Casting has been announced for the Cherry Lane Theatre's 2013 Mentor Project plays LAWNPEOPLE by Natalia Naman and EXILE by Nastaran Ahmadi. Both plays debut as part of Cherry Lane Theatre's 15th anniversary MENTOR PROJECT (38 Commerce St. in Manhattan), the award-winning season which began February 20 and concludes April 13.
LAWNPEOPLE -- directed by Elena Araoz and performing March 13 to 23 -- will feature a cast that includes C.K. Allen, Bobby Plasencia, Liza Fernandez, Dea Julien and Stacey Sargeant. LAWNPEOPLE tracks the journey of Solymar, an undocumented Mexican immigrant working as a housekeeper for a wealthy black Southern couple. When Solymar's mother is killed in Mexico as the result of gang violence, her pre-teen daughter is left alone across the border, and Solymar fights to find a way back to her.
EXILE -- directed by Lisa Peterson (SLAVS, AN ILIAD) and running April 3-13 -- will feature a cast that includes Rebecca Brooksher, Stephanie DiMaggio, Nadine Malouf, Arya Shahi and John C. Vennema. In EXILE, an Iranian-American video game tester develops a game set in a post-nuclear-apocalypse Iran. As she does so, her own relationship becomes a fallout zone.
Winner of the Obie and James Kirkwood Awards for fostering the work of contemporary American Playwrights, each year MENTOR PROJECT engages leading dramatists in one-on-one mentoring relationships with emerging playwrights for an entire theater season, culminating with a production of the writer's play on the Cherry Lane stage.
The award-winning dramatists Eduardo Machado (HAVANA IS WAITING) and Kia Corthron (FORCE CONTINUUM), respectively, mentored the LAWNPEOPLE and EXILE playwrights.
MENTOR PROJECT'S first production of the 2013 season, billed as "An Evening of Solo Performance," featured two one-act solo plays: PAS DE DEUX, written and performed by Lisa Ramirez (EXIT CUCKOO); and JOE, written and performed by Elizabeth A. Davis (Tony-nominated actress for Broadway's ONCE). Ms. Ramirez was mentored by the writer/performer Cynthia Hopkins, and Ms. Davis was mentored by the Tony Award-winning writer of ONCE, Enda Walsh.