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Introducing the Company of THE HUMANS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT
Rachel Wandrei |wandrei@parksquaretheatre.org
Emily Halstead | halstead@parksquaretheatre.org

A FRESH PERSPECTIVE ON FAMILY IN THE HUMANS

Saint Paul, MN. August 25, 2022: Park Square Theatre’s 2022-2023 Season opens with the Tony Award-winning comedy-drama THE HUMANS (September 14 – Oct 9, 2022) by Stephen Karam, directed by Lily Tung Crystal. A one-act performed in real time, the play takes place as three generations gather for Thanksgiving at the new apartment of one of the children. Blisteringly funny but with a dark underside, Karam offers a stunning portrayal of a family navigating the challenges of everyday life.

Audiences are likely to come away commenting about how they relate to one or all of the family members. “This play is deeply and delightfully about family,” shares director Lily Tung Crystal. “What I love about THE HUMANS is that it fully captures the joy, humor, and dysfunction of family in all its nuances. The characters are doing the best they can to get through this one Thanksgiving dinner and everything else life throws at them–the trauma of 9/11, economic hardship, health challenges, broken relationships, old age, the effects of a hurricane. No one is perfect, but no one is a villain either, and somehow their love for one another helps bind them together, for better or worse.” 

After premiering in Chicago in 2014, THE HUMANS opened on Broadway in 2016 where it became a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play, but Tung Crystal is busy thinking about how to interpret it for a Minnesota audience in 2022. “There are a lot of Asian adoptees around the country, but particularly in Minnesota, and portraying a family of White parents with Korean adoptee daughters seemed to make a lot of sense. In fact, that choice has opened up many new ways to think about the play, which the audiences here in the Twin Cities will understand and resonate with. People often have a monolithic perception of what it means to be an ‘American family,’ but we are approaching this show with a 2022 lens, embracing a blend of different ethnicities, backgrounds, and beliefs, rather than the ‘traditional’ family construct. Portraying the family in this way allows us to embrace all the diversity that family can be.” 

Three generations will by played by John Middleton* and Charity Jones* as parents Erik and Deirdre Blake, Laura Anderson* and Dexieng “Dae” Yang as their daughters, Aimee and Brigid, Angela Timberman* as grandmother Fiona “Momo” Blake, and Darrick Mosley* as Brigid’s boyfriend, Richard. Lori Constable, Gary David Keast, James Rodriguez, and Janet Scanlon will understudy.

Examining human relationships and the bonds that tie people together is a through-line in the Park Square 2022-2023 Season. Executive Director Mark Ferraro-Hauck notes that THE HUMANS and BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY (at Park Square May 24- June 18, 2023) both specifically portray American family life. “A large part of the USA’s contribution to theatre is the exploration of family,” says Ferraro-Hauck. “It is really important to recognize that these two plays are in the same vein. While the central storytelling is told with different voices and comes from different lived experiences, they both show us ways in which our lives are bound together through the common experiences of family life.” 

Ferraro-Hauck also appreciates the deft hand in which Karam crafts the play. “What is amazing about THE HUMANS is how it weaves its way through both the best and worst of family experience but does so without judgment. It embraces us as flawed beings trying to make community and family together. It allows us to laugh at it, get angry, and cry over it simultaneously.” Who hasn’t felt that way after a holiday spent with their own family?

The production team for THE HUMANS includes Roshni Desai (Assistant Director), Erik Paulson (Set Designer), Matthew LeFebvreᐩ (Costume Designer), Katharine Horowitz (Sound Designer), Karin Olson (Lighting Designer), John Novak (Properties Designer), Katie Bradley (Dramaturge), Andrea Moriarity (Wigs Designer), Isabella Dawis (Music Director), Shae Palic (Intimacy Director), Keely Wolter (Dialect Coach), Lyndsey R. Harter* (Stage Manager), and Em Friedman (Assistant Stage Manager).
* Member, Actors’ Equity Association, ᐩ Member, USA Union 829

CALENDAR INFORMATION:

THE HUMANS

Park Square’s Proscenium Stage

Previews: September 14, 15

Opening Night: September 16

Regular Run: September 16–October 9

Audio Description: September 23

Pay-As-You’re-Able: September 25

ASL: September 25

Open Captioning: October 7, 8, 9

Post-Show Discussions: September 25, 29

TICKET PRICES: Previews: $27-$37. Regular Run: $40-$55. Pay-As-You’re-Able on Sunday, Sept 25. Discounts are available for students and educators, seniors, military personnel, those under age 30, and groups of 10 or more. Tickets are on sale by phone at 651.291.7005, (12 noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday), or online at parksquaretheatre.org.   #pstHumans

PHOTOS: As available, production photos will be posted at: PST The Humans_FOR PRESS.

BIOGRAPHIES:

LILY TUNG CRYSTAL (she/her) is a director and actor and the artistic director of Theater Mu. She is grateful to be collaborating with such talented and generous artists. In the Twin Cities, she has directed Jiehae Park’s peerless, Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, and the live film-theater production of Susan Soon He Stanton’s Today Is My Birthday at Mu and Art is a Verb (Harrison Rivers, librettist) at MNOpera. Other shows include David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish and Flower Drum Song at Palo Alto Players, and the world premiere of Leah Nanako Winkler’s Two Mile Hollow at Ferocious Lotus. For all three shows, she was named a Theatre Bay Area Award Finalist for Outstanding Direction. As an actor/singer, Lily has performed at theaters across the country, including Cal Shakes, Crowded Fire, Magic Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, New World Stages, Playwrights’ Center, Portland Center Stage, SF Playhouse, and Syracuse Stage. She is a YBCA 100 honoree, named by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as a “creative pioneer making the provocations that will shape the future of culture.” theatermu.org; lilytungcrystal.com

PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul
Ticket Office: 651.291.7005. www.parksquaretheatre.org

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PRIME PRODUCTIONS brings the future to the stage.

PRIME PRODUCTIONS BRINGS THE FUTURE TO THE STAGE WITH MARJORIE PRIME AT PARK SQUARE THEATRE

 

Continuing their mission to tell more stories about women in their second act, PRIME Productions opens Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime directed by Elena Giannetti, April 26, 2019 on the Andy Boss Thrust Stage at Park Square Theatre.

“Science fiction is here…Every day is science fiction. We buy these things that already know our moods and what we want for lunch even though we don’t know ourselves…”
– Tess in Marjorie Prime

Laura Stearns (left) and Candace Barrett Birk*. Photo By Joseph Giannetti.

It’s the age of artificial intelligence, and 85-year-old Marjorie – a jumble of disparate, fading memories – is living with her adult daughter and son-in-law, but also has a handsome new companion who’s programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember, and what would we forget, if given the chance? In this richly spare, wondrous new play Harrison explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits – if any – of what technology can replace.

“Jordan Harrison’s elegant, thoughtful and quietly unsettling drama that keeps developing in your head, like a photographic negative, long after you have seen it…At some point, you realize that its been landing skillfully targeted punch after punch, right where it hurts.”
Ben Brantley, NY Times

Director Elena Giannetti says: “Although this play is set in the not-too-distant future, the themes of memory, loss and grief and how we confront them is very much in the now. By using artificial intelligence as a backdrop for a conversation around relationships and memory, Jordan gives us a smart and unsettlingly current setting to debate the issue of how much we need to remember, and who decides the value of those memories and the role of technology is used to preserve them. I’m so excited to tell a story that helps PRIME put mature actors on stage, while also giving voice to the struggle people face when dealing with their own mortality.”

“You don’t really believe that living is a distraction from death.”
– Jon in Marjorie Prime

The cast features Candace Barrett Birk* (Marjorie), Laura Stearns (Tess), Andre Shoals* (Jon), and James Rodriguez (Walter). The production design team includes Costume Designer Amy Kaufman, Sound Designer Katie Korpi, Lighting Designer Mike Kittel, Set Designer Joseph Stanley and Stage Manager Jamie Kranz.   * Member, Actors’ Equity Association

Marjorie Prime is made possible by the Saint Paul Cultural Star Grant Program and is being produced by PRIME Productions as a part of Park Square’s “Theatres in Residence” Series.

Tickets

The Park Square Ticket Office is open for phone calls Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 5:00 pm.
Please call 651.291.7005.

For service other days of the week, please email tickets@parksquaretheatre.org.

Tickets can be purchased online at anytime.

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