O'Neill's MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA from Target Margin Theater, April 26 - May 20
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 05:18 pm EDT 04/20/17


Six Hour Epic is Centerpiece of Target Margin’s 25th Anniversary Season

Target Margin Theater and Abrons Arts Center present
Mourning Becomes Electra
By Eugene O’Neill
Directed by David Herskovits

Previews: April 26th at 3pm, 28th at 4pm, 29th at 5pm, 30th at 2pm
Opening: Wednesday, May 3rd at 3pm
Performances Thru May 20: May 5 at 4pm; May 6 at 5pm; May 7 at 2pm; May 10 at 3pm; May 12 at 4pm; May 13 at 5pm; May 14 at 2pm; May 17 at 3pm; May 18 at 4pm; May 19 at 5pm; and May 20 at 2pm

Abrons Arts Center (466 Grand St, Manhattan)
$45–$75 including light meal; abronsartscenter.org; 212.352.3101
6 hours with two intermissions

Since its founding in 1991 by Artistic Director David Herskovits, Target Margin Theater has been praised for its aggressive interpretations of classic texts, lesser-known works, and new plays inspired by existing sources. The Company has presented ambitious re-thinkings of plays by Shakespeare, Chekov, Brecht, Gertrude Stein, Williams, and Heyward, among others. Target Margin’s artistic and cultural vision has nurtured 41 Mainstage productions including 11 world premieres, 8 company-created works, 3 U.S. premieres and 5 new translations, which have garnered 4 OBIE Awards and employed over 500 Equity actors and hundreds of other theater artists.

As the centerpiece of the Company’s 25th anniversary season, Target Margin Theater and Abrons Arts Center will present a rare revival of Eugene O’Neill’s great trilogy, Mourning Becomes Electra, directed by Herskovits, and running April 26–May 20. Part Greek tragedy, part family play, part history play, Mourning Becomes Electra (O’Neill’s 1931 adaptation of Aeschylus “The Oresteia”) mashes myth, Freudian psychology and melodrama into an epic six hour production.

The play, in essence a family drama, begins at the end of the Civil War as the nation palpably struggles with its history, identity, and re-founding. O’Neill’s setting of the play serves as a profound backdrop for its melodramatic story, and the issues at stake are further amplified by our current political moment.

Upon its premiere in 1931, The New York Times called Mourning Becomes Electra “a battering into the livid mysteries of life” and the play was later recognized as a masterpiece. However, it has since been relegated to college syllabi and dusty bookshelves, taking on its own mythology as one of O’Neill’s most difficult plays.

In development since 2008, Target Margin’s production stages each of the three plays of the Mourning Becomes Electra trilogy in a different section of the century-old Abrons Playhouse and, over the course of the marathon performance, guides the intimate audience of only 70 between each space. The distinct staging, combined with Target Margin’s unique sensibility and passionate irreverence shocks the play into present tense.

Forward-thinking casting has always been an understated hallmark of Target Margin and to that point, Mourning Becomes Electra features a diverse cast of six, embodying O’Neill’s eight central characters along with a dozen chorus roles. The key roles of the Mannon family are played by Satya Bhabha (Ezra Mannon, Orin Mannon, Captain Brant), an Indian/British-American actor; Stephanie Weeks (Christine), an African-American actress; and Eunice Wong (Lavinia), a Chinese-American actress. Completing the cast are Kristen Calgaro (Hazel), Avi Glickstein (Peter), and Mary Neufeld (Seth).

The creative team for Mourning Becomes Electra includes Lenore Doxsee (sets & lights), OBIE Award-winner Kaye Voyce (costumes), Jesse Freedman (sound demon), Matt Good (mic demon) Olivia O’Brien (production stage manager) and artistic producers Sarah Hughes and Moe Yousuf.

Performances of Mourning Becomes Electra will take place April 26–May 20 (see schedule above) at Abrons Arts Center (466 Grand St, Manhattan). Critics are welcome on April 28 at 4pm, April 29 at 5pm and April 30 at 2pm for an official opening on Wednesday, May 3 at 3pm. Tickets, priced $45–$75 including a light meal, can be purchased at abronsartscenter.org or by calling 212.352.3101.

About the artists

David Herskovits (Target Margin Theater Founder & Artistic Director) has directed dozens of productions for our company. David directs nationally and internationally, most recently a production of Porgy and Bess for the 2016 Spoleto Festival USA, and Michael Gordon’s opera Van Gogh for Bang on A Can at Mass MoCA, July 2015. He was a 2011 Fellow of the American Academy in Jerusalem, on the 2012 Faculty of the Mellon School of Theater & Performance Research at Harvard, and has taught, visited, and lectured at many Universities, and has published essays in The NY Times, American Theatre, and numerous other journals. His essay “Against Mastery” was recently published in the collection “Innovation in Five Acts.”

Satya Bhabha (Ezra Mannon, Orin Mannon, Captain Brant) is an associated artist of Target Margin Theater. With TMT: As Yet Thou Art Young & Rash, Ten Blocks on the Camino Real, The Really Big Once, Drunken With What. NYC: Rafta Rafta (The New Group), Queens Blvd (the musical) & Paradise Park (Signature Theatre), Work (Ars Nova), Amazons & Their Men (Clubbed Thumb), King of Shadows (Working Theatre), The Brig (Living Theatre), Talking to Terrorists (Culture Project), Hell House (Les Freres Corbusier). London: Holy Warriors (Shakespeare’s Globe). TV: “New Girl”, “The Good Wife”, “Key & Peele”, “Sense8”, “Young & Hungry”, “NCIS”. Film: Midnight’s Children, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Fair Game, Miss India America, Dude, A Change In The Air. BA from Yale University.

