Rising Phoenix Rep (Daniel Talbott, Artistic Director) hosted an event to launch the newly published CINO NIGHTS: Plays from Rising Phoenix Rep, edited by Daniel Talbott and Addie Johnson and with a foreword by Todd London, on Thursday, June 28th at 6:00 p.m. at The Drama Book Shop (250 West 40th Street, between 7th and 8th Ave). The collection includes new plays by Mando Alvarado, Courtney Baron, Jessica Dickey, Emily DeVoti, Kristen Palmer, Gary Sunshine, Adam Szymkowicz, and Lucy Thurber. It is published by The New York Theatre Experience, Inc. View photos of the event below!
Free and open to the public, the event featured readings of scenes from plays by Lucy Thurber, Emily DeVoti, Gary Sunshine, and Kristen Palmer, and a discussion about the Cino Nights series. Playwrights DeVoti, Thurber, Sunshine, Palmer, and Szymkowicz were on hand to sign copies of the book.
Todd London, artistic director of New Dramatists since 1996 and author of The Artistic Home and Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play (with Ben Pesner), wrote in the book's foreward, “Cino Nights are after that elusive grail of the theater: Something else again. The new thing that reminds us. The new energy that reignites us. The speed that unearths that which might take a lifetime to investigate and fully express. Something else again and again and again.”
Inspired by Joe Cino and his Caffe Cino—one of the original birthplaces of Off-Off-Broadway theatre and early home to such writers as Doric Wilson, Robert Patrick, John Guare, Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, and William M. Hoffman—New York Innovative Theatre Award-winning company Rising Phoenix Rep commissioned nineteen playwrights to write new, full-length plays for the Seventh Street Small Stage, the intimate back room space at Jimmy’s No. 43 in the East Village, where the company has mounted critically acclaimed and award-winning productions of new plays for the past six years.
Rising Phoenix Rep artistic director Daniel Talbott described the series as a place to tap into the raw, inspired, inventive, and pioneering work of the Caffe Cino, where the love of theatre and new plays was joined with a scrappy, do-it-yourself work ethic. All shows have been rehearsed for a week and then fully mounted and produced, warts and all, for one night only with free admission to overflow crowds.
Playwright Cusi Cram, whose play Radiance premiered as part of Cino Nights on June 10, 2012, spoke with excitement about the series. “As a playwright, it’s great to write something knowing it will actually be produced,” she remarked.
The eight playwrights whose works appear within these covers possess strong, compelling, individual voices, and by any measure are among the leading theater artists of their generation. Collected in this volume are eight plays from the first eight months of the series: Gary Sunshine’s Best Sex Ever, Mando Alvarado’s (O)n The 5:31, Courtney Baron’s Here I Lie, Kristen Palmer’s The Stray Dog, Emily DeVoti’s The Upstart, Lucy Thurber’s Named, Jessica Dickey’s Row After Row, and Adam Szymkowicz’s Clown Bar.
Cino Nights: Plays from Rising Phoenix Rep is a paperback that retails for $19, and is available in local bookstores and through Amazon.com.
ABOUT RISING PHOENIX REP
2007 Caffe Cino Fellowship and New York Innovative Theatre Award winning Rising Phoenix Repertory was founded in 1999 by Artistic Director Daniel Talbott. The phoenix takes the energy of the old, combines it with the new, and soars into the future. By learning from the traditions of the past and the teachings of the present, we want to rediscover the craft of a raw and vital Living Theatre. Rising Phoenix Rep started by producing an ongoing reading series of new plays as well as workshops and festivals, and now produces both in the Indie Theatre and Off-Broadway. Current Off-Broadway production: the world premiere of 3C by David Adjmi (produced with Rattlestick and piece by piece productions), and coming in early 2013 Off-Broadway: All the Rage by Martin Moran (produced with piece by piece productions and The Barrow Group). Recent productions include the acclaimed, sold-out Off-Broadway runs of Elective Affinities (produced with piece by piece and Soho Rep), Slipping (produced with piece by piece and Rattlestick) and Too Much Memory (also with piece by piece), which transferred to the New York Theatre Workshop’s Fourth Street Theatre after winning the FringeNYC award for Outstanding Play in 2008. RPR is currently at the end of a year-and-a-half-long event called Cino Nights, inspired by Joe Cino and his Caffe Cino—one of the original birthplaces of Off-Off-Broadway—for which the company has commissioned nineteen playwrights to write new, full-length plays to be fully produced in the intimate back room of East Village restaurant Jimmy’s No. 43 on a shoestring budget. Other recent productions include Ceremony, Afterclap, Birthday, and Don’t Pet the Zookeeper (Seventh Street Small Stage); 365 Days/365 Plays (Jimmy’s No. 43 and The Public Theater); What Happened When (HERE Arts Center); Fall Forward (part of the Sitelines/River to River festival produced by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council); The Telling Trilogy (including The Ride, 2006 NYIT Award Nominee – Outstanding Original Short Script/Crystal Skillman), Rules of the Universe (Winner, 2007 NYIT Awards for Outstanding Original Short Script/Daniel Reitz and Director/Daniel Talbott), and Three Sisters (Seventh Street Small Stage); Gift by Mark Schultz and Ponies by Mike Batistick (FringeNYC). Rising Phoenix Rep serves as a home base for a company of theatre professionals that encourages an open exchange of work and ideas within the greater theatre community. The company is a proud member of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York and The Dish. www.RisingPhoenixRep.org
Photo Credit: Daniel Talbott