Production Details Announced for THE COOP's Inaugural Production TERRA FIRMA
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 05:30 pm EDT 08/20/19



TERRA FIRMA – World Premiere



Performances Begin September 27, 2019
Official Opening October 10, 2019
Limited engagement through November 10, 2019

Co-Presented by Baruch Performing Arts Center

The COOP and Baruch Performing Arts Center announce the world premiere of
Barbara Hammond’s TERRA FIRMA will begin performances September 27, 2019 at
Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue).

Directed by Shana Cooper and inspired by a real life event, TERRA FIRMA is set in a not-so-distant Beckettian future, years after a conflict known as The Big War, where a tiny kingdom wrestles with the problems of running a nation, and spars with different concepts of what makes a citizen, a country and a civilization.

TERRA FIRMA opens October 10, 2019, and plays through November 10, 2019.

Tickets are currently on-sale at www.thecoopnyc.org.

TERRA FIRMA will feature John Keating (Jones), Daniel José Molina (Teddy), Andrus Nichols (The Queen), Tom O’Keefe (The Hostage), Gerardo Rodriguez (Roy), T. Ryder Smith (The Diplomat) and Mark Bedard (Understudy for Roy, Jones, The Hostage, The Diplomat and Teddy).

The design team includes Andrew Boyce (sets), Ntokozo Fuzunina Kunene (costumes), Eric Southern (lights) and Jane Shaw (sound).

TERRA FIRMA was originally a commission for the Royal Court Theatre.

The COOP is a new theatre company founded by Artistic Director Andrus Nichols and Playwright in Residence Kate Hamill. Conceived out of the desire to create a community of NYC based artists who are interested in making extraordinary theatre and committed to fostering a culture of collaboration, experimentation, and trust, The COOP produces both old plays reinvigorated through a new lens, and new plays that resonate with timeless themes and universal truths.

The COOP is committed to celebrate and affirm all of our members, and to the ethical production of art. The COOP is committed to work that is radically and actively inclusive, on and offstage as many voices and perspectives make the art richer. The COOP is committed to deep collaboration, and to the pursuit of powerful and moving theatre experiences.

The COOP’s Artistic Advisory Board (Patricia Black, Kimberly Chatterjee, Midori Francis, Robyn Kerr, Carman Lacivita, Drew Ledbetter, Nikki Massoud, Jason O’Connell, James Dean Palmer and John Russell) assists in actively expanding The COOP’s community of playwrights, designers, directors, and actors. Their guidance helps The COOP diversify its network of voices, and make informed programming decisions.

The COOP’s Youth Advisory Board (Olivia Bernabe, Kathleen Capdesuñer, Colleen Litchfield, Daisy Long, Kevin Paley, Phillip Schneider, Gage Tarlton, Ana Verde and Nazareth Hassan) meets regularly and is in direct dialogue with senior artistic staff to ensure the voices of these playwrights, theatre makers and future artistic leaders (aged 18–25) have a voice around season programming, marketing strategies, and audience engagement.

Follow THE COOP on Instagram and Facebook at @thecooptheatre.


The COOP launches its inaugural 2019-2020 season with TERRA FIRMA, a world premiere by Barbara Hammond; THE CHERRY ORCHARD by Anton Chekhov, directed by James Dean Palmer. In addition, the company will continue development on THE PIPER, an original contemporary play by Kate Hamill (a 2019 finalist for the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center and selected for PlayPenn’s 2019 New Play Development Conference).


BARBARA HAMMOND (Playwright) is a citizen of both the United States and Ireland, and an alumni of New Dramatists. The Royal Court Theatre commissioned her new play Terra Firma which will make its off-Broadway debut with a production by The Coop in the Fall of 2019, directed by Shana Cooper. Her research took her into international waters seven miles off the coast of Essex to one of the world's smallest countries, the Principality of Sealand. Her play, We Are Pussy Riot Or Everything Is P.R. was originally a commission for the Contemporary American Theatre Festival and took her to the world's biggest country, and its courts, cathedrals and counter-culture. She witnessed one of the last sanctioned opposition protest rallies in the center of Moscow at Pushkinskaya Square in September 2014. The Eva Trilogy had its world premiere at The Magic Theatre in the fall of 2017 directed by Loretta Greco, and her play Visible From Four States will be at the Magic Theatre in July 2019. She and her plays have won recognition, awards and funding from many national and international sources, including the National Endowment of the Arts, PBS, Emerson College, Duke University, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, VGLAZ, The Venturous Theatre Fund, the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild. Playlist: Terra Firma; We Are Pussy Riot Or Everything Is P.R.; Visible From Four States; The Eva Trilogy: Eden, Enter the Roar and No Coast Road; James; Beyond The Pale; Norman And Beatrice and a collection of three one-acts entitled New York In June. Film: June Weddings. Musical: You And Me, with composer Marc Chan. Barbara Hammond is an award-winning playwright whose work has been seen from coast to coast and around the globe, from San Francisco's Magic Theatre to Moscow's VGLAZ art space. She is an alumni of New Dramatists. This play was a commission by the Royal Court.

SHANA COOPER (Director) is an assistant professor at Northwestern University (Directing MFA program) and a company member at Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Directing credits include: Yale Rep, Wooly Mammoth, A.R.T. (SF), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Rep, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Studio Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, and most recently, Julius Caesar at Theatre for a New Audience. She was the Associate Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater (2000–2004) and cofounder of New Theater House with YSD alumni (2008–present). Awards: 2014 Leadership U Grant––funded by the Mellon Foundation and administered by TCG, 2010 Princess Grace Award, Drama League Directing Fellow. Most recently: Indecent by Paula Vogel at OSF, and Ibsen’s Lady From The Sea at The Court (Chicago). MFA Yale School of Drama.

ANDRUS NICHOLS (Artistic Director, Co-Founder The COOP; The Queen in TERRA FIRMA). Selected credits: Off Broadway: The Saintliness of Margery Kempe (The Duke, Austin Pendleton, dir.), Sense & Sensibility (Bedlam; Drama League nomination, Best Revival; Off Broadway Alliance Award winner), Hamlet, Saint Joan (Bedlam; Lucille Lortel nomination, Outstanding Lead Actress; Off Broadway Alliance Award, Best Revival). Other New York: The Seagull, What You Will and Twelfth Night (all with Bedlam); They Promised Her the Moon (Theatre at St. Clement’s), The Libertine (The Chernuchin Theatre). Regional: A Lesson from Aloes (Hartford Stage, Dark Tresnjak, dir.), Ivo Van Hove’s A View From The Bridge (The Kennedy Center/The Ahmanson Theatre/The Goodman Theatre; Jeff Award nomination, Outstanding Performer); Hamlet, Saint Joan (Bedlam/Olney Theater Center/Central Square Theater; Helen Hayes and Elliot Norton nominations, Outstanding Lead Actress; IRNE Award, Outstanding Visiting Performer); Hamlet (title role), Iphigenia and Other Daughters (We Players/Alcatraz Island); others. Film: The Fiction, Wash Song (New Orleans Film Festival Grand Jury Finalist), and South Mountain (SXSW Grand Jury Award Finalist; Hilary Brougher, dir). TV: “Rise,” “The Blacklist.”

JOHN KEATING (Jones). Numerous shows at Irish Rep and TFANA, including, The Shadow Of A Gunman, and The Plough And The Stars. Selected TV: “Boardwalk Empire,” “John Adams,” “High Maintenance,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Law and Order SVU.”

DANIEL JOSE MOLINA (Teddy). Broadway: Fish in the Dark. OSF (five seasons): Henry V (Henry V, Chorus, Ensemble), Love’s Labor’s Lost (Ferdinand, Ensemble), Henry IV, Parts One and Two (Prince Hal, Ensemble), The Tempest (Ferdinand), Water by the Spoonful (Ellior Ortiz), A Streetcar Named Desire (Young Collector, Blanche’s Husband, Doctor, Ensemble), Cymbeline (Posthumus Leonatus), Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella (Malcolm, Ensemble), Black Swan Lab. Regional: A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Richard III; Romeo and Juliet ; The Merchant of Venice; Macbeth; Much Ado About Nothing, Utah Shakespeare Festival; Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Film: The Yellow Birds. Awards: 2011 National Irene Ryan Acting Award. Education: BFA, Savannah College of Art and Design; Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Apprenticeship Program.

TOM O’KEEFE (The Hostage). Off-Broadway: Vanity Fair, Tamburlaine the Great, Bedlam’s Hamlet & Saint Joan. Other New York: Billy and the Killers, Dead Dog Park, Bedlam's 12thNight/What You Will, The Best of Everything, A Hard Wall at High Speed. Regional: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Outside Mullingar, Richard II, The Taster, Measure for Measure, From Orchids to Octopi, Humble Boy. TV: The Gifted, House of Cards, The Tick, Blue Bloods, Power, Shades of Blue, The Path, CSI, Criminal Minds, E.R., The Shield. Film: Snakehead, Fill Your Heart with French Fries, A New Tomorrow, Avenging Angel, Crash N’ Burn. Proud member of Actors’ Equity and SAG/AFTRA. Tom-OKeefe.com

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ (Roy). Select credits: Summer and Smoke (Classic Stage Company); Neighbors: A Fair Trade Agreement (INTAR); It Can’t Happen Here (Berkeley Rep.); Se Llama Christina (INTAR); To the Bone (Cherry Lane); Seven Spots on the Sun (Cincinnati Playhouse); La Ruta (Working Theater); Elemeno Pea (Humana Festival); Dramatis Personae (Playwrights Realm); Chad Deity(Mixed Blood). TV/Film: “Elementary”; “The Blacklist”;“Blue Bloods”; “Shades of Blue”; “Search Party”; “Person of Interest”; “Law & Order SVU”; Blind; Misty Button;Cruzando.

T. RYDER SMITH (The Diplomat). Broadway: Oslo, War Horse, Equus. Off-Broadway: Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Playwrights Horizons) and Passion Play (Irondale); world premieres of Katori Hall’s Our Lady of Kibeho (Signature), Christina Masciotti’s Social Security (Bushwick Starr); Anne Washburn’s Apparition (Show World) and I Have Loved Strangers (Clubbed Thumb); Richard Foreman’s King Cowboy Rufus and The Gods Are Pounding My Head; Marianna Ellenberg’s Pawel & Ebola (The Kitchen); David Greenspan’s She Stoops to Comedy (Playwrights Horizons), and JT Rogers' Oslo (Obie Award Outstanding Ensemble). Also Off-Broadway: The White Devil (Red Bull); Will Eno’s Thom Pain (DR2); the 3-actor, 30-character Lebensraum (Drama Desk award, Outstanding Ensemble), and Glen Berger’s Underneath the Lintel (Drama Desk nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance). Regional theatre: world premieres of Sarah Ruhl’s Scenes from Court Life (Yale Rep); Doug Wright’s Creditors (La Jolla Playhouse); Chuck Mee’s Big Love (Humana Festival); Barbara Hammond’s We Are Pussy Riot (CATF), and John Strand’s Lincolnesque (Craig Noel Award, Outstanding Lead Performance). Film and TV: Instinct, The Blacklist, Elementary, White Collar, Nurse Jackie, PBS series The Abolitionists; cult-horror film Brainscan. Experimental films with Marie Losier, Rachel Rose, Redmond Entwistle, Lawrence Krauser. Vocal: The Venture Brothers animated series; Bioshock video games; audiobooks by Tolstoi, Dostoevsky, William Burroughs, etc (5 Audiofile awards for Excellence in Narration); performances with Theatre of War; Pacifica Radio’s annual readings of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Upcoming: film The Report; web series Forever Alone; tv series The Hunt.

MARK BEDARD (Understudy for Roy, Jones, The Hostage, The Diplomat and Teddy). Off-Broadway: Promenade (City Center); Julius Caesar (TFANA); Pride & Prejudice (Primary Stages); Midsummer Night’s Dream (Pearl Theater); Fashions for Men (Mint Theater). Guthrie/OSF: The Cocoanuts (his own adaptation); Oregon Shakespeare: seven seasons. Hudson Valley Shakespeare: four seasons. Other regional: Roe (Arena Stage, Berkeley Rep); Forum (Geva Theatre); Cymbeline (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Boeing Boeing (Seattle Repertory); Waiting for Godot (Marin Theatre); Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare and Company). TV/Film: The Good Fight; Instinct; The Knick. Education: UCIrvine. Website: markbedard.com

ANDREW BOYCE (Set Design). M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama. NYC credits with: Lincoln Center Theater, Roundabout Theater Company, Primary Stages, Atlantic Theatre Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, The Play Company, Playwrights Realm, Cherry Lane Theatre, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, Barrow Street, Metropolitan Playhouse, Lesser America, The New School, NYMF, Summer Play Festival, and the Daryl Roth II. Regional credits with: Actors Theater of Louisville, The Alliance, A.C.T., American Players Theater, Asolo Repertory Theater, Bay Street Theater, Curtis Institute of Music, Dorset Theater Festival, The Geffen, The Goodman, Kirk Douglas, Long Wharf Theatre, The Magic Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Marin Theater Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Univ. of Rochester, Syracuse Stage, Westport Country Playhouse, Williamstown, The Wilma, & Yale Repertory Theater, among others.

NTOKOZO FUZUNINA KUNENE (Costume Designer). Theatre: Miss Julie (Classic Stage Co), The Homecoming Queen (Atlantic), The Winter’s Tale (The Public), Familiar (Steppenwolf). Film: Brave (Spike Lee).

ERIC SOUTHERN (Lighting Designer) is an OBIE award winning designer for theater, opera, and dance. Recent work includes Lincoln Center, Playwrights Horizons, BAM, The Public Theater, and The Kennedy Center. He is a frequent collaborator with 600 HIGHWAYMEN, Susan Marshall, Suzanne Bocanegra, and David Lang. Also projects with Carnegie Hall, Atlantic Theater Company, Manhattan Theater Club, The New Group, Williamstown Theater Festival, The Guthrie, Geffen Playhouse, among others. He is an assistant professor at Northwestern University and received his B.F.A. and M.F.A from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

JANE SHAW (Sound Design). 2019 Lucille Lortel Award Nominee for I Was Most Alive With You, (Playwrights Horizons). Her sound design and original music credits include Hamlet (Theater for a New Audience), Another Side of the Island (with Olympia Dukakis), Gentleman Dancing Master and Imaginary Invalid at the Pearl. With Theater for a New Audience she designed Antony and Cleopatra, Jew of Malta, and the Merchant of Venice (with F. Murray Abraham – RSC tour). She has enjoyed designing several shows at the Mint, including the Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd, Fifth Column, Susan and God, The Return of the Prodigal, and Walking Down Broadway. Her sound designs include Liberty City (New York Theater Workshop), CROOKED at the Women’s Project, Monster with Classic Stage Company, National Asian American Company’s Out Cry, Othello, Ivanov, Blind Mouth Singing and Synapse Productions’ Bloody Poetry and Machinal. She has also designed for the Queens Company, Urban Stages, Primary Stages, Ripetime, Target Margin, Juilliard Drama Department, Kean University, New Georges, Immediate Theater Company, Shakespeare on the Sound, and the New School. Dance credits include work with Susan Marshall (Adamantine, Cloudless, Sawdust Palace, Other Stories, Sleeping Beauty), David Dorfman Dance (Disavowal), and Terry Creach. She first collaborated with Big Dance Theater in 1998, and has designed for the company for the last eleven years – productions including Comme Toujour Here I Stand, Girl Gone, Simple Heart, Plan B, and Shunkin. Graduate: Yale School of Drama, Harvard University. Meet the Composer grant for Hecuba at the Pearl Theater, Nomination for Best Sound Design for Thunder Knocking at the Door (Yale Rep). Recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program, 2005 – 2007. Member: USA 829.

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