As a part of the Metropolitan Playhouse Founder’s Festival
January 18 – 27, 2013
At Metropolitan Playhouse
New York: The Metropolitan Playhouse and JAJ Production are proud to present the World Premiere of David Koteles’ My First Lady, directed by Jason Jacobs as part of the Metropolitan Playhouse Founder’s Festival (running January 14- 27) The Playhouse is located at 220 East 4th Street. Tickets are $15-18 and can be purchased by visiting www.metropolitanplayhouse.org.
Metropolitan Playhouse, Obie Award winner for exploring American culture through theater, hosts The Founder’s Festival, the theater’s eighth annual Living Literature Festival of performances inspired by the lives and works of the individuals who helped to shape America. The Festival is a collection of eight new works by artists and companies from near and far taking their inspiration from the Founding Father’s public and private lives.
Jacobs and Koteles have collaborated on several projects before, most notably on the award-winning, GLAAD-nominated BALD DIVA!: The Ionesco Parody Your Mother Warned You About (published in the NYTE’s anthology Playing with Canons: Explosive New Works from Great Literature by America’s Indie Playwrights.)
Please join Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, and Thomas Jefferson’s daughters for tea and pleasantries at the President’s House. All slaves must be left at the door. In My First Lady a friendly gathering for a cup of tea with the First Ladies takes a funny and unexpected turn towards a battle of race, class, and gender in the new American republic.
The cast for My First Lady include Karla Hendrick (Twelve Night, Blithe Spirit) , Wendy Merritt (The Great Divide, The Importance of Being Earnest), , Leah Reddy (Two Gentleman of Verona), Ashley Denise Robinson (Film: Waver. Stage: Julius Caesar), Alyssa Simon (Film: Anniversary Dinner, Stage: Alone), and Deborah White (TV: “Law & Order,” “Growing Pains”). Associate Producer: Heather Olmstead. Costumes: Louisa Galante. Lighting: Christopher Weston.
JASON JACOBS (co-conceiver/ director) is a New York-based theatre director who has been identified as a 2007 Person of the Year by NYTheatre.com for his outstanding contributions to the cultural landscape. His productions have received two GLAAD Media Award nominations and critical praise from The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Village Voice, and TheatreMania.com. Jason’s work probes a broad range of interests with a focus on adaptations of classic texts and historic material. His original play Another Horatio Alger Story explores Alger’s the 19th century rags-to-riches stories from a contemporary perspective. He co-created Bald Diva!, a queer twist on Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano, blending the Theatre of the Absurd style with contemporary gay theatre to create a potent theatrical cocktail. In Burlington Vermont, he initiated an adaptation of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya to address the specific concerns of the rural Vermont community. He also directs bold interpretations of classic texts, such Oliver Twist, The Tempest, As You Like It, and The Cherry Orchard. Jason is also passionate about working on new plays. He has created dynamic solo productions with Kathryn Blume, founder of the Lysistrata Project, and Jeremy Lawrence (Lavender Songs — winner of a 2008 Backstage Bistro Award). He has also directed plays by Richard Sheinmel (Post Modern Living), Jason Schafer (i google myself) and David Koteles (The Trick and Bald Diva). He loves opera and directed Center for Contemporary Opera’s premiere production of Mario and the Magician.With a strong commitment to teaching and working with young people, Jason is a teaching artist for Roundabout Theatre Company. He has taught at Williamstown Theatre Festival and worked as a guest artist at Long Island University/CW Post Campus, NYU Department of Dramatic Writing, Bay Shore High School, and Beacon High School in New York City. He co-founded The Theatre Askew Youth Performance Experience, which empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth in the NYC area to develop their unique theatrical voices, and directed TAYPE’s first two initial productions. Born and raised in Culver City, California, Jason received his undergraduate degree from Yale and his MFA from Columbia, under the tutelage of Anne Bogart, Robert Woodruff, Brian Kulick, and Tina Landau. Additionally, he has been spotted on stage over the years in a range of roles the Grasshopper in James and the Giant Peach, his own solo piece Poor Sport, and the enigmatic meterosexual “Tom the Assistant” in Polly Frost’s episodic series Sex Scenes.
DAVID KOTELES (co-conceiver / playwright)has had plays produced on the east and west coasts, including his award-winning, GLAAD-nominated comedy Bald Diva!: the Ionesco Parody Your Mother Warned You About. Bald Diva! was later published in NYTE’s anthology Playing with Canons: Explosive New Works from Great Literature by America’s Indie Playwrights. And it was listed on numerous end-of-the-year (“Best of the Season”) lists for best play of 2004. David’s enjoyed numerous New York productions, workshops and readings of his work at such places as Ensemble Studio Theatre, Manhattan Class Company, The Rattlestick, Alice’s Fourth Floor, Primary Stages, The Perry Street Playhouse, Manhattan Theatre Source, Clemente Soto Velez, the Fresh Fruit Festival, the Homogenius Festival, Cherry Picking, the Red Room, and the Westbank Café. A graduate of the Columbia University School of the Arts, David has studied playwriting with Theresa Rebeck, Anne Bogart, Eduardo Machado, Leslie Ayvazian, Frank Pugliese, and Kelly Stuart. He was also honored with the Richard Rodgers Scholarship and a Howard Stein Fellowship while at Columbia. David graduated summa cum laude from Queens College, where he was made Phi Beta Kappa and earned the John Golden Award for Playwriting. He has also written several (as of yet unproduced) film scripts and TV pilots, and David was a finalist for the Writer’s Lab at the Sundance Film Festival. His play The Cook’s Tour has received multiple readings starring Estelle Parson, Kathleen Chalfant and Mary Louise Burke. He’s a staff writer on the webisode sitcom, Ernie’s Girls. He recently adapted the bestselling book You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up, written by married couple Anabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn, which is now on national tour.
METROPOLITAN PLAYHOUSE explores America’s theatrical heritage to illuminate contemporary American culture. The Playhouse produces early American plays, new plays drawn from American culture and history, and plays from around the world that resonate with the American canon