Posted by: Official_Press_Release 09:52 am EST 01/21/22


Directed by Jack Serio, Young Love Story Set During WWII Features Francesca Carpanini and Justin Mark with Angelina Fiordellisi and Austin Pendleton

Theaterlab, in association with Lawryn LaCroix, is thrilled to announce that three additional performances (Jan 22 at 3pm, Jan 23 at 7pm, Jan 26 at 8pm) have been added to the limited engagement of Rita Kalnejais' This Beautiful Future, which must close on January 30. Directed by Jack Serio, This Beautiful Future is a story of young love set during World War II and marks Kalnejais' New York debut. The "wonderfully cast production" (New York Times) includes Francesca Carpanini (All My Sons, The Little Foxes) and Justin Mark (Lauren Yee's In a Word) with Angelina Fiordellisi (Zorba, Out of the Mouths of Babes) and Tony nominee Austin Pendleton (The Little Foxes, The Minutes). Tickets are now on sale at www.theaterlabnyc.com.

"This Beautiful Future achieves a remarkable, aching alchemy," declares Laura Collins-Hughes in her New York Times critic's pick review, adding, "with an ending that's gentle and wondrous and fragile as new life, it is a play about choosing, step by step, a genuinely better future." Helen Shaw in Vulture calls This Beautiful Future "a handsomely produced work decorated with tasteful bells and theatrical whistles. Director Jack Serio has polished the production so it shines." "Exquisite," writes Holli Harms in Front Row Center, "Kalnejais has created a play that defies genre." Darryl Reilly in TheaterScene says, "The eternal notion of 'boy meets girl' is taken to ravishing heights in This Beautiful Future."

Caught in the middle of a war, two teenagers take shelter from a divided world. Elodie is French and 17. Otto, a German soldier, is 16. Safe from the debris outside, they meet secretly for one night. They talk, tease, and touch. They fall in love and fall through time. Kalnejais' kaleidoscopic play is a story of uncomplicated first love in a very complicated world. It seeks out tenderness amidst tragedy. Hope in the hopeless.

The sold-out 2017 world premiere of This Beautiful Future at The Yard in London was greeted with critical acclaim. Lyn Gardner in The Guardian called it an "exquisite portrait of young love in the heat of war... idiosyncratic, yet direct and truthful." Alice Saville in Time Out declared "it's brilliant, and Day-Glo brite." "An extraordinary work… daringly unconventional," wrote Fergus Morgan in The Stage, adding "one of Kalnejais' play's most powerful tools is its refusal to be pinned down, its insistence that nothing is straightforward."

"I am so happy that Jack Serio is directing This Beautiful Future now," said playwright Rita Kalnejais. "And I'm thrilled the play is in New York! I think it's a good time to sit in a theater and be with people falling in love. We've all been stuck in rooms and the future feels so unstable and this play is sort of about that but also hope and the possibility of connection. When I wrote it-in 2016, when every election turned out just so badly-I wanted to write something tender that held the vulnerability of the characters beyond their politics. I wanted the young characters-so shaped by the violence around them-to experience something so pure it felt revolutionary."
"I've been obsessed with This Beautiful Future ever since I first read it in 2017," said director Jack Serio, "and I couldn't be more thrilled to be introducing Rita Kalnejais' work to an American audience. In the wake of the destruction and isolation of the last year and a half, Rita's stunning and deeply human play could not be more urgently needed. A love story that is both complicated and simple, fragile and gorgeous, This Beautiful Future encourages us to look back in order to look forward. It offers no easy answers and inspires us to sit with our discomfort and the world's contradictions. At the same time, it dares us to have hope and insists that beauty can still exist, even during unspeakable violence and turmoil."

The creative team for the U.S. premiere includes Frank J. Oliva (scenic design), Stacey Derosier (lighting design), Ricky Reynoso (costume design), Christopher Darbassie (sound design), Lacey Erb (projection designer), Emily Erickson (music director), and Kerry Concannon (production stage manager).

Performances of This Beautiful Future continue through January 30, 2022, at Theaterlab, located at 357 W 36th Street, 3rd Floor in Manhattan. Upcoming performances take place on January 20-22 and 26-28 at 8pm, January 22 and 23 at 7pm, January 23 at 3pm, and January 30 at 2pm. General admission tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at www.theaterlabnyc.com or by calling (212) 929.2545.

Theaterlab is following strict COVID safety protocols. All patrons must show proof of a Covid booster shot for all those eligible to receive it. Those not yet eligible will be required to show proof of vaccination. Additionally, all audience members must wear an N95 or KN95 mask at all times. Cloth masks will not be permitted and KN95 masks will be available on request. The venue has also been outfitted with an updated air filtration system and air purifiers.

Please visit https://www.theaterlabnyc.com/this-beautiful-future/ for more information.

About the Artists

Rita Kalnejais is an Australian writer based in London. Her work has been performed extensively in Australia and the UK, and she was a resident playwright at Sydney Theatre Company in 2011-2012, as well as at Soho Theatre in 2014-2015. Theatre includes This Beautiful Future (Yard Theatre), First Love Is The Revolution (Soho Theatre), Babyteeth (Belvoir Theatre and State Theatre Company of South Australia), How to Get Very Clean (Sydney Theatre), Whistling In Bed (Sydney Theatre Company and Theatre 503) and BC (Full Tilt and The Hayloft). TV includes The Spanish Princess. Film includes Surge and Babyteeth.

Jack Serio is a Brooklyn-based, Boston-born theater director. He most recently directed the world premiere of Bernard Kops' The Dark Outside at Theater for the New City and Misha Brook's solo performance happy & grateful at Ars Nova. Other directing credits include Our Town, Kin, Incognito, Bull, and Lungs. Born and raised in Boston, MA, he was the founding Artistic Director of The Boston Teen Acting Troupe, a nationally recognized professional teen theater company. Under his leadership, BTAT was profiled in The New York Times, on National Public Radio, and in The Boston Globe. As an assistant director, he's worked with Austin Pendleton, Jason Eagan, Knud Adams, Lee Sunday Evans, and Alex Timbers, among others. His own work has been developed at Ars Nova and Playwrights Horizons. He works as an artistic consultant for actor/comedian Aasif Mandvi and is a member of the 2019 Lincoln Center Directors Lab and the 2019-2021 SDC Foundation Observership Class. Next, he'll serve as the assistant director on the Broadway production of Stephen Adly Guirgis' Pulitzer Prize-winning Between Riverside and Crazy. BFA: NYU. www.jackfserio.com

Francesca Carpanini was last seen on Broadway starring alongside Tracy Letts and Annette Bening in All My Sons. This spring, she will make her London stage debut in David Mamet's The Woods at the Southwark Playhouse. Other New York Theater includes The Little Foxes (Broadway), The Tempest (Shakespeare in the Park), Dead Poets Society (Classic Stage Company), Black Flag (59e59). TV/Film credits include: The Good Wife. Training: Juilliard.

Justin Mark was raised by his grandmother in Portland, Oregon. He left home to study acting at Juilliard. He has been in films, network television shows, commercials, a video game, and theater. He was seen at the Cherry Lane Theater in Lauren Yee's In a Word. He also played Peter in Lauren Gunderson's new play Peter Pan and Wendy at the Shakespeare Theater in Washington DC, among other plays. He lives in Brooklyn with his friends.

Angelina Fiordellisi is a Tony and Obie Award-winning Producing Artist. In 2020, Angelina created the role of Nonna Sophia in The Sabbath Girl by Cary Gitter, directed by Joe Brancato. She starred in the world premiere of With by Carter Lewis at Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska. She's acted on Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours and regional theaters across the country, including Zorba with Anthony Quinn, Out of the Mouths of Babes with Estelle Parsons, First Love with Michael O'Keefe, Annie, Snow Orchid, The Traveling Lady, Sabbath Girl, Nunsense, Man of La Mancha, Private Lives, Blithe Spirit, Tamara. Partial film and television credits include When a Man Loves a Woman, Where the Heart Is, Walker Payne, Big Stone Gap, Straight Outta Tompkins, Law & Order, LA Law, Star Trek: TNG, The Cosby Show, Rosanne, and the Kennedy Center Honors Program, honoring Elia Kazan. Proprietor of Cherry Lane Theatre since 1996, she co-founded CLT Mentor Project with Edward Albee, Charles Fuller, A.R. Gurney, Tony Kushner, Wendy Wasserstein, Michael Weller and Susann Brinkley, launching 65 playwrights to date including Katori Hall and Rajiv Joseph. She won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critic's Circle and Drama League awards as co-producer of Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Drama Desk award for co-producing Will Eno's The Realistic Joneses.

Austin Pendleton is an actor, a director, a playwright, and a teacher of acting at HB Studio in New York, where he studied with Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof. His most recent New York appearance as an actor has been in The Minutes by Tracy Letts, which will reappear on Broadway this spring. His first Broadway appearance was as Motel in the original cast of Fiddler on the Roof; his first off-Broadway appearance was in Oh Dad, Poor Dad... by Arthur Kopit. Both of these were directed by Jerome Robbins. He is a member of the Ensemble in Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater. He has appeared in several hundred movies and on TV in such shows as "Homicide," "Oz" and "Law and Order." He has directed Tony-nominated shows on Broadway (Spoils of War, The Little Foxes) and directed extensively at other theaters, notably the Williamstown Theatre Festival, where he apprenticed and got his start under the guidance of its Artistic Director, Nikos Psacharopoulos. His plays are Booth, Uncle Bob, and Orson's Shadow, each of which has been published and produced extensively.

About Theaterlab

Under Artistic Director Orietta Crispino, Theaterlab has served as a hub for experimental performing arts in our Midtown home since 2013 and has been creating programming for New York's innovative artists since 2007. Its signature white box studios offer a clean and well-kept creative canvas for new work that subverts expectations and defies categorization. Theaterlab produces a number of new work programs, focused on cross-disciplinary experimentation, including Hotel New Work, a short-term residency for ensemble-driven works; [im]permanence, connecting our theater to our street through live-action painting; Mothers, Myths, Monsters, presenting short works-in-progress; Voices Inside, a writing and theater program for incarcerated writers; Round the Block!, bringing together performance venues and business throughout the Garment District; and Celebrate the Artist, introducing New York audiences to international artists. Theaterlab's mission is to serve the Garment District's diverse population of artists and audiences by producing energetic and experimental art that interrogates the nature of live performance.
Link http://www.theaterlabnyc.com

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