EBE Ensemble Presents the American Premiere of
CHOKING THE BUTTERFLY
Written by James Johnson
Directed by Eric Mercado
Performing at 9th Space, opens on October 27, 2012 and runs for three weeks through November 10, 2012.
CHOKING THE BUTTERFLY
EBE’s seventh season kicks off with the American premiere of CHOKING THE BUTTERFLY by Northern Ireland’s James Johnson, previously nominated for the BBC/Stewart Parker Trust Award in 2009.
Teenage conjoined twins Betty and Barney are left to their own devices in an abandoned button factory after an operation to separate them. Thrown out of a cozy institution of bath times and constant care they are now left with a suitcase packed with bottles of milk and cash - the land of milk and money they dreamed of as children. After living so long without temptation what now for two teenagers who naively name themselves after a pair of cartoon characters from the television?
Choking the Butterfly opens on October 27, 2012 at 9th Space in the historic East Village and runs for three weeks through November 10, 2012. Previews for the show are October 25 and 26th.
WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR: Coming soon
CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
Eric Mercado (Director) is a Brooklyn based director. Previous directing and devised theatre credits include: The Ape and the Child at the Wings Theater, Ach Du Lieber Himmel and Wine and Spirits, both at New York Theater Workshop with Theater In Asylum, Bomb Shelter at the Gene Frankel, Baby Plays the Banjo at 45 Bleecker, and Open Up at Theater for the New City. Eric recently served as Staff Director for Aquila Theatre’s national tour of Macbethand The Importance of Being Earnest. His latest original work The Scientists will be premiering at the Living Theatre in November. He holds a BFA from NYU Tisch where he studied creating original work. www.EricRMercado.com
James Johnson (Playwright) studied Drama at Queens University Belfast his previous work includes the BBC/Stewart Parker Award nominated Choking the Butterfly [Best New Irish Play] which was produced by Tinderbox Theatre Company. He also has written two Edinburgh Fringe shows The Importance of Shoes [Weaver Hughes Ensemble] which was produced as an audio play by Wireless Theatre Company and transferred to London and The Audition which was produced in Los Angeles by Mahalo Theatre Collective as part of the Hollywood Fringe last year before transferring to London and has been translated and produced in Sweden. His other work includes Glimpse Due Solace [Loughborough Stage Society] and the short plays Glossina Palpalis and Rain Falls [Belfast 25 Project]
Eric Alba (Brody) is a founding member of EBE Ensemble. He earned his BFA in Theater from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Although pimarily an actor, Eric has written and directed several shows for EBE, including the 2009 NYIT Award winning play The Interview by Nico Vreeland. Eric is extremely proud to serve as the Artistic Director of EBE Ensemble. Eric revels in the joy that art can bring to his life and the lives of others and would like to thank his family, friends, and especially his fellow Benevolent Elephants.
Evan Johnson* (Barney): is a stage and film actor based in New York City. He most recently appeared Off-Broadway in Thomas Bradshaw's Burning (The New Group, dir: Scott Elliott). Other New York Theatre: Girl Gone (dir: Paul Lazar), Something Wicked. Upcoming film: Wildlife (Independent feature).Training: Marymount Manhattan College. Visit www.theevanjohnson.com for the latest!
Christina Toth (Betty):is an exciting young actress from Montreal and is a recent graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse. She was recently seen at the Cherry Lane Theatre in the “The Darling Siblings” and in Magic Futurebox’s production of “The Pestilence is Coming”. She lately had the privilege to work on Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” and to be featured in a Hershey Canada commercial.
The rest of the creative team includes Ashley Scoles (stage management), Cory Rodriguez (scenic design), Amanda Jenks (costume design), Daisy Long (lighting design), Joshua B. Jenks (sound design), Lauren Genutis (props design), Tiffany Abercrombie (makeup design), Turner Smith (fight director), and Rebecca Schoffer (dialect coach).
*Member Actor's Equity Association. An Equity Approved Showcase (approval pending).
Risks and challenges
As with all new work CHOKING THE BUTTERFLY comes onto the NY theater scene with no preconceived expectations from the audience. No one here has ever seen this piece and it is up to EBE Ensemble to produce it in such a way that honors the script, highlights EBE's aesthetic and MOVES the audience. There is no trial period. All we get is three weeks in the haunting 9th Space in the East Village to introduce a piece that we believe has the potential to fully embody the purpose of Off-Off Broadway work. A piece that is original, challenging, dark, experimental, funny and beautiful along with a production team and cast that can take the script from the realm of language into a very real experience that the audience and performers will feel sharp in their guts and will linger in their minds.
This particular work has posed a unique transatlantic challenge as it is an Irish play adapted for an American audience by our extraordinary playwright and the EBE team. This was a very specific choice made to allow the New York audience instant accessibility to the words and the story without getting caught up in an accent and cultural-specific terms. It has been quite a ride negotiating idioms and vocabulary that, even within the English language, don't translate. This has taken months and months of work from our playwright, James Johnson, and our staff. We are confident in the script as it stands now and can't wait to get our hands into presenting it in a way that will change those who see it.
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