Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

NYU Theatrical Production Presents the World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s ‘Describe the Night’ in the Shubert Theatre at Tisch School of the Arts through November 24

Playwright Rajiv Joseph is flanked by his Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo cast members Glenn Davis and Arian Moayed on the set of his new play, "Describe the Night" at the Shubert Theatre in New York on November 21, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwright Rajiv Joseph is flanked by his Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo cast members Glenn Davis and Arian Moayed on the set of his new play, “Describe the Night” at the Shubert Theatre in New York on November 21, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwright Rajiv Joseph and his director Giovanna Sardelli on the set of his new play, "Describe the Night" at the Shubert Theatre in New York on November 21, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwright Rajiv Joseph and his director Giovanna Sardelli on the set of his new play, “Describe the Night” at the Shubert Theatre in New York on November 21, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo cast members Glenn Davis and Arian Moayed came out to support their playwright Rajiv Joseph at the world premiere of his new play Describe the Night, presented by NYU Theatrical Production.

Helmed by frequent collaborator Giovanna Sardelli, the NYU Tisch Grad Acting Class of 2015 cast features Tim Nicolai (Feliks), Carlos Dengler (Isaac), Jonathan Louis Dent (Ryan), KeiLyn Durrel Jones (Vova), Stephen Stocking (Nikolai), Carol Yvonne Brown (Urzula), Emma Duncan (Mariya), and Erin Neufer (Yevgenia).

KeiLyn Durrel Jones, Stephen Stocking, Carol Yvonne Brown, Tim Nicolai, Carlos Dengler, Jonathan Louis Dent, Emma Duncan and Erin Neufer at the KGB Bar in New York for the closing night party of his new play Describe the Night on November 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

KeiLyn Durrel Jones, Stephen Stocking, Carol Yvonne Brown, Tim Nicolai, Carlos Dengler, Jonathan Louis Dent, Emma Duncan and Erin Neufer at the KGB Bar in New York for the closing night party of Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night on November 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances for the limited engagement began on November 19th and continue through Monday, November 24th, 2014, in the Shubert Theatre, Tisch School of the Arts, 721 Broadway (Between Waverly & Washington) in New York. All performances are in the Fifth Floor Theatre. Tickets are $10- $15 and can be purchased by clicking here. The box office is open 1 hour prior to event. For more information, click here.

Synoposis:
The dark forest of Soviet paranoia are filled with secrets deep within its thickets. The ghost of a Stalinist execution casts its penumbral shadow across the career of a young KGB agent named Vladimir Putin. This stimulating drama probes the mysterious 2010 crash of a Polish airplane, uncovering 90 years of lies, infidelity, war, secrets, and love.

With set design by Brendan Boston, costume design by Michelle Roy, lighting design by Michael McGee. Caroline Englander is the Stage Manager.

Performance Schedule:
Wed Nov 19 | 8pm
Thurs Nov 20 | 8pm
Fri Nov 21 | 8pm
Sat Nov 22 | 2pm (soldout)
Sat Nov 22 | 8pm
Sun Nov 23 | 8pm
Mon Nov 24 | 8pm

Local transportation : Subway: 6 to Astor Place, N,R to 8th Street, A,C,E to West 4th Street, 1 to Christopher Street/Sheridan Square, F to Broadway Lafayette Bus: M2, M3, and M5 to 8th Street and University Place, M8 to Broadway, M6 to Waverly Place

Giovanna Sardelli, KeiLyn Durrel Jones, Stephen Stocking, Carol Yvonne Brown, Tim Nicolai, Carlos Dengler, Jonathan Louis Dent, Emma Duncan, Erin Neufer and Rajiv Joseph at the KGB Bar in New York for the closing night party of his new play Describe the Night on November 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Giovanna Sardelli, KeiLyn Durrel Jones, Stephen Stocking, Carol Yvonne Brown, Tim Nicolai, Carlos Dengler, Jonathan Louis Dent, Emma Duncan, Erin Neufer and Rajiv Joseph at the KGB Bar in New York for the closing night party of his new play Describe the Night on November 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

About the “New Play Slot”
Joseph’s Describe the Night is an original work making its debut at the Graduate Acting Program. It was developed at the Tisch School of the Arts in a collaboration between Grad Acting and the Department of Design for Stage and Film. Last spring, two separate teams of student actors and designers each worked with a professional playwright and director for two weeks to develop a dramatic idea around a particular subject. They liberally followed the Joint Stock method, a company-centered theatrical research processed devised by the Joint Stock Theatre Company, a pioneering British troupe, active from 1974 to 1989, whose work is still influential. The group: acts, designers, playwright and director amass as much information on a given subject as possible through interviews, videos, field trips, talks, theatre exercises.

The cast, crew and creative team of Rajiv Joseph's Describe the Night at the KGB Bar in New York for the closing night party on November 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast, crew and creative team of Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night at the KGB Bar in New York for the closing night party on November 24, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Over the summer, each playwright crafted a full-length play with roles for the actors on their “team,” while the directors and designers, using the workshop as their reference, conceived the conceptual work on their respective productions. After numerous script revisions, the plays went into rehearsal in early October.

Playwright Rajiv Joseph on the set of his new play, "Describe the Night" at the Shubert Theatre in New York on November 21, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwright Rajiv Joseph on the set of his new play, “Describe the Night” at the Shubert Theatre in New York on November 21, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Rajiv Joseph’s plays include Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, a 2010 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Gruesome Playground Injuries (2009); Animals Out of Paper (2008); The North Pool (2011); The Monster at the Door (2011); Huck and Holden (2005); and The Lake Effect (2013). He is the book writer and co-lyricist for the new Peter Pan musical, Fly, and the co-screenwriter of the Lionsgate release Draft Day, a 2014 feature dramedy about pro football, directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. He also wrote during the third and fourth seasons of the Showtime series “Nurse Jackie.” Joseph earned his BA in creative writing from Miami University and his MFA in playwriting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa. Joseph was named a 2010 Rockefeller Fellow by United States Artists. He is the recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award, the Whiting Award, the Glickman Award, the 2013 Equity Jeff Award for The Lake Effect, produced by Silk Road Rising in Chicago, and the prestigious 2013 Steinberg Playwright Award from the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

Upcoming projects include two world premieres:
South Coast Repertory is presenting the world premiere of Mr. Wolf, directed by David Emmes as part of the 18th Annual Pacific Playwrights Festival, on the Julianne Argyros Stage, from April 12, 2015 – May 3, 2015. In Mr. Wolf, Theresa is 17 years old, and she can map out the solar system. She understands the universe—how and why it came to be. She has a man named Mr. Wolf to thank for that. Now the only life she has ever known is coming to an end. She’s being taken away—turned over to people who are strangers to her. They can’t possibly understand her needs, when they seem to be lost, too. And they’re all asking the same questions: What is home? Where do I belong?

Atlantic Theater Company is presenting the world premiere of Guards at the Taj in the Linda Gross Theater, from May 6, 2015 to June 14, 2015. Set in 1648 at the completion of the Taj Mahal, two Imperial Guards watch from their post and are forced to question the concept of friendship, beauty and duty that changes them forever.

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Lia Chang and Rajiv Joseph. Photo by GK

Lia Chang and Rajiv Joseph. Photo by GK

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards

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Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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