Lifedream Productions Presents The Closet at the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity

May 30 through June 24

45 Bleecker Street.

Tickets $18. For tickets visit

Lifedream Productions is pleased to present Amy Gray-Piper’s new play, The Closet, directed by Melissa Skirboll, making its world premiere at the Bleecker Street Theatre in New York, as part of the 4th annual Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. The Closet is paired with Dana Sumner-Pritchard’s new play Bed, which is also premiering at the festival in this evening of dramatic one-acts.

The Closet is the story of Ruth, a woman with a troubled past who is trying to come to terms with herself, her mother and their shared past. Though Ruth thought she had buried her past, the memory of her long-dead mother, Mara, haunts her. She struggles to hold onto her illusions through a series of conversations with Mara, before being forced to remember the truth. We watch as her fragile hold on sanity slips away as she falls into the madness that gripped her mother.

The Closet

at the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity

Written by Amy Gray-Piper

Directed by Melissa Skirboll

Where:          Bleecker Street Theatre


45 Bleecker Street

New York, NY 10012

When:        Saturday            6/2/12    8:00pm

Monday             6/4/12    9:30pm

Thursday           6/7/12    6:00pm

Wednesday      6/13/12    4:00pm

Tuesday          6/19/12    6:30pm

Saturday          6/23/12    11:00am

Price:            $18 at

Cast:            RUTH: Maureen Van Trease

MARA/NURSE: Susan McBrien


Melissa Skirboll (producer/ director) was with LifeDream Productions, the producer of the award winning production of Hell is Where the Heart Is at the 2011 Planet Connections Festivity. She recently finished directing a series of readings at The Abingdon Theatre and her play Pizza for Life as part of Ego Actus NYC Icon Plays. She also directed and produced Girlfriend Experience by Paul Tarantino at the Next Stage Theater in Hollywood, CA.

Amy Gray Piper (playwright) was raised in East Tennessee and lives in East Harlem.  She began writing The Closet at Harvard College under the tutelage of Obie-Award Winning playwright, Adrienne Kennedy. In 2005, Amy graduated from the University of Virginia’s School of Law and joined the litigation department of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.  For the past four years, she has worked as counsel to a New York philanthropist and his private family foundation. Some of Amy’s other adventures include:  work in Washington DC with Nina Totenberg at National Public Radio, travel writing—Published in Let’s Go Australia, performing at the A.R.T. under Tina Packer’s direction and serving as a White House Intern during the Clinton years.

 Maureen Van Trease (Ruth) was the 2011 Planet Connections Winner of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play for her work in Skirboll’s Hell is Where the Heart Is, the 2009 Winner Planet Activist Award and her play Those Whistling Ladswas a 2009 Nominee for Outstanding Overall Production of a Revival/Adaptation for which she was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play for her role as Dorothy Parker

Susan McBrien (Mara) was the 2010 Planet Connections Winner of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical, Play with Music, or Musical Event for her work inBJ: A Musical Romp, which was also nominated for Outstanding Ensemble in a Play, Musical or Evening of One-Acts and the winner for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical, Play with Music, or Musical Event

Planet Connections Theatre Festivity is New York’s premiere eco-friendly/socially conscious theatre festival. Fostering a diverse cross-section of performances, the festival seeks to inspire artists and audiences both creatively and fundamentally, in a festive atmosphere. At the heart of the festivity are like-minded individuals striving to create professional, meaningful theatre, while supporting organizations that give back to the community at large.

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