Retro Productions is proud to kick off their 6th season with Michael Frayn's Benefactors. Directed by Peter Zinn (Holy Days, Retro Productions; Rumspringa, 45 Bleecker), the 6-time 2010 New York Innovative Theatre Award nominated company brings Benefactors back to New York City November 3 - 20, 2010.
Set against the backdrop of the 1960s new housing projects in London, Benefactors centers on an idealistic architect David, his wife Jane and their relationship with their cynical friend Colin and his wife Sheila. David is attempting to build new homes to replace the "twilight area" housing of Basuto Road and is gradually forced by the housing council into designing skyscrapers despite his aversion to them. Sheila becomes his secretary, but when Colin leaves her and their children to squat in Basuto Road and wage battle against the proposed project, it is unclear if Sheila is helping David and Jane or the other way around.
Benefactors has an ensemble four person cast made up of acclaimed indie theater actors: Heather E. Cunningham (Holy Days, Still Life, Retro; 2007 Backstage Performance to Remember), David Ian Lee* (Mac Rodgers' Universal Robots; 2009 NYITA Outstanding Lead Actor nomination, The Reckoning of Kit and Little Boots, The Gallery Players/Engine 37), Matthew Semler (Hedda Gabler, The Irish Classical Theatre Company) and Kristen Vaughan (2 NYITA Outstanding Lead Actress nominations, The Desk Set and Mill Fire, Retro Productions) *Performing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association
Peter Zinn (Holy Days, Retro Productions; Rumspringa, 45 Bleecker) directs, teaming up with Retro Productions' acclaimed production team: Jeanne Travis* is sound designer, set design is by Rebecca and Jack Cunningham, costume design is by Ben Philip (Costume Assistant, ABC's Ugly Betty, FOX's Running Wilde), lighting design is by Justin Sturges (newFangled theatReR) and the Production Stage Manager is Ricardo Rust (recipient, AEA 2008 Roger Sturtevant Award).
Benefactors opens Wednesday, November 3rd at 8 pm and runs Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, through November 20th. There will be two special performances Sunday, November 7th at 3 pm and Monday, November 15th at 8 pm. Running in repertory will be a Retro Productions encore presentation of Women and War by Jack Hilton Cunningham, Tuesdays at 7 pm and Saturdays at 2 pm. There is no late seating for this production.
All performances take place at the Spoon Theater, located at 38 West 38th Street on the 5th Floor, New York, NY 10018. The Spoon Theater is air conditioned and fully handicapped accessible. Take the 7, B, D, F or V to 5th Ave/Bryant Park, or the B, D, F, V, N, R, W, Q to Herald Square. Lot parking available nearby.
Tickets to Benefactors are $18 and $15 for seniors with valid ID. There is a $5 student rush with valid ID, based on availability. 2010 repertory passes to Women and War and Benefactors are available, in addition to the 2010-2011 season. Tickets can be purchased by calling Theatermania at 212.352.3101, or online at www.retroproductions.org. The theater box office accepts cash only and opens one half hour prior to show time. Retro Productions participates in the TDF Voucher program. For group rates, inquire to email@example.com.
Retro Productions received recognition from their first two productions of Catholic School Girls and Mrs. California (as River Heights Productions) then gathered momentum in their second season with the Retro production of Still Life. Directed by Ric Sechrest, Still Life received accolades from playwright Emily Mann: "Your production got it...Every aspect of the experience was first rate. Retro is clearly a company dedicated to creating impeccable work that truly matters," and earnEd Heather E. Cunningham a 2007 Back Stage Performance to Remember. Retro Productions put themselves on the map in their third season producing Sally Nemeth's Mill Fire and What I Did Last Summer, called "...first-rate: brisk, sweet and occasionally quite moving," by playwright A.R. Gurney. Their first season in residence at The Spoon Theater garnered six 2008 New York Innovative Theatre Award nominations: two for performance and four for design, a New York Magazine 'Off-off Broadway pick' and the growing reputation of 'the finished effect of a Retro Production' (The Fab Marquee, Mill Fire). Retro's fourth season included The Tender Trap, called "a powerful display of New York's dramatic talent," (offoffonline) and the celebrated revival of When You Comin' Back Red Ryder?. Retro Productions started their fifth season with Sally Nemeth's Holy Days, Directed by Peter Zinn, "Retro Productions is a force of nature...[Holy Days] is everything that is great about American theatre." - nytheatre.com, and concluded it with the six-time New York Innovative Theatre Award nominated, The Desk Set.