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A new play by Kevin Armento & Bryony Lavery, BALLS bounces one of the most memorable tennis events off the cultural debates it ignited!
A new play by Kevin Armento & Bryony Lavery, BALLS bounces one of the most memorable tennis events off the cultural debates it ignited!
115 backers pledged $13,233 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$13,233

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Hello friends, philanthropists, theater lovers and tennis fiends! 

Join us in supporting the World Premiere production of BALLS by Kevin Armento and Bryony Lavery – OYL’s most ambitious work to date!   

OYL Artists Ethan Slater, Olivia McGiff, Nick Flint and Richard Saudek in the March 2017 workshop of BALLS
OYL Artists Ethan Slater, Olivia McGiff, Nick Flint and Richard Saudek in the March 2017 workshop of BALLS

ABOUT BALLS:

It’s 1973, and Houston’s Astrodome is playing host to one of the biggest pop culture events of all time, as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs faceoff in The Battle of the Sexes tennis match! Produced in conjunction with Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston, Texas, BALLS is an exciting new work that takes on an iconic moment in history filled with sexism and spectacle, tennis and trash-talking, civil rights and celebrity, and so much more.  

Co-written by Tony award nominee Bryony Lavery and Edinburgh Stage award winner Kevin Armento, BALLS embraces OYL’s high-intensity physical groove and features a shot-by-shot reimagining of the entire match in a carnival-like atmosphere! 

BALLS reading with playwrights Kevin Armento and Bryony Lavery in March 2017
BALLS reading with playwrights Kevin Armento and Bryony Lavery in March 2017

WHEN & WHERE:

In October 2017, BALLS will receive its world premiere in Houston at Stages Repertory Theatre.

In January 2018, BALLS will move to Off-Broadway for a 6-week run in NYC at 59E59 Theaters in their 195-seat theater. 

OYL Artist Richard Saudek in the March 2017 workshop of BALLS
OYL Artist Richard Saudek in the March 2017 workshop of BALLS

SUPPORT BALLS:

With 2 playwrights, 2 directors, 1 movement director, 10 actors, 4 designers, 1 dramaturg, tennis and clowning coaches, and many more artists on board already, and with the extraordinary support and partnership of Stages Repertory Theatre and 59E59 Theaters, this project has wonderful momentum. 

BUT, we need your help to get it one step closer to opening night in NYC. OYL’s share of the costs of the production alone are $250,000, and we need your help to raise $12,000 toward that goal. ANYTHING we raise above and beyond that will go towards the production, and we hope that with your help we can both meet and exceed our goals!

Movement director Natalie Lomonte getting a lift during the March 2017 workshop of BALLS
Movement director Natalie Lomonte getting a lift during the March 2017 workshop of BALLS

MORE ABOUT OYL:

One Year Lease Theater Company (OYL) premieres bold international works of theater. OYL advocates physically powerful, ensemble-based theater while creating worlds that are raw, poetic, and visceral.  

Since 2012, OYL has premiered five productions in NYC – Kevin Armento’s Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, Bryony Lavery’s Stockholm, Mark Ravenhill’s pool (no water), Gary Henderson’s Skin Tight, and Pamela Carter’s What We Know.  

OYL’s work has been critically acclaimed as “first rate young actors” (Charles Isherwood, The New York Times), “theatrical witchcraft” (Scott Brown, New York Magazine), “riveting theater” (Ed Siegel, Boston’s NPR), “fiery and fantastical” (Eric Sundermann, Village Voice), “screams of novelty” (Alexandra Villarreal, Huffington Post), “playfully poisonous” (Terry Byrne, Boston Globe), “a gleaming portrait of our collective contemporary existence” (Andy Propst, American Theater Web), and “a celebration of theatrical energy” (Gerald Berkowitz, The Stage).  

In 2016, OYL received a Drama Desk nomination in NYC, as well as a Stage Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.    

OYL's EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING:

In addition to its work in the USA, OYL runs a summer education program annually in northern Greece for students from across the U.S. The summer of 2017 marks the eleventh year of the program. Since 2017, 115 students have participated from Adelphi, Atlantic Acting School, Arizona State, Bard, BU, CalArts, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Columbia, Connecticut College, Emory, Harvard, Ithaca, Marymount, Mcgill, Muhlenberg, Northwestern, NYU, Oberlin, Otterbein, Pace, Princeton, Reed, Rice, Southern Methodist University, SUNY Purchase, Tisch, University of Michigan, USC, Universidad de Chile, Vassar, and Wesleyan.

OYL Artists Richard Saudek, Nick Flint, Olivia McGiff, Leah Donovan, Asia Howard, and Ethan Slater in the November 2016 workshop of BALLS
OYL Artists Richard Saudek, Nick Flint, Olivia McGiff, Leah Donovan, Asia Howard, and Ethan Slater in the November 2016 workshop of BALLS

 

OYL Artists Leah Donovan, Devin McDuffee and Richard Saudek in the initial workshop of BALLS in July 2016
OYL Artists Leah Donovan, Devin McDuffee and Richard Saudek in the initial workshop of BALLS in July 2016

 

Co-Director Ianthe Demos and playwrights Bryony Lavery and Kevin Armento at the November 2016 workshop of BALLS
Co-Director Ianthe Demos and playwrights Bryony Lavery and Kevin Armento at the November 2016 workshop of BALLS

 

OYL artists Nadja Leonhard-Hooper, Natalie Lomonte, Olivia McGiff, Sarah-Jane Casey, Devin McDuffee, and Ethan Slater lead a tennis-inspired line dance at a 2016 kick-off party. JOIN US!! SUPPORT BALLS!!!
OYL artists Nadja Leonhard-Hooper, Natalie Lomonte, Olivia McGiff, Sarah-Jane Casey, Devin McDuffee, and Ethan Slater lead a tennis-inspired line dance at a 2016 kick-off party. JOIN US!! SUPPORT BALLS!!!

 

Risks and challenges

This is by far OYL’s most ambitious production to date. With several producing partners involved, a cast of 10 actors, and a growing creative team, this project gets stronger, more exciting, and more challenging by the day.

We’re a growing theater company. We’re getting bigger every year. Our audiences are growing too. We’ve had some success and gotten some reviews we are really proud of. But raising the money to fill in the gaps between ticket sales and production budgets is always a challenge.
With a combination of a fabulous script, fantastic talent, incredible partners, hard work, tenacity, and your support, BALLS will be an enormous success!

Please help us raise $12,000 towards our goal!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Your name in the NY BALLS program!

    We will include your name as a supporter in the NY program of BALLS.

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    Autographed Artistic Team Tennis Ball!

    In addition to your name in the program in NYC, we will make sure a tennis ball used in the show is autographed by the creative team and handed to you with your program when you attend the show in NYC! And if you cannot make the show, we will mail one to you!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Tennis Lessons from an OYL actor

    Do you like your tennis with some clowning? We can build a special 90-minute tennis session just for you!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Opening Night Party!

    An invitation for you and a friend to join the cast and creative team of BALLS for our opening night party in either Houston or NYC after the show (tickets to the opening night show not included but you should get a pair of those as well!).

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Opening Night Pair of Tickets & Party!

    A pair of tickets to opening night in either NYC or Houston and an invitation to join the cast and creative team of BALLS for our opening night party after the show!

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    A special night for you and 3 friends!

    Tickets for you and three friends to join us anytime during the run in Houston or NYC for an exclusive meet and greet with some of the creative team following the show.

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Funding period

- (25 days)