Kristen Calgaro (Hazel) was born and raised in Arlington, VA, and is an associate artist with New York Classical Theatre and Red Garnet Theater Company. Favorite roles include Laura in The Glass Menagerie, Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, Chris in Dancing at Lughnasa, and Gloria in Boeing Boeing. Regionally, she has performed at theaters such as The Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House, Cape May Stage, and North Shore Music Theater, to name a few. Kristen has an extensive dance and musical theater background, and was featured in the Broadway workshop of Brigadoon (directed by Rob Ashford), and toured the country with Tommy Tune in Dr. Dolittle. Film and TV credits include the SXSW Award-winning feature, Kumare, and Law and Order: Criminal Intent. She is a dedicated meditation practitioner and yoga instructor, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia with degrees in Religious Studies and Spanish.

Avi Glickstein (Peter) primarily performs with experimental music/theater group Object Collection. Performances with them include It’s All True (Borealis Festival, Norway), cheap&easy OCTOBER (La Mama), New York Girls (Roulette), and No Hotel (Incubator Arts). He’s also performed work by composers such as Jennifer Walshe, Cornelius Cardew, Christian Kesten, and Michael Pisaro. Other performances include Stein Drag (Target Margin/Bushwick Starr), workshop of Richard Foreman’s Old-Fashioned Prostitutes (Baryshnikov Arts Center), and Sylvan Oswald’s web series Outtakes. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his two favorite people.

Mary Neufeld (Seth) A highlighted list of Mary’s Target Margin appearances includes: Uncle Vanya (Serebryakov), Dinner Party (Diotima), Mother Courage and Her Children (Mother Courage), Little Eyolf (Rita), The Tempest (Caliban), Hamlet (Polonius), Cymboline (Belarius), Titus Andronicus (Tamara) and Measure for Measure (Lucio). Mary also acted with the Ridiculous Theatrical Company in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Bernice Braintwain) and Der Ring Gott Farblonjet (Gutruna and Hunding).

Stephanie Weeks (Christine) has performed at many regional theaters and Off-Broadway. Recently seen as Christine in Target Margin Theater’s Drunken With What. Favorite roles include Salima in Ruined, Belle in A Christmas Carol, Tituba in The Crucible and Shark in Oh My God I’m So Thirst(y), Innovative Theater nomination. Film: Ex-Doofus… Dir: Melvin Van Peebles, Tribeca Film Festival; Rosy (2017). Training: London Academy of Music and Drama, American Conservatory Theater, MFA. www.stephaniejweeks.com

Eunice Wong (Lavinia) previously appeared in Target Margin’s production of Goethe’s Faust as Gretchen, at Classic Stage Company, and as Lavinia Mannon in Drunken with What at the Abrons Arts Center. She received the Helen Hayes Award for Lead Actress, a My Theater (Boston) Award for Best Actress, a Barrymore nomination for Lead Actress, and an IRNE nomination for Best Ensemble. She has also appeared at the Atlantic, Guthrie, Yale Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Studio Theater (D.C.), Walnut Street Theater, Virginia Stage, Berkshires Theatre Group, Merrimack Rep, Pearl Theatre, NAATCO, and Working Theater, among others. TV/film credits include Law & Order,Strangers with Candy, The Job, Deadline, and My Sassy Girl. Eunice is a writer for AUM Media, Truthdig.com’s Books Editor and Chief Editor of the “Countering Violence Against Women” project, versed in circus aerials and martial arts, and an advanced yogi. Juilliard. AEA, SAG-AFTRA. www.eunicewong.com

About Target Margin Theater

Target Margin Theater was founded in 1991 by Artistic Director David Herskovits. For 25 years, Target Margin has been praised for its aggressive interpretations of classic texts, lesser-known works, and new plays inspired by existing sources. Target Margin has presented ambitious re-thinkings of plays by Shakespeare, Chekov, Brecht, Gertrude Stein, Williams, and Heyward, among others. The Company has also created original works and new music / opera over the years and has served over 1,000 artists (mostly emerging) through its annual LAB. In addition, Target Margin is committed to nurturing the creative aspirations of the next generation of theater makers in the TMT Institute, the Company’s yearlong fellowship program. Target Margin’s artistic and cultural vision has resulted in 41 Mainstage productions including 11 world premieres, 8 company-created works, 3 U.S. premieres and 5 new translations, which have garnered 4 OBIE Awards and employed over 500 Equity actors and hundreds of other theater artists. The Company’s production of Mamba’s Daughters received an OBIE Award, and their epic 2004-06 production of Goethe’s Faust received extensive critical acclaim. Recent productions include Uncle Vanya and The Tempest at HERE, Uriel Acosta: I Want That Man! at The Chocolate Factory, Composition…Master-Pieces…Identity, a new solo performance piece from OBIE Award-winner David Greenspan at The Connelly Theater, Drunken With What at Abrons Arts Center, Reread Another at The Brick, called “something kind of wonderful” by Ben Brantley in The New York Times, and, most recently, The ICEMAN Lab at HERE Arts Center called a “bold, playful, vivifying re-creation of the Eugene O’Neill classic” by Laura Collins-Hughes in The New York Times.

About Abrons Arts Center

The Abrons Arts Center is the OBIE Award-winning performing and visual arts program of Henry Street Settlement. The Abrons supports the creation and presentation of innovative, multi-disciplinary work; cultivates artists in all stages of their practice with educational programs, mentorships, residencies and commissions; and serves as an intersection of engagement for local, national and international audiences and arts-workers.

Each year the Abrons offers over 250 performances, 12 gallery exhibitions and 30 residencies for performing and studio artists, and 100 different classes in dance, music, theater, and visual art. The Abrons also provides New York City public schools with teaching artists, introducing more than 3,000 students to the arts.

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