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PlayCo: Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas' "Recent Alien Abductions" NY Premiere (February 21 - March 24)
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:56 am EST 12/13/18

THE PLAY COMPANY PRESENTS THE NEW YORK PREMIERE OF RECENT ALIEN ABDUCTIONS, WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY JORGE IGNACIO CORTIÑAS, FEBRUARY 21-MARCH 24

An Unsettling X-Files Conspiracy, a Story of Colonial Isolation, and a Family History Intersect in Recent Alien Abductions, Which Was a Highlight of the 2017 Humana Festival for New Plays

Cortiñas’ Wry and Wrenching Latest Work Morphs Form and Perspective as it Zeroes in on Interpersonal and Political Power Imbalances

The Play Company (PlayCo; Founding Producer Kate Loewald, Managing Director Robert Bradshaw) presents the New York premiere of Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas’ Recent Alien Abductions (February 21-March 24), an acclaimed highlight of the 2017 Humana Festival for New American Plays, where it was hailed as a “dark and unsettling…shape-shifter, a mystery to be unfurled, and ultimately a very human story about what happens when you can no longer recognize your family as fellow humans” (WFPL News Louisville). In Cortiñas’ play, small gestures and off-handed comments slowly reveal the colonial, racist, misogynist, and homophobic dynamics that constrain possibility in the lives of the characters. These power imbalances have been left to fester for so long that they create the alienating nightmare at the story’s core. Rendered through magnetic characterization and playful yet shattering storytelling, Recent Alien Abductions explores how families—and societies—are haunted by their pasts. Performances take place February 21-March 24 at Walkerspace, 46 Walker Street, New York.

When Recent Alien Abductions begins, Álvaro, a queer artist from Puerto Rico—who relocated to New York after becoming estranged from his family—is obsessing over an early episode of The X-Files. Since he saw the original broadcast at age twelve or thirteen, he’s been unshakably intrigued by the character of a Puerto Rican teenager whom Fox Mulder encounters. As Álvaro remembers it, Mulder quickly gets to know the teen and teams up with him in a stormy, dreamlike escape from an alien abduction. But though Álvaro has obsessively considered every aspect of what he remembers of the episode, his recollection has been slowly challenged by what he believes is a second, revised version with which mysterious conspirators are trying to replace the original broadcast. In this revised episode, the character is denied the safety, camaraderie, and subjecthood of the previous ending, and is simply abducted by aliens and left forever in obscurity. A few years after Álvaro has recounted the uncanny details of this childhood X-Files memory, his dear friend, a lesbian Nuyorican artist, visits his family in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, seeking their permission to publish his writings. As the barely-welcome visitor gets a sense of Álvaro’s family life, his conspiratorial interpretation of the episode in question begins to reveal its place in reality.

Following PlayCo’s celebrated production of Intractable Woman—the “carefully composed,” “furtively poetic,” and “vivid portrait” (The New York Times Critics’ Pick review) of the intrepid and accomplished Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, assassinated in 2006—the company turns to another searing depiction of power imbalance and personal and political responsibility. Cortiñas, the author of plays such as Bird in the Hand and Blind Mouth Singing, has steadily built a celebrated body of work that uses the interpersonal realm to illuminate big political questions. As the austerity crisis and the aftershocks of Hurricane Maria continue to roil Puerto Rico, Cortiñas's exploration of Puerto Rican nationhood and its contested relationship to the United States becomes eerily prescient. His plays have been praised as “strange and beautiful” (The New York Times) and for their “visionary wit” (Chicago Tribune).

Recent Alien Abductions’ cast and creative team will soon be announced.

Performance Schedule and Ticketing

Performances of Recent Alien Abductions will take place February 21 – March 24, 2019 at Walkerspace, located at 46 Walker Street, New York, NY. Critics are welcome February 28, March 1, 2, & 3 for an official opening on Sunday, March 3 at 7pm. Regular performances will take place beginning Tuesday, March 5, Tuesday-Saturdays at 7:30pm, and Sundays at 3pm.

Tickets will be on sale to the public beginning January 4,and can be purchased by visiting playco.org or calling 866 811 4111. Regular prices are $35 General Admission/$45 Premium Reserved.

PlayCo began a new ticketing initiative earlier this year, with multiple pricing levels to increase accessibility. On this initiative, Kate Loewald says, “PlayCo is committed to maintaining affordable access as part of our mission. We always maintain modest ticket prices, and our new OpenHouse Access Program will advance our efforts to remove price as a barrier.” As part ofthe program, there will be a limited number of $15 “Theater for Everyone” tickets available from December 13 to January27. $15 student tickets can be purchased in advance with a valid school ID presented at will call. Group rates and discounts for teachers, librarians, first responders, and active duty personnel will also be available—call 212.389.2977 for details.

About Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas

Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas (Playwright, Director) is a theater-maker based in New York. His most recent plays include Bird in the Hand (Fulcrum, New York Times Critics Pick) and Blind Mouth Singing (NAATCO, New York Times Critics Pick). His many awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts (three years), and the Helen Merrill Award, among others. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists and a NYTW Usual Suspect.

Funding Credits

Recent Alien Abductions was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons with funds provided by The New York State Council on the Arts. The script received development from Fulcrum Theater, efforts that were supported in part by the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, the Ford Foundation and the Surdna Foundation. Special thanks also to New Dramatists, NYTW and The Corporation of Yaddo.

About The Play Company (PlayCo)

The Play Company is an OBIE Award-winning Off-Broadway theater production company. Since launching in 1999, PlayCo has produced 35 new plays from the United States, Palestine, Germany, Romania, Poland, Sweden, Japan, India, Russia, Chile, Mexico, France, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England. PlayCo develops and produces adventurous new plays from the U.S. and around the world, advancing a dynamic global experience of contemporary theater and expanding the American theater repertoire.

As the only New York company regularly producing outstanding contemporary plays from around the world alongside new American work, PlayCo’s distinctive international programming links American theatre with world theater, American artists with the global creative community, and American audiences with a whole world of plays.

Previous productions by PlayCo include Lee Sunday Evans’ New York Times Critics’ Pick production of Stefano Massini’s Intractable Woman: A Theatrical Memo on Anna Politkovskaya, the sold-out run of Amir Nizar Zuabi’s critically-acclaimed Oh My Sweet Land, Guillermo Calderón’s Villa, Christopher Chen’s Caught (Obie award for Playwriting, 2017), Maria Milisavljevic’s Abyss, Kyle Jarrow & Lauren Worsham’s The Wildness, debbie tucker green’s generations, Aya Ogawa’s Ludic Proxy, Antonio Vega’s The Duchamp Syndrome, and more.

For more information, please contact Rachael Shearer or Blake Zidell at Blake Zidell & Associates, 718.643.9052, rachael@blakezidell.com or blake@blakezidell.com
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