Ethan Lipton's new play Red-Handed Otter ends its world premiere at Playwrights Realm today, October 6, 2012.
In Red-Handed Otter, a group of overnight security guards try to comfort one of their crew after the loss of his beloved cat. But, in this quirky comedy by one of New York's hottest emerging playwrights, the coworkers' awkward and hilarious attempts to console him just prove that some comforts only come on four legs.
"Red-Handed Otter is an acute and nuanced look at the foibles of humanity, and as a pet owner I love the examination of humans’ strange and wonderful relationship with pets," says Ms. Kovner.
Directed by Mike Donahue, the guards will be played by Off-Broadway stalwarts Matt Maher (Soho Rep’s Uncle Vanya), Rebecca Henderson (Playwrights Horizons' The Retributionists), Bobby Moreno (Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Hand to God), Gibson Frazier (13P’s Internationalist), and Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Manhattan Theatre Club’s Ruined). Red-Handed Otter will be designed by Andrew Boyce (scenery), Moria Sine Clinton (costumes), Lucrecia Briceño (lighting), and Jill BC DuBoff (sound).
Mr. Lipton developed Red-Handed Otter as a 2011 Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow. He won a 2012 OBIE for his music-theatre piece No Place To Go which premiered earlier this year at Joe's Pub. Lipton’s play Luther was acclaimed this spring as part of the Clubbed Thumb Summerworks 2012 Festival at HERE Arts Center.
Mr. Lipton's plays have been seen and heard in New York, LA, Seattle, Edinburgh (Scotland) and Berne (Austria) at theaters including the Public, Lark, 3LD, HERE, the Ohio, New York Stage and Film, Dixon Place, WPA, Complex, and Powerhouse, with companies including Clubbed Thumb (of which he is a member of the Writers Group), Gotham Stage, Buffalo Nights, New Century, and Rude Mechanicals. Mr. Lipton is winner of a New York Foundation for the Arts grant and a Drama-Logue Award for playwriting. He has been a Kesselring nominee, an O’Neil Conference finalist, and a member of The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group. As a musician, he has sung backup for Laurie Anderson and as an actor he originated the role of Klipspringer in Elevator Repair Service's award-winning production Gatz.
Ethan Lipton is also Playwrights Realm's first PAGE ONE playwright, a program that guarantees him a sweep of services for an entire year to aid in the advancement of his career. PAGE ONE services include a competitive stipend, health insurance, travel/professional development funds, a full Off-Broadway production, readings of script(s) in development, theatre tickets, and midtown office space. More than just a residency for the development of one play, PAGE ONE provides a comprehensive toolkit a playwright can use to build their entire career.
"I'm thrilled to continue working with Ethan for the long-term and hope that this program creates an artistic home for him at the Realm," Ms. Kovner said. "Ethan’s style is wonderful and utterly unique; I have no doubt he will be one of the great voices of the next generation of American theater. I hope our programs can play a part in nurturing his rise."
Playwrights Realm produces one Off-Broadway play each year. Last season, the company produced the world premiere of the acclaimed Crane Story by Jen Silverman, directed by Ms. Kovner. Previous Playwrights Realm full productions include Gonzalo Rodriguez Risco's Dramatis Personae, Christopher Wall's Dreams of The Washer King, Anna Ziegler's Dov and Ali, and Anton Dudley's Substitution.