|MICHAEL URIE, ANN HARADA, COLBY LEWIS & CONSTANCE SHULMAN star in virtual production of new play "SMITHTOWN" starting 2/13|
|Posted by: Official_Press_Release 07:16 pm EST 01/06/21|
|THE STUDIOS OF KEY WEST
MICHAEL URIE, ANN HARADA, COLBY LEWIS & CONSTANCE SHULMAN
IN A VIRTUAL PRODUCTION OF
A NEW PLAY BY DREW LARIMORE
DIRECTED BY STEPHEN KITSAKOS
The Studios of Key West will present a virtual production of the powerful and timely new play SMITHTOWN, written by Drew Larimore and directed by Stephen Kitsakos, Studios of Key West Artistic Associate. SMITHTOWN is a series of four interconnected but distinct monologues featuring an ensemble of top Broadway and television actors: Michael Urie (Broadway revival of Torch Song, "Ugly Betty"), Ann Harada (Avenue Q and Cinderella on Broadway), Colby Lewis (Chicago's Hamilton, "Chicago Med"), and Constance Shulman ("Orange is the New Black" on Netflix, The Rose Tattoo on Broadway). The play will be available for a two-week online engagement from February 13 to February 27. Tickets are available at tskw.org/smithtown-2.
Incisively dark and funny, SMITHTOWN shines a spotlight on the ways we communicate, and miscommunicate, in a rapidly evolving digital era, when the rules of conduct change by the minute, and loneliness and isolation seem to be the order of the day. "I wrote Smithtown a few years ago and felt compelled to revisit it in light of the pandemic," said Larimore, "Technology is at the core of the play, so producing it now in this online format couldn't be more appropriate."
The play follows four residents of Smithtown, a fictional Midwestern university town, who unwittingly and arguably become "victims" of technology gone awry. A college professor ignites a local tragedy by texting questionable photographs to his ex-girlfriend. A sleep-deprived "text angel" sends a well-meaning text at the exact wrong moment. A struggling artist plays fast and loose with morality to get ahead. A grieving mother turns to social media to fill the emptiness left by a lost child.
Well-known for its creative partnerships within and beyond Key West, The Studios has expanded its reach and capacity over the previous year to produce quality streaming content. For this project, The Studios has drawn upon its impressive roster of Artist in Residence alumni, pairing former AiR and playwright Drew Larimore (The New Peggy) with former AiR and videographer/writer Harry Aspinwall (Netflix's "The Sleepover") to create this special theatrical event.
Director Stephen Kitsakos recognizes the inherent challenge in bringing Larimore's script to life for online audiences. "SMITHTOWN is most definitely a play, and not a film, and so of course, the focus is on the text," he said, "but theatre endures and adapts. We assembled some of the most talented actors working today, each one a consummate storyteller, to create a hybrid form of presentation that works perfectly with this project. And of course we added a hint of cinematic flair where we could," he adds.
SMITHTOWN will run as an on-line streaming event from Saturday, February 13 to Saturday, February 27. Running time is 65 minutes. Tickets are $15 for Studio Members and $20 for non-members.
The play was generously underwritten by Betty Rubenstein, Paula & John Tishok, Jim Salini, and Janet Hinkle, and sponsored by Zabar's.
DREW LARIMORE (Playwright) is playwright, librettist, screenwriter produced widely in both the United States and Australia. He made his Off-Broadway debut with his new play Out of Iceland in the spring of 2012, starring Lea DeLaria at Walker Space. A native of the South, his focus is often on crafting strong, fallible, and complex female protagonists in seemingly unreal circumstances. He has been a semi-finalist at the O'Neill Theatre Conference, The Lark Playwrights' Week, the Heidman Award, P73 Playwriting Fellowship, and a writing residency at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland. His short play, The Anniversary, received its world premiered in Australia, a U.S. premiere in New York, and is published in Vintage Anthology's recent Shorter, Faster, Funnier. His full-length play, The Cannibals of McGower Country - the first in a trilogy of plays about the South - was featured in Asolo Repertory's Unplugged Festival of New Work, Denizen Theatre's New Play Development Series, and also an O'Neill Finalist. His musical The New Peggy (co-lyrics and music by J. Oconer Navarro) was featured at The Green Room 42 in concert and produced by the Micro Musical Theatre Podcast on iTunes starring Ann Harada. Drew wrote and co-created the six-part original scripted series, "Janice Gunter Ghost Hunter," which is available for streaming on Roku's Whohaha. His musical co-written with Billy Recce, The Bestest Office Christmas Party Ever, digitally premiered in December 2020 through The New York Theatre Barn. Additional writing residencies include Djerassi, Key West Literary Seminar, Studios of Key West, and Telluride Playwright's Festival.
STEPHEN KITSAKOS (Director) is a theatre director, opera librettist and educator. For the American composer, Sheila Silver, he wrote libretti for The Wooden Sword, winner of the 2009 Sackler Prize for Composition; The White Rooster: A Tale of Compassion for the Smithsonian Institution; and for the Seattle Opera, A Thousand Splendid Suns, adapted from the book by Khaled Hosseini. With the composer Martin Hennessy he wrote the opera-theatre monologues An Incident in Sutton Square, The Woman in Penthouse A; and The Pleasing Recollection of the Past. A graduate of NYU and the BMI Workshops, his experience as an opera-theatre writer and educator has informed his approach to directing. From 2000-2013 Kitsakos was on the full-time Theatre Arts Faculty at SUNY New Paltz in New York's Hudson Valley. During those years he was a contributing writer to The Sondheim Review and Music in American Life. A recipient of grants and commissions from the Seattle Opera, National Endowment for the Arts, American Opera Projects, NYSCA, ASCAP, Florida Keys Council of the Arts, the BMI Foundation, and the Episcopal Diocese of New York, his work as a librettist and theatre director has been seen in NYC at Theater Row, the National Opera Center, and in major cities throughout the United States, Central and South America. He resides in Key West, FL where he is an Artistic Associate of the multidisciplinary arts organization, The Studios of Key West, and is the executive producer of the livestream conversation series "Between Two Palms."
THE STUDIOS OF KEY WEST is one of the leading multidisciplinary arts & culture organizations in South Florida and the Florida Keys. It provides a collaborative and supportive environment for creative experiences in the performing, visual and literary arts including a distinguished artist residency program for established and emerging art makers. Programming emphasizes intimacy, experimentation, and the creation of new work including artistic collaborations in Havana, New York, Santa Fe, Detroit, London, and the Hudson Valley. With a campus that includes a 200-seat theatre for plays, musicals, opera, concerts, readings and screenings, two outdoor performing spaces and streaming technology, it has been host to many Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Pulitzer-Prize and National Book Award luminaries. These have included Judith Light, Tonya Pinkins, Tony Shalhoub, Marisa Tomei, Eugene Robinson, Carl Hiaasen, Jack O'Brien, Diana Nyad, Kenny Leon, Stephanie Blythe, Kate Burton, Paula Vogel, Michael R. Jackson, Esterio Segura, Hillary Jordan, Tom Kitt, Sir Bill Jacklin, Tom Rush, Livingston Taylor, Meg Cabot, José Marie Vitier, Dave Barry, Margaret Atwood, Billy Connelly, Shea Hembrey, Joshua Johnson, and many more. It is also the home of South Florida's NPR affiliate, WLRN and operates Books & Books@The Studios, one the premiere independent bookstores in South Florida, curated and managed by Judy Blume, the award-winning, bestselling author of young adult fiction.
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