What if you wanted to say “I love you” but you couldn’t? What if life and its circumstances were preventing you from leading the life you really wanted? The Man Under is an urban love story about four people in New York City who struggle with what they want and how to express it. Jeff, Martin and Jennifer are longtime friends who can’t quite move past the past. They aren’t able to say what they really feel and are stuck in a rut of their own. This all changes when Jeff meets Lisa, a young, fiery and unpredictable sexpot he runs into on a subway platform. She turns everything upside down, sparking momentous change in each of their lives. By the end of the play, our characters have a whole new world to look forward to, understanding more deeply who they are and what they strive to be.
The Man Under is a dark comedy that handles the serious themes of home, loss, love, cancer, secrets, thought and impulse – everyday issues for everyday characters in extraordinary circumstances. In short, it’s about what is said and unsaid in our relationships and how we choose to connect with those we love or want to love. The action takes place in and under present day New York City.
Original drafts of the play showed tremendous potential, and Athena Theatre decided to begin work in earnest on developing the play. We had our sights set on producing at 59E59 Theaters, what has become, in just ten years, the destination for new work Off-Broadway. We submitted the script, and 59E59 was interested. Now we needed to do a reading of the play and explore the complex balance of humor and sincerity with an extremely talented cast. We were able to fund the reading by successfully completing a Kickstarter campaign (an on-line fundraising platform designed to support artists and creative endeavors (www.kickstarter.com).
The Man Under received a staged reading Monday, January 30, 2012 at Primary Stages, in Manhattan. The feedback was very positive. The audience laughed, cried, as well as contacted us afterwards expressing how much they related to the story and look forward to the seeing the production fully staged. One of the audience members was Nina Segal, Literary Associate at 59E59 Theaters. The strong response from the reading was instrumental in our being accepted for 59E59’s 2013 season. After conversations with Elysabeth Kleinhans, Artistic Director of 59E59, several rounds of re-writes, another private reading, and conversations about how the play could be marketed by the theater, we were offered the Jan. 21- Feb 17 timeslot in Theater C at 59E59. 59E59’s staff were impressed with how much humor and heart were portrayed when the play was read aloud. And although the theatre is extremely selective with the plays they choose, The Man Under was selected from among a field of many applicants. Working closely with 59E59’s artistic team has helped us get the play ready for both their subscribers and a wider audience.
We come to Kickstarter again to help raise funds for our Rent at the amazing 59E59 Theaters; Insurance; Designer Stipends, Materials and Incidentals. We have raised $10K so we are well on our way! Check out our perks, donate a buck (or as much as you can) and we look forward to seeing you at the theatre. I could not think of a better gift for Athena's 10th Birthday!!!
I'M TOO YOUNG FOR THIS!
The Man Under is a play that deals heavily with the aftermath of the death of a young woman. She suffers from and succumbs to her illness. Our play can be seen as a play about health, and one way we feel we can make a difference is by using our art to help others.
We've recently joined forces with Stupid Cancer, an organization that provides support for young people living with cancer. And just like the 71 people who have pledged to support our play, we've also decided to make a pledge.
Athena Theatre Company will donate 10% of our box office from The Man Under to Stupid Cancer in an effort to reach beyond the (what can sometimes seem insular) scope of theater and make an impact on people in our community.
Here's a little information about the organization we've teamed up with:
Young adults, a largely unknown group in the war on cancer, account for 72,000 new diagnoses each year. That's one every eight minutes. It's also seven times more all than pediatric cancers. This is not OK!
Stupid Cancer (aka The I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation, iy) is a non-profit organization that empowers young adults affected by cancer through innovative and award-winning programs and services. We are the nation's largest support community for this underserved population and serve as a bullhorn for the young cancer movement.
Their charter is to ensure that no one goes unaware of the age-appropriate resources they are entitled to so they can get busy living.
Hopefully The Man Under can not only provide some funding to Stupid Cancer, but more importantly, increase awareness for this amazing organization.
- (30 days)