Woodshed Collective’s PlayDates Reading Series presents:
The Absence of Weather by Ken Urban
Directed by Stephen Brackett
With Arthur Aulisi, Michael Braun, Vin Knight, Polly Lee, & Travis York. Stage Directions: Jocelyn Kuritsky
Where: Colt Coeur Studio, 20 Jay Street, Brooklyn NY
When: January 17th, 7pm
Synopsis: In May 1949, James Forrestal, President Truman’s Secretary of Defense, attempts suicide and his wife commits him to the Bethesda Naval Hospital. The architect of cold-war paranoia fears that Russians have not only infiltrated the highest ranks of the U.S. government, but are hiding in the bushes outside his home. Forrestal confides in a fellow patient about his rise to power and the choices that he made to protect the country. But if a man makes choices he’s not proud of, even if it’s for the larger good, is that man still right? An American tragedy about the wages of fear.
Playwright Ken Urban’s plays have been produced and developed at Summer Play Festival @ The Public, The Flea, The Chocolate Factory (NYC), Williamstown Theatre Festival, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, The Lark, The Huntington, Moving Arts, Irish Rep, Theatre of NOTE, and Soho Rep. He is the winner of the 2008 Weissberger Playwriting Award, the 2007/8 Huntington Playwriting Fellowship, the 2010-11 Dramatist Guild Fellowship, the 2009 Writers’ Room of Boston Emerging Writers Fellowship, two MacDowell Colony Fellowships (2008, 2009) and a 2006Tennessee Williams Fellowship. His plays are featured in the anthologies Plays and Playwrights 2002 and New York Theatre Review as well as numerous monologue collections. Ken founded The Committee, a New York-based theatre company that produces “catastrophic theatre.” In addition to directing his own work, he has directed plays by Sarah Kane, Harold Pinter and Tennessee Williams. He is currently working on two new plays (The Awake, The Correspondent), a “morally irresponsible” adaptation of Aristophanes’s The Wasps, and a screenplay adaptation of his play The Happy Sad. Ken has also written extensively on British and American theatre. He is currently writing an introduction to a new edition of Sarah Kane’s Blasted and an entry on Kane for the forthcoming Methuen Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights. Ken teaches at Harvard University.
Director Stephen Brackett’s recent credits include Nick Jones’ and Rachel Shukert’s The Sporting Life (Studio 42/Vineyard Theater), Missed Connections (Ars Nova), The Private Life of Inga Snyder and Neither Here Nor There (Columbia Stages), F#@king Up Everything(NYMF), The Confidence Man (Woodshed Collective), Steven Levenson’sBurbach/Lupone (Ars Nova), Whore and The Ones That Flutter (Summer Play Festival), Dan Fishback’s You Will Experience Silence (Dixon Place), Sandy the Dandy and Charlie McGee (FringeNY), Bekah Brunstetter’s Fucking Art (Samuel French), Bixby Elliot’s PN1923.45LS01 Volume 2 (FringeNY), No Date: The Diaries of David Wojnarowicz and Kilroy Was Here (Williamstown Workshop). He is a co-founder of the theater company Bushwick Hotel with playwright Rachel Shukert; their collaborations include Johnny Apple@#%*er (Ice Factory), Sequins for Satan (Galapagos Art Space) and Bloody Mary (Third Man Productions). Stephen was the Assistant Director of Passing Strange at the Public and Belasco Theaters. He is a founding member of 425D Director’s Lab, a former member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and the 2010 Director in Residence at Ars Nova. Upcoming: Handbook for a Revolution (Canal Park Playhouse),Factory Girls (The Atlantic Conservatory), Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey (Ars Nova), and The Tenant (Woodshed Collective).