY by Gina Gionfriddo at Portland's new theatre company: Portland Playhouse. These crazy kids just landed here and are kicking ass and taking names. They found space, actors, an excellent season, and support. Go and see their work and introduce yourself to the new kids. Who's excited?!

After Ashley

by Gina Ginofriddo

Directed by Brian Weaver

November 13 2008- December 6 2008

602 NE Prescott Street Portland

Previews: November 13 & 14 at 8pm

Opening Night: Saturday November 15 at 8pm

Sunday 5pm performances on: Nov 16, 23, and 30th.

8pm performances: Nov 20-22, 26-29 and Dec 3-6.

Final Weekend Only: Dec 6 performances at 3pm and 8pm

The Play

After Ashley premiered at the 2004 Humana Festival of New American Plays. After Ashley is a blisteringly funny and deeply affecting story about a teenage boy navigating the joys and terrors of life—all through the distorting prism of a media firestorm. When a family tragedy deals the Hammond family a dose of dubious celebrity, Justin finds himself paralyzed, unable to fully grieve or grow up. The only bright spot is a girl, only Justin can't decide if she's a saving angel or a self-interested groupie. In a world as weird as this one, she might just be both.

The Playwright

Gina Gionfriddo has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Lucille Lortel Fellowship, and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship. Her work includes After Ashley, Safe, Trepidation Nation, U.S. Drag (published in Women Playwrights: The Best Plays of 2002) and Guinevere. After Ashley and U.S. Drag are published by Dramatists Play Service, Inc. Her plays have received development support from Denver Center Theatre Company, Trinity Repertory Theatre, ACT (A Contemporary Theatre), Philadelphia Theatre Company, Basic Grammar, and Chicago Films. She has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo and Hedgebrook. She is a graduate of Brown University's M.F.A Playwriting Program.

Production History

This play was originally commissioned by Philadelphia Theatre Company and was supported by a residency and public staged reading at the 2003 Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference. It premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in March 2004. Subsequently, it was performed off Broadway at the Vineyard Playhouse in March 2005 with Kieran Culkin as Justin and Anna Paquin as Julie.

The Company

Portland Playhouse is a non-profit theatre company based in North Portland.

Our Mission: Portland Playhouse is dedicated to producing quality, intimate, live performance in which the interaction between artists and audience is paramount. We hold theatre to be a community space in which people of all social, economic, racial, and political backgrounds can come together to celebrate the complexity of our shared human experience.

You may, of course, decide to attend a special invite-only performance on November 23rd at 5. This will be a fundraiser: silent auction, mingling with the cast, and cornhole contest! Tickets are $35.

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