Tipping Points

A Benefit Reading of New Short Plays about Family

Monday, September 28 at 7pm

 
 

2537 Broadway at 95th Street
New York, NY

 

Tipping Points was a collection of world-premiere, short plays by Brooke Berman, Halley Feiffer, Kate Gersten, Paul Grellong, Kenneth Lin, Winter Miller, Nilaja Sun, Austin Winsberg, with a special reading by Sarah Ruhl from her book 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write. The cast featured Jason Biggs (American Pie, Orange Is The New Black, The Heidi Chronicles), Celia Keenan-Bolger (The Glass Menagerie, Les Miserable, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) and Ben Shenkman (Royal Pains, Pi, Angels In America). 

Directed by Carolyn Cantor. Partnership Organization, LitWorld. Proceeds are helping to fund home libraries for the families LitWorld serves in Harlem.

There will be a wine reception immediately following the show.

 

Contributing Playwrights

 

Brooke Berman

Brooke Berman is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and memoirist whose work has been produced and published across the US.  Originally trained as an actor and solo performer in the experimental theater, Brooke began performing her own work on the Lower East Side of Manhattan before receiving formal training in playwriting from the Juilliard School. Her play Hunting and Gathering, which premiered at Primary Stages, directed by Leigh Silverman, was named one of the Ten Best of 2008 by New York Magazine.

Brooke’s memoir, No Place Like Home, published by Random House, was called “Highbrow/Brilliant” by New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix.  The book made Elle.com’s “Top Ten Summer Reads,” LA Magazine’s summer reading roundup and the EW piece “If You Like GIRLS, You’ll Love …”

Plays include: 1300 LAFAYETTE EAST, HUNTING AND GATHERING (Primary Stages); SMASHING (The Play Company, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center); UNTIL WE FIND EACH OTHER (Steppenwolf, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center); THE TRIPLE HAPPINESS (Second Stage, The Playwrights Center,  ASK, the Hourglass Group, The Royal Court Theatre), SAM AND LUCY (SPF), A PERFECT COUPLE (WET, Naked Angels, Arielle Tepper Productions), OUT OF THE WATER (Red Stitch Theatre, Melbourne, Australia; Cape Cod Theater Project, ARS Nova, Pioneer Theater, NYU’s Tisch Lab), CASUAL ENCOUNTERS (New Dramatists Creativity Fund, Rising Phoenix Rep), THE LIDDY PLAYS (Crashbox Theater, Rising Phoenix Rep, Williamstown Theater Festival Apprentice Workshop), DANCING WITH A DEVIL (Life Under 30 @ Actors Theater of Louisville) and others.  Her plays have been produced and developed across the US at theaters including: Soho Rep, Williamstown Theater Festival, Naked Angels, MCC, New Dramatists, New Georges, The Womens Project, The Humana Festival, and The Bay Area Playwrights Foundation. In the UK, her work has been developed at The Royal Court Theatre, The National Theatre Studio and Pentabus. Her plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing, Playscripts, Backstage Books and Smith & Kraus.

Brooke recently wrote and directed her first short film, UGGS FOR GAZA, based on a short story by Gordon Haber.  UGGS premiered at the Aspen International ShortsFest where it won an Audience Special Recognition award. ALL SAINTS DAY, a short film she wrote directed by Will Frears, won Best Narrative Short at the Savannah Film Festival and played at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. She adapted her play SMASHING for Natalie Portman and has written features for The Mark Gordon Company, Vox Films, Red Crown, and Fugitive Films. She is currently adapting her play OUT. Brooke is the recipient of a Berilla Kerr Award, a Helen Merrill Award, two Francesca Primus Awards, two LeCompte du Nuoy awards and a commissioning grant from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.  She was a resident playwright at New Dramatists, where she served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, earned a Calloway Award, and developed countless plays. She has received support for her work from the MacDowell Colony and the Corporation of Yaddo and commissions from Arielle Tepper Productions and CTC in Minneapolis.

Brooke has taught as a guest artist in the New York City public school system and at colleges including Eugene Lang, Fordham, and Barnard, as well as privately through the “24 With 5 Teaching Collective” which she co-created at New Dramatists.  She spent five years as the Director of the Playwrights Unit for MCC Theater’s Youth Company, a free after-school program for NYC youth.  She has mentored with the Young Storytellers Foundation in Los Angeles and Young Playwrights in New York.

Brooke attended Barnard College and is a graduate of The Juilliard School. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, PEN and the MCC Playwrights Coalition.

 

Halley Feiffer

Halley Feiffer is a writer and actress. Full-length plays include I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic Theater Company, dir. Trip Cullman; Outer Critics Circle Nomination), How To Make Friends And Then Kill Them (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, dir. Kip Fagan) and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gynecologic Oncology Unit At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MCC Theater, upcoming; dir. Trip Cullman). Her plays have been developed by Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, New York Theater Workshop, LAByrinth Theater Company, The O’Neill and elsewhere. She holds commissions from MTC, MTC / Sloan, Williamstown Theater Festival, Jen Hoguet Productions and Playwrights Horizons. She co-wrote and starred in the 2013 film He's Way More Famous Than You and co-created and stars in the web series What's Your Emergency (dir. Michael Urie). She is a writer on the upcoming Starz series The One Percent (dir. Alejandro Inarritu). 

 

Kate Gersten

Kate Gersten is a 2013 graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School under the mentorship of Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang.  Her play Benefit of the Doubt was produced at The Juilliard School, and was further developed at the Roundabout where she currently is under commission.  Her other plays include A Body of Work, (also developed by the Roundabout, and currently under contract with Ambassador Theatre Group), The Untitled Priscilla Presley Musical (ATG), Be Your Best Friend, (2012 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference Finalist, developed at Roundabout), Father Figure, and Exposed! The Curious Case of Shiloh and Zahara (Stage 13, MITF, Outstanding New Play award.)  Kate is a writer on the Amazon Prime scripted TV series Mozart in the Jungle, has sold two pilots to FOX with Steve McPherson/Lionsgate and Jamie Tarses/Sony respectively, and most recently has sold a pilot to Showtime, also with McPherson.  She is a three-time recipient of the Lincoln Center Le Comte de Nouy Prize.  In addition to her studies at Juilliard, Kate did her undergraduate studies at the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television.

 

Paul Grellong

Paul Grellong’s plays include Manuscript; Warfare; Power of Sail; Dog Park; and Radio Free Emerson (Winner: 2008 Elliot Norton Award from the Boston Theater Critics Association for Outstanding New Script). Manuscript was produced Off-Broadway by Daryl Roth and Scott Rudin. His plays have been read and workshopped at Center Theatre Group, Cape Cod Theatre Project, MCC, Trinity Repertory Company, DR2 Theatre, and the Black Dahlia Theatre. Television credits include: Scorpion, Revolution, Terra Nova, and Law & Order: SVU (Nominee: 2008 Edgar Award for Best Television Episode Teleplay). He graduated from Brown.

 

Kenneth Lin

Kenneth Lin's plays Warrior Class (TCG Edgerton New Play Prize), Fallow (Barrymore Nomination: Outstanding New Play, Brown Martin Philadelphia Award), Intelligence-Slave, Po Boy Tango, (TCG Edgerton New Play Prize), said Saïd (Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition Winner, L. Arnold Weissberger Award, Princess Grace Award), Life On Paper, Agency* and Genius In Love have been seen at theaters throughout the country, including the Second Stage Theatre Company, Alliance Theatre, Northlight Theatre Company, Alley Theatre, People's Light and Theatre Company, South Coast Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Marin Theater Company and East West Players. He is also a writer on Netflix’s Emmy-award winning House of Cards. Education: Yale School of Drama.

 

Winter Miller

Winter Miller was raised by activist and feminist parents in Massachusetts. She is a founding member of the Obie-winning 13 Playwrights and digs theatrical activism. Her play In Darfur won the “Two-Headed Challenge” and premiered in a sold-out run at The Public, followed by an SRO performance at their 1800-seat Delacorte, a first for a play by a woman. She traveled with columnist Nicholas Kristof to Sudan’s border. Plays include: Spare Rib (A History of Abortion), No One Is Forgotten, The Penetration Play, Look At Us, The Arrival, Conspicuous, the musical Amandine and a collection of short and very short plays. She was awarded fellowships from Sundance, Hedgebrook, Cherry Lane Mentor Project, The Playwrights’ Center, The Lark, Blue Mountain Center and Civilians R&D and commissions with New Black Fest’s Trayvon plays, Joe’s Pub with Toshi Reagon, CenterStage’s America, Keen Teens, Theatre Askew, The Guthrie, Gun Control Action and Voices of Uganda. Her writing is included in anthologies by Eve Ensler and Courtneys Martin and Sullivan, 13 Playwrights, New Black Fest, No Passport and some “Best Monologues/Scenes.” Winter leads Writing Warrior Intensives, has led workshops with marginalized youth in NYC, Palestine, Uganda, MA and VT. Her journalism has appeared several dozen times in The New York Times, and in New York Magazine, The Boston Globe, Brooklyn Railand others. Winter invests in promoting equality and justice through word and action. As a Certified Core Energetics Practitioner she incorporates emotional and physical work into her writing practice with clients. New Georges’ and Lark affiliated artist. To get specific, visit: wintermiller.com

 

Nilaja Sun

Nilaja Sun is the solo performer and writer of the Off-Broadway smash No Child..., which had its initial run at the Barrow Street Theatre and was recently revived there in an extended run. For her creation and performance of No Child... and its subsequent national tour, Nilaja garnered 21 awards including: an Obie Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, and two Outer Critics Circle Awards including the John Gassner Playwriting Award for Outstanding New American Play. Theatre credits also include The Commons of Pensacola, Einstein's Gift, Time and The Conways, Huck and Holden, and The Cook.  TV/Film credits include Madam Secretary, Louie, 30 Rock, Law & Order: SVU, Unforgettable, The International, and Rubicon. As a solo performer, her projects include the critically acclaimed Blues for a Gray Sun (INTAR), La Nubia Latina, Black and Blue, Insufficient Fare, Due to the Tragic Events of..., and Mixtures. Nilaja was awarded the soloNOVA Award for Artist of the Year by terraNOVA Collective. Sun was recently awarded a NYSCHA grant, through Epic, to create her newest solo piece, Pike St, which will have its world premiere at the Abrons Arts Center in November. A native of the Lower East Side, she is a Princess Grace Award winner and has worked as a teaching artist in New York City for over 15 years.

 

Austin Winsberg

Austin Winsberg is the book writer of the musical First Date, which enjoyed a sold-out run at Seattle’s 5th Ave/ACT Theatres in 2012, before opening at the Longacre Theatre in August 2013. First Date had a six-month run on Broadway and is now being licensed across America and around the world. Austin is primarily a writer/producer for film and television. He recently adapted the live Sound of Music television event, starring Carrie Underwood, for NBC. His other television credits include Gossip Girl, Jake in Progress (Creator/Executive Producer – youngest showrunner in ABC history), Wedding Album, Still Standing and Glory Days. Winsberg has written numerous television pilots for ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Showtime, Amazon and ABC Family. He has also written movies for New Line, Dreamworks Animation and Warner Bros. Winsberg graduated with a Theater Arts degree from Brown University. He continues to work in theater, directing and mentoring plays for the Blank Theater Company’s Annual Young Playwright’s Festival in Los Angeles.

 

Cast

 

Betsy Aidem

(You Can Count on Me)

 

Pun Bandhu

(Michale Clayton, Wit)

 

Jason Biggs

(American Pie, Orange Is The New Black, The Heidi Chronicles)

 

Maria Dizza

(Orange Is The New Black, In The Next Room)

 

Betty Gilpin

(Nurse Jackie, I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard)

 

Jose Febus

(Buricua)

 

Glenn Fleshler

(Boardwalk Empire, Death of a Salesman)

 

Celia Keenan-Bolger

(The Glass Menagerie, Les Miserable, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee)

 

Jennifer Lim

(Chinglish)

 

Ali Marsh

(Rabbit Hole, The Commons of Pensacola)

 

Mallory Portnoy

(Roger, the Chicken)

 

Matthew Rauch

(The Wolf of Wall Street, No Reservations)

 

Sarah Saltzman

(25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee)

 

Ben Shenkman

(Royal Pains, Pi, Angels In America)

 

Pernell Walker

(The Butler, Annie)

 

Partnership Organization

 

LitWorld

LitWorld is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization creating permanent positive change in the world by empowering young people to author lives of independence, hope, and joy. Led by Founding Executive Director Pam Allyn, LitWorld has been implementing on-the-ground innovative solutions to the hard-to-tackle challenge of illiteracy worldwide since 2007. The combined power of children’s own stories with access to diverse reading and writing experiences and peer-to-peer and adult mentor relationships creates  transformational literacy. LitWorld works in close and trusting partnerships with locally based grassroots organizations to build sustainable outcomes for young people around the world. LitWorld has served communities in Harlem, NYC since 2010. In partnership with the Sweet Chaos Theater Project, LitWorld will be able to create home libraries to help ensure literacy success for these families. Visit litworld.org for more information on LitWorld's mission and programs.