Thursday, June 27, 2013

Manic Pixie Dream Girl Takes a Bite from the Big Apple!

The critically-acclaimed Manic Pixie Productions and PlayGround (“Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party”)  production of MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, a graphic novel play, by Katie May, directed by Jon Tracy, and featuring the art of Rob Dario, will be presented as part of the 17th New York International Fringe Festival, August 9-16 at The Living Theater. The San Francisco cast returns, including Liz Anderson, Michael Barrett Austin, Lyndsy Kail and Joshua Roberts, and joined by Antonio Alvarez. For tickets visit www.FringeNYC.org.

PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann said, “This is our third production heading to New York in the past five years and second to be featured at the New York International Fringe Festival. It’s extremely gratifying to see the increasing attention Bay Area playwrights are drawing outside of the Bay Area and, clearly, the trend is growing.”

Two indie art forms intersect in this darkly comic story about a struggling graphic novelist who falls in love with a mysteriously silent manic pixie dream girl, a term coined by film critic Nathan Rubin to describe “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” Think Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown or Natalie Portman in Garden State. May’s play takes this stock character and traces what happens if the quirky, girlish character that is supposed to serve the needs of the eccentric leading man becomes a full-fledged character.

Originally commissioned and developed by PlayGround, Manic Pixie Dream Girl is produced by PlayGround, Katie May, Liz Anderson, Jim Kleinmann and David Steele, who premiered the play at the A.C.T. Costume Shop Theater in San Francisco in January 2013.The San Francisco Examiner called it “short, crisp and devilishly entertaining.” The San Francisco Chronicle described it as “an offbeat blend of realism and cartoon exaggeration. The debut of an intriguing new voice.”

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Katie May’s plays include Black Sheep Gospel (Great Plains Theater Conference), A History of Freaks (finalist for the David Mark Cohen Award in playwriting), and Manic Pixie Dream Girl (SF PlayGround fellowship commission) among others. Her short play Rapunzel’s Etymology of Zero (Best of PlayGround Festival, Short + Sweet Sydney) was published in the Best of PlayGround Anthology, 2011. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Virginia Piper Writing Center and the National University of Singapore, a grant from the Society for Women in Film, and an Emerging Playwright Award from PlayGround.

Jon Tracy is also the recipient of the Kennedy Center Meritorious Achievement Award, 15 North Bay Arty Awards, a Sacramento Elly Award, a Bay Area Critics’ Circle Award and is a grant recipient from Theatre Bay Area and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a proud member of SDC, the union for stage directors and choreographers. jontracy.com

PlayGround has been a leading incubator for some of the Bay Area’s most promising new playwrights since 1994, premiering 116 original short plays by 61 Bay Area emerging playwrights from several thousand submissions through its Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series and Best of PlayGround Festival. PlayGround has also commissioned 48 new full-length plays and supports the premiere of many of these works in partnership with Bay Area theatres through its innovative New Play Production Fund.

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