New Jersey Stage

Sunday, October 23, 2011

TWO RIVER THEATER COMPANY PRESENTS AWARD-WINNING WRITER AND PERFORMER NILAJA SUN IN NO CHILD....

(RED BANK, NJ) -— Two River Theater Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, continues its season with the critically acclaimed play No Child..., a multi-character, one-person show written and performed by Nilaja Sun and directed by Hal Brooks. Performances will begin in Two River's Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, November 1 and continue through Sunday, November 20. The opening night performance is Saturday, November 5 at 8pm.

Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or www.trtc.org. Single ticket prices start at $45. Discounts are available for groups, seniors, students, and patrons aged 30 and under.

Nilaja Sun makes her Two River debut with this tour-de-force solo performance, which she based on her own experiences working in the New York public schools. Since its 2006 world premiere, Sun has received 21 awards for No Child..., and she has performed the play to acclaim in theaters around the country and internationally.

No Child... tells the story of a dedicated teaching artist and her work with a group of 10th graders in a Bronx public school. Transforming herself into 16 different characters, Sun captures the voices of an entire classroom of students, their teachers and family members, the principal, a janitor, and a security guard. Her virtuosic performance, which has been lauded for its passion and rapid-fire humor, proves that one person can make a difference—and shows us the transformative power of art.

In conjunction with this production, Two River will offer discussions and events inspired by the themes of the play. The run will kick off on Monday, October 24 from 5 pm-7 pm with "A Love Letter to Teachers," an event celebrating local educators. Sun will discuss the play over cocktails and conversation at Two River, joined by Artistic Director John Dias and Alysia Souder, a member of the Steering Committee for the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership.

Two River Theater will also use the themes of No Child... as the basis for this season's PlayBack, an original performance devised and performed by local high school students. In this intensive, 12-week program, participating students work with professional teaching artists to create an original play or musical inspired by a production in the theater's season—but drawn from their own lives, experiences, and questions about the world. Students in this year's program will have opportunities to work with Nilaja Sun on the play they create, which will be performed at the theater in January, 2012. More information about Play Back will be announced at a later date.

Says Artistic Director John Dias, "I saw No Child... in its first Off-Broadway production, and was so moved by Nilaja's performance, and her writing, that I went back to see it two more times. This is theater at its purest and most powerful. I believe, as Nilaja does, that art really can change lives, and I am delighted to bring her glorious performance—artfully directed by Hal Brooks—to our stage."

Nilaja Sun (Playwright) has received 21 awards for her creation and performance of No Child..., including an Obie, Lucille Lortel Award, two Outer Critics Circle Awards including the John Gassner Playwriting Award for New American Play, the Helen Hayes Award in Washington, D.C., an LA Ovation Award, and Best One-Person Show at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. She was a teaching artist in the New York public school system for eight years while performing in numerous off-Broadway shows.

Hal Brooks (Director) has worked with Nilaja Sun on No Child... since its original run in New York in 2006. His other credits include the world premiere of Will Eno's Thom Paine, the current revival of Ionesco's The Bald Soprano at the Pearl Theatre, and Two River's 2010 production of Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile. He was recently appointed Artistic Director of the Cape Cod Theatre Project in Falmouth, Mass.

The creative team for No Child... includes scenic designer Neil Prince, costume designer Jessica Gaffney, lighting designer Mark Barton, and sound designer Ron Russell. The stage manager is Whitney McAnally.

For complete biographies of the company, visit www.trtc.org.