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The Pearl InsIder

All About The Bald Soprano:
Meet the CoMpAny Ionesco's LAnguAge A tIMeLIne of the Absurd PLUS More answers to your questions

September 2011

Honored wItH A 2011 drAMA deSK AwArd at new york City Center Stage II

2011-12 season

The Pearl InsIder

J.R.Sullivan,ArtisticDirector sePTember 2011, Issue no. 2 PerformanceVenue:NewYorkCityCenter,StageII131West55thStreet,between6thand7thAvenuesCityTix:212.581.1212 AdministrativeOffices:307West38thStreet,Suite1805NewYork,NY10018

TICKeT InFormaTIon
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WhaTs InsIde?
From The Artistic Director When Words Collide: Ionesco's Languageand a Leap of Faith Based on the Audience, Part II In Eugne's Own Words What We Did on Our Summer Vacation An Absurd Timeline Meet the Company 3 5 8 9 9 10 11

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tHe 2011-12 SeASon At new yorK CIty Center StAge II

Ionesco Shakespeare Shaw o'neill

September 13 october 23, 2011

november 8 december 24, 2011

January 10 February 19, 2012

March 6 April 15, 2012

reSIdent ACtIng CoMpAny: Jolly Abraham, Rachel Botchan, Robin Leslie Brown, Bradford Cover, Dominic Cuskern, Dan Daily, Robert Hock, Sean McNall, Chris Mixon, Carol Schultz, Edward Seamon, Lee Stark AdMInIStrAtIve StAFF: J.R. Sullivan, Tiffany Kleeman Baran, Justin Dewey, Kate Farrington, Gary Levinson, Michael Levinton, Anna Light, Aaron Schwartzbord, Sarah Wozniak
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FroM tHe ArtIStIC dIreCtor

visitor listening at the door of The Pearls rehearsal studio these days might be hard put to understand exactly what was going on inside. But then, a quick look at the Call Board could help to dispel some confusionthe play in rehearsal on the other side of the door is the absurdist classic The Bald Soprano and the point of all that wildly unusual talk inside is that, existentially speaking, communication fails in the effort. Open the door and take a seat inside and our visitor would see (in rehearsal) a living room set for a world in which certainty hardly exists, a play where character and personality continually disintegrate, and actors who are disregarding the practice that normally informs the construction of their art (i.e. the life of the character, the arc of the action, the thread of the narrative). All of this is done in service to an entirely bizarre world that Eugne Ionesco hilariously presents not as a dispatch from the twilight zone but a report on the life of our times as it actually is: absurd.

The Pearl has something of a history with M. Ionescos work. For many seasons in the companys life on St. Marks Place a lively photo of Robert Hock and Marylouise Burke in The Chairs graced the wall across from the concessions bar, and I very well remember seeing the compelling Exit the King, also featuring Bob Hock, along with fellow resident company members Carol Schultz, Ray Virta, and Celeste Ciulla, among others. The night of the performance was not long after the 9/11 tragedy - almost exactly ten years ago. Ionesco himself never much cared for Martin Esslins term absurd. He wrote that Esslins term absurd is accurate. But I prefer theatre of derision, because the absurd was defined by Shakespeare. The world is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. That is Shakespeare, our great master. Ionesco also wrote: The first play I wrote, The Bald Soprano, made the audience laugh, but in fact it was about the tragedy of language its failure to communicate.The first time I used humor it was so the audience would accept the play. Now the audience knows, as I do and as Marcel Duhamel said, that humor is the politeness of despair. A remarkable play, The Bald Soprano is just the start of a year of great plays from four of the worlds greatest playwrights: Ionesco, Shakespeare, Shaw, and ONeill. The Pearl is truly coming off a very successful season in 2010/2011, capped at seasons end with the very popular Wittenberg, a Lortel Award nomination for The Misanthrope, and then a special 2011 Drama Desk Award for notable productions of classic plays and a stalwart resident acting company. All of this was only possible because of a remarkable audience. It is our audience, our Pearl insiders, whom I describe as great, notable, stalwart and true. The autumn is here. I look forward to seeing you at City Center soon!

Its the start of a new season at The Pearl and kicking off this 28th year of stage classics is the Ionesco play that began a modern movement. The Bald Soprano was initially labeled a failure with its first production in Paris in 1950 but by the time the play was revived there in 1957, Waiting for Godot had landed its remarkable presence and world theatre had a new school for itself that critic Martin Esslin would name Theatre of the Absurd. A new generation of dramatists represented a school of thought wherein purposelessness proved the plight of humankind, whereby existence was out of harmony with its surroundings (out of harmony being the literal meaning of absurd). Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, Harold Pinter, Edward Albee and later dramatists like Christopher Durang would further the absurdist beliefs that were first inaugurated on stage by Eugne Ionesco. Later Ionesco works, such as The Lesson, Rhinoceros, and Exit the King, confirmed his genius for the stage and his Bald Soprano would be awarded a pleasant twist of fate following its earlier failure. That 1957 revival at the Thtre de la Huchette has been in continuous performance ever since, winning a Moliere dhonneur in the process.

J. R. Sullivan Artistic Director|3 |


Scott greer & Chris Mixon in Wittenberg, 2011. photo by Sam Hough.

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wHen wordS CoLLIde:

Ionesco's Languageand a Leap of Faith
Pearl Dramaturg Kate Farrington explores the first production of our 28th season, THE BALD SOPRANO, investigating Eugne Ionesco's relationship with communication and its position in the "first notable effort of what would come to be called the Theatre of the Absurd."
By Kate Farrington

ords were the enemy.

They entrapped; they rang false; they betrayed. Cheapened by decades of overuse and doublespeak, they were wrung out, tired, vacant. Above all, words failed in their primary missionthey did not communicate. For Eugne Ionesco, the grand (and grandiose) prophet of the Absurd, the Failure of Language held a place of honor as a provocative topicright next to the Emptiness of Life, and the Ridiculousness of Death. By turns comic and melancholy, Ionescos duel with words was unending. It had to be. For Ionesco, there was much more riding on the outcome than whether or not modern mankind had exhausted its linguistic possibilities.

himself as a critic and essayist, a reputation built on comically belligerent condemnation of what he viewed as provincial Romanian writers and their outdated literary forms. He mocked, dismissed, and tauntedall the while fearful that his own writing would turn out to be no more substantive than the work of those he condemned. His feelings of discontent in Romania increased with the passing years. He watched in mounting anger the inexorable spread of Nazism, remembering how everyone around me converted to fascism, till it seemed to me that I was the only one left in the world. By 1942 he and his wife had settled permanently in France. And it would be in Paris, in the strange atmosphere of the post-war years, that Ionesco would come into his own as a writer.

How . . . can I express everything that words hide? How can I express what is inexpressible? Ionesco
Eugne Ionesco was the oldest child of a Romanian father and French mother. His childhood was a series of upheavals; his familys move from Romania to Paris in 1914, his baby brothers death, his parents failing marriage, his fathers sudden desertion of the family when Eugne was eight and his more startling reappearance five years later to claim custody of his bewildered children; Eugnes return to Romania with a father he barely knew, and his unhappy home life in a country he could not love. Little wonder that at seventeen Eugne was done with letting other people control his destiny. He left his fathers house for university, in pursuit of his one great passionliterature. Within a few short years he began to make a name for

One is never alone and whenever one speaks, one also speaks of others. Ionesco
Two devastating world wars with their staggering casualties, the dehumanization and slaughter of millions, the end of empires, and the utter failure of age-old institutions to offer an adequate response to these events: these convulsions of the first half of the 20th century had unsettled almost every accepted human truth. Belief in human rationality and in an ordered universe seemed unspeakably nave. But throughout the early 20th century artists, authors, philosophers, and poets had responded to this cataclysmic dismemberment of the universe with stunning creativity. The accepted artistic forms (Realism foremost among them) had reflected a knowable world, a definable human|5 |

One should never explain a jokecertainly not one as bizarre and brilliant as The Bald Soprano. He dubbed it a tragedy of language. Of course, he also called it a comedy of comedies, so you must decide which description you prefer. Suffice it to say that within the boundaries of the play the absurdity of the language lesson reigns supremeand its six characters seem to be both as alien as creatures from another dimensionand as familiar as the family next door. The Bald Soprano premiered inauspiciously in 1950 to a bewildered audience smaller than its cast. No one could have anticipated the ways in which this strange little play by a novice playwright would reverberate in the wider theatrical world. Critics recognized something unique. When Ionescos next play The Lesson premiered the following year, audiences were just as confused, but the play sparked an A-list critical debate that raged for months. Within a few short years, the obscure writer had become a standard bearer of the avant-garde. Play after play followed in quick succession, each one stirring controversy. He constructed worlds built with empty chairs, inflating corpses, rampaging rhinoceroses, and giggling killers. And somehow these mad, mad worlds brought issues of mortality, love, personal freedom, and political turmoil to life in astonishingly vivid style. Ionesco basked in his fame. More than any other writer of the Absurd, he relished telling others about his process, his reasons for writing and (especially) his opinion of everyone elses work. He published memoirs, gave lectures, wrote articlesanything to attract and keep the worlds attention. He loved a good debate, and was always eager to defend his work and his beliefs. The critic Kenneth Tynan famously accused him of believing communication to be impossible and of wasting the publics time with his frivolous plays. The very fact of writing and presenting plays is surely incompatible with such a view, Ionesco retorted. I simply hold that it is difficult to make oneself understood, not absolutely impossible.To attack the absurdity [of the

Ionesco, circa 1957.

psyche, the possibility (even the inevitability) of progress. If meaningless-ness was the only possible meaning, how should art reflect that? Abstract Expressionism, Existentialism, and Dadaism each sought a new way of confronting the modern era. Now a handful of playwrightswriting quite independently of one anotherintroduced a type of playwriting as unlike Realism as possible. Non-linear, surreal, and filled with elements of circus, mime, and music hall, these plays jettisoned the logical world for a shifting, subjective, and often unsettling landscape. They distilled the trauma of war and destruction and projected it out in a harrowing psychic scream, forcing their audience to hear and confront a new version of reality in plays that are by turns dark, comic, disturbing, delicate, and strange. Here, chaos was the only truthand they embraced it. The first notable effort of what would come to be called the Theatre of the Absurd was a one-act play by an obscure authorEugne Ionescos The Bald Soprano.

Mr. Smith: Cockatoos, Cockatoos, Cockatoos, Cockatoos, Cockatoos, Cockatoos, Cockatoos, Cockatoos! The Bald Soprano
The plays concept began as yet another skirmish with his old adversary, language. While learning English, Ionesco had been amazed and appalled by the arbitrary and inane conversations in his language manual. As the fictitious Mr. and Mrs. Smith blithely stated obvious and insignificant facts, the language itself lost all meaning. It was another stark reminder of all that language fails to do. Abandoning his English lessons, and instead feeling almost possessed by the need to write, Ionesco crafted what he would come to call an anti-play based on the bland absurdity of the much-despised language lesson book.
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Theatre Critic Kennth Tynan. Photo by Ida Kar.

human condition] is a way of stating the possibility of non-absurdity. This wasnt just about wordsthis was about life.

have existed. Writing is Ionescos art. It is also his testimonial that he walked the earth. It is his therapy, his confession, his obsession, and his delight. Writing is, in a sense, Ionescos leap of faith.

His is a sort of negative theologyportraying Ionesco seems never to have what is not, rather than found the words he struggled what is. His theatrical for, the words to express a worlds, built from useless truth he could not quite see. knick-knacks and cartoonThe last words he wrote for the ish characters, and from stage end in a weary I dont language that holds only know. But he never admitted trite phrases and strings defeat. of verbal nonsense, force us to ask ourselves: What At the beginning of every seais missing? For Ionesco son of The Pearl Theatre Comthe question was not pany, we also take a leap of merely Do words have faith. This year, we have demeaning? but also Is cided that the whirling words of there something meaninga French-Romanian absurdist Ionesco, circa 1963, at the peak of his celebrity. ful enough in our lives that can say the unsayable. We afwe should bother trying to express it? firm that intricate four hundred-year-old poetry can speak with profound clarity to a modern ear. We trust that an upWords could be the enemybut paradoxically, they were start dramatist of the Victorian twilight and a world-weary also redemption. A writer writes, he said, to be under- American master can show us paths to self-knowledge in stood . . . to be saved. Language was all wrong, but a truly their vastly different ways. We choose to place our faith authentic language could express the inexpressibleif in the merest possibility that words spoken on the stage only we could find the right words. He wrote in hope of find- grope, however clumsily, towards something real. Perhaps ing those words. He wrote so that others should share my it is an absurd faith. Perhaps. But it is one all theatre artamazement and my wonderment at life, at the miracle of istsand theatergoersinherently profess. the world; and that our cry of anguish should be heard by God and by our fellow men, so that they should know we

Be a part of our conversation...

The Pearls longstanding Tuesday Talks post-show discussion series gives our audience the chance to participate in intimate talk-backs with artists, cast members, and invited guests. Please join us after the production on September 27 and October 4 to have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about THE BALD SOPRANO.


BASed on tHe AudIenCe

Last season we distributed 2,400 surveys to our audience as part of a national study of Intrinsic Impact. Over 48% of the surveys were completed, giving us vital information about what you (our audience) think of our work and how we can continue to provide quality theatre with our resident ensemble. This past summer we began sharing answers to your questions and results from the study. Here are some more of your questions answered by our staff and artists.
ROSMERSHOLM: Why did [Ibsen] choose to mix realism and mysticism in this play when so many of [his] works are one or the other?

THE MISANTHROPE: Was it difficult to perform with the lack of props?

Yes! I really wanted a glass of champagne in that salon scene - or a chaise to lounge on with Alceste. It was difficult to imagine a realistic sense of place with so few tangible objects to grasp and so little stage business, but in the end I think that allowed us to really play with the language in a way that would have been overshadowed by a lot of activity. - Janie Brookshire, Climne

Joey Parsons & Janie Brookshire in THE MISANTHROPE. Photo by Jacob J. Goldberg.

WITTENBERG: With which character do you most identify?

Theres some of me in all the characters, of course. I share some existential confusion and decision-making difficulty with Hamlet, and a loathing of (especially religious) hypocrisy with Luther, but I identify most with Faustus, as someone who always seeking answers and maintaining a generally skeptical (if not occasionally cynical) outlook on humanity and civilization. - David Davalos, Playwright

Sean McNall in WITTENBERG. Photo by Sam Hough. Bradford Cover & Margot White in ROSMERSHOLM. Photo by Gregory Costanzo.

To read more questions and answers, visit our blog at

We'll be continuing to share responses to your questions throughout the season.

ROSMERSHOLM: How did you prepare for getting into your character?

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I listened to The Black Keys song, Tighten Up every night on my way to the theatre and tried to connect with each of the other actors before places to embark on our pending journey as a collaborative effort. Then just before going onstage, I centered myself alone backstage, ran my hands through the wet grass I carried on, and rustled it in time with the prelude music to sync my sounds and senses to the play. - Margot White, Rebecca West

Dan Daily in ROSMERSHOLM. Photo by Gregory Costanzo

Rosmersholm was written as Ibsen was entering a very different stage in his writingone in which realism and expressionism began increasingly to bleed together. Myth and Mysticism play a huge role in Rosmersholm, Little Eyolf, and When We Dead Awaken to name a few. In fact, more of his plays after this time have one foot in the realistic world and the other in a surreal, almost supernatural landscape. Kate Farrington, Dramaturg

In EugnE's own words

Eugne Ionesco was never shy about giving his opinion on any subject, ever. As a Theatre-of-the-Absurd playwright, its no surprise Ionesco did not care what others thought. Just see for yourselfbelow are a few of his bold statements.
Does a play seem realistic? Then it is a bad play . . . As is true for all the arts, the theaters mission is knowledge. Knowledge does not come from imitation, but from diving into, disassociating, purifying realities. I am at the age when you grow ten years older in one year, when an hour is only a few minutes long . . . yet I onscientiously I copied still run after life in the hope of catching it at the last whole sentences from my minute. primer with the purpose of memorizing them. Rereading Language should almost them attentively, I learned not break up or explode in its English but some astonishing fruitless effort to contain so truthsthat, for example, there many meanings. are seven days in the week, something I already knew; that the floor is down, the ceiling Perhaps I succeeded up, things I already knew as by means of the well, perhaps, but that I had never seriously thought about or theater in arousing in had forgotten, and that seemed people what is most to me, suddenly, as stupefying as intimate, most solitary. they were indisputably true.

At least that is a hope.

hat is comical is the unusual in its pure state; nothing seems more surprising to me than that which is banal; the surreal is here, within grasp of our hands, in our everyday conversation.


While The Pearl did not have any performances this summer, our Resident Acting Company got to explore other adventures around the country. Curious as to what they have been up to? Check out a few updates from some of our RAC on how they spent their summer vacation!
I spent the summer performing three roles in rotating repertory with the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, Minnesota: Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Nights Dream, Huckleby in The Fantasticks, and Bardolph in Henry IV, Part One. This was my fourth season as a company member with GRSF. Chris Mixon I spent the summer traveling with my husband, Hal, and our 3-month old baby boy, Benjamin! Benjamin is becoming a real theatre baby. Rachel Botchan In June, I planted Uncle Angelos tomatoes, jalapeos, basil, and zucchini squash. In July, I vacationed with Abigail, Gertrude, and Gracie at The Farm in Summertown, TN. And in August, I lived, breathed, and taught Shakespeare at The Stella Adler School. Sean McNall Finished work on a very small budget film in which I ended up covered in blood. A grisly comedy, MR. BEAR. Dan Daily I played Julia in Two Gents at Great Lakes Theater Festival and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, camped in the Sawtooth Mountains, and got a one-year old Chihuahua from the Idaho Humane Society. Im now rehearsing Dracula at Indiana Rep, a production which will transfer to Geva in Rochester later in the fall. Lee Stark "The Pearl talent stood strong at Gallery Players in Park Slope Brooklyn" said Robin Leslie Brown, who directed a piece in Gallery Players Black Box Festival of New Plays. The play, called The Greenhouse, featured Pearl Trustees James J. Periconi and Alice Teirstein. The festival was produced by RAC member Dominic Cuskern.|9 |

An ABSurd tIMeLIne
1896: Premiere of Alfred Jarrys Ubu Roi 1899: Henrik Ibsens final play, When We Dead Awaken, serves as an Expressionistic epilogue to the career of a writer strongly associated with Realism 1902: August Strindbergs Expressionistic A Dream Play performed 1909: Eugene Ionesco born in Slatina, Romania 1912: Marcel Duchamp paints Nude Descending a Staircase 1914-1918: World War I devastates Europe 1918: Start of Influenza pandemic22 million people will die by 1920. 1918-1920: Ulysses by James Joyce appears in serial form. It is initially banned in the US 1920: The Emperor Jones and Beyond the Horizon by Eugene ONeill -The 19th Amendment gives American women the right to vote. -Babe Ruth sold from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees for $125,000

Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello: 1921 -Edvard Munchs painting The Kiss Fanz Kafka, The Trial published posthumously: 1925 "Metropolis" directed by Fritz Lang: 1926 Jean Cocteaus Orphe and Oedipe-Roi: 1927 -"The Jazz Singer," the first talkie -Heideggers Sein und Zeit Empire State Building completed: 1931 Premiere of Lorcas Blood Wedding: 1933 World War II begins: 1939 Albert Camus The Myth of Sisyphus published exploring the philosophy of the Absurd: 1942 Being and Nothingness by Jean Paul Sarte published. It is one of the most important explorations of Existentialism: 1943 The Maids by Jean Genet: 1947

1949: Jackson Pollack paints Number 1 1950: The Bald Soprano premieres in Paris 1953: Premier of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett 1958: The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter 1959: Zoo Story by Edward Albee 1963: Assassination of President Kennedy 1966: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
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Meet tHe CoMpAny

The cast and production team are working hard right now to prepare for the first performance of THE BALD SOPRANO on September 13. Read a little bit more about who's who.


Jolly Abraham (Mrs.Martin) Resident Acting Company member since 2008. Broadway: Coram Boy and Bombay Dreams. Favorites at Pearl include: Hamlet, Hard Times, and Constant Couple. Off-Broadway: Twelfth Night (Sonnet Rep), The Grecian Formula (NYC Fringe Festival 2008), McReele (Roundabout). Regional: Scorched (Wilma Theater, Barrymore Nomination), Vaidehi (Chautauqua), Loves Labours Lost (The Shakespeare Theatre DC and RSC), and Pentecost (Old Globe). Lincoln Center Directors Lab 2002/2008. TV: Lights Out, Gossip Girl, Sex and the City, Ed, Law and Order: SVU/CI, Bedford Diaries, White Collar, and Nurse Jackie. Film: Stay, Loving Leah, and After You Left. Jolly has a BFA from The North Carolina School of the Arts. Rachel Botchan (Mrs. Smith) Resident Acting Company member since 2000. Favorite roles at The Pearl include: Louisa in Hard Times, Jane in Vieux Carr, Carrie in Toys in the Attic, Ellie Dunn in Heartbreak House, Juliet, and Anne in Richard III (Bayfield Award). Other Off-Broadway: A Klezmers Tale, The Blacksmiths Folly, and The Maiden of Ludmir, Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre. Regional: Picasso at the Lapin Agile at Two River Theater, Orsons Shadow at Philadelphia Theatre Company (Barrymore nomination for supporting actress); You Cant Take It With You at Milwaukee Repertory Theater; Private Lives at Virginia Stage; King Lear at Cincinnati Playhouse and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Ms. Botchan is a narrator for Recorded Books. Training: NYU, Tisch. Robin Leslie Brown (Mary) Founding Resident Acting Company member since 1984. Favorite Pearl roles include: Gertrude, Nora, Major Barbara, Daisy Mayme, The Master Builder's Aline Solness, and Anna in Toys in the Attic. Ms. Brown created the secretary in the world premiere of Deb Margolins Imagining Madoff at Stageworks/Hudson. Other stages: Geva, JRT, EST, HB Playwrights, Westbeth, TACT, and Saint Michaels Playhouse where she performed Jennet in The Ladys Not for Burning and Kate in Other Peoples Money. Robins one-woman show Dorothy Parker: Red Room Blues has accompanied national art exhibitions. Recent Film/Television: Law & Order, The Shooting of Johnson Roebling, and net series, Manic Attack. Directing credits: Gallery Players, Pearl staged reading series, and assistant director regional premiere- Brutal Imagination at Stageworks/Hudson. Bradford Cover (Mr. Smith) Resident Company member since 1994 and Pearl Trustee. Broadway: A Thousand Clowns. OffBroadway: Return of the Prodigal (the Mint), The Man of Destiny

(Project Shaw), Waxing West (Lark Play Development Center), The Actors Company Theatre. Regional: Two River Theater, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Cleveland Play House, Vermont Stage Co., McCarter Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, New London Barn, Berkshire Theatre Festival, St. Michaels Playhouse, Pennsylvania and Texas Shakespeare Festivals. Television: Law and Order, All My Children, The Good Wife. Film: LaFrench. Directing: The Country Wife (Odyssey Productions), House of Bernarda Alba, and Summer (American Academy of Dramatic Arts), Mandrake (Bowman Ensemble), Tinkerbell (Theatre Row). Acting faculty at AMDA. Co-Founder and Associate Artistic Director of Bowman Ensemble. Denison University, University of Wisconsin. Dan Daily (The Fire Chief) Resident Acting Company member since 1998: John in The Subject Was Roses, Tarleton in Misalliance, Richard in Richard III, Don Diego in The Gentleman Dancing Master, Solness in The Master Builder, and Rough in Angel Street, among many others. NY Stage: The Dining Room (Keen Company, Drama Desk Award); Sin: A Cardinal Deposed (The New Group, Obie Award), The Tenth Man (Lincoln Center Theater), and The Scarlet Letter (CSC). Film: Duplicity, Blood and Wine, Daylight, Seabiscuit, and Mr. Bear. TV: Boardwalk Empire, Ed, Law and Order, and Pete and Pete. An alumnus of The University of Notre Dame and trained by Robert L. Hobbs at The University of Washington, Mr. Daily teaches and directs at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Brad Heberlee (Mr. Martin) Off-Broadway: Dada Woof Papa Hot (Atlantic Theater Company), This Beautiful City (Vineyard Theatre/The Civilians), The Thugs (Soho Rep), (I am) Nobodys Lunch (The Civilians), Man Is Man (Prospect Theater Company). Regional: Frost/Nixon (Arkansas Rep), This Beautiful City (Humana Festival/Center Theater Group/Studio Theatre), The Sweetest Swing In Baseball (Denver Center Theatre Company), 36 Views (Huntington Theatre Company), Hay Fever (Baltimore CENTERSTAGE), Serious Money (Yale Rep), I Am My Own Wife and David Copperfield (Weston Playhouse), A Thousand Clowns (Two River Theater), Amadeus (Syracuse Stage/Virginia Stage/Geva Theatre). Television: Unforgettable. Mr. Heberlee is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.|11 |

Eugne Ionesco (Playwright) Born in Slatina, Romania in 1909 to a Romanian father and French mother, Ionesco spent most of his childhood in France. He started his career as a noted essayist and critic, only beginning writing plays in 1948 with The Bald Soprano after trying to learn English using the Assimil method and realizing how banal, uncommunicative, and absurd the phrases he was learning were. The Bald Soprano was first performed in 1950, and heralded a new direction in theatre. Other plays followed, most notably, by The Lesson in 1951, Rhinoceros in 1959, and Exit the King in 1962. Ionesco died in 1994. Donald M. Allen (Translator) Born in Iowa in 1912, Mr. Allen is known as an influential editor, publisher, and translator of contemporary American literature. Best known for his project The New American Poetry 1945-1960, he began his career as a translator. He was one of the first translators of Eugne Ionesco, helping to introduce the playwright to American audiences in the

1960s. He edited work by Lew Welch and Frank OHara and served as CEO of Grey Fox Press, works by Jack Spicer and Philip Whalen. He died in 2004. Hal Brooks (Director) directed Nilaja Suns Obie Award Winning No Child, Will Enos Pulitzer Finalist Thom Pain (based on nothing), and Mona Mansours Urge for Going (Public Theater). Regional: Six Years (Humana), Back Back Back (Dallas Theater Center), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Two River), My Name is Asher Lev (Marin). Other New York: Valparaiso, The Flu Season, What Then and Precious Little. Mr. Brooks is the Associate Artistic Director of the Ojai Playwrights Conference, a member of LCT Directors Lab, a Drama League Fellow, a recipient of the NEA/TCG Program for Directors, and Artistic Director of the Cape Cod Theatre Project. Upcoming: Tigers Be Still (Dallas), The Whale (Denver).

the cast of The Bald Soprano. photo by Jacob J. goldberg.

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The Pearl is going back to school. We want to connect with our community of college professors and students to enrich our art on the stage and the educational experience in the classroom. Through Classics on the Campus, our artists are going to your college campuses and bringing with them whats happening at the theatre. Its new, its exciting, and we cant wait to partner with New York Citys best and brightest!
If you want us in your class, or have more questions, reach out to Sarah Wozniak at 212.505.3401 or

Curtain-Up Classics
Join Resident Actor Carol Schultz and Pearl Dramaturg Kate Farrington for an in-depth, preshow study of Ionescos The Bald Soprano. Through lecture, roundtable discussion, and improvisation participants will enrich their theatre-going experience by exploring and analyzing excerpts from absurdist theatre and literature, philosophy, and surrealist art and culture. This program is currently offered free of charge to Pearl subscribers. Saturday, October 15, 2011 11:00am-12:30pm at New York City Center Stage II
RSVP to Sarah Wozniak at Continue the discussion at a specially-priced brunch at Brasserie Cognac:

